Book #6-You Are a Writer by Jeff Goines

According to Wikipedia, “Jeff Goins is an American author, blogger, and speaker and is the founder of Tribe Writers, an online community for writers.” According to the About-the-Author page at the end of You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One), Jeff Goines believes that words can change the world. And the world he sets out to change with this little book is that of any writer who is not quite ready to accept that title. You are a writer,” he tells the reader. “You just need to write.” Then, he begins to build a convincing case to prove his point.

Why would it be so difficult for someone to believe that he is indeed a writer? It would seem that if he picked up this book, he wants to be convinced. Actually, I bought this book because I was curious about the author whose name keeps popping up all over the Internet. He has written several books on writing, and his blog has won at least three first-place awards. I could think of several fellow writers who could benefit from this book, which I plan to recommend.

I could have used Jeff’s advice way back when I was having my own doubts about being a real problem writer,  but he wasn’t around to share his wisdom with me then. (I hate to admit it, but he wasn’t even born yet!) As I was reading, I kept thinking how much easier my road would have been if someone had said to me, “You are a writer. You just need to write.” Deep down, I probably sensed that was true, but it took a very long time for the realization to rise to the surface.

Here are some of Jeff’s words of wisdom I wish I had known:

“Embracing your identity as a writer is mostly a mind game. It’s about tricking yourself into becoming who you are … When do you become a writer? When you say you are.”

“Before others will believe what is true about you, you’ll have to believe it yourself.”

“Daily practice builds habits. When you start writing every day, you’ll find your groove. You’ll find yourself with the bank of ideas to write about. You’ll get more comfortable with your voice.”

“To create your best work, you’ll have to make room for it. You have to cut out the excess noise and focus on what really matters: the writing.”

“Everything is practice. Every word you write, any action you take is a chance to get better … Good writers practice. They take time to write, crafting and editing a piece until it is just right. They spend hours and days just revising.”

“Do you really think there isn’t an audience for your content? Trust me; they are out there. You just need to find them.”

“The professional shows up every day, ready to do the work. No magic beans or mystical formulas. Just simple, hard work.”

“Writing is about space. It’s about what’s not said. About showing rather than telling. About making every word count.”

“This isn’t easy, this writing life. It is, however, a noble calling. And like most things worth fighting for, it will require all of you.”

“No guide or set of tools can prepare you for the rejection you will face, the criticism you will endure, or the pain you will experience. Because you will.”

“But if you do love it, Imean really love it, the world needs you far more than you know. We are waiting for your words. Longing to be changed. We need your art – whether you realize it or not.”

“If you are going to succeed as a writer, you are going to have to learn to be smart. To have thick skin. To be more than talented. You’re going to have to be a marketer, and entrepreneur, and a talented salesperson. Because this is a business.”

“When you stop seeking public approval, something interesting happens: people will be deeply attracted to your work … passion is contagious. If you treat people like human beings and write from a place that is deep and true, you’ll find your audience.

“Whenever you want to do in the world, you need influence. You need authority. You need permission.”

“If you have something worth saying, you want people to listen because it matters to them.”

“If you want people to pay attention to what you have to say, you have to be legitimate. You have to have a reason for people to listen. You have to know who you are.”

“There are three important steps to building any platform: 1. Get experience; 2. Demonstrate competence; 3. Generate buzz.”

“To gain momentum, to build a community of friends and fans and patrons, you have to have an image and personality people recognize. And it needs to be distinctly yours.”

“A brand is who you are. But it’s more than that. It’s your truest self. The part people remember.”

“The connection must be meaningful. It must be mutual. It must matter.”

“You are ready. Ready enough, anyway. You don’t have to have it all figured out yet.  You just need to begin. You’ll figure out the rest as you go.”

“There are three must-have relationships that will extend your reach, and each of them is absolutely necessary: the fan is someone who admires and follows your work; a friend is a peer – someone who can relate to the work you do; a patron is an advocate – someone who supports you financially or through lending you his or her influence.”

“A writing career happens iteratively, over time. You don’t need to take a giant leap. You just need to take the next step.”

“Before you write a book, you should write a dozen magazine articles. Maybe more. You should guest post on popular websites and blogs and do radio interviews. You should create a platform and start cultivating your fans and friends and patrons. Now.”

“Content is not king. Relationship is. Start making connections with publishers so when the ideas come, they pay attention to your work.”

“Once you have your foot in the door with a particular editor, it’s much easier to get a second or third piece published.”

“Under promise and over deliver, and you’ll never have to go looking for work again. This means accept feedback gracefully, do great work, and deliver your piece on time.”

“Publishing is about more than having the right ideas; it’s about having the right connections … this is about forming relationships as much as it is about creating content.”

“Every writer has a moment of “arriving.” You end up on top of the world (even if it’s a small world). You do something you never imagined.”

“The true masters of the craft are those who never grow complacent. They are never fully satisfied; they’re always pushing themselves a little further.”

“You will publish books and share your ideas with the world. And the dream will become a reality. Until then, keep working. Keep writing. Keep showing up.”



Bobbi Linkemer is a writing coach, ghostwriter, editor, as well as the author of eighteen books under her own name. Her passion is helping writers at all levels to convey their messages through books. In her forty-five-year career, Ms. Linkemer has written on hundreds of topics for magazines, individuals, and organizations in both the private and public sectors. She has been a feature writer, a magazine editor, and a corporate communicator. Her clients range from Fortune 100 companies to entrepreneurs and individuals who want to share their stories or build their businesses. Bobbi Linkemer • 314-968-8661

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