Why write a book?

Why write a book?

By John Aston


Why write a book at all ? Sounds like a simple question, I know, but the answer is complicated. The first reason is that if you enjoy writing, if you love playing with words as much as I do, if you have views and memories to share, then nothing comes close to the satisfaction of writing a book. We now have more ways in which to express ourselves than ever before , but only a book gives the reader enough time to breathe, to absorb what is being said and why. Internet forum threads may be perfect for instant response and counter response , but all too often they degenerate into damaging storms in the tiniest of teacups . And if you write more than a line or two , sooner rather than later you’ll have to endure the most sneering acronym of all- TLDR - too long, didn’t read. And, believe me , that can hurt... Blogs? Wonderful stuff but they are best in the moment, of the moment and for the moment .

Don’t believe the old cliche of a picture being worth a thousand words either – and not just because it’s probably a photoshopped falsehood . We may live in a society which is drowning in images but only words can help them make sense , and it doesn’t matter if the subject is Trump and Putin or the long running soap opera of Formula 1 .

Somebody once said to me that writing a book is just an ego trip and of course he was absolutely right . What could be better than walking into a Waterstones and seeing your very own book on sale , what’s more fun than wittering on for an hour on your local radio station about your book and what’s more daunting than reading a review of the precious baby you’ve spent a year of your life writing ? Actually ,there is one thing , and that is hearing from readers who have enjoyed what you’ve said. It’s a joy and a privilege and I am still amazed that ten years after my first book was published I am still hearing from readers .