So you want to write a book


You have made an excellent decision which will generate almost no income, leave you without more letters to attach to the end of your name, and will take up hours upon hours of your valuable spare time.

listenladyribbonAll depressing facts aside, there are many good things about writing a book. First of all, and most importantly, writing a book will force your to think through your opinions very carefully, consider the pros and cons of your arguments, and address all the points that you normally avoid because they simply get your goat. Writing a book helps you clarify your thoughts and discover what you do and don’t know. It’s a great learning tool that can’t be replaced by reading blogs or taking a class.

A nice bonus to writing a book is that it helps you improve your writing skills. I, for one, did not realize there were a few words that I overused like some people overuse ‘um’ when they’re talking. I just have a terrible habit of just inserting the word just every time it just seems like the right place to just insert the word. I also seem to really overuse words that really don’t need an extra word to really make the point. Really, truly, completely, totally,  terribly, and other similar ly words don’t make your point more precise. They make your point longer. After reading a few books on how to write a book, I was able to spot many weaknesses in my writing. And I keep finding them. And improving my writing.

Finally, writing a book gives you a great sense of accomplishment. You can hold the finished product in your hands at the end of the day and know that you did that. And that’s pretty cool.

So back to depressing part. If you want to write a book, be prepared to spend hundreds of hours at your laptop while other people are biking and hiking and skiing and playing hockey. Be prepared to write even when you have a massive case of writer’s block. Be prepared for people to ask are you done yet after you deleted ten pages of horrid garbage.

The depressing part is what made me dump the formal text book style of my book and start over again with what would eventually become The Listen Lady novel. It was definitely a non-standard choice and I figured if my book was boring me, it would certainly bore everyone else. So as you sit down and decide that now is the right time for you to write a book, consider this.

It doesn’t HAVE to be a text book. It doesn’t HAVE to be 400 pages long. It doesn’t HAVE to be written with formal language. If your book is 10 chapters and 100 examples of behavioural economics, then so be it. If your book is a 50 page sonnet about mobile research, then so be it. You need to love your book and if that means you write a non-standard book, then so be it.

I did. It makes a great gift for any research on your shopping list. 🙂


2 responses

  1. Just can’t wait for your truly fine next book. Are you getting close to finishing it?
    Seriously, I enjoyed the book and found it to be entertaining, informative and I’ve loaned my copy several times and heard the same thing. It was inspiring. Since I have no talent for writing whatsoever, I can always remember that you took a potentially dry topic and made it fun to read. Keep it up.

    1. That’s awfully kind of you, thank you!

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