You Might Not Have a Book Inside You

You might not be a writer.

You might not have a book inside you.

Am I being mean? I don’t think so.

I think the people who tell you that you’re destined to write and publish a book—without knowing you from Adam—are the mean ones.

They make assumptions about you.

They make it sound easy.

They hold out false hopes.

They gloss over the sheer amount of brain-warping work that it takes to write a book and get published. This is true whether or not you self-publish. (Actually, it takes more work if you self-publish.)

It is also possible that you are destined to write and publish a book. But how can anybody know that until they sit down with you, talk to you, listen hard, read your stuff, coach you through multiple drafts, and get a sense of what you can deliver?

We don’t hear people saying that everyone is a musician and has a symphony inside them. We don’t hear people saying that everyone is an artist and has a painting inside them. So why do we tolerate those who say that everybody is a writer and has a book inside them?

Today there are legions of people who will tell you how to write a book proposal and find an agent—or how to self-publish. Some are legit. Others are scammers.

So, keep your crap detector handy. Beware of those who promise up front that:

  • You have an original voice.
  • You have a unique message that the world is waiting to hear—one that will inspire and help thousands of people.
  • You can write your manuscript in 12 weeks.
  • You can get a six-figure book deal from one of the big six five publishers.
  • You can get national media exposure.
  • You can use a book to launch a lucrative career as a speaker and consultant.

Any of those things might be true. But then again, they might not be true. In fact, the latter is more likely to be the case.

Through the process of writing, you might even discover that you have nothing to say. At least not yet.

That message is getting lost. And, it’s one we all need to hear.