10 Reasons Why Writing Your First Non-Fiction Book is so Difficult


Ready to put your wisdom and experience between covers to inspire others or document your journey? Writing a non-fiction book is a dream harbored by many, but the path to publication is laden with challenges. For an aspiring author, especially an entrepreneur or corporate professional who wants to write a book but is not a writer, picking up the pen for the first time to share a story, the sheer task ahead can be daunting. Here are 10 rock-solid reasons why your book idea is still an idea and strategies on how to bring it to life sooner. 

Reason 1: A First-Timer’s Insecurities Are No Joke

You know it—doubt and perfectionism are the classic barricades to creativity. When you’re penning your first book, these jitters can be on overdrive. Ever found yourself doubting your story’s importance? If your book idea could be a repetition of an already existing work,? Or if you can write an entire book by yourself? Chances are, you have. It’s natural to feel all kinds of doubts, especially when you take that first, uncertain step.

Combat Strategy

List your insecurities and rationally challenge them. Are they real obstacles or just paper tigers in your mind? Preparation trumps paranoia.

Reason 2: The Matter is of the Heart

Your first book is a piece of your soul, a manifesto of your beliefs and your personal philosophy that’s now open for scrutiny. The vulnerability that comes with such an endeavor can be daunting.

Combat Strategy

Remember, no voice is universally loved. Be loyal to your story and your message—there will be readers who appreciate your candor and honesty. You may change some people’s lives with your thoughts! 

Reason 3: The Mountain to climb

A book’s projects are long. Your first real non-fiction book might take months to get written and months to be published. A project that’s too big can seem like an insurmountable mountain.

Combat Strategy

It’s all about the bite-sized approach. Establishing achievable weekly tasks, setting monthly milestones, and assigning deadlines for significant milestones, such as completing the first draft or finalizing the publishing strategy, are vital steps in managing your progress effectively.

Reason 4: Lack of Clarity on the Process to Follow 

For those unfamiliar, the journey of writing may appear lengthy. However, the publishing phase presents an even greater challenge. Should one opt for self-publishing or follow the traditional route involving agents and editors? Navigating this maze can be overwhelming. And once the book is published, what’s next? Bringing a book idea to fruition is a meticulous process that demands strategic thinking and thorough planning.

Combat Strategy

Investing in education is a paramount strategy. Engage in workshops, enroll in classes, connect with authors, and stay updated on the latest in publishing. Birdhaus presents a FREE 30-minute Masterclass that grants you invaluable insights into the journey of a book. Seize this opportunity and reap the benefits!

Reason 5: The Myth of Inspiration

The idea that great writing springs forth from the well of inspiration is a myth. Writing your first book doesn’t require a muse. It needs structure, planning, and sweat.

Combat Strategy

Establish a dedicated schedule and commit to it consistently, irrespective of your mood. Prioritize setting an intention before opening your writing file, and dedicate at least 15 minutes to it. Your intention may involve outlining your work, penning that captivating anecdote you wish to share, or crafting an action list for your readers. Each instance of following this practice will contribute to your improvement.

Reason 6: Research Rabbit Holes and their Distractions

Research is crucial, but unchecked, it doubles as a perfect ground for procrastination. The triple satisfaction of productivity, learning, and non-writing can be seductive.

Combat Strategy

Limit your daily research time. Pro Tip: Do not research while you are writing your first draft! If you come across something you’ll need later, make a note in the text and keep moving forward.

Reason 7: The Isolation of Commitment

Writing is a solitary quest. No one can type those words but you, and the commitment to such a long project without a visible finish line can be isolating.

Combat Strategy

Join a writing group, engage with other authors, or find a writing buddy who can hold you accountable. Remember, you’re not alone.

Reason 8: Not Knowing who your Audience is

Not knowing who you’re writing for can throw your direction off. A book is a conversation, and without a clear idea of who’s sitting across from it, it can feel like shouting into the void.

Combat Strategy

Spend as much time defining your audience as you do planning your content. Research your market, and imagine a single reader who most needs to read your book.

Reason 9: The Lack of an Outline

Writing without a plan is like starting a business without a business plan. It’s possible, but it’s the hard way—time-consuming and filled with trial and error, and you can lose track of the initial purpose. 

Combat Strategy

Spend ample time crafting a strong outline. It’s the skeleton that will hold your content and chapters together.

Reason 10: Too Many Excuses, Too Little Progress

Life will provide an endless parade of reasons not to write: work, family, and that irresistible call of Netflix. Without a counter-strategy, these excuses can snowball.

Combat Strategy

Identify your excuses and prepare counter-responses. No time? Write for only five minutes. Tired? Write on that subject, hyping up your next book to yourself.


Why You Should Write Despite the Effort

Let’s turn the coin. Writing your first non-fiction book is difficult—yes. But it’s also a journey that can transform you, share your insights, and leave a legacy. It’s about growth, not just about the end result. Despite the obstacles, the discipline, and the fears, each word that brings your story to life is a testament to your determination.

In the end, a book is more than a bound volume of paper. It’s a ticket to a conversation you would’ve never had, a mentor who never existed, and a legacy that outlives your digital footprint. It’s worth it, starting right now. Set a goal, write on it, and don’t stop. Today, you’re not just writing a book; you’re starting a journey that can alter the course of many a reader’s life. And possibly, your own.


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