A book about writing. For free! By a writer called Jeff Goins.
You’ve missed it. It was free on Amazon for the Kindle but you don’t want to shop there unless you have to, do you?
I downloaded it as a pdf from Jeff’s own site after being alerted to the fact it was free by Andy Mort who is, amongst other things, a writer too and one whose blogs and mail-outs I read regularly. (He is the man behind Atlum Schema and ‘Sheep Dressed Like Wolves’).
Like I said in my last post: I like a bargain and I love a freebie. Although it did cost me 10 minutes of my time working out how do download and then be able to begin reading, I got that freebie. : )
But I didn’t get it just because it was free. It was recommended by someone whose judgement I like and trust on such things and on a subject that often floats into, and then mostly out of my thoughts: writing.
A lot of what Jeff Goin’s book says is applicable for me as a musical artists as well: branding (yes, the word makes me cringe a little still too with its associations but nevertheless it’s an important thing), developing a voice, building relationships, using channels to communicate your ideas. Most importantly though, the message that the DOING is more important than the THINKING about doing. I’m not saying ‘don’t think’ but that thinking too much and not acting will only give you excuses and reasons not to act.
You’ve got to start BEING what you want instead of waiting for the right time/context/trigger.
So, I wrote a blog about diary writing and then spent a few days thinking about writing and not deciding on what to write and not writing (other than in my diary).
But I did carry on reading Jeff’s book. Look, it’s no masterpiece and I’m sure he’d agree but it is well delivered advice coming from his own personal experience and achievements. I found it helpful – it reinforced a lot of my ideas and gave me new ones and an impetus to write. To just do it. Try this, strive for that. Don’t worry, but overall start to write if you want to write.
I’ve been a working musician for around 3 years now, as my tax records clearly and explicitly show, your honour, and a lot of the mind set and practical behavioural advice given in Jeff’s book I remember going through when I made the transition from working soul destroying jobs to doing what I truly wanted to be able to do: play music.
It did take me over a year to feel comfortable admitting out loud that I was a ‘working musician’, actually making a living from music, however meagre it is, but that courage finally developed. Maybe it will with being a writer too.
You don’t have to and shouldn’t have to restrict yourself to one role, one label or one career and I think it’s more fulfilling not to. Not to advocate the benefits of knowing a little about a lot of things and doing a lot of things reasonably well over having a craft, an expert skill or vocation. No, that’s another blog for another time. What I’m saying is that that you can wear more than one hat, as Andy does in one of his podcasts.
Music, like reading, has played such a big part in my life. So many of the people I admire are artists and writers and so as well as writing and playing music why not make time for the written word. Or typed word, rather…
Thanks Jeff, thanks Andy. Got to go and put my musician hat on now and get to my gig.