On writing

3+1 (Heavyweight) Reasons For Writers to Write a Book — From ‘I Want to’ to ‘ I Must’

The WHY, WHAT, and HOW of it.

Lipika Sahu
The Startup
Published in
7 min readJul 10, 2022

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Photo by Pixabay

Are you a freelancer? Or a content writer? Great.

So, you must have chalked down your plans that should include writing engaging stories on websites, creating SEO-friendly posts for your blogs, working on growing your LinkedIn engagements, the same for Twitter, Quora, Reddit, and starting that newsletter.

And many more such things.

And somewhere between points 7 and 10, you would have surely written:

Write a book.

But one year on, this action point is still under the need-to-do segment. Each time you revisit your action plans, this poor thing gets neglected or, on the most, is underlined for extra attention. Only to be forgotten soon, among other pressing matters.

Why is writing a book so scary?

I will tell you. And these were the precise reasons that had held me from writing mine.

What if people don’t like it?

Let’s settle that now — not everyone will like it. But most people will. Start with that. In fact,

Writing the first book is more about you than about others.

And it is not about people liking it or not, it is about you getting it out of the system. I will give you ample reasons why writing a book will help you in your trade.

And writing the book is not the main business here. It is a stepping stone. We will get to that.

I am no expert. I will look stupid.

You don’t have to be an expert!

You just have to be confident about what you speak. That’s all. A book is a well-structured conversation.

Yes, some people will disagree and some will judge, but just focus on the benefits of having a book under your wings.

If it troubles too much, use a pseudonym, but write it.

I cannot finish it.

Thousands of writers have started their books with a feisty gusto only to fizzle out in a couple of days. And they give up saying — I do not have time.

The case is not that. It is the underlying fear cloaked in disinterest. Use the fear to focus more on the task. Channel it to work better. Challenge yourself.

Break it down into small pieces and do bit by bit. Do not worry about how long it takes but stay in the flow.

Why should you write a book?

The crux of the matter.

1. To build your credibility

Let me ask you a question. What do you think of someone who has authored a book?

“Wow!”

Why so?

Writing a book is not an easy task, no matter what the writing coaches or publishing tools tell you. Because easy has never been revered.

That the person can accumulate his thoughts, garner that amount of words, give them a structure, and put them all in one place is worthy of awe.

So when you author a book, it implies that you hold such capabilities.

If the writing business were a tennis match, where many writers are in ‘love all’, you just bagged an ‘advantage-you’!

And trust me everyone will not read the book before they judge you. The moment you have finished a book, you have garnered some accolades.

And a book is a great banner to put behind you that screams authority and credibility.

Next time you write a mail, talk to the client, add credentials to your blog, update your social media profile, or send writing samples — you know what to talk about.

Writing a book requires immense dedication and people want to work with someone who is committed to their work.

I will never encourage you to write just about anything and publish it. I am saying you don’t need to be a Stephen King or Hemingway to author a book.

2. Improves your writing skills

Remember the first days of your exercise. Every muscle of your body screams pain. And giving up is the easiest thing you can do.

But you carry on and stretch your limits. And time is the witness, you get better each day.

Writing is like exercise; Writing a book is stretching the limits.

In India, we do Suryanamaskar in Yoga — a set of 12 poses. One complete package that tones almost every muscle of the body.

A book is that for a writer. It tones down every aspect of writing:

  • Language skills
  • Writing skills
  • Time Management
  • Organizing skills
  • Research skill
  • Decision-making skills
  • Marketing skills
  • Editing

Imagine doing 20 crunches and then doing a set of 100. It will take every ounce of your determination to do that.

But when you have done that once, will you fret over 20 again? No! Your writing just went to the next level.

Think of writing the first book as becoming an improvised version of yourself, do not see this as imparting knowledge to others.

3. Better opportunities

Ghost-writing opportunities, higher quotes, and passive income are a few.

When you say you are an author, you have already climbed a rank higher in the writing chain. You are allowed to quote higher rates than earlier. And people take it seriously.

Every person has a story within them. And people want to tell it. Some have the skills and some don’t. The latter seek ghostwriters. This is where you come in — someone who has done it before. These are long-term and high rewarding projects one can bag after writing a book.

And writing a book is a post-paid plan. Work hard now and get paid later — without any work.

The author tag

This is the +1 reason, I was talking about.

I don’t know what valuation you will assign for this reason, but for me, it is a big deal. The author tag. Good, bad, shitty but I want to become an author. Even if it is one book.

My name should be on the author list.

What should you write about?

So, now if I have been able to persuade you enough to write a book, now is the time you ask me what should I write about?

Something you love/know

It’s the easy path. For me writing a book on parenting is easy and something that I know tons about. Hence, for me, it was parenting.

Choose a topic that you talk about a lot. Or people ask you about. Something that you have tons to tell. That way you will have a lot of content.

Something you have already written about

There must be a topic that you have written on a lot. So, you already have a bunch of material already there with you.

Start by organizing the content. Arrange them in a logical sequence. Add elements so that they get a flow.

Works really great with non-fiction writing.

Something that has clicked with others

I can cite Victoria Kurichenko here, who made an ebook out of an article. Readers appreciated her story on google ranking. So, she went ahead and made an ebook from the same, and has been seeing promising results.

It might work for you as well. Look for something that worked well for you. Start with that and keep adding more flesh into the framework.

How to do it?

I have attended quite some webinars on book writing. Some advice I picked some I didn’t. I have shared a rough layout of what I did (using Reedsy).

  1. Write your idea in one sentence — the whole idea in one place.
  2. Write all the chapters and a sentence about them. What each segment is about?
  3. Add subsections to each chapter — just like subtitles in an article. Treat the chapter as a blog/an article.
  4. Pick a chapter and again make a rough layout of the same — fine-tune it into a more structured read.
  5. Keep adding information to this core structure.
  6. Research and validate your inputs — throw some data, statistics, incidents, findings, history, or personal experiences.
  7. Keep editing as you go — do not wait for the whole draft to be over. Keep editing portions on the go. Because editing the whole draft might become a daunting thing (the reason my draft sat neglected for a long long time).

Every writer will have their own flow, but it all starts and ends with writing — a bit each time.

Final thoughts

The first book is rarely a bestseller. That goes to tell a lot. The first one will be stinky. But the second one will be significantly better. And this is the only and simple maths — it just gets better.

Writing a book is like raising a baby. Right from conceptualizing to constantly feeding it till it is ready to go out in the world.

You will have several doubts and inhibitions but just like a mother never gives up on her baby, stick to your job.

Writing a book will demand a lot from you and squeeze the last drop of willpower, but it also promises results. In abundance.

N.B: My book is in the final editing stage.

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