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What's your motivation for writing?


I’ve already talked about why writing a business book is a great idea, as it creates the ultimate showcase for your expertise.

OK, so what’s going to drive you to write it?

You want to get across “your expertise”, which can cover all sorts of areas. To help to drive you on to write a whole book it helps if you can develop a key idea around your area of expertise, to give it a theme and a focus.

It’s not essential that you come up with a Big Idea as your central motif for your book, as these are very hard to hit upon. And if you google it, you’ll probably find that someone else has already had that idea and talked about it.

What you do need to identify is your central motivation for writing your book.

Please don’t come up with “making money” as your number one point. Here’s the brutal truth - publishing a business book is very unlikely in itself to make you significant amounts of money, let alone make you rich. Writing ANY sort of book is unlikely to make your wealthy – the number of authors who make a living out of writing is vanishingly small. And in the relatively niche world of business books, the volumes you are likely to shift… well, put it this way, don’t plan your pension around your writing career.

The fact is, you’ll be doing well if you cover your costs and break even. But you will have been on an incredibly fulfilling journey during the writing process and you will end up with the most powerful marketing tool for the whole of your business: a published book.

So, that in itself can be your motivation. In another blog I talk about making the most of your book as a marketing tool.

However, that on its own probably won’t get you making all the sacrifices needed to squeeze in writing a book around all your other work and life commitments.

You need to WANT to write about something. There needs to be a burning reason why you want to get your ideas down on paper. You’ve got some important information, ideas, techniques, concepts, hints and tips, hacks, whatever, that you really want to share with people. Something you've not quite come across in any other book. For sure, your book can be influenced by other books you've read about your world and about your area of expertise. And you can quote other people's work, as long as this is always given a detailed and accurate attribution. The taint of plagiarism is the best way to kill any authority your book has, stone dead. Worse than that, you then acquire an unwanted reputation as an untrustworthy person - you're then in a far worse position than never having written your book in the first place. In extreme situations, you may even end up in court!

Your interpretation of someone else's ideas and methods - fine. Documenting your experiences as a business coach (for example) of putting other people's techniques into practice - also fine.

Identify the issue, cause or purpose that your book will have.  Even pin this up as a note near your PC, and use it as a constant reminder to keep you on track and keep you motivation.

Then start writing.