Everybody in history has had something interesting to say. Yet not everybody in history has ever written a book.
But that’s not to say they couldn’t. If you feel as though you have something to say then gosh darn it, say it. We live in a world now where communication is so prevalent yet so many people find it hard to express themselves. What better way to do this than to write it all down.
For me, writing has always been a no brainer. I love it, and I always will. As George RR Martin once said “I’ll never retire” and I hope never to do that either. Read my story of awakening here!
If you are an aspiring writer, (or just somebody who has something they no longer can keep bottled up) and want nothing more than to stop aspiring and start doing, then here’s a list of the top 10 reasons why you should grab a pen, pencil or whatever, and get some ideas down.
1. It’s Escapism
Have you ever gone to work and thought, there must be more to life than this? I know I have, I still do it in my day job when I’m not writing. But what I love about writing is that I know I can come home after a day of monotony and escape into a world that is entirely my own. When you write a novel, the world is ‘literary’ your oyster: your rules, your people, your club, your government, and so forth.
2. It improves your Self-Awareness
When you turn your attention to a novel or project, you are in fact delving deep into your own mind about what you’re passionate about. Most writers when they begin a novel start with an idea, only for that idea to take new forms and new paths depending on how you, the writer, have dug deep into your own sub-conscious. The exercise of writing is by far one of the best workouts your brain can undertake, and by writing, you are using the key of imagination to unlock the door of hidden passion.
3. These days it’s easier
It’s true. Gone are the days where most writers have to undertake professional study only to sit through a daunting waiting period of rejections and setbacks. Not that those things are bad but if like me, you have a passion for taking the book-bull by the horns, then the internet has given the writing world a new fighting chance. With a few clicks writers can now upload their work to online stores, have their masterpieces critiqued by professional online editors and communities, have artwork created for their front covers and even put a physical copy of their books into their reader’s hands, all from behind a desk.
4. It makes you intelligent
When I first set out to write my debut novel Everscape, I literally had no idea what I was doing. I was so lost, and only because of my sheer persistence to make it as best as I could, I had inadvertently ushered myself to learn more about (not just the craft of writing) but also the themes and ideas I had to include in my work. For example, if your story calls for a bank robbery scene, but you’ve never experienced or looked into one, you’re more than likely going to have to research bank robberies to know how they went down. And the same will be applied to anything you want to include in your work. Wring a novel will inevitably force you to do research and learn new things, even if you never include them in the final manuscript, at least now you’ve leant something new.
5. It’s passive income
Let’s face it, even though we love to be creative, the truth is us writers still have to eat and live, and the other truth is, writing in itself is a full time job at best. However, the good news is you can indeed make money from your passion. True not every writer ever hits the jackpot, especially to begin with, but the idea of passive income is you can sit back and let the money come in. Unlike a regular nine to five full time job, where you’re paid for turning up and doing the work, a novel will (once it’s finished) generate a healthy sum for you whilst you either work on your next project or go on that holiday you’ve always dreamt of.
6. It’s Rewarding Confidence
Not everybody is capable of writing a novel, or just being a writer for that matter. But having the skill of writing and improving on it daily can be so rewarding, and even more so, confidence building. To be able to say “I wrote a book and I’m bloody proud of it” is one of the most confident things writers can say to themselves. You’re in the big leagues now, you’re a writer, get used to saying it, flaunt it, be proud and strut that confidence.
7. It’s Career Boosting
Have you ever looked at your résumé or CV and thought it was lacking something? If you’re someone with writing skills, or better yet have written your own novel, then that is a massive bonus to show off. It proves you’re a person of dedication, strategy, planning and proactive creativity. Better yet, if you really want your career as an author to take off, it’s the biggest and most successful stepping stone you can make, since most debuts always lead to the next. Once you’ve written one, who’s to say you can’t write another?
8. To Start a Legacy
It’s a good thing to be proud of your life and what you do with it. But if there’s something you really want to leave behind, then a novel is one of those amazing things. Novels, providing the world doesn’t come to an end, will forever exist years and years to come, and better yet, they’ll have your name on them, and that name is a link to your writing heritage. Leaving a legacy is a way of immortalising your passion years after you have gone. If you can imagine what Agatha Christie must think if she knew how successful she still is even today.
9. If You can, you can do anything
I’ll be honest with you, no matter how good all the things listed above really are, they’ll only ever happen if you persevere through the overwhelming difficulty that writing a novel is. Writing a novel is not an easy thing to pull off: it requires hours and hours of headaches, bitten nails, brain racking, setbacks and heartbreak, and when you think you’ve got it, your editor will most likely tell you otherwise. But there is light at the end of the writer’s tunnel. If millions of people can do it and make a living out of it, you can too. And better yet, if you managed to pull it off, there’s no telling what incredible things you’ll be capable of now you’ve achieved one of the hardest things out there.
10. You never know whom you’ll help
When I think of this point, I always think back to Evanna Lynch who played Luna Lovegood in Harry Potter. Before she got the gig, Evanna was a huge fan of Harry Potter, who was in fact going through a severe struggle with anorexia. Harry Potter and JK Rowling helped pull her out of it and it changed her life. Now I’m not going to say you’ll definitely help someone like this, but truth of the matter is, if you write from the heart, you won’t please everyone, but you may please and in this case help someone.