Review of "You are a Writer" by Jeff Goins
This book was a bonus download that I received from the course "The Productive Writer" which was a collaborative effort by Jeff Goins and Tim Grahl. I'd heard about this book years ago when I started following Jeff, but I didn't read it until recently.
As with all of Jeff's writing, he's very encouraging while telling the reader like it is. He relates his origin story where his friend told him, "You are a Writer. You just need to write," and how it changed his view of the work.
To spur his point further, he cites an interview he did with Steven Pressfield where he asks when a writer has "arrived" as it were, when they accomplished a certain amount of work, or sold a certain amount of books. Steven Pressfield replied simply that a writer becomes a writer when they say they are.
To become a writer, we must first believe we are. I related heavily with this concept as it rang similarly with Seth Godin's book "Tribes" where he talks about how we're waiting to be picked, but that's not how it works. We must choose ourselves.
Writing isn't all cotton candy. Jeff relays his early struggles with a writing career, and states:
"I can’t lie to you. It’s harder than you think. It’s not enough to be good. You have to be great. Nobody cares about you. People care about themselves. It’s more about who you know than what you know. It will take a lot to do this day after day. You will struggle. You will face fear, and fear will wear a different mask every day. But you have to keep going. And this is harder than it sounds. To make it, you must be courageous."
He goes on to say:
"Nobody ever tells you this. They don’t tell you how writing takes more hours and energy than you’ll ever be able to plan for. That no one cares about you as a writer until you’ve actually written something. That what you write isn’t as important as getting your work in front of the right people. That, above all, if you don’t love it, you’re kind of screwed."
The most important thing is that we love what we do and do it for ourselves and our own satisfaction. That is where we rediscover our passion which in turns motivates us to create.
He then discusses building a platform and choosing a persona for how we'd like to communicate to our audience; the Professor, the Celebrity, the Prophet, the Journalist, and the Artist.
He also discusses the three most important steps to building a platform:
1. Get Experience
2. Demonstrate Competence
3. Generate Buzz.
Then Jeff explains that getting noticed in an increasingly noisy world is all about building trust by helping others.
Short and simple a read, very to-the-point, this book was very helpful. I'd especially recommend it to beginning writers who struggle with calling themselves writers and getting started on their platforms.
You can pick up a copy of the book on Amazon by clicking here.
I hope this helped in some way.