(This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)
I’m sitting in the coffee shop. I have 45 minutes to write, but the computer is sitting in the bag at my feet. For the moment, my mood matches the weather outside, and I can’t even remember why I call myself a writer. The last thing I want to do is to write words for other people to read.
That’s when I turn to Jeff Goins’ Writer’s Manifesto on my Kindle. In 44 short pages, it reminds me not only that I love to write, but why I write.
Because it is a gift.
If the Writer’s Manifesto reminds me that I write to honor the gift, You Are a Writer helps me to be a good steward of that gift. In the first few chapters, Jeff expounds on his original manifesto. But he goes deeper. He talks about leaving a legacy. Of becoming trapped by numbers and the search for accolades. About falling back in love with writing.
And that sets the stage for what the rest of the book is about: the hard work of writing. The fact that you have to work at it. That you have to keep writing. The fact that you can’t give up on improving your craft. The fact that you’ll never “arrive” as a writer.
The chapter on branding alone is worth the price of the book. The rest of it might feel like it is more about marketing than writing.
But that’s the paradox of this upside down blogging world: sometimes, being a good steward of the gift requires what feels like self-promotion. You can do everything “right” and not get published; you can do everything “wrong” and still become a bestseller—but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your best for Him. If they are His words, for His service, then it can and should be for His glory, not yours. And whether we make the bestseller list or we are read only by an audience of One, we will know that we did our best, for Him.
Jeff is not writing to a specifically Christian audience. He doesn’t talk about praying over your writing or discerning God’s will as to the timing of your next project. But he doesn’t have to. His book is an aide to any writer, whether or not they claim the name of Christ. But for those of us who do write for His glory? You Are a Writer is an extra-special tool, because it enables us to be a better steward of the gift God has given us.
(Many thanks to Jeff for the free review copy of You Are a Writer.)