You Can Write Nonfiction

You Can Do This - write nonfictionYou may have many reasons to wonder if you should embark on a career as a nonfiction writer. Maybe you believe you don’t have the talent, the expertise, the knowledge, or the platform to attract readers, agents, or publishers. More simply said, you may think you don’t have what it takes to succeed. The truth is, if you feel called to write nonfiction, you can—and likely should—write nonfiction.

Let me qualify that statement. I usually am the first to say you need all the elements mentioned above—talent, expertise, knowledge, and platform—if you want to create a successful career as a nonfiction writer or author. Yet, I will never tell you not to write nonfiction if you feel called to do so.

If you have the desire to write nonfiction, you can do it. If you feel it is your purpose to serve people by writing beneficial articles, essays and books, you can do it. If you feel it is your purpose or mission to make a positive and meaningful impact in the world with your words, you can do it.

Do You Have the Necessary Attitude?

The one thing you do need to succeed as a nonfiction writer—no matter what— is the right attitude. I call this an Author Attitude, but you can author articles, essays, blog posts, or books. The elements of an Author Attitude include:

  • Willingness
  • Optimism
  • Objectivity
  • Tenacity

You might need to build a platform or improve your writing, for example. But if you have an Author Attitude, this won’t become a problem for you. It just means you have to be willing to take action, have the optimism and objectivity to move through rejections, constructive criticism and hard lessons, and be tenacious enough to keep working at the tasks that help your writing become worthy of being released into the world.

Are You Focused on the Right Things?

You see, all that stops you is your mind. As Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right.” Which thought will you choose?

The biggest stumbling block to becoming a successful nonfiction writer lies between your ears. If you focus your mind on all the reasons (and ways) you can fail, you will fail. If you focus on all the reasons (and ways) you can succeed, you will succeed.

Allow yourself to think about your fears day in and day out, and you will manifest the things you worry about obsessively—even though they previously represented possibilities or potential futures. You will make them realities by placing continuous attention on them and by failing to take action to bring about a different reality or potential future.

Instead, make good choices about what you think about and focus upon. Think about positive possibilities, and focus upon what’s working and what you desire.

Are You Taking Positive and Inspired Action?

Here are two of the most important things you can do right now to become a nonfiction writer or author:

  1. Close your eyes; Imagine what it would be like to have your words published in whatever form you desire (blog posts, articles, essays, or books) and making a positive and meaningful impact on the lives of your readers. When you see and feel that potential future, ask yourself this question: What action do I need to take next to make this scenario a reality? And what action do I have to take after that one? Write these two action steps down. (Repeat this exercise once you’ve completed those two action steps, or at any point when you feel the need to re-inspire yourself and or to discover more inspired action steps.)
  2. Write nonfiction now. Don’t wait. Yes…I recommend knowing your market and studying your competition, but if you are feeling insecure, not good enough, or stuck, get the creative energy flowing right away. Beginning to write in some form about your topic will accomplish this goal. You don’t have to write your “big book” or your “long article.” Start with an essay or a blog post or a short piece for some magazine. Then do the leg work—the market and competitive analysis and hone the idea of your larger projects. The idea is simple: Get words on paper (or screen) so you feel more confident and energetic.
Are You Supporting Yourself?

Many of us are given negative messages as children or even as young adults. We then carry these limiting beliefs with us like old computer programs. The messages deter us from pursuing our dreams and goals. Such experiences can cause you to tell yourself:

  • I’m not good enough.
  • I have nothing worthwhile to say or to write.
  • No one will want to read what I write.
  • I can’t help anyone or make a positive or meaningful different in the world.
  • I’m not an expert.
  • I’m not important enough to be a change agent.
  • I’m not a good writer.

It’s time to reprogram yourself—to reprogram the computer called your mind. Tell yourself, or affirm, that you are good enough, smart enough, experienced enough, skilled enough, creative enough… This is how you support yourself in the manner you wished someone would have supported you as you were growing up. Tell yourself you can do it. Tell yourself you are good enough to become a nonfiction writer and have an important message that deserves to be shared.

