Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

How to Fall Back in Love with Writing

It will happen. Eventually. You’ll do something you love, and after awhile, you’ll forget why you started. You’ll build a platform that’s successful, and it won’t matter. Because you’ll resent the thing that brought you so much attention.

You’ll find yourself writing for the approval of others and no longer be satisfied with your craft. You will feel trapped.

But this is not the end. It’s just the beginning. You’ve yet to create your best work. To live (and write about) a life that inspires others.

Fall in Love

Photo credit: Guillame Paumier (Creative Commons)

It wasn’t until I stopped writing for accolades that I found my true audience. Not surprisingly, I’ve seen more success with my writing in the past year than in the previous five.

This is the paradox: When you stop writing for readers’ approval, your work will move more readers.

So how do we do this? Where do we begin? There are three shifts I went through that helped me fall back in love with writing:

1. Becoming a writer (again)

A year ago, a friend asked me what my dream was. I told him I didn’t have one. He called my bluff, saying, “You know, I would’ve thought your dream was to be a writer.”

I said that was true, I guess, that I wanted to be a writer. One day. Maybe. If I was lucky.

He told me, “You are a writer; you just need to write.” So that’s what I did. I started writing. Every single day. And the crazy part: I started to actually believe I was a writer.

Here’s how you can, too:

  • Turn pro. Steven Pressfield, author of The War of Art, says you have turn pro first in your head before you can do it on paper. I had the opportunity to interview Steve once, and I asked him when you become a writer. He said, “When you say you are.” Before others believe what is true about you, you’ll have to believe it first.
  • Find your voice. If you’re a communicator, we’re relying on you for your insight, not to pander to us. You have to be yourself — to speak in a way that is true to you. The best way to do this? Practice.
  • Write for yourself. The only person you need to worry about writing for is you. This is the secret to satisfaction: doing what you love and enjoying it when no one’s watching. The funny thing is when you do this, you’re not really writing just for yourself. Because there are a lot of people just like you.

2. Pursuing passion

For five years, I wrote a blog that nobody read. I measured my traffic and stats. I did everything I could to maximize my impact. All the while, my heart slowly died, and I grew bitter.

I watched other writers succeed in ways that I hadn’t, and I envied them. Eventually, I resented them. Why? Because I wasn’t doing what I wanted. I wasn’t enjoying the process. I was only chasing results.

So I went back to the basics: writing for the love of it. Not profit or prestige or even analytics. Just for doing it for the sake of doing it. You can, too, if you want. Here’s how:

  • De-clutter. There are a million distractions in our world. The biggest for me is social media. You know what being a member of 25 different communities really is? Stalling. Procrastinating the real work, which is writing. If you try to stay on top of every new fad, you’ll spread yourself too thin. You can’t create and react at the same time.
  • Cancel contingencies. Most writers have more ideas than they know what to do with. They have a hundred half-written articles and a few books in them. How much have they finished? None. Do you know what’s really at work here? Fear. Of picking one thing and sticking with it. Here’s the truth: There is no wrong thing. Just begin.
  • Fail forward. As you cancel contingencies and find something to stick with, you’ll need to learn how to ship. To move through fear, which means you’ll have to face the inevitability of failure. Real artists fail every day. Why not embrace it instead of running away? When you fail, you don’t really fail. You learn. You find new ways to move forward.

3. Building a community

When I started blogging years ago, I was chasing numbers, not people. I thought like a pollster, not someone starting a conversation. And ultimately, I failed.

If you’re going to fall out of love with audience approval and truly embrace your craft, something amazing will probably happen: People will be attracted to your work. They can’t help it; passion is contagious. They’ll want to hear what you have to say. But you need more than an audience. You need a community.

Here are the relationships worth building:

  • Find your true fans. When you start writing for the love of it, you’ll gain people’s attention. But what you do next is what matters. In order to keep an audience, you need to help people. One way to do this is to give something away for free. This will build trust and extend your reach. And it’s a whole lot of fun.
  • Earn patrons. These are mentors and advocates who will help you succeed. For Tim Ferriss, it was Robert Scoble. For J.K. Rowling, it was the little girl who convinced her father to publish a book about wizards and witches. For me, it was Michael Hyatt and others. This won’t just happen; you’ll have to be bold and ask. However, if you’re doing great work, people will find it hard to say no.
  • Make friends. As your fans increase, you may even make a few real friends in the process. Not just followers, but genuine companions. This is the most fun part — getting to be part of someone’s story. Friends will help you even when you don’t ask for it. They’ll hold you accountable. And you will thank them for it.

Of course, I can’t really tell you how to fall in love. I can only tell you how it happened for me. But if you decide to pursue passion and write for the love of it, I would love to hear about it.

More than anything, remember that writing is an illustration of life. Art, as Stephen King says, is a support system for life, not the other way around. So the best way to write inspiring stuff is to live an inspired life.

Here’s a final challenge

The world doesn’t need more safe writing. Write something dangerous — something that challenges the status quo. Something that moves you (maybe it will move others, too). Then, no matter how scared you are, share it.

If you post it online, share the link, using the widget below. I hope to hear from you. Also, if this idea resonates with you, check out my free eBook: The Writer’s Manifesto.

What’s your love story? Share in the comments.

Photo credit: Guillame Paumier (Creative Commons)

About Jeff Goins

I help people tell better stories and make a difference in the world. My family and I live outside of Nashville, TN. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Google Plus. To get updates and free stuff, join my newsletter.

