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Can anyone write a book? Find the answers to all your questions

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Because I know so many writers and I’m a writer myself, it’s very obvious to me what it takes to write a book. Almost none of it includes magic tricks. But can anyone write a book?

A lot of people think you might need some kind of specific education to be able to write, or perhaps that you need to be a specific kind of person with a specific background. Here’s the good news: none of that is true. In this post, I will show you why anyone can write a book if they’re willing to work for it.

Can you write a book with no experience?

I have an entire blog post dedicated to writing a book with experience, and essentially, the answer is yes, but also no.

Do you need experience in writing novels to write a novel? No, just find out how to do it and then start writing. Prepare to revise a lot. But should you write a book with no experience in writing at all? I wouldn’t recommend that unless you just want to write for fun and don’t intend to share your book with others. But if you want other people to read what you’ve written, and more importantly, if you want to be a good writer, you need to get some writing experience first.

Fortunately, getting more writing experience is just a question of getting started. You can read my post about writing without experience for tips and writing exercises, and I also have a collection of writing prompts you can use to get started.

I also have a course that can set any beginner writer up for success when it comes to writing their first novel. It’s perfect for total beginners but also works for people who have already written stories before.

Can you write a book without a degree?

Can you write a novel without a degree?

Although creative writing degrees do exist, you don’t need one if you want to write a book. You also don’t need a degree in English or in any other language, or any kind of a degree at all. Will they be helpful? Certainly. Any education and life experiences can be helpful if you want to write stories.

The thing is, no degree is guaranteed to make you a great writer. A creative writing degree will certainly help you understand different types of fiction and show you how to write them, but it still won’t prepare you for the reality of being an author. And I believe it was Matt Bird of The Secrets of Story who was completely disappointed in his writing degree and was forced to learn the “secrets” to writing great stories afterwards, so you might not be missing out on anything.

If you still want to get a degree, do your research first so that it’ll be worth your time and money. Not all schools are created equal so make sure to find out the opinions of previous students to learn what it’s actually like to study there.

It’s true, you do have to learn a lot if you want to learn how to write books and create great stories. Fortunately, there are tons of free resources to start learning from (like this blog where you are right now!) and many writing craft books are very affordable and accessible. There are also very useful online and in-person courses for writers that don’t cost thousands of dollars.

Reading fiction and practising your writing skills are the two other things that are non-negotiable if you want to learn to be a writer, and they’re practically free to do. So if you’ve been wondering if you can write a book without training, the answer is no, but the good news is that you can train yourself. Be the self-taught writer you’ve always longed to be.

Do you need to be educated to write a book?

I wanted to add one more thing here in case anyone had any doubts: You don’t need a university degree or any other kind of education to write a book. The more we have people from different backgrounds writing books, the better.

Maybe you’ve grown up to think you’re not really a bookish kind of person, but it doesn’t matter. If you want to write a book, you have a story to tell and you are willing to learn what you must learn to write great stories, you should absolutely do it. No matter who you are or where you’re coming from.

Can a normal person write a book?

Can a regular person write a book?

I need to address this question because it’s something I see A LOT when I do research on what people want to know about writing. It makes me laugh every time because I happen to know what most writers are like, though I do understand what people actually mean by this when they go and ask google about it.

Yes, a regular person can definitely write a book. You don’t need to be a celebrity or an otherwise public person to write a book, even if you do want to write about your own life. (More on that later on in this post.) Like I said earlier, you don’t need to be from a specific background, truly anyone can write a book.

Can anyone be an author?

An author is simply someone who has written a book, though you can also talk about an author of an article, for an example. Being an author is simply a matter of writing a book, though many people prefer to refrain from using the name unless they’re published, even if it’s “only” a short story in a literary magazine.

You don’t need anyone’s permission to call yourself an author and it’s not a job title either like a “marketing director” or a “licensed therapist”. You also don’t need to register as a practicing author or anything else like that! People will likely assume that you’re traditionally published if you decide to call yourself an author, so use your own judgement whether you should call yourself an author or a writer instead.

Can anyone write a book and get published?

Can anyone write a book and get published?

IN THEORY, yes. A lot of people who have written books that have got published are just regular Joes and Janes.

However, not EVERYONE who writes a book gets published. FAR FROM IT. It’s not like that episode of Peppa Pig where Peppa’s mum writes a book and then a couple of days later it’s in the shops. The Simpsons had a similar storyline, too, in at least two episodes.

Writing your book is not the biggest obstacle on your road to getting published. That’s absolutely not where it gets easy. The competition is fierce and only a small percent of writers ever get published, so never assume it’s going to happen to you until you’ve signed the papers with a publisher. If that doesn’t sound appealing to you, you can always pursue self-publishing.

