” If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint, then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”
Vincent Van Gogh
Every author has their own set of reasons why they would want to write a book.
I am sure everyone’s story, reasons, and purposes are completely their own and would probably vary dramatically.
Here are mine.
1) Immortality. I often think of what I will leave behind after death, and the true answer often haunts me: not much. It’s a sad fate when someone lives a life and doesn’t leave much of a legacy behind. Besides having children and grandchildren, which is probably the most meaningful legacy of all, the next best thing that often comes to mind is writing a book.
In many ways writing a book is the culmination of years of experience from both educational and experimental learning. The book should have school-smart wisdom as well as “street-smart” anecdotes, stories, and inspirations for the reader.
Above all, I would want the book to tell my story, inspire the reader, and provide a certain set of skills and knowledge that has been put together like no one has ever done before. It should be unique and useful. I often think to myself that leaving behind books as well as children and grandchildren would give me permission to die a peaceful death, knowing I have left behind a decent legacy. I would want my book to help people long after I’m gone, and this goes for the non-fiction books as well as any fiction books that may follow.
2) Giving back. I can’t state in words how important and helpful other books have been to me in my life. There is no way of saying it other than this: Books have shaped my life. From the formal education that has allowed us to do so much in business and communication, to the photography books that taught me how to take better pictures which I use routinely in social media and my personal life, to the tomes that have taught me better communication and networking skills. Almost everything I have in my life in terms of pure knowledge, I owe to the authors that came before me.
Books have helped me learn many skills, taught me to speak better, write better, network better, communicate better, and helped me get out of my shell during a difficult divorce. The only way I can repay the people that came before me is to do the best I can for the people that will come after me. And thus the cycle of learning continues.
3) Writer’s classes and writer’s fairs. It’s no secret I am not a very good writer. I have taken many classes over the last 3 years at UCLA Extension’s Writer’s Program. It was there I was introduced to so many other creative writers and heard their stories.
I will never forget these wonderful classes. For most of us it was a combination of therapy, learning, personal growth, and the experience of stretching our writing talent. I can honestly say without these writing classes my book would have not been possible at all. It opened so many doors for me and made me a better writer. UCLA helped me a lot because
a) we helped each other by listening to each others’ stories and gave feedback on how to make them better
b) provided emotional support
c) heard each other out and provided constant positive and negative reinforcement to push ourselves to get published
d) the tips and talents we learned about which we did not have before
e) the wonderful, positive atmosphere UCLA’s beautiful campus provided for years of persistent inspiration provided for an awesome lift, particularly when times were tough and I was totally uninspired to wrote.
f) It was there I met the wonderful author Allison Singh Lee and met her husband, who ultimately became my coauthor , Ajay.
g) was introduced to the great Los Angeles Times Writers’ Fair, which has since moved to USC’s campus. This was where I was further inspired, met fellow artists and writers, and where my vision for my book was solidified.
While we were there the author of The Fault In Our Stars, John Green made an appearance. Now I had never heard of his book or the movie, since I am not a huge fan of fiction or novels. But seeing the mile long line that had formed that day by his fans was truly awe-inspiring. There were tons of teenagers and their families, and they did not hesitate to wait up to 2 hours for a chance at a signature and photo opportunity.
It was great because authors don’t often get much attention, especially not as much as the actors that portray these amazing characters authors dream up with their imagination. But on this day, at the Los Angeles Times Writer’s Fair, the writers had become the main stars and superheroes of the day. The classes we took and these fairs were, for me at least, my own adult version of Disneyland. I was so happy just to be there, meet these awesome people, and be in that moment. I went for 2 entire days and did not waste a single moment, meeting comic book authors, editors, publishers, and other artists.
One guy was there selling these amazing cards he hand-made that opened up! It was so amazing and exciting and I highly recommend it to every up and coming author or wannabee author like me. I imagine myself taking writing classes and going to writer’s fairs for life, because we never get good enough as authors and we know we can become better. There is so much to learn!
4) To provide a platform for my future speaking career. I worked hard on my writing because writing doesn’t come naturally to me. Speaking and meeting people comes much more naturally to me. I am looking forward to speaking publicly at many events, paid and unpaid, in order to become a better speaker. Nothing will open up doors for my speaking career more for me than to become a best-selling author. Like it or not, this is the key for such a career in today’s market.
5) Meeting people and making new friends from the readers and the fans. My hope and goal is that the book opens up an entirely new world of readers and fans of the brand, of learning and growth, and I am very excited to meet like-minded people. The prospect of going to a book signing, taking pictures, and meeting cool new people truly excites me. It excites me more than, say, winning a lot of money in Vegas would. I guess it excites me more because it’s something I have dreamed about for over a decade, every time I walk into a Barnes and Noble. I visit a book store almost every single day, and when I walk into one my thought is almost always that I wish to see my own book on one of the shelves. It’s been a life-long dream I intend to turn into reality, one step at a time.
6) Because I am forgetting things. This may sound funny, but I feel like my memory is not that great, and one way I can preserve every good thing I have ever learned is through a book.
I am not only including my craziest moments in life and my very best memories, but also some of the most difficult lessons I have learned and toughest moments. I am often finding myself already looking back at these blog posts for things I need.
I always told myself I want my book to be so good, so useful that I would myself use it as a point of reference. Imagine if it has so much useful information that people inside my own organization would use it as a point of reference, much like we do for the menus and catering menus I created. That would be awesome! There is nothing like having a book with the very best information I could have ever come up with for others in the field of restaurant management and marketing, and using it for myself almost every week! That would prove that it’s a useful resource and also that it will sell well on the book-stands. If I include every relevant piece of information I posses in my book I don’t have to worry about forgetting any of it because if I do, i can easily look it up.
7) To make an impact and have a voice. It is often said that in today’s society, only celebrities are being heard. This is somewhat true. If you are not very well known and you don’t have a decent size following on your Twitter and Facebook pages, or on the video channels such as YouTube and Vine, you really don’t have much of a following at all.
And if you don’t have a “following” then you also don’t have a voice. You’re just like those other people commenting on Facebook. Nobody cares about your stupid opinion. This is not a good place to be. A true leader has a following, and only then does what you say and what you think matter at all. I will include some things in the book that will hopefully make a dent in the universe and hopefully make California (and many other states) become a little more business friendly. You can make a difference politically if you have some power, and unfortunately the inverse of this is also true: without the platform a best selling author status gives you it’s hard to make any difference at all.
“I’m writing a book. I’ve got the page numbers done.” Steven Wright