My friend Puneet Bhatnagar (who is also a Blogger and Author) and I were at a Blogging event a month ago. On the podium was an Indian writer who had authored a series of successful Books. He spoke about his Blogging and Book writing experience. Then he asked those in the gathering whether they sought a transition to writing Books. The dampener came when he bluntly advised us not to consider writing as a full time profession which he then went on to back with some statistics.He himself was a well placed executive and writing was a passion for him. Although he was a reputed writer, his books had a market of barely 20,000 and he claimed that this was the normal benchmark for the best of Indian Authors. So, naturally the advice from the well entrenched expert to us novices was to keep away from this career unless we were financially well off or writing just for fun. The message was loud and clear, writing does not pay: stay away.
I quietly remarked to Puneet that this was his judgement, it’s not sacrosanct: my goal is firmly on track.
In the post lunch session, the special guest, noted Film Maker, Shekhar Kapoor addressed us and answered our queries. So what was he doing at a Blogger’s event? Well, he is an avid Blogger himself. A young Blogger asked him,
‘Sir, we have been told that the writing industry in India is dead and that Indian Authors don’t sell. What do you have to say about that’
Shekhar Kapoor’s eyebrows shot up ‘Who told you that? The Shiva Triology has sold millions. I have met the Author and his plan for his next project is much more ambitious. So don’t let somebody tell you that Indian Authors don’t sell!’
I could imagine a few ‘experts’ squirming in their seats. After his brief but rousing interaction, Shekhar Kapoor left to a thunderous applause.
Puneet and I exchanged smiles. I said to him,
‘You know, I have not based the targeted numbers for my own book on any prior benchmark. This just validates the one million figure I have ingrained in my mind.’
You see, the book I am writing is based on my recovery from Bipolar disorder. The book is slated to be published by end of the year. I am glad to share that I have already signed a Publishing contract with Partridge, an affiliate of Penguin Random House for a global release in all formats: e-Books, paperback and hardback.
As I write this I can’t help but remembering a man whose self belief has had an indelible impact on my psyche, Maurice Goodman also known as The Miracle Man.
I remember being first stunned by his incredible story in The Secret (Book/Video) chapter on him. To retell his story very briefly, Maurice, having met with an air accident, had been given up for dead by Doctors. They said at best he would survive for a day or two.
As they watched with astonishment, his remarkable recovery unfolding before their eyes in defiance of all medical logic, they were still skeptical whether with his battered body, he would ever be able to stand up again.
Maurice said to his Doctor, ‘I’ll walk out of your Hospital by Christmas’
When this miracle was actually enacted, the Doctor said to Maurice that he had never believed this could happen.
Maurice, ‘Well, Doctor, thankfully, I did not go by what you believed. I believed in my own belief’
Thank you, Maurice. Years after I heard you saying this in your video for the first time, I still get goose bumps whenever I replay that scene in my mind! It was a turning point in my recovery from Bipolar.
Yes, I too have belief in my belief.
Backing my dream. Who else would, if not me?