Writing can be such an exhausting, terrifying experience that even some of our most famous authors have bared their tortured souls, as evidenced in Jory Mackay’s blog “Dear Writing, I Hate You: Lessons From 7 Authors Who Hated Their Job.” He cleverly uses the likes of Franz Kafka and Flannery O’Connor to lend support group-type therapy to fellow tortured scribes.
Putting words on the page is hard, and today, everyone knows this pain all too well. Regular people now join isolated writers who used to sit all alone with blank pages. Now we have company because everyone is trying to compose the perfect email or Tweet. The written word has become our main communication tool.
It’s freeing to get words out of your head and on to a page, so satisfying that it is prompting people to write more, not less, despite its difficult nature. Indie authors now earn 40 percent of the all e-book sales and take significant market shares in all genres, according to Publishers Weekly.
But book sales are not the main reason people are writing books; that’s just a side effect of doing many things right. There are as many reasons people write as there are topics to cover and ways to publish.
- Writing a book is good for business. A recent study indicated 96 percent of authors said writing a book had a positive impact on their business and recommended doing it.
- Writing is psychologically satisfying. An article in Entrepreneur outlines the happiness and satisfaction benefits that come from writing.
- Writing a book is badass. An article in Writer’s Digest says it’s precisely so because actually finishing a book is hard. People who succeed are still among the minority of all people who have such lofty a goal as writing a book.
- Writing a book is something you’ll never regret. An article in Elite Daily actually recommends that everyone write a book fast—before they turn 30. It’s never too late, and it’s never too soon, to establish your expertise and stamp your authenticity on the world.
Regardless of what you write, there’s a satisfaction you’ll get that is different from any other accomplishment you’ll achieve. The hardest part is starting—and that begins with first believing you have something relevant to say.
The best way to get past that feeling of “everything has already been said, why bother” syndrome, is just write for the process of it. Pretend you’re writing just to clear your head, with no intention of doing anything other than deleting the document when you’re through.
Just get comfortable with the blank page and filling it with words and sentences that make sense. Do that for a few weeks until it feels comfortable, and before you know it, you’ll start to develop a writer’s “voice” that feels familiar and you’ll be on your way to becoming an author.