Why wouldn’t you write “The Book?”

The Big Dream

According to some experts, 85 – 90% of the adult US population dreams of writing a book. Sadly, only a small percentage actually do.

The dream to write often starts, and ends, in our formative years.

I was in third-grade when the bug to become a writer hit. Mrs. Brown’s instructions were very loose. “Write about anything you want,” was about the extent of the guidelines.

I decided to write a fiction short story. I loved the process of letting the story of a haunted house unfold from my imagination, ending up on several pages of lined paper.

With great anticipation, the classroom of eight year old kids waited for Mrs. Brown to hand each of us our graded paper.

I beamed with joy when I saw the A++ at the top of the page. I knew right then and there what I wanted to do with my life.

That is, until I ended up in Miss Sasso’s class the following year. When I dared to share my dream of being a writer, my fourth-grade teacher wasted no time telling me why that was an impossibility.

Not only did she berate me, telling me I simply didn’t have the ability to be a writer, she proceeded to express her opinion as to why girls should be realistic about their future.

“You need to learn to type so you can get a job as a secretary,” she bellowed.

Miss Sasso seemed to enjoy watching tears well up in my eyes. The more uncomfortable I became, the more her voice raised, assuring every student within ear shot could hear her.

If humiliating me and wiping out my dream of ever being a writer was her goal, she accomplished this.

Buried, But Not Dead

Yet, the dream never really died. Granted, it took decades before I dared to let the dream bubble to the surface, but once it did, there was no turning back.

It was during a spiritual journey when I was thirty, I would make daily entries into my journal about my travels.

Having hitchhiked from the Bay Area to the West Bank of Israel, I was convinced my daily entries would turn into the next New York Times bestseller. Not only would the book be a favorite of millions of readers, my story would turn into a blockbuster movie.

Neither of those things happened. Why? Because again, I gave up on my dream. Upon my return to the San Francisco bay area, life got in the way. I got caught up with finding work and getting on with life.

Scheduling Writing Time is a Must Do

All of this changed when it became evident that writing needed to be woven into my schedule. It wasn’t simply going to happen. I had to make it happen.

In addition to writing books, I became very accomplished at creating information products. Blogging was another expression of my writing.  I had also submitted hundreds of articles to online directories.

With several books to my name, and many still to be written, I must wonder how many of the 85 – 90% of those who have the dream to write a book had their dream squashed as children.

I also wonder how long they will let the opinion of an adult, who may not realize what they did, stop them from fulfilling a part of their destiny.

The Big Ah Ha!

I was in my mid to late fifties when I realized that not only am I a writer, but I make a good living from writing. It was one of those big “ah ha” light-bulb moments when I realized there are unlimited possibilities for anyone who wants to be a professional writer.

Since that time, I’ve worked with hundreds of men and women who dream of making money from writing books. I not only teach them how to use their books to generate revenues, I consult with them on all a book can do for them.

Whether it be from selling the book through online avenues, at book signings, during a speaking engagement or using the book as a lead generator that leads into making offers of information products, there are countless ways to monetize one’s writing.

Unlike in the past, when a writer had to wait for the blessing from a publisher, today there is not much standing in the way of someone getting a book published.

With the right vision (and guidance) an author can use their book to springboard countless revenue generating opportunities.

It’s one thing to say you’re a writer, it’s something completely different to know you make a living from your writing.

In years past, wearing the label of self-published author was something said under one’s breath. Today, being self-published is widely accepted and approved of.

Add to that the ability to do very strategic book launches, and the possibility for being a profitable author is higher than ever.

Yet, most would-be writers never see their dream become manifest. Why? Because they romance the idea that somehow the book will write itself. Or they wait to be inspired to write. If I had to wait to be inspired, I likely would never have written anywhere near what I have.

For some, they fear no one will buy their book. While others, still hear their very own “Miss Sasso” telling them they will never be a writer.

Truth be told, writing is a discipline as is marketing and selling your books. In addition to discipline, it takes ongoing effort to do what needs to be done to make people aware of your work.

