I think most of us have felt at one time or another that we should write a book about something in our lives. Or perhaps someone has told you, “You should write a book!”
It’s true! You should write a book. Everyone should write a book! Wait. What do you mean by everyone?
I mean, EVERYONE! I’m guessing that most people want to write a book. Some statistics have been quoted that 97% of Americans want to write a book, but only 3% actually start. An even smaller proportion of those complete the work and go through the painful process of getting the manuscript edited and published. I can never find the source for those statistics, so we’ll call it anecdotal for now.
So why do it? Why go through the process of writing a book?
There are probably as many reasons as there are wannabe authors. But there are so many great reasons you should take it on; I thought I would list a few here. Let’s start with that comment you get from family members over Thanksgiving dinner. “You should write a book!” That comment usually follows a story you told about your life growing up, right? I’ll start the list there.
Reasons to Write a Book
- Capture a family story. I would venture to say that this book is the one on everyone’s heart when they think about writing. It could be about a relative who you believe should have their story preserved or a specific event that occurred that you want to share with the rest of the family. Many memoirs have spawned very successful Hollywood movies. The Pianist, Angela’s Ashes, and Mommie Dearest come to mind. Of course, if you learn that you love writing memoir, there are likely tons of family stories you can tell. You might choose to make them available to the public or simply share them with family members as a historical keepsake, like in the case of a genealogy piece.Only you can know which stories should be told and which are best left in the closet. Think about all of the people that could be affected by your telling of the story. Consider telling the story through fiction. My novel, Strings of Faith, is a perfect example of fictionalizing a true story to capture a family event in a less intimidating and more entertaining way—a way that you can create without fear of exposing painful facts. You get to create your world and all of the characters in it. I’ll tell you the story behind Strings of Faith in a later post.
- Teach your unique method. Everyone has skills and experiences that others can benefit from learning. Maybe you should write a book because you have a successful framework or technique to teach. Perhaps you have the opportunity to teach a class or seminar with the material, and you can use the book as part of the package.
- Back of the room sales. If you are a public speaker, having books available to sign and sell at a merchandise table is a priceless way to provide value to your fans and continue your engagement with them.
- Client gifting. If you are a coach or an office professional, such as a doctor, lawyer, or any service provider, having a book to hand your clients reinforces your message and your value to them. It can be an impressive conversation starter for potential clients. If you have a book, your credibility shoots through the roof. You’re immediately head and shoulders above the competition.
- Tell a fun story. As a novelist, I love to tell stories for the sheer entertainment of it. I love to share parts of my life in a way that might provide hope or joy to others. For example, all of my novels contain a thread of music throughout the storyline. It’s fun to share my love of bluegrass and old-time music as a behind-the-scenes element without making it the story itself. I can also share my Christian beliefs without being preachy or making it the story’s primary purpose.
Of course, there are many more reasons you might have for writing a book. My point here is, write it. Jot down some notes and start writing. Don’t worry about satisfying your 9th grade English teacher. Nobody will be diagramming your sentences, I promise. But if you plan to publish it, get a professional editor—more on that in another post.
As an author and writing services coach, I’ll be glad to help you get started. Reach out and let me know what you’re thinking. It’s easy to do if you follow this link to my Work With Me form.
Are you writing now? If so, what are you working on? If not, what do you think you might like to write about?