What will I write about?
It's a common question I get from women who have a twinkle in their eye when I say, "You should write a book."
I'm often confused at this point. They've told me a good bit of their story. I wouldn't recommend a book if the story wasn't book-worthy. Yet, still they hesitate. As if writing a book was like learning a foreign language (I guess it can be), and they think that's a good idea but not now. Not at this moment. Because, after all, what would they write?
I can only smile when I hear that question. Each and every time I've heard it, from some superbly talented women, I am amused. Amused at their shyness, their doubt, their worry. Because underneath the 'what will I write about question' is the "who cares" question.
"Who cares enough to read a book written by me?" they whisper. Then, the raise of the eyebrows. As if we're in a conspiracy of sorts - refusing to 'out' those other women who should read a book by them, but won't.
"Everyone cares," I tell them.
Everyone does care. No, everyone is not your audience. If you are writing a book your audience must be me, or some of the women in your local networking group, or your Aunt Tilda, who always encouraged you to use your talent to do good, god rest her soul.
When I say everyone cares, I mean, the world is a big place and women are extremely active in it. Women care. Women want more content from other women. Women who are struggling need to hear your story. Women who want that bit of advice on how to move forward with this new idea they have, want your advice. Women who have several business books on their desk, and have read them all but are still confused about what to do next, want your story to help them.
Is it not true that you can go out in any city neighborhood, or any town center, and find a Starbucks. Did the franchisee who started that small business wonder, "who will come?" Yes, I'm sure he or she did. But that didn't stop them. Knowing there's another coffee shop three blocks away didn't stop them, either.
In this case, I would hope the new franchisee did her homework and checked the location, checked the town traffic in that area, checked that her coffee shop with its brand recognition would do well because people are busy, and those passing by who need coffee or a pastry, will stop in for that quick cup and treat.
In literature, the common answer to "What will I write?" is, you write what you know.
In this case, it's the same. You write what you know. You write your story. Because it's worth telling. And you know when you write it, who will read it, because you've developed a following. Read this article from Dorie Clark, who knows a good bit about this book business stuff.
Why will I write it?
A bigger question, which seldom gets asked out loud is, "Why will you write it?"
We've established in other blog posts that writing a book to become rich and famous is foolish. The reason you write a book is married to the reason you have a story to tell. You write a book to share. You write a book to entertain. You write a book to educate. You write a book to inspire.
This is a difficult time, right now. Covid-19 has changed the way we live and work. Businesses are tasked with redesigning themselves, reinventing how they do their business, rethinking how business will be going forward. Many businesses are looking at ways to bring their products and services online, not necessarily to serve them online, though they may, but to offer them online.
You will see online businesses bloom in the next few years. I predict it.
To that end, if you have education and experience that can help another small business do their business online, you should write a book.
To that end, if you can inspire women to start a small business, now, in this dangerous time, because it's the right time, because you are able to guide them, you should write a book.
To that end, if you write your book now, this year, you open up greater opportunities for yourself, and for your readers.
In my E-book, 15 Ways to Market BIG IDEAS, I talk about all the things a book can open up for any author. These include workshops, webinars, speaking engagements and more. It's free. Go ahead and grab it at the link above.
My encouragement to women who say they want to write a book is sincere. I want them to write their book. Yes, I'd like to be their developmental editor, and coach them through the process, but regardless of my involvement, I am on a mission to get more smart, talented, experienced women in business to write a book that will then help the hundreds of other women who are out there struggling to figure out how to do this thing called "business in the 21st century."
If you're one of them, and you'd welcome a guiding, nurturing hand, email me.