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The Five Reasons to Write a Book

There are always five reasons to write a book. And to help the world may be on the list. But chances are it isn’t number one.

I know one author for whom helping the world really is number one on his list. For the rest of us mixed-up mortals, I think contemplating our five reasons is a healthy exercise.

Here are my five reasons for writing the book I just released, Finish Your Book in Three Drafts: How to Write a Book, Revise a Book, and Complete a Book While You Still Love It. Forgive me if any of these sound immodest or crazy. I feel comfortable opening myself up to you for some reason:

  1. Because there are writers out there who really care about what I have to say. (They told me. They capitalized WE CARE.)
  2. Marketing my business. (Need some help?)
  3. Exercising my genius. (With a little ‘g’ – don’t get excited. We all have one, substitute ‘higher self’ or ‘voice’ here.)
  4. To have fun. (Finally.)
  5. Because it belongs to the grand unfolding plan of my life. (Now how do you know that?)

What are your five reasons for writing the book you are writing now? Not what are the five reasons you’re not writing your book right now, that’s a different blog. And not five bad ones either. “So my parents will finally understand,” and “as a way of escaping my present life” are two that I had to grow out of, for example.

I asked my friend Windy about her five and she gave some great ones: it gave her an excuse to travel, she wanted to see if she could do it, and my favorite one: “I want to follow the idea that was sparked that day at the museum.”

Write them down and keep them close for the times when you lose your momentum. You don’t need all five for every writing session – one will do. I just think it’s important to have some idea why you’re doing what you’re doing. I guess that goes for life in general. It can be useful in case you encounter obstacles, rejection, or misunderstanding. Why am I doing this again?

Five good ones total so you’ll know for sure – in this very subjective, relative endeavor – whether what you’ve done is as good as it gets.


Comments (3)

  1. Kimberly Gray says:

    I had never really thought of this before, but I’m working on my list now. I hear many of my writer friends say things such as they just want to get published or that they will write a certain type of book because that’s what is selling now. This was an excellent post and has really got me thinking. Thanks!

    1. Stuart Horwitz says:

      Sounds great, Kimberly — we will be anxiously awaiting your five reasons! 🙂

  2. Mary Sutton says:

    1. Because I have all these voices in my head and writing what they say is cheaper than therapy.

    2. Because when I’m writing, I feel like I’m doing the “one thing” the universe put me on this earth to do.

    3. Writing let’s me explore the person I wish I could be through the people on the page.

    4. People enjoy what I write.

    Stil working on #5 (and these are not ranked, btw).

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