This was spoken to me once by someone close to me when I told them I was writing.
This probably is one of the most condescending things anyone has ever said to me about my writing. Stringing words together does not make a writer. All this statement did for me was to recognize that they don’t respect me, or the written word for that matter. I don’t doubt that everyone had experiences and stories, imagination even, that would make a great book. What a lot of people don’t have is the ability to write 100,000 words about them, in a way that makes readers want to read.
Maybe I was sensitive about it, I think most writers are insecure and egotistical at the same time, but this diminishes the accomplishment that a writer makes.
I know a lot of people outside writers don’t know what is involved in the process, so I’ll do my best to shed a bit of light on my experience.
First you pour your heart out into a story, a story that becomes an obsession that you need to get on paper (I type mine). When the story is finally done, you edit it and proofread it yourself. Then give it to beta readers (friends, loved ones, people you trust to be honest with you) The one more edit/proof based on that.
Then you are confident that your book is ready, that it’s great. Then you look for an agent to represent you.
Most publishers do not accept submissions from anyone but agents. So you start the querying process. You spend endless hours looking for agents who might be able to represent you, based on months old info you are able to scrape together on the internet.
Each agent you come across has their own way of doing things, rather, their own way for YOU to do things. Each agent you query takes a couple hours to put together the information they are requesting, exactly the way they are requesting it. To do anything else immediately eliminates your chances (possibly, but is it worth the risk?)
If you are writing about a subject that they aren’t interested in promoting, you can feel the collective eyeroll. Out of the 20-25 agents I queried, roughly half didn’t reach out to reject my work.
The entire process seems to get more and more difficult as you continue. It’s almost cute to see the people struggling to write a book, when to someone that’s gone through the entire process, that is the easiest part of it.
So yeah, everyone has a book in them. Just in most people, it dies with them.