Have you read Jeff Goins’ book, You Are a Writer, yet? It’s the most helpful book for writers I’ve read so far. In the first part of the book, Goins gives you the intervention you so desperately need. He gives you the beat down in an honest, almost urgent way. The reasons you have given for not making a move on your dream will be exposed for what they truly are: excuses.
This is a book you’re guaranteed to read in one sitting, and you’ll be calling yourself a writer well before you turn the last page. I’ll share some of my favorite quotes here, but I deeply encourage you to read the entire thing. It’s more than worth the three bucks it’ll cost you.
How to Become a Way Better Writer, According to Jeff Goins
1. "First, you need experience. This is about apprenticeship. About paying your dues. It’s about spending time getting good at your craft."
2. "It’s harder than you think. It’s not enough to be good. You have to be great…You’d better love it. (Otherwise, quit now.)"
3. "It wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t impossible, either. I put the time in and showed up — and I saw results."
4. "This is the paradox: When you stop writing for readers’ affections, your work will affect more people."
5. "The only person you need to worry about writing for is you."
6. "Not thinking about writing or talking about it, but actually doing it. Which is the hardest thing in the world for a writer to do."
7. "When you fail, you don’t really fail. You learn."
8. "Art is creation. It needs to exist on paper or screen to fulfill its purpose. Which is to change something."
9. "…just because it’s shipped doesn’t make it art. But if it doesn’t ship, it doesn’t matter what it is."
10. "…words have the power to move and motivate strangers, to shake the earth and rattle the heavens. If only [you] would share them."
11. "If you want to be a writer, if you want this badly enough, you will work."
12. "Become who you are."
13. "Writing is mostly a mind game. It’s about tricking yourself into becoming who you are. If you do this long enough, you begin to believe it. And pretty soon, you start acting like it."
14. "Believe you already are what you want to be. And then start acting like it."
15. "Nobody ever tells you this. That writing takes more hours and energy than you’d ever be able to plan for. That no one cares about you as the writer until you’ve actually written something."
16. "It’s a choice, writing is. One that belongs to you and me. We get to choose it (or not) every single day."
17. "The best way to practice is to do it publicly."
18. "Some days, it’s enough of a chore just to put your butt in a chair and stay put. To create something. Anything. If you do this long enough, though, you start to create really good work."
19. "Multitasking is a myth. You can either create or react. But you can’t do both. Choose wisely."
And, of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without perhaps his most famous quote:
20. "You are a writer. You just need to write."
Want to read the whole book? If you read only one book for writers, this one should be it. But don’t take my word for it. Here’s the link if you want to give it a try.
Next week, you’ll learn a little bit more about the second part of the book: how to build your platform. I’ll see you then.
What do you struggle with the most as a writer? If you’ve read the book, what did you think of it?
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