Everyone has That one Novel in Them…or do they?

This is one of the dumbest things you’ll hear from anyone who claims to be a writer. And probably from people who know nothing about anything. I’m talking about that stupid saying that states that EVERYONE is capable of writing that one good novel during their lifetime. Or maybe I’m taking the phrase too literally. Maybe it’s supposed to mean that everyone has a story worth telling? Either way, no. Just no.

Let’s tackle my first issue with this. I find it hard to believe that someone could actually believe in what they’re saying if they’re indeed stating that everyone is capable of writing a book. Have you ever known someone who lives okay, not rich but capable of buying most things they’d want, maybe a new car every few years? Of course you have, I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m describing you. Okay. And then for whatever reason you get a look at one of their emails or a letter or some form of their writing and you realize how bad it really is. I’m not talking bad as in you have no idea what they’re trying to communicate to someone else, but rather that they struggle to string together cohesive sentences or misspell the most basic words. There’s nothing wrong with people who write poorly, heck maybe they had some bad English teachers during their school days, but to say that EVERYONE is capable of writing that one novel is just not true. I think it’s what someone repeats over and over again who knows their writing needs a lot of work.

Let’s now tackle the second issue about whether everyone has a story that needs to be told. I have no issue with someone bringing light to an important situation or event. But if you’re going to sit there and tell me that everyone has a story to tell, then I have just a single question for you. How can you make that statement and then very quickly criticize all the books that are written by celebrities? Are their stories any less worthy of being told than mine or yours? Are their stories any less worthy of being read or told simply because they have more money than you or I could ever imagine? That makes about as much sense as this whole thing.

There’s no truth to this stupid little phrase that gets repeated over and over again for reasons I simply don’t understand. I really wish it would be struck from existence never to return again.

PS: I’ve been really lax about posting this month, so I’m going to try to post everyday for the final two weeks of September to kind of catch up a little. Maybe I’ll succeed, maybe I won’t. I’m at least going to  try.

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14 thoughts on “Everyone has That one Novel in Them…or do they?

  1. Everyone has a novel in them just like everyone has a marathon in them or a million piece puzzle in them or an award winning invention in them.

    Unfortunately, almost all of those things take work. Sure, some people can write a book by stabbing at a keyboard, littering the screen with semi-intelligent prose just like someone can hobble down a marathon course in 23 and a half hours.

    It can be done. Not well, but done. It still takes a lot of work. It’s estimated that 1% of the population has run a marathon. If you look at people who have done it more than once that number drops to like .1% of the population.

    I’m not sure what the numbers are for people who have “written a book” but my guess is that they’re similar.

    So yeah, I bet most people have a book in them, but will they get it out? Unlikely. Will they get it out well? Even less likely.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yeah, no one would ever say “everyone has a symphony in them” or “everyone has a painted masterpiece.” Most people can’t paint or play instruments. But I think because most people can technically “write,” it seems like a layman’s art.

    I get what the quote is saying – that we all have stories – and sure, I see that. But it’s also pretty belittling to writers.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. ^^^^ Great point Aetherhouse! So true

    Like

  4. “Everybody does have a book in them, but in most cases, that’s where it should stay.” ~Christopher Hitchens 😉

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I will agree that everyone has a story to tell, but not everyone can tell it well. Some people are under the impression that writing is easy and relaxing, so they put it on their list to someday “write a book.” I believe those are the same types of people who think when they retire, they’ll do something “easy” like teach “just for fun.”

    Granted, those who stick with writing do it because they want to make themselves better. These are the true writers. The rest will give up after a few days or weeks.

    Let the layman try to write. They will realize the difficulty very quickly.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ooooh. You hit on something I HATE. People who just decide to wrote a book just for the sake of doing so. Like who do you think you are? I’m going to write a post about that someday. But yes, those people don’t ever actually do it.

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  6. I think you’re taking the quote the wrong way. I think the idea that everyone has a novel in them alludes certainly to the fact that everyone has a story to tell, and I think that by taking it further and questioning that person’s ability to literally write and publish a book is simply arguing semantics at that point. It’s impossible to live a life without having a story to tell. Not everyone would be entertained, but then what exactly IS the definition of a good story? Who decides that? Describing a “good” or “correct” or “well written” story is like trying to describe or define beauty. What’s “good” to you may certainly not be good to me. What’s more is that many a great story have been written in incorrect formatting, or with broken grammar, still communicating the impact of the tale without having to slave to a skill the author may not have at hand – though they indeed have the story to tell… I think it’s a wonderful phrase, like the idea that there’s something good buried deep within everyone, no matter how horrible they could be. I think you should look past the literal and dig deeper into the figurative meaning on this one… Most phrases are intended to be taken with a grain of salt anyway (see that doesn’t make sense she taken literally, either!)

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  7. Pingback: Stay Away Genres | Write me a book, John!

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