March 10

Who am I to write a book? How to get over this and start writing


Even as we procrastinate writing our book, we are really good at telling ourselves stories. Our stories come out like this:

“Other people have more interesting lives and more exciting stories to tell.”

“I have something to share, but it’s not life-changing or anything.”

“I’m not a great writer, and I’m terrible at grammar.”

“It takes me a week to write one blog post. There’s no way I could write a whole book.”

“Writers are depressed, lonely, alcoholics anyway, so maybe I don’t have the right neuroses to be a truly great writer. Why even try?”

We have so many cultural myths around what it takes to be a great writer, and we tend to think that others have it all together, even before they start writing their book. We believe that they are born writers, who can sit down and bang out a publishable book in a month, and because we aren’t born writers and can barely write a few hundred words at a time that we don’t have “what it takes.” And we justify our desire to procrastinate writing.

Time for a dose of #WritingTruth.

1. Your perspective is both interesting and unique.

You have been on a journey that not many others have, and you can share wisdom with others who want to go on a similar journey.

Here’s a challenge for you: Go to, and browse the bookstore. Type in search terms for what you think your book is going to be about. See how many books you can find in the same niche.

Are there 10 to 20 books? Great! That means there’s a market for the type of book you want to write. People are actively looking for and buying your type of book.

Buy some of those books, at least three, and read them. Are they as close to your perspective as you thought they’d be? Or do they take a surprisingly different angle? Do you see how your story, insights, and wisdom are different than theirs?

This may feel intimidating, but I promise that reading the competition will actually be liberating because you’ll see how much you have to offer that doesn’t already exist.

2. You are as good a writer as you need to be for this book.

You don’t need to be great at grammar or use poetic turn-of-phrases. You have a message that is for a particular type of reader, and he wants to hear what you have to say in the way that you want to say it. He doesn’t want a stiff, academic style. He doesn’t want flowery imagery. He wants a plain-spoken, straightforward telling of a story, a journey, advice, wisdom, insights.

Your natural, quirky, unusual way of talking will connect with him in a way that other writers don’t. Trust your own voice, and trust that you’re already as good a writer as you need to be to write this book.

Grammar and such is for the editors to clean up.

3. When you get into the flow of writing your book, it’ll be enjoyable.

I know we have this image in our minds of the morose, tormented writer, but that lifestyle is a choice. It’s not the writing that drives a person mad (thank goodness!), it’s more likely that people who struggle with mental and emotional issues are drawn to writing. Or maybe it’s that a lot more people in Edgar Allen Poe’s day were drunk and hallucinating than we realize.

Either way, you can be a perfect normal, sane, capable writer, who just happens to have a passion and a message to share. No fuss, no mess, just writing and publishing, and building a platform.

Tweet: I would even go so far as to suggest that when you’re writing about something that you truly are passionate about that it’ll be (mostly) enjoyable!

I’m not saying that it’ll be easy, but it’ll feel worthwhile, fulfilling, and meaningful. You might even find yourself wanting to write.

No way to know until you give it a try, right?

What are you waiting for? The time to procrastinate writing is gone. It’s time for action.

What’s stopping you from writing, right now? I would bet that nothing is. You’re reading a blog, so you probably have a bit of downtime. Whether you’re on a laptop, phone, or tablet, pull up the note application and just start daydreaming about what your book could be about.

And let me know here. If you could write any book, what would it be about? Leave a comment below!


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