I’ll let you in on a little secret… every writer is insecure.
Despite their confidence in their subject, every writer I’ve ever met has a little child in them that swells with pride when they get a good review and wilts with sadness when a scathing comment is overheard.
Writing isn’t the same type of job as, say, accounting. There aren’t right or wrong answers in writing because style is subjective, topics are changeable, and skill sets can be acquired and improved. In some career fields there are easy, black and white rules, not writing!
With writing – especially in a climate where getting published is a gamble at best – the author has to consistently put their best foot forward without any expectation of a reward. It takes courage – and a committed cheerleading section.
That’s why I appreciated Jeff Goins new e-book, “You are a Writer.” While it’s true anyone who is able to hit publish on a blog is, technically, a writer, but to actually own that title and call yourself “writer,” that’s a whole different ball game!
Goins book is cheerleader, mentor, and kick in the pants, all rolled into one. It is practical, giving writers the confidence to own their vocation. He walks you through his own journey as an author and the key transition points that pulled him from “a guy who likes to write” to “an author of several books and a blog with amazing numbers.” (By the way, if you subscribe to his blog he sends you a free ebook!)
Part of what makes his advice to writers believable is his authenticity:
“When I started writing, I had all sorts of anxiety. Who was I, pretending to be a writer? How could I possibly call myself one when I hadn’t even written a real book, hadn’t been published or paid for my work?…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.”
Goins gives pointers to eradicate the problem of writing “perfection”:
“I wasn’t creating. I was only dreaming.
This is dangerous territory, when your creativity hijacks your productivity. Do you know what’s at work here, when we thrash around with countless projects?
Fear of finishing. Fear of picking one thing and sticking with it. We think, what if it’s the wrong thing? What if I mess it up?
Here’s the truth: There is no wrong thing. Just begin. Once you learn how to finish, you’ll be able to start again. Cancel all backup plans, pick a project (it may be a book, blog or whatever) and move forward. Start writing. If you don’t, all you’re doing is waiting.”
Sounds familiar, huh? It wasn’t too many months ago I wrote the fear of failure gives us excuses for not giving our all! After all, if we never actually give 100%, we always have a fall-back excuse for why our effort wasn’t enough. Except living that way keep us from ever achieving success — because we never gave it our all!
If you read “You are a Writer,” you will be encouraged. You will not be able to leap buildings in a single bound or set the time on your wristwatch without instructions, but you will be renewed in your pursuit of your dream, have a chance to identify what matters, and think about why you write at all.
“You are a Writer” encourages you to stop dreaming and just begin.
As Goins says of his story, “All of this [being published] began with a pledge, with a simple understanding: I am a writer. I just need to write.”
Are you following through on your dreams? Do you need a cheerleader?
**I received a free copy of Jeff Goins’ book, “You are a Writer” in exchange for this review. You can find out more about his writing and books at Jeff Goins, Writer. “You are a Writer” will be released for sale in the next week!”**