Why Do You Write? (Beginner Book Marketing Guide from WriteZero)

This post is part of the Beginner Book Marketing Guide from Write Zero

This post is part of the ‘Why Do You Write’ Pillar. This is the First Pillar of the Beginner Book Marketing Guide

This post is divided into four parts

  1. Creating a List of all the Reasons you Write (your motivations and desires which compel you to write)
  2. Cleaning up the List and Prioritizing Your List (narrowing down to the REAL and MEANINGFUL motivations and desires)
  3. Based on this Optimized and Simplified List, figuring out What You Really Want from Writing
  4. Based on What You Really Want from Writing, figuring out what Kind of Marketing You Will Need
    1. Please Note: You will have to go through the entire ReviewZero Beginner Book Marketing Guide to figure out what Kind of Marketing you will need
    2. However, the list of Motivations and Desires you create, based on this post, will be the engine for everything

Let’s get started

Why Do You Write?

The kind of marketing you will have to do depends on – Why You Write

How you approach marketing will depend on – Why You Write

Whether or not you will be able to do well as an Author will depend on – How Well You Understand Why You Write

So, let’s figure out Why You Write

Figuring out Your Motivations and Desires which Compel You to Write

You can have a wide variety of Motivations and Desires which Compel You to Write

These can be surface level things you want for yourself –

  1. Money for living expenses
  2. Satisfaction of writing books
  3. Satisfaction of people buying your books
  4. Money to put in the bank and feel good
  5. Spending your time doing something you enjoy (writing books)
  6. Money to quit a job you don’t like
  7. Spending more time with books. As you like reading books, surely you will enjoy writing books too
  8. Making your family/parents/kids/wife/husband proud of you
  9. Please Note: These are just a few examples

These can be surface level things other people have convinced you, you want for yourself –

  1. Validation from others
  2. Approval of others that you are a writer
  3. Winning an award and feeling good about yourself because you think you need to win an award to feel good about yourself
  4. A fast way to get rich (yes, all you have to do is pay someone $500 and they will tell you how you can get rich fast from selling books)
  5. A way to get rich without working hard (yes, because all the successful authors who spent decades working very hard and slowly becoming successful are mistaken, and a random guy on the Internet will share the real secret with you – just hand over your credit card)
  6. Societal status because of being a writer
  7. Please Note: These are just a few examples

These can be deep motivations –

  1. Sharing your expertise, in an area you are an expert in, with people who would benefit from it
  2. Sharing your experiences and life story with others
  3. Connecting with people at a very deep level via stories
  4. Writing a story that has been in your heart for a long time and you feel compelled to write it down
  5. Spreading an idea or point of view and using a book to do it
  6. Sharing a very compelling life lesson
  7. Please Note: These are just a few examples

The very first thing you have to do is make a list of Your PERSONAL Motivations and Desires which motivate you to write

The First Step – Making a List of All Your Motivations and Desires which Compel you to Write

Spend as much time as required to create a very comprehensive list of your Motivations and Desires for writing books

Please be sure to include

  1. Your Own Surface Level Motivations and Desires
  2. Surface Level Motivations and Desires your family, your friends, and society might have imposed on you, and you have begun to think of them as your own
  3. Your Deep Internal Motivations and Desires

While writing down the list, be absolutely focused on it and free of all outside distractions and influences

