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I love reading almost anything on the subject of writing. And because of my love for writing and reading about writing, I volunteered to read and review a new eBook titled, “You Are A Writer,” by Jeff Goins, which is available for purchase and download here.
As you know if you’ve been reading this blog, I’ve been unemployed for over three years now and only recently came to the realization that I would never work again in the field I spent the last twenty years working in–student services at public and private colleges and universities. While you might think this was a heartbreaking realization, it was not. Actually, I was greatly relieved! Really! It’s not that I didn’t love working with the students (mostly adult students) that I helped over all of those years, but there was another side to me–a creative side–that I left behind in the dust many years ago.
I have been writing ever since my feeble attempts at poetry as a teenager. While I never thought of myself as a writer, I have always been one even though I didn’t realize it. I was more the artistic type since I had been drawing pictures from the time I was a very small child and even before I learned to write my own name. Of course, this was with the help of my mother who was also quite artistic. However, when it came to writing, I never thought of writing as an artistic endeavor, yet that’s exactly what it is—creating pictures with words.
At the very beginning of Jeff Goins’ eBook, “You Are A Writer,” he starts out with an action statement in the subtitle which states something every writer needs to say to him or herself every morning: “You Are A Writer: So Start Acting Like One.” In other words, we must tell ourselves and believe—“I Am a Writer”: not, “I want to be a writer” or “Maybe someday I’ll be a writer,” but “I AM A WRITER” and do something about it right now.
To give you an idea of what you will find in the pages of this eBook, here are a few of the chapter titles: “Writers Are Born, Not Made,” “The Truth About Writing,” “Building a Platform,” “Establish a Brand,” “Channels of Connections,” “Getting Started,” “Before Your First Book,” and “What Next?” However, don’t skip over the “Forward” and “Introduction” in an effort to get to the meat of the topic. If you are the least bit apprehensive about your writing (in other words, still thinking you “want” to be a writer instead of declaring “I am a writer”) you’ll find in these two sections encouragement and motivation that will keep you from giving up at the very beginning of your journey.
Jeff states in the “Introduction”: “I’m nobody special. Just a writer who got frustrated with a broken system and decided to do something about it” (p. 9). That statement, in a nutshell, is what the rest of the eBook is all about . . . taking action.
In the first couple of chapters, “Writers Are Born, Not Made,” and “The Truth About Writing,” he brings the topic of writing home to those of us who really are compelled to write. He mentions examples like a chiropractor who longs to be a poet and “closet artists and aspiring authors, people longing to do meaningful work that inspires,” but they are not doing it (p. 12). This leads into sections on “Finding a Dream,” “Falling Back in Love with Writing,” “When You Feel Trapped,” and “Becoming a Writer.”
Next, Jeff gets into the action steps, “It takes more than talent or luck to be a writer. You have to be intentional” (p. 39). Here is where he discusses three essential tools that every successful communicator needs: A platform (how to build it including his own personal story); a brand (the elements involved, mistakes to avoid, and making yourself memorable—choosing a name, designing your “look” and finding your voice), and channels of communication (building relationships, making connections, asking permission, reaching out).
Now that you have the tools, you can get started, and at this point he states, “Getting started is the hardest part.” So, at this point don’t find excuses to keep procrastinating because, “You’re 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” (p. 63). And in his chapter titled, “Getting Started,” he explains how to do just that. The rest of the eBook gives details from getting started to what you need to know before you write your first book. And it ends with “What Next?” which is really just a beginning to your writing life. It is a journey, much like life itself.
“You Are A Writer,” is packed full of great advice in an “easy to read” style from start to finish in 101 pages. If you’re serious about writing, and you don’t know where to start, I highly recommend it to get you up and running and put some “action” to your passion for writing and take yourself off of hold.
I love to write. I’ve been writing all of my life but I’ve never pursued it as a profession. I think it’s time to start. No, I know it’s time to start (thanks for the push, Jeff). I also love music but since my singing voice is not one of my talents, I’ll leaving singing to other more talented folks. However, I find a lot of inspiration in songs for my writing. Recently I came across a song sung by Glen Campbell titled, “Sing” (YouTube Video at the end of this post) and the chorus in the song goes like this:
“But if you sing, sing, sing, sing, sing, sing, sing
All the love you bring won’t mean a thing
Unless you sing, sing, sing, sing”
I don’t know about you, but I often hear a song in the words of writers who are passionate about their writing. Their words “sing” across the page and connect like music connects with our souls. However, as this song states about singing, it can also apply to writing. All the passion writers bring to this world won’t mean a thing unless they share their writing with others.
So, if you’re reading this post and you love to write . . . then WRITE! “Sing” those words across a page–don’t keep them inside. And while I may never work in my former profession again, that’s okay, because . . .
I AM A WRITER.
And thanks, Jeff Goins, for reminding me of that!
YouTube video: “Sing” by Glen Campbell (on “Meet Glen Campbell” CD):
Photo credit here