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  • http://twitter.com/MARLdblE Marlee Ward

    I’m new to your blog, Jeff. I’ve been devouring it. Your passion is palpable…as you expressed here. Thanks for being a great source of encouragement and inspiration.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       You’re welcome. Thanks for writing, Marlee!

  • Anonymous

    Every time I write about our adoption process, I want to curl up under a blanket before I hit “publish.” I don’t know why. There’s just such a vulnerable feeling that goes along with sharing about a heart-rending journey that a lot of people can’t relate to. It’s not as common a method of parenthood. And that’s the exact reason why I feel compelled to write about it, so others can begin to understand. Not for my & Drew’s sake, but for the sake of adoptive families and adopted kids at large. For the sake of normalizing and familiarizing this experience. So, yeah, my post linked above? It took me three weeks to hit “publish” on that one…

    • http://twitter.com/croyseniles Christine Niles

      Mandy, you’re not alone at all.  Thanks for sharing this….i’m heading over to check out your blog now.

      I blog about adoption and orphancare, too.  It’s far from chasing the numbers, but that’s where the passion keeps taking me!

      • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

         you’ll love Mandy’s work, Christine.

  • http://www.facebook.com/LindseyMHartz Lindsey Hartz

    So very brave Mandy ~  I look forward to reading it.  We’re about to start the adoption process (through foster care!) as well.  Will be praying for your journey!

  • http://www.facebook.com/LindseyMHartz Lindsey Hartz

    Loved your Blissdom session, and love these great reminders.  

    I’m linking up to something I recently wrote, because it was hard for me to write, and took a lot of faith to post. I will say that since then I have been encouraged and blessed in so many ways to pursue my craft & lay the groundwork for my dream, and to NOT be afraid. No more living in the sidelines, “dreaming” of what I know I am destined to do~~ no more watching & helping others live their dreams (although I love doing so!) but shoving mine to the side out of fear…..Here ‘s to leaps of faith, a whole lot of hope, and taking action!!  :-) Lindsey

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       Amen! love that. Thanks for having me, Lindsey. I had a blast!

  • http://heathersunseri.com Heather Sunseri

    I just might have to take you up on your offer, Jeff. I’ve been working on a “dangerous” post in my head for a while now. It will not be a popular post, but it will be a truthful post for me. I get nervous just thinking about something I think needs to be said, but so many are afraid to say out loud.

    This is a wonderful post, Jeff. Thanks!

  • http://www.momstoolbox.com Amy @ MomsToolbox

    Thank you so much for this challenge.
    I had not realized how much my fear had gripped me and stifled me. I knew it was exhausting me, but now I am ready to break free, thanks to you.

    Last night I followed your instructions from Blissdom. I wrote about my fear of my readers’ opinions of me, posted and held my breath… and I’ve already had such wonderful, supportive comments.

    Thank you for this release. Your encouragement to get back to myself was just what I needed.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      My pleasure.

  • http://godspotting.net Sheila Seiler Lagrand

    There’s some timing mojo working here….the post I wrote for today is one of the hardest ever, and I seriously considered keeping it in the “just for my eyes” file. 
    Thank you for this encouragement. 

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       Wow. Very cool.

    • http://uppside.blogspot.com/ susan upp

      I’m so glad you posted it Sheila. Beautiful post.

      • http://godspotting.net Sheila Seiler Lagrand

        Thank you, Susan, for your kind words. 

  • http://www.eileenknowles.com/ Eileen

    Great thoughts, Jeff.  Yes, writing for numbers will leave us empty because it is never enough to satisfy us.  We have to love the process and truly believe in what we write and what we share.  People are drawn to passion.  I’ve posted something I wrote a couple months ago.  It was one of those posts that just had to be written. I had to get the words down and out of my head and heart.  And it’s always posts like this that make me want to crawl under a rock after I push post.  But most of the time someone thanks me for writing it and tells me that it helped them. 

    • http://unknownjim.com/ Jim Woods

      Eileen, this is all soo true! There’s nothing like pushing publish on a post that scares you and makes you want to hide. 

      • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

         Indeed. I try to do this as often as possible. Eventually, he becomes a little less scary (but only a little).

        • http://unknownjim.com/ Jim Woods

          Right on Jeff. It gets a tiny, tiny bit better the more you push that publish button. 

  • http://sortacrunchy.net/ SortaCrunchy

    Jeff – once again, I have to tell you that your session was INCREDIBLE. I am still chewing on and processing all that you shared. That writing is a stewardship issue and a responsibility … I needed to be reminded of that. It reminds me so much of what Madeline L’Engle wrote in Walking on Water, that the Work comes to us, asking to be given flesh, and we as artists must choose whether or not we will be obedient.

    Thank you for this challenge. My writing had grown far too safe. We all need a push toward the dangerous.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Love that book.

      • http://tonychung.ca/ Tony Chung

        I’ve given away more copies I that book than I’ve ever owned.

  • Kelli @ Minivans Are Hot.com

    Thank you for your encouragement and inspiration this weekend. Of all the sessions I attended yours encouraged and inspired me most. Thanks.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      thanks, Kelli! (p.s. I love your blog URL!) :)

  • Shelly

    Jeff, I am seeing all of what you say come true in my life. The relationships with people are the most fulfilling part of writing for sure. So thankful for the tribe I have so far. And I had to let go of what everyone else does as the template for how I write a while ago. Like my husband says, “Numbers don’t really determine the value. Why do you think Bud Light is the most popular beer. It certainly isn’t because its the best.”

