Building narratives: Get started, write that book

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For some, writing a book is always one of the top resolutions they set but as days turn into weeks and weeks turn into months, some become hesitant and sooner rather than later the year ends without them writing a single page.

By Fungayi Sox

Eighteenth century British writer and lexicographer Samuel Johnson once claimed that “No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money” a sentiment which applies today as most writers simply want to sell their work.

In light of these quoted remarks, it is interesting to note that even with all of the labour-reducing advances of the last half-century, most book writers do not open and bleed their hearts just for the cash. They write because writing is their life, writing is who they are, what they need to do and how they express themselves.

At the start of each new year, it is a custom for billions of people all over the world to celebrate with jubilations of expectations for a new year. For some, writing a book is always one of the top resolutions they set but as days turn into weeks and weeks turn into months, some become hesitant and sooner rather than later the year ends without them writing a single page. The formula to writing a book is to just get started.

In this article I share some of the reasons why it is important to take a step of faith and write that one page, one day at time so as to culminate into a book.

Your narrative matters

Many people feel that their narratives or stories have been told before or similarly shared but this is not always the case. Just because a similar narrative has been shared before does not equate to it being told by you.

Writing is one way to accommodate and amplify your authentic voice and share your narrative which in turn may uniquely inspire someone who relates to your narrative.

From my experience in helping people to write and publish their books, I have discovered that most of the manuscripts in particular the non-fiction one have stories or that unique voice which always give me a different perspective to the world.

It is because of that unique voice that you should get started and write that book.

Writing is therapeutic

Writing can also serve as a means of journal therapy and journaling for therapeutic benefits and is indeed a low cost, easily accessible and versatile form of therapy which only require your pen, laptop or any related tech device. Consequently, the most important and powerful parts of therapy is that ability to observe our thoughts and feelings and expressive writing as it promotes healing.

Making money

In the context of Zimbabwe, with a highly literate and academic population which has undergone harsh economic realities of surviving and living in a tough and squeezed economy, no one can deny that one can make a living out of sharing their knowledge or expertise in various facets especially of the socio-economic spheres, in particular through non-fiction, personal development material which can transform lives.

Although piracy continue to be an impeding factor in making realisation out of books, one should also look at the alternative option of self-publishing which enable them to somehow have control over marketing, sales and distribution of books.

Leaving a legacy

“When an old man dies, a library burns to the ground”. —African proverb

This for me is one of the most profound African proverbs which is not only striking but awakening in the context of the need to passing on knowledge for generations to follow.

It is sad to note that many great men have passed on without passing on their great wisdom to their families and this could probably explain why some African institutions or businesses die with the owner.

Writing a book is one of the great and unique ways to leave a mark and inspire generations and generations to come.

There are many other reasons why it is important to build narratives and write books which I did not enlist in this article but anyone with an insatiable hunger to write a book should just take it one step at a time and get started by writing that one page at a time which over time will eventually culminate into a well-built narrative.

  • Fungayi Sox is the managing consultant at TisuMazwi — a communications consultancy firm that facilitates book project management including writing and publishing, research, content development and marketing, digital media and personal development. He writes in his personal capacity. For one-on-one book writing and self-publishing coaching sessions, contact him on 0776 030 949, follow him on Twitter @AntonySox or connect with him on LinkedIn on Fungayi Antony Sox.

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