  1. It is absolutely imperative to include speed noting – writing down reasons without waiting to ‘think’
    1. If you do not write down everything you think of, as soon as you think of things, many of your real subconscious reasons will get ‘censored’ by your conscious mind
    2. Speed noting is taking a pen and a sheet of paper and just writing down WHATEVER comes to mind, without thinking about the validity of it
    3. Absolutely do not filter anything. You might get socially unacceptable things such as
      1. Show my Ex they made a bad decision by leaving me
      2. Become richer than my neighbor and buy a better car than him
      3. Make enough money so that I can buy a cake and smack it straight into my boss’ face and tell him – I’m never filling out any more TPS reports
      4. These are all valid reasons TO YOU, even though you might never want to share them publicly
    4. It is absolutely imperative that you are 100% honest with yourself about the reasons you are doing this
      1. Regardless of what ‘pretty story’ you tell others about why you write books, you MUST be brutally honest with yourself and your REAL Motivations to write
    5. It is also very important to not let your ‘societal fears and rules’ prevent you from listing down what YOU want for YOURSELF
      1. List down things that YOU WANT
      2. List down things that YOU WANT FOR YOURSELF
      3. List down benefits that YOU will get
      4. It is completely OK to get a large amount of value from giving people a large amount of value
      5. Society has a lot of rules which tell you to be guilty for wanting a great life, to be scared of success, to not want money and wealth
        1. Reject those rules
        2. Focus on WHAT YOU WANT
    6. Stop lying to yourself that you want to do this all for altruistic reasons
      1. It comes off as try hard if you pretend you don’t care about money and success and popularity and are writing books to save orphans in Siberia and Pandas in China
      2. When we go to the deep internal motivations section you will find lots of great reasons you have for writing books
      3. There is absolutely no reason to make up imaginary ones, to get brownie points
      4. Just be super honest with yourself about why you want to write books, and what you hope to get from writing books
      5. The more honest you will be and the more clarity you will get about WHY YOU WRITE BOOKS, the higher your chances of succeeding as an author
  2. It is critical to spend a lot of time switched off from everything else when creating this list
    1. No TV
    2. No Radio
    3. No family or friends around
    4. You need to really reach into your mind and figure out why you really want to write
    5. All external stimuli should be switched off
      1. One of the absolute best methods is to turn off everything (including the lights) and just write down reasons on blank sheets of paper
      2. That’s when the REAL reasons and motivations come out
  3. The focus should be on what YOU want, not what other people are asking you to do, or prove, or be
    1. Even with a focus on what you yourself want, the majority of your list will be things that other people have brainwashed you into thinking you should want for yourself
    2. So make sure you try as much as you can to focus on your own reasons for wanting to write
    3. Be sure to also include things other people have convinced you are good for you. However, list them in a separate section of the list
  4. Absolutely do not censor anything
    1. Perhaps the biggest mistake people make is to exclude key motivations because ‘what might other people think if they knew I wanted this’
    2. No one else is going to see your list. Be very frank and honest with yourself about why you want to write
    3. You can always burn the list later (that’s why we asked you to write it with paper and pen)
      1. However, while making the list be sure to write down EVERY reason and motivation and desire which compels you to write
  5. Make sure it is a structured list to the extent possible
    1. Surface level things you want for yourself should be a separate section or a separate sheet of paper
    2. Deep Internal Motivations should be a separate sheet of paper or listed separately
    3. Surface level things other people want you to go for, should be listed separately, or on a separate sheet of paper

It’s very important to reach deep into yourself and capture as many of your motivations and desires as possible

In the second step, we will clean up this list

The Second Step – Cleaning Up your List and Prioritizing Your Motivations and Desires

After Step 1, you will have a list which captures All/Most of the Motivations and Desires which compel you to write

Please do not proceed with Step 2 until and unless you have captured all your internal motivations and as many of your surface level motivations as possible

  1. Have you captured All your internal motivations?
  2. Have you captured All or Nearly All of your surface level motivations?

If not, then please stop reading and work on your Motivations and Desires List first

If Yes, then let’s proceed with Step 2

We will work in five phases

  1. Separate out your motivations and desires into 3 separate lists
    1. Deep Internal Motivations
    2. Surface Level Motivations you want for yourself
    3. Surface Level Motivations others have convinced you are things you want
  2. Prioritize and Order the Items within these 3 lists
    1. Put the most important ones at the very top
    2. You will have to rewrite the lists according to priority
  3. Cancel out all the things that are low priority, that are meaningless, or which no longer are important to you
    1. Things that other people have convinced you of – Many of these become meaningless the moment you realize they are someone else’s dream
    2. Things that are very shallow and have no real meaning
    3. Things that are just too low priority
  4. For each list create a Top 5 Motivations section
    1. Put your 5 most important Motivations there
    2. Motivations such that – IF you get these 5 then you would be OK giving up all the others
  5. For each list create The One Thing
    1. The one most important motivation
    2. This is what you will focus on, above everything else

