Why We Write (and Publish)
"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." - Samuel Johnson, April 5, 1776; from Boswell, Life of Johnson
A letter to my children and friends (whom have ignored my appeals) that they write down and publish what they know and why;
and, To Whom It May Concern:
I urge your to take up pen (or pencil, typewriter, word-processor, stick-in-sand, charcoal-on-cave wall) for the following reasons:
(1) For Money ... which is a very long shot since few writers make a really good living and even fewer become rich primarily through writing. But, lightning may strike or the timing may be just right or you may be the beneficiary of what Peter Drucker referred to as "The Value of Innovation", thusly:
"One gets paid for satisfying a want and doing so with excellence. One does not get paid for making efforts or for spending a lot of money. One makes extraordinary profit not by doing a little better what we already know how to do, but by doing, albeit poorly, something new that no one else knows how to do at all."
(2) Professional Recognition ... the author of a published work is held in some esteem in our society and properly so.
(3) Career ... being an author or contributor looks awfully good on a résumé. [It is a modest method, albeit in false modesty, of self-promotion.]
(4) Enhancement of your grasp of a subject ... as the old adage goes, "that you never learn a subject so well as when you are forced to teach it." ... the same logic applies when writing a book. It is a powerful learning experience.
(5) Pride of Authorship ... a well-researched, -organized, and -written work is always a source of personal pride.
(6) May Fulfill the Need for Good Textbooks ... the bane of the teaching profession is the very limited supply of good textbooks; books that are well-organized, comprehensive, and well-written; books that are self-teaching, i.e., not requiring an instructor to explain incomplete works.
(7) The Sharing of Knowledge ...
to advance the state of the art, science, or trade;
to contribute to society, in general.
Henry C. Landa
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.A.
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