I’ve been following Jeff Goins for some time. He’s a writer, helping other writers to realize they are also writers.
This past weekend he offered his book You Are a Writer for free on Amazon Kindle. So I downloaded it to my Kindle app on my Droid. I’d been meaning to get the book anyway, so I couldn’t pass up this opportunity.
What I like about this is that when Goins talks about being a writer, it’s not about becoming a writer, it’s about a declarative statement that “I am a writer.”
Indeed. I am a writer.
Sunday morning at my parents’ house with limited access to the Internet and not having actually packed another book to read, I started reading Goins’ book.
What did I learn? First of all, I learned that I need to write for myself. And if I do so, I’ll find that others can identify with that. I forget who he was quoting but it went something like this…if you’re one in a million, recognize that there are seven billion people in the world. That means there are 700,000 other people exactly like you.
It’s a math equation, and even I got it.
But Goins says, “You have to be yourself, to speak in a way that is true to you.”
So I stopped to think. What are the things that are important to me?
Family, faith, and yes, while I’ve often hoped I didn’t care so much, politics.
And what are the things I like to do? Write, act, paint, and I’ll throw exercise in there because I’m determined to make it so.
But the big money quote is coming. My last ten years in the blogging arena have largely been spent in political endeavors. And in this context I have often been reacting to what has happened rather than creating something of my own.
Goins says “I can’t react and create at the same time.”
Simple, but profound.
When I sit at my computer and have a window open for Facebook, TweetDeck, Pinterest, my own blog and a couple of other blogs, and my phone keeps giving me notices for Words with Friends, and my favorite playlist from Spotify, I am in no position to be able to create.
Don’t get me wrong. In the context of my community those are all important. And yes, there are times I get writing inspiration from each of those.
But the reality is, with all of those distractions a simple four sentence paragraph can take an hour.
So, I’m going to have to take some time and unplug.
But beyond that, I need to create, rather than react. Even in the arena of politics I need to be focusing more on giving solutions and ideas than reacting to what others are saying or doing. Boy, I could go off on a tangent about a recent campaign cycle, but I won’t.
Reality is I’m already off on enough of a tangent.
I am a writer. I put words together and hope you’ll want to read them.
And I need to do that in the context of who I am and what I believe.
That means I need to talk about my faith, I need to talk about my family, and yes I need to talk about politics.
And it also means that some 700,000 of you should be reading.
To be continued…