“You Should Write A Book”

“You know what you should do Dave? You should write a book.” 

Pretty much everybody I know in the Hamptons is in the process of writing a book, plans on writing a book or is working on a screenplay. As a guy who makes his living writing words, I’ve always found this to be kind of frustrating, because it takes the excitement out of the fact that I am constantly working on projects like this.

I can remember being a kid and people thinking it was a big deal that my Dad is a writer. If he wrote a book, which he frequently would do while I was growing up (and still does) there would be a big book party, there would be people really excited about it and it would be pretty neat.

Today though, a lot of people are writing books thanks to technology. Writing a book has gotten a lot easier. You don’t have to do it at a typewriter anymore. You do it all at a computer. You also don’t have to really have to have a publisher, because with a very small investment, you can self publish your book. In fact, major publishing houses today almost expect you to self-publish a book to give them as an example.

The romance of it has kind of been taken out of what it means to be a “paperback writer,” as the Beatles so poetically called them.

I got to thinking about this a lot this morning in relation to the music business. Nowhere is it clearer how quickly things become devalued than when you have the ability to flood the market. The music industry today is suffering, and a big part of it has to do with how easy it is to make, produce and sell music. Kids can do it.

It’s important for things to be a little difficult, a little unobtainable, a little exciting, to create a mystique behind it. If you make things too easy to do or obtain, you simply don’t appreciate it so much.

Take for example the case of women who make it too easy for a guy, or a guy who makes  it too easy for a woman. If they do, even if the other person is really attractive, it’s easy to get turned off. That’s why the phrase, “playing hard to get” matters. It’s a delicate dance.

The same is true for the arts. If you become too easy to obtain, nobody wants your stuff.

I’d even argue that this little dance can be applied to anything. Look at what Bernie Madoff did. He was able to swindle over $50 billion of people’s money by fabricating a legend behind himself. He’d make it hard for people to “invest” with him, and because he did that, his fraud was able to last for decades.

Look at fashion. You take two shirts, one shirt has the label of Gucci on it and the other one has the label of Kmart on it, and even if they are the exact same shirt, turned out of the exact same factory, Gucci can get hundreds of dollars for the shirt, all because they make them hard to get.

Playing a little hard to get is important.

So, now that you know all this, and I’m sure you knew it before, but it’s always interesting to think about, I will take this opportunity to let you know that I am officially not writing a book, and if I was, you will have to find out about it on your own, because I ain’t telling you about it.

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