Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Book Review: "You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One)," by Jeff Goins

“You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One).” By Jeff Goins. eBook. 2012. 101 pages.


Jeff Goins, the writer of a very popular writing blog, has just published a new eBook that will rejuvenate even the most jaded, cynical writer.
Even if you’re not a writer, this book invites you to consider the choices you’re making and whether those choices are leading to the life you want.
The central theme of “You Are a Writer” is summed up in a seemingly simple statement a friend told Goins one day when they were talking about their dreams: “You are a writer. You just need to write.”
Thus began a journey of growth as a writer and an understanding of how he wanted to live his life.
Goins makes a strong point that you don’t need anyone’s permission to think of yourself as a writer, to call yourself a writer, to be a writer.
If you want to be a writer, then write.
And that’s what Goins did. He began getting up at 5 a.m. and wrote before going to work. In the evening after work, he wrote some more. He wrote on lunch breaks and during spare moments. He stayed up late writing and wrote on the weekend too.
He started doing what he referred to as showing up as a writer, and his life changed: “I found my dream not by searching for it, but by submitting to what I had always hoped was true: I was, in fact, a writer. All I had to do was write.”
Goins began having more success with his writing, and he uses a good portion of his book to lead writers through the steps of building a platform—which is more about relationships than marketing, in his view—and creating channels for his writing.
He also gives advice on submitting work for publication and building a writing career.
Goins places his writing in the context of the good his ideas and words—the ideas and words of all writers—can do for the world: “Until you acknowledge this—that you are a writer—you are depriving the world of a gift it longs for. One that stands the test of time. One that could leave a legacy.”
Goins doesn’t give technical writing advice. His interest, and what he succeeds in doing, is in helping writers realize that they don’t have to wait for the writing life to come to them. They can do things to build their own success.
It occurred to me as I read this book that Goins’ philosophy extends to more than writing. Wanting to leave a legacy and wanting to do meaningful work are not desires limited to writers.
Anyone who wants to take a step beyond just wanting to make a difference and actually acting to make a difference will gain insight from this book.
I wholeheartedly recommend this book to all writers and to anyone who wants to be inspired to live a better life.
Prepare to not only be inspired when you read this book. Prepare to get to work. Because you will want to.
This book should be available soon. I will post a link to it as soon as I have it.

Note: I received a free advance copy of this eBook for agreeing to review it on my blog. The opinions expressed in this review are mine.

  What books have you read that were particularly inspiring to you?

20 comments:

  1. It sounds really interesting! I wouldn't mind reading it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lisa, It's a book that I will reread, I'm sure. It is supposed to be available online soon.

      Delete
  2. Love to have all the info complied, yet it feels like changing so quickly, once you read something you have to learn something new anyway...do you find this when it comes to platform?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jodi, Yes! Sometimes I feel quite overwhelmed by all the things we can do to create a platform. I like Goins' approach of viewing it as building relationships. That leads to a more natural flow, I think, instead of a kind of workmanship.

      Delete
  3. 15 years on the path, and I still go back to The Artist's Way when I'm feeling stuck. It gets me going again quickly! While I have read many books on the craft, it's the one that works for me when nothing else does.

    This one looks good! I'll have to add it to my list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have mentioned The Artist's Way. I need to make note of that and read it. It sounds like it has really inspired you! Thank you, Nadine!

      Delete
  4. I just finished the "Happiness Project" and somewhere in that book she she tells about a friend who writes 1600 words a day for a month and that if you can do that, it is technically a book. I guess you can self publish at Lulu.com and I assume that would be for someone, like me, that would like to write and maybe have a few books made to give to my children.
    I don't feel like I have all that much to say to the world at large..but I love writing and I would love to read that book when it is available so please do let me know. I LOVE that he says you can call yourself a "writer" , it makes it less intimidating to do so and why not?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Krystal, I will definitely post the link when the book comes out. I loved it!

      I love what he said about calling yourself a writer too. If you're doing the work--writing--then you're a writer. There's no organization or individual that must award you the title. I think I forget that sometimes! He even has a place in the book where he asks the reader to stop and write down on a piece of paper, "I am a writer." A powerful exercise!

      And I think that reminds us that we don't need anyone else's permission to be whoever we are, whatever that is.

      I think you have a lot to tell the world--you are reaching out to many with your blog, which I love to read!

      Delete
  5. I have nominated your Blog for the Sunshine Award!!
    http://nikkysstrengthandweakness-nikky44.blogspot.com/2012/04/sunshine-award.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nikky, You are so kind and generous! Thank you!

      Delete
  6. hah, interesting...I still hesitate to tel people I am a writer. It just doesn't seem as if I've 'earned' it yet, you know? I feel like I need to do great things in order to achieve that standing! I will definitely go over and check that out! :)
    thanks Tina and Nikky did a super job awarding you for your great blog...love your honesty!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tracy, Thank you!

      You are most certainly a writer AND an author! I love reading your work. I always take away something to think about, mull over, consider, or just enjoy. I appreciate you!

      Delete
  7. Both the book and his blog sound intriguing. I'm definitely going to check out the blog now while waiting for the book to come out. I think he makes a great point. You don't need anyone else to define what you are. You are the one who defines it. I have often felt that unless someone else said I was an artist, that I wasn't. Though I may not be a great artist, I have decided that I am one nonetheless. Funny enough, that freedom allows you to be more creative.

    Hey good for you, being asked to review a book! Of course, one great writer (Jeff Goins) always knows another (you!). Just remember me when you're big and famous. ha ha

    I would like to improve the technical aspect of my writing. Are there good blogs that you can recommend for this purpose?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sunny--

      Jeff Goins didn't ask me personally to review his book. He gave out free advance copies to the first 100 people who emailed him and agreed to review it on their blogs. I really liked his writing, so I sent in my email and was lucky enough to be among the 100. So I'm not special!

      I believe that I'm writing with a purpose, and that is to reach out to others and encourage when I can. And through my writing on this blog, I've "met" great people like YOU!

      I think it's great that you now feel comfortable calling yourself an artist. I hope you will share more about that as you feel comfortable!

      Check out the Writers Digest website at writersdigest.com. It has blogs on a variety of writing concerns as well as articles and workshops. It's a good resource.

      Delete
    2. Ahem, I beg to differ - you ARE special!

      Thanks for the Writers Digest info. Not being in the "biz" I'd never heard of them before so I'm looking forward to checking it out.

      Delete
  8. Oh, not being a writer - what is a platform?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Goins defines a writer's platform as "(a) stage. A place from which to communicate a message." His examples include a blog, a podcast, a newspaper column, a speaking career, etc. It's a way to share your work.

      Some people use the term in more of a marketing sense--how can they let people know about their new book, for example. Goins, and others, hone in on the relationships that form as a writer shares his or her message with others.

      Delete
    2. Ah ha! Thanks, that explains it.

      Delete
  9. Thanks for writing this review! I love his quote: " “I found my dream not by searching for it, but by submitting to what I had always hoped was true: I was, in fact, a writer. All I had to do was write.”

    I need to do this more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you would like the book. It's very practical and inspiring!

      Delete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.