As a part of our 2016 Self-Publishing Success Summit, we brought in Jeff Goins for an interview to discuss what it means to be a writer. Jeff is a full-time writer living just outside of Nashville, Tennessee. He is also a husband, father, and has a pet Border collie. He is the author of four books, including the national bestseller “The Art of Work.” His website, Goinswriter.com, has been visited by more than four million people from all over the world. During his interview, he talked about what drove him to become an author and what it truly means to be a writer.
Here are some of our favorite Jeff Goins Self-Publishing Success Summit takeaways:
Act Like the Person You Want to Be
Jeff is a huge advocate that you are a writer when you say you are a writer. It’s a mindset, not a name someone can give you. If you want to be a writer, simply start putting words on the page! Activity follows identity, so think of yourself as “a writer” and the activity of writing will follow. “Act like a writer: activity follows identity.”
Know Why You Want to Write
Jeff focuses on the reason he writes. He is passionate about helping people through writing and believes he has met his calling and purpose through writing. Writing is not always fun, but it’s always gratifying. Figuring out what drives your passion to write will help you keep writing when it gets hard or you hit a roadblock on the page. Keep pressing on!
Blog, Blog, Blog
Keeping up a blog can be a big training tool as you learn to write a book. But it can also teach you some bad habits. Focus on the discipline of writing, write regularly, and get into the habit of sitting down at the keyboard everyday. Adding content on a regular basis will help you add quality to your content. Remember, the process is messy. With the last book he wrote, Jeff says he wrote it all down, then scrapped it and researched and rewrote. Embrace the process and your writing will excel.
Every Movement Begins with Words
Connect people with ideas. Create words that change and impact culture. Talk is not cheap. Talk sparks conversation and every movement begins with words. Jeff talks about the importance of taking someone out for lunch or coffee and explaining the idea of your book to them. You don’t even need to tell them you want to write a book, simply talk to them about your idea and see if they get excited about it. This will help you find out the interest of potential readers. Start with words over coffee, then take them to the page because according to Jeff, “It all begins and end with words.”
Read books in the genre that correlate with the idea you have. Check to see if you have anything new, different, or interesting to say. You don’t need to repeat what someone else has said. Find a niche that still needs filling and fill it with your writing! Put your ideas into an Evernote folder so you can keep track of them and maintain easy access. Research is important because it helps ensure you write a book an audience wants to read. Write in a way that connects with your audience, and write to help people. Proper research will enhance your ideas and turn them into a viable book. The right idea at the right time will produce tremendous results.
Always Move Forward
Writing a book with a strong character arc or a strong plot is a huge factor contributing to success. However, writing every chapter with a great arc is vital to the movement of your story. Every chapter should move the book forward. Every word counts. Don’t let this stop you from writing. You call yourself a writer, so write! Be encouraged as you progress word-by-word and chapter-by-chapter. But make sure you have a good chapter arc for every chapter. The plot isn’t just at the beginning, middle, and end. It’s a thread that winds throughout the entire book.
Jeff Goins finished by reminding us anyone can be a writer, but it rests on sitting down to do the work. The best marketing is done before the work is finished, so enjoy the process. Share your excitement with those around you, and take note of when they get excited as well. Think like a writer, write, and you will be a writer. Take that writing and get it published, and you will be an author.
As Jeff says, “It all beings and ends with words!” So what are you waiting for? Time to get writing!
For more information on Jeff Goins and to learn how to get 10,000 fans, write a book, and $100,000 in 18 months, click here!
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