Your Book Writing Journey Starts with Your Personal Story
on September 13th, 2021
You are an expert on something. It may be business leadership. It may be spiritual well-being. It may be how to accelerate your career. It may be how to find your purpose in the midst of competing roles and responsibilities. Whatever it is, you are an expert, and you are ready to share that expertise with the world. It is time to write a book.
Writing a book can be a delightful journey full of discovery and even some interesting challenges. It will test your resolve and put your discipline and goal setting to practice. However, when you’re writing a book about your expertise and sharing your knowledge, there is an important component that needs to accompany the practical parts of your narrative. You need to include your story.
Now, this isn’t to say you must air all your deep, dark secrets on the literary table. But how did you become an expert in your field? How did you come to discover the knowledge that you are sharing with your readers? And most of all, why is this origin story important?
“Readers want to see themselves in your story. Then, and only then, will they truly absorb and apply the knowledge you are sharing throughout your book.”
A Credible Book Writer
If you told readers that you learned the art of mindfulness overnight or after eating magic beans, your readers would probably not believe you. By sharing the path to your expertise, you are establishing credibility as an author. Readers are not only told how you what you do, but they learn why you do what you do. This builds trust and buy-in. When you share parts of your story with readers, you are leaning into vulnerability that makes you both likable and reliable.
Consider an in-person meeting. When you connect with a stranger on a deeper level by sharing a personal story about yourself (and receiving one in return), the meeting takes on a friendly tone. You’ve bonded over something, and that experience drew you closer together. Since you don’t have the privilege of connecting with your readers face-to-face, you need to do that early on in your book with your personal narrative.
Readers want to learn why you struggled and how you overcame your challenges. Readers want to see themselves in your story. Then, and only then, will they truly absorb and apply the knowledge you are sharing throughout your book.
A Unique Approach to Book Writing
It sounds cliché but you are the only you that does and will ever exist. You are incredibly unique. Therefore, if your expertise lies in a realm where there are many experts writing books about your topics, you have one thing that helps you stand out: your story. Your unique experiences set you apart from the competition. It doesn’t matter how similar your path to your knowledge is compared to others. It is still one-of-a-kind. It is special. It is sacred.
Many authors sometimes worry that their personal story isn’t as important as the expertise they are longing to share. They ask, “Who cares about me? Doesn’t the reader just want to accomplish a specific goal?”
While the reader may dive into your book with specific aspirations, they are going to cling to the relatable and human aspects of your narrative. So yes, readers are going to care about your personal story a lot more than you may think. In fact, it may end up being the most memorable part of your book for some.
A Fruitful Book Writing Journey
Writing a book serves two purposes. Okay, it can serve many purposes, but there are two main purposes. The first is to impact, inspire, make a difference, change, or help readers. You’re sharing your knowledge to reach a broader audience. You want to make readers feel something and perhaps do something.
The second purpose is one not commonly considered. The book writing journey is for you. It is an opportunity to revisit elements of your own life where you are the hero of your own story. You have the chance to excavate previously buried challenges, trauma, or experiences that made you who you are today. It is almost like therapy except you’re making that sacrifice to uncover those truths for a greater good.
A Lasting Legacy
There is a reason inspirational gurus love to remind us of the journeys of Oprah Winfrey, Lucille Ball, Steve Jobs, and other notable figures. The rise and fall, triumph and tribulation, defeat and determination of these individuals is inspiring. So inspiring that years later, they are still relevant today.
When you incorporate your story as you share your knowledge, you are carving out a memorable legacy for yourself. You are earmarking your expertise with personal narrative. That makes it easier for future generations to recall your stories, your methods, and your teachable moments. It is through the human experience that we form lasting bonds and immortal lessons. Your story is the gateway to your legacy. Your expertise is just the cherry on top of the pie.