How many times have you thought about writing your first nonfiction book, and then for one reason or another, you gave up? Don’t be too hard on yourself, girl, because just a few years ago, that was my story, too.
And you know what? At the Book Expo America publishing conference last year, author and game designer Jane McGonigal revealed that 90% of Americans want to write a book.* That’s a lot of people! But you know what? Most of these individuals never follow through with actually writing that book they’ve been dreaming about for some umpteen years, and I’ll tell you why.
There are four common reasons most people give to explain why they haven’t gotten around to writing that masterpiece yet:
1. I don’t have time.
This is one of the most common reasons that aspiring authors give, and I get it. I really do. Let’s face it. You are working a full-time job, taking care of your spouse and kiddos, trying to build your biz, running errands, the list goes on and on. Who has time these days to add one more thing to the already long to-do list?
Well, never fear my dear! Here’s one tip you can apply to help you finally write that book of yours: use a planner. Yes, a planner. You can either dust off the cute one you bought a while ago (am I the only one guilty of sometimes forgetting where mine is?) or you can even use an electronic planner like Asana or the Google Calendar on your smartphone. It doesn’t matter which kind you use, just choose the one that best fits your needs.
2. I don’t have enough money.
We’ve all used this line at one time or another. Yet, you would be surprised at how much money you can find in your budget if you kept track of your expenses for the next month--heck, the next week! All of those Starbucks lattes and Panera Bread lunches can really add up, can’t they? I challenge you to keep track of your spending and evaluate where you can find some extra cash in your budget. If you need more tips about financing your author dream, you can check out this post.
3. Everything I want to say has already been said.
I admit, I felt this way before. I had a pretty AH-MAZING book idea, and unfortunately found out someone else already wrote it! Yet, you know what I’ve come to realize? There is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9). Think about it. There are thousands of books on fitness, motivation, and love. Yet, people continue to buy them. Do you know why? Because although your book’s concept may not be new, people want to connect with your experiences and your perspective.
4. I’m a horrible writer.
Do you remember that paper you slaved over and thought was worthy of a Nobel prize? Yeah, the one your teacher butchered with the infamous red pen? Don’t let your high school and college English papers stop you from sharing the message you’ve been holding out on. We’ll get into some tips later, but for now, just know that there are thousands of best-selling authors who also thought their writing was too horrific to sit on anyone’s bookshelf. If they were able to pull it off, so can you.
There you have it, the four common myths that have stopped so many from writing their first book. In this series, we’re going to talk about each of these “reasons” more in depth. So, if you’ve been toying with the idea of writing your first nonfiction book, then stick around and learn how you can finally make your dream of becoming a published author a reality. (By the way, you can use some of these principles for fiction books, however, this series is geared specifically towards nonfiction writing.) Also, check out my upcoming virtual workshop I’m doing to help aspiring authors go from book idea to outline. I'd love to have you there!
*Source credit: Leila Dewji of iamselfpublishing.com. Read the full article here.