Why Do You Want to Write a Book?

voice matters2I love words. Slices of words on my tongue satisfy me like a sweet, icy watermelon on a sweaty July day. Whether I twist those words into colorful quotes, mash a couple of them together to create my own new word, or string just enough of them into countless paragraphs that eventually produce a book, I. Love. Words.

It took me a few years to realize I’m different that way—not everyone shares my passion. Few people consider their office or library a haven like I do, a place of refuge where shelves of categorically arranged books permeate the air with the faint mist of paper and ink.

Chances are, you’re somewhat similar to me. Yes, I suspect I’m in good company as I share today with you. We writers with lofty dreams, we have a way of finding each other. As an often insecure tribe who spends the majority of our days writing and waiting, vacillating between confidence and fear, we need the support of each other on this sometimes lonely and highly competitive journey.

It’s not new news: the publishing industry is shrinking. Larger publishers have nabbed smaller ones, and some have simply closed their doors. E-readers have reshaped the way consumers think about, and purchase, books. As a result, today’s publisher tends to seek new authors with the lowest risk.

Here’s the good news: God is bigger than statistics.

Publishers still need new authors; I imagine publishers will always want a well-rounded catalog of books to offer booksellers. While, yes, the best-selling authors sometimes carry the majority of sales, booksellers are usually on the lookout for “What’s new?”

This newness, though? I’ve discovered it costs us. Many hours of learning the industry, honing the craft, and most importantly, uncovering our unique voices.

Only you can determine if it’s worth the sacrifice; it’s the same choice I recently had to make. You see, I have a book releasing in a couple of weeks, When A Woman Finds Her Voice, and I wrote this book during a very difficult season. Many days, the morning sun rose right over the rim of my keyboard. In the only quiet time available to me, I would tuck away most of the night pleading for this heart-message to come. {I write about sensitive topics that today’s Christian women face, and that requires an unwavering authenticity that for me can only come in the stillness.}

I wonder what you’re willing to invest. The time it takes to pen the words—even if the book never sells? The sacrifice of certain relationships that might be put on hold while you pursue your dream? Your own reputation ?

Your turn: Why this book? Why are you willing to give this slice of time and energy? Is the investment worth it to you? I’d love to hear why!

18 Replies to “Why Do You Want to Write a Book?”

  1. Jo Ann, I, too, have been in love with words forever – there is a music to them that feeds my soul. Yes, squeezing in writing has often shortchanged other pieces of my life, but I write out of obedience – I can only put off writing so long before it becomes a thundering voice to SIT DOWN AND WRITE! Even if it takes years to find the readers, it’s still worth every minute of the writing and the marketing, because I’m doing what God has given me to do. (Although that divine waiting thing is still hard to accept!) And if there are no readers besides myself, I figure I still needed to write those words as part of my own journey to God.

    1. “As part of my own journey to God.”

      Love that, Jan. Yes, that we would write the words out of sheer obedience. Thank you for sharing your encouraging words!

  2. I write because I am compelled to do just that…write. I wrote in a journal, for 20+ years, then found blogging was a better outlet for me and have been writing a book for 5+ years. Book proposal almost done. Yep, I’m a writer, but not an author and if that never happens I’m ok with that because I’ve obeyed God to write it down and let Him do the rest. I write because I can’t NOT write.

  3. Jo Ann, Your book sounds very interesting. Although the shrinking publishing world is a concern, I think it’s great how technology gives us so many new ways to connect and share – just like this!

  4. It’s like I can’t run from writing it. And, I have tried. Yet, if it only helps one other soul, it will have meant that what Satan meant for evil in my life has been used by God for good. It helps so much to know your suffering was not in vain, and that one soul will effect the lives of so many others.

    1. Can I simply say, “Amen.” 🙂

      Thank you for your willingness to use your story to encourage the hearts of others. You are bold and beautiful, and God honors that in so many ways.

  5. I’m writing it – hoping to explain – if only to my family after I’m gone – how very much Invisible Pain I have endured through the years – my Many-times-Broken Heart…for which there is no Chemo… In the meantime, I also attempt to ‘make Beauty for Ashes’ (Psalm 61 : 1-3) through my blog, as I desperately continue to find a ‘real job’ at this difficult-to-get-hired-time-of-life…


  6. Like Lynn, I initially wanted to write a book to help my family understand my journey. I think that story still needs to be told, but there is another story that burns deeply in my heart. I’ve had the privilege of walking alongside some of the most amazing women over the last few years. These are stories of tremendous courage, resilience and Gods unfailing love, that will inspire and encourage others. I stand in awe of the great, global weaving He is doing. I simply cannot wait to share these beautiful stories.

  7. Jo Ann, I just pre-ordered your book. It looks wonderful. And I write for so many reasons—many of which I write about as well!! Thanks for these good words and for pointing the way forward in faith, believing, God will make a way for our lives and stories to be told.

  8. Beautiful post, Jo Ann… I write because there’s a story to be told, a life to be shared, healing to be done. During this journey I am learning others need to hear my story. It’s not at all about me. It’s about helping others. It’s about being obedient to God. It’s about not being able to hide from His all-seeing, all-finding Grace. It catapults me into my Calling. Just at Gideon… God’s angel called him, not by his present name, but by his Potential … Valiant Warrior! ❤ ~ Bobbi – Aprontalk.com

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