If there’s one thing Jeff Goins is, it’s a writer. Not only does he have a popular blog over at goinswriter.com, but he’s the author of multiple books, including the USA Today bestseller, The Art of Work (which is not so much about work, but about finding and following your calling). But Jeff didn’t always think of himself as a writer, even though he’s been writing for his entire life.
Over the course of a couple of different days, Jeff sat down with me to talk about his history as a touring musician (and how that informed his eventually becoming a writer), leveraging your weirdness, the process of finally claiming the title of “writer,” why he sees his business as “self-patronage,” the importance of sharing your work, and so much more.
Topics Touched On in This Episode
• The realities of traveling in a band, and how it ended up having a totally different payoff (ie, preparation for marriage!) than Jeff expected, and inspired Jeff to write a book, The In-Between.
• Why Jeff’s first band was called Decaf.
• There are things that make you weird, and there’s something telling about that weirdness that can tell you about your calling. So “listen to your weird.” (Click to tweet!)
• “I don’t know that you monetize your passion… It seems to me that the people that get paid to do what they love are the people who look for opportunities to do that.”
• Finding ways to leverage your weaknesses. “What if the things that made you weird — that made you different from everybody else — could be turned to your advantage?” (Click to tweet!)
• Why Jeff didn’t own the title “writer” until a few years ago, even though he’d been writing his entire life.
• “Activity follows identity… If you think like an amateur, you’ll do the work of an amateur. If you think like a pro, you’ll do the work of a pro.” (Click to tweet!)
• On how to get to that place of owning the title: “Say it, do it, then believe it.” (Click to tweet!) Claiming the title, and putting your butt on the line, will force you to do the work.
• Where most working writers actually make their money (hint: it’s not writing!)
• Why Jeff sees his business as “self-patronage.”
• People don’t pay enough attention to how your side gig can make your art better.
• Jeff’s 3-bucket creative process: capturing ideas throughout the day; then drafting; then editing.
• Forcing yourself to be social (when you work all alone) is really important!
• On feeling like a fake.
• On callings as “not a perfectly planned life, but when your life doesn’t go according to the plan.”
• The step beyond mastery: legacy, ie helping other people take the next step in their journey.
• Jeff’s road map for the world’s best guacamole recipe!
Resources Mentioned in this Episode
Jeff’s website and free email newsletter, goinswriter.com
Lewis Hyde’s book, The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World
Stephen King’s book, On Writing
Thanks for Listening!
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Now go get creating!
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