Most people who ever think about writing a book will have to deal with imposter syndrome at some stage—the question, Why should anyone be interested in what I have to say? After all, Ecclesiastes 1:9 says, “There’s nothing new under the sun.” Big-name authors have already written about prayer or parenting, or business or marriage; what do I bring to the table?
Well, at least a couple of things. First, insights and experiences that are unique to you, and which may connect uniquely with readers. And a network of people who may never be interested in reading what Mr. New York Times Bestseller has to say, but would pick up your book because they know you. You have a unique entry into some people’s worlds.
And let’s not confuse scale with significance. Sure, your book may never sell millions, but it may impact a handful of lives for eternity. And while the publishing world thrives on having the first words on a topic, it’s often the last ones that really matter.
Consider Dr. Luke. In his introduction to his Gospel, he writes how “many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us” (v.1). In other words, others had beaten him to bookstore shelves. But where are their versions today? Which writer is the one who has stood the test of time? Luke—who then went on to write another bestseller, of course!
Luke’s Gospel opening hints at a couple of reasons for his enduring success. His work was authoritative—he “carefully investigated everything from the beginning” (v.3). This was no rush-to-press effort cranked out quickly to make a few denarii. With all that thorough research done, he then sat down and crafted “an orderly account” (v.3)—it was easy for people to read and understand.
And, finally, he had a clear goal in mind. Not to make a name for himself, but “so that you [Theophilus] may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.” Luke’s sole purpose was to proclaim the truth.
If you’ve felt a stirring to write a book, be wary of the “who are you?” questions that come to mind and cause you to falter. From the beginning, the enemy has tried to keep people from fulfilling their destiny in God by making them doubt themselves and their qualifications. But the truth is, no one God has ever called has really been qualified. That’s the whole point.
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