Who cares if no one ever reads your book? You’re writing it for your own satisfaction, right?
Stop kidding yourself.
Of course you want others to read your book. After all, you’re wrapping up a successful career and gearing up for retirement and your next life adventure. You want to write a book that others will enjoy. But the pressure to write for others and worry about how many people buy your book and whether you make the bestsellers list is just too much.
You just want to get the book out.
You want to write because it’s been on your mind for a decade, or because people keep telling you that you should, or because you’ve invested way too much time growing your company or your reputation to let it all be forgotten when you leave the office that final time.
Let yourself off the hook. Lessen the pressure to become the next bestselling author. Write for yourself first. Why?
It’s your dream
You have goals and dreams for a reason. If one of yours is to write a book, you need to honor it. Until now, you’ve probably been stuck on the how or the how much, or maybe even the when and the what. But from here on out, just focus on the doing. Honor yourself, and your dream and just do it, already!
You need to accomplish something new
There’s nothing like doing something you’ve been wanting to do. You know that bucket list you’ve been keeping? I’d bet “Write a book” is somewhere on it. If it’s on your heart and mind to write a book, do it. The feeling of accomplishing a longtime goal is like no other.
You want to leave a legacy
Ever wonder if anyone will remember you when you’re gone? Of course you have. What part of yourself will stand the test of time? A big, fat trust fund is an awesome leave-behind, but once it’s all spent by your grubby descendants, they’ll have nothing else to remember you by. With your memoir, however, they’ll know the person you are, what mattered to you, and what life lessons shaped you. For those you’ve met in your career, why not pen a motivational or instructional book to share the processes, personal traits, or prideful moments that illustrate how you grew the company or managed to hold onto your integrity despite the many opportunities to lose it.
Writers, including first-time authors, write for themselves first. And you should too. Because if you’re not writing the book for your own satisfaction, to fulfill a goal, or to leave an amazing legacy, the entire process will be a chore and a burden. You’ll procrastinate the entire way, spend too much time and way too much money, and end up with a mediocre product.
Write for yourself first, and keep in mind that others will value what you share when you do so openly, not reluctantly.
Anita R. Henderson is president of The Write Image, LLC and creator of Write Your Life. Her work with professionals and entrepreneurs has resulted in multiple award-winning books and has helped authors grow their media and online visibility, speaker platforms, industry credibility, and overall confidence in their ability to write a compelling, high-quality book and leverage it in their business or career.