It seems that every other person these days has a book in them, whether it’s a book to tell their own story, a novel, or a book to complement their business. Do you recognise yourself in this?
How many of those people actually write their book? I don’t mean start writing it and leave off a thousand words in, or get an outline put together and do a bit of research about CreateSpace… I mean actually write an entire book. I don’t mean writing a first draft and then leaving it to gather dust in a drawer, either.
Elizabeth Gilbert (she’s the one who wrote Eat Pray Love) in her fabulous book Big Magic, which is about living a creative life, tells us about her idea for a book that got away. She started working on it, then for one reason and another she abandoned it. The idea left her and found someone else to write it. Someone else wrote the book instead of her.
Chances are, seeing as you’re reading this article, you’ve got an idea for a book. It could be a book you’ve been looking for but haven’t found anywhere. It could be a book which will motivate and help a particular group of people – people who really need to hear what you’ve got to say.
Here’s the thing. If you don’t write it, they’ll never hear it, unless they hear it from someone else.
So why don’t YOU write it?
Excuse number one you might be making… “I don’t have time…” or “I’ll do it when I’ve got more time…” Let me ask you this: WHEN do you imagine you are going to have more time? When the kids are older? When they move out? When you win the lottery? When you’re in a residential home for the elderly?
How do you think those people who HAVE written books managed to do so, or at least when they were writing their first book? Few of us have a writing hut we can escape to for hours on end. What you do – what we ALL have to do – is fit your writing into the cracks in your life. That half hour when the kids are at their swimming lesson. That lunch break. That time between dinner and bed. If scrolling on social media is more important to you, carry on. If that soap opera is so vital, don’t let me stop you. Crack on. Someone else can write your book instead of you.
If you really want to write your book, you will. If you want to find excuses, you will.
Excuse number two you might be making… “It’s too hard.” Writing a book IS hard – at least, writing a book worth reading is hard. There are various promotions out there which promise that you can be published thirty days from now. You could be, indeed. That doesn’t mean what you’ll have written will be any good.
It was Ernest Hemingway, apparently, who wrote, “The first draft of anything is sh*t.” In thirty days, you could possibly write a first draft of something. Or anything. Would you be happy with that as your legacy, though?
Writing a book is hard work. Some people call it practice. Effort. There’s no getting around it. Does that mean it’s too hard for you? It depends…
If you want to put in the work, you will. If you want to decide it’s too hard, you will.
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