There are many reasons people write books. There are likely just as many reasons people don’t write books. Most authors will encourage you to write a book if you want to do so, and the ever-expanding self-publishing industry makes it easier than ever. So, why haven’t you written that book yet?
One of my favorite writers and writing gurus is Jeff Goins. Over the last few years, I have learned much from him about the writing craft, as well as about publishing and marketing. Jeff has taken the opposite approach to encourage people not to write a book. Here’s an excerpt from his article, 11 Reasons to Not Write That Book.
“Here are all the circumstances under which you should absolutely not write that book:”
- If you can avoid writing the book, don’t write that book.
- If you can’t articulate the argument clearly in a sentence, you shouldn’t write that book.
- If you are trying to be a bestseller, don’t write that book.
- If you want to make millions, don’t write that book.
- If something significant or traumatic happened to you and you want it to matter to other people, don’t write that book.
- If you have a big, untested idea, don’t write that book.
- If someone told you once that you should write a book, don’t write that book.
- If a lot of people told you that you should write a book, don’t write that book.
- If you have always wanted to be a writer but haven’t developed a daily writing habit, don’t write that book.
- If you were told that books make good business cards, don’t write that book.
- If you want to generate more leads, don’t write that book.
This may seem like a particularly negative approach. However, at least most of Jeff’s reasons above to not write a book are valid. Many people write a book and ultimately realize no benefit. Mainly because they write a book for the reasons above and discover that lie and publishing do not often turn out as we had planned.
The Passion to Write a Book
There are those, however, who possess a passion to write. Everything they see and hear and experience, they are compelled to describe it, to share it, to record it. Something within drives them to write and express their thoughts, dreams, emotions, ideas, and observations. Naturally, if you are driven to write, you also want to share your writings with a larger audience.
These people have possibly written for years. They have journals, notebooks, scraps of paper or even floppy discs stashed away with unfathomable numbers of words on every conceivable subject. They have spent hours laboring to not only pen down their thoughts, but to shape them into the most intelligible form. They care about how their words are perceived and understood.
In essence, they are in the number one category on Jeff’s list I shared above. They cannot avoid writing a book. That book. Maybe THE book. They know the drive and compulsion to write. They know the pain and pleasure of finally revising a sentence until it is just right. They know that the everlasting well of words that bubbles up within them must be eventually shared.
Fears That Prevent You from Writing That Book
Unfortunately, writers also know the fears associated with writing. While Jeff articulated a list of why just anyone shouldn’t write a book, writers have their own list of fears that often keep them paralyzed and hiding their work. Among their greatest fears are:
- No one will like what I write.
- No one will read what I write.
- No one cares what I write.
You see, to a writer who must write, selling books doesn’t matter, making money doesn’t matter, becoming famous doesn’t matter, and building a business doesn’t matter. What matters the most is to express their ideas coherently and be understood. In essence, to get the story out there to the masses.
If any other fear has prevented you from writing that book, then perhaps you should reconsider writing at all. But if writing matters most of all, writing and communicating your ideas, then you should write that book.
Why not contact me for more information about writing and publishing a book? I’d love to help!