Writing and Publishing a Book Benefits Your Readers, Your Career, Your Soul, and More
These days, with the ease of Print-on-Demand self-publishing, anyone can write and publish a book. It’s been estimated that 81% of Americans feel they have a book in them, so why defer this dream? According to self-publishing guru Dan Poynter, no one should die with their book still in them. If you are one of these people, let the following soak into you like rain into a parched garden, then see what opens up in you that may want to be held, nurtured, and brought forth.
There are many reasons for writing a book. Here are ten:
1. Sharing what you know can benefit others. You may think what you care about isn’t interesting to other people, but don’t be too quick to dismiss your contribution. Many people’s lives have been changed for the better by books whose authors initially doubted their efforts (and who has not?). From dog walking to memoirs and beyond, books that offer readers ways to address their own lives—whether on a practical or a soul-fulfilling level—are clearly of great benefit.
2. Your slant on the subject can offer a valuable perspective. People often think, “There are so many books—what do I have to offer?” But even if your subject matter is a highly popular one, what reaches readers is the subject as filtered through you, the writer. Your views, your experiences, even the rhythms of your writing can give your readers something special they can’t get anywhere else.
3. You get to learn about your area of interest more deeply. It’s been said, “If you really want to know something, teach it.” If you have a particular area of interest or expertise, writing a book about it will give you a deeper understanding. By devoting time and many pages to your book, you will live with it more fully. And by working to convey your understanding and counsel to your readers, you will get to put into words what you may know on a not-so-conscious level. Which can be quite fulfilling, and even help you move into the next chapter of your life.
4. You get to find out about things you know nothing about. Writing a book isn’t limited to what you do know—it can also be about something you’re passionately interested in that you don’t know. When you set out to write a book based on wanting to know what you don’t yet know, you challenge your conscious and subconscious mind to open the door to the answers. You even pull the string on the door of divine inspiration. This way of writing starts you on a journey—which can enrich what goes into the book, as well as what comes out of it.
5. Writing a book can heal your heart and soul. If the subject of your book is one with deep personal meaning, the act of writing a book can open doors of healing (wholeness). To seek answers to deep questions through writing a book is to open your heart to what comes; and it is that very open-heartedness that brings you what you seek. In addition, this sincerity and energy can do the same thing for your readers.
6. Writing a book can be good for your career. Being an author and having a book as a credit can help boost your career, whether you are employed or self-employed. It positions you as an expert in your field, and your name starts getting associated with the subject of your book. Your chances of building on the first book with a second, and so on, get that much better. Plus it can be a door-opener if you want to speak publicly, teach workshops, sell more of your services or products, and much more.
7. Writing a book can help you make money. Sometimes your book can make you money on its own. But you can also use the book as part of a larger package—along with workshops, seminars, CDs, e-books, and so on—to further your career and earn income. (See #7, above.)
8. Writing a book can be a legacy for your loved ones. Not only can writing a book help you carve out a name for yourself, but it can also leave a legacy for your loved ones. This can be true no matter what the subject. This legacy can bequeath not only an emotional satisfaction, but also a financial one. Some books are still making money for the descendents of authors, even after the authors have passed on. (Just remember to stipulate this in your will–copyright, royalties, etc.)
9. Writing a book is a way to grow into your next chapter of your life. Authoring a book can take you to the end of one “chapter” of your life and the beginning of another. The very act of writing the book moves you into another phase of development, if you go about it with an open heart. The next phase is a new chapter—in life, and sometimes in terms of the next book you are moved to write. And,
10. Writing a book can be a gift to the world. The words you put down that meant something to you may be available to people years for a good many years. After all, once Shakespeare was just a struggling playwright, Virginia Woolf was just a self-published writer read mostly by her circle of friends, and Mark Twain worked on a riverboat and wrote his books between gigs. They didn’t know that their books would last throughout time.
So don’t limit what’s possible for yourself. If you write with an open heart, a desire to discover, and the ability to go the distance, your book can touch lives (your own, included). And that’s a big contribution, indeed.