You Are A Writer by Jeff Goins (review)

You Are A Writer (So Start Acting Like One)You Are A Writer by Jeff Goins

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Given the reviews on Amazon and the personal recommendations I received about this book, I was expecting much, much more.

If you’re looking for a motivational primer to get you to write, it’s a good 3$ spent.

However, if you’re looking for direction as to how to get yourself read or self-marketing tips, well, you’re out of luck.

I started this book rather hopefully, but I lost interest quickly. Good thing the book is really short, because it was starting to get repetitive.

Among things that annoyed me, at the beginning he tells you how to never have to send a pitch again… and then tells you how to send a pitch. Confusing.

At least, Goins doesn’t promise you instant fame or money. He doesn’t tell you to quit your job to become a full-time writer/blogger/internet marketing bullshitter. I can appreciate that kind of honesty.

So, if you are a writer, you probably already know it. If you don’t write, no amount of books can convince you otherwise.

So sit down in your chair and write, if you think this is what you are meant to do.

View all my reviews



Filed under Books, Reviews

7 responses to “You Are A Writer by Jeff Goins (review)

  1. That’s the best piece of advice. If you’re a writer, you write. If you don’t, you’re a reader.

  2. Thanks, Annabelle, for the honest review. You’re right — tell you that you do not have to pitch and then telling you how to pitch sounds a little contradictory. But my point was this: Every writer’s dream is to never have self-promote. To simply write and let the audience come to her. However, that’s a goal you have to work towards, one that takes a lot of blood, sweat, and, well, pitching.

    The irony is you build a powerful platform so that you don’t have to pitch yourself, but the way you build that platform is through presenting your ideas to people who can help your influence grow. In other words, pitching. :)

    But you’re right. I could’ve been more clear about that. Good feedback for the next edition.

    That said, what confuses me is that this sounds exactly like what you were looking for: self-marketing tips for writers. I even went as far as providing sample query letters to be super-practical. The reason I included that section was for people like who you really wanted the barebones basics. I wonder: if you weren’t looking for that, what were you looking for?

    • Anabelle

      Well, you win brownie points for dropping by and reading my review :)

      I must admit this seems a little harsh with some afterthought–must have been in a bad mood that day. You do provide useful templates, and that’s a big bonus that I do appreciate. You speak from experience and I understand that.

      But in the end, I was expecting something… I don’t know. More practical? Or more original? You’ve got the motivational part down, but I think that you should give a bit more insight into the implementation and maintenance of your platform.

      I have the advantage of having studied blogging and social media quite a bit and so I could fill in the gaps myself, but someone who’s new would need a bit more information on topics like, let’s say, choosing a topic to write about, targeting your audience, interactions on social media, etc. Or maybe you meant to NOT talk about that because everybody does.

      It’s hard to satisfy everyone, I suppose :) One thing I did appreciate about your book, though, is that you don’t focus on the money. You’re not talking about blogging for money but rather blogging for touching people, and that’s a message that needs to be emphasized more.

      I will go back through your book and get back to you with more targeted issues, if you’re interested :)

      • Can I buy brownies with those points? ;)

        I didn’t intend to talk about blogging. The eBook was written for the writer who was to touch people. Blogging is one way to do that, but the premise of the book isn’t so much how to build a platform as it is about believing in yourself as a writer. I suppose I could’ve gotten more practical (and yes, I’d love feedback on where I can drill down more), but I was going to save the nuts-and-bolts of building a blog for another project.

        Btw, if you’re personally interested in that, you can take my free, 12-week course called “Intentional Blogging” that goes into more of the specifics on those issues:

        Again, thanks. I appreciate it. It’s good to hear opinions from people who aren’t part of the “inner circle.” Keeps me honest. :)

      • Anabelle

        Ah, this explains why I got confused, I think. If this is about believing in yourself as a writer, the more practical stuff like how to deal with editors and how to pitch seemed a little out of place. And given your confusing statement at the beginning that I already mentioned, I think you need to clarify a bit more what the goal of your book is. I think it would help. It is so short–it can’t afford to lose its focus too much.

        I started writing about this topic last night (thanks to you, haha) and I think that I have a different opinion about what makes you a writer, very influenced by Peter Elbow, so you’ll have to come back and see I suppose :)

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