Writing a book can be daunting, particularly for those who don't have a literary background or a lot of writing experience.
According to bussinessinsider.com, over 200 million people dream of writing a book in the United States alone. Yet, the number of writers who go on to finish their manuscripts is estimated to be just 3%. Of those, only 20% will go on to become published.
Many factors contribute to these statistics, including self-doubt, concern over the opinions of others, and not knowing where to start or what to write.
What do we write about? And how do we write it?
Will it be worth reading? Perhaps that's the wrong question. Perhaps we should be asking ourselves, is it worth writing?
How do we decide?
Exploiting catastrophe, in other words, taking advantage of a crisis, refers to finding opportunities for improvement or innovation in the aftermath of a disaster.
For me, writing a book served as a means to an end. Sparked by a medical malpractice lawsuit, it led me to connect with other doctors and those in high-risk careers and discuss their experiences with burnout, personal crises, and stress.
For me, documenting these conversations led to an inner transformation. Even though the stories were about others, the finished product was a memoir.
It was my way of paving a path to the other side of fear, transcending insecurity, discouragement of others, and the moral injury which inevitably touches all those who practice medicine.
When framed as a way to repackage personal strife and serve it as motivation, writing a book becomes more about the personal journey than it does about editing and publishing details.
It becomes, at its core, about exploiting catastrophe. This can come in many forms—a Skillshare course, a coaching workshop, and motivational content creation. Writing a book is merely a means to that end.
What's your crisis? How can you take advantage of it?