Recently, I met a woman who had traced her ancestry several generations back to her great-grandfather. What she found was remarkable. He was born into slavery in 1855 and after the Emancipation Proclamation amazingly achieved a significant accomplishment ... he got his 40 acres. Actually, he had purchased 80 acres of land through the Homestead Act. On that land, he built a modest home, raised crops and reared 13 children along with his wife. What a fantastic and inspiring story.
“Are you writing a book about it?” I asked her. “Oh no,” she said. “This story isn’t that unique. There are a lot of other people who have done remarkable things like this throughout history.” And thus, one of the roadblocks to success for most aspiring writers.
As I’ve said many times ... we all have a book inside of us. This woman knew that her ancestor’s story was interesting, but she didn’t realize that it could also be inspiring to others. Many would-be authors talk themselves out of writing the book that is in their heart because they’re hung up on thinking that their story isn’t unique enough or that millions and billions of people wouldn’t buy it, or that it won’t make Oprah’s Book List, or won’t top the New York Times Bestsellers List or some other amazing feat. Well, for writers who use the unlikely-ness of fame and fortune as an excuse not to write their book, I say, “Hogwash!”
When you identify the ideal reader for your book, the person whom you want to read it ... and you determine what you want the reader to glean from your words and your story, you will realize that there are hundreds, thousands and even tens of thousands (if not more) people who could be inspired by your story. Why keep them in the dark about the life lessons you’ve learned? Why not share with them the “how-tos” of what you know? Why not inspire them with a touching story from your past?
Don’t cheat your potential readers out of being blessed by your story simply because you think it isn’t the most unique story ever told or that it won’t be a mega-bestseller. What really matters is that you tell your story and you inspire someone else to be greater because of it.
What else is holding you back from writing your life?