Writers May Be Born, Not Made
When I was 12 and told my Mom I wanted to be a writer, she told me it would be foolish to pursue writing as a profession, so I reluctantly chose another path. Yet writing followed me throughout my life, no matter where I worked. Whether I was a teacher, a NASA researcher or nondestructive evaluation expert, writing kept cropping up in my daily work. Finally, when Nigel and I formed our intuitive consulting company, we were both able to pursue our lifelong passions for writing.
All Books Are Not Created Equal
Why write a book? There are many possible motivating factors, but for me, the driving one is I just love to write. Having said that, I am pretty discriminating about what I invest time in writing.
At a time when anyone who is willing to invest a bit of time and money can become a published writer, there are few checks and balances to guarantee the quality of books. Self-publishing is a wonderful opportunity for those who want to pursue a career as a writer. Making it easier to become an author has removed the hurdles that once faced those of us who are passionate about writing.
But for you, the reader, the trend towards self-published books has important ramifications that go beyond those we deal with as authors. Some of those traditional publishing hurdles were artificial and unjust, while others served a useful purpose, winnowing out the garbage for the most part.
Now the phrase ‘buyer beware’ is even more apropos than it was in the past for book buyers. Anyone can publish a book about anything, and there are no grammar police, content cops or editing enforcers to assure quality for you, the reader. All of that is up to you, now.
Critical Thinking For Readers
One way to avoid disappointment as a reader is to find authors who have credibility. Look at the biographical information on Amazon and other bookselling sites. What experience does the author have in the subject he or she writes about? Does she have a website that looks professional? Does she offer services in an area related to her nonfiction books? Is she even a real person? (One dowsing ‘author’ has a fake name and is identified as an anonymous group of dowsers. How authoritative is anything written by someone who won’t even put their name on a book?)
You need to take the time to research authors a bit more than you might have in the past, now that literally anyone can publish a book. Don’t invest money and time in something that might be total hogwash.
Our Criteria For Writing A Nonfiction Book
As self-published authors, we must set a high standard for our writing in order to maintain our reputation with you, the reader. Each book we write must deliver. That responsibility, once the domain of traditional publishing, is now on our shoulders, and we take it seriously.
We write books related to dowsing, intuition, healing and energy work. We have many years of experience in those subjects, both personal and professional. Experience is a big criterion for writing an authoritative book. But is having experience and authority enough to make it worthwhile for you to write a book? Not necessarily.
We don’t write books that are rehashes of information that has already been covered well by other authorities. Many New Age writers are simply paraphrasing stuff that has already been written. You know what I mean: someone writes a short book with content that is almost plagiarized. I don’t think that is appropriate. The thrill of seeing your name on a book or making a buck shouldn’t be your main motivation for writing and publishing a book in my opinion. Those are secondary perks that come from doing a good job.
Another criterion that Nigel and I follow that you don’t see in self-publishing as often as you’d like is that we must have something valuable to share, as well as a unique outlook or voice for our books. What we write must have value to our prospective readers. While no one can write content that is 100% new, the purpose of a book in my opinion should be to add measurable, unique value to the existing body of work. In other words, we write for our readers.
The reader is the reason I write and publish books. I want to share my vision, my story, my expertise in ways that can help you and other people. I am an avid reader, and I write the books I wish I could have read when I was first learning dowsing and Reiki. If you have benefited from my writing, I am a success. If I accomplish that, the rest will flow naturally.
Books can be a priceless tool in personal growth, healing and your spiritual journey. Writing a book isn’t just about me. Never just about me. If it’s only about me, it probably won’t sell well. I write to an audience of people who are eager to become more self-aware, want to hone their intuitive sensing skills and are open to seeing things in new ways. If you fit that description, you probably will enjoy my books.
I’d love to hear what type of nonfiction you like to read, and I am always interested in finding good topics that can contribute to readers. Please share your thoughts in the Comments below.