You have something to say

Aug 19, 2013 | Writing A Book

Conversation from many coaching or Options Review sessions.

Me: “What do you want to write about?”

Other person: “I’d like to write about [topic], but I don’t think I have anything to say that hasn’t been said.”

If you expect to come up with a new great truth, you’re probably right. But that doesn’t mean that what you have to say won’t be worth reading.

What you say will probably be unique, not just different. If it flows through your brain and spirit, what you write will be different from everyone else. Your life experiences and your perspective are unique. They are what will make your book or blog post different.

What you say may not be new to you, but it will be new to some people. Sometimes it’s a matter of how you phrase it. Sometimes the reader will be ready to understand something he or she may have read a thousand times before. Let me share an example from my life.

Last week, I read Lolly Daskal’s post, “Expectations Mislead Us,” and the following paragraph jumped out at me.

“When we expect something and it doesn’t happen, we feel insecure. We experience pain. And when we suffer, we have a hard time letting go.”

That’s not a new truth. I’ve heard it or read it many times. But when I read the post, it was a huge insight. I guess I was ready.

Here’s one more thing. If you’re writing a book, the time to decide if there’s something worthwhile to say is not before you decide to write. Write it. Get it out. Get it down. Then you can revise it, improve it, and evaluate it.

Special Thanks

This post was inspired by Mary Jo Asmus’ excellent post about courage in writing and leadership titled: “Crossing the bridge from self-doubt to courage.”