1. You can.
If you write 500 good words a day you will have 50,000 words in 100 days. That’s just over three months. If you write 1000 good words a day you’ll be done in less than two months. It doesn’t take that long. Jack Kerouac wrote On The Road in three weeks. Your book will probably suck, but it doesn’t have to (especially after editing). You’re reading this on a computer you type thousands of words into a day…you may as well put a few into a pile that you plan on growing.
2. It will make other goals look more achievable.
If you can write a book that quickly then certainly those other things are possible if you break them down into small steps. It might be the momentum you need to begin other things you care about more.
3. It makes you look like an expert.
(Assuming it’s not a memoir or a novel.) Once you’ve written a book people assume you know a ton. Which, as it happens, also has a pretty delightful consequence…
4. It makes you more valuable.
As soon as you have a book in your name someone is more likely to hire you, pay you more, and probably love you more. You’re an author! That shitty degree might not be getting you a job, but I bet a book would.
5. It actually makes you an expert.
In order to write a book you’ve got to know a lot about something. You can’t organize 50,000+ words on a topic without understanding the thing pretty damn thoroughly. You probably know more than you think, but you’ll also have to do research, which means…
6. You’ll inevitably learn a ton.
You’ll have to study and organize information which means you’re going to need to understand it. There’s probably no better way to learn about a topic than to write a book about it.
7. It will be easier to get attention.
As soon as I finished my book I started to get invited to talk on big podcasts. It freaked me out at first but now I’m comfortable being interviewed and having conversations listened to by a bunch of people. I knew some stuff and I was getting to share it with people. Not a bad deal. It’s weird to say, but there aren’t many skills more valuable than getting attention in the attention economy.
8. You’ll help someone.
We all know things that others could benefit from. You should share your information, expertise, and experiences with others. I felt like a total fraud putting out my book. “Who am I to give advice?” Then emails came in about how the book was helping people in tangible ways. Lives were made better because I shared something. All of our lives are better because of strangers who share their knowledge through books. You’ve got something worth saying.
9. It’s a great project to have.
Writing a book is a project that makes your whole day more interesting. Everything becomes possible fodder for the pages. If you commit to finishing it, you’ll feel a surge of purpose soon after starting.
10. You can put “Author” next to your name.
It’s worth something. If only because…
11. It breaks down your beliefs about “Authors.”
You’re not an outsider anymore; you’re a member of the club. You probably don’t have a seat at the center table, but at least a spot to stand in the back. You understand what an author is – a person who puts down words. You know that there is sometimes a difference between the words and the person. You see how wrong writers can be.
12. It makes you a better reader.
You also gain respect for other writers. You know how hard it is to put down a shitty first draft. You know how weird it feels to write things down for other people to read. You appreciate great bits of writing more than before.
13. You will become an effective communicator.
It’s more important than ever to be able to express yourself in text. To write a book you will need to be able to build an argument or story in such a way that others understand you. You are going to be a pro at emailing after this.
14. You will clarify your thoughts.
Writing is the single best way to make your thoughts more clear. Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, makes his executives write down proposals to make sure they understand what they want to say. If your idea is weak then it’s only a matter of time until you find out.
15. You’ll never regret writing a book.
Plenty of people go through life with the goal of writing a book one day. Just get it over with now so it’s not hanging over your head when you’re in your thirties and have triplets screaming around the house.
16. Your mom will be proud.
And other family members too. It doesn’t even matter if you sell ten copies. Good job.
17. You’ll get better at typing.
You have no reason to suck at typing when everything is done on computers. It’ll be hard to write a book and not improve your typing skills at least a little bit.
18. You’ll create a habit of writing.
This has been one of the greatest improvements of my life. Writing forces you to think better. It can act as a kind of therapy. In fact, half of this list could apply to the benefits of writing regularly as well.
19. It will make your days better.
If you just write your 500 words for the day you can feel good that you did that one thing. You made progress toward a goal. You don’t suck completely. And, on that note…
20. When you’re feeling like complete shit, you can always say, “I wrote a book.”
It’s living proof that you made something at some point. That you didn’t waste your entire life. You worked hard on something and finished it and, by golly, that’s worth something.
You might even make some money. But almost definitely not.