A long, long time ago, I thought about writing a series of books like The Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew -- something that would be read generation after generation, passed down from father to son, or mother to daughter.
But it's already been done and who wants to be a copy cat? So I decided not to even start.
Later, I thought about writing sweeping sagas ala James Michener and Alex Haley. I'd call my first book "Roots of Alaska." I'd spend years researching historical events, tie them all together with memorable characters, and produce a whopping book that weighed 20 pounds, but everybody would read it because everybody else was reading it.
But do you know how long "spending years" actually is? Me neither. It could be three or seven or 20. And then if it was never accepted by a publisher or turned into a made-for-TV mini-series, I'd die a pityfall, lonely, rejected man which is something I'd prefer to avoid. So I decided not to even start.
And then I thought about writing a horror book like Stephen King or a mystery like Agatha Christie. Those are always fun to read; fun to figure out "who done it" before the investigator finds out, or fun to creep somebody out so much they can never sleep with the lights off ever again.
But I never could figure out "who done it," and if you write creepy books, people look at you a bit sideways -- like they really think you'd eat roasted babies feet. So I decided not to even start.
I thought about writing short stories, but only for a moment.
Newspaper columns? Well, anybody can do that. Just throw some words together, make sure everything's spelled correctly, and you're all set. The newspaper doesn't care what your story's about. They just need something to fill the space.
I thought about writing birthday and Christmas cards, but nobody really reads them. People just look to see if there's money inside.
Well, as you can see, I've turned down a boatload of promising literary ideas, but now I have a BRAND NEW IDEA -- an idea that will set me on the path to becoming the most-read author the world has ever seen.
I am going to start writing signs. Road signs, restaurant signs, airport signs, etc.
Millions of travellers will read my "Do Not Enter" signs. Billions of shoppers will be looking for my "Restroom" signs. And there's no telling how many different translations there will be for my "Swim at your own risk" signs.
I shall be famous. Quitely of course, because I will refuse to call attention to myself and my status, but famous none the less.
Don't worry -- I won't forget where I came from.
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