What do you fear about retirement?

May 7, 2012

Write That Book Badly — But at Least Do It!

For those looking for retirement quotes, go to The Retirement Quotes Cafe and Funny Retirement Quotes on The Joy of Being Retired website.

In my internationally best-selling How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free I advocate that retirees write a book (not necessarily a retirement book). There is no better way for anyone to leave a legacy than to write a book and have it published as a print book (not an ebook).

And this comes from my latest book:

"Writing a book is an incredible, satisfying experience.
It is a way to connect with the world.
It tells the world who you are.
It makes you an authority on what you write about.
It’s a swell way to eventually make money from your own creative efforts and feel much better for it.
A good book excites readers to self-discovery and making a difference in this world while you yourself make a difference.
You should write at least one."
— from Life's Secret Handbook (Reminders for Adventurous Souls Who Want to Make a Big Difference in This World)

Do you have to hire a professional editor and make it perfect? Near as I can tell, no.

If you have a great book with great content, it won't matter all that much, if at all.

One of my mottos is: “Write That Book Badly — But at Least Do It!”

In my pursuit of success in the publishing industry, I have always remembered this great advice by a self-published author Robert Ringer who has sold millions of his books including Restoring the American Dream, Winning Through Intimidation, and Looking Out for Number 1:

“It’s better to do a sub-par job working on the right project than a great job working on the wrong project.
— Robert J. Ringer

One of my “right projects” was my second self-published book The Joy of Not Working which was released in 1991. Instead of getting it perfect — or even remotely close to perfect — I kept to my schedule and followed my motto “Do It Badly — But at Least Do It!”

At the time that I first published The Joy of Not Working, I used a desktop publishing program that had no spell check. I did not hire any professional editor and just used some of my friends to help me edit the book. Three years later. I purchased an update of the desktop publishing program that had a spell check. When I ran the spell check on the book, I found out it had 150 spelling errors. Did it affect sales? I don’t think so. It had sold 30,000 copies in its first three years — and that was in Canada with one-tenth of the population of the U.S. Incidentally, I received only one complaint about the book. It was from some school teacher. She complained about the spelling errors and how good she was at spotting these spelling errors. But she only spotted about ten of the 150.

Here is the key to having a bestselling self-published book: Create a book that has great content, something that really stands out and is so far ahead of your competition that it owns the category (something like How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free). If you can accomplish this, readers willl overlook spelling errors (like the one I just made). The best promotion for a book is still word-of-mouth advertising from readers who love your book and tell others about it.

Recently, I purchased a copy of Brendon Burchard’s The Millionaire Messenger. Burchard had the book published within 10 weeks after he started writing it (not that's committment). The Millionaire Messenger was released in March 2011 and has now sold over 50,000 copies. I spotted a number of spelling and formatting errors in the book. Did I mind? Not at all — simply because it has great content.
Here are a few quotations about perfection to put perfection in proper perspective:

“And in fact, I think the more we start to worship perfection the more soul leaks out of art.”
— Kathy Mattea

“Artists who seek perfection in everything are those who cannot attain it in anything.”
— Gustave Flaubert

“Have no fear of perfection — you’ll never reach it.’
— Salvador Dali

“Perfection is a trifle dull. It is not the least of life’s ironies that this, which we all aim at, is better not quite achieved.’
— W. Somerset Maugham

“Striving to better, oft we mar what’s well."
— William Shakespeare

Incidentally, if there are any typos here, enjoy them.

Here are some retirement quotes since this is a retirement sayings and retirement quotes blog.

"WEIRD AND DELUSIONAL: A quarter of middle-class Americans are now so pessimistic about their savings that they are planning to delay retirement until they are at least 80 years old. This is delusional because this is two years longer than the average American is even
expected to live."
— Dave Erhard

"I'm not just retiring from the company, I'm also retiring from my stress, my commute, my alarm clock, and my iron."
— Hartman Jule

"I never stopped doing anything [when I retired], I stopped getting paid for it."
— Bill Chavanne

"Retirement is the beginning of life, not the end."
— from How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free

"The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary."
— Fred Wilson

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