Four Common Excuses That Inhibit Aspiring Non Fiction Authors

By Robert W. Lucas

Four Common Excuses That Inhibit Aspiring Non Fiction AuthorsThousands of people likely say each day that they want to become a non fiction author…someday. Yet, many never achieve their dream because the find reasons why they cannot write. These people often have college degrees, years of experience and expertise in a given field or on a specific topic about which they want to write, and they have the ability to write effectively, but something holds them back. Are you one of these people? What is stopping you?

The following are  a four common excuses often heard from aspiring nonfiction (and fiction) writers and some ideas on how you might overcome your personal hurdle to getting started:

I do not know how to write a book. Like anything else in life, writing is a skill that must be learned, practiced and honed over a period of time. Start by writing short non fiction articles and getting feedback from friends, colleagues and family. As your expertise and confidence grows, submit your work to print publications and online sites that publish non fiction articles (e.g. or  These sites do not pay for submissions but you do gain visibility on the Internet by getting them published by well-know sites.

I do not have time to write. Welcome to the real-world. In today’s hectic world, most people never have time to do the things they want to do. My philosophy is that if something is really important to you and you truly want to do it, you will find time to achieve your goal. Even if you can squeeze out half an hour a day, you can complete articles and even a book draft in a relatively short period. For example, if you write one page a day for 365 days, you will have completed a book of approximately 200 pages in length, once you add front materials (e.g. table of contents, preface, dedications, and introduction) and back materials (e.g. references, index, and glossary) by the end of one year. You can then have a good editor work their magic and you are on your way to a published book.

I do not know what to write. Take out a piece of paper and create a list of all the things you really like to do, read about, talk about, think about and have researched in depth as part of your job or school projects. Add to this the things that you believe you are good at doing (get input on this from the people who know you best) For example, co-workers, clients, family, and friends. Do some research online, in magazines and newspapers, in electronic media, in professional and collegiate journals, or wherever else you spot patterns in society. What are people looking for and talking about regularly? What issues agencies highlighting and are being featured on daily talk shows? What book topics are popular at your library (as your circulation librarian), in bookstores, or in online stores like Amazon?  After doing all this and capturing your lists on paper, go to some of the online websites (e.g. Google AdSense) that track word searches on the Internet to narrow your topic down. What are people most often searching for? After doing all this, you should have a pretty good list. Choose the top three and check to see how much has been written in articles, books, magazines and other sources. If a topic is not well covered, you may have just found you topic.

I have family obligations that inhibit me. Most people have this issue to deal with. Talk to family members and friends to let them know of your writing dreams and aspirations and ask them for ideas on how you can best reach them? Ask for their assistance. For example, could a relative stay with an elderly parent or child for a couple days to allow you a “writing weekend?” Could a friend stop by to help out or look in on a sick relative? Can someone assist you with some of those projects you have to work on each weekend and that prohibit you from writing? If the people you ask are truly your friends or interested in your personal success, you can likely find someone to assist. Maybe you can swap of helping on projects. They help you and you later do likewise.

Writing non fiction can be fun, fulfilling and rewarding, but you first have to start. Through non fiction writing, You can share your knowledge and expertise and actually help others in the process. Give it a try by thinking about how you can; not how you cannot write.

Go to Amazon to explore some of the great resources in print for new and hopeful authors.