9 Reasons why you should consider writing a book

Pen to paper - Why you should write a book

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Writing a book can be deeply satisfying, but it can also be a gut-wrenching, dizzying, torturous experience that makes you question your sanity. 
So is it worth it? 
First, some reasons why you should never write a book:
  • $ Cash money  – Get real, there’s very little money in this. Out of 4000 manuscripts submitted to a publisher, only about ten get published. Only about one percent of those who are published earn enough to live on, even for a year.
  • Fame – Hundreds of thousands of new books are published every year while the number of people reading for leisure continues to plummet. What are the odds people even want to read your book, let alone take the time to purchase it or borrow it from the library?
  • Success – Of the thousands of other things you could be doing with your life, is writing a book the best launchpad to taking you where you want to go? Don’t try to write a book to avoid something more important you ought to be doing. 
With that out of the way, here are nine reasons why you should write a book (or at least consider it):
Clarify your thinking

If you’re like me, you have hundreds of partially formed thoughts littered across your mind. Writing complete sentences and paragraphs forces you to resolve those loose threads. Fifty thousand words later, you’ll be able to stand back and confidently say, “There, that’s what I think about that.”

Learn a sh*t ton about yourself

Writing a book is hard and humbling, and holy. It’s not a doodle on a napkin; it’s a substantial undertaking. You’ll go through imposter syndrome and self-doubt. You’ll see those brilliant stories and ideas concretely on paper staring back at you and realize that they weren’t all that great. You’ll discover how honest you’re willing to be and what you genuinely believe. Even as you finish, you can feel both profoundly proud and intensely embarrassed all at the same time. A book will help you learn a lot about what makes you, you. 

Explore a fascination

I tend to write about things I don’t quite understand, including my own inner workings. Writing a book offers you an accessible medium and a finished product you can work towards to help bring your most significant interests and curiosities together. It doesn’t need to be something you’re an expert at. Is there something you’re endlessly fascinated about that’s worth exploring?

Uninterrupted self-expression

Writing a book is a unique way of showing up in the world. You hideout in your writing lair, diving deeply into your subject matter, and you come out with a sizeable body of work. No one’s interrupting you or twisting your message. Your book is your best, unfiltered attempt at expressing something that matters to you.

Learn to communicate to understand

Unlike a personal diary or your loose notes, words within a book are designed to make contact with someone else in the world. Unless your writing is a form of abstract high art, you can’t just blurt out, and word vomit every thought as a stream of consciousness. You need to learn to convey ideas in compelling and simple ways. Your readers won’t comprehend and feel a connection unless you learn to write with the audience in mind.

Master basic grammar

Maybe I should have learned this in school, but I’ve been writing for decades without knowing basic grammar. Just because you speak fluently doesn’t mean it translates well to the page. It wasn’t until I wrote a book that I finally figured out the proper use of commas, italics, and the differences between hyphens and dashes. And once you know the rules, you can freely break the rules with more intention. Composing a large volume also helped me notice crutch words and phrases that I overly rely on. Creating a book will help you honour writing for the craft that it is. 

Publishing a book has never been easier

Gone are the days of waiting to be picked or buying a thousand books upfront and stockpiling it in your basement. Print-on-demand services have lowered the barrier to entry to requiring merely your sweat and effort. The hard part is that it’s entirely up to you and your keyboard now that those excuses are gone.

Serve someone

It’s human to tell stories and pass on knowledge. Your writing likely won’t reach everyone, but it may deeply connect with someone. No one else has your unique set of experiences, perspectives, and reach. Writing a book can be an act of service. 

There’s always a gift

Maybe it doesn’t work out, or you realize you don’t have a book in you. If you took some good swings at writing a book, you likely still have plenty to show for it. Maybe it’s a series of blog articles. Perhaps it becomes a set of great conversation pieces with friends. Or maybe it’s a pivot towards a new idea or a new medium. There’s always something you can salvage in the act of creating a book. 

Literary agents will roll their eyes and frown at this, but maybe you do have a book in you. I’m thinking specifically of those of you who’ve entertained the thought yourself before. Those of you who find joy in the craft of writing. Those of you who feel you have something significant to share but haven’t found your medium yet. There’s no harm in just dabbling and seeing where it might take you.

Whether it’s a book or some other medium, every one of us has ideas and stories and gifts waiting to be revealed. 
Don’t hide your gifts from us.
Feel free to check out my first book


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