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You Are A Writer (So Start Acting Like One)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  3,077 ratings  ·  468 reviews
Becoming a writer begins with a simple but important belief: You are a writer; you just need to write.

In You Are a Writer, Jeff Goins shares his own story of self-doubt and what it took for him to become a professional writer. He gives you practical steps to improve your writing, get published in magazines, and build a platform that puts you in charge.

This book is
Kindle Edition, First, 77 pages
Published April 27th 2012 by Jeff Goins (first published 2012)
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Brenda Phillips I gave the book four stars instead of five because it ended abruptly and I wanted more. The book was heading in the right direction with the tips on…moreI gave the book four stars instead of five because it ended abruptly and I wanted more. The book was heading in the right direction with the tips on building a platform and brand early on. I'm an aspiring writer working on my first book, so that information was useful to me.(less)

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Emma Sea
Aug 15, 2015 rated it did not like it
Why this book wasn't for me

For starters, vast swathes of the book are filler. He spends sections sharing his life story and work history, and re-stating the (excellent) writing advice of people like Anne Lamott, and time management/motivation tips of Steven Pressfield.

But the main source of my distaste is that Goins is all mouth and no trousers. He states:

Before you write a book, you should write a dozen magazine articles. Maybe more. You should guest post on popular websites and blogs and do
Jurgen Appelo
Dec 20, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: writing
After 30 minutes I wondered, "When is this introductory chapter going to end??" And then I saw I was already halfway through the book.
Mark Nenadov
Aug 20, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: writing, self-help
Imagine a public speaking book married a weight loss treatment sales pamphlet and had a child about writing. Okay, I admit that’s an awkward image, but it seems fitting here. To be fair, the central point of the book is valid. If you are an aspiring writer, don’t wait for approval, write and build an audience.

I felt like I was sitting through an awkward sales pitch. It’s as if I was reading a self-help book, and got the striking sense that the author was trying out his techniques on me!

I mean no
Mandy J. Hoffman
May 01, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: i-own, kindlebooks

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
K.M. Weiland
May 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
"If you write, you're a writer, so claim the title" has long been one of the mantras I'm intent on sharing with other writers, so, of course, I was immediately on board with the primary of message of Jeff Goins's empowering little book. The first half is absolutely stuffed full of sage and inspirational advice, most of it along the lines of helping writers figure out what they want, claim their dreams, and move forward in a positive way that puts the emphasis on what they *are* in control of, ...more
Yesenia Vargas
Jun 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I got this book on sale for $3, but I would have happily have paid the regular price of $5. I recommend it to any aspiring or professional writer. This book is relatively short but not lacking in any way. It is concise and to the point. In our age of busy, busy, busy, the length is a plus.

Jeff Goins is a great writer. I was already a huge fan of his blog,, so I knew this book would be good. It blew me away, though. First, he explains and convinces the reader that all a person
Anabelle Bernard Fournier
Jun 01, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: writing
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
Wayne Marinovich
Nov 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book for new and struggling writers. Such wise advise from a mature mind on young shoulders. Well worth the read
Kressel Housman
Nov 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing
I absolutely love the title of this book – You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One) – and the first half of the book is all about that message. If you love writing, you’re a writer. Don’t wait till you’re a “professional” to use the term. Above all, show your seriousness by writing every day. Those are awesome and inspiring messages that I not only needed to hear but that I’ve actually adopted.

The second half of the book is much more about marketing, and I found that much less useful. Jeff
Corianne Oosterbaan
Feb 10, 2014 rated it did not like it
Like a reviewer mentioned below, there were a lot of extremely positive reviews on Amazon. I don't agree with those reviews either and they probably raised my expectations up too high.

The book is basically a nice motivational peptalk, but when you read it, it feels like a too long and out-stretched blog post. Jeff Goins' blog posts on his website are much much better than this book. Go read them instead.

As for content, I did not find anything new or surprising in the book. It could be that I am
Seth Skogerboe
Feb 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever been hit in the face with a frying pan? All of its wide, metal, possibly stainless steal glory pressing up against your face as if you were just one more pancake? Reading Jeff Goins’ You are a Writer was nothing like that.

