You won’t become a successful author just because you enjoy writing. Becoming an author takes consistent effort as well as a passion for writing, a keen interest in your topic, and a burning desire to impact the lives of others—your readers. In fact, if you keep your future readers in the forefront of your mind, they will help to keep your writing on track.
Let me explain.
Get that Book Written
I can’t tell you how many half-finished books reside in my laptop folders. And I know I’m not alone in this. How many want-to-be authors have you spoken to who have been tinkering with their book project for years?
To maintain the motivation to slog through the research, drafts, editing, and proofreading phases, you need a strong belief that your book will make a difference. Your book will become a forgotten file buried in a computer folder if this element is missing.
Keep in mind that your motivation is the difference between a nice-to-have goal and something you feel compelled to see through to the end. Your book project needs to be something you wholeheartedly believe in, and this belief propels you towards publication.
You can’t have any doubts about your desire to write a book. You have to be all-in—committed with all your heart.
Even if your focus on getting the book finished might border on obsession, that alone isn’t enough. You also must feel obligated to finish. But obligated to who?
The Role of Necessity
The idea of writing a book is motivating, but motivation won’t get you to “The End.” More people would keep their commitment to themselves and finish their books if it were. In fact, the highest sense of necessity comes from a sense of purpose to inform, educate, or entertain an audience. Knowing your readers’ need and are waiting for your book to go on sale is the single most significant motivating factor.
After all, if you don’t write and publish the book, what then? How will not reading your book negatively impact your readers’ lives? But…if you write and publish it, and they read it, what then? In this case, how will their lives be positively affected?
Feel that necessity! That will keep you writing.
Motivation to Write
For every nonfiction book I’ve written, my drive to complete the project originated from the idea that my words would benefit others—that the book would make a difference. I’ve written in the travel, self-publishing, and dementia-awareness niches, so each book is aimed at a specific audience.
Before I started writing, I defined the benefit my book would provide. In each case, I wanted to stop my readers from going through the same challenges I faced. Avoiding them was benefit enough, I reasoned.
The Need to Help Readers
I could have simply absorbed knowledge and experience for personal use and then moved on to something new. Instead, I spent years writing and rewriting the books I had a burning desire to write. Each book I’ve written has come from a compulsive obsession to learn every nuance about the topic. First, I am driven to understand the why. And then, I’m driven to share what I have learned.
When I was learning about self-publishing so I could publish my first travel guide, I could have just followed the advice I’d read online. But instead, I completed in-depth research to find out why that was the best option to follow, what other options were available, and the ramifications of following a specific course of action.
It was overwhelming, but I couldn’t move on until I’d absorbed the information, simplified it, and felt confident enough to explain it to others. It didn’t take me long to realize that I needed to share this same information with potential readers. I wanted to save them the trouble of doing their own research. I wanted to present the bottom line to help them quickly move onto the next stage in their self-publishing journey.
I’d given up my corporate job to write full time. I’d walked away from an enviable salary and job perks because I felt I just had to write and share my ideas. I thought, “If I don’t do it now, I’ll regret it forever.” I’d half-finished books before, but these were projects I didn’t feel any sense of urgency to complete. I didn’t have that sense that someone—a reader—was eagerly waiting for my book…the one they were searching for and not finding on the bookstore shelf.
So those books languished. But as soon as I identified a project I felt compelled to write—one I knew someone else needed, nothing that could stand in my way.
To embrace your writing project wholeheartedly, you need to clarify why you’re writing the book and who you’re writing it for. Get to a point where you know in your head and heart that your book can make a positive and meaningful impact on your readers’ lives. Then it’s time to start writing because your reasons for doing so are strong enough to help you navigate through any dips in your motivation.
Keep your vision of your future readers in mind as you write your book. Then you’ll feel compelled to complete the project, and you’ll publish a book they feel compelled to read.
Do you focus on your future readers to keep your writing on track? Tell me in a comment below. And please share this post with a friend.
About the Author
Jay Artale abandoned her corporate career to become a digital nomad and full-time writer. She’s an avid blogger and a nonfiction author helping travel writers and travel bloggers achieve their self-publishing goals. Join her at Birds of a Feather Press where she shares tips, advice, and inspiration to writers with an independent spirit.
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