Well, as anyone who knows me knows, I published my first book a couple of months ago. So far sales have been slow but steady and the feedback has been incredible. I’ve really been blown away that this little book – this book that I wrote simply because I felt I needed to – has been making such a difference to people’s lives. And for me, that’s proof that my book is a success. If just one person feels their life is improved by reading what I have to say, my job here is done – it’s as simple as that! But it’s also got me thinking about why it’s so important that we write, if we can – so here are 5 reasons why you should write a book (and one reason why you shouldn’t!)
1. To share your story
We all have our own stories of things that have happened to us in our lives. Maybe you’ve recovered from illness, overcome a major obstacle or escaped a damaging relationship. Perhaps you have an interesting family history or unusual hobby. Have you discovered a unique way of living or working that you think others would benefit from? Or do you have an inventive imagination – is there an amazing fictional world in your head simply waiting to get out? No matter what your story, it’s a story worth telling … so why not do just that?
2. To share your expertise
As with stories, we all have a huge library of knowledge in our heads that deserves sharing with a wider audience. You might think, “But there are hundreds of books on marketing/self help/accountancy out there already!” and yes, there probably are, but they aren’t written by you. They don’t include your unique viewpoint and experience. And there’s always space for another one.
3. To pass on advice
Whatever you’ve been through in life, you’ll have picked up a wealth of tips and advice that other people can benefit from. Think about the times that friends asked you for advice – whether it was on relationships, car care, crafts or anything else, they came to you because they respect your opinion. Take the most important things you’ve learned in life and turn them into a book that will help other people.
4. To raise your profile
If you run a business this is an especially important reason why you should write a book. Sharing your knowledge, expertise and experience raises your profile within your industry. It serves as proof that you know your stuff and it sets you apart from all the other practitioners in your sector because you can demonstrate your knowledge in a very public way.
5. To open the door to new opportunities
This is a very good reason for writing a book, and one that I had heard lots of talk about before I published mine – but until it happened to me I didn’t really believe it was true! Since writing my book I’ve been asked to speak at a seminar in Bristol and a conference in Liverpool, and I’ve been invited to submit a speaker proposal to another conference. I have had an article published on a major parenting website and I have a trio of articles ready for publication in a magazine. And I’m embarking on a series of talks in local libraries, raising awareness of ADHD and helping other parents at the same time. Don’t dismiss the idea that writing a book will change your life completely!
One reason why you shouldn’t write a book!
Don’t write a book to make money!! Sure, it can be a good source of secondary income, and if you write a series of books you could find that income becomes quite substantial, but unless you have something equivalent to the Harry Potter series you’re unlikely to make your fortune being a writer! Look on any income as a bonus and focus on the benefits above – and you will be well on your way to being a successful author!
I’m currently putting together a workshop to help you find a topic and plan your first book. If you would like to know when it launches, get in touch!