I think I first heard this when I was a young teenager, which is far too many years ago to remember who actually said it, maybe my mother, maybe a teacher. The point is, like most clichés, it’s a phrase that we all come across at some point in our lives, and as a cliché is, by its very definition, an overused saying, how true is it?
There are two different ways of looking at it. There’s the Jodi Picoult view, ‘everyone has a book in them, but it doesn’t do any good until you pry it out of them’, and then there’s the Christopher Hitchens view, ‘everyone has a book in them, but in most cases that’s where it should stay’.
On the one hand, Picoult suggests many people are unaware of the potential novel hidden in their subconscious, while on the other hand, Hitchens thinks most people’s stories are of no interest to the masses.
Personally, I think both viewpoints are a load of old cobblers (aka nonsense!) I find writing cathartic. I also think it’s essential in the education of our youth, an effective form of communication in the professional and private lives of our adulthood, and a proven way to stay sharp as we slow into old age.
So go ahead, write your story. It doesn’t need to become a best-seller, it doesn’t even need to be published. It can be packed with laughter, or tears, love or loneliness, animals or children, or it can be boring as hell. It doesn’t matter! Write your story because we’re only here for a short time, and someone will be glad you did.