Why are you writing a book?

Why are you writing with The Zebra Ink?

Why you are writing is a crucial question to answer.

If you are thinking about writing a book, the task can seem monumental if you have not done it before. It really isn’t and is completely accessible for most people. Many aspiring authors think the “outline” is a must have way of getting started. I beg to differ.

I believe that before any writing or organization of the content gets started, it is appropriate to identify WHY you are writing the book. There are so many reasons why people want to write a book. Some want to create a big business card and use it to solidify their expertise and credibility in the marketplace. Some want to use it as a method for healing something in their life. Some want to entertain. Some want to begin conversations with others about topics that are important to them. Some write because they have something to say and they aren’t quite sure how else to say it. Some want to preserve their legacy.

All those reasons are good and valid. There is no right or wrong reason to writing a book. Honestly it doesn’t matter why you are writing the book. Whatever the reason is though will shape how you write, how you organize it and what you will ultimately say in it. That is why I believe that is a crucial step in the beginning process of writing. It doesn’t mean that you are locked into only one “why” or “outcome,” but it makes much more focused writing if you do. It tends to flow much easier and there is less writer’s block, if the why is something that you can continually draw from.

Perfect example of why this is important happened this past weekend at a Pop Up Book Shoppe I was hosting. A Pop Up Book Shoppe by The Zebra Inknew author came in and was telling me how she just finished writing her book, and she needed information about how to get it published and marketed. That wasn’t a problem, I could certainly help her with that. I began to ask her questions, and she was sharing details about content and format. She had written a monster book – nearly 500 hundred pages complete with art. That is going to be a hard sell to any audience, so I asked her why she wrote the book and what she wanted the audience to get out of it. She stared back at me with glossy eyes and replied, “I don’t know. I never even thought about it.”

It is not impossible to back track since the book is finished to organize it a little differently – picking out certain themes to create a few smaller books for a series, instead of one large edition. There will be a lot of editing work that needs to be completed. Not because the writing is poor, but had she had an outcome in mind for the reader, she could have written it in a way that supported that.  Essentially it might have made her life easier having that why in place as she began.

If you are thinking about writing, I strongly suggest you have a heart to heart with yourself to find out why you are writing, and what you want the outcome for the reader to be. That will shape the writing and help it to flow better. If you aren’t sure at its inception, keep working on it. It might take a little time to clarify it and it is worth devoting the time to it.

Write on ~


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