When I first started writing, I lacked self-confidence. I thought there’s no way I could fill a book with my writing–I don’t know enough. Won’t I need to spend years researching to write a book?

The idea that a book must be filled with tons of research is a myth probably made up by some publishing bigwig somewhere. There’s no required book length either.

 Tell Your Story

I don’t care who you are or what you do, you have a unique story to tell. Nobody else on Earth has lived exactly your life. Tell your story.


Many beginner non-fiction writers start with what they do for a living, but your book can be about anything.


What do others admire about you? Can you organize amazing dinner parties? Are you a sake connoisseur? Then write about it. Try combining your knowledge in interesting ways—“How to Throw Amazing Sake Dinner Parties.” You could include recipes, sake buying tips, and funny stories.


I recently heard advice from an author I admire, Joanna Penn. I’m paraphrasing from one of her excellent podcasts (which you should check out). She said that we all offer unique stories. We have experiences that we ourselves may find commonplace and dull, but others may find fascinating.


If you’re just plain stuck, try writing down 10 book ideas every day for a week. I learned this from James Altucher and I make lists when I’m stuck or worried about something.


The ideas must be possible book topics you can write at least one page about. It could be your job, your childhood, a hobby, or even what you had for breakfast today. At the end of the week, review your lists and look for patterns.


One of your ideas may be just the spark you need to find a good topic about which to write your first book.