Should You Write a Book? Why Write a Book NOW

by Joe Bunting | 17 comments

If you're here I'm assuming you want to write a book. You might have even been told, “You SHOULD write a book.”

Should You Write a Book? Why Write a Book NOW

And it makes sense! Everyday I hear from aspiring writers all over the world who tell me, “I want to write a book!”

But maybe you're wondering if it's really worth all the time and effort it will certainly take you to write a book. Maybe you're even wondering if you have what it takes, if you have the discipline, creativity, and talent to finish writing a book.

In this post, I'm going to share my seven favorite answers to the question “Why Write a Book,” and along the way, I hope it helps you come up with an answer for whether you should write a book. Then, I'll share some resources to help you get started with your book.

Why NOT to Write a Book

But before we get into why you should write a book, let's count the costs a little.

Because writing a book is really hard. You need to know both the benefits and the costs of writing a book so you can make the right decision for you.

Here are the three reasons you shouldn't write a book:

1. You Don't Have the Focus (Right Now)

Writing a book doesn't need to take that much time. It takes most people just an hour or two a day over a little more than three months to finish a draft of a book in our community (for example, here's how to write a book in 100 days). That's around 100 to 200 hours. Not a short amount of time, of course, but it's certainly achievable for most people

No, writing a book doesn't take that much time. What it does take is focus.

Because writing requires a lot of focus! If you don't have the energy to focus on your book over a few months time, then maybe it's not the right time to write a book. You can always come back when you're in a better place to write.

2. Writing Your Book Will Humble You

Writing a book is, in my experience and the experience of so many writers in our community, one of the most humbling experiences you can have.

For me, I've had some of my biggest moments of self doubt and insecurity while staring at the page, trying to think of what to write next, moments when I caught to the end of myself, when I thought, “I don't know if I can do this. I don't know if I'm good enough for this. Maybe it would be better for everyone, the whole world even, if I just gave up.”

There are moments in the midst of writing your book when you will believe that your book is the worst one every written, when you are the worst writer of all time.

Every writer I know has felt like this at some point.

If you can't handle that feeling, pick yourself up, and write anyway, then this might not be for you.

3. Your Finished Book Won't Be Perfect

Finally, writing a book is especially hard for the perfectionists among us (like me!).

Right now, you might have a picture of what your book will look like when it's finished. If so, I want you to do something for me:

  • Think about that perfect book in your head, as if you just finished it and you're now holding it in your hands.
  • Then, in your imagination, open it up and tear out half the pages and throw them away.
  • For the remaining half, imagine taking a can of spray paint and spraying randomly spots and lines on the pages, obscuring a good portion of the words.

For almost all of us, this is what our books feel like when they're finished: one-third perfect, one-third deformed, and one-third lost somewhere in the journey between our imagination and the page.

That isn't to say that your book won't still be good when you finish. It just won't turn out like you expect it to, and it certainly won't be perfect.

So knowing that, why write at all?

Seriously, I want you to ask yourself that question. Writing a book requires a huge amount focus and humility, and by the end won't even look like you want it to now.

Count the costs.

Is it still worth it to you?

Why You SHOULD Write a Book: 7 Reasons to Starting Writing NOW

Before you answer the question I posed above, let's talk about the seven best reasons you should write a book.

1. Because you have an idea that won’t let you go.

If you're reading this, you probably already have a book idea (and if you don't, here are 30 book ideas to get you started).

And maybe that idea has lodged itself so deeply into your brain that it won't let you go.

You just know that you need to write it. If you don't, it will haunt you forever!

2. To pass on something you’ve been given.

You've probably read a few books that have changed your life.

Think about those books now.

How amazing would it feel to have the same kind of impact on someone else, to pass on that feeling or knowledge or worldview to others?

Sometimes you read something that makes you finally feel understood as you never have before, or something that unlocks a whole new way of thinking about the world, or even something that makes you feel “at home.”

What if you could give that same gift to others? How great would that be?

3. Because you love to write!

If you love to write, you might as well be writing a book, right?!

4. To make a name for yourself.

There's a certain amount of hubris that comes with wanting to write a book, to be that person in the room who has accomplished such a huge feat.

Whether you want to make a name for yourself as a great writer or as an expert within your field or even as a thought leader, writing a book can be a great avenue to do that.

