Have you ever been tempted to write a book?
Maybe you’ve lived such a full and exciting life, that you want others to know about it.
Or something happened and you feel like you need to get your own side out.. for posterity’s sake. Or you have a fiction story you believe others would enjoy reading.
Perhaps you’ve seen others do it, so you think, “How hard can it be to write a book?”
Or someone else has suggested you write a book.
The truth is that even if it seems like many people are doing it, just like with many things, being able to physically write a book doesn’t mean you should actually do it.
Maybe, you’ve been holding back for this very reason.
Or perhaps because thinking about what it might entail, gets you overwhelmed.
And you really don’t know if you should add write a book to the (long?) list of things you’re already doing.
You’re why I wrote this blog post. Because by the time you get to the end of this page, you’ll be better equipped to decide for yourself if you should write a book or not.
Read on for four simple reasons why (not).
1) You should not write a book because someone tells you to
If you’ve lived any amount of time in this world, you’ll agree that people have a way of flattering others.
And that such flattery can boost your ego to the point where you go and do what you ordinarily wouldn’t do – especially when you are not equipped to do that thing.
Whether it’s because you’ve written a post on social media.
Or the people around you are used to you writing stories on scrap pieces of paper.
The temptation to listen and take them very seriously when they say “You should write a book” is very real.
Because just like with anything that’s worth doing well, you should have a stronger reason to write a book than my friend/Facebook followers/boo said I should.
2) You should not write a book if you don’t know or care about the difference between “getting your own side of the story out” and “getting revenge”
Because you might actually end up on the wrong side of a lawsuit.
Defamation is a very serious thing. When information has gone out, there’s nothing you can do to retract it.
But there’s a lot that someone else can do to make you pay for it (legally and otherwise).
And if a judge rules that you can’t sell any more books because something you wrote is deemed defamatory, but you’ve already had copies printed, think of the expense and trouble you’ll have to go to recall and destroy copies you haven’t sold.
And that’s after how much you’ve spent on getting the book published and printed.
There are ways to get your story out without opening yourself up to bankruptcy by way of a lawsuit. Or worse.
3) You should write a book if you have a story to tell
My second book is a collection of fiction short stories, one of which is based on something that happened shortly after I relocated from London to Abuja.
And if you’ve got a story to tell, whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, it’s OK for you to write a book.
Just know that the process of writing a book might change your entire life.
4) You should write a book if you have a message that resonates with someone
Whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, you have no idea how deeply you can affect someone or how much you change their life if they see a message that resonates with them in your book.
People read fiction books for enjoyment (or escapism) and look to nonfiction books for solutions. But they’re drawn to certain books for a reason.
They’re looking for something that speaks to them.
While it’s not my true life story, the message in my first feature-length novel resonated with some readers so much so, that some privately messaged me to say reading it had saved their lives.
If you write a book with a message that resonates with someone, and it’s a message you consistently put out, your name could become synonymous with that thing.
Meaning it could become the basis of your personal brand, which will attract loads of (lifelong) fans over time, if you’re consistent with it.
There’s a reason that when I write as Chioma Nnani, it’s multicultural fiction for women aged 18+ who want to be strong, independent and fulfilled.
So, think about this when you want to write a book; do you have a strong message that resonates with others? That could be a good enough reason for you to write a book.
Now that you’ve seen two reasons you should write a book and two reasons you shouldn’t, let us know what you think in the comments section below.