Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

Are You a Writer? Prove It.

Most people struggle with confidence about something. Maybe it’s the way they look or how they communicate. It could even be about how much money they have — or don’t have.

Although some have validity, most of our insecurities are unfounded and ridiculous. We just need to find a way move forward.

How I overcame self-doubt

It took a friend telling me I was a writer before I would believe it about myself. In fact, even after that I struggled. People had affirmed me my whole life. What really made a difference was when I began calling myself a writer.

It sounds crazy and can certainly be misapplied, but I know of no other way to get serious about your craft: Eventually, you just have to start believing it.

So are you a writer? Do you have something to say? A message to communicate? A voice worth hearing? Maybe it’s time you declared it to the world.


Note:This was originally a video contest, but I just expanded it to include any kind of media you want to create. Only seemed fair (since so many writers are petrified of the video camera… myself included.)

For the next couple of weeks, I’m running a contest for anyone who wants to declare himself or herself a writer. The most original entry will win the following prizes:

  • All formats of my new eBook, You Are a Writer (if you already have these, you can gift them to a friend)
  • A new, not-yet-released audio series on writing and getting published
  • A $100 Amazon gift card

Contest ends May 20th. You have to create a video or blog post or something and post it online in order to enter. For rules and details, see this page: You Are a Writer Contest

Here’s a slightly out-of-focus, stubbly, late-night version of me (pardon my voice crack), telling you more about it (if you can’t see the video, click here):

Yep. It’s gonna be pretty awesome. I can’t wait to see what crazy, fun ideas you come up with. Oh, and just a small note: You don’t have to read the eBook to enter, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. You can pick up a copy for $5 here.

Have you ever had to declare something about yourself before you would fully believe it? You can share in the comments or just get started with your entry!

About Jeff Goins

I write books and help writers get their work out into the world. I am the best-selling author of four books, including The Art of Work. Each week, I send out a newsletter with free tips on writing and creativity.

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  • A video?  A *video*?  You mean not only take that leap and start calling myself a writer but also step way out of my comfort zone?  Yikes!  🙂

    •  yep! 🙂

    • Holly Jahangiri

      EXACTLY my thought, Kelly!! 😛

      •  Come on… it doesn’t have to be perfect.

  • You found my Achilles heel. A video? Oh no. I am not good at videos. lol

    •  Me neither! Did you see mine? no judgment here. just make it fun.

  • In addition to convincing myself that I am a writer, I’ve had to convince myself that I am a songwriter as well. Even after having a few songs under my belt, I still only feel that I am no better than an “aspiring” songwriter. That evil word keeps resurfacing…

  • kristinapetrella

    Before I was a writer (<—see I called myself one…woot!) I was a sign language interpreter and because I didn't get there by the traditional route ( I had experience, not schooling) I had to tell myself every morning that I was an interpreter, because at 18, walking into a school where some of the students were older than you, yet you were supposed to be an adult was daunting.  Then came the larger crowds and such and I had to remind myself…this is your job…you are an interpreter, no matter what any person with a Ph.D. professor tells you. 

    Fun times.  Sounds like a fun contest…now to get creative.

    • hope to see your video soon, Kristina!

  • I have the craziest idea: declaring myself a writer–through stuffed animals.

    •  Love that idea. Make it into a video and enter it into the contest!

  • Hmm, now I need to decide what to put into the video but I think one will be forthcoming.

    I had to tell myself that I was a leader before I could fully believe it. I had titles, I had followers, etc and yet I wouldn’t fully believe it. Now I know I’m a leader and I relish that fact.

    Same thing with writing. I like to write, I like to publish, I like to get work out there. But after reading your book I know I can confidently tell myself I’m a writer and believe it. 

    •  oh yes. leadership definitely follows this “rule.”

  • I’m with you Jeff, I’m a writer! I appreciate this message.

    •  love that, Kimanzi. you’re certainly acting like it.

  • sounds like a great prize- too bad I am not comfortable being on video. I’ll have to pray about this.

    •  no worries. there will be other fun opportunities to come… maybe.

  • Jessica Renaglia

    I would love to participate in this but I have so many assignments right now! 

    •  Do they all pay $120 for a minute of your time?

  • I have trouble calling myself a writer, even though I just quit my part-time day job so I can write full-time. Now I find myself calling myself a “stay at home writer.” My sister called me on it yesterday. “What in the world is that? Like a stay-at-home mom who scribbles on the side?! Call yourself what you really are – a writer!” Thank God for you and my sister, telling it to me straight!

  • Meg R

    Jeff, I have no trouble calling myself a writer.  I had a professor who said that if it wasn’t for the papers I handed in I would not have made it thru the class.  I came away with a B+ and have never forgotten.  I think she was telling me not to try to deal with people in person, but I’ll take whatever I can get, lol.  I really think that I have more of a problem with this blog thing as a viable form of writing.  I used to have a small column in a community newspaper, but that went the way of the white rhino so now I’m having to discover life after death, so to speak. 

  • I’m shooting a load of videos in the next couple of days so I may as well add another to my list 🙂

    Matt (Turndog Millionaire)

  • Will I get bonus points for posting my video first? I made one, but I don’t see anyone else jumping in. 

  • Ceriusmar

    The only part I thought I’d like about this was WRITING the script LOL. But then again, it’s all about getting out of your comfort zone so why not start here? My daughter and I had some really good laughs getting this one done, so thanks for making me do it!

  • Until I got into the habit of writing daily, I was in the same boat. I didn’t think of myself as a writer (more like someone who dabbled in writing). I am now running a full time blog and have a book on the way, so… I’M A WRITER! However… Scared S**tless of making a video, so… We’ll cross that bridge another year! =)

    /// @theworld4realz



  • Lazarga2

    I would love to but I am a horrible writer.

  • Hi, Jeff. I wasn’t that keen on making a video, either, but now you’ve opened it up to blog posts and tweets etc., I’m definitely in. Writers will be writers! 🙂

  • Hey Jeff,
    Sorry for the last minute entry. I had something I was going to do, then another inspiration hit me. Took awhile to put it together. It’s not as great as skydiving and screaming, “I am a writer”, but hopefully it’s awesome enough anyway. I enlisted the help of some of the great writers of all time.
    After putting it on YouTube, I’ll be posting it, and your link, on my blog.