It was better.

I’ve taken hits like that. I read my Bible. I’ve got the theological bruises to prove it. Writer was different. It was a subtle coxing of the inner writer to realize the inner writer’s purpose. This is something I can do. Someone I am. It was a
Beth Jusino
Feb 11, 2014 rated it liked it
For what's here, it's not bad. This is a short, inspirational guide for new writers, especially those who want to pursue magazine writing. (Does that still exist as a career track?)

It only takes an hour to read. (It probably only took the author a day to write.) The points are all valid: don't wait for permission to start writing and discovering your voice; put yourself out there and build a platform and brand; do your homework before pitching a publisher; etc. There were some sample query
Keiki Hendrix
Sep 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I can't tell you what a breath of fresh air this book is! Jeff Goins has been through the water in his writing career and relays all the crazy phases a writers goes through offering his experience and wisdom to others.

All writers ask themselves if they are really writers. They create insane checkpoints in their lives that, if reached, will validate them to call themselves a writer. It's an insane, defeatist cycle that waylays many an emerging author. Writers are creatives and creatives are
Kira Gold
Apr 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: books-on-writing
This was not the writing book I was hoping for.
Part motivational, part coaching on career steps, but nothing that rocketed me toward enlightenment--mostly I felt sort of shouted at--and that's not a dynamic that I deal well with.
There was a little nugget that hit home:
"You can either create, or react."
I like that, and keeping it in the back of my head might nudge me a bit forward, so it was worth the quick read.
Missy Ivey
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book encouraged me. It’s good to know that the author, and other writers are, and have been, exactly where I am today….aspiring in my heart to be a writer. I have started on a book, I have lists of ideas for books and other things to write about, but, stop short of actually finishing anything, or even starting them. To be a writer, you can’t just write when inspired by a thought or idea, you HAVE TO WRITE DAY-IN AND DAY-OUT…and start attaching “, writer” behind your name.
John Lawchamp (YouTube)
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Any who has attempted, knows that writing is extremely difficult. Even with my knowledge and degree on the subject, I still allow for motivation to enter my daily routine on writing. This book was excellent for that. Though, I have plenty to say, I'd rather just share my notes below for those who are looking for what I found noteworthy in this book. This is mostly for those who take writing serious. Also, as a side note, these are personal notes; so, if by chance there are things that do not ...more
Glen Engel-Cox
Feb 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: writing, non-fiction
This is hardly a “book,” in the sense that a nonfiction book is longer than a magazine article or a long series of blog posts. I can’t tell you exactly the word count, but it couldn’t have been more than 20,000 words, and I suspect is closer to 10k. Basically, it’s an informal pep talk to those of us (who are legion) who question if we have what it takes to call ourselves writers, as it is a profession of practitioners acutely aware of their limitations and plagued by self-doubt and ...more
My mom bought me this book one day when I was down. It made my day but it took me a while to get around to reading it.

One star off is because there was some language (very mild and in quotes) but I wasn't expecting it and it always bugs me.

Most of the book was great. While maybe I am already past some of it. It was very encouraging and helpful. I would recommend this for new writers. It has a lot of helpful information.
Nicholas Maulucci
Sep 28, 2014 rated it liked it
enjoyed this book as I enjoy writing and hope to do it more seriously at some point. this book mirrors the book PLATFORM in many respects. glad I came across it and look forward to putting it to good use. recommended for writers.
May 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Some Quotes Stay With You

I wish this book had been around when I published my first novel. He nails it when he says write and don't talk about it.
Dylan Perry
Jul 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reread: July 2019

You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One) is one of those books I wish I had gotten to earlier in life. I do think you get the most out of it if you're at the beginning of your journey, though it has wisdom for those further along as well. Recommended. 4/5
Chelsey Quack
Oct 06, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-2016, audiobook
This was a quick little audiobook that I kind of hoped would inspire me to get my head back into writing (particularly with NaNoWriMo coming up).

I did not like this book very much at all. I want to be fair: it is probably because this book wasn't really what I wanted it to be or needed at the moment.

