the ninety-seven percent

Hello, everybody, and welcome back to Quote, Unquote!

I’ve heard multiple statistics of people who want to be writers. One study from 2002 said that 88% of those polled reported that they wanted to write a book. I have also heard that 97% of people who start writing a book never finish it.

That means that 880 people out of every thousand want to write a book. And if all 880 people start writing their books, only 27 will actually finish writing it. Add that to the fact that only about 20% of authors actually publish their books, and that means that only five to six people out of eight hundred and eighty writers will get their books out into the world.

Now, I couldn’t actually find any of these polls, much less more recent ones, but the numbers seem accurate to me. In your life, how many times do you say “I want to do [insert thing here],” and how many times do you actually do it?

I think that this is a tragedy. One (or multiple!) of those 880 people could have the next great American novel inside of them. We are being deprived of great stories every single day.

If you’re one of those people, I have one thing to say (scream) to you:


Do you feel like you have a story inside of you? Then GET IT OUT! Don’t be one of the ninety-seven percent! Just write the book!

“But Liesl,” you might be saying, “I’m not a writer.”

Listen up.

Who is a writer? What does the very name imply? A writer is one who writes.

That’s it. That’s all there is to it. If you write, you’re a writer. Even if you only write emails. Have you written something in your life? Chances are, you have. Therefore, you are a writer.

And if I still haven’t convinced you, if you still need a permission slip, here. Here’s your permission slip. I just wrote it on the back of my philosophy notes. You’re a writer.

Go write. Don’t be one of the ninety-seven percent. If you have a story inside of you, get it out. I promise it will be one of the best things you ever do.


21 thoughts on “the ninety-seven percent

  1. marcia marshall March 1, 2023 / 9:32 am

    Great post! I am one of those 880 people! I have ambitions to write a bio of one of my ancestors. Just the other day I was thinking, but I’m not really a writer! I have flweitten a few things, but not much. But you are write — I mean right 😆 I just need to get writing! My 7th grade English teacher used to tell us, “You are ALL writers! I just read what you wrote! You are writers!” And I totally bought it — I WAD a writer!! I just need to get some words on paper 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That Guy March 1, 2023 / 11:35 am

    I’m one of the other 120, I act out the material for y’all to write. Want to write something about someone do something crazy, but can’t think of anything crazy enough? Ask Liesl for stories, I’m just a gold mine of crazy.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Mia Harden March 1, 2023 / 12:18 pm

      Trust me, dude, I know 😂 I have heard many many stories about your family XP

      Liked by 1 person

      • That Guy March 1, 2023 / 6:29 pm

        I love that you figured out who I am with nothing but these comments and Liesl’s stories. 😂

        Liked by 2 people

      • Mia Harden March 1, 2023 / 8:16 pm

        I’m good at that sort of thing 🙃


      • Liesl Brunner March 1, 2023 / 8:53 pm

        Y’all’s conversations are great for my SEO! Keep it up! We love engagement!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mia Harden March 2, 2023 / 12:37 pm

        Happy to help, Lies!!


      • That Guy March 2, 2023 / 2:44 pm

        Did you just tell me to talk….. more??? *Samuel L Jackson voice over* “you might not be glad that ya did” 😂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Anoushka March 2, 2023 / 10:07 am

    LIESL I NEED TO THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS?? also must save it for future references when im low on inspiration BECAUSE ITS THE BEST THING OF EVER. thank you so SO much for writing this!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sarah Jayne Photography March 2, 2023 / 3:33 pm

    Very interesting. I’m probably going to be among the group that writes but never publishes or possibly even finishes because I don’t care enough to go through all those steps. I have four stories in various stages of completeness. One will probably stay dead because I don’t want to do the research and the others are kind of stuck. But I’ve enjoyed what I’ve done and I’m happy about that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Liesl Brunner March 3, 2023 / 11:05 am

      Good! If you’re happy about it, that’s all you really need.


  5. Chloe Ruth March 2, 2023 / 8:18 pm

    This definitely helps boost me on my way. I don’t really plan to publish my book series, but I’m almost done with the second book in the series and so proud of it! Thank you so much for this post! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Liesl Brunner March 3, 2023 / 11:05 am

      You are so welcome, Miss Chloe! Even if you never publish anything, at least you’ll have written it for *you*. And that’s all you need.


  6. A.J. Syngraféas March 6, 2023 / 8:12 am

    Thank you so much! This is just what I needed. I have never finished a novel…yet! This post is so encouraging to me and makes me really motivated to actually FINISH my novel this time. Not just start and leave it. Thank you SO much.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. TheTexasLass March 20, 2023 / 7:04 pm

    Hey there! I found you through A Christian Kid’s Journal and I must say, I’m in love with this blog already. (Being a homeschooled, Christian young lady with writing aspirations myself certainly has nothing to do with that.) You’ve got yourself a new follower!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. skjacklyn April 3, 2023 / 3:49 pm

    I love this! So simple and straightforward, but so encouraging and inspiring!

    Liked by 1 person

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