Why are you writing your book?
Is your Big Idea for your book setting your heart on fire? Do you feel butterflies when you think about creating it?
I’m asking because your WHY is important.
Not in an airy-fairy woo-woo way (or not just that)—but because it’s useful in a real-world get shit done way.
Let’s start with the woo-stuff though.
“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”
Friedrich Nietzsche said that, and Viktor Frankl quoted him after he survived the Nazi concentration camps.
I’m obviously not comparing writing a book to that kind of horror… the quote is relevant, though, nonetheless.
Writing a book is HARD, friend. It is. There will be moments when you want to just not do it any more. And there will be moments of great joy, as well.
It’s a ride down the rapids, for sure—and if you don’t have a strong reason to do it, you will struggle to ride those rapids to the end.
So there’s that.
But there’s also a practical reason. Once you figure out why—really why—you’re writing this book, it’ll help you get super clear on your Big Idea and get you started on the structure, the Reader Journey, and the point of the whole thing.
So lemme ask you again: why are you writing? You should be pee-your-pants excited about it, with words tumbling out to explain your reasoning. Doesn’t matter if they’re not coherent right now—allow your thoughts and enthusiasm to run away.
Also if you’re not pee-your-pants excited about it right this minute, try this exercise anyway because I find that many writers—myself included—get more excited about our books the more we explain why we’re writing them and what they’re about.
WHY ARE YOU WRITING THIS BOOK?
Get to the core truth of it.
When I work with private clients, we spend a chunk of time right at the start on this and I hammer away to find out what’s really driving them.
The first answers I get are vague and surface level—it’s a good idea; I’ve always wanted to write a book; people tell me I should write a book; it’ll help people…
All that is fine and true but it’s not the deep reason. It’s not enough.
🤔 WHY is it a good idea?
🤔 WHY have you always wanted to write a book?
🤔 Don’t do it just because someone else has said so… do YOU want to?
🤔 And WHY will it help people?
🤔 Why will the world be better with your book in it?
❤️🔥 What’s the Big Idea you need to share—and why is it setting your heart on fire?
Yeah yeah I know, I sound like an annoying toddler asking why why why is the sky blue mummy? But it’s important.
Keep digging down until finally the reasons pour out of you.
Then consider this: if your Big Idea is not setting your heart on fire, is it worth it? I dunno. Only you can answer that.
Sit down and scribble out your reasons for writing this book.
❓ Why this book? Why now? Why you?
❓ What if you don’t write it?
❓ What if you DO?
No half-assing this; no surface level nonsense. Dig deep. Because if you don’t have a strong why for your book you will
a) struggle to stay the distance and
b) it will show in your writing
Grab a big old spoon and dig deep into your brain and find the truth about why you’re writing your book.
This is how you get clarity on your Big Book Idea.
This is how you figure out where your book’s going and what it’ll do for your readers.
Go. Answer my questions. Dig deep until you feel ragey at me for poking you with my whys.
Your WHY is one of the things we dig deep into during a Book Breakthrough Session, in which we get really clear on why you’re writing your book, the Reader Journey, your core message, and your outline. You leave knowing exactly what to do next—and what to keep doing every day after that.
Find out more here:
Or book a call with me here and we’ll talk.
Notes in the Margin
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