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The authors of those books will be grateful, and the readers who connect with them will be too. That person might be a close friend, a distant stranger, or possibly even yourself, years later, when you rediscover this amazing thing you made, amazing simply because you made it. Whatever it is it’s good enough to be the book that you write.Writing a book yourself is the long way to go in helping other people. You’ll be a better writer if you become a better reader first. Just write a draft of a single chapter and see what happens. If an idea lingers in your mind, and won’t leave you alone, just do it.

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So, after hiring me as his dating coach, we set to work in rebranding him on We had Tom fill out my long questionnaire and submit to an hour of questions from me on the phone.

You can see what a great experience it was in this CBS Early Show clip: What I haven’t yet mentioned is that Tom Pandolfo is 5’3″.

If you’re a regular reader, you probably knew that I was on the CBS Early Show in July. We wrote two new profile essays that were unique, funny and confident.

Appearing with me was one of my all-time favorite clients, Tom Pandolfo. We renamed him “Look Ma No Hair.”And we watched as his in-box filled up with interested women.

It’s only through effort that we learn what an idea actually is, and if our passion for it will last or fade. But it’s hard to respect someone who never tries, even once, to do something good that’s always on their mind. If this essay doesn’t get convince you, and yet you keep thinking about writing, this might explain why.

If you’re worried about how good your idea is, you’re worrying about the wrong thing.

“If you write for yourself, you’ll always have an audience.” -Bruce Springsteen “We can secure other people’s approval if we do right and try hard; but our own is worth a hundred of it, and no way has been found out of securing that.” – Mark Twain It will take many hours to write a book. If you think your story can help people, that’s excellent. Your idea is good because it’s yours, and it means something to you.

Therefore, you should write about something you, the writer, finds interesting. But it’s unlikely that you’d be the first to write about: If you primarily want to help people, a far easier way is to find good books that already exist and convince more people to read them. If in the end only one other person on the planet gets value from what you make, that alone justifies your efforts.

If you’re thinking of writing, do some homework: does a book like yours exist? The question then is: how is your story is different? But of course independent of what others have done, you can decide you want to write your book anyway. It’s an excellent investment of time, but only if you think it is too. The only chance for sanity is to get the idea out of your mind and down on paper or on a screen.

If you think the story should be told, whether it’s yours, your Mom’s, or your imaginary friend Rupert’s, you are the only person in the world capable of telling it in the way you have it in your mind. “All fiction is derivative, a fact that the good writer turns to his advantage, making the most of reader’s expectations, twisting old conventions, satisfying expectations in unexpected ways.

Don’t pester others for validation before you’ve written a word. The only way to know if an idea is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is to do something with it.

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