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Preorder? http://www.hankgreen.com

This video is not actually about how to write a book, if anything it's about how to find the motivation, which I think (for me at least) was a lot more important. I think I realized that, often, I wasn't writing a thing because it wasn't that important to me, I wasn't that excited about it, and ultimately I was more into the idea of having people read a book I wrote than I was into the idea of writing a book.

I'm not saying you don't need that first thing, but t helps to have the second one too.

I also 100% recognize that this is all much easier if you don't have to worry the whole time about whether a publisher or agent will at least read your book and whether you have friends who are published authors who will help you revise and and vouch for you (thank you Patrick Rothfuss for that, btw.)

So, yeah, things are easier to do if you see the path, and understand where you might fit in.


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Good morning, John. Welcome to Hank Green sits on the floor of a hotel room in Memphis, Tennessee.

There's an event going on here. It's for people who run and own independent bookstores. It's been fascinating. Very cool to talk to all these weird people who work very hard.

I'm here, basically, to tell them to like my book. I guess. My book that they cannot currently read but is coming out September 25th. It's got a release date, John!

I've always wanted to write a book, is a lie. I, for a long time, have wanted people to read a book that I wrote, is more accurate. And I've analyzed this and I think it's because when I read books, when I've read books, they have an outsized impact on me.

This, of course, happens with other media, but for me most of the creations that I have consumed that have deeply changed the way I see the world have been books.

Like it's a cliche that you lose yourself in a book, but that doesn't mean that it's not extremely profound. Like the act of actually losing yourself, like, I know what that is. I know what it's like for the world to disappear around me and for all the words to be turning into this virtual reality experience in my mind.

Imagining that I could be a person who would do that to someone else someday was mostly the hubris of youth. Like you see somebody doing something amazing and you're like, "I can do that amazing thing too." But really you don't want to do all the stuff that's necessary to get there, you just want to have had it happen.

And over the years I have written a lot, but I have mostly written non-fiction. I have written hundreds of thousands of words of essays that have been turned into video blogs. And honestly, I have written probably over a hundred thousand words of tweets.

But I also did start fiction projects and then abandoned them several times, and then finally a few things fit together and I realized I was writing something that I was actually going to get finished.

There's a moment in songwriting where I feel that way where I'm like, "oh I have the song. I just need to put in the work for the song to be finished." And that's way before you finish the song.

The first thing that happened is I found a character. At first, just one, but then others later, that I cared about really deeply and I needed, I needed to know her story. And I just got caught up in her like I get caught up in a good book. There was no way to finish reading her story without writing it.

The second piece which was maybe first but, like, wasn't as important was finding scenes, these moments in her life that were so bizarre and wrenching that I needed other people to know about them.

So I have those two things, was going through the book, and I kept stopping and it wasn't getting done. And then I found a third thing that pushed me all the way through to the end.

I realized that there were a number of things that I really wanted to say that I was pretty qualified to talk about, but I couldn't fit into any of my current methods for communicating with people, like it wasn't going to be a four-minute long video.

Things about how the internet radicalizes us. How fame is so destructive and dehumanizing/ And like the intensity of the responsibility of having power brings, and how overwhelming and crippling that can be. And also how having power makes you want to use power to get more power. So a bunch of stuff.

So that, along with the knowledge that I was gonna be able to get agents and publishers to read this book because I'm John Green's brother--thanks for that, John--is I think how I managed to sit down and write a book over and over again until it was done.

I'm very pleased and honored and proud that I am gonna have this thing in the real world. I feel very lucky.

John, thank you for all of your support and your kind words about the book. I'll see you on Tuesday.

Quick questions! Yes, you can pre-order the book. You can do it at your local bookstore, you can do at links in the description. It will definitely be coming out all at the same time in Canada, the US, and the UK. I think also Australia...

It will also be in these languages. The release dates for those languages might not be September 25, I don't know yet.

Not all pre-orders will be signed. John set unrealistic expectations and I'm bringing it back down to reality.

And if you're an Audiobook person, there will be an Audiobook as well, released at the same time. And I will be around in the comments if you have other questions.