Once you have these three lists cleaned up and prioritized, you are set

Let’s quickly go over some helpful tips to clean up your lists

Rules for Cleaning Up Your Motivation Lists

You should

  1. Cancel out everything that is low priority
  2. Cancel out everything that will have low impact on your life and happiness
  3. [To the Extent Possible] Cancel out all motivations that are other people’s dreams
  4. Cancel out everything that requires unrealistic time investment
    1. We all have a limited amount of time
    2. Every person gets the exact same amount of time
    3. You can never get your time back
  5. Cancel out everything that requires unrealistic monetary investment
    1. This will be difficult to do because lots of people want to make money from you
      1. They will be utilizing all their abilities to convince you that you should be spending a lot of money
      2. Most of the critical things you need to become successful do not require money
    2. They will be trying to convince you that you should be doing things such as
      1. Purchase 10,000 copies of your hardcover, so that when the book takes off, you can meet demand
        1. Unless you have an empty basement you want to decorate, do not purchase more than 50 hardcovers
      2. Pay someone $50,000 to pitch your book to Movie Studios and TV Studios
        1. Unless that $50,000 is drug money that will get you indicted, hold on to it
      3. Don’t give money to someone who offers you a ‘shortcut to success’
        1. These do not exist
    3.  It is very hard to say no to powerful ideas such as
      1. It takes money to make money
      2. You can buy success. Just spend a lot of money and your book will become a cash cow and will earn back all the money you spent
      3. Spending Money gives you an unmatchable advantage
      4. Stay strong and keep your wallet firmly in your pocket until you fully understand this market
    4. You must be strong and remove all ‘Motivations’ that require that you spend a fortune to become a writer
      1. They are usually wrong motivations
  6. Cancel things that do not stir any passion in you
  7. Cancel things that you do not feel strongly about
    1. For example, there might be a set of authors who have heard that Book Awards are important
    2. However, they might feel zero actual motivation to chase a book award
    3. If that is the case, they should not have ‘Winning a Book Award’ on their list of Motivations

Make sure the lists are very clean and well prioritized

Tips for Prioritizing Motivations

  1. Prioritize things you feel most strongly about as High Priority
  2. Prioritize into 3 SEPARATE Lists
    1. Deep Internal Motivations
    2. Surface Level Motivations that you want for yourself
    3. Surface Level Motivations that other people want you to want
  3. Always focus on finding the 5 Biggest Motivations in each of these 3 Lists
  4. Always focus on finding the 1 Biggest Motivation in each of these 3 Lists
    1. That will be your The One Thing
  5.  Do not have someone else work with you on this
    1. It has to be you prioritizing based on what you want

Prioritize very calmly. Try to keep your emotions out of it

No matter how strongly you feel about some Motivation, detach yourself from your emotions when deciding how high its priority should be

Creating a ‘Stretch Goals’ list for Impossible Motivations or Extremely Hard Motivations

You will run across some motivations that are just impossible or extremely hard to achieve

Shift these Motivations into a Stretch Goals List and return to them after you have achieved the actually possible Motivations

This is Extremely Important. Do not have Impossible or Next to Impossible Motivations in your Lists

Under no circumstances should you put them into the Top 5 or as your The One Thing

Focus on the Motivations and Desires you can achieve. After achieving those, if you so wish, you can revisit the impossible Motivations and take a shot at them

The Third Step – Figure out What You Really Want from Your Writing

These prioritized, ordered, cleaned up lists of Motivations you created in Step 2 are What You Really Want From Your Writing

You’ve already done the Third Step

  1. Take some time to go over the lists, clean it up a bit more, prioritize it better
  2. Make sure you have your 5 biggest Motivations in each list in your Top 5
  3. Make sure you have your single biggest Motivation as your The One Thing for each list

You should have something that looks like (just an example, you must have YOUR OWN LIST of Your Own Motivations and Desires). This is just an EXAMPLE

