ROWWriter 6~3

Hi everyone! I am a writer. Odds are, since you are reading this post, that you are a writer too. Say it to yourself. Write the words down and slap it up on your desk or monitor where you will see it. Why am I opening this way? Well, over the last week I read Jeff Goins You Are A Writer and I’m taking the challenge, at least the parts that apply to fiction writers.

Today I’ll have a brief review of Jeff’s book and then my update.

Review of You Are A Writer (So Start Acting Like One) by Jeff Goins.

Excerpt: “I’ve stumbled upon this idea, you see, that writers shouldn’t spend their time doing what they don’t enjoy. Instead, they need to do what they love. They need to write.”

Sure, there is more to it than that, but the writing, the reason why we pursue all of the other things has to have precedence and priority over ALL of those other things. As a matter of fact, as Jeff points out in his book, if we concentrate on the writing the others things have a tendency to fall in place over time. Nothing is fast, but persistence will win out.

As writers, we tend to be a sensitive lot. We worry and obsess over the minutia. We feel criticism sink in to our marrow and steal our strength. We see an open path and then hesitate while we examine the paving stones that form it and the clouds drifting with ominous intent overhead – just to be sure that it is really safe.

In a phrase: We are, by our very natures, our own greatest obstacle.

It isn’t about social media. It isn’t about someone else having a legacy advantage or a better deal. A lucky break. It’s about handling our own fears and being slowed or stopped by them.

Look at every major writer currently on the market. They make mistakes and suffer failures but they never let that stop them from making the next move, from continuing to strive forward, from getting right back in the game and trying again. They don’t hesitate. Neither should we.

This is my assessment, my playback of a few of the lessons I took from Jeff Goins book. There is a ton more, things on freelancing, building a platform, finding your voice, and more. All packed into a twenty-something thousand word novella that has more power than the great epics. I read it in a day. Then read it again. Of all the writing books I’ve bought in the past year, this one is the most useful as far as career motivation and planning is concerned.

You really should read this book if you haven’t already. Jeff Goins: You Are A Writer (So Start Acting Like One). And no, this isn’t an affiliate link – this link is here because I truly believe in the power of this book and want to share it with all of you.

And now my ROW update.

-Write 7k of fiction per week. I wrote around 4k this week, with Beth’s graduation and the sundry things that surrounded it my time was a bit overwhelmed. But I did write every day and that is what matters the most. One day I’ll pull apart what my “actual daily writing goal” looks like – flexibility is built fully into it and I never stress over word count. Ever. On the project end, plotting continues along for the paranormal sci-fi novella series and I’ll be adding a progress meter or something to the blog in the near future.

-Read a “bunch of books”. Above is the review of one of the ones I listed last week. I’ll set a date for the whole grouping next Sunday. School is officially over here on Monday so I’ll finally be able to start catching up.

-Two upcoming additions to my goals that are not “officially” listed yet.

  • I’ll be taking Candace Haven’s FastDraft class in July along with Jenny Hansen, Jess Witkins and a few others. This goal will become official in Round 3. I’d love to have other ROWers join us – the more, the merrier the insanity fun! Jen Hansen is putting together a group for this – tweet her @jhansenwrites if you have an interest, I’m sure she’d love to have you.
  • I’ll be taking Holly Lisle’s How To Write A Series class starting in the next couple of weeks (there isn’t a set starting time). This goal will carry over into Round 3 and once I start it I’ll set it as an official ROW goal.

-Visit 15 or more fellow ROWers each Sunday checkin. Yep, seventeen last week and as always I will endeavor to visit as many as I can between today and tomorrow morning. Remember: You are a writer. Support each other on this magnificent voyage of discovery.

Peaceful Journeys!


About Gene Lempp

Gene Lempp is a writer blending elements of alternate history, the paranormal, fantasy, science fiction and horror for dark and delicious fun. He unearths stories by digging into history, archeology, myth and fable in his Designing from Bones blog series. β€œOnly the moment is eternal and in a moment, everything will change,” sums the heart of his philosophy. You can find Gene at his Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, WANATribe, Google+, Pinterest and StumbleUpon.
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18 Responses to ROWWriter 6~3

  1. K.B. Owen says:

    Great progress toward your goals, Gene! I read Goins’ book after you mentioned it last week. Very affirming of adjustments I’ve been making.

    Maybe there’s a second Fast Draft in the works for July? Jenny, Ingrid, Jess, and I (and I’m sure other writers I don’t know about – maybe Karen McFarland?) are actually starting a Fast Draft this Thursday. **Gulp** Wish us luck!

  2. Juliana Haygert says:

    Congrats on your daughter’s graduation!
    I just bought the book *grins* Thanks for sharing it!
    With so much this week, you did an awesome job!
    I’m thinking about joining you guys for Fast Draft, I just need to find a new daycare for my daughter before the 7th or I won’t have time for it. I’ll let you guys know if I join or not πŸ˜‰
    Have a great week, Gene!

  3. Sounds like you are doing a heck of a job, Gene! πŸ˜€ Keep it up! Thanks for the heads up on the book…. I think I will take your advice and start calling myself a writer, because I am one! have a fantastic week!

  4. That sounds like a very reaffirming book. I’ll have to check it out, thanks for the heads up. You had another great week and goal additions look good. Wishing you a fab week Gene!

  5. Marcia says:

    Great job this week, Gene!
    I just bought the Jeff Goins’ book. I saw his post on Joanna Penn’s site, too. Looking forward to reading what he has to say. I signed up for Holly’s class on series writing through your link.This was amazing timing. I’ll be writing the sequel to my first novella soon and then I’m on to a series idea I’ve been jotting down. Talk about offering value to your readers!
    Good luck with your upcoming week! And on Fast Draft!

