You Are A Writer by Jeff Goins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
There is a lot of buzz in the blog world right now about this book. After seeing one rave review after another from my online friends, I downloaded it to my kindle and sat down to read it for myself.
I really like the fact that it's a short book. It is so much fun to turn a page and see the "percent done" grow quickly and feel you are accomplishing something. So I give applause to Jeff for keeping this book on target and easy to digest - no matter how busy you are. Really!
Among all the helpful information and personal tips that Goins offers, I personally liked the Establishing A Brand chapter the best. In a time when the word "brand" is thrown around a lot - A LOT! - it was very helpful and relieving to have it defined for me in black and white print. If you, like me, have struggled with getting a handle on what brand is and establishing your own, this section will be of real value to you.
Overall the book was easy to read, short (as I mentioned!), helpful for those seeking direction on where to begin in writing, and inspirational. I really appreciated when Jeff said this: "This is the paradox: When you stop writing for readers’ affections, your work will affect more people." He was encouraging when he reinforced the idea that you can not do all things and therefore to pick what social media works for you and stick with it rather than stressing yourself out for no reason.
However, as a child of God, there were elements of this book that were very troubling to me. I understand that this book is about being a writer and promoting your work - your business per-say - but I also think Christians need to be very careful to not buy into the world's philosophy of how to do things. Including marketing strategies. Jeff says: "In other words, generosity works. Attention Is Earned." I wholeheartedly agree with the idea that we need to be generous! Bring it on! But, the motive behind it is completely wrong. We should be generous with our online friendships because Jesus was generous to us through His death on the cross, not in hopes to get some endorsements and social buzz in return.
While there is a lot of GOOD stuff and practical aids filling the pages of this book, I want to encourage bloggers who are also disciples of Christ to make sure their writing is an overflow from their relationship with Christ and that their promotion comes from Him, not from self. I am glad to see that the tables have flipped and it's easier to get great content out to the world with self-publishing and blogs, but the downside is that we too quickly think more highly of ourselves then we should. Find your identity - and brand - in Christ and then let Him direct and promote your writing.
You may be a writer, but for those who have a personal relationship with Christ, you're a child of God first and foremost. Glorify Him.