Many people talk about wanting to write a book “someday,” but few progress beyond that point. Anyone who has written a novel knows the enormous effort – both physical and mental – that goes into finishing a book, and here are seven reasons you can feel proud of your own efforts.
• You will accomplish something few people ever will. Writing a book is up there with running a marathon, travelling the world and other someday-but-not-today long term projects that people talk about but not many actually attempt or manage to complete. You will show that you know how to take your dreams and turn them into reality, and you don’t let the hard work and struggle along the way discourage you. A big accomplishment like writing a book makes other big goals more achievable for you. Once you know you can write a book, what’s stopping you from conquering the rest of the world?
• You will develop and demonstrate great skills in time management, self-motivation, planning and goal-setting. You need time management in order to carve out the hours in your already-busy life to write the book. You need self-motivation to keep going when you are discouraged and there is little outside motivation for the hard work you’re doing. You need planning in order to organise your ideas into a plot and chapters and goal-setting so that you know how much work you need to do each day or each week in order to reach your final goal of completing the book. These are all amazing traits. People spend a lifetime struggling to develop them; they read books, go to seminars and set up system after system designed to encourage them. When you write a book, you jump in with both feet and improve those skills as you go along. You can take those skills into every other area of your life and use them in those areas as well.
• You will discover a great deal about yourself. Writing can be a great sort of therapy even if the writing that you do is not about you at all. First, you will learn a lot about how persistent you can be and your strengths and weaknesses in handling long-term goals. Doing any kind of creative work will reveal a great deal more about yourself as well. In writing a book, you may – like your characters – confront some of your own deepest fears and desires. We often end up writing about our obsessions and preoccupations even when we don’t realise that’s what we are doing until later. Writing a book will open you up to a part of yourself you may have been neglecting or may never even have been acquainted with in the first place. The more you know about yourself, the more authentic a life you can lead, and that will definitely make you a champion.
• You will demonstrate to yourself and others that you can do anything when you put your mind to it. Writing a book is hard. This is said not to discourage you but to cheer you on. It may be hard, but it is worth doing. Hopefully you will be surrounded by people in your life who encourage you, but even if you aren’t, or even if there are only a few nay-sayers, you can show them that you are capable of great things when you want them badly enough. More importantly, you can show yourself that as well.
• You will be working in a great tradition. People have been telling stories for as long as we have been human and writing them down for thousands of years. In writing a book, you are making yourself a part of that tradition. It doesn’t even matter whether you send your book out to publishers and land a huge deal, publish through a modest small press, self-publish or put the novel away in a drawer once you are finished with it. You have made yourself a part of that storytelling tradition that probably began with the earliest human speech and was passed on orally until people began carving stories into stone and setting them down in papyrus. Across every civilisation through every epoch of time, people have told one another stories, and now you are one of those people.
• You will have conquered a great intellectual challenge. Writing a book isn’t just about the heart; it’s about the head as well. Great writers have come from every sort of educational background, and it certainly is not necessary to have any sort of formal education in order to write amazing books. However, writing those books will strengthen those intellectual muscles in every way. You’ll be dealing with big-picture issues like your overall plot, story arc, and structure and character development as well as smaller issues like brushing up on your grammar and your vocabulary. You’ll learn to appreciate the language you’ve been using all your life in a way you never have before. Even if your novel is set in a time and place that is very familiar to you, you’ll hone your research skills whether it is teaching yourself what a dangling modifier is and how to avoid it or mapping the streets of your protagonist’s home town. Writing a book is an enormous mental challenge, and conquering it is a great accomplishment.
• You might just change your life. Whether through increased self-knowledge or literary superstardom, you won’t be the same person on the other side of finishing the book that you were when you began. Anyone who sets out to write a book has no real way of knowing if they have what it takes to go the distance. Knowing that you are one of the few who is able to do that will give you confidence in every other area of your life.
Writing a book is one of the most difficult and exhilarating things that you will do in your life. Whatever becomes of the book after that point, you have done something that almost no one else has, and you should congratulate yourself.
In what way do you think the accomplishment of finishing a novel makes a person a champion?
Here are some great reasons to finish your book now!