4 Reasons Why You Need to Write a Book
All coming from a self-published author
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
— Maya Angelou
My friends and family have consistently told all my life that writing a book is not only challenging, but something that everyone wants to do. They just never get around to it. Whether that be due to a lack of discipline or just a lack of time.
I’ve been writing books since I was ten, so I guess I don’t understand what it feels like to just pick up a pencil and get writing out of the blue. However, I can assure you that it is exactly as easy as it sounds.
No one should be afraid to write a book. It’s not as hard as you think. All you need is the drive to write and equipment that’ll let you do so.
Sure, writing a book can get hard. There’s lots of twists and turns to navigate through, but overcoming them is insanely rewarding. “I wrote a book” is an unrivaled statement in the world of bragging rights.
So if you’re curious about novel writing but have never given it a try, keep writing. You may just find the courage you were looking for.
1. It’s Easier Than You Think
I can’t stress this enough.
Writing a book is one of those tasks that’s exactly what it sounds like. You just open the writing software of your choice (Microsoft Word, Google Docs, Scrivener, etc.) and you start typing. You don’t even need to worry about chapters, formatting, or proper grammar at first. You can save that all for later.
Creating a story consists of two major phases: writing and editing. The first phase is just about jotting down your thoughts and ideas. There’s no shame in being sloppy when doing it.
You should only be concerned about how it all looks when you start editing. That’s when you go into overtime making your project look as nice as it can be. Basically, it’s the phase dedicated to correcting all your mistakes.
Then there’s the territory that comes with selling books. That’s when you need to worry about paying an actual editor, buying a book cover, marketing, and so much more. That stuff’s hard, but it’s also optional. You only have to do it if you care about making money off your project.
If you’re writing a book just to do it, then focus on that. Writing for an audience is a good way to make sales, but writing for yourself is a surefire way to be happy.
2. It Doesn’t Need Anything Special
You can take writing classes, college courses, and look up all the free writing tips in the world if you really care about mastering the craft. Or, you could just write whatever feels right.
There’s no actual prerequisite to making a book. Classes and all that jazz are recommended, but it’s entirely possible to be a self-taught author. It’s all up to you.
If all you really want to do is a make a book without caring if it’s going to become a bestseller or not, that’s fine. Just have fun with it. Spill your guts on the page and be satisfied with the final result.
Compare that to other creative gigs like graphic design or comic creation. You need lots of skills and even some equipment to do those well. With a book, it’s just your brain and a word document.
3. It Can Be About Anything
There’s a reason why I’ve never specified what kind of book you should write. It’s entirely up to you.
If you want a nonfiction recap of your life, write it. If you want to create an original fiction story about teenagers saving the world, go ahead.
No one controls what kind of book you write except for you. Write about literally anything you want as long as you can make it into an entertaining story.
A book is a vessel for you to pour your soul into. It’s like a diary that you’re comfortable with the world seeing. In fact, some diaries just straight up get published as books. Keep that in mind while you write.
4. Everyone Has a Story to Tell
Everyone has something to say, no matter who they are. Whether or not they ever tell their story is up to them. But I believe that every respectable person deserves the right to say their piece.
Fictional books convey personal messages almost as well as nonfiction ones. I think every novel I’ve written contains my true thoughts on family and friendship and how important they are.
Maybe you have a hard time explaining a hardship with actual words. Make it a subplot or even the main plot of a book. That’ll get your feelings out under the veil of anonymity.
There are obviously smarter ways to get something off your chest, but nothing’s as therapeutic as filling 200 pages with your deepest, truest feelings.
I’ve always loved books and all the joy they offer. There’s really no limit to the kind of stories that they can tell. And I think everyone has the potential to write those stories.
Remember the words you’ve always wanted to say. When you’re ready, a book can help you move on from them.
Kesten E. Harris is an author with four books and counting under his name. When he's not publishing those, he's writing self improvement articles.