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Hah! Love it. Great analogy. But I thought it was the “king of beers”? ;)

  • http://www.adamlasky.com/ Adam Lasky

    Absolute resonates with me, Jeff!

    I’ve asked myself the same question: why do I write?  And every time it boils down to one answer: me.  Not in a selfish way.  But because I can’t help not writing.  If I was the only person on this planet I would still continue to carry a notebook around with me and write.  It’s something deep inside my bones that I can’t release.  So even when no one views my blog or comments on anything I write, I go on writing.  Once that kind of passion captures you, nothing else matters.  Thanks again Jeff!!

    • http://unknownjim.com/ Jim Woods

      Fantastic comment Adam.  I really LOVE this part “even when no one views my blog or comments on anything I write, I go on writing”. That is fantastic. It really keeps things in proper perspective.  

  • http://FollowingJesusSucks.org Shon Ridenour

    I feel like I need these reminders almost daily. It’s like an evil force is trying to keep me from believing.  hmm…sounds familiar

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Maybe it is

  • http://twitter.com/kacky222 Kathleen Krueger

    This is exactly what I’ve been doing for the last month. It began with simply committing to writing three blog posts a week (I’d had a tendency to neglect my own blog while writing for others). Since my blog is committed to my three passions (Living Life-which includes my writing, Loving People-knowing myself and relating to others and Listening for the Voice of God, spiritual insight), I’ve been writing a post for each area each week with no other agenda than to say what I want to say. Being my eclectic self. Thanks for the encouragement to keep writing what we WANT to write and not what people might want to read.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       You’re welcome, Kathleen. The cool part is there are others out there just like you. So in a way, you ARE writing for an audience. Neat, huh? :)

  • http://www.4andcounting.blogspot.com nicole_asmanyasgiven

    Thanks so much for speaking at Blissdom on Saturday. Your session was the most impactful for me, outside of the opening keynote. I’m going to be thinking about it for a long time. I thought I would feel out of place in there, as I’ve only recently begun to think I might be a writer, but you did such a good job of making writing seem like something that is not for other people, but for me. Thank you!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       You’re welcome, Nicole! It was totally my pleasure.

  • http://www.michaelnichols.org/about Michael Nichols

    I’m still working through the tension of writing for the love or writing and watching analytics. But I’m getting there. Thanks for the great reminders. Michael

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       Me, too. Seriously. :)

  • Hale Umul

    Dear Jeff,
    your paradox and the success that followed reminded me of something I’ve read recently :
    “How wonderful that we have met with a paradox. Now we have some hope of making progress.” Niels Bohr
    Thx for motivating us to embrace our paradoxes!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Awesome quote!

  • http://unknownjim.com/ Jim Woods

    I’d also mention is it is really important to define your success. For me, success is writing something, and clicking on the publish button. I succeed by writing (for myself) and then by sharing it with others. If others love it or hate it, I can not control that. I have succeeded just by creating the work and sharing it.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      well said, Jim. that is SO important. I am with you.

    • http://www.adamlasky.com/ Adam Lasky

      I agree.  It’s amazing the power contained in that little publish button.  Jon Acuff posted today about the Doesn’t Count List and the false belief the “self-publishing doesn’t count towards being a real writer”.  Interesting, because as you said before, Jim, it’s about grinding until you create something worth sharing.

  • http://www.justcris.com/ Cris Ferreira

    Jeff, I loved this statement: “the best way to write inspiring stuff is to live an inspired life.”
    This advice will appeal not only to writers, but anyone who has a passion for something and feel discouraged. I will take the opportunity and share the link to the first post I wrote that I was completely honest. It’s entitled “Learning to love.” I will add it to the list using the widget.
    Thank you for the encouragement and the opportunity to share our writing as well.

  • http://www.CrazyAboutChurch.com/ Charles Specht

    Great post, Jeff.  And I love the widget you’re using here.  Awesome for community building and sharing.  

    Oh, and I love this point you made:  Turn pro in your head.

    Great stuff!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       thanks, Charles. that’s all Pressfield. :)

  • Anonymous

    Thank you, Jeff!  Thank you for the great session on Saturday.  It reaffirmed some thoughts in my heart…including my purpose for being a writer.  And it was great meeting you.  Hopefully we’ll get another chance to connect.  Blessings!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       you’re welcome! great running into you yesterday, as well.

  • http://mindfullyhealing.com/ Kim

    Thanks for this post, and this challenge.  I linked to something I posted last week that felt SO scary and made me feel so vulnerable.  Can’t believe I”m hitting the “post” button once again!

    You inspire me, and I’m so grateful.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       that’s the best kind of fear to have. :)

  • http://www.chadgibbs.com Chad Gibbs

    Thanks for this Jeff.  

    When I feel like I’m falling out of love with writing, it’s reading that always brings me back.  I read the last chapter of The Great Gatsby, or an old Dave Barry column (odd two choices I know), or something similarly brilliant, and I’m inspired to create again.  

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      I’m the same way.

      • http://www.chadgibbs.com Chad Gibbs

        Of course sometimes the writing is too brilliant and I just pout and say I’ll never be this good.  But I think part of being a writer is being a little crazy, so it’s okay.  

        • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

           just a little? ;)

  • Anonymous

    Marketing was so much easier when our inner selves weren’t showing so much. But I agree with your words of wisdom about writing for yourself. For some reason this is scarier for me than writing for others. Which is why I’m a ghost author on several projects. Thanks for the insight.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       hah! too true.

  • http://twitter.com/croyseniles Christine Niles

    I posted a pretty terrifying series last month about the global orphan crisis.  The hardest post of the series was one entitled “Why Care?”  It was incredibly hard to avoid sounding preachy or laying out a guilt trip, while still communicating how deeply important this is to me.  Even with several edits and feedback from a couple of very generous reviewers, I’m still not sure I succeeded fully…but it was too important to let the terror win.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Amen. Fear is our enemy.

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    “Turn pro in your head.” Due to your influence, I read “The War of Art” and remember Pressfield’s emphasis on that. My tax guy (whom I sat down with last week) didn’t believe I was a pro the last two years when I said I was. I missed out on deductions because I had expenses but no income.

    But I knew I was a pro.

    I write. Every day. Blogs, articles, stories.

    I finally figured out that my speaking, which I did make a little money at, was really an extension of my writing profession–i.e. T. Neal Tarver, writer & speaker. I was convinced two years ago. I finally convinced him this year.

    And 2012 will be the year when more than my speaking will bring in some income. But, as you know, the money doesn’t determine whether I’m a writer or not. I do (as I write).

    Good stuff as usual, Jeff!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Hah! Great story, Tom. (Or do you prefer Neal?) Love this — especially that you’re starting to see some fruit. It always seems to take longer than we want but not longer than we need. (I hope.)

      • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

         Yep, I’m Tom. T. Neal just sounds so literary (C. S., G. K., et al). I do the T. Neal Tarver thing because it means I’m ready to write. Tom is who I am. T. Neal is what i do.

        Definitely agree with the thought about it takes longer than we want. I think there’s a definite plant-water-fertilize-wait-then-harvest element to writing. If you don’t recognize that as a farmer, you won’t be farming long.

        Same with writing. If you don’t recognize the cycle, then you’ll give up before its time to reap the fruits of your labor (of course this remains hypothetical from my POV). :)

        • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

          Cool. Well, just call me J.K. Goins. ;)

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    Make friends. Boy, is this ever true?

    At one point, first and foremost, I thought about how I could promote my blog and my writing. At some point in this writing journey, I decided connection, not promotion, is sustainable. I wanted to connect with others who had similar interests (faith in Christ, community, writing, sports, etc.).

    Your advice is spot on.

  • Anonymous

    Jeff, I’m glad you mentioned patrons and that one of them was a nine-year-old girl. I got a beautiful email yesterday in response to my blog. This lady loves everything I write and with a cheerleader like her – how can I not keep going? I will think of her as my patron from now on even if I’m stretching the meaning just a tad. Hope you, baby boy Goins and his mama are doing well. 

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Thanks Susan!

  • http://twitter.com/LearnExploreShr Heather Koshiol

    I’ve struggled lately with the split advice I’ve read: write for yourself vs. write for your audience. Your advice resonates and rings true. My best writing comes from my heart and not for any particular audience. I’m sure it’s not a coincidence that those are the pieces that speak most to my readers’ hearts. Thanks for this post, Jeff. (Now I’m logging off to go research and write!)

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      It’s a dance, isn’t it?

  • http://itsakoolife.wordpress.com/ rebecca koo

    Thanks so much. This is one of my favorites of yours. Super encouraging. 

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Thanks! You’re welcome.

  • http://flavors.me/KhatiaCaroline Khatia Caroline

    Thank you for these wonderful ideas. I am sure most people already knew what would help them to fall in love with writing again, but you solved the puzzle and very nicely. Thanks! :)

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       you’re welcome, Khatia. thanks for reading.

  • http://www.write-along-blog.blogspot.com/ Hillary

    I chose to embrace my dream for writing when I was in high school. I got really sick and it was the best outlet to overcoming focusing on, well, being sick. After I got better, I forgot my writing for a while. Later, I realized I missed it. Like a best friend who I hadn’t talked to in a long time, I missed doing what made me feel whole. So, I started writing, just to write, again. Over the years, I have taken steps to continue to pursue my writing, but when I find myself forgetting what its about: writing, I have to stop and go back to the start. 

    Writing is like a relationship for me. I have to be true and faithful to it, or it won’t stick around, or it will become a waste of time, shallow, etc. And, like in any relationship, I can’t hold on to it. I have to let it go. Now, whether that means that I submit it and I have to face the fear of it being rejected, or whether it is rejected and it has to go back to the  “materials” pile, or whether I just have to admit that some things are better written as a means to write something else, they are the scrap pile from which I make my next better project, all in all, I have to keep writing. 

    I love writing, and sharing that love is what keeps me typing, even when it hurts. :) 

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       If it didn’t hurt, it wouldn’t be worth sharing. Keep writing, Hillary.

  • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

    I’ve taken what you said to heart: http://www.amazon.com/Not-Changing-Life-You-ebook/dp/B007COWSZC/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_t_4 it's free until the 29th. Inspired by Jeff Goins himself!!

    • http://unknownjim.com/ Jim Woods

      Thanks fantastic Kimanzi. I’m all over that! 

      • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

        Thank you so much JIm. If you could, please leave a review!

