It’s dishonest to tell you why you should write a book without painting the whole picture.
You will enjoy the process. You will hate it.
Yet some people do it again and again, not because it’s fun and roses, but because they love the results, not necessarily the journey.
The perfect description of the process is that it’s like ruining in the wild. I can’t tell you what to expect.
You get in and expect the best, but the results will leave you gasping for breath and unearth emotions you don’t want to acknowledge. Are you in for all of that?
This post covers some of the things to expect.
10 Things That Will Happen When You Try To write a book
After reading this, you can decide if you should write a book or not.
1. You’ll Feel frustrated
I know you’re excited to write this book.
Get ready. It’s a long journey. Depending on the amount of work you put in, it can take up to a few weeks or several years to finish the first draft.
At some point, you will feel frustrated, like the book is so pointless and overwhelming.
Those who become authors will take a break, do something they enjoy for a few days or hours and continue.
You won’t hear about this from many coaches, but it’s the truth. The question is, will you quit?
Using our analogy of running in the wild, this is the point where you see a bear or put your hand into a bee nest.
#2. You’ll lose track of time
Book writing is frustrating and demands a lot from you mentally and physically. You need to pay attention and be conscious of your thought process. Your thought process is like the train the readers will follow.
It can help you become smarter. But, at the same time, it’s fun. At a point, you will feel transcendence, like you’re sitting on the side of a mountain and sliding down. You have no control. The words are flowing out of your fingers. You didn’t know you have these amazing thoughts and ideas, and there you’re sitting, and it’s all rushing out like water from a faulty tap.
It’s the moment you’ll feel the best. This is the moment you will feel you’ve made a great decision — the reason why everyone should write a book.
Using our analogy of running in the wild, this is the point where you see a gazelle. You find a treasure, and the more you follow it, the more it leads you to other great discoveries.
3. You’ll feel humble
Writing a book is humiliating for anyone who cares about the quality of their work. You have greater ambitions and realize quickly you are not getting to the standard you set for yourself.
You’re so smart. You think the book will come out of you fully formed, the way women give birth to babies. But hey, it doesn’t work that way. There is hard work that runs behind the curtains.
When I was writing my first ever book, I realized I was the resource for the book, not the internet. It’s a fiction story, and everything I put down is either something I have imagined, an experience in real life, or something I have read. It turned out that most of the things inside my brain were really book material. Even if I research, the material has to become a part of me before I can put it in my book.
It was hard. It led to humiliation 101.
Using our analogy of running in the wild, this is the point where you realize you are not good at certain things. For instance, running. You may have to learn this truth by trying to outrun a bear that’s a hundred times your size.
4. You’ll Understand Yourself Better
The writing book will make you come to terms with a part of you that you have never really thought about it.
For example, when I wrote my first book, it was about a girl who ran away from home because of her house. She took a job as a stripper in Lagos at thirteen.
I was twenty at the time. I was never abused at home. However, I wanted to travel and explore the world on my own. No responsibility. No financial burden.
I love freedom so much. To travel. To work where and whenever I like.
It didn’t make sense when I wrote the book, but it makes sense years later. So if you don’t feel that way, hold on. In a matter of years, you will connect the dot why your main character wants to learn boxing so bad. Have you been bullied as a child?
Using our analogy of running in the wild, this is the point where you have a sixth sense. For instance, if you can’t find a rat or toad in the area after some minutes, watch out for snakes or smaller predators.
5. Someone will enjoy reading it
When you sit down to write, you often think of a reader(s). If you are a teenager, you will think of a crush or someone you love so much — your brother or mother. I have read interviews of authors showing their works to their mothers as a child. Stephen King says he writes and shows it to his wife.
Sadly, the person you write it for might not enjoy it at all. But someone out there, even if it’s one person, will read it. You can’t tell who.
Please note I do not say a hundred or thousand. I say at least one person would read it.
I wrote a book about loneliness and turned it into a blog post. It changed me in a good way — like taking a kind of burden off myself. So many people bounce when they read it. However, one or two readers returned to the same post after it was published.
So when you think of why you should write a book, think of this one person. Your book can make all the difference to them if you pour your heart out. If they happen to be your crush, congratulations.
Using our analogy of running in the wild, no matter how windy or tough the journey gets, there will be a part of the landscape you will like. It could be just a simple view.
7. You’re A Creator (you’re the 20%)
A book is your creation/product. Unlike most people, you’re not just consuming. You created something.
When you write THE END and look at the thousands of pages, you will wonder if the whole piece comes off you.
Oh my God, I wrote this. Wow!
You have seen Instagram videos of authors crying when they see the hard copy of their book for the first time. But, even if you don’t cry, finishing a book will make you feel weird like you have fought and won a battle.
Using our analogy, this is when you make it back to town and can smell your favorite chicken soup again. Bye, tiger. Bye, wasps.
8. It will change you (not often your life)
A book can change your life, but not probably the way you expect it.
Anna Todd was writing erotica on Wattpad, which became a Netflix movie. It took James Clear 3 years to write Atomic Habit. He said in an interview that he thought if he got 100k email subscribers, he has made it. Instead, the email list surpasses a million reader.
After writing my first book, I share it with a few people. They enjoyed reading. Although they have a few complaints, it moved me. I believe if I try a little harder, I can get better. I believe I can do it again. Do it better. It changed what I believe about myself.
That’s what I mean by it will change you. And if you are lucky, it can change your life.
7. A book can live longer than you
A book can live longer than you. You write and put it out there; chances are, it will be in the universe as long as the universe exists.
9. Sales expectations are unpredictable
All those expectations you have about your book are nice. If they happen, enjoy it. But they are quite unpredictable and probably won’t happen just as you imagined.
10. Marketing a book is harder than writing
Writing a book is hard. Something harder comes after that — marketing.
No one cares about your new book. Not me, by the way. I have a hundred and one books I want to read, but I haven’t touched them. And I think many people feel the same.
You need to make people care about your book. This is called marketing, one of the toughest things after writing. It’s tougher than escaping a bunch of wasps.
So how do you make people care?
Give them an appetizer. Write a 100k romance book for free and sell the second book after that. If the first isn’t interesting, you need to try again with a second free book or something. Many authors call this building an audience stage.
You can pay for ads, too. Nothing is guaranteed.
Some say you can put it on Amazon and expect the platform to do the rest.
However, you need to push the first hundred sales. After that, Amazon will market your book only if they know it will make them more money. Without that, forget it.
Writing a book is hard. Marketing a book is harder. But if your book is good, it will be easier to market.
Check out these low-cost marketing ideas.
Write the book and get on with it.
At the end of the day, you learn how to write a book by actually writing one. Your process is private, and your story will be different.
So, should I write a book?
Yes, you should.