Is this you?
You are a thoughtful, engaged person busy with your career or on the cusp of a new role as a business, community, or family elder. Whether you think of yourself as a writer or not, the idea of writing a book keeps recurring as something you need to do. Do you see yourself in these scenarios?
- Like me, you may have a few gray hairs that go along with your experience, accomplishments, and wisdom about your life, your profession, and your avocations. You may be pondering the legacy you’ll leave behind. And a book seems to be the answer.
- Or you may be like me a decade ago, looking for a way to share your knowledge, help others, strengthen your professional stature, or enjoy the creative process. And a book seems to be the answer.
- You may be approaching or well into your retirement years—though for you, retirement means a shift to a new career or passion, not the end of living a meaningful life. You care about your emerging role as a family, business, or community elder, a wise one, a mentor. And a book seems to be the answer.
- Or perhaps you repeatedly hear from your business coach or experts at business development seminars that you need a book. You’re told, “A book is the new business card” and “everyone needs a lead generation book today.” A book seems to be the answer.
If this is you . . . you’re in good company.
Whether you’re writing to enhance your professional stature or to share stories with your family, you’re in good company. Imagine! Eighty-six percent of Americans say they want to write a book! Thousands of baby boomers and pre-boomers are writing books today. Given the widespread availability of publishing technology, it’s become a popular undertaking—as evidenced by Amazon listing more than 200,000 new titles every single month!
Books, of course, range in quality from exceptional to, let’s say, unfortunate.
If quality matters to you, you’ll find aligned guidance in this book. Its purpose is to help you consciously choose to become an exceptional author of a quality book published in a professional manner. You can be deemed exceptional even if you write only one small book with quality built into its content and production.
Whether as a collection of family stories or compendium of wisdom, our life lessons want to be transmitted to others. Oldsters of all types want to share their life stories with family. Late career and retired professionals feel a strong desire to share their knowledge, wisdom, and passions through a book. Entrepreneurs want to educate their potential clients and inspire confidence in their services.
Most of these folks don’t call themselves authors, but they realize the book format is their preferred outlet.
The call to write a book may come as a business decision.
Many professionals realize a book can help them leverage their credibility and expert status, thus aiding in their business development as a high-class business card. These examples reflect a variety of purposes:
- One professional wrote his book to help explain his niched but complex financing projects related to building medical facilities in rural areas. His book—an authoritative-looking hardcover—supplemented his presentations to corporate boards and enhanced his status with potential clients.
- Another wrote a book about management issues in the government contracting industry. After he retired from his long, distinguished career, his book became a textbook in the graduate business program where he’d become a visiting instructor.
- A career coach wrote a book to delineate her process and leveraged it into landing media appearances and larger contracts.
- An osteopathic physician wrote a book about alternative, holistic treatments for drug users. He listed it as the first asset in a new business model for his medical practice, which included speaking engagements and training other professionals.
- An online marketing professional’s book helped elevate him to guru status within his industry.
The call to write a book may reflect a personal purpose.
- One 78-year-old man started his memoir because he figured he wouldn’t be around when his grandchildren were old enough to appreciate his stories. They included helping build the Arizona Trail, taking deep-sea diving trips in Costa Rica, and living in Ecuador for four years—an adventure he’d just completed. He wanted to capture his adventures in writing because, as he told me, “I just want my kids and grandkids to know I had a good life.”
- Another man wanted to tell the story of his famous football-player father, who inspired the crew of a World War II bomber.
- A woman who had extricated herself from a viciouslyabusive family wanted to tell her story to break the bonds that had institutionalized abuse throughout generations of her extended family.
- Four women who had endured well-meaning but painful comments after their children had died dreamed of writing a book to express better ways to support a grieving mother.
The call to write a book comes from well-meaning friends.
Many people tell me their friends and family are always saying, “You should write a book!” Have you heard that, too? Perhaps because you’re a great storyteller or have experiences no one else has, they encourage you.
You could ignore the call as before. But perhaps you’re now wondering if you should listen.
Want to read more? Watch for Gail Woodard’s new book, Write the Book You’re Meant to Write, coming spring of 2017.