Book Review

You Are A Writer (So Start Acting Like One)

Author: Jeff Goins

Having recently started receiving newsletter/blog updates from Jeff, I became aware of an invite to review his upcoming ebook by the above title. My approach to reading it may differ from others. The book is directed at those who wish to write and publish articles and books, but it also addresses other publications, such as blogs. There are similarities to my activities. My goal is to complete a thesis, a major form of writing. Along the way, I blog and hope to publish general and journal articles. Yes, I am a writer and can learn from the experience of others from outside the scholarly realm. I wanted to take a break from my other reading and writing to become inspired by this publication.

At about 100 pages, with a lot of white space and easy to read, it doesn’t take long to get through the book. The first part was quite general, calling the reader to action, to write, as “you are a writer.” There was an emphasis on writing with passion and with the right attitude. That means not writing because you have to but because you want to. Later in the book, Jeff provides tips, approaches, and lessons for successful writing. This includes the need for tools that he presents as a platform, brand, and trust. These resonate with me, as the doctoral journey can involve developing a community (which he also writes about) during what can often be a very individual, and perhaps isolating experience. Jeff talks about building a “tribe” that will help promote your work. I see many examples of that in the academic and general community with which I am associated. Much of this is attributed to social media, and Jeff certainly talks about how it can be used.

Interestingly, he refers to social media as a distraction and indicates he has “little to show” for his time on it. However, there is a little conflict. The same tools identified as distractions are those that can help build community. Since he also mentions examples of social media as platforms for writing, he may be trying to distinguish the ones that are of less interaction from the highly interactive Facebook and Twitter, as examples. But, he later gets back to Facebook and Twitter in relation to tribes, channels, and networks, so the message has to be to use the tools in the right way. Find a few tools that do work and use them, and don’t get sidetracked by extensive time on those that do not directly address your goals!

As an insurance broker, I remember being taught that to get to the big policy cases you need to write a lot of smaller applications. Jeff is saying something similar in his book, being that you need to write daily to develop and grow as a writer. Where have I heard that before? That is a message given to doctoral students, to write each day! As the title directs, “You Are A Writer (So Start Acting Like One).”

It is difficult to put myself in the shoes of others, but I suggest that the book will provide inspiration to those with aspirations to write. For those already writing, it will provide reinforcement and likely present one or more ideas. We always learn something. For me, it is a reminder that I need to write more frequently and to keep my tribes, channels, and networks in mind. While interesting to know how many actually read what I write here, I was reminded that I am really writing because of the passion and desire to take on the writing challenge and produce something. As Jeff points out, we need to get on with it and not worry about how others will respond.

You know, it was a challenge writing this, but it is done. I think I can conclude I was inspired by the book, or I would not have written this. Thanks, Jeff.

Leave a Reply