Blah! Blah! Blah!
I'm seeing a lot of lip-service being paid to the idea of writing a book.
Write a book! the marketing push shouts.
Books are great business tools! another one screams.
You can be a published author in 21 days! still another asserts.
I am not going to dispute any of these claims. You should write a book. Books are great business tools. You can become a published author in 21 days. But, so what?
Unfortunately, all of those marketing pushes - shoved at you via email or social media - are not designed to get at the heart of what writing a book means. They're a means to an end - they mean to wrangle you into a workshop or webinar that will promise you the means to achieve your deepest "I want to be a writer" dreams.
Let's get serious.
Here are a few reasons people write books:
1) To tell a story. Everything we do, say, or experience is a story.
2) To fill a gap. I talked to a great writer last week about just this. She saw a gap in the marketplace for expertise she had and could write about, so she turned it into a book.
3) To entertain an audience. Stories of this sort are often humorous or serious and if in a business book, not overly dark or depressing.
4) To market yourself. And/or your business. This is the primary reason people write non-fiction. It's okay to admit it. You have a self-serving goal - to build a community that will not only buy your books but attend your speaking engagements and workshops and become paid members of your mastermind groups.
5) To prove a point. This is most often a well-researched book that has a strong message. If you're trying to convince us of climate change, or that ghosts are real, you need to do and share a good bit of research on the subject.
6) And, to leave a legacy. This is what I believe is most important.
To Leave a Legacy
Let's just define legacy, shall we? Dictionary.com tells us:
Legacy: noun: anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor.
Isn't that what it's all about? Isn't everything we do as human beings about leaving a legacy of ourselves? We become the ancestor, or the predecessor, who took the time to tell the story, and share the joy.
A fiction book I was reading recently, about the zombie apocalypse - no, not that one, a different one - said that very thing.
"It's our children," one of the main characters mused. And I'm paraphrasing here. "It's through our children that we leave a legacy to the world."
I couldn't help but think, What if you don't have children? For whatever reason, if you don't have children, where is your legacy?
The answer is: in books.
Even if you do have children, the answer to leaving a legacy for the world, is in your book - the one you've been contemplating for so long.
The written word has endured for thousands of years. Human beings have, since the invention of the printing press, certainly, if not long before, had a hankering for writing things down. Lists. Musings. Ideas. And, journals full of historical perspective - much like The Diary of Anne Frank.
Her legacy would not exist, today, had she not taken the time to write in her diary. It's more to our benefit than hers, at the moment - though it must have given her comfort to write it during those trying times. And its legacy is as much about the human spirit as it is about WWII.
Look at Edgar Allan Poe, my muse. His legacy is more than all the horror stories he wrote, the poems he composed. His legacy is that he is the "inventor of the modern detective story." And he never knew it.
For you, your legacy can be in the story you tell, the book you write this year or next that will live on to inspire others to greater achievement in years to come. The book that can create a lasting memory of the work you do now, and why you do it. The book that represents your expertise and experience. The book revealing all the trials and tribulations you've endured, only to rise above it all and become the success you are now.
Write It Because You Matter
There are hundreds of books out there that will leave a lasting legacy for their authors. Some are good books. Some are not. Some are excellent books, some are rot. But their authors wrote them precisely to be remembered. To have their work and their lives remembered. Because they wanted to matter.
I know that you matter. You matter to more than your spouse or children. You matter to more than the neighbors on either side of your house. You matter to the world in ways you haven't thought about because life is busy and hectic and you just don't have time for that stuff.
Yes, you have a business to run. You have a family to feed. You have a mortgage or rent to pay. You have more than enough to clutter up your life, and worrying about what you'll be leaving behind, on the fateful day, isn't one of them.
Let someone else worry about leaving a legacy.
And yet, now, today, this year, is the BEST time to write that book, tell that story, become memorable for all time to hundreds, thousands, of people who are lost and searching for you.
It's Never Been A Better Time for Writing Your Book
Recently a friend called to share a story about her daughter. Her daughter lives in a town about four hours away. They see each other regularly, but not often. The daughter is in a dilemma. She has been crying on her Mom's shoulder for a bit about losing her apartment because the landlord is selling the house and she really can't afford to move anywhere else. Her mom, my friend, is beginning to feel the pressure of being powerless because her daughter refutes every idea she offers.
Both of these women need guidance. Both of these women need someone who's been there and done that to help them see the light at the end of the tunnel. Because there is one. You know it, and I know it. But they don't. They need a story about success created from failure. They need to see the power of moving forward and never giving up. They need you. You have that story.
Perhaps your story is more business focused. Perhaps you have a success story to tell about creating your business out of old boxes and string you found in the attic. Perhaps your story is more serious - it's about no one believing in you, no one except your sixth grade teacher - and how you turned that into happiness for yourself.
Whatever it is, there are people out there today, right now, struggling through the same things who need to hear that it's going to be okay. Maybe not perfect - and perfect is a goal unworthy of us all, just read this blog post about it from Old Dog Learning - but okay. Okay enough to begin the trek to great... and even fantastic.
Your story can captivate audiences. I know it can. Working together, we can create the tale of the century. Yes, out of your big ideas and articles and blog posts.
Why not give it a try? Become "the author of" in 2022 and take your story on the road. I can help. Connect with me on email ( yvonne at yvonnedivita dot com) or Facebook Nurturing Big Ideas or LinkedIn. Mention "legacy" when you connect.