That said, I don’t think “getting published is difficult” is a reason to not write. You should absolutely write if it’s something you want to do. Try and get published, too, if that’s what your goal is. Just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean it can’t happen to you.

Should I write a book about my life?

This is something that a lot of people wonder about, and once again, the answer is yes. But if you’re wondering should you write a book about your life, the answer might be a little different.

I love reading memoirs and many of them are written by regular people (i.e. not celebrities). If you’ve lived through exceptional circumstances or if you have a lot of interesting stories to tell about your line of work, for example, you could absolutely write a book about that. But perhaps make sure first that people really are willing to read about it!

I have also written a post called “Should you write a book or a blog?” so if sharing your life story with others is something that interests you, you might also consider writing a blog. That post also gives you more ideas for writing a book about your own life.

Am I good enough to write a book?

If you’re not sure, you should probably keep practising your writing skills. Writing well is just a skill that anyone can learn if they put enough time and effort into it.

No, you can’t just be “book-writing ready” right off the bat without putting any effort into learning how to write. It just doesn’t work like that. If you’re not interested in learning about writing and you just want to write a book, you’re more than welcome to write for your own enjoyment! But if you dream of getting published, that’s no way to go about it. Please respect the craft and your readers.

On the other hand, you shouldn’t strive for producing perfect writing on the first try. The magic of writing well is in the editing, so learning how to turn your crappy writing into smashing writing is what really makes a great writer.

Is writing a novel worth it?

I don’t know, is it?

If you’re not sure if writing a book is worth it, then don’t do it. You won’t enjoy it. Nobody who set out to write an amazing novel started out with the mindset of “gosh, I sure hope this is worth my time”. They had a story to tell and that was more important than anything.

If it’s money that you’re thinking of, nobody can guarantee that you’ll make any money with your novel. If you do make money, there’s no way to predict if it’s going to make you feel like it was worth it. Please have some other reason why you’re writing a story or don’t write at all.

Do you need good grammar to write a book? Do you have to be smart to write a book?

Do you need to have good grammar or be smart to write a book?

Short answer: no and no.

Slightly longer answer, no, you don’t need to have “good grammar” to write a book. Sure, most people who write books are interested in language and they’re often talented in the way of words, but grammar is not the story. “Good grammar” and spelling make a book readable, but you can outsource copy-editing and proofreading to someone who knows what they’re doing.

You probably noticed I kept writing “good grammar” with quotations, and that’s because it’s not really a thing. Written language has rules in every language, but schools often teach rules that are simply not accurate or useful, and by the virtue of being a native speaker of the language you’re writing in, you already know how the grammar works. You’re going to be okay and your writing is just fine – anything that doesn’t turn out to be understandable can be fixed later.

And when it comes to being “smart”, that’s another concept that doesn’t really exist. Sorry, all the smartypants of the world! There are different ways to be intelligent and we shouldn’t leave writing books only to people who are “book smart”. And I’m saying this as a person who is annoyingly book smart.

How about we all just stop gate-keeping writing fiction, huh? Wouldn’t that be something?

Should I write a book for fun?

If you think writing a book would be fun and that’s something you want to spend time doing, please do so!

I know everyone is supposed to have a side hustle these days but can we please bring back hobbies?? Let’s just do things because we enjoy them. It’s good for you, I promise.

How old should you be to write a book?

How old should you be to write a book?

How old you are now is the exact right age. Next question.

Okay, fine, let’s expand on this. Can you be too young to write a book? If you’re 12, it COULD be harder for you to write a really good book simply because you might not have spent much time reading and writing and you might lack experiences that make good stories. Or it might be the exact opposite, and also, no 30-year-old is guaranteed to write a better book than a child. Books written by children have been published before and 30-something writers get turned down every day.

If you want to write a book, don’t let anyone tell you that you need to wait until a certain age. Just write! If your writing sucks big monkey butt, at least you’re learning something. That’s valuable experience that can’t be taken away from you.

You also can’t be too old to write a book. I’m sorry, but this is such a dumb concept to even think about. One time I saw an Instagram post where someone was like “haha I know, being already 30 and saying you want to write a book is kinda weird” and I just wanted to throw my phone across the room. I mean, come on. Do you even know what age most published writers have written their first full novels? Go do some googling and then get writing.

What can you write a book about?

Anything you want to. You’re welcome.

If you’re short on ideas, you should get my free workbook that helps you decide exactly what to write about. When you do the exercises today, you could be ready to start planning your story by tomorrow. Why wait any longer when you know it’s what you want to do?


By now, I hope, you’ve got the answers to your burning questions about can anybody write a book or not, but if you’ve got more Qs, do let me know in the comments.

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