There’s a very common response I get when I tell people that I’m a writer: “Ooh, I have a great idea for a book!”
According to one widely distributed statistic, 81% of Americans want to write a book someday. That’s something like 265 million people.
That’s a lot of books.
Of course, most people who want to write a book “someday” never start—and if they do start, most of them never finish.
But for a growing number of professionals, writing a book is an important and necessary piece of career growth. And writing a book can be personally rewarding, too.
So how do you know you’re ready to take the plunge?
You have time. Writing takes a lot of time, especially if you’re not used to cranking out words every day. You need to have a reliable window of time each day to dedicate to your book.
You have at least average or above average written communication skills. Let me say—many people with less-than-average writing skills can and do write and publish books with the help of good editors. But having some generally decent writing skills will make your project much, much smoother.
You need a platform boost. For the entrepreneur, C-suite leader, speaker, or solo professional trying to build a public platform, a book can provide a huge boost. It opens new avenues for promotion, brings in new prospects, and establishes authority. If you’re struggling to get your professional platform to the next level, a book—even a short e-book—might be exactly what you need.
You’re so passionate about your topic that you can’t stop thinking or talking about it. The authors most likely to succeed are, I believe, the ones who can’t stop thinking and talking about their ideas. If that’s you, it might be time to let that passion propel you right to the finish line.
You’re an expert in your field. If your book idea is related to your particular expertise, there’s a very good chance you already have an audience out there.
You’ve already outlined the book, even just in your head. This goes along with being passionate about your topic. The non-fiction authors I know already had a rough outline of some kind in their heads or on paper before they ever wrote a single word.
You have a system, program, or method that you want to share. If you’re already speaking, leading seminars, or guiding people through a particular program of your design, it might be time to share that knowledge with the world. You could be the next Marie Kondo!
You’re willing to learn. You may be an expert in your field or an expert on your idea, but that does not make you an expert on writing and publishing books. Fortunately, the Internet has plenty of resources for writers who need help writing, editing, designing, publishing, and marketing books. Be willing to ask other writers for recommendations, and be open-minded about taking the counsel of writers, editors, and publishers who came before.
How did you do? Tally up your “yes” responses and check below:
1-2: “Writing a book might be a cool thing to do, but I don’t really have the time or interest right now.”
3-4: “Hmm, I have an idea, but I’m not sure it’s the right time or the right thing for me to do.”
5-6: “I definitely have an idea that I’m passionate about, and I’ve even outlined it, but I’m not quite ready to start yet. I’ll start within the year.”
7-8: “Why am I still reading blog posts about this stuff? I have a book to write!”
If you need help with your book—whether you’ve written a whole draft and need an editor or haven’t written a word yet—call me. I’ve worked with authors at every stage of the process. I’d love to help you go from “I want to write a book someday” to “published!”