Thursday, August 2, 2012

Thursday Review—You are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One)

You are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One) by Jeff Goins
You are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One)
by Jeff Goins

Four little words.

How hard could they be to say out loud?

Turns out…very!

Most of the writers I know had to learn to say these words without turning every shade of red you could ever find on the paint swatch wall in your local hardware store.

I... Am... A... Writer.

I’ve heard our very own Edie corner people in our writers group and make them practice.

Edie, “Say it.”

Trembling newbie, pale blush, mumbling, “I’m a writer.”

Edie, “Again. Louder.”

Newbie, sweat beading on forehead, mouth barely moving, “I’m a writer.”
(Everyone else in the room is encouraging them, as if they were limping through the last mile of a marathon with a bum hamstring).

Edie, “You can do this.”

Newbie, entire body now a blistering shade of holy cow I’m making an idiot out of myself, “I am a writer.”

Edie, the resident sage, “Yes you are.”

(Everyone listening in on the conversation then smiles and nods and makes little remarks like, “It gets easier from here.”)

If you can relate, or if you have never said those four little words, you need to read You Are A Writer (So Start Acting Like One) by Jeff Goins.

A powerful force is unleashed when
recognize who and what you are
Turns out, according to Goins (and I think most of us who can say those words without needing to go lie down afterward would agree), there is a powerful force that is unleashed when you recognize who and what you are.

And then start acting like it.

This ebook is short, and it is not a book on the craft, although there are some nice tips in the last third about querying and article writing.

It’s a book about being a writer.

It’s a book that will encourage you to be who you already are.

It’s a book that can help you remember why you love writing in the first place.

While there isn’t a ton of new information (especially if you already follow his blog, which you should), I like the way Goins puts things. I found myself stopping to highlight passages with every few swipes of the screen.

Let go of the fear of failure
I particularly liked his thoughts on failing and how we need to let go of the fear of failure and send our words out into the world.

If you need a summer pick-me-up. If you are still breaking out in full body shakes whenever someone asks you what you’re working on. If you’ve been at this a while and the rigors of marketing and platform building and social media are wearing you down, I’d recommend this book.

Because odds are good, if you’ve read this post…

You Are a Writer…so start acting like one.

Don’t forget to join the conversation!

Lynn Huggins Blackburn has been telling herself stories since she was five and finally started writing them down. She blogs about faith, family, and her writing journey on her blog Out of the Boat. Lynn is a member of the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild and the Word Weavers, Greenville. She lives in South Carolina where she hangs out with three lively children, one fabulous man, and a cast of imaginary characters who find their way onto the pages of her still unpublished novels. She drinks a lot of coffee.


  1. Hey Lynn, thanks for the great post. I smiled when I read this. I've had issues with this, too. When people ask, I do blush and say something like, "Well, I'm trying to be a writer."

    I will work on this!

  2. Lynn, I've been on the receiving end of Edie's having me repeat, "I am a writer!" I can honestly say, those words changed my life! The next thing, "'re a writer because Edie Melson said so," has stuck with me for many months. I return back to those words whenever I start to doubt myself again. Thanks for this review! Love you Lynn and Edie!

  3. Encouraging words. I am holding on to my work because of fear. I love to read what I write but tremble when someone ask to read my work. I don't blog and I know I need to learn. I will continue on.

  4. Great review, Lynn. I have Jeff's e-book and found it to be a very helpful read for all the reasons mentioned above. Worth every penny!

  5. Great post and review, Lynn. I just finished reading this myself (I've recently become a Jeff Goins fan). But no matter how much I write or how much I read about being a writer, it's still hard for me to say! Like Marney, I often say, "I'm attempting to be a writer."

  6. Great post, Lynn. I stumbled onto Jeff Goins blog a few months ago. I also went through the 15 Habits, and started reading his writing book. Really good stuff! Thanks for sharing.

    Oh, I read his newest book, Wrecked, this week. I want to write like him, but that always happens when I read really great writing. : )

    Again, thanks!

  7. Lynn, great job! Obviously, you ARE a writer. I think you voiced what sooooo many writers feel. Keep writing! And Edie too!

  8. After reading your post yesterday morning, my husband and I decided to have dinner at a Turkish restaurant for dinner yesterday evening. I'm ten months into writing my first book.I met a young man, who was our waiter. He told us that he was a 'kurd'and not 'turkish'. We started taling and I proudly stated that I'm a writer and I bet he has a good story to tell. He pulled up a chair and began telling us about his life and that he would be interested in me writing his story! I can't tell you how encouraging your post on this subject has been to me during this phase in my writing career! Thank you!

  9. Jeff's blog is so encouraging, as is yours :)

  10. Thanks, Lynn. You and Edie both recommend such great writing resources. Thanks. :-)