Should you bother to write a book?
It was 2 AM, and I was flopping around in bed like a fresh-caught mackerel that was dropped on the dock. It’s the night before my first half-marathon. My longest training run had only been eleven miles, two miles shy of the full race distance. My eyes refused to close as my mind raced.
Should I have run thirteen miles? Am I really prepared for this? Can I even do this?! Should I just back out? What was I thinking?!
The next morning, I ran the race and crossed the finish line with a personal best time. Turned out I was ready, after all. That sleepless night was over twenty years ago. I’m so glad I didn’t back out of that race. I would have missed out on a life-changing experience that led to a lifetime of running joy. And of course, the runner’s high.
My first half-marathon experience is a lot like what an author goes through with their first book. The fear of the unknown and the self-doubt can be paralyzing. And if you’ve done some homework on what is necessary to get a quality book out into the world, you may wonder if it’s worth it.
As a professional ghostwriter, it should be no surprise that I am a voracious advocate for book writing. However, I know only too well that the book writing journey is not for everyone. So I’m sharing this short list of cons and pros to help you decide if writing a book is a wise choice. I’m putting the cons first because I’d rather get the crappy stuff out of the way first.
Top 3 Cons
Return on investment takes the #1 spot on the Cons list. Writing and publishing a quality book requires an investment that will give you more soft returns than dollars. Click here for more on this topic.
The reality of publishing can be harsh for first-time authors. Writing your book gets you to the halfway point in the journey. Getting a publishing deal takes effort, time, and a damn good book. Self publishing also takes effort and time.
Time could easily take the #1 spot, too. Each stage of the writing process will require your time. A quality book will take up to a year or more to produce.
Top 3 Pros
Life-changing journey. Every author I’ve talked with reports that a book challenged and expanded their mind in unexpected ways. It provided the opportunity to think about their lives and experiences in a whole new way, and the impact was long lasting.
A career or business boost is one of an author’s biggest returns on investment.
The confidence boost is a lot like the runner’s high. It makes you feel like a superhero. And it makes the effort of writing (or running) so worthwhile.
I will end by encouraging you to trust your instincts when making this decision. As author Cheryl Strayed explains,
“Everyone has lived a life worthy of literature. Embrace the urge to contribute. Write what you need to hear, then and now.”