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Teach a girl to write books and you feed the minds of mankind.
When I wrote the Kindle ebook How To Alphabetize: Organizational Tools for Office & Home, it was sort of as a joke. It is not that being unable to alphabetize is a joke; I obviously take the matter serious enough to have written a book on the topic.
The joke to me was my speculative forecasting that this instructional ebook would sell more than my dissenting argument ebooks; and the joke is totally on me because How To Alphabetize is currently my most downloaded Kindle ebook on Amazon with another copy sold today. The market is speaking and I am listening.
Okay, so it's only five copies so far, but that is five more copies than if I hadn't written and self-published it at all. Big thanks to each buyer, and happy alphabetizing!
Not too bad of a start for an idea that occurred to me while cleaning a bathroom at work one day, when my mind reflected on a conversation I had with my Boss Man wherein I learned that not everyone who applies to jobs these days knows how to alphabetize. It's a good thing he told me otherwise the book (and this blog post) would most likely not exist; whoa.
People not knowing how to alphabetize; how is that even possible? That is often the reactionary thought that first comes to mind. But, you know what? It does not matter how; it just is and that is the fact of it, period.
The more important question to be asking is: What can be done about the problem besides playing the blame game? I would much rather do something to solve the problem than analyze it without anything tangible getting done to make it better. For Gozer's sake, isn't that what fighting mediocrity is all about?
And that was when, in the middle of making a bathroom look fucking awesome, the epiphany hit: Write a simple tutorial ebook that teaches people of all ages how to alphabetize. Empirical evidence that cleaning bathrooms is far from mundane work when you have a writer's mind, but I digress.
After all, what better way to combat ignorance than to write a book that helps people learn not just something but how to do something. That is the power of words, that is the power of writing; and I ignite at the thought of wielding that power for good and not evil, with my mind and through my fingertips.
Don't get me wrong; it is totally nice when my dissenting arguments are downloaded, but I recognize the difference between enlightening readers with philosophizing opinions versus providing instruction and teaching application of a skill necessary to succeed in the world of business. Using my skills to help others learn a skill and improve themselves as individuals is far more satisfying than just having opinions with nothing improving.
The fact that I can write different styles makes me pleased with my abilities, since there are times I doubt myself. When I am at work and making shit look awesome as a housekeeper, I don't feel like a writer nor necessarily think of myself as a writer, even if I have writing ideas; I don't know if I even feel like a writer when I am writing; but every time a book sells it reminds me that, despite what I get paid to do for work, I am a writer.
It also tells me that I am fortunate to have multiple skill sets, along with the ability to learn new skills; so that not only can I write, but I can also make shit look fucking awesome. I can also laugh at myself for it all, which I do quite often.
As ecstatic as the writing makes me feel, though, what makes me feel even better is knowing that people are learning practical, helpful information which they can use to get ahead in work, school, or elsewhere in life. People are learning, of their own free will and volition, too; and that is total awesomeness!
The beauty of people willingly learning can overwhelm my emotions at times to the point of becoming verklempt. When I read the first Amazon review of How To Alphabetize last night, with 5 stars and a brief description stating how the book helped the reader, I totally cried. Maybe after it happens a million times I will tire of it, though I hope that never happens.
Granted, I may not have given birth to a baby, and a woman is nothing if she isn't a mother (or so society likes to remind me), but damn it if I didn't create matter by giving words life, form, and function. Take that, society and wasted eggs; I can still impact life for the better without making human life, so there.
To know that the book is helping people who need it is nothing short of awesome; it naturally makes me feel good as a writer, to know that I met my writing goal with the book. Yet no matter how good the writing makes me feel, it always pales in comparison to the deep tissue-tingling thrill of knowing a difference was made in people's lives for the better due to the power of the written word. Now that is what I am talking about. by Eve Penman
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