Author lessons from George Bailey and It’s a Wonderful Life to help you identify what your book is REALLY about and reach more readers. 

“You’ve been given a great gift, George, a chance to see what the world would be like without you.”

‘Clarence the Angel,” It’s a Wonderful Life

While spending Christmas weekend with my in-laws, the movie It’s a Wonderful Life came up in conversation. Starting around Thanksgiving every year, the classic film can generally be found on at least one TV channel at any given time throughout the month leading up to Christmas. What might Mr. Capra think, watching from above like Clarence, as people still enjoy his black and white film in their living rooms 76 years after its release?

Why this movie?

There’s the well-written story and all the filmmaking talents involved. Beyond that, the movie holds timeless universal truths that transcend generations, technology, and societal progress. Its story contains evergreen messages strong enough to power plotlines, making them the things of writing dreams.

  • Life and death.
  • Wondering what would have happened in light of different life choices.
  • The ripple effect of our choices on the choices of others around us.
  • The eternal battle between good guys and bad guys.
  • The gift of gratitude.

Which other truths and author lessons did you spot in the tale of George Bailey?

Books and films like It’s a Wonderful Life are packed with timeless truths unconnected to any specific chapter in history. They’re about humans being human no matter where they happen to be dropped into the pages of time.

At its core, It’s a Wonderful Life, with all its outer story layers stripped away, is about the unseen value of a single human life.  

I enjoy challenging my book coaching clients to strip away the stuff they ‘think’ their books are about and figure out what their books are really about. The answers and author lessons often surprise us both!

What is your book-in-progress really about? This is one of my favorite parts of the Book Blueprints I create as part of my author coaching program. Are you toying with writing a book this year? Let’s talk!

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