Distilled and Cleaned Up Motivations & Desires List

  1. Deep, Internal Motivations
    1. The One Thing – Making people who read books happy the way great authors made me happy
    2. Top 5 –
      1. Making people who read books happy the way great authors made me happy
      2. Write absolutely beautiful books that stand the test of time
      3. Leave a legacy for my children and grand children, so they can be proud of their family
      4. Connect with other people via my books
      5. Becoming financially independent and time independent so I can devote all my time to writing books and other things I love to do
    3. Additional –
      1. Dedicate my book to my mother for her faith in me
      2. Help other authors so they can sidestep the things that held me back
      3. Write a book that is so good that children and young people get inspired to read more
      4. Teach young people to be more free thinking and not let societal programming brainwash them
      5. Spread joy and happiness
      6. Help people become wiser and more self content
      7. Help people escape the traps that bad people set for them, via them reading books and becoming more aware of reality
  2. Surface Level Motivations (Myself)
    1. The One Thing – Make enough money to live a comfortable life
    2. Top 5 –
      1. Make enough money to live a comfortable life
      2. Become a bestseller and prove to myself I can sell books
      3. Get at least one person to write in to me personally to say they loved my book, thereby proving to myself I write meaningful books
      4. Write enough books (10+) so that people who love my writing, can keep reading my books
      5. Make enough money to buy a small boat and do fishing trips twice a year
    3. Additional –
      1. When someone asks what I do for a living, I can say I’m a writer without any qualifications such as ‘still finishing my first book’
      2. Get rid of all my credit card debt
      3. Have enough money to pay for Sally’s college education, and perhaps even a bit to help her with down payment for her first house
      4. Can start smoking Cuban cigars
      5. No more shopping at Dress for Less
      6. No more $250 suits
  3.  Surface Level Motivations (Other People)
    1. The One Thing – My wife can be proud of me
    2. Top 5 –
      1. My wife can be proud of me
      2. In Laws stop saying – Sure you will get a book deal one day – in a patronizing way
      3. When my kids grow up they can be proud that I was good at what I did and also created the time to write some good books
      4. When I tell people I’m a writer I can add – I’ve only sold around a hundred thousand books so far. Hoping I can get to a million sold before the Grim Reaper gets me
      5. Can get a better car. Tired of everyone on the highway worrying my car might fall apart any minute
    3. Additional –
      1. Can take my family to fancy restaurants
      2. Can get better gifts for the In Laws
      3. Get a better lawn mower. Perhaps enough money to hire someone to mow the lawn instead of me
      4. Build a backdoor pool. Have some cool parties
      5. Buy some proper alcohol to impress my friends
  4. [Long Term Stretch Goals] The Next to Impossible List
    1. The One Thing – Make $10 million net profits from selling books
    2. Top 5 –
      1. Make $10 million net profits from selling books
      2. The wife starts looking at me the way she did when I was 28 and on top of the world
      3. Everyone has a lot of respect for me because of how well I am doing as a writer
      4. Buy the In Laws an apartment in the south of Spain, so they can move there and can only come bother me twice a year
      5. Take a trip to space and see what the Earth looks like
    3. Additional –
      1. Never have to worry about money ever again
      2. Build a Movie Theater in the basement with seating for 20 people
      3. Get a summer house in Florida or Louisiana
      4. Buy one of those jet pack things which let you fly around like Iron Man
      5. Rent a Yacht and sail to Hawaii
      6. Take 5 years off from work

Please Note: Your lists should be MUCH longer and they should be prioritized. The One Thing should be 1 item. Top 5 should be 5 items. The Additional sections must be much longer

All your focus should be on creating such a list

Once you have these 2 cleaned up lists of Your Motivations and Desires which Compel You To Write, you can get started on figuring out what kind of marketing you will need

The Fourth Step – Figure out What Kind of Marketing You Will Need to Achieve What You Really Want from Your Writing

It should come as no surprise that the Kind of Marketing You Need will depend on what your Motivations and Desires are

For example, if you look at the list above, you will notice this gentleman has absolutely no desire to win any book awards or go on any radio shows. So, it would make no sense for him to allocate part of his marketing budget to applying for Book Awards and applying for Radio Show Interviews

Your Marketing Strategy should be derived COMPLETELY from what your Motivations and Desires List is

You will have to read through the ENTIRE Beginner Book Marketing Guide from Review Zero to learn how to build a complete Marketing Strategy and Plan

However, the work you did in creating a list and cleaning it and prioritizing it, and arriving at a polished list of Your Motivations and Desires, will be

  1. The Foundation on which your entire Marketing Strategy is built
  2. The Key to Your Success as an Author
  3. The Key to you fulfilling the Motivations & Desires you prioritized on this list

Treat it with care and affection. It will get you what you most desire

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