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How/ Why I'm Writing a Book

Jeremy Ginsburg

Ever since I can remember, I’ve had an “unofficial” bucket list. It’s not written down anywhere, but I know roughly what’s on it.

Ever since I watched videos on Youtube, I have wanted to be a part of a video that got a million views (6 million views and counting, skip to the 7 min mark! haha).

Ever since I could watch TV, I have wanted my own show.

Ever since I sat in a movie theater, I have wanted to be in a Hollywood film.

The list goes on and on and gets even more ridiculous items added to it every year. (One night, I was drunk at a college party and I told my friend that “going to the moon” was on my bucket list. As cool as that would be, I feel that if I get that rich, I’d much rather help a million people rather than go to the moon.) 

Anyways, one of those things that still remains on my bucket list is to write a book.

Writing a book is hard. Shit, writing itself is hard. But I’ve always wanted to do it. It’s not that I want to call myself an author, I just want to do it.

During spring 2014, I was playing music full time and freelancing on the side as a video editor. One day when I was talking to my brother, randomly I just mentioned that I wanted to write a book.  

He called me out: “Why would somebody read your book if you are a performer? People don’t read books written by singers, they read books written by writers. If you want to write a book, you have to start writing.”

I thought, “Shit. You’re right….yeah, that’s true. People don’t read your books unless you are somebody, or unless you have done something.”

Fast forward about a year later, to when I started to work as a freelance writer. I wrote blog posts, email autoresponders, and helped a client publish several books. I became inspired to write more.

In fact, I was getting paid to be a writer and an editor. So I figured my writing was good enough to be in a book, right?

But I still had nothing to write a book about. I still questioned myself. Who is going to read my book anyway? What do I have to say?

And it remained on that bucket list of things that I wanted to do.

 

I was hoping that eventually I would do or learn something that was worth writing a book about,but then I realized: if I keep waiting for something to write about, I am never going to write a book.

I was just making excuses. I have plenty of stories to tell or lessons to teach. The fact that I didn't have a good topic for a book was the worst excuse.

See, when it comes to writing a book, or anything of that matter, if you wait for inspiration to come to you, you'll wait as long as you allow yourself.

However, if you go out and start chasing it, you’ll find it much sooner. You’ll create it yourself, and that’s the quickest way to success.

Simply put, I am writing a fucking book. Right now.

(Sorry for swearing, but I got excited!)

This morning, I wrote 1,000 words. In fact, I’ve written 1,000 words a day for the last month. How of those will I actually use? Who knows? But I’m making more progress by writing than by dreaming and talking about it.

So, what’s this book about?

Well, the number one question most people ask me is “What the f$#^ did you do on a Vietnamese TV show for 25 days?

Most people don’t say the ‘f-word’, but their tone of voice implies it. To be honest, as much as I love talking about it, it’s hard to squeeze that in a 5-minute conversation.

Translating all the episodes is difficult and doesn’t do it justice. I tried making a video, but still, there’s so much that went on behind the scenes. I keep getting more questions than I can answer. So, I decided to write a book about the entire experience.  

At the very least, it’ll be something cool that my grandkids can read someday when I tell them that I got famous in Vietnam and they don’t believe me.

I’m not sure if the book is going to be just about the show itself, or more about my rise to fame here in Vietnam. I guess you’ll just have to wait and see...

What’s my process? How am I going to write this book?

Some people say that writing a book is one of the most difficult things they have ever done. Other people started writing a book and never finish it. I’m telling you right now: this book is going to end up like this blog post: not perfect, but published.

Here is my process.

For the last 5 weeks, I’ve been writing 1 thousand words a day, six days a week. As of October 2nd, I have over 40 thousand words written. I’m going to write about 1 thousand words a day until I feel I have enough information. For me, it’s because I am going chronologically from the show. I also have got a lot of notes, pictures, and I have the show itself to use as a guide so it’s great. Once I’ve got all this down, I’m guessing I’m going to have nearly 50-60 thousand words. That’s a decent sized book.

Then, I’m going to go back, and piece by piece, break it down and turn 50-60 thousand words into around 20 thousand words. Maybe even less. Who knows? I'll do this by creating a story arch and approaching each section and labeling it "epic" or "not epic". Everything that's not epic will be deleted. 

After that, I will go through the second round of the revision, and break it down into chapters. Once I have got about 10 or 15 chapters, I’ll edit each chapter individually.

Somewhere along this process I’m sure I’ll get sick of it. If that happens, I’ll pay an editor. Preferably, I can find a friend or a family member as well to look at each chapter and provide feedback based on the questions that I ask them to look for in the chapter. I’m not usually good at asking for help. So, here it goes:

If you’d like to help me with my book, please let me know. :-)

Eventually, I will have a final version and I will self-publish it on Amazon.

Hopefully you will read it the day it comes out.

Stay tuned as I write about my plan to launch the book and see what happens.

But most important part is that I’m gonna get it done.

I’m fu*kin’ doing it!

Now, I want you to do me one favor. Don't worry, it has nothing to do with my book. I want you to think about your bucket list. What's one thing you've been putting off?

Why wait any longer?