The reward for writing your book

Are you an aspiring author? A lot of us harbour dreams of writing a book, whether it be a novel, an autobiography or a ‘how to’ guide. But are you aware of your underlying motivation to write? Of course it would be brilliant to publish a bestseller and make an instant fortune, but that fantasy is probably not going to become a reality for most of us.

Even successful authors would argue they’re not doing it for the money. Tim Ellis has a book that’s in the Amazon top 100 before it’s even come out (!) and still says that he’s writing for other rewards. In a fascinating interview with Darren Rowse at Problogger (worth checking it out) he says:

NOTE TO ASPIRING AUTHORS: writing books is not a good way to make money. The benefits are huge, but not often financial.

In similar vein ‘HeyMarci” reminds us to think hard about the reason for writing our book at a time when information is so easily available from other sources. It might be to raise your profile for example, or to raise awareness of a different way of working or thinking - reasons that are just as valid as making a fortune or hitting the bestseller lists. It will also help you appreciate your achievement once the book’s on the shelves. As she says:

If you don’t know what you want to accomplish with your book, it’s awfully hard to know if you’ve succeeded

I couldn’t agree more. I hate to think how many hours I spent researching and writing my book of ‘Short Walks on Skye’ compared to the tiny financial rewards. But it is deeply satisfying to have had a book published and to have achieved my core objective: to share some of the magic of Skye and to inspire less confident walkers to explore those magical places for themselves. It’s also given me the taste for writing a published book and I will do it again but with my eyes wide open as to the time it will take compared to the ‘rewards’ it might bring.

So, over to you… if you’re hoping to get a book published do you know what you’re writing for? And if you’ve already got a book (or books) out there, did it bring you the benefits you were hoping for?

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