I think everyone should write a book and tell their story. There, I said it. But how do you write a book if you’re not a writer?
To be clear, I’m not a magician. I haven’t built my career pulling rabbits out of a hat or books from my coat sleeve. I just really believe our stories have the power to transform, heal, and educate.
Ironically, not once has someone debated my position on the power of story, or my belief that everyone should tell theirs. I’ve never had someone say, “Well, not every story matters. I don’t think everyone needs to write a book.”
I get the most pushback from the storybearers themselves. “But I’m not a good enough writer. I could never be an author.”
There seems to be some confusion around what it means to be a writer or an author. Allow me to elaborate. Here’s how Merriam-Websiter breaks it down:
Writer: one that writes
Author: the writer of a literary work (such as a book); one that originates of creates something
You can be a writer without being an author. You can be an author without being a writer.
Bookstores are filled with countless memoirs from celebrities and former presidents. Although we know that most of them did not write their book themselves—we still credit them as the author.
Because they are the originator and creator of the book’s content. The ideas are their intellectual property.
Don’t think for a second that major publishing houses are taking books from the author and placing them directly into the hands of the public. There are usually countless editors working on those books (always with the author’s consent) for close to a year before the public ever sees it.
We don’t live out our stories alone. We don’t write our stories alone either.
Ernest Hemingway would not have become who he was without the encouragement and support of an editor named Maxwell Perkins. We’ve all heard of T.S. Eliot, but few have heard of his editor and encourager Ezra Pound.
We all need help—whether that be the help of a book coach, a ghostwriter, or an editor.
Don’t let the writing process be the reason you don’t write your book. You don’t have to be a writer to become an author. The world needs your voice. Your story matters.