Even more it can be a way to share who you are, your worldview and values, and who you are with the world.

5. To make money.

While writing a book isn't the easiest way to make money, it's certainly possible.

Even better, it can be a way to earn passive income, income that lasts for years, decades, or even after your gone.

However, writing a book can also be a way to advance your career in a specific field, to grow an audience, or to build some kind of brand. In other words, writing a book can be a way to help you get the job that you've always wanted.

And if you're a politician, it can even help you get elected!

6. To overcome a personal challenge.

Writing a book can be kind of like the intellectual version of climbing Mount Everest or walking to the Pacific crest trail, a personal challenge that, once you reach the pinnacle, you'll feel was rewarding and “worth it” all on its own.

7. To leave a legacy.

Finally, writing a book can be a way to leave legacy for future generations, something that you can be remembered for long after you've passed, something that you can always be remembered for.

So what do you think? Is it worth it to you?

I can't answer that question for you. You need to decide yourself if writing a book is worth all of the hardship, challenges, and obstacles along the way (because there will be many!).

But if it is worth it and you're ready to go through with it, what's the next step? How do you take your desire to write a book and your idea and actually follow through and finish.

Ready, Prep, Write: How to Finish Your Book the Write Way

If you're wondering how to take your idea and turn it into a finished, published book, you're in luck!

ready, prep, write: Create Your Summer Book Writing Plan

Right now, I'm teaching a free, three-part class called Ready, Prep, Write on the first steps to prepare to write your book. Each lesson is only a few minutes long, but by the end, you'll be ready to get started writing.

Check out the class and sign up here.

See you inside!

Why do YOU want to write a book? Which of the above reasons is most important to you? Let us know in the comments!

PRACTICE

For today's writing practice prompt, imagine that you've written that book that's been percolating in your brain for years. It's done. You've planned, drafted, given and taken feedback, edited, and finally ordered the first hard copy to hold in your hand. The envelope is there in your mailbox.

Take 15 minutes and write a scene where you open the envelope and see your book for the first time.

What does it look like? How does it feel? Who do you show first and why?

When you finish, share your practice in The Write Practice Workshop here (and if you're not a member yet, you can join the community here). And I hope you'll read a few other writers' dream book unboxing scene too and offer encouragement. No one can do this alone, and here, you don't have to! Let us celebrate your dream book with you!

How to Write Like Louise PennyWant to write like Louise Penny? Join our new class and learn how. Learn more and sign up here.

Join Class

Next LIVE lesson is coming up soon!

Joe Bunting is an author and the leader of The Write Practice community. He is also the author of the new book Crowdsourcing Paris, a real life adventure story set in France. It was a #1 New Release on Amazon. Follow him on Instagram (@jhbunting).

Want best-seller coaching? Book Joe here.

17 Comments

  1. Corrie Ann Gray

    Great article. There is no better time than right now. Write that book! I am. :o)

    Reply
    • K.S. R

      Well writing is an passion that needs expression and writing a book needs your heart and soul to be in one place. To write one has to read, feel, experience and gather his or opinion. writing is taking to your soul. Do write and do share.

    • Amber Remington

      To leave a legacy in generations down my family line. To leave a passion lit flame that will inspire.

  2. PJ Reece

    You’re absolutely right, Joe, and here’s another reason: the publishing world continues to morph so radically that we as writers can invent the launch strategy that works for us. We need to grab this brave new world by the horns and make it our own. Onward!

    Reply
    • Charlotte Håkansson

      It was actually Kellie McGann who wrote this article; not Joe. 😉

    • PJ Reece

      Thanks, Charlotte — “You’re absolutely right, Kellie…”

  3. David H. Safford

    This has to be the attitude. At some point, you have to decide that THIS WILL HAPPEN. And then make the necessary choices to do it. For me, that meant eliminating television for 6 months. I decided that I wasn’t going to watch other people’s stories until I had finished mine.

    Reply
    • Jim White

      That was a great decision to cut out tv and force yourself to create. I did the same thing with passive social media scrolling. Until I write each day a certain amount, no mindless scrolling.

