I wrote a book. It didn’t sell a million copies and I can’t pay rent with the profits. Yet, it is one of the best things I’ve ever done.
Here's why you need to write one, too:
1. You can. If you write 500 good words per day, you will have 50,000 words in 100 days. That’s just over three-month's time — Jack Kerouac wrote “On The Road” in three weeks.
2. It will make other goals seem more doable. If you can write a book, then certainly, it’s possible to accomplish other goals if you break them down into small steps.
3. It makes you look like an expert. (Assuming it’s not a memoir or novel.) Once you’ve written a book, people assume you know a ton, which allows for a damn delightful consequence.
4. It makes you more valuable. As soon as you have a book in your name, someone is more likely to hire you, pay you more and maybe even love you more. You’re an author! That sh*tty degree might not get you a job, but I bet a book would do the trick.
5. It actually makes you an expert. In order to write a book, you have to know a lot about something.
6. You’ll learn a ton. You’ll have to study and organize information, which means you’ll need to understand it. There’s probably no better way to learn about a topic than to write a book about it.
7. It will be easier to get attention. There’s no easier way to get on the podcast circuit than to write a book. It’s weird to say, but there aren’t many skills more valuable than getting attention in the attention economy.
8. You’ll help someone. Strangers better our lives by sharing their knowledge through books. You have something worth saying, too.
9. It’s a great project to have. Writing a book is a project that makes your whole day more interesting. Everything becomes possible fodder for the pages.
10. You can put “author” next to your name. It’s worth something. If only because…
11. It breaks down your beliefs about “authors.” You’re not an outsider anymore; you’re a member of the club. You understand what an author is — a person who writes down words. You know that sometimes, there is a difference between the words and the person.
12. It makes you a better reader. You also gain respect for other writers. You know how weird it feels to write things down for other people to read — especially that sh*tty first draft. You appreciate great pieces of writing more than before.
13. You will become an effective communicator. It’s more important than ever to be able to express yourself in text. To write a book, you need to be able to build an argument or story in such a way that others can understand you.
14. You will clarify your thoughts. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, makes his executives write down proposals to make sure they understand what they want to say.
15. You’ll never regret not writing a book. Do it now so you won’t have regrets when you’re in you 30s and have triplets screaming around the house.
16. Your mom will be proud. Other family members will, too. It doesn’t matter if you only sell 10 copies.
17. You’ll get better at typing. You have no reason to suck at typing when so much of life happens on screens.
18. You’ll create a habit of writing. This has been one of the greatest improvements of my life. Writing forces you to think discretely — it can act as a kind of therapy. Half of this list really just reflects the benefits of writing regularly.
19. It will make your days better. If you just write your 500 words for the day, you can feel good that you accomplished something. You made progress toward reaching a goal.
20. When you’re feeling like complete sh*t, you can always say, “I wrote a book.” It’s proof that you produced something at some point — that you didn’t waste your entire life. You worked hard on something, finished it and, by golly, that’s worth something.
BONUS: You might make some money. (But almost definitely, you won’t.)
If you have even an inkling of an interest in writing your own book, check out my massive guide for writing. There are few commitments that can offer such a great payoff. Do it!
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