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  • By Laura Schaefer

Two Reasons to Write a Book You've Never Considered Before

Writing a book can greatly simplify your hiring process.

You have to hire a new employee, but you’re feeling a bit anxious about it. Every single new hire is a giant leap of faith. It’s tough to tell if the person sitting across from you at the conference table is going to make your life easier, or be the source of countless headaches in the months or years to come. Picture this: the individual sitting across the table, hoping to join your company, says something that makes your ears perk up. “I saw your book on Amazon last week, so I downloaded it. I thought Chapter 4 was really interesting, but I’m confused. Don’t you think the central argument of that section contradicted the rest of your message? I mean, just a little?”

Suddenly, instead of talking about where Candidate Four pictures herself in five years (UGH), the two of you are discussing ideas.

You’ve found a way to determine if you’ve stumbled across a live one. By writing a book, you’ve reduced the risk of working with a stranger. Because after an hour of talking about the insights you’ve chosen to share with the world, you may have found a friend…or made an enemy.

A book is a tool. A beautiful, useful tool for connection between humans. And not connection on the level of tweets—a connection born of something deeper, of the time it takes to actually write, and then read, a whole book.

Writing a book is an act of giving.

I’ve been a writer for a long time, which is to say I’ve been making mistakes as a writer for a long time. When I started in this career at age 21, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. My parents were not in creative fields; I didn’t have a published uncle or a managing editor for a cousin. Everyone I knew was encouraging and kind, but when it came to the brass tacks of earning a living as a freelance writer, I had to figure it out myself. So, I went to the library. And to writer’s conferences. I pieced together a career, very slowly, based a winning combination of one failure after another, punctuated with the odd success.

The only reason I had any forward motion at all was thanks, in large part, to the wisdom I gleaned from others who were willing to share their foibles.

Reflect on who you were at age 22. What would you tell that young man or young woman? By writing a book, you’re taking the time to shorten the learning curve for that person today. You’re paying it forward and accelerating human progress.

You might think others have written your book and written it better, but I would argue the world needs more unique voices. It wasn’t until I discovered Jen Sincero’s hilarious take on the self-help genre in YOU ARE A BADASS that I realized I had a lot more control over my professional life than I had ever previously considered. I stopped wasting so much time and accomplished more in the year after I read it than I had in the previous three. Sincero says the exact same thing that hundreds (thousands?) of writers before her had said. But it wasn’t until SHE said it, in her irreverent, ironic, rockstar style that the message found its way through my incredibly thick skull. Your voice matters in ways you cannot possibly predict right now. Speak up.

Writing a book, even with a completely awesome ghostwriter like myself, isn’t easy. It takes months. It takes deep reflection. It takes reading more email from me than you’d really prefer to. And if you do hire a pro to help you, it takes money. My rates start at $18k per project, and that doesn’t even include a book cover. (WHAT?)

All that said, you should do it. Write your book. This year. This month. With me.

So does writing them.

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