Discover more from Deplatformable Newsletter
"NOBODY WANTS TO READ YOUR SH*T"
Book by Steven Pressfield and Shawn Coyne
Following is a short chapter from the book “Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t“. It was written by Steven Pressfield (bio below), and Shawn Coyne. The premise may or may not ring true with my readers. Let me know yes or no - thanks!
“NOBODY WANTS TO READ YOUR SH*T
The first thing you learn in advertising is that no one wants to read your shit. Your ads, I mean. People hate ads. I hate them myself. I hate TV commercials.
Why should I waste my valuable time watching that lying garbage, trying to sell me crap I don't need or want? Sometimes young writers acquire the idea from their years in school that the world is waiting to read what they've written.
They get this idea because their teachers had to read their essays or term papers or dissertations. In the real world, no one is waiting to read what you've written. Sight unseen, they hate what you've written. Why? Because they might have to actually read it.
Nobody wants to read anything. Let me repeat that. Nobody—not even your dog or your mother—has the slightest interest in your commercial for Rice Krispies or Delco batteries or Preparation H. Nor does anybody care about your [*Substack posts…] one-act play, your Facebook page or your new sesame chicken joint at the mall. It isn't that people are mean or cruel, 'they're just busy. Nobody wants to read your shit. What's the answer?
1) Streamline your message. Focus it and pare it down to its simplest, clearest, easiest-to-understand form.
2) Make its expression fun. Or sexy or interest-ing or scary or informative. Make it so compelling that a person would have to be crazy NOT to read it.
3) Apply that to all forms of writing or art or commerce.
When you understand that nobody wants to read your shit, your mind becomes powerfully concentrated. You begin to understand that writing/reading is, above all, a transaction.
The reader donates his time and attention, which are supremely valuable commodities. In return, you the writer must give him something worthy of his gift to you.
When you understand that nobody wants to read your shit, you develop empathy. You acquire the skill that is indispensable to all artists and entrepreneurs—the ability to switch back and forth in your imagination from your own point of view as writer/painter/seller to the point of view of your reader/ gallery-goer/customer.
You learn to ask yourself with every sentence and every phrase: Is this interesting? Is it fun or challenging or inventive? Am I giving the reader enough? Is she bored? Is she following where I want to lead her?”
Steven Pressfield is a renowned American author whose literary contributions span various genres, including historical fiction, non-fiction, and screenwriting. Born in 1943 in Port of Spain, Trinidad, Pressfield spent his formative years in the United States, where he attended Duke University. After completing his education, he embarked on a notable journey that encompassed diverse experiences, including stints as a teacher, truck driver, and screenwriter.
Pressfield's literary career gained momentum with the publication of his debut novel, "The Legend of Bagger Vance" in 1995, which was later adapted into a movie. Building on this initial success, he continued to produce a series of critically acclaimed works, including "Gates of Fire" (1998), a historical novel focusing on the Battle of Thermopylae, which garnered widespread praise for its vivid portrayal of ancient warfare.
Known for his insightful exploration of themes such as courage, creativity, and the human spirit's resilience, Pressfield's works often resonate with readers seeking narratives that delve into the complexities of human nature and the pursuit of personal excellence. Notably, his book "The War of Art" (2002) has become a revered guide for creative professionals, offering valuable insights into overcoming creative obstacles and self-doubt.
With an extensive bibliography including fiction and non-fiction titles, Steven Pressfield continues to inspire and captivate audiences worldwide with his vivid storytelling and reflections on the human experience. His contributions to the literary world have solidified his position as a respected and influential voice, respected by both aspiring writers and seasoned readers alike.
Obviously some people like to read our stuff? Right? Let me know what you think.