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Why Tom Selleck Wrote His Entire Memoir by Hand

Photo from BLUE BLOODS CBS’ Instagram

Why Tom Selleck Wrote His Entire Memoir by Hand

By Movieguide® Contributor

Tom Selleck shared why he wrote his 352-page memoir on a legal pad and why 2020 was the perfect year for him to start penning his life’s story after decades of publishers asking him to.

“I’ve always written [by hand], and it’s the only way I know how to write,” Selleck told Town & Country. “I can’t think in front of a keyboard. It’s like, I drive ‘em nuts on BLUE BLOODS because I said, ‘No, you have to send me scripts. I need to see the paper.’ I don’t really register things the same way when I scroll. It’s better for me anyway.”

“I would write in the afternoon about four o’clock. My office is in a little building next to the house and I would go down to have dinner and I’d sit next to Jillie, my wife, and I’d read her my day’s work,” he added, describing his creative process. “Suddenly, in the weirdest moments, I’d get emotional reading it. It didn’t happen when I was writing it, but I think things affect you in funny ways – good things, bad things, everything that happens…I can’t quite explain it. It wasn’t easy. It took four years and I am computer illiterate, so I wrote it with my legal pad.”

He previously opened up about his lack of technological skill.

“Occasionally I’ve looked up my name,” he told PEOPLE. “That started really with the book, but I’ve never sent my own email. I had a secretary. I’ve never texted anybody.”

“I have a certain luxury where I probably couldn’t survive otherwise,” he added, explaining that his wife sends texts on his behalf. “But I don’t know. I have a hard time writing things down, which is weird for a guy who’s pushing a book.”

While the writing process took four years to complete, the journey of writing the memoir has been a long time coming. For many years Selleck has been asked to write about his life, but the actor never felt he had anything to say. However, as he began to privately reflect on his long career in Hollywood, he realized he could write something that was just as entertaining as it was true.

“I don’t have one of those sensational live [centered] around an event, or where I got in trouble and then had a renaissance. I didn’t have those great big hooks, but what I did have was a long career,” he said. “If I could get people involved in the process of that, I thought it would entertain people.”

“That was my goal; I said, if I can’t write something that’s entertaining, I’m not going to write a memoir. I don’t want to do a tell all; I don’t want to do a book to get even; I don’t want to do a political book. What’s left? Hopefully that people will find a rather long journey, that they thought happened overnight, interesting!” Selleck continued.

This decision changed the course of the book as, especially when writing about interactions with other celebrities, Selleck wouldn’t share juicy details that might go a step further than pure entertainment.

“I’m obviously a pretty private person, but I knew if I did a memoir that there were private things I would need to share,” Selleck explained. “So then it was just getting to different events and seeing how much I was willing to share.”

“It was certainly a lot more than I have in the past, and drawing the line when I knew it was getting to a level where I might be exploiting something rather than just telling a private story, especially with other people saying, ‘Oh yeah, that’s okay. Write about that.’ It affects them very much and I was well aware of that,” he continued.

Even with this self-imposed limitation, Selleck feels he has accomplished his goal of telling the story of his life in a way that will entertain everyone who reads it.

“I didn’t do a book to unload my conscience or to delve into some deep dark secrets,” he said. “I did a book to entertain, and I mean that in a broader sense: To make people laugh, maybe cry sometimes, to move people and let them know what it’s like to walk in my shoes. Obviously I say some serious things. I say some things I haven’t shared.”

“But the only way I think you can do that is to entertain people,” Selleck concluded. “If they’re entertained, you earn the right to go into those other areas and that’s what I hope it does. I hope it entertains first and foremost.”

Selleck’s memoir, “You Never Know,” is now available.

Movieguide® previously reported:

Tom Selleck’s upcoming memoir gives a candid look into his life, including his desire to unplug and the fact that he never set out to be a big actor.

“Occasionally I’ve looked up my name,” Selleck told PEOPLE while explaining his aversion to technology. “That really started with the book, but I’ve never sent my own email. I had a secretary. I’ve never texted anybody.”

“I have a certain luxury where I probably couldn’t survive otherwise,” he continued. “But I don’t know. I have a hard time writing things down, which is weird for a guy who’s pushing a book.”

“You Never Know,” his upcoming memoir, recounts his life to give readers a peek at his storied career. One of the standouts is that despite being one of the most recognizable faces on TV and starring in some of the biggest shows, Selleck never meant to become an actor.

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Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

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4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.