What motivates you to write varies from author to author and some reasons might surprise you.

“Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose, or paint can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic and fear which is inherent in a human situation.”

Graham Greene

My memoir* clients tend to follow a similar course when it comes to their reasons for writing a book. 

Act I of the project: A perfectly reasonable, justifiable reason like establishing themselves as an expert in their industry by sharing their story, using the book as a segue to speaking engagements, or other similarly logical motivations.

Act II: About midway through spilling their story onto the page, deep into the therapeutic effect of writing a memoir and slightly giddy from the experience, logic goes out the window. “This feels so amazing, now I just want to keep getting it all out on paper, I don’t even care if it ever becomes a book!”

Act III: With the finish line in sight, noticing they’ve written a book, the big picture comes into focus. “OMG I’ve written a freakin’ BOOK, I can’t wait for people to read this! There’s so much I can do with this that I never thought of before! (And when can I write another one???).”

Every. Single. Time.

I won’t deny it, being a book writing coach and collaborator on this emotional rollercoaster, the memoir author journey, turning non-authors into authors, is one of the greatest joys of my life!

There are other plot points woven between those acts of course. Ups, downs, highs, lows, frustrations, insane laughter, challenges, questioning one’s sanity and reality, and triumphs. 

I’m the Sherpa that keeps them from falling off the side of the emotional Everest.

The point is, no matter what the initial motivation for writing a book, the therapeutic aspect of sharing one’s life stories – sharing oneself – with others, ultimately deepens all other aspects of the book. The writing improves, the structure strengthens, disconnected ideas find connection, and the relationship with the reader becomes real. 

What motivates you to write might well change – several times – during the book writing process. How wouldn’t this happen? Life changes as you write your book. And if it didn’t change leading up to it, you wouldn’t have a book to write in the first place. 

What motivates you to write? And for those of you writing or who have already written a book – how did your motivation change during the process? Share, in Ink Authors on Facebook! 

And if you’re still finding your motivation, try these Memoir Prompts to see what stories you’ve been carrying around with you that might need to be let out. 

Are you playing with the idea of finally writing your book in 2022, whether with a book writing coach or to hire a memoir writer? Best to get on my calendar now so we can activate my infamous project planning skills – let’s do this! 

Related Articles:

Memoirs Light Up The Shadows

Memoirs vs. Autobiography

4 Memoir Writing Prompts

*By “memoir” I mean any book where any aspect of your personal story is shared, including fiction, not exclusively books categorized as a “memoir” by genre.


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