It’s hard to believe you have a story in you when you wake up every morning at 5:30 am, rush through your morning routine, head to work, then quietly burrow through your painfully boring to-do list. Maybe the most entertainment you get in a day is while watching GenZs’ do crazy things on Tiktok, and maybe the only way you know what’s happening with your best friends from high school is by stealthily following them across their social media platforms. Well, I’m here to tell you that you do have a story in you. Everybody does! In fact, it’s possible you have more than a story in you, you could have a whole book or two. And guess what? Most people do.
Now you may be wondering—where is this story, this book I’m so ‘blindly’ referring to? Let’s start by talking about what books are made from, or rather, what they are not made from. People tend to think that the only stories worth telling are those larger-than-life, overly dramatic, big-moment incidents that they experienced. And so, maybe you think you need to have gone through some dramatic event that you survived or made a Billion Naira selling bicycles from your garage. Look, the best stories are not always the most successful or the most traumatic. Life is also not binary, and a huge chunk of who we are happens in the middle. Think about it, that book that you think you don’t have but you actually have is already with you, written somewhere between brushing your teeth in the morning and signing off at work in the evening. So, now that we’ve established that you can write a book if you want to, here are a few ways to glean what kind of book to write.
Something you know how to do. I know that we live in the age of YouTube where everything is DIY, but there are some skills that are not craft inclined. Example, how to survive a boring-ass job. Or, how to cope with family pressure. Maybe it’s gardening or haircare or telling animal stories to children—why not a picture book? Or an actual book? Basically, there is something you know to do in your own unique way that will be helpful to others.
A Diary compilation. Yes, it is a very intimate yet bordered way to share yourself with the world. Of course you don’t necessarily how many times you used the bathroom or what you had for lunch; you could instead focus on how you feel, what interesting or non-interesting things you saw, why you think they drew out some reactions from you. A diary is an interesting way to outline your reactions to the world, to outline your patterns, learn about yourself and provide a point of connection or resonance either with your future self or with others.
You could write about something you experienced, sort of a memory-driven writing. It could be one specific incident or one specific season of your life, it could be loss of a job, a spouse, a parent, or it could be an afternoon conversation with your granduncle that changed your life. The idea of this is to put that experience in conversation with something that is happening currently, something that you want to offer.
You could do a curation of random things. Like a diary, this could be a collection of thoughts on subjects that interest you. Instead of arguing about politics in public, why not pen down some of those rambles in an easy, conversational tone that allows you connect with others?
You could write about success, or jumping off a plane, basically some larger-than-life incident that happened to you. People love a good success story, as long as you don’t feel you have to perform your success, you should be fine. So, don’t be modest. Tell us exactly when and how you are great. Hopefully, you’ll tell us, how, through your greatness, we too, can become great.
Note, I focus here on non-fiction Book ideas. Of course, there’s also genre type of writing, which we will keep in the pipe. If you have specific questions about writing a book, be sure to type them out in the comment section.