Ever since I can remember, I loved the idea of being a writer.
After all, how cool would it be to create something as epic as The Lord of the Rings, or The Chronicles of Narnia, or Gates of Fire and know that this amazing story came from you?
But time passed and I never did write my great novel...
Sure, I made some half-hearted attempts; a few paragraphs here, a few sketches there...but never anything substantial.
And certainly nothing I would actually "publish."
Fast forward 15 years and I've finally written and self-published my first book (a couple actually), as well as published about a half-dozen books from other amazing artists and authors.
In these past two years since I finally hit the "publish" button on my work (and others), my life has improved dramatically (same for the authors I publish).
Below are the 5 most important reasons I've found for writing - AND publishing - my work...
Reasons that I hope inspire you to do the same.
5 Reasons to Write and Publish Your Work
#1. Become a Sought-After Authority
Before I started my blog or wrote my first book, no one knew my name.
That changed after I started writing and publishing.
As a result of publishing The Complete Guide to Pay What You Want Pricing, I've been interviewed on top-tiered shows like Growthhacker.tv, EntrepreneuronFire.com, and FirepoleMarketing.com.
The reason is simple:
The Complete Guide to Pay What You Want Pricing has given people a reason to consider me an expert on the topic.
Am I an expert on the topic? Because of my book, you could make that argument. Am I a "guru"? Absolutely not. But I probably know more than the average person simply because of my experiments, tests, research, etc...the point is, it's powerful to be considered an authority or expert. It opens doors.
Think about it: if you're looking for help on a topic (Pay What You Want in my case), who do you go to? Probably the subject matter expert, right?
Who is the "subject matter expert"? Probably the person with the book.
You get the idea.
Bottom line: my publishing has allowed me to leverage my authority on the subject to create lucrative consulting gigs, get invitations to speak at conferences and meetups, and improved my credibility when the topic comes up.
#2. Conquer the Imposter
"Impostor syndrome is a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to see their own accomplishments, dismissing them as luck, timing, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be." [Fast Company]
According to Psychology Today, over 70% of people suffer from imposter syndrome (at some point in their lives).
While there are lots of ways to overcome feeling like a fraud, the fastest way is to write and publish your work.
Because it forces you to get over yourself, get outside your own head, and come to grips with reality (that most people probably won't read what you write anyway, so why not do it, right?).
In The War of Art, Steven Pressfield writes about "Resistance" - that nasty thing that keeps us from doing great things in life.
Well imposter syndrome is just one element of "Resistance," all of which can be defeated by the commitment to write (daily) and publish (as soon as you can).
#3. Create Additional Streams of Revenue
In my last year in the Army, I had no idea what I wanted to become after I left.
Lawyer? Wall Street broker? Real Estate Investor?
Because I had no idea, I figured the simplest thing I could do was test out various creative pursuits to see if they were economically feasible. Since I can't program to save my life, I figured writing would be the thing I could legitimately test in the marketplace.
Sure enough, it only took 1 published book to show me what was possible (that people will read my work, and that Pay What You Want pricing works).
Since then, I've written and published more, and scaled that impact dramatically by publishing other peoples work.
Now, with every new book, is another stream of income that will continue into the future (I try to only write and publish "evergreen" content - stuff that doesn't fade over time). Best part is: all of this compounds over time.
So if you're waiting around believing you'll eventually finish and eventually publish. Stop.
Set a ship date and launch in the next 30 days (I dare you).
#4. Build Something That Lasts Forever
This is the reason I do what I do in the long run.
Money fades, success fades, what's cool or hipster or whatever fades.
But good books don't fade.
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius is as applicable today as it was 1,000 years ago.
And through his writing, we get to experience a piece of what he was like. Certainly not the entirety of his personality, but better than nothing.
So when you question your writing, or your ability, or your worth. Stop, and remember:
It's not about you.
#5. We Become What We Do
“Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives - choice, not chance, determines your destiny.” [Aristotle]
In the past two years, since writing and publishing my first book, I've realized something important:
Envisioning myself as the person who has written a bestselling book is a lot different than actually writing one.
Too often we love the idea of being someone or something, but don't embrace what it means to become that person (guilty).
It's nice to envision oneself as a bestselling author.
It's different thing entirely to work every day to become one.
No, it's not easy.
But then again, it's not supposed to be.
The question is: what do you want to become 1 year from now?
And while the answer differs person to person, the next step is always the same:
Started, finished and shipped in Holland, Michigan.
Total writing time: 1:37 hrs
Soundtrack: Kishi Bashi