Apparently, Most People Really Do Think They’re Hot Stuff

In honor of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), a challenge that calls for writers to write 50,000 words of a novel during the month of November. Study Finds released the results of a study that offered some insights into the minds of writers and potential writers, based on the responses of 2,000 people in the U.S.

Here are some of the statistics:

  • more than half of Americans think they have a good idea for a novel
  • only 15% ever start writing a book
  • only 8% have completed a novel (that seems quite high to me)
  • 33% say they face difficulty finding inspiration or coming up with ideas
  • 26% indicate they do not have enough free time
  • 55% think their own life is worthy of becoming a book or movie
  • 54% want to share their challenges and how they overcame them,
  • 54%w consider themselves to be an interesting character
  • those who consider themselves avid readers were much more likely to consider their lives to be worthy of a book or movie adaption (63% vs. 37%)
  • 62 percent have developed a greater appreciation for classic novels over time

Some thoughts on these results:

First, I doubt if I would ever compete in NaNoWriMo. I already struggle trying to write something every day. My posts are generally about 400-500 words a day, I’d have to quadruple my daily writing to make this challenge. I don’t see that happening.

Second, my life is not interesting enough to be the basis for a book or movie, so where I am going to find the inspiration? I’d have to stick to sources like the Wall Street Journal, the HuffPost, and StudyFinds. And you can guess how interesting those articles would be for other people.

Third, I find it hard to imagine that eight percent of adults in the U.S. have written a novel. If that was 0.8%, I’d have more faith in the number.

And finally, I’ve reconsidered. Maybe my life is worthy of a book or movie. It could serve as a warning for what not to do…

*I am getting my money’s worth out of that crumpled piece of paper…

103 thoughts on “Apparently, Most People Really Do Think They’re Hot Stuff

  1. I consider myself an avid reader but have not thought that my life is worthy of a book! Writing a novel is hard! 50,000 words is a lot, and you realize that as you keep staring at your word count after typing surely several thousand words and instead its only been several hundred and you sigh.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I don’t think word count is important. I’ve read some very interesting books that were short in length, and some dull tomes that droned on and on. I appreciate it when authors keep their writing compact, and avoid a lot of unnecessary language. It respects my time, and it prevents boredom. On the other hand, I do want them to use enough words to express themselves clearly, and that can involve going into a lot of detail, sometimes.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You are very right about some books droning on and on. I don’t mind long books at all but I do when they drag out the story just to have a long book.
        I had a word count goal but I have lowered it for that very reason, I don’t want my story to get boring. I am hoping to finish by the end of this month….hoping is the key word. LOL!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. It may be that life has staid, almost boring moments but I bet you could find a period in your life that would be worthy of a book. My teenage years would make a great cautionary book. 8% may have completed it but what percent of those get published may be the better question.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can’t ever see myself taking part in NaNoWriMo. I am a guy who likes goals, but I don’t like the idea of taking a creative endeavor (writing) and breaking it into a math concept (Number of words per day). Slow and steady works better for me. If it works for others, more power to them. Most people’s lives, including mine, are not interesting enough to write a book about.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. so I’ve completely taken a creative endeavor like blogging and completely turned it into a math concept – wordress stats like number of followers and views and comments, as well as the number of days in a row there has been a blog post.

      your book about your experiences as a teacher is an outstanding memoir and guide for new teachers…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It takes creativity to come up with something to write about day after day. I’m more of a math guy, so I get your attraction to stats. Creating a fictional story is probably the most right-brained activity I’ve ever done. I just read a discouraging stat that said only 1 in 3,000 people who try to get published succeed. I won’t be crushed if it never happens, but it’s not going to be for lack of effort. I also know if I don’t get any leads in a year, I’ll cave in and self-publish. I’m still learning and having fun which leads me to think I’ll stick with this. I’m about 2/3 of the way through the first draft of another novel.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think the fact that you have already written one book that was so good, would make you’re odds much, much higher than the 1 in 3,000. and wow – you’ve got another book 2/3 of the way through! you are a prolific guy!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I am not surprised that the majority of people think there is a novel lurking in the telling of their lives. What hubris to think that what we have experienced, felt, or thought is uniquely qualified to be entertaining. At best, I think a normal life holds a few great stories, but unlikely that it would support a novel. And I agree with your take on the 8% of people who have completed a novel. That number seems high. In the US alone that would equate to 26 million novels floating around out there somewhere. Doesn’t seem possible.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. more power to those who are able to write and publish a book.it does take lots of gumption and perseverance to go through the process. I love the human story and find a story in everyone I meet, so of course I assume everyone has a book in them. as for me, so far, all I can muster is 8-20 words a day, so if I was using the daily math approach, it could take me a long while to complete the project.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. it is quite an accomplishment. and as for me, if I were writing a book about myself, it would begin with the story of how I rescued a woman who had been pushed onto a New York City subway track.,,

      Oh wait, that’s s story I saw on the news tonight…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I draw inspiration from things that happen to me and often write those into my novels, but I can assure you, my life is not interesting enough to write about. And I suspect that’s true of most people. Those stats surprised me.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I tend to write about what I want to know about, then I spend a bunch of time researching things. I have quirky anecdotes to include from my life, but like I said, nothing noteworthy to carry a whole novel (let alone a series). Besides, I love to research. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Ah Jim! It’s good to see that crumbled up paper still filling in the stuff for another post. I need to quit throwing away those ideas. Then maybe, lightning will strike me twice . . . to begin writing a novel, and then delaying because Borden’s Blather has published another post.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. And of those 8 percent of people who have written a novel, I have to wonder how many of those novels actually got published. That’s where the real number is. I say this as a person with an unpublished novel on my computer. And it wasn’t for the lack of trying.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I think the respondent pool must have started with a group that were already focused on writing. My brother actually wrote a really engaging book about an Mergers and Acquisitions guy sliding slowly into the world of heroine addiction and had a ghost living in his house, so the WSJ might not be a bad place to start. Me? I’ve got no ideas whatsoever. I’ve knocked out three short fiction stories in my life and they’re all not-so-loosely based on me. https://www.amazon.com/Ghosts-Bergen-County-Dana-Cann/dp/1941040276

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Each of us has victories and defeats, dreams and desires, and situations and relationships that can spawn a lot of emotion that I’m guessing many others could relate to maybe with a little embellishment and a proper setting. I think most novels are fiction anyway. A high school friend just published a book (I haven’t read it yet), but I agree the percentages for those who start and finish a novel seems very high.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I would shoot myself before committing to write so many words in a certain period of time. Writing is about creativity and inspiration, not ‘have to’ unless you’re on a time table from your boss. “When you feel it, write it.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m guilty of this with trying to keep my writing streak going. Many days the spark isn’t there, but I will write some nonsense just for that reason. So I guess I do feel it – I feel a need to keep the streak going 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Hmmm 8% does seem quite high to me too… maybe they wrote a novel but they didn’t necessarily publish it. I feel like the percentage of those who wrote and published a novel would be quite low (not considering best-sellers too- even lower)!

    Liked by 1 person

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