  • MaryLauren@My 3 Little Birds

    I so appreciate you posting this, Jeff. We spoke briefly at Blissdom and I explained that I wasn’t able to attend your session but heard it was outstanding. I love that when you stopped chasing numbers and started chasing people your writing ignited. I had a similar experience the first time someone emailed and let me know that my writing changed her perspective about a personal matter. With that one comment, I knew that my blog was not just my story, but the story of my readers as well. I wrote something scary last night and hope you don’t mind me linking it up. 

  • http://twitter.com/cynicalbynature Kevin Basil

    Great insight Jeff. People keep telling me that I won’t be as successful as I could be because I don’t want to write the same thing all the time or follow trends just to please readers. That’s fine my be. I don’t measure my success by sales numbers or anything like that. I’m successful the moment one person reads my books. An author I love, Glen Duncan, just published a novel called The Last Warewolf and I read that he did so because that type of fantasy stuff was the in thing right now. I read the book and as a fan of his work I actually found myself disappointed. Writers shouldn’t force anything, they should just write because they love it. The pay is just a bonus.

  • Alymae29

    This is so rich, Jeff. I particularly always need to hear “Cancel Contingencies” and “Fail Forward” — I am having a visit this next month with an agent and an editor and I’m so stinking nervous and realized I slipped back into telling myself all the dumb things I’ve told myself before. I am thankful for failing forward and the idea of canceling my contingencies and just being myself with my words and story.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       you are in a good place. you are moving.

  • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com/ Enrique Fiallo

    I can always count on you to refresh and inspire me!
    Key points for me:
    “When are you a writer? When I say I am”
    “Do you know what’s really at work here? Fear. Fear of finishing”
    I am reading Steven Pressfield’s 
    the Work

    I highly recommend it, because in the end, like you say Jeff, you just have to DO THE WORK.


    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       Great book.

  • Lisa OBrien

    Thanks for the fresh challenge…to write, cause I’m a writer!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      you’re welcome, Lisa. now, write!

  • http://marlataviano.com/ Marla Taviano

    So I didn’t know anything about this whole “write something dangerous” thing until just now when I read a friend’s blog. Turns out I wrote something dangerous just today.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       awesome! share!

  • http://www.theskooloflife.com Srinivas Rao

    Hey Jeff

    I love this. You’ve made some killer observations. First let me comment on decluttering. When I decided to make it a point to track the people who actually do make money and succeed, I was amazed at how little time they’re actually spending on social media. It’s interesting how that can become an excuse to procrastinate.

     You brought up something really key when you talked about putting things out into the world that care you. I’ve always said “if you’ve run into a fear  of pushing publish, you’ve probably just created a masterpiece.”  Of course you risk being criticized when you do that. As my blog has grown, for every email I get that’s praising me, I get another from somebody telling me I’m full of shi#$#. HEHE.   Even my interview with you, you said something like “it’s ironic but when you stop trying to write for the audiences approval, you actually get it.”  Great stuff as always. 

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       LOVE that quote, Srini. Fear is a good indicator we’re moving in the right direction. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.christtribe.com/ Bob Holmes

    Go Jeff Go! This absolutely Rocks! Thanks for the kick in the #*%

  • Anonymous

    Jeff – Right on!  I can’t say enough great things about “War of Art”.  What an amazing book, a must read.  How’s this for dangerous?  I am white and my wife is black.  I have been writing about it and it just might turn into something readable in the next million years.  Dangerous!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins


  • http://healthinsane.com/ Tim Anderson

    Thank you for this post Jeff.

    I’m still searching for a reason that I must write. Yes, I’m writer before and I do have my glory days a few years back.

    Well, sometimes things doesn’t work so well.

    This post really gave me an impact. Thank you Jeff.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      you’re welcome, Tim!

  • Eden

    Jeff, Thanks for your honesty and for freely expressing yourself!  Yes! We have to figure out what we love, and just go for it….in a sense.  Why do we always play it so safe?  For me, it’s most likely fear…or I really hadn’t thought out the “art” or “essay” I want to share.  Thanks again for your insight :D

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      It’s fear for me, too.

  • http://uppside.blogspot.com/ susan upp

    This is the BEST post.  It is head-clearing to read this.
    Jeff Goins – the writer therapist. 

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Hah! Thanks, Susan.

  • http://misadventuresofmrsb.com/ Mrs. Jen B

    Hi, Jeff.

    I loved your session.

    You may have noticed me there.  I was the one sobbing, like full-on ugly crying.

    But it was worthwhile.  At least, I hope it was.

    Thank you for reminding me what I’m supposed to do.  I just linked up my post and I hope it’s the first of many which address what my heart’s been telling me to share with others for years now.  

    I’m looking forward to diving into your blog and learning more.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Thanks, Jen. I appreciate your tender heart.

  • Stephanie Precourt

    Thank you so much for including your session so I can direct my friends and readers. It was one of the highlights of Blissdom for me. 


    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Thanks, Steph. Means a lot to me.

  • http://uppside.blogspot.com/ susan upp

    (what a treasure you have here – thank you for letting everyone post a link. I need popcorn)

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      I know! Look at all these posts. I can’t wait for more…

  • http://geraldthewriter.com/ Jerry

    Thanks for the encouragement over the past few weeks.  Your service is worth over tipping.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      thanks? :)

  • http://mindfullyhealing.com/ Kim

    I took what you said to heart and scheduled a post that’s even scarier for me than the post I linked above.  

    And now I’m going to bed before I change my mind!  

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       way to go, Kim!

