The top 5 reasons people write books.
If you’ve asked yourself “should I write a book?”, you aren’t alone. Millions of people around the world are wondering the same thing. The fact is that writing a book is a serious commitment of your time, energy, and creativity, and only a select few from the millions of manuscripts submitted every year actually get published. This begs the question: is writing a book worth it for you?
Even for aspiring authors, the dream of finishing a manuscript and getting it published can seem out of reach. Aside from the everyday demands of your life – work, family, appointments, social life, getting dinner on the table – you’re contending with a very real fear of rejection, which we perceive not as a hurdle, but as a failure, full stop.
Whether you’re sitting on the fence about writing a book at all, or you’re a passionate writer who just needs a process for getting it done successfully, this article will help you figure out if you should write a book.
There are many reasons to write a book, from growing your business to inspiring others. Looking at why people want to write books is a great place to start.
Here are the top 5 reasons you should write your book.
Reason to write a book # 1: You have a story to tell
We may not all be creative types who are bursting with book ideas, but most of us have at least one compelling story to tell. It may be our own story – a personal struggle, a profound experience or a new perspective on a big issue – or a story from our imagination.
Whatever it is, people love stories – we’ve been learning through them for centuries – and there’s a story inside you. You just need to know how to tell it. And storytelling isn’t a genetic inheritance: it’s a skill you can learn, practice and master.
So, next time you ask yourself, “Should I write a book?”, factor ‘I can write a book’ into your answer.
Reason to write a book # 2: You have valuable expertise to share
There’s a reason that the self-help industry is worth over $14 billion, and that self-help is one of the best selling book genres.
People have always learned from each other: Christians have learned moral and spiritual lessons through parables, kids have learned maths from maths teachers, and in our careers, we’ve learned important professional skills from experts in our field.
In this way, passing on our own expertise is an important part of the knowledge transfer cycle, and writing a book is the perfect way to do that. Whether it’s a memoir on challenges you’ve overcome or a practical guide to career success, writing a book is an ancient and vital form of knowledge transfer that helps both you and those who read it.
Writing and publishing a book also strengthens your credibility as an expert in your chosen field. Conveying your confidence, depth of knowledge and ‘hard-learned’ success strategies can lead to valuable opportunities for personal, professional and creative development. The fact that your book is published is in itself a credibility booster.
Think of it this way: if your prospective client is choosing between you and another equally skilled contractor who has a book, who are they going to choose?
Reason to write a book # 3: You can motivate or inspire others
Just as we help others by passing on the knowledge we’ve gained, we can also pay inspiration and motivation forward. Sharing your own lived experience of overcoming challenges, achieving goals and navigating complex issues can help others do the same.
For example, connecting and informing through lived experience has been shown to fight the stigma around important issues like mental health, abuse and disability. In turn, helping others feel less alone in their struggle, and role modelling growth, recovery and survival can be incredibly rewarding as an author.
So, should you write a book? Well, if you have an inspiring story to tell; if you can shine a light where people live in the dark, the answer is a resounding ‘yes’!
Reason to write a book # 4: You can create a powerful sales tool for your business
A published book isn’t just useful as a credibility booster – it can act as a powerful sales tool for your business. A book about your company’s story – about its foundation, growth and prosperity – can replace business cards or waiting room magazines with something more informative and engaging.
If you write an engaging book about your company, you’ll have a new gift for new clients, a new document in your pitch dossier, and a new way for your customers to connect with your business by learning about how and why you started it.
Many business owners have applied their valuable expertise to write books that have grown into businesses in their own right. Dale Carnegie’s hugely successful book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, for example, became the basis of his professional development workshops – which are now creating an additional revenue stream as highly successful products themselves.
Reason to write a book # 4: You want to leave a legacy
Though it’s often the reason we think of first, leaving your mark on the world isn’t the most common reason to write a book, and certainly shouldn’t be the only reason. But writing and publishing a book is a great way to leave a meaningful legacy, whether it’s a legacy of expertise, prosperity, resilience, ingenuity, self-improvement or something else that’s authentically ‘you’.
A published book is out in the world, forever; a permanent document of your hard work, determination and creativity that you’ll have for the rest of your life. Better still, your book won’t just serve to improve your confidence and credibility: it can improve other people’s lives by informing, amusing, or inspiring others.
So, knowing the different reasons people want to write books, are you still asking yourself “Should I write a book?”
Or are you asking yourself “I want to write a book, where do I start?”
The best place to start is nailing down your writing skills. From picking captivating book ideas to crafting a page-turning plot, you can learn to write a book or fine-tune your manuscript until it’s irresistible to publishers with Insider Expert’s online creative writing courses.
Set yourself up for Success
Learn how to do research for a book and lay the foundations for a compelling and realistic story.