Writers are amazing people. First of all, they know they have something to say. They know it, and they believe their thoughts are valuable, important enough to pass along to others. They generally hope to inspire, cajole, minister, inform, or simply entertain their readers. For them, the effort, the risk, the rejection, and whatever else they have to go through to get the job done is worth it. As a long-time writer myself, I have to agree. Whatever your genre, if you put your heart and soul into it, you’re bound to come up with work that changes the world.

So, that being said, the writing life is not for the faint of heart and here are some of the reasons why.

  1. The Bulls Eye: The target audience for your work keeps changing. Just when you complete an amazing book about ways to find a great job that you’ll love, people stop wanting a job at all.
  2. Sagging Premise:  You started a book with an awesome idea, only to find that halfway through the writing of it, you’ve run out of steam. You can’t even support your own premise. You try to finish it, but you end up saying the same thing six different ways and it doesn’t work. You’re back to starting again.
  3. Beyond Writing: You love your idea, your friends love your idea, you write the book, and you feel like it’s not half bad, but no one mentioned that you need a way to sell the book. You don’t have a website. You don’t blog about your topic. No one knows your name and even if the book shows up on Amazon, once your friends have purchased it, and most of them won’t because you’ll give them the book, then what? Your book may be brilliant, but it’s lost in a sea of other books on Amazon.
  4. Self-Publishing starts with the word, “Self” for a reason. Yes, you can self-publish, and you will get your book out faster, and you will make more money per book sale than if you published it traditionally, but YOU are the star. You have to market it. You have to talk about it, podcast it, blog it, advertise it, and make it discoverable. You have to edit it, pay to have it edited, do a book design, pay to have a book designer, keep it in front of people all the time. You have to show up on Instagram, FB, LinkedIn, Author home pages, and everyplace else you can think of.
  5. Traditional Publishing doesn’t rely on tradition: It used to be that getting your book through the various decision makers at a big publishing house, getting an advance, a team of editors to help you write a great book, a design team to create an amazing book, and a marketing team to help you get the word out, were the standards to shoot for. Sometimes today, they still are. In fact, I still prefer to publish traditionally because I feel sure that if a team of veterans of publishing thought my book could stack up against all the other books they know will be in the market, then I’m already ahead. They know my target and they know how to adjust for changes. They understand my premise and they will be certain my book delivers before it goes to press. They know what will make not just a good book, but a great book and that’s worth the sacrifice I have to make in waiting for the book to hit the bookstores. There’s nothing speedy about the process, but usually it’s well worth the wait.

The thing you have to realize is that your story, no matter how wonderful it is, needs a way to get talked about, distributed, and purchased by people who never heard of you before. You’re looking for people who need your words to make a difference in their lives. Those people will reward you by sharing your book with their friends. Before long, you’ll be ready for the bookstore shelves, the speaker’s circuit, or the host of others who want you to succeed. If you have a heart to write, do it well, in fact, do it better than anyone else and then execute your plan for getting the whole world to love it.