I heard once that one should have a few grey hairs to be a successful doctor, professor or an author. But, perhaps it is only the former two that still hold true today. Becoming a published author has become much easier & widespread these days. In fact, I have this hypothesis, that almost every 20 something wants to write these days & at least every 1/10 wants to get published!
So, what has really made this generation so expressive and to an extent creative too? Does this in a way spark the desire to also do more serious writing such as a book? Like becoming an author?
Why Writing & Publishing are becoming more important than ever before in India
1. Love or Lust – they have always been there
At the risk of stereotyping, I do feel, it will be hard to find a 20 something today who hasn’t had any encounter with crush, love, lust, infatuation or most favourite of the lot – ‘break up’!
Writing about it finally helps them to ‘move on’ or ‘move in’, which by the way they want to do really fast. Much faster than the older generations could even think of doing so. Otherwise, how do you really justify the runaway success for almost every novel written in the ‘Romance’ genre?
2. Too much absorption of content, mainly from the internet
Going by the content explosion that has happened on internet in last 5 years, everyone really needs a channel and often barely a reason to express. This slowly turns into an obsession; to express every philosophy they learn, acquire or create & share almost every moment of their lives in whichever way they can. And if they also have the gift of gab and a wealth of time, it may very soon turn into a passion to blog, to click a lot of pictures, followed by a dream to publish ‘the’ book of their life.
3. A book is still one of the best and most credible ways of ‘claim to fame’
Okay, so this may sound a little shallow. A picture from foreign location, selfie with a celebrity or holding your very own book. The last one just nails it right and really hard. Isn’t it ?
A book is the most powerful means to elevate personal branding, which seems to have become so important these days. In the sea of content that we float online there is something really special about a full blown book. A book is by far the most authentic form of storytelling that is available. Definitely calls for a lot of attention. A matter of pride & envy for many important & not so important people in their lives.
4. The blessed and carefree souls
In most cases, the youngsters today don’t bear the responsibilities of supporting a family early in their lives, which gives them enough time & energy to introspect. Nurture the burning desire to stand out, be unique, find greater meaning & purpose in their lives.
Writing a book does bring them closer to their own self. It helps them tell a story that they are building subconsciously for very long time in their lives.
5. And finally, the power and glory of being your own boss!
Glory definitely supersedes money in any generation & it is not a new thing for the millennial. And therefore we see people ready to splurge money into hefty self publishing contracts & also sign up for elaborate book marketing deals with a hope & aim to find glory, become immortal. Little more attractive hooks here are ‘being your own boss’ & ‘doing what you love’.
Writing a book & the hope of becoming a successful author/entrepreneur or speaker takes them closer to that dream. And yes the millennials are made to dream a lot more than their previous generations.
Who are the trendsetters, really?
Every thing that has happened to the popular fiction genre is somehow credited to the rise of Chetan Bhagat & the popularity of his books. Subsequent bestsellers by Amish Tripathi and every other author who could sell over 10,000 copies of their books in India. But this phenomenon of young India wanting to write even before they settle into a professional careers or best make writing a full time career has come from the success of authors like Durjoy Dutta, Ravinder Singh and Sudeep Nagarkar – who are now pretty much able to sustain themselves by just being novelists. A concept totally unheard of, couple of years back in India.
At the same time we have seen self publishing houses like Partridge, Notionpress, Author’s Ink and The Write place mushrooming & expanding very rapidly in India. And most of the manuscripts that they get, I hear are from new & young authors.
One more phenomenon this interesting trend has seen is this new concept of a ‘Crowdsourced book’ or rather the promise of such a book. Sure it is difficult to write a complete 50,000 or a 70,000 words novel. But what about a 3000 – 5000 words story? A ‘poetry’? Or a writing prompt?
Irrespective of the fact that anthologies sell or don’t, people would want to read new authors or not, you pay any royalties or prizes to the published authors or not. You will be surprised by the number of submissions that you get. The Times of India, one of India’s leading newspaper, conducted a year long campaign known as Write India involving big authors & some very high decibel promotions. According to official & unofficial sources, the contest got over 30,000 entries from the prompts that were judged by eminent authors and is now struggling to find a way to deal with this pile of stories that they have received!
We are indeed a nation full of writers!
So now that I have shared my excruciatingly long rant about this writing phenomena, let me also not leave the opportunity to talk a little about our humble attempt to be a tiny piece of this huge nation full of writers.
‘Melonade’ is one of many such experiment that is now successfully running for the last 6 years by Writersmelon. First Brush on the Canvas is one of many such books that publishes short stories by new authors that are worth telling the world.
We have finally bagged a traditional publishing deal & hoping to reach out to many new readers with our book.
Time to celebrate ‘first time’ in writing. What do you think?
About the author:
After working through countless excels & power point presentations in the last six years as a ‘market research’ professional, I finally decided to become a digital entrepreneur and stay as close to the world of books as possible. I am the founder of Writersmelon – India’s leading online community of book lovers & authors, wherein we find new ways to connect readers & authors and spread the love for reading & writing.
I can be reached on Facebook.