This week we’re celebrating the new year. Well, at least I am. When the clock hit twelve on Saturday night, something happened to me. Nothing weird like I turned into a werewolf or vampire or something, but more of an overwhelming feeling that I was free from the insanity that was 2016.
While 2016 was completely crazy, it was also extremely productive for me as I writer. Last year, I was able to finish writing THREE books. THREE. In one year. Sounds kind of crazy in hindsight.
11 Reasons You Should Write a Book
Through writing those three books, I learned a ton. And today I’ve compiled a list of all the reasons you should write a book too.
1. Your story matters
You’ve got a story and it needs to be told. You may think that your story has been told, or it has been told similarly, but like Joe taught me a few years ago:
You offer a unique perspective, formed by your experiences and the way you see the world, that only you can share. You need to write a book to share those with the rest of us.
Last year I learned about misogi and it changed my life. In short, modern-day misogi is to embrace a challenge that you’re most likely going to fail for the purpose of radically expanding your idea of what is possible.
For some, the misogi is physical, like running a 5K underwater without an oxygen mask while carrying a boulder. For others, it is mental, like writing a book. The idea behind the task is to challenge yourself to do something you can’t actually imagine you can do and see what is possible.
You need to write a book because it’s unbelievably difficult and embarking on such a difficult journey will show you that you are much more capable than you ever imagined yourself to be.
3. To become a better writer
When I look at my writing from 2015, I am deeply embarrassed. Honestly, it was bad. Not bad in the cute, modest way, but in the plain, old, messy, inexperienced-writer way.
That is what I was, though—an inexperienced writer. And you don’t become an experienced writer overnight by reading Stephen King’s On Writing memoir. (Trust me, I’ve tried it.)
You become a better writer by writing. So, the third reason you need to write a book is to become a better writer. You will only get better by practicing, failing, and writing bad writing anyways.
4. The timing
Did you know that right now is the perfect time to write a book?
Wait, is it not?
I’ll let you in on a secret: there will never be the perfect time to write a book. I promise you, it will never come.
You need to write a book now because no better time is coming.
5. Free therapy
Whether you are writing nonfiction, a memoir, or fiction, writing a book is definitely like free therapy. When you are alone with yourself for an extended period of time, trying to make sense of your thoughts, you are going to learn a lot about yourself.
Learning about yourself is good. Write a book.
6. To leave a legacy
We live short lives. Fleeting moments and breaths are all we have. Strangely, though, we have found a way to immortalize ourselves and our stories. We write them down.
The greatest way to leave a mark on the world is to leave behind a legacy of stories. When you write a book, you are giving yourself and your words the opportunity to last longer than your own life.
7. To make money
I hate that we need money to live, but we do. That’s just how it works.
So if you’re going to have to make a living for yourself, why not do part of that (or all of that) through writing and selling your books? Isn’t that the dream? Sure, writing and publishing a book can be a lot of work, but to generate real income with your creative work is every writer’s goal. Plus, you can sell your books the rest of your life.
You won’t be able to sell any books if you don’t write them, though.
8. To prove them wrong
You know whom I’m talking about. For me, it’s my eleventh-grade English teacher who told me I just didn’t “have it” as a writer. It’s the boss who told you that you were wasting your time with “that novel of yours.”
Don’t listen to everyone who told you that you can’t. I wrote three books last year and I’m telling you that I know you can.
9. To look back on
One of the greatest feelings I have ever experienced is holding a book I’ve written. It is an indescribable feeling to look back on the journey that you took while writing the book, to remember the late nights, the hard work, and of course, the tears.
It brings an incredible sense of awe, disbelief, amazement, and confidence that you can accomplish even more. This is a feeling you need to experience as a writer.
10. There are no more excuses
Really. How long have you wanted to write a book? If you’re like me, maybe you’ve wanted to write a book your entire life. You have got to stop putting it off. The list of excuses you could come up with are endless, but in the end, they’re also all weak and illusory.
One of the biggest reasons you need to write a book now is because you’ve run out of excuses why you can’t.
11. Because you are a writer and you can
In my opinion, the biggest, most important reason why you need to write a book is because you are a writer. What do writers do? Well, they write.
And no, not all writers write books, but I believe it would be beneficial for all writers to attempt a book. Why? Because writing a book is hard. It will challenge you. It will grow you as a writer.
You need to write a book because you can. There is a unique ability within you to create something from nothing. To take an idea and transform it into a story and then a novel.
So write a book because you are a writer and because you can.
It’s Your Turn to Write Your Book
Write a book because your story matters. Write a book because it’s hard. Write a book to become a better writer and because the time is right now.
Write a book because you want to.
Do you want to write a book? What’s holding you back? Let us know in the comments.