Why I read this book: The title jumped out at me. “You’re a Writer – So start acting like one.” I expected another book similar to “On Writing” (Steven King), The Writing Life (Annie Dillard) or “Bird by Bird” (Anne Lamotte). It wasn’t really any of those. It felt more like “Tribes” (Seth Godin) or “48 Days to the Work you Love” (Dan Miller). All of those listed are excellent books, and well worth a read to anybody looking for inspirational material. By this, I mean the book is great general “rah rah rah! you can do it,” but doesn’t really provide me much in the way of personal experience on a long road of writing.
What I enjoyed about this book: It was a very easy read; I was able to slice through each chapter with no muss or fuss. The advice provided is generally useful, and there were a few really good tips that are definitely worth picking the book up for.
What I will do differently because of this book: The big thing I want to focus on (and I was already planning to before reading it) is to actually write the stuff that I enjoy writing; stuff that paints a picture of who I am rather than trying to build my platform.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
You’re a Writer (so start acting like one) is an inspirational book designed for hopeful authors. If you read any other motivational or servant leadership books, you are in for an equal mix of the same general advice and lots of encouraging words, peppered by a few really useful tips that any aspiring author would benefit from knowing (and accepting).
It is broken into two major sections: Writing and Getting Read. The Writing section is mostly a series of “You should write. Go do it! No really, go do it!” However, the Getting Read section has some strong advice on building a platform, building a personal brand, and connecting with other individuals. Goins does a great job at breaking down your connections into three buckets: Fans, Peers, and Patrons, each bringing something different to the relationship table, and each should be leveraged in different ways.
Goins focuses primarily on writing for magazines or blogs, basically nonfiction or commentary type pieces. He does give a slight nod of the head towards “art,” but even that references poetry as opposed to general fiction. That said, the tips he provides can be adapted for fiction, and it doesn’t really take away from the work if you are reading it for advice in working on your novel. All in all, it’s a quick read that is completely worth the time you spend on it.