  • http://www.sundijo.com Sundi Jo Graham

    Great post Jeff. Came at a great time, as I’m struggling with my “voice” this week and finding the passion to write. Do it when you don’t feel like it. I’m going with it. 

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       cool. way to go, Sundi!

  • http://www.turndog-millionaire.com/ Turndog Millionaire

    Really great post, Jeff. Very touching and advice i feel everyone can take at some point along the way

    Thanks again for your words

    Matt (Turndog Millionaire)

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       you’re welcome, Matt

  • http://twitter.com/InverseDream Meg Davis

    This is awesome. 

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       thanks, Meg. :)

  • http://www.atlumschema.com Andy Mort

    “The funny thing is when you do this, you’re not really writing just for yourself. Because there are a lot of people just like you.”
    In my early days of making music this was something I realised and applied to that process – rather than producing songs that sounded like what other people (successful people) were doing (I had tried that and failed) I decided to spend my life attempting to write the song that I had always wanted to hear but hadn’t been written yet.  I would write FOR my own taste/desires but full well in the knowledge that I wasn’t too much of a freak, that my taste in music wasn’t so outrageous and would in fact align with thousands, if not millions of other people.  It’s about striking that balance between your creative voice and your consuming ear.  Often we might let our consumption dictate our creation in a way that is completely off kilter with our authentic voice, ie trying to be like/emulate the voice of someone else.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       love that. it’s humbling, huh? maybe we’re not as unique as we’d like to think?

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       love that. it’s humbling, huh? maybe we’re not as unique as we’d like to think?

  • http://www.themommyhoodmemos.com/ adriel @ the memos

    I’ve been following your blog for a while now. It’s easily one of my favorites and I often find myself nodding and “mmmmm-ing” and then mulling your posts over. To be honest I don’t often even know how to comment, but want you to know that your posts are hitting home. So I guess I’ll just say that. Thanks for hitting home. :)

    Also, I keep seeing your name pop up in posts from people that attended Blissdom. I was not in attendance but you were obviously a conference favorite. Just wanted to pass that on from a third party perspective. :) Your influence is multiplying. Obviously God has a plan for this “little” blog of yours. Well done, Jeff. And thanks for being so generous with what you’ve been given.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       my pleasure, Adriel. Thanks for “mmmmmmm-ing” along. :)

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       my pleasure, Adriel. Thanks for “mmmmmmm-ing” along. :)

  • http://twitter.com/WandaMcClure WandaHopkinsMcClure

    I’m new to your blog being redirected from Michael Hyatt’s tweet but this manifesto resonates with me. As a new writer, I have been on the edge of the precipice preparing to jump – for all the wrong reasons. This gives me clarity and inspiration. Thank you for your encouragement and insight into the crazy, compelling thing we all call writing. 

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       you’re welcome, Wanda. Thanks for reading!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       you’re welcome, Wanda. Thanks for reading!

  • terri tiffany

    Thanks for this post. I have fallen out of love with writing because I grew cynical with it. I started writing what I thought others wanted and hated what I wrote. I’ve cut back my online communication and slowly have started to write again what I want. Loved your insights!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       Awesome, Terri. Keep being a writer.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       Awesome, Terri. Keep being a writer.

  • http://twitter.com/JoshTaylorSongs Josh Taylor

    I like what you said about not writing safe.  That was cool to have people submit links too, there’s some great content and it’s fun exploring them. Too many Christian blogs suck, because they just say the same boring stuff all the time.  wwjd?  Jesus offended people wherever He went.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       thanks, Josh. I agree. what’s the fun in being safe?

  • http://twitter.com/eshantis Ebony ✿ Sonnetbird

    I love a good challenge, especially when it’s one that causes me to look myself and question why I do what I do. My post, shared in your widget, may not be dangerous to others, we’ll have to wait and see, but it was dangerous to me. How? Because every “why” has the potential to either knock me off my path or cause me to lean in and press on. I do believe I’m leaning in :D Thanks for such a motivating post! 

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       you’re welcome.

  • http://twitter.com/MyselfBetter DB Landes

    Your workshop at Blissdom was my favorite.  It moved and inspired me.  I’m excited to be following you and sharing what you discussed.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       thanks, DB!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       thanks, DB!

  • http://www.vitafamiliae.com/ Vitafamiliae

    Really enjoyed your session at Blissdom. On the surface, my post may not seem that “scary,” but I’m not normally that much of a navel-gazer, and especially not a public one. There are people that read my blog just to willfully misunderstand and dislike me. Giving them fodder about my thoughts and what I think my purpose in life is? That’s like tossing my body into the flames for them. That’s why it’s easier to tell poop stories about my kids. And I probably always will. There is, after all, never too much bathroom humor in the world. But thanks for the challenge to write out and publish something that I normally wouldn’t. And congrats to you and your wife on the new baby. Parenthood rocks!

  • http://justlikethenumber.com/ Angie Six

    Another Blissdom attendee here who feels like my entire perspective about my writing has shifted thanks to your session.  I used to write for myself and loved it, and then somehow I got lost along the way.  I felt like growing meant I had to change the way I wrote and in the process I lost my voice, my passion and my readers.  Thanks for reminding me of things I knew all along, but needed someone else to tell me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jennyboltprice Jenny Bolt Price

    Jeff, I choose to write what is risky and to do so with JOY in my heart.  I began my book about me and my twin sister, just this week.  It is flowing out of my heart and just surrendering to the “what ifs” has opened up freedom for me.  I will post 10 or more excerpts of this book on my blog in the next 10 weeks.  This is my accountability and is encouraging my dreams to move forward.  You are a constant inspiration and your dreams are so huge!  They are contagious.  Thank you.  

