Why write a book?
There are so many reasons that it's hard to know where to start.
Let me list three personal reasons.
Firstly, I'm a writer and I need to write. When I'm not writing
I'm not truly happy and the ideas clutter up my head. The urge
to write nags away at me.
Secondly, the ideas keep on coming. The longer I spend not writing,
the more ideas I have for more things to write about and the more
the urge to write grows. It's useful to have ideas4writers.co.uk
as an outlet for some of these ideas, but I like to keep some back
Thirdly, I want to be remembered when I'm gone. I want to leave
a lasting legacy. Most people live ordinary lives and when they
die they’re forgotten. What a waste. I don't want that happening
to me. I want the world to remember me and value the contribution
I made. What better legacy than a good book?
Those are my reasons for wanting to write books. Let's consider
Sometimes people expect you to be a writer even if you don't consider
yourself one. You might be a speaker, training instructor, teacher
or coach. When people regard you as an expert they'll ask you for
more information to take away with them. They trust you to supply
them with this information - and they know you have it. Not only
do they want you to be a writer; they expect it. The important
point is that you're not starting from scratch. You already have
the information; you just have to write it down.
Once you've written a book, your credibility skyrockets. You stand
out from the crowd. You'll be in more demand as a speaker or teacher
or coach. You'll be able to charge more for your services and people
will willingly pay it, because your book proves you're an expert.
They'll buy your book even if it covers the same material that
you've already taught them. Of course, it's a great selling point
if your book contains much more information than your speech or
training session. Mention that during your talk and your sales
What about your ego and personal pride? Writing a book is more
than most people ever achieve. Many people start writing one but
never finish it. Can they really call themselves writers? Maybe.
Maybe not. They aren't sure. They might call themselves writers
but have a nagging doubt. But if you've not only started writing
a book but finished it, then you truly can call yourself a writer.
There's the fame thing to consider as well of course. Do you want
to be famous? If so, do you want to be famous as a writer? Or do
you want your fame as a writer to lead to fame in another field?
If you've written a bestselling book you can be as famous as you
want to be. Join the media circus and appear on talk shows, book-signing
tours, radio phone-ins, quiz panels and much more. Or shun publicity,
stay at home, and write the next book.
Then there's recognition. This might be recognition within your
company, within your industry, or by the public - which is the
same thing as fame. If you write a book about the industry you
work in, think what a career booster it could be. You might scoff
and say your boss wouldn't think much of your book and it would
do nothing for your career. That may be true. But there are other
companies and other bosses. Add your book to your CV or résumé and
apply for another job. It'll put you well above the other applicants.
If you choose to stay with your current employer, you'll find your
colleagues now treat you with more respect even if your boss doesn't.
Writing jobs will come your way when they need to draft a new advertisement,
or a brochure, or a business plan, or an article for the company
magazine. Your writing talent has been recognised!
Do you have something important to say? A book lets you disseminate
that message to a wide audience. Your message might be one of entertainment
if you're a storyteller. Or it might be a message of hope or peace
or love. Perhaps it's a warning, telling people their future is
at stake unless they act now. Maybe you've found a new technique
that will enrich people's lives or help them improve their circumstances.
Perhaps you've come across vital new information. Don't just tell
a few friends; write a book and tell the world. If it's a powerful
message it'll get out eventually anyway and someone else will write
the book - and make a lot of money out of it. You'll curse yourself
for not having done it when you had the chance.
Are you happy with your job? Do you like sitting in traffic every
morning and evening? Do you like waking up at some unearthly hour
to the sound of an alarm clock? Are you happy with just four or
five weeks' holiday each year? Are you happy arranging your life
to fit in with your company's demands rather than your own needs?
Life doesn’t have to be like that. As a professional writer
you can live wherever you like, work whatever hours you like, take
time off whenever you want, avoid traffic jams and throw the alarm
clock in the bin. How does that sound to you? Luxury? Maybe. But
you could do it. You don't even have to be a full-time writer to
make major changes to your life. If you could make enough money
from writing to cover half your salary, you could work part-time
and give up working mornings. If you're a morning person, you could
give up working afternoons and go to the beach or the golf course
instead. Or you could downsize from your stressful City career
and take a more enjoyable job nearer home.
How secure is your job anyway? No one wants to think about redundancy
or enforced retirement, but if you work for someone else there's
always a chance it could happen. As a writer, you're never without
a job. If you need more money, write another book or increase your
marketing effort on an existing one.
