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Why is it so hard to write a book?

Book is your client

by Yvonne DiVita, Your 24 Karat Book Developmental Coach

The question of why it's so hard to write a book is confusing to me. I have never had a problem writing or thinking of things to write. Admittedly, not all of my ideas have merit and I've started and stopped many books. Many being more than four. 

I finally started asking people why they thought it was so hard to write a book. Here's what they told me.

11 Reasons Why It's Really Hard To Write A Book but You Should Anyway

One. A book takes time and effort. Many people feel overwhelmed in their work, whether they are entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, employees, or  executives. The idea of writing a book seems like putting a great big rock on their shoulders. A great, big, heavy rock.

The folks who are afraid of the time commitment have big ideas, good ideas, ideas that would be marvelous for a book, but they keep putting off the writing of the book until sometime later on. Later on when they have time. Or, later on when they retire. Or, later on when this big project they're working on is done. Just, later on. 

Of course, just like tomorrow, later on never comes. The best time to write a book is now.

Two. Writing a book takes commitment. Not merely time and effort. It takes focus. It takes getting out of bed and to your desk, every day, for a set amount of time, writing a set amount of words.  

That might mean finding your circadian rhythm, as the link above demonstrates.

I say, your book is your client. Your client wants you to do the work that's necessary. Your client has a deadline for each chapter written. Your client won't take excuses and mumbles of 'but it's hot in here.'  

Do what your client needs you to do. Write.

Three. Writing a book means putting fingers to keyboard and composing at least 1000 words a day. This post will be at least 1000 words. If you commit to 1000 words a day, you will have a book in one or two months. That's 60,000 words! Just to put this in perspective, the average 6×9 trade paperback has approximately 250 to 275 words per page. That means a 35,000 word manuscript, will be around 140 pages. 

That's not bad. I expect you could write double that and create a solid masterpiece of 280 pages, if you put your mind to it. Every day. 1000 words.

Four. You've heard there is so much more to this writing a book thing and you are correct. You don't just write and write and write and give your Word doc to a publisher and voila! you have a book. 

Nope. Doesn't work that way. Yes, the writing commitment and time and effort commitment is key, but then you have editing, revising, more editing. creating a cover, a back cover, don't forget the spine, and more. 

Writing a book is like starting a small business. Yes, there are elements you don't know or understand yet, but you will. You're a fast learner. Plus, you have me. I can take that burden off of your shoulders right now. Just email me.

Book writing 1000 words a day

Five. Writing a book isn't the same as publishing a book and you don't know even a little bit about publishing. Other than big publishers eat new writers for lunch. You don't want to be anyone's lunch. 

That's fair. I wouldn't want you to be anyone's lunch. And yes, you have to also consider how to publish the book, once it's written. Many folks worry that self-publishing is not as respected as traditional publishing, but I am here to put that baby to bed!

The quality of the book is what people look at, not who published it. Luckily for you, you have numerous options today. Maybe too many. I always recommend self-publishing over a big publisher because you retain all rights, you chose your own cover design, you are in complete control of your product (it is a product, and we often call books a baby because it's definitely a lot of work to write one and 'birth' it, but it's a product) from beginning to end. 

Six. You're not a marketer and you don't want to haul boxes of books in your trunk. I get that. Marketing your big idea, your new book, can be challenging. As everything in your small business is. You're up to the job. And you don't have to haul books around in the back of your car. Who told you that?

Even so, I know you need help. That's why I created all the resources you need on our Books & Programs page. Ebooks written to help you market yourself, your business, and your book. 

Seven. Becoming an author will take you away from your current business. This one is true in a sense, and people who tell me this admit they want so much to write that book but couldn't then support it by traveling all over speaking, so they don't write it. 

The thing here is this - speaking in public markets both you and your business. Yes, when you have a book you are now "the author of" and become more sought after than before you wrote your book, but that doesn't have to mean neglecting your business. 

It means accepting speaking opportunities when and where you can, and selling books in the back of the room. Meanwhile, you are now the expert in that business you wrote about in your book, and the audience wants to know all about it, all about you, and how they can work with you. After they read your book.  

Eight. No one reads anymore. No one reads print books, at least. No one reads anything over 5 pages long.

Who told you this? I would like to know because I want to find that person and punch them in the face. No, no, not really. I don't punch people. I get angry and worked up, but I never go further than that.

People DO read. If they didn't, why would this be happening: (from Bowker.com)

According to the latest report from ProQuest affiliate Bowkerself-publishing grew at a rate of 40 percent in 2018 – and shows no signs of slowing down. The combined total of self-published print books and ebooks with registered ISBNs grew from almost 1.2 million in 2017 to more than 1.6 million in 2018.

Nine. You can't write a book because you suck at writing. And there we have it. One of the biggest reasons people don't write a book. They suck at writing.

Once again I ask, who told you that? You do not suck at writing. You may need guidance, nurturing, a bit of hand holding, but you can become a good writer, one who authors "the book about" which might just change someone else's life. Writing is a skill that is inherent for some of us, but for the rest, it's a skill you can learn. 

Don't every say that again - that you suck at writing. Because you don't.

Ten. You just don't want to write a book even though everyone keeps telling you to. 

Why? Why are people telling you to write a book?

Why don't you want to?

Why are you depriving the world of your genius?

That's all I can say about this one. Just, why? Ask  yourself that and answer honestly. Don't not write that book because of any of the other reasons here. Don't not write that book because you're scared... scared no one will read it. Write it and see.

Eleven. You're scared no one will read your book, so why bother? 

I know. It's true. Of all those millions of books noted above in #8, a good many were ... duds. Let's use that word, duds. They didn't go far. They didn't excite readers. They didn't start with a platform to begin with.

Your book won't be like that. You are going to get help with the writing, the publishing, and the marketing of your book. Because you're smart and you see the value of that investment. 

Become "the author of" - it will change your life, I promise. And, if you want to make the journey smooth and soft, we can talk.

Now, what else is holding you back? If you still have to think about it, I recommend our Smart News, sent out on Friday every week. Gentle, informative, educational nudges to help you get over all these fears about writing a book. Email me for more information. yvonne (at) yvonnedivita.com 

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