  4. Melody Potter

    My problem isn’t writing the book. It’s doing the additional chores like linking the TOC to the chapter headings. Today I solved that by sending the book to a friend who does that kind of work. It will be worth the little bit of money it will cost. I’m relieved. Sigh…

    Reply
  5. Debra johnson

    I found this article uplifting and inspiring thank you. This is the perfect time because it’s the beginning of a new year. Now to figure out which stories I want to tell.

    Reply
  6. Madani

    I write in French but I am not a frenchman. I have written seven novels but I have published none, problem of finance. As far as money is concerned I behave like a richman without a penny. That reminds a quotation of Gabriel Garcia Marquez ” Love in time of cholera” : I am a poor man with a lot of money” .
    If that character is poor with a lot of money, by my determination to write I feel rich with no money. People feel at ease with me because I feel at ease with myself, thanks to writing.
    P.S
    Do not pay too much attention to my English.

    Reply
  7. Claire

    Thank you so much for sharing this. Though only in high school, I am already extremely serious about my writing future. For me, it all started with that one diary in second grade, like it does for many little girls and boys. Even before I could actually read or hold a pen correctly I wrote stories. Sure, they were based on the pictures of other books, and may have been a series of squiggly lines with a stick figure on the cover of my homemade “book,” but they fed into my interest. Even back then I remember being so proud of the “story” created, even if it wasn’t in any real language known to man. I continued to write in my journal (and have finished nearly 25 notebooks with my thoughts and school drama at this point), but I have gotten tired of writing about myself. I long to tell the stories of others. Whether they physically exist or not.

    One of my 2017 Resolutions is to carry around a notebook with me during the day and write in it at least once every day. Just to write SOMETHING every day because, like you said, it is extremely important. It’s also immensely beneficial towards your health, which is a fun little bonus feature. This year I am going to make it MY YEAR, even if it isn’t. One of the first resolutions on my short list is “FINISH THE FIRST DRAFT OF MY NOVEL.” It may be the toughest at the moment, but it’s also the most important to me. I really needed to read this article to remind me why. So thank you.

    I’ll part with a quote from ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ that comforts me on a personal level as a writer. Hopefully it may help you, as well.

    -“Is this real? Or has this been happening inside my head?”
    -“Of course it’s happening inside your head, [Harry], but why on earth should that mean that it’s not real?”

    Reply
  8. TerriblyTerrific

    What a wonderful article. I want to write to let the world see what I see. And, it’s not because it is a new year. It is because I have something that I want to write. Thank you.

    Reply
  9. Daniel Harrison

    You are so encouraging. I subscribe to a zillion blogs, but most go unclicked in my inbox. “The Write Practice” is refreshing to see and clicked a lot!

    Reply
  10. LilianGardner

    I’m disappointed with my writing. I got out my novel, and in a happy, want-to-do mood, decided to start editing. After I read and edited the first chapter, I put it aside, realising how poor my writing is.
    At the moment I’m discouraged. I must improve. I must improve. Otherwise, I should give up my dream to edit and publish my novel.
    I wish all members the best of luck with their writing projects.

    Reply
  11. Cathy Ryan

    Thanks, Kellie! I love #2. It’s liberating to enter the project thinking, you know, this might just totally flop, but I’ll do it anyway. If the goal is to learn, the success is up to me and not someone else’s opinion. I think that’s my big fear with this next project.

    Reply
  12. Susan W A

    Love these gems of insight and inspiration, Kellie! Certainly engenders confidence to move forward.

    My favorite motto that I’ve created myself is: Resistance invites persistence.

    Wishing all joy, inspiration and productivity in 2017!

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Monday Must-Reads [01.09.16] - […] 11 Reasons You Need to Write a Book NOW – The Write Practice […]
  2. 11 Reasons You Need to Write a Book NOW - Sulis International - […] Click here to view full article at thewritepractice.com […]
  3. Writing Links Round Up 3/27-4/1 – B. Shaun Smith - […] 11 Reasons You Need to Write a Book NOW […]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Say Yes to Practice

Join over 450,000 readers who are saying YES to practice. You’ll also get a free copy of our eBook 14 Prompts:

Popular Resources

Books By Our Writers

Vestige Rise of the Pureblood
- Antonio Roberts
Headspace
- J. D. Edwin
Under the Harvest Moon
- Tracie Provost
16
Share to...