On Not Writing…
I wrote my first book when I was in middle school — when I was maybe nine or ten years old.
It was a mini-masterpiece, that book, in my memory.
It had chapters. Pictures. A story.
It even had covers and a binding, of sorts.
I discovered, before I ever heard of the wonderful Sir Terry Pratchett, that writing is the most fun you can have by yourself.
I have no idea what happened to that book and I can’t even remember what it was about, but I do know this: it kicked off a lifelong love affair with writing. So obviously I didn’t write another book for more than twenty-five years.
I spent a lot of time thinking about writing a book, and talking about writing a book, and not writing a book…
Until, one day, I stood in front of a roomful of other business owners and boldly declared, “I will write a book all about my business and how I can help my customers. And not only that, I will write it in ninety days! Hiiiiiiii-ya!”
(Imagine me performing an overenthusiastic karate chop, and beaming like an elephant with a hosepipe.)
Funny thing about saying stuff in front of people you respect and admire — you kind of have to deliver on it or risk looking a total twit.
So, three months later, I turned up clutching my shiny new book in my sweaty little hands — which is when the real work began.
Because, my fine feathered friend, we’re not in the business of writing books for the sake of it.
I’m writing another book at the moment. It’s called How The Hell Do You Write A Book?. I’m not writing it only to help you get your name in print (although it is pretty gorram amazing when your books arrive).
And I’m not writing this new book only to help you “get published”, either.
Nope; I’m writing my new tome because I know if you write your book, and use it to its fullest potential, it could change your world.
Words change worlds.
Books change lives.
I want to help change your life for the better when you write your book, and I want to help you change your clients’ lives for the better, too.
Great deeds begin with one word and one step.
And great books start with one word and one sentence.
Changing the world doesn’t always mean the act of stopping a war (or starting one). It doesn’t mean solving world poverty right now. It doesn’t mean changing an unjust law overnight.
All those things do transform the world, for sure — but they start with one tiny beetle step.
Maybe with a book something like the one hibernating inside your head.
Maybe by changing one person’s life in a small way, you can set off a chain of events that’ll change the world in a bigger way.
What do you think?
Worth a try?
I reckon so.
Start here. Start today. I’ve got your back, grasshopper.
Here are some more articles about writing a book:
My new book, which will walk you through how to write your book, will be out soon. Watch this space. This article was based on the not-a-preface, so it’s a sneak preview…