  • http://tonychung.ca/ Tony Chung

    Am I one of the first 100?

  • http://www.elatedexhaustion.com/ Julia

    “The world doesn’t need more safe writing. Write something dangerous — something that challenges the status quo. Something that moves you (maybe it will move others, too). Then, no matter how scared you are, share it.”
    How beautiful. I recently shared a post that scared me, but was the most honest part of me. Thank you for encouraging bravery in intimate writing. 

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Katherine-Harms/602268732 Katherine Harms

    Whew! Number 100 on the list. My stomach is tied in knots, because I have wanted to write this piece for so long. It is hard to be honest about who I am, because every time I compare myself to the people I admire, I come up short. Nevertheless, I do recognize that my life is richly different since I have begun writing for real, and your guidance is helping me to let go of fetters and pre-conceived notions. Thank you, thank you. Oh, I almost forgot. I love the Writers Manifesto. I downloaded the pdf and put it on my Kindle, and I keep rereading it when I need a spark.

  • http://twitter.com/RoweMatthew Matthew Rowe

    I feel I’ve done a lot of this and I’m just chasing numbers… Ha, I worry too much about what tow rite in my blog. I should just write it, right? In general, I write what I love and I call myself a writer. I just need my patrons and an audience!

  • http://www.bethszimmerman.com/ Beth Zimmerman

    I was in your session at BlissDom. Thought that was enough conviction for a few days. Finally summoned up the courage to download your e-book yesterday. Read it 4 or 5 times in the last 24 hours. Good thing it’s short! Had to apologize to God for stepping out from under His authority and refusing to use this gift of creativity and words. Not even a little bit sure what comes next! :)

  • Hot Coco aka Ellen

    I’m a new subscriber, and I am loving your blog.

    I wrote my “something dangerous” on Valentine’s Day, as part of a meme.  The theme was “love yourself.”  I wrote the post a day early and scheduled it for publication, then went back and reread it at least five times.  While I didn’t change what I’d written, I was a bit aghast at what I was sharing.  It turned out to be a good thing to do.  Note to self.

  • http://mommetime.me/ Amy

    someone tweeted: “I really needed to read this today. How to fall back in love with writing.” with a link to this post… oh my, it is exactly what I needed to read. Thank you for sharing. I look forward to reading more of your blog.  

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       you’re welcome, Amy!

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  • http://www.emilinegreyhound.blogspot.com/ Emily

    Thank you for writing this and sharing it; I found it extremely helpful. 

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  • http://twitter.com/angelaamman Angela

    I loved your session at Blissdom (and love your blog!)  What I linked might not seem dangerous, but it was a baby step out of my comfort zone on my blog.  I wouldn’t have even taken this little step without your words pushing me forward.  So thank you :)

  • Donna @ NappyDaze

    I am not sure where to start… perhaps with a resounding THANK YOU for opening my eyes wide.  I’m guilty of so many of the above sins, especially the fear of failure seeing me stop before I even begin.  But there I was, nodding along with you as I read.  It was an opportunity to LEARN! Bingo, the light bulb moment I’d been waiting for.

  • Vfarina

    Thanks I needed your prodding to write dangerously! Great insight!

  • Jarm Del Boccio

    This hits me where it hurts, Jeff! I am fully involved with Writer’s challenges this year, which are encouraging me to keep on writing, but, not in the genre I am comfortable with. In some ways, it’s good for me to stretch and grow by writing fictional picture books, and I’m interacting with some terrific folks who cheer me on. But, I feel like I am abandoning my passion: to make Scripture and History come alive for my readers. I will eventually return to my first love…am I wrong to exercise my writing muscles with social media and challenges?
    Thanks for your great advice, Jeff…I’m passing it on!

  • fadwa

    I just quoted you on my art journaling page http://www.facebook.com/ArtJournalingByFadwaIAmWhatIArt
    in my effort to share good and inspirational advice with my art journaling community.
    Thanks for this

  • Ngawang Gyatso

    I was going to dismiss this as just another list, but your parting words surely made it worthwhile. Cheers!

  • http://simplystick.blogger.com ccrlygrl123

    This was one of the best articles I’ve read in a long time. I feel inspired again. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • Narol Denison

    i will like to share my testimony to you all.i just got married to
    my husband about a year ago we start having problems at home like we
    stop sleeping on the same bed,fighting about little things he always
    comes home late at night,drinking too much and sleeping with other women
    out side.i have never love any man in my life except him.he is the
    father of my children and i don’t want to loose him because we have
    worked so hard together to become what we are and have today.few month
    ago he now decided to live me and the kid,being a single mother can be
    hard sometimes and so i have nobody to turn to and i was heart broken.i
    called my mom and explain every thing to her,my mother told me about Dr
    Jatto how he helped her solve the problem between her and my dad i was
    surprise about it because they have been without each other for three
    and a half years and it was like a miracle how they came back to each
    other.i was directed to Dr Jatto and explain everything to him,so he
    promise me not to worry that he will cast a spell and make things come
    back to how we where so much in love again and that it was another
    female spirit that was controlling my husband.he told me that my problem
    will be solved within two days if i believe i said OK.So he cast a
    spell for me and after two days my love came back asking me to forgive
    him.i Am so happy now. so that why i decided to share my experience with
    every body that have such problem contact him email. drjattosplltemple@gmail.com

    narol denison




  • Anderson Moon Anna

    Testimony of my life!!

