Are You Clear on Why You Want to Write a Book?


Writing and publishing a book is just one way to share your message of inspiration with others. When you have what you believe to be several pretty great ideas for a book, it can be challenging trying to decide which one to focus on. You could have a different motivation for writing/publishing each one.

Before making a firm decision to create a book, it's helpful to have some clarity on what is motivating you to write and publish a book in the first place—be it through self-publishing or through a publisher. Here are five common reasons for wanting to create a book and things to consider about your topic:

• To share with family/friends

If sharing on an intimate level with the people you know is what’s propelling you, then it makes sense to write on a topic you know they’ll love and appreciate.

• To inspire/encourage those you serve directly

If you’re someone who currently interacts with a lot of people in person—teaching workshops, offering public speeches, selling art at shows, etc., and you’d like to sell books to these same people, then it makes sense you would want to write on a topic closely related to what you’re already presenting or what they may regularly request from you.

• To enhance your career and offer credibility

This can go hand-in-hand with offering books to those you serve directly, but also goes a step further to position yourself as an expert. Sometimes being able to show others you have a quality book gives you credibility and even an advantage when it comes to other opportunities. To be appreciated as an expert, it makes sense to write on the topic you know inside and out.

• As supplemental income (or even fame)

This is certainly a fair reason. If you are looking to earn money from sales, you’re going to want to do genuine research to see where what you know you can write on overlaps with what is currently trending or historically very popular. It’s best not to assume a topic will sell well because everyone you know loves it. (You can read more about the "birds of a feather" phenomenon, here.) The world's a big place. You owe it to yourself to do a bit of digging before you put a lot of work into your project.

• To share your message with those who need it

Maybe you simply are passionate about inspiring anyone who needs to hear what you have to share (even if you don’t sell thousands of copies). And maybe not even necessarily on a wide scale—maybe making a big difference on a smaller scale is reason enough. Large scale or small, what topic does your heart say you should share with others? What can your knowledge heal in others?

Chances are, your motivation for writing a book is a combination of two or more of these reasons and that's wonderful. Just be sure to include all considerations around subject matter and find the sweet spot where your reasons can meet. I can't wait to see how your book turns out! 

If you need support getting clear on your ideas, I'm here for you and I'd love to help you figure out the best way of sharing your gifts with others. Send me an email.

xo —Tonia