How do you know when you’re a writer? Is there some magical level of achievement you must first achieve before you can claim the sacred title?
Here’s what Jeff Goins has to say on the matter.
“You are a writer. You just need to write.”
By putting aside the excuses of thinking about writing or talking about writing, people can spend time… actually writing. It’s a simple concept, but it’s one of many plain and priceless truths Goins sprinkles throughout his new book You Are a Writer.
For those who may not be familiar with Goins, his writing journey is rather interesting. After facing frustrating results with a previous blog over the course of several years, he scrapped the old site and started GoinsWriter.com with a whole new perspective. Rather than worrying about what everyone else might think of his work, Goins set out to help authors build a platform. His approach involved connecting with people and helping people, and his site has taken off. Not only is he achieving the type of traffic he was hoping for with his previous site, but he has also published his first book through a major publisher.
When Goins talks about writing, he know what he’s talking about.
In his latest book, Goins breaks down the mindset of a writer from beginner-level to published author and walks the audience though every step. He talks about the motivation you need to have to be able to keep putting in the time and effort to get your message out to the masses. The efforts break down into distinctive phases: the actual writing time and time needed for relationships. Writing is not an activity that completely takes place in a void… not if you’d like other people to read it, at least.
One of the concepts that Jeff mentioned was called “practicing in public,” which sounds like a terrifying experience for any self-conscious artist. For writers, “practicing in public” means using a blog to convey ideas to see how people respond. After all, musicians perform and artists have showings to gauge people’s reactions. Writers should be no different. Blogs allow writers to practice on a much smaller scale instead of having to complete an entire book before finding out if their work is resonating with others.
This time of practicing also allows writers to work on the relationship side of their writing, as well. By obtaining permission from a potential audience through channels like Facebook likes, email subscriptions, etc., authors can feel free to share their content with an eager audience. Just as importantly, you are building up an audience who will eventually be ready for your books once they are published.
You Are a Writer is a fantastic mix of encouragement, realistic gutchecking, and sound advice that writers can implement today.
The one aspect of the book that really put it over the top for me was Goins’ inclusion of his template letters that he uses to query magazines and websites for publishing opportunities. This guy has already been published with a number of reputable print and online publications, and he’s sharing the exact tips he used to get there. Those forms are going on my action list for this month to see what I can do with them.
I’m a fan of Goins’ writing from his blog, so I had a fairly good idea that I would enjoy this book already. But You Are a Writer is more than just a good read. It’s a reference book for writers who want to master the discipline of writing while still building the necessary relationships required to get an audience. I’ll be revisiting this book often.
For information on how you can purchase the book and to learn more about the author, check out YouAreAWriter.com.
Blogger Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of the book. I certainly found it worth my time, and I highly recommend you check it out.