I don't feel like this is a book about being a writer. This is a book about becoming a published writer and getting paid to do it. Out of the roughly two hours of this audiobook, less than half an
Jan 08, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I'm mixed about this book.

On one hand, it provides a lot of motivational ideas and words, especially in the first section. While not much of the advice is very specific or practical, it does feel good to read, and it has its heart in a good place as a general guide and high-five to those who want to be writers.

On the second hand, it's a lot of hot air. There are a lot of questions? Followed by strong statements. It does sort of feel like someone trying to impress/sell me something. Further,
Christine Rice
Jun 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing
You Are a Writer by Jeff Goins is a very helpful and informative book, full of advice from a professional writer, and written for the writer who enjoys writing but hasn’t called him or herself a writer (yet). That is where the book starts; it ends with tips for success and publication as a professional writer and author. It covers a lot of material simply, and is a good user guide for new writers.

Goins’ shares a few personal stories that relate to the information in the book, showing that he has
Emma Cooper
Jul 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: writing
According to the blurb, this book "gives you practical steps to improve your writing, get published in magazines, and build a platform that puts you in charge".

It's a short book - about 130 pages - and written in a relatively large font, so it's quick to read.It's divided into three sections, 'writing', 'getting read' and 'taking action'.

The premise of the book is that every writer has what they needs to find success, and should not be waiting for 'permission' from the gate keepers.

His practical
Jayne Ryder
Apr 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
‘Tiny drips of effort lead to waves of momentum…’ I loved this line from Jeff’s new eBook about the writer’s life. Whether you are a complete novice or seasoned professional there are key themes in here that will resonate with anyone who has had to reach deep into themselves to create their art.

In keeping with his two earlier, shorter works, ‘Every Writer’s Dream and Before Your First Book,’ Jeff continues to tease out the challenges of a writer’s life – choosing writing over distraction, doing
Adam Collings
Nov 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing, non-fiction
Jeff Goins begins his book 'You are A Writer' by offering inspiration and motivatin to stop waiting to be picked, but to step up and claim your title as writer. He suggest that rather than waiting, you should be writing. The author presents something of a model that will help writers to build their platform and attrack the attention of publishers.

As the book progresses, it moves out of the motivational space and focuses more and more on practicality. In these later sections, the author focuses
Brodie Smith
This is by no means an everything-you-need-to-know volume of the ins and outs of being a writer. How could it be at just 134 pages thick? What it might lack in in-depth tools to finding success it more than makes up for with honest expectations and encouragement built from the experiences of its author.

It's a short but realistic look at the writing life, akin to what Stephen King penned in his timeless work On Writing. Where King is much more brutally honest and, at times, discouraging, Goins
Nov 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
On paper I'm probably the last person that you'd imagine to be reading this book...10 years working as a professional journalist - working up from Features Writer to Editor in both trade and consumer publications - in the process of completing my first book (for which the publisher sought me out) and have just signed the contract for my second book. Before reading Jeff Goins book I would never have described myself as this - despite these are all solid facts that can be seen on my CV, so this ...more
Melanie Mole
Dec 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing, non-fiction
I liked this book overall but it could have possibly gone into a little more detail by giving additional examples. Jeff stressed throughout this book how there are opportunities for us out there, and that we just have to work hard and be persistent to achieve things. I believe that too. He talks about how authors need to pitch and sell, which is an unfortunate part of being a writer (unless you love doing that of course). Jeff talks you through how to do that, and how not to as well. There are ...more
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Creative Reviews: You Are a Writer 1 11 Jul 20, 2012 07:37PM  

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Jeff Goins is the author of four books, including the national best seller, The Art of Work. He is also a full-time blogger, speaker, and entrepreneur.

Originally from Chicago, Goins graduated from Illinois College and spent the next year on the road with a band. After that, he moved to Nashville to chase a girl and spent the next seven years working at a nonprofit. He now writes and speaks for a
“Everything is practice. Every word you write and action you take is a chance to get better.” 7 likes
“When I started writing every day, I realized a painful truth: I can’t react and create at the same time. Neither can you.” 5 likes
More quotes…