Why You Should Write a Book

Why You Should Write a Book

Lisa O'Neill

Lisa O'Neill

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What has stopped you or is stopping you from writing your first or next book?

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If you want to be an authority, then being an author is a great start!

I met up with a friend last weekend for coffee. Andrew has had an incredible career, a huge amount of expertise, and some very specialised experiences. He is keen to write a book to capture everything he has learnt and done and to share his experiences with the world. We spent a couple of hours discussing why and how people write books.

Why you should write a book:

  1. Books get you booked. It’s commercially smart to have a book when you are selling yourself. A book positions you as an expert – it shows the world that you know some stuff! A book is proof that you have the knowledge, authority, courage, and grit. It shows that you know so deeply about something that you have curated 30,000 words on a topic! A book is an extremely heavy business card – some proof that you are worth working with.
  2. You will learn about yourself!
    Pushing yourself to squeeze out your thinking can be a huge challenge. The discipline that it takes to sit down regularly and write challenges you. To push through when you don’t want to. To develop the discipline of regularly writing will change the way you work.

    The process of birthing a book has many moments that can catch you out. There is the ‘Why me? What do I know?’ phase when you question what the world would need from ‘yet another book’ on a topic that there seems to be so much already written about. You are the only person with your unique combination of experience, expertise, and essence – your essence will determine what you write, who you write for, and what your words feel like. This is why it is important that it is you that writes your book. While it’s tempting to outsource this to an expert, the greatest gift that you can give yourself is the gift of being a writer!

    The second phase is the “Bum Glue phase” when you learn what keeps you in the chair to do the actual writing. What your writing preferences are. How and where you like to write. Set yourself up as if you are a writer. Create a space. Get what you need. Set yourself up.For my first book, I hand-wrote everything into eight exercise books – handwriting felt better and had 8 containers – one for each chapter helped me to stay focused on what I was writing about.

    The third phase is the ‘Feedback’ phase – where you get other people’s opinions on your work. (This was the bit I really struggled with!) Having someone judge your writing is similar to someone judging one of your children! People telling you what is wrong with something you have created! Turns out that feedback and advice are incredibly helpful as it allows you to experience what it’s like to be on the otherside of your work. To be in service to your client or reader.

    The fourth phase is the ‘Out there’ bit. The bit where you tell people you have written a book, where you market and promote yourself. This bit is equally as weird. This is when you realise that you are putting your thinking out into the world. You are no longer a secret! You are acknowledging to the world that you have a story or some experiences to share. How people respond to this says a lot about them. Some will be happy for you for what you are doing, some will be threatened. I remember a student telling me that the idea of being judged was stopping her from putting a book out there. You will mostly be judged by people who have never written a book!

  3. You will see yourself as a writer.
    Many of us believe that while we might have a great story or huge amounts of experience, that we are “not writers’. A writer is someone who writes. Developing a habit of writing is one of the greatest things you can create if you are wanting to lead the thinking in your area of expertise. Doubt is a killer. If you think you are not a writer then you will never write. Not being good enough is a huge problem for all humans in many areas of life – writing is definitely a common one. Being told as a child that you were not a good writer has thrown many adults off track. Start writing. Get some feedback. Keep writing. There is magic that happens when you start writing in flow. Writing in flow feels amazing – as if you are sat in the middle of a stream of ideas and words. There are many ways to get into flow. Walking and meditating are wonderful ways to access thoughts. Working out what works for you is the best way. Morning? Night? After exercise? Work in a way that works for you.The goal of being a thought leader is to be known for knowing something. Writing regularly will help you to get known. It will give you IP that you can share with the world. When you write on topics that are relevant to a market you are working with, when your thinking and research are thorough, when your writing is regular, your ideas will become elegant!

I would love to know what your biggest block to writing is. What has stopped you or is stopping you from writing your first or next book?

Lisa O’Neill

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