Purchasing a self-help book is one way of admitting your faults without telling the world you need serious help, right? This is a rhetorical question of course, or one that I keep asking myself when I (again) fork out $40+ for a book which will help me relax, feed my spirituality (or lack of), remove my anxieties, meet ‘the one’, ease my anxieties about meeting ‘the one’, become a better saver, daughter, lover, teacher, writer etc. etc. etc. Hell, the ‘Dummies’ franchise has probably made a significant profit just from my purchases alone. That said, I stand by my premise that assumes failure in one’s abilities, be it personal, professional or both, when investing in such “non-fiction” texts. “Non-fiction” because as a reader I accept the information I’m reading as the truth or fact, and because of this I will be a better person for it. At least that’s what I want to believe. My dilemma is applying the truth/fact to my life and going about it in a way that would a. be sustainable and b. realistic. I have failed to mention the need for family/friends to accept what I’m doing as a good thing. Yes, I have always been the one to please and perhaps, that’s another self-help book waiting to be bought.
I admit “failure” is a horrendous word to be using to describe my need for constant self-improvement, but again isn’t that what self-help is all about? What I am suggesting is that publishing itself, just like the fashion industry, cultivates this “failure” and takes advantage of readers’ vulnerabilities in order to make a sale. I say this with the knowledge and acceptance that I am one of those readers. My only hope is that one day, I would spend less time trying to make things better and actually appreciate that failures are only some parts of a person and therefore, of me.