It was the first time I overheard someone whisper “he’s the author”, as I walked into a book signing, that I suddenly realized that I had achieved something very special. Not only had I managed to get my book published, I now received respect and admiration from total strangers. Being a writer even in today’s digitized world is still an awe-inspiring accomplishment.
In USA TODAY reported eighty-two percent of Americans say they plan to write a book someday. I think the critical word here is ‘plan’. If you want to be someone who really does write a book, you can begin right now by understanding how being an author will improve your life.
Here is my top ten list why you should become an author today, especially if you are a spirituality, self-help or personal growth expert:
1. Authors are recognized as experts by virtue of having a book with their name on the cover.
2. The media loves authors (i.e. experts) and uses them often, on all levels.
3. Being an author improves your chances of getting paid speaking engagements.
4. While you may not become a millionaire by writing a book, you can certainly improve your chances of increasing your income.
5. When you go to your high school reunion, you can finally shove your book under the noses of all who snubbed you in your teenage years.
6. If you ever felt that you weren’t ‘smart enough’, writing a book will certainly go a long way in curing that.
7. Being an author gives you a stronger sense of self-esteem.
8. Your book will open doors and create business opportunities you wouldn’t have received without it.
9. Having a book gives you a platform for teaching workshops and seminars.
10. Being an author is a great icebreaker at cocktail parties. (Hint: authors are often considered VIPs or celebrities! It’s true!)
When I started writing my first book, it wasn’t because I was sure I wanted Bill O’Reilly’s producer to have my name in his Rolodex to call whenever he needed a ‘mystical’ New Age expert. (In fac,t I’m not sure I’ve ever wanted that at all!) I didn’t devote hundreds of hours to stories of couples finding one another through magical, mystical ways just to impress strangers at a cocktail party. And I can definitely tell you I didn’t write six books just to tell my old high school classmates about it.
I wrote because I had to. I had a story inside of me that wouldn’t rest until I put it onto the page. The benefits of actually finishing the book and becoming a bona fide author and the other “reasons” were simply an afterthought.
I can do everything short of putting a cattle prod under you to get you started on writing your self-help book, but, at the end of the day, writing has to be something you want to do. Sure, it’s hard to sit down day after day and stare at a blank computer screen. I know how hard it is to tell your mom or your husband that you only typed two pages in an entire day. I can tell you hundreds of great things about being an author, but not a single one will really get you to the finish line.
What will get you down the home stretch is the satisfaction of knowing that you’re being true to yourself. You dreamt of becoming an author because you had to. You envisioned title ideas and chapter outlines because they came to you and wouldn’t go away. You told your friends you wanted to write a book because you could and you will.
You are an author, and you always have been. All you need to do now is make it happen. It might not be scintillating cocktail banter that puts a finished manuscript in your hands, but keeping your eyes on the prize can’t hurt.
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