It has oft been said that the journey of 1,000 miles begins with the first step and the same applies
to writing anything but especially a book. In my travels I find I get the most out of my trip if it is planned,
if I know where I am going and why I am going there. So apply the same to your writing.
Why are you writing? If you define this for your self the task will be much more enjoyable as
you write and as you sit back with the end product.
Many people want to write a book but they are not clear on why they want to write a book and
that leads to a mish mash of thoughts and the project never gets finished. The first step in achieving your
target is to know what you are aiming at. I have found that people want to write a book for 4 main reasons
Cathartic- they need to heal from some traumatic experience in their past. It seems strange that
revisiting a terrible event can help us get over it but it does. I have worked with many people who do not
publish their books but benefit from writing the manuscript. Going through the process of thinking
through what went wrong and putting the facts in order, can be a real help in dealing with the event.
People also write their story to help someone else who is having the same experience and many
times they help those people.
Business – People want a book as part of their business platform. Writing a book gives them
credibility, I know that when I published my first book I tripled my speaking fee, it went from $500 to
$1.500 so you know that was a few years ago, but the increase in fee was significant.
If you are a consultant or a speaker having a book gives you credibility and a very large business
Legacy – people write their memoirs not for themselves but for future generations. How much
would you like to have the inside story on what your parents or grandparents went through. I can’t count
the number of times I think about how I should have interviewed my Dad and got the details of his life. I
lived with a man who remembered the Titanic as a news story, who lost brothers to the Influenza outbreak
when soldiers returned from WWl and I never interviewed him. I regret that.
Help others – people write books to give others a head start. It is the “You don’t have to make
the same mistakes I did” attitude that gives others and opportunity to start further down the road and
therefore get on with the journey more quickly.
Yes, there are more reasons that this but these are the four main reasons I have found that people
write books, you reason may be a variation or combination of these but identifying why you are writing is
the first step in completing the task.
Take the time to sit down with your self and think about why your want to write a book, I can
assure you the entire process is worth while but this first step is critical.
Next time, we will define our audience.