  6. Thanks for your review of Jeff Goins’ book. I bought it last week after your mention of it, but haven’t finished it yet. It was well timed in that I was doing my “I should just shelve this whole fiction thing until I retire” discussion with myself daily for the past month or so.

    Last Friday, I pinned up a full-page declaration of being a writer right by my computer at the day jobSome of my colleagues have given it sidelong glances, but no questions, yet πŸ™‚

    Good job on your goals, and have a great week, Gene!

    • Gene Lempp says:

      Kathy: Jeff’s book is incredible for affirmation and lighting that “fire” to press past our inner fears. Checking on Jen’s plan for the FastDraft run she is doing. Sounds like fun assuming I can work it into the schedule.

      Juliana: Awesome, you’re gonna love the book – Goins writing is powerful stuff. Be glad to have you with for FastDraft, but your daughter is the first priority (read your update prior to writing this so I’m aware of the situation). All the best πŸ™‚

      Darlene: And you are, and you should πŸ™‚ We become what we believe ourselves to be.

      Raelyn: It is very affirming and a quick read, lots of power in compact form which is perfect for the modern busy schedule.

      Marcia: Excellent, glad I could connect you with Holly – she has been a fav of mine for years. Really looking forward to taking the Series class, but will be a week or two before I start it (getting my schedule prepped to be sure I can concentrate on the class). Thanks much πŸ™‚

      Elizabeth: Putting up the sign at work is awesome and bold! Kudo’s to you. I’m sure people aren’t sure how to respond to it and still figuring out the wisdom of having an opinion. Stay strong and I wish you all the best for the coming weeks. πŸ˜€

  7. Ruth Nestvold says:

    Amen to making writing a priority! But, of course, not compared to a graduation. πŸ™‚ Congratulations! Life doesn’t make any sense if we don’t put family first, even before glory, power, or a six figure advance — no wait, Kindle sales. *g*

    Congrats on all the progress. I’ll have to look into the first draft in July. Hopefully the other projects on my plate will allow.

  8. I’m glad you don’t stress over word count. I stopped doing that. Actually, I try not to stress over writing in general. This is supposed to be a job we love, and if we get stressed, we AREN’T going to love it. πŸ™‚

  9. Jenny Hansen says:

    Gene, we are starting our Fast Draft on June 7th for two weeks, and I’m also considering taking the class in July. We took it at DFWcon but I don’t want to lose the forward momentum. I think it will take me a few tries to get the hang of it, but I have several books to finish. πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the shout out – of course we’ll take on anyone who want to join the fun. Support is vital. It’s every day, no excuses, with the goal of 20 pages per day for 14 days.

    Candace actually came and taught us while she was sick and passed out in front of the class. She got right back up onto a chair and continued to teach. As a professional instructor, I know how rare that kind of fortitude is. She is a rockstar.

  10. Jenny Hansen says:

    p.s. I bought Jeff’s book last week and I love it. The cooties kept me from being able to focus, but I plan to finish the rest this week. Great review!

  11. Joy Renee says:

    I need to read that book! Thank for putting it on my radar.

    And thanks for you visits and encouragements over the last several check-ins. I’m struggling to get these visits in myself. Guess I need to put that on my goal list too. Hopefully it will get easier after I get back home and my time belongs mostly to me. Tho not necessarily as I’ve learned so many times before, unstructured time is a monster in its own right.

    You appear to be doing well with your goals. Fast Draft looks scary to me. But then so did Nano until I’d done a few. And truth be told most of my NaNo wins have involved 30 to 40K in the last two weeks with 4 to 5K days not uncommon. But I imagine that two week warm up front loaded the last two weeks for me.

  12. Jess Witkins says:

    All I can do is echo Jenny’s comments here. I’m with her on the fact that it could very likely take me a couple tries to get in the groove with this fast writing thing. I’m a terrible, terrible self editor that doesn’t make it to the end cause she rewrites the beginning so much. Fast Draft won’t allow that.

    And Candace is a rockstar. Poor thing fainted in class, got some water and advil, sat on a chair, and kept going. And she taught another class after that which I also attended and she was just as energetic and passionate there. Talked with her at the luncheon and am endeared forever. She is such a hard worker, but a motivator, and she gives of herself immensely.

    P.S. (copying Jenny, told you!) I so want this book!

  13. Em says:

    I am a writer!!
    Ok…am gonna check out this book. Well done on still writing 4k! And congratulations on our daughters graduation πŸ™‚ Have a great week and thank you for your comment at my place πŸ™‚

  14. Reetta Raitanen says:

    You picked a great book to review, Gene. Jeff Goins is a great choice to read when you need a pep talk. Congrats on being so well on track with your goals despite important family events. And my hat is off to your for taking even more on your plate. Good luck with Fast Draft.

  15. Julie Glover says:

    Congrats on the graduation! How lovely. I would also like to do Fast Draft at some point, but my focus needs to be editing for a while yet. If y’all don’t peter out on me, I’ll jump in to a class in a few months. Candace was amazing. I am using notes from her Revision Hell class as well to tweak my current WIP. Have a great week, Gene!

  16. Looks like a great book. I will add it to my list. Also, it looks like you made good progress on your goals. Congratulations to your daughter!

  17. Kim Switzer says:

    Great progress, Gene! And I was really glad to see your review of You Are a Writer. I bought it when if first came out, and now I’ve signed on to do the 15 day work-through of it, but I’ve been having a hard time getting myself to settle down and *read*. The excerpt got me over that hump finally.

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