Why do people write books and what makes you decide to write one?  

Firstly, the stereotypical image of someone having a “Eureka!” moment followed by hours of laborious typing that miraculously results in an overnight best-seller couldn’t be further from the truth.  Which is good news as it means that everybody is in with a chance.

Deciding to write is often a long-thought out plan or a lifetime ambition with all the doubts and uncertainties that go along with that. It can represent a change of career path, a desire to impart professional knowledge or the chance to pen the biography of a famous person.  It can even be an aspiration come about after a profound or life changing experience. In material terms it can be an additional source of income or, if you are fortunate, a major earner.

But why should you write?  Why take on a time consuming, often frustrating project? Quite simply you should do it because you have your own unique perspective.  Why not share your passion, expertise and experience and let others benefit from that too?  If it’s important to you, then it more than likely will be important to other people as well. And in the process you will learn a lot about yourself and your own journey.

But more than just self-fulfillment, writing a book may also help cement your position as an acknowledged authority on a particular subject.  It can be the jewel in your professional crown. And in today’s digital no-holds-barred world, powerful self marketing tools such as social media, plus a variety of technical ways to reach your public, promote you and your work faster and wider than ever before.

Perhaps the most compelling reason though about why you should write and publish a book is because you will learn and master something that many people contemplate, but few actually achieve.  Why not challenge yourself to rise to the task?  It will be hard work but anything worthwhile rarely comes easily.  Accomplishment is its own reward. Regrets last a life time.  

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Mary Vaux-ClarkMary Vaux-Clark is a freelance editor, proof-reader and writer. Her areas of interest include current affairs, travel, history and sport. She has travelled widely and worked in Hong Kong as an editor and ESL teacher for over ten years.