THE FIVE REASONS TO WRITE A BOOK
I am getting positively giddy with excitement about teaching at the Las Vegas Writing Conference next month, with sessions on how to revise according to the Book Architecture Method and how to generate a full first draft.
In thinking about both sessions I have been reminded once again that writing is a complex. There is more than one reason to write a book – in fact, I think we each havefive. And to help the world may be on the list. But chances are it isn’t number one.
I know one author where 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 am working on now (How Plot Works). Forgive me if any of these sound immodest or crazy. But that’s what writers do, right?
1. Because there are writers out there that really care about what I have to say. (They told me. They capitalized WE CARE.)
2. Marketing my business. (Need some work?)
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 Plan. (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 question. 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.”
You don’t need all five for every writing session – one will do. I just think it’s important to have some idea why we’re doing what we’re doing. 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.