74 Year Old First Time Author Rocks It

Currently, I’m working with an author who recently had her first book published. At 74 years of age, Joan has more passion about sharing her book with audiences both online and off than anyone I’ve ever met. She is willing to put in the time, effort and money to drive to book signings, be interviewed and raise awareness because she believes in what her book is about.

With the energy of someone half her age, Joan’s passion is contagious. And that’s one of the greatest keys to what will likely be a very successful author story; her passion.

While others are still thinking of writing a book, Joan got serious about it. It’s the same with my client Shannon. She is working on a book that will be used to open up consulting opportunities within the corporate environment.

For a long time, Shannon thought about getting the book done, but now she’s completely committed to it.

Not long ago, Shannon and I mapped out a plan based on what opportunities she knows the book will create.

The big thing for both these women is they accepted that if they really want their books to be part of a revenue model, they also have to be thinking about how they will market the book.

Authors Must Know How to Market

Many authors give very little, if any, thought to how they will raise awareness of their book(s). Like the writing of the book, the marketing is something an author needs to take responsibility for.

Not that either has to be the one to do the marketing. There are plenty of people who can work with them to get the word out about their book.

With all that’s available with virtual teams, it’s likely their marketing team will reside in an area other than where the author lives.

The point is, if you want to make money as an author, you can. Will you be a world famous author? Not necessarily, nor do you have to be. You can work within a niche and do incredibly well for yourself.

The main thing is to get started. Carve out the time to write. And if you’re waiting to be inspired, perhaps this will inspire you; there are people who would love to read your work and will gladly buy your books… if they could.

The only way they are going to be able to is for you to sit down and get that book done and then raise awareness about the book. Simply put, raising awareness is marketing.

Hit #1 Webinar (FREE)

Not sure how to market your book? Want to learn to do so from the comfort of your home? Join me for Get Your Book to #1 webinar. I offer the webinar at various times. Click here to register for a time that works best for your schedule.

Register for one of several times. Click here.

 

 

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Comments

  1. Your point about just making the time and doing it is bang on! I’ve written a historical trilogy over the last ten years while many “writers” I met along the way have nothing finished, let alone published. And you’re also right about the need to market, market, market. Great post!

  2. ROXANNE LOPEZ says:

    Recent changes in my life have left me completely starting over and stuck at home until I can get my health issues taken care of and get my health and life back on track again.

    I had been writing a book on/off for almost 20 yrs. Put it aside several times because a single mother of 2 and working 2-3 jobs took up my time and I put MY wants/needs to the side.

    I’ve written for online magazines on/off over the years also. Entered various writing contests, just because. But it has been almost 10 years since I did any serious writing because LIFE took over.

    Now my kids are grown, I’m in my mid 40s and I have nothing BUT TIME. My kids keep urging me “write mom! It’s your passion. NOW you can finally get it all you have”.

    I feel STUCK but keep seeing writing everywhere and have started to ask myself “is this a sign??”

    I’m a spiritual woman and have prayed a lot for guidance on what to do next. My book I’d been working on for 20 yrs is now lost.

    I have managed to find a few chapters in old emails but the book, which was 3/4 done is LOST FOREVER.

    And then I thought, “Maybe this is God’s way of saying START OVER. DO IT BETTER’. But I’ve come to worry if the years of not writing consistently has diluted my talent/skill and have allowed my fears to hold me back.

    This page is the first one of dozens that has not sounded like a sales pitch to me or unrealistic promises with catchy phrases all meant to suck you in then slam you with hundreds of dollars to ‘get tips and help’.

    I am happy, and thankful I happened to come across your website while on my LinkdIn account. GOD guides, I only have to be open to hearing/seeing/receiving. Thank you.

    • Kathleen Gage says:

      Roxanne, it sounds like now is the time for you to get back into your writing. And yes, God works in mysterious ways. Perhaps, with all you have gone through, your perspective is such that what you wrote in the past would no longer reflect your deep truth.

      Wishing you the best on your writing journey.

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