I've met a lot of people who say they're going to write a book. Someday. I think it should be today. Now, as soon as you're done reading my 8 reasons to write one. You might be wondering about the glut of books already available. Don't write a book to make money (that will be a separate post anyway), write a book because of one or all of the following reasons:
- You love to write (fiction, non fiction, whatever).
- You have a story you want to tell.
- You have great ideas, so many in fact that they won't all fit on a blog or facebook post.
- You are skilled at communicating specific ideas that will help someone with their _______ (fill in the blank.)
- You'll get a deep sense of accomplishment if you write a book.
- You know that taking the time to articulate your thoughts, feelings, impressions, or imagination can have a lasting impact on yourself and others.
- You have luminous insights that would appreciably affect the reader, including yourself.
- Writing a book has always been a dream of yours (then what are you waiting for?)
Other reasons to write a book:
For one thing, writing a book seriously exercises your brain. For another thing, writing a book (even if you never publish it) establishes a baseline of your mental and emotional endurance and perseverance. You might wonder how difficult it can possibly be to write a book. Until it's you trying to lay one word in front of the other and make something that wasn't there before, you can't really know. If writing a book has never been on your list of things to do, there's absolutely no need to go for it. But if you're someone who's always wondered what it would be like, if you have a fantasy to see your book in your hand or on Amazon, then you should write one and publish it only for yourself to know what its like.
Maybe you want bragging rights (you'll always be able to point to it in future discussions). Maybe you think writing a book will impress your friends (that's really hit or miss, they might be impressed you did it, but less impressed with the actual production due to their own personal tastes conflicting with your own.)
Reasons to avoid writing a book:
There are more reasons not to write a book than to write a book. I'll list a few of the truly exceptional reasons to avoid writing a book, to save you time and potential embarrassment.
- You think it will make you a lot of money. (Results and mileage will vary on this, just sayin'.)
- You believe writing a book on your chosen topic (this doesn't include fiction) makes you an authority on that subject. It doesn't.
- You mistakenly think that writing a book will get you paid speaking engagements. (Don't count on this.)
- Sometimes there's a notion that when you have written a book and published it that you'll feel or be perceived as cooler than you are now. That's total fantasy. Even if you write an international bestseller, you'll still be you, the person who wrote that book that people really liked and did well.
Writing a book can be a source of enduring pride, but it can also go to your head. There's no instant celebrity status involved, no fanfare, and few (if any) interested readers most of the time. Should that stop you from writing? It depends on your intentions. If you intend to write books to make a living, it can be done, absolutely, but you have to learn, and work hard for it, just like anything else in life. If you can tell great stories, do it. If you can give excellent and clear instructions for people who need them, then do it. If you want to do it for a little vanity and don't care about whether or not it succeeds, if it boosts your self-image, then do it.
I've had mixed results. And as I've told people, I aim to write over a hundred books before I die. I'm not sure as to their success, but I'll keep writing them and sharing my stories (and ideas) because I love it.
What do you love?