    I am Anna Anderson from UK, after 4 years in marriage with my husband, he divorced me and brought in another lady, i did all i could to get him back but all proved abortive, until a old friend of mine told me about a spell caster Dr.ODUDUA on the internet who helped her in a similar issue, at first i doubted it but I decided to give it a try, when I contacted him (dr.oduduwasamuelhightemple@gmail.com) he helped me cast a re-unite spell and within 48 hours me and my husband come together again. Contact this great spell caster on your relationship or marriage problems dr.oduduwasamuelhightemple@gmail.com

    Best Regards,
    Anna Anderson.

  • cherly23

    My name is PEARL and…“My life is back!!! After 14 years of Broken
    marriage, my husband left me and our two twins . I felt like my life was
    about to end i almost commited suicide, i was emotionally down for a very
    long time. Thanks to a spell caster called Dr odion which i met online. On
    one faithful day, as I was browsing through the internet, I was searching
    for a good spell caster that can solve my problems. I came across alot of
    testimonies about this particular spell caster. Some people testified that
    he brought their Ex lover back, some testified that he restores womb,cure
    cancer,and other sickness, some testified that he can cast a spell to stop
    divorce and so on. i also come across one particular testimony,it was about
    a woman called sonia,she testified about how Dr Odion brought back her Ex
    lover in less than 7 days and reverse the effect of their little boys
    cancer, and at the end of her testimony she dropped Dr odions e-mail
    address. After reading all these,I decided to give Dr odion
    a try. I contacted him via email and explained my problem to him. In just 3
    days, my husband came back to me. We solved our issues, and we are
    even happier than before. Dr odion is really a gifted man and i will not
    publishing him because he is a wonderful man… If you have a problem and
    you are looking for a real and genuine spell caster to solve all your
    problems for you. Try Dr odion anytime, he might be the answer to your
    problems. Here’s his contact:drodionspelltemple@gmail. com. Thank you Dr

  • rose

    Thank you thank you DR OLORI for what you have just done, for helping me getting my husband who left me with two kids years ago to me I thank you so much the great olori of drolorispiritualtemple@gmail.com for Bringing back my family i am great full and will always be if you also Need his help his email (drolorispiritualtemple@gmail.com ) My name is elen jones I am from spain i want to share my happiness with the general public of what DR olori of india but now in africa has done for me in the last few weeks i was once in love this guy called McCarty we in love with each other until traveled out of my state for two year and we promise ourselves to be together forever, but before return from my journey he where now having another lover when i try to come back to he. He told me i should go away i love him so much that i could not let he go just like that then i told a friend about it and she advice me and recommend this man olori for me when i visit he at drolorispiritualtemple@gmail.com he only ask me to buy some items for sacrifices to help me get my ex back and he actually did it and it work well and today I am happy with incase any one is out there with same problem or any kind I advice he or she to contact this man today at drolorispiritualtemple@gmail.com and with what he did for me I believe he can also help you thank once again Dr olori or call me on this +2349035304819..

  • Joyce Patrick

    Hello Every one out here!!

    I want to share my testimony and my happiness with you all in this site, last year my husband left me for another woman in his working place and he abandon me and my 2kids, everything was so hard for me because i love him so much, so i saw the testimonies of Dr.Ekpiku how he has been helping ladies in getting there husband back so i contacted him and he help me to cast a return spell for my husband and in 3 days my husband left the other woman and he come back to me with so much love and caring. i will never forget this help that Dr.Ekpiku gave to me and my children.if you are here you need help to get you lover back you can contact him through this email Ekpikuspelltemple@live.com, i am proud to be on his testimony page.

  • Dirce Ries

    Hello every one, I really want to share my testimony to the hearing of the general public on this site about how PRIEST KUVUKI helped me, December 2013, I saw a post on a particular site shearing testimony on how the great spell caster brought back her EX whom’s name is Emphrom so i just saw it common and i said let me see what will happen because my husband left me and my three kids for another woman just like that. I and my husband was married for six years living happily before i knew what was going on, he left me and go for another woman so when i saw the post, i contacted the spell caster on his email and he told me i should not worry that my husband will come back to me in three days after once he finish casting the reunite spell and to my greatest surprise, My husband came back to me again and i want to use this medium to let every body know that this is real and if you are out there having this same problem please contact the great spell caster on his email { Kuvukispelltemple@hotmail.com } now because he can do the unexpected. his email is { Kuvukispelltemple@hotmail.com }

  • davisha

    i want to use this medium to testify of how i got back my ex boyfriend. After 8 years in relationship with my husband with 3 kids, he suddenly started going out with other ladies and coming home late, most at times drunk and each time i confront him about this it turns out to be fight, he even threatened to divorce me severally, I was emotionally devastated because i was not sure of what to do to make him love me again, I tried all i could to make him love me again but all proved abortive until i saw a post on the internet on how a spell caster Dr. Zaki helps people restore back their broken relationship/marriage at first i doubted this but decided to give it a try, when i contacted this spell caster via email he helped me cast a re-union spell and within 5hours my husband came to me apologizing and today we are happily together again. Contact this great spell caster on your marriage and relationship problems at dr.zakispellhome@gmail.com