He Thinks about Writing As a Business, But Not Art

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I am hugely disappointed in Majid. I still do not comprehend why he does not try to write from his heart, since his mission as a writer is coaching people how to have inner peace in their heart and how to get rid of distractions from one’s thought – he is preaching spiritualty. Majid’s attitude toward writing is deeply disturbing my heart and soul. How on earth doesn’t he care that he spreads absurd messages all over the world every time he posts his senseless articles? How could he possibly say that he does not care the quality of his writing? I am heading back to the apartment with a much troubled heart.

Gerardo has been working in his room when I come back to the apartment. As soon as he catches sight of me barging in the room disconcertedly, he startles, “What’s up man? What’s wrong with you? Why did you open the door so violently?”

Pause.

“I’m sorry, man. I just don’t understand modern people. Why do they always think about money? Why don’t they care about the quality, but only care about benefits? I don’t comprehend anything, man!”

“Calm down, Shogo. Just explain me what happened,” he is soothing me by offering a cigarette.

I let him light a cigarette for me and collapse on my mattress. I am looking down for a while to compose myself, then begin telling him everything what happened at Starbucks. He listens attentively to my story and speaks, “Shogo, you should understand him. This is his way of writing. You can’t force him to write in your way.”

I am shaking my head and explaining him more clearly, “Gerardo, you don’t understand anything. I’m saying modern people are something wrong, for they only care about money. He thinks about writing as a business, but not art. If he wants to be a writer, he has to write from his heart and stop thinking about keywords. He used the same keyword over fifteen times in a short article that is preposterous. And he always checks which keywords are frequently searched on Google before he starts writing an article, that is completely unacceptable as a writer to boot – I tell you, my friend.”

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You Think about Rewards Too Much

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“Shogo, I think you’re downrightly a dreamer and ingenuous man, indeed,” he looks at me squarely and counters, “I know it is a better way for authors to write from one’s heart, for sure; but if you can’t sell any books, you’re merely wasting your toil. I’ve met many writers in my life, and I think you’re an exceptional one; you are unique and have a rare talent. However, I tell you, it doesn’t matter if you’re a great writer or a shit writer. Think about it, for instance, you write a great book, a masterpiece, so to speak, but nobody notices your work. In fact, you have wonderful messages to convey to the world, but nobody can hear them due to your ignorance of marketing. On the other hands, if a shit writer publishes a mediocre work and knows how to market his book, people naturally notice his book and read it. At that juncture, he is better than you even if you’re a great writer and write a magnum opus. Are you following me? This is because, at least, he contributes some messages toward the world that can be heeded. If you can’t sell your book, you’re nothing, nonentity. I’m sorry to bring this to you, but this is the reality, and you’d better deal with it. It doesn’t matter if you’re a shit writer; the essential thing is whether you know how to market your book.”

“Of course, I can easily understand your conception; yet I truly believe you should write your book from your heart even if you can’t sell your book, other than writing hogwash for money. All in all, you think about rewards too much. Anyway, I must go, for I promised my friend to eat lunch together. See you around, Majid.”

With that, I walk out irritatingly.

Not Able to Touch People’s Heart

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Here he draws his laptop toward me and says, “Shogo, look at the screen. This is my blog. I know you don’t like technology, but you should start blogging. I’ll explain you the advantage of blogging. First of all, nobody knows about you right now, so naturally, it’ll be difficult for you to find a publisher. However, consider about what I’m going to tell you: if you have your own blog, which supposes to have over three thousand visitors per month, you can impress a publisher with this very fact. For example, I’ve been blogging for over a year and posted a number of articles so far. Look at this article, Shogo. Do you notice that I’m using the word, ‘spiritual life’ numerous times in my article? I used the same words due to Google search engine. I’ve researched what sorts of words are searched on Google frequently and found that that word is searched frequently. I’ve compared many similar words with this one, and this one is the most popular result. In short, I used ‘spiritual life’ fifteen times in this short article, so that search engine will likely pick up my article every time people search ‘spiritual life’ on Google. This is called keyword,” he nods satisfyingly.

I know that he is trying to help me; however, I disagree with his method and writing style. I am getting bothered with his delusional chit-chat in the highest degree. Therefore, I let out, “But Majid, what you’re telling me is quite nonsense. I thoroughly understand the advantage of blogging; however, I totally disagree with your writing style. Think about what you’re doing? You don’t write from your heart, but you’re thinking about only keywords and putting them as many times as possible in your articles. Who are going to read these kinds of nonsensical articles? Wake up, Majid, you’d better write what you truly feel and stop thinking about keywords. Otherwise, your writing is not able to touch people’s heart.”

Publishing Business Is a Very Dirty Business Nowadays

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He drinks a coffee and asks, “Have you ever attended any writers’ lectures about how to publish and market a book?”

“Nope. I’ve never attended any lectures. Besides, I’m not interested in such a business lecture.”

“Shogo, I guess you’re very naïve,” he says considerably, “you have to understand that publishing business is a very dirty business nowadays. I know about it, for I’ve been attending a number of writers’ lectures, and all of them said the same thing. Let me enlighten you the reality. When you find a publisher, they give you a contract to read which is extremely complicated. Thus, you need to hire a lawyer to read them so that you won’t be deceived. Otherwise, you’ll be messed up; they’ll take every advantage to deceive you to make benefits.”

I frown and respond, “I guess you exaggerate the condition of publishing business too much. Of course, you’re right about me; I don’t know anything about it. However, I don’t believe that every publisher is dishonest, as you described. If every publisher has evil intentions, how can I find a right publisher?”

“That’s why you need a literary agent, Shogo. They know about book business all of the ‘ins and outs.’ They’ll help you to read a contract and find a suitable publisher for you. As a result, it’ll be better for you to start finding an ardent literary agent as soon as possible.”

“Thanks for the tip, but I still think that it’s early for me to worry about publishers, because I haven’t completed the book yet. Many thanks for your concern though.”

It’s Difficult for Writers to Publish a Book Nowadays

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As soon as I approach his table, he offers me the chair to sit down by saying, “How are you, Shogo? How is your book going on?”

I reply delightedly, “I’ve been better than ever! I’ll finish writing my first book soon – actually, it’s a matter of time now.”

“It’s great news; I’m glad to hear that. However, have you ever researched publishers or literary agencies? I’ve already told you many times that it’s difficult for writers to publish a book nowadays. And I prudently suggest that you should find a good literary agency to represent your book for your own good. It’s apparently not easy for you to find it; it will indeed consume a lot of your time to research them though. Shogo, as I’ve already explained you, writing books and finding publishers are totally different things.”

“Thanks for the advice, Majid. I understand your point, but I’m not going to start looking for publishers till I complete writing my book. I think I shouldn’t attempt to do two different things at the same time. For that reason, I would rather concentrate my whole energy on writing the book first. And then I’ll try to find a publisher or literary agency, as you suggested,” I reply earnestly.