“I Have Nothing New To Say, So I Can’t Write A Book”
Oh yes, you can — and here’s why…
“I can’t believe I have anything to say that is novel or unique on leadership and getting what you want in a career.”
That’s what Leslie told me when I asked her if she’d ever considered writing a book… and if she’d like to write a book sometime soon.
I’ve heard the same thing many, many times from many, many business owners and it always makes me smile. Because the business owners I talk to are so spectacularly skilled at underestimating themselves.
So if one of your excuses — and yes, they are excuses — as to why you “can’t” write a book is that everything’s already been said on your subject and you have nothing new or exciting to say, listen up Sunshine.
Because I’m going to change your mind.
I Want Your Story
You say you don’t have anything new or unique to say? Well, I say tosh. That’s just not true.
Oh yes, I can hop onto the internet and find a bazillion articles about your subject, but guess what’s missing?
Your take on your subject. Humans don’t learn with facts alone. In fact, I’d argue they rarely learn effectively with nothing but the bare facts.
Humans learn from each other. We learn from stories, from rich experiences told colourfully and persuasively.
Facts are fine and good, but they’re better when they’re wrapped in a real person’s experience, enhanced by your wins and losses, given context in your life.
Instead of thinking you have nothing new to say, start thinking about how to say it. How your story can come out, and how it will help me, your reader, to relate to you, to learn from you, and to change my own life.
Write your book and show me who you are.
Google Gives Me Option Paralysis
If you’re going to use the excuse you have nothing novel and fascinating to say, I’d like to counter with this: you don’t, if you’re only giving information.
I can find anything I want to know on the internet. Google is a universe of facts, figures, stories, and funny cat videos — right at my restless fingertips.
But here’s the thing: I’m a messy browser, and my tabs mount up. When I google for information, I open 793 tabs then freeze, because there’s too much. I don’t know where to start.
Do you know what I do then?
I turn to my bookshelf. I dig out one of my books, the one that deals with the question I’m asking, and find the answer in there. Or I go to Amazon and find a book by someone I know, like, and trust — and buy it.
Google is a fantastic reference tool, but when you want to learn deeply about a subject, a book is better. You can give me the same information Google does but in a more focused manner.
You can gather all the relevant information together in stories and essays I want to read — and order it logically, so I don’t have to meander aimlessly through the wastelands of the internet.
You can make it easy for me to learn what I need to know. Write your book. I need it.
How Do I Know I Can Trust You?
The other problem with the internet is, any muppet can write an article that seems authoritative. Any old Johnny-come-lately can regurgitate other stuff from online — without fact-checking it — and claim it as their own.
There’s so much information flying around for free, which is terrific… but it comes with its own problems. Like, how do I know the author of that article I’ve just found actually knows what he’s talking about?
Unless it’s someone I already know, I don’t. Not really.
But if you’ve written a book, I know you’re an expert. Even in these heady days where it’s easy for anyone to write a book — I can still be pretty sure you’re an expert.
After all, you wrote the book on it.
And if your reviews tell me your book is valuable, useful, and others have found it helpful — I’m sold. Write your book, then I know I can trust you.
Do I Know You?
Speaking of trust, if you write a book, it gives me a chance to get to know you. The books I’ve written, for myself and for my clients, contain buckets of personality.
I pour myself into my books because I know they’re a window into my life. I include my stories, my joys, and my pains because I know my readers will relish them — and I know it’ll help them to get to know, like, and trust me.
My readers read my books in bed, in the bath, on the toilet… and you don’t get much more intimate than that. Your readers will take you to bed, too. Trust me when I tell you, there’s no faster way of building a relationship.
I don’t take Google to bed. Nor do your potential clients. I don’t want to know about the faceless people behind random search results… but I want to know you.
I want information from someone I know, like, and trust and so do your readers. Write your book. Let people get to know who you are, what you know, and where you come from. Then they’ll let you help them.
Your Experience Is My Experience
Your readers don’t want the bare facts. They want your experience of the facts — and here’s why. Humans struggle with abstract concepts because we’re creatures of the real world.
We struggle to relate cold, hard facts to what’s going on in our own lives.
So if you can tell me the facts as you’ve experienced them, if you can give me your story to follow, I can relate it to my own life.
Perhaps I’m going through the same things you went through. Possibly I’m suffering the same problems you suffered. Maybe you started in the same place as I did — so I can relate to you immediately.
I want to learn from someone who’s been where I am now, and so do your potential customers and clients.
Write your story because there are many people out there who want to read it. You can help people other experts can’t — not necessarily because they’re not as good as you, but because they’re not you.
The people you can help can’t relate to those other experts, but they can connect with you.
Don’t shut them out.
You owe it to those people to help them. Don’t let your fear of not being new enough stop you from writing something that could change somebody’s world.