Over 80% of people think they should write a book, most don’t. I believe almost everybody has a story worth telling and insights worth sharing, but not everybody should write a book.
Here are some reasons not to write a book:
- To make a lot of money. There isn’t much money in book sales, unless you are a bestselling author and the odds of being the next John Grisham or Sue Grafton are slim.
- To start a business. I am sort of doing this, but the caveat is the book itself must be your focus. It should be a work of art, the very best possible book you can write.
- To cash in on a popular trend. If you write a book, it needs to come from your heart, rather than a mercenary-like motivation to take advantage of a craze.
And now some really good reasons to write a book:
- Because you have to. The message of your book should be a passion that burns deep in your soul.
- Because it will enrich people’s lives. You should write something that makes the world better place, or its readers’ somehow enriched, validated, encouraged, entertained, or provoked to further thought and action.
- Because you want a significant challenge. Writing a book is an intellectual challenge that requires you to organize complex material and say things in a compelling manner. It will also challenge your patience, because it’s a long-term project.
Here are some things you will need to conquer the project:
- Openness. Ernst Hemingway said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter (computer) and bleed.” Unless you are willing to be really honest and reach deep within your soul, don’t bother.
- Confidence. You have to believe in yourself and what you are writing, because there will be times when you feel like it is crap. The hardest thing for me was to show the book to first person and move ahead with the editing and publishing process.
- Perseverance. It is a long-term project that takes a long term commitment. There will times when the words just don’t come. There will be times when you need to throw out material and start over and your book will need serious editing and changes along the way.
- Time. It will require significant chunks in your schedule to come up with 50,000 plus words and the editing and marketing are just as demanding.
- Money. It will require a several hundred dollars, if you self-publish, which is probably the best way to go. (More on this later.)
- Commitment. Writing the book is maybe a third or half of the total project. Editing and publishing is another big chunk, but marketing is huge. You will need to embark on a crash course in marketing and continue to work it for months and months. Even traditional publishers don’t do much marketing. It’s up to you.
So, are you an author? If the message or the story is important enough to you, you will overcome your fears and embark on this rewarding task.