Would would you want to pen the tale of your own life?

If you've ever daydreamed about the story of your life being put on the big screen or written about in a novel, you're not alone. According to a new survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of ThriftBooks, 55 percent of Americans believe their own life is worthy of becoming a book or movie. Of the respondents who share this sentiment, more than half (54 percent) want to show how they overcame their life's challenges, while the same number consider themselves to be an interesting character. 

The poll surveyed 2,000 United States respondents and was conducted in lieu of National Novel Writing Month—which takes place throughout November. Researchers found that a staggering number of survey participants feel their life's tale should be the plot of a novel. Who do respondents think should write their story? The most popular picks include Chinua Achebe, J. K. Rowling, and Stephen King. As for who they'd cast as themselves in the movie adaptation, choices included Melissa McCarthy, Jennifer Lopez, Sandra Bullock, as well as Al Pacino, Denzel Washington, and the late Chadwick Boseman. Of the respondents who consider themselves avid readers, 63 percent think their life is worthy of a book or movie, vs. 37 percent of non-avid readers who share the same belief. 

writers work station on couch with laptop and coffee
Credit: Os Tartarouchos / Getty Images

Beyond wanting to be the subject of a novel, 15 percent of survey participants have also tried their hand at writing one, but only eight percent have gotten halfway through. It seems poetry is the easier route, as 25 percent of respondents have successfully completed a poem—that's three times more than those who've completed a novel. Writer's block appears to be the biggest obstacle for writers, with 33 percent saying they have a hard time finding inspiration. However, 26 percent say it's about not having enough free time and 16 percent attribute their greatest barrier to being a perfectionist. Some (40 percent) couldn't come up with an ending, and others (36 percent) say they got bored of their story or characters.

This love for writing and reading is something that respondents say has grown over time. Of the survey participants, 62 percent report that their appreciation for classic novels increased as they got older—on average their love for these books didn't come until nine years after reading them for the first time. Many (55 percent) attribute this fact to being older and having more life experience and 54 percent say watching the movie adaptations helped them appreciate the novels more. "Our perspectives on literature can evolve throughout our lives," says a spokesperson for ThriftBooks. "The experiences that each of us amasses can also shape our goals as writers, too. Each year is a new opportunity to try your hand at writing the book you always wanted to read!"


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