Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

Advice on Better Writing & Living

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“Pow! This is a good one, a wake up call and just what you need to read. Thanks Jeff, for sharing your art.”
Seth Godin // Author, We Are All Weird

The Worst Mistake You Don’t Know You’re Making

Kids in slum

In high school, I had a teacher, Mrs. Kuntz, who was so tough on her students that we all feared failing her class.

Never before had I worried so much about earning a passing grade, but her high standards made me wonder if I had what it took.

Little did I know what I was about to learn.

The Dirty, Messy Part of a Writer’s Life

Slum Shadow

I had a real job once. Before I became a writer, I worked for a nonprofit where I learned that the best work is the kind that costs you something. Even though I don’t do that anymore, it’s still part of who I am.

For me, this job of being a writer is not just about the writing. It’s about the difference-making.

The Meaning of Life in Three Parts

Places quote

On the other side of the world, fighting jetlag and a little bit of culture shock, I’m surprised not by the differences I see, but the similarities.

On this trip, I’m struck with a truth that sticks to my soul: No matter where we go, people are just people, and despite our differences, we have more in common than meets the eye.

We all want essentially the same things in life, and today I saw them more clearly than ever before.

What Hope Looks Like

Africa hut

I’m not sure what I was expecting when visiting my first mud hut in the middle of Africa, but this was not it.

I wasn’t expecting hope.

“Is this where you live?” Wess asks the little girl as we march up the dirt path to her home.

Why I’m Going Halfway Around the World to Blog


Today, I leave for Africa. I’ve never been there before, and honestly, this is the most nervous I’ve been about overseas travel in a long time.

So why leave my family for a week and half with nothing but a backpack, my laptop, and a few changes of clothes?

For the next 10 days, I’ll be visiting several cities and villages in Uganda and Kenya and writing about the whole experience. Here’s why.

Writers Don’t Write to Get Published

Writers Don't Write to Get Published

Real writers don’t write to get published. They write just to write. Real writers don’t write for recognition or fame or notoriety.

They write, because they simply cannot not write.

Stop Being Afraid

Scared little girl

You need to do something for yourself: Make the decision today to stop letting fear rule your life.

Stop hesitating.

Stop wavering.

Stop questioning.

Tell the voices of opposition to shut up. Refuse to be ruled by Fear. And then, get on with what you were born to do.

How to Stop Sounding Stupid and Write Like a Pro

How to write like a pro

I have a passion for words and people not sounding like idiots when they communicate. It’s a cause near and dear to my heart.

So it drives me bonkers when people have an important message and waste what they have to say on poor delivery. Here’s how to stop doing that and write like pro.

Why You Should Start Building Your Email List Now

Email List

Every communicator wants her message to be heard. Every creative wants his art to be appreciated — right?

But so many writers and artists don’t get the attention they deserve. Why? Because they neglect the single-most important element to building a tribe.

They forsake one simple, but essential online marketing asset:

The New Year’s Resolution You’ve Already Broken

Resolution list

Everything was spinning out of control the first time I felt the nudge. My husband had left, and the nonprofit we’d founded was in jeopardy. I felt like a failure in every possible way.

The promise of a fresh beginning seemed like a bait-and-switch mirage. The mere thought of writing a list of resolutions left me feeling completely discouraged before I even started.