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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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  1. 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.

  2. A career or business boost is one of an author’s biggest returns on investment.

  3. 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.”


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