‘Paperback Writer’ is one of my favorite Beatles’ songs and often serves as a source of both humor and inspiration to me. I listen to this one often, but didn’t think much about the lyrics until recently. If you’re not familiar with the song, you can check out the Wikipedia entry here.
Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book?
This is easy enough to understand. A simple question authors often send to someone they hope will be sympathetic to their work: an editor, a publisher, or a reader.
It took me years to write, will you take a look?
Again, simple and to the point. True, too, since a good book takes a long time to create. Writing is a huge commitment that isn’t for the faint of heart.
It’s based on a novel by a man named Lear
Many novels are based on the works of someone the author read and admired in the past. No surprise here.
And I need a job, so I want to be a paperback writer
This I find amusing. Many people feel they have at least one great novel in them. Most writers work a day job to pay the bills, so they’re considered hobbyists on the publishing front. Except for the ‘overnight successes’ who can give up the rat race to sit in their pajamas with a computer all day.
The reason I’ve been thinking about this so much is that I’ve been off track on the writing for a while now. My day job wears me out, which isn’t a good excuse if I truly want to write since the only writing time available to me is after work. People committed to writing and publishing will get in a few minutes of creative time no matter how hectic their schedules. My plan (again) is to commit to my art in the coming year.
My hope is to be able to ask you the immortal question from the beginning of this song some time this year: Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book?