Writing books is also a great way of making money - if you can
do it. Not everyone can of course. Some slave away for years and
never make a penny. One advantage of this book is that you'll discover
you don't have to slave away for years to find out that you aren't
a good enough writer - you'll know within a month or two.
When you work for an employer, there's a limit to how much you
can earn. There's your salary, overtime and (possibly) bonuses,
but that's it. Lack of money severely cramps your lifestyle and
your freedom. By writing books, you can work harder for greater
rewards. The more you work, the more you earn. Your income can
go beyond your salary and perhaps replace it entirely. Some people
become seriously rich by writing books. That could be you. You
either have to write one or two exceptional books or lots of good
ones. I'll show you how to take the latter approach, but that doesn’t
rule out the possibility that some of your books might also turn
out to be exceptional.
There are hundreds more reasons for wanting to write books, but
I'll end this section with one last one - and it's a good one.
People want and need books. They need entertainment. They need
education and information. Bookshops need products to sell. We
like to curl up in bed with a good book. Books keep us company
when we're feeling lonely or bored or ill. We use books to relax
and unwind; we take them on holiday with us. Books improve our
lives and increase our knowledge. Books let us find out about ourselves
and the world we live in. People love books. Someone has to write
them. Shouldn't it be you?
Why write it fast?
You could certainly spend two years or more writing your book
if you really want to. But if you have a busy life it's hard enough
finding any time to write at all. Spending two years on a single
book would be an impossible luxury.
Just because you're producing a book quickly doesn't mean there
has to be any reduction in quality. If you write in your own voice,
the words you end up with should be the same no matter how long
it takes to write. The time factor is therefore irrelevant. By
following the methods in this book, you should be able to write
twenty books in two years rather than just one. And each book's
content will be identical to one that would have taken the full
two years to write the old way.
Let's assume you've written your book in a month. You don't have
to tell people you wrote it that quickly. Most people believe it
takes at least a year to write a book. And the longer it takes,
the better it must be. So tell them it took two years. When they
see the quality, they'll believe you. Although you might have to
write them under several different names so they don’t get
Another advantage of writing a book quickly is that you don't
have time to get bored. Writing at high speed is exciting! Many
writers abandon their books simply because they've become bored
with them. That doesn't mean the book itself was boring. It means
the writer was unable to maintain an intense interest in the subject
or characters for such an extended period. It probably seemed quite
an exciting project at first. The book might have an excellent
structure and the writing might be of the highest quality. If they
could only finish it, it would do well. But they got bored. After
two years that's not surprising. When you write a book in a month
there's no time to get bored. It's one big adrenalin rush and lots
of fun - especially when you see the finished product growing before
your eyes. It's even more fun when you know you can sell the result.
By all means spend two years writing your book if that's what
you really want to do. Take the time to play with sentence construction.
Spend a week finding le mot juste. Spend an entire morning adding
a single comma and the entire afternoon taking it out again. However,
I suggest that you spend the first two years writing several books
the way I describe in this book. Then you can live off the earnings
and spend as much time as you like on your magnum opus. (Although
you'll probably be having so much fun by then that you'll churn
out the magnum opus in a month too.)
Here's another reason why writing quickly is a good idea: freedom.
The money you make from writing means you can spend less time at
work and more time doing what you enjoy. Do you feel guilty about
not spending enough time with your children or grandchildren or
friends? Why not spend a month writing your book and then enjoy
yourself for twenty-three months? You'll still produce a book every
two years. You don't even need to give up your spare time for that
one month. I'll show you how to write your book in odd moments
and lunch breaks, and perhaps an hour or two at the beginning or
end of the day. You'll be able to complete your book within a month
without sacrificing any of the quality time you spend with your
family and friends.
Two months from now you could be holding a finished book in your
hands, even if you haven't started writing it yet and even if you
have no idea what it'll be about. You can start selling it immediately.
As you finish other books, you can sell them too. By the end of
the first two years, you could have twenty books on sale. If each
of them sells as well as the one single book you'd normally have
written in that time then you've generated twenty times as much
income. If one or two don't sell quite as well as expected, so
what? Others will probably sell better than you expected. Consider
the life of an average writer, turning out a single book every
year or two and making a steady living from it. There's absolutely
nothing wrong with that. Except that to produce twenty books might
take him his entire working life. You could produce the same number
of books in just two years. I'll leave you to decide what a difference
that could make to your life.