The One Thing You Need to Write Your Book On Your Own

Why do people decide to work with a ghostwriter instead of writing their book on their own?

I gave a talk last week where I answered this question. I get it a lot and I’ve answered it in print before, too.

There’s one glaringly obvious reason I didn’t explore in that article:

People hire us because they don’t have time to write their book.

I’m always going on about the things you need for a book project—mindset, good ideas, structure, a very sturdy connection to your intrinsic motivation—but I’m realizing I never mention the elephant in the room:

You need time.

You need time to think and time to write and time to procrastinate because you’re not a writing robot.

You also need time to pass within the project so that your ideas can develop and mature.

Writing is basically a fermentation process.

(AKA, don’t write your book in a week while holed up in an AirBNB. Or go ahead. But then expect that some of the ideas in your book will be, you know, cabbage instead of kimchi.)


I’ve got some actual tips for how to make time or find the time, but before you can use those tips, you have to accept (and honor!) the fact that writing a book takes time.

I’ve spent 10, 12, even 20 hours in a given week on some book projects.

Do you have that kind of time?

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