Written By: Jeff Goins
Published By: Tribe Press
Release Date: September 2nd, 2014
Link to Purchase (Amazon)
Fun fact: without this book, this blog wouldn’t exist! Which is probably why I love this book so much. This blog gives me a reason to get up in the morning, a fact that has proven extremely helpful in the battle against my depression. Regardless, I will try to look at this with a fair and critical eye.
‘You Are a Writer: So Start Acting Like One’ is a fantastic book that, no joke, changed my life. It completely changed my mind regarding my writing, my relationship to it, and the future of it as my career. The advice within this book is simple, but it is effective and important. If you are a writer, regardless if you’re a blogger or a weaver of fiction, you absolutely should read this book.
Allow me to explain why!
This book is divided into three chunks. The first breaks down the writing itself and how to get into the habit of doing it every day consistently. The second is about gathering an audience, which breaks down how to gain a presence and get a foot in the door for into publishing firms. The third and final part is all about how to get your work published; specifically, getting publishers and agents to buy it then help you sell it.
Again, none of the advice is especially complex. In fact, if you were to boil down the first third into its most basic cores, it would be: “If you write, you are a writer. End of story. Sit down and write every day. Always remind yourself that you are a writer and never forget it. Sit down, shut up and create. Moving on.”
But you know what advice is the most effective? The brutal, honest, and simplest kind. And this book is full of it.
It fully admits that writing for a living is hard. In fact, it reinforces that more than any other advice I’ve ever been given by professional writers. It doesn’t pull any punches. Which, after having graduated high school and falling into a depressive slump, was exactly what I needed.
It also helps that Jeff Goins, the man giving this advice, is a very charismatic and passionate man. Reading this book feels less like sitting at a desk and pouring onto a page. Rather, it feels like sitting down and listening to an incredibly motivating and passionate speech. He is clearly speaking from experience, a fact he makes abundantly clear all throughout the novel. His is the perfect voice to deliver this message.
Now, I do have a mild problem with this book: it tends to repeat itself. Every now and then, the book will make a good quote, then repeat it on the next page in larger, nicer, and bolder text. I understand that this was done with the intention of emphasizing the point. But it just comes across as redundant.
Aside from that, I find little to complain about with this book. It is a short and enjoyable read that delivers on some great writing advice. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend you do. It is, in my mind, an absolute must-read for any writer.