Every person on this earth has a story worth sharing. From the moment you were born to wherever you find yourself now in your life, things have happened to you, for you, and because of you. Those “things” make excellent stories. You never know if there is someone out there who needs to read your words to make changes or process experiences from their own life. With this in mind, the first thing you should know is that anyone can tell their story. You may need a writing coach, an accountability partner, or a really good editor, but anyone can write a book. Once you’ve dispelled the doubt from your mind, it is time to dive into three important pieces to writing your book.
#1: Embrace the Vulnerability of Writing a Book
Vulnerability is the cornerstone of storytelling. If you think about day-to-day interactions with others, it is easy to see how emotions, shared experiences, and honesty, are all components of fruitful conversation. These elements are paramount to your story. When writing your book, you’re going to be tasked with digging deep under the superficial surface of facts to excavate transformational aspects of your story. This can include past trauma, unresolved feelings, failures, guilt, shame, forgotten experiences, painful mistakes, and more.
This is not to make the book writing process a scarring experience full of drama. This is what vulnerability is all about: the willingness to bare it all and show your shadow side to readers. By casting aside your armor, you are inviting readers into the heart of your story. You are asking for their trust and understanding. You are asking them to accept you as you are and journey alongside you throughout your book.
You can’t get more authentic than that. So, the very first thing to remember when writing your book is to be brave. It may get uncomfortable, but it is going to be worth it in the end.
#2: Show Emotions in Writing
As you write your book, be sure to leave readers satisfied. That does not mean the perfect ending or a resolution to all the conflicts in your story. (Granted, both of those elements are deeply satisfying). What this tip really means is you need to bring readers to the moments in your story, paint the scene, and make them feel something.
You could say: I slammed the door behind me. I was scared he would follow me home. My heart raced.
Or try this: With more force than needed, I slammed the storm door behind me, swiftly locking the deadbolt. I pressed my back against the cool metal. My heart raced as beads of sweat tickled my hairline. I was terrified he would follow me home. I held my breath, listened, and waited.
Which excerpt made you feel something?
A surefire way to achieve the peak of emotion and detail is to lay the facts out first and then review your five senses to determine where sensory detail could amplify your scene. The more you give your readers to experience, the more satisfied they will be.
#3: Be Open to the Gifts of Writing Your Book
The book writing process is full of unexpected surprises. Not just deadline hiccups or indiscriminate bouts of writer’s block, either. Some surprises can include excavating pieces of your past you didn’t consider for your book. It could be a memory, a conversation, or something you accidentally blocked out. This treasure could be a gamechanger for your story.
Maybe your story is going to require you to reach out to people you haven’t spoken to in a long time. This is a gift—the gift of a lost connection. As you write your book, you may need to uncover tangible details as a way of fact checking yourself. This may lead you to attics, archives, libraries, and research rabbit holes. You may learn something new or remember something you forgot. Perhaps you were meant to write a book for this reason!
Writing a book will teach you things about yourself that you never thought you needed to know. You will learn how much of an ace you are with time management. You will discover how you process life’s events and the manner of which you choose to articulate these happenings. You will reconnect with feelings. You will be challenged.
Ultimately, writing a book is not just a service to your future readers and the world at large, it is also one of the most beautiful and authentic things you can do for yourself.