Because you are and you do.

If necessary, you can become better, smarter, more experienced, more skilled, and more creative.

You can do this. You can write nonfiction now. Start today.

If you feel you need support, find a writing buddy, accountability partner or coach. Click here or here so I can support you in becoming a nonfiction writer sooner rather than later.

Photo courtesy of iqoncept.

Why You Should Write Nonfiction Now…or Any Time

agents of change

The majority of writers want to become novelists. Why should you choose to write nonfiction instead? You write nonfiction because you want to make a positive and meaningful difference in readers’ lives. Nonfiction allows you to help people—to inspire them, to give them answers, to solve their problems, and to ease their pain. When you […]

Continue reading...

Write About What You Know: Nonfiction Writing Prompt #40

you are an expert

Everyone knows something about something. Maybe you know something about your life or your work. Maybe you know something about your hobby. If you write about what you know—no matter the topic—you become an expert. That’s the awesome thing about being a nonfiction writer. This month’s nonfiction writing prompt revolves around this basic premise: You […]

Continue reading...

The New SMART Goals You Need to Succeed as a Writer

Writers can succeed with goal setting

The most successful people in almost every industry use goals as the roadmap to help them reach their desired destination. It’s no different for writers. If you want to produce a successful article, essay, book, or career, you need to set goals. Setting goals before the New Year or in January is a great idea. […]

Continue reading...

Before You Start to Write Your Memoir

Memoir Network Series

Writing a memoir, which is a full-length book after all, is not going to be easy. You know—or, at least, suspect—that it will take a lot of time and, ultimately, a lot of sacrifice. But, it is not more difficult than you can tackle—if the task is right for you. Are you ready? Should you […]

Continue reading...

2 Ways to Test Market Your Book Idea with a Blog


I once heard Ellen Archer, president and publisher of Hyperion Books, say the advent of blogs provided publishers for the first time with a way to test market potential books. In other words, a successful blog equals a successfully test marketed book idea. Why? Publishers consider loyal blog readers and subscribers potential buyers of a […]

Continue reading...

Must-Have iPhone Apps for Authors and Writers


Today, book publicist Scott Lorenz of Westwind Communications lists must-have iPhone apps for authors and writers. As a modern day writer, you’ve learned when and where you write best. Rarely, I’m sure, does inspiration strike when you’re seated at your desk in front of your computer at 9:00 am. More likely, you’re inspired while you’re […]

Continue reading...

10 Ways to Test Market Your Book Idea

how to test your book ideas

Even if you spend time evaluating your book idea prior to writing and publishing it, you still may lack certainty about its ability to sell once released in the marketplace. If you approach your book as an entrepreneur would approach any new product under consideration and development you can gain additional information. That means employing […]

Continue reading...

10 More Ways to Become a High-Performance Writer

become a high-performance writer to produce more content

The majority of aspiring authors don’t have a strong enough desire to achieve this status. This results in lack of action to manifest their dream of writing and publishing a book. That’s why, while 81 percent of the U.S. population wants to write a book, only two percent of those very same people accomplish that […]

Continue reading...

Evaluate Your Progress: Nonfiction Writing Prompt #39

Time Flies - Plane and Clock

It seems like just yesterday I composed my list of goals and wrote a vision for 2015. Now the end of January has arrived. It feels like the month flew by! It’s time for an honest evaluation of my progress: Have I made strides toward achieving my goals? That’s the focus of this writing prompt. […]

Continue reading...

What Not to Do When Working with an Editor


No matter how you publish, you need to turn your work over to an editor. If you traditionally publish, the publisher typically provides editors. (Yes, more than one.) If you self-publish, you must hire a similar team of editors. Doing so ensures you produce a book that stands up to industry standards, which means your […]

Continue reading...

Bestseller Status is Not About Book Sales

why become a bestselling author

Lately, I’ve been writing a lot about how to write bestsellers and how to create a career as a bestselling author. I don’t want you to think, however, that becoming a bestselling author is all about money. Of course, for publishers (even indie publishers), success is equivalent to sales, which means money. But not every […]

Continue reading...