Too many times when I mention that I am a writer, the individuals I am speaking to tell me they want to write a book. And when I ask them why haven’t they, I hear the same excuses.
The reports may differ, but a huge chunk of Americans want to write a book. That chunk is reported to be anywhere from 82% to 90%. Consider those percentages and you will calculate about 200 million adults in this country that dream of writing a book one day. Why shouldn’t they? Why shouldn’t you? More than 725,000 self-published books were registered in 2015, and the numbers are climbing. If you include the traditionally published, that adds up to more than one million books released per year to a population where one of four people do not read books and only one out of four reads more than 12 books a year. Sounds daunting, but it really isn’t. There is an audience out there to read your book. It may be smaller than some, and more substantial than others. Neither the size of your audience nor the statistics I have presented should deter you from writing your book. If you are a writer, you have to write it. If you have something to say, you have to write it. There is room for your book somewhere, even if it’s just meant for your family members. I believe everyone should record their book in print form. Hold it, feel it. Cherish it. Stop giving yourself a pass on why your book isn’t written.
1. Capture Family History – So many of us have a cultural perspective and family history that we need to pass on to our children. This is becoming more evident to me each day as the last few members of my previous generation are becoming sick, frail, and forgetful. Like those before them, they will be taking some very precious history with them. A history that our family will never be able to recover.
2. Share your struggle to help someone else – What have you overcome? How did you overcome it? I have often wondered how one person who is filled with pain and faced with one tragedy after another not only survives but succeed in life when a healthy person with all the benefits handed over freely misses the mark. We know perseverance and commitment are two of the determining factors, but what was it, that special something, that set you apart and helped you. Can it help someone else?
3. Support or build a business platform – Increase your earnings by becoming an established leader. The book is your credential supporting your expertise in the field of your business. It’s your badge of honor.
4. To entertain people who like a specific genre – Do you love Star Wars, Star Trek, and other science fiction? It doesn’t matter the genre if you love to read the books, watch movies, and binge watch television shows, you can easily create episodes in your mind, or recount what you have seen to others in an entertainingly, write your book. Don’t be afraid. In fiction, you create the world, and the characters create your book. It’s like kismet.
5. To teach other people a skill – In today’s environment, I think we should all learn how to garden. But, we should also know how to monitor our finances, write a simple letter, use Word, or anything that you can think of, such as cooking, sewing, and coding. Teach someone how to create an app. It doesn’t matter. Each one. Teach one. Put it in a book.
6. To improve someone’s quality of life spiritually, mentally, or physically – Have you found your source of peace? You know how to meditate. You have seen the results. You use words games and your memory has improved. You walk or jog or line dance, and you are getting your waist back. Maybe you changed your diet. Or, perhaps you travel and have the best places to visit for a relaxing vacation. All of it counts. You know what you can share.
I have been googling reports, and one stated that 97% of people who start books, don’t finish. Make yourself one of the 3%. Set aside time daily, even if for starters it’s a half hour during your lunch break. Start somewhere, and work up to finding a time slot somewhere else in the day until your project is complete. Think about the amount of time, you spend checking your phone. You could be writing on it instead of monitoring social media. Put yourself on a schedule and get it done. There is a reason so many people want to write a book. They want to be heard. We all do. And, that’s perfectly fine. Write it! Start it today!
Too many times when I mention that I am a writer, the individuals I am speaking to tell me they want to write a book. And when I ask them why haven’t they, I hear the same excuses. You know the ones, not enough time, don’t know what to write, experiencing writer’s block, don’t know if they can, and on and on and on and on. I understand precisely how that individual feels because I have used the same excuses over and over when I am not writing.
You see, it’s taken me years to write four books, literally. When I left Philadelphia over 20 years ago, I trashed boxes of manuscripts. Looking back, I regret that wholeheartedly. I had written on hard copy pages using typewriters and word processors to generate thousands of pages of the written word. But, on my move, I decided to give up the writing dream and follow the career path that was taking me somewhere. An organization had recruited me in Atlanta, and I was happy. But, what I didn’t expect was to realize that the dream of becoming a writer would never fade. It would haunt me until nine years ago as I was searching for something in my basement in a box that had nothing to do with writing when I found a manuscript that hadn’t gotten tossed. It had survived, and it was a tale of a young southern girl facing the trials and tribulations of adapting to life in the City of Brotherly Love. I sat down on another box and started reading it. The fire in me reignited. I had to finish this book. And I did. That was my first attempt at becoming a writer and an independent author, though I wouldn’t have called myself that then. I stumbled through the journey and gave up again.
But, the writing bug kept biting me. So, three years later, I released number two in the series. Then dropped off the radar again. After that, I wrote a non-fiction book. Out of sight, out of mind is the term that comes to mind as I dropped off the writing radar again. Are you getting the drift here? One minute I wanted to write, and the next minute I was giving the hard work to my career. Why? I told myself I had to make a living. I needed to earn money. Can’t earn money writing books. Right? So I lost focus, once again.
That bug was still biting though, so I wrote number three in the novel series and recently released it with an entirely new perspective. Over the years, I learned so much about the publishing world, and now I feel more focused. You see after all these years, that life’s purpose that I tried to ignore kept popping up anyway. My desire to be a writer had become an integral part of my jobs, writing policies and operations manuals, even newsletters, so I was writing anyway. It was just that type of writing wasn’t what I wanted to do. With that said, I hope, if you have the same struggles, staying focused on your life’s purpose, especially writing and publishing, that you stick around and see what we can learn from each other. Maybe we can encourage each other to STAY Focused. That’s my goal. All I want to do now is WRITE OUT LOUDER AND LOUDER. How about you?
Dilsa Saunders Bailey, the author of The Sperling Chronicles and A Comprehensive Guide to Finding the Right Doctor, loves to blog as “simplydilsa,” a woman who loves to write out loud. The third novel in The Sperling Chronicles, No Tears for Dead Men, is now available in Print and on Kindle.