I’ve got a writer crush going for Jeff Goins.
Is it the red-head, Conan O’Brien hair flip thing he’s got going? No. Although I think red heads are probably the most fun people I know. But cmon now you guys, this isn’t a true crush. I’m a *classy* married lady.
Is it the entrepreneurial success thing? Maybe a little bit. I mean, that definitely speaks to me.
But you know what really revs my engine?
A book written solely about pursuing your life’s work. And that’s exactly what Jeff Goins did with The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to Do.
I’m only 50 pages in, but I’m already relating to the people he writes about. And then he threw in a story about Walt Disney? Consider me sold. Whatever he is selling, I am buying. Which is true, really, because I pre-ordered this book as soon as he announced it on his blog.
Which brings me to my next point, you should go follow his blog at www.goinswriter.com.
I can already start to hear you protesting. “But Jamie, I’m not a writer.” Okay. Go follow him anyway. His advice is about discovering the path meant for you. He’s not trying to sell you on the path of the writer. But does he write about that from time to time? Sure! It’s all good advice, though. Just trust me on this.
Okay, so instead of just gushing about this book, I’m going to share an excerpt that I think many can relate to:
At some point, you entertained the idea that you were born to do something significant. But then high school happened. Or college. And your parents talked you into becoming a lawyer instead of a baker. That professor told you med school was a smarter move than relocating to New York to try out an acting career. And you believed them. When “real life” began, you gave up, but called it growing up instead and abandoned the dream altogether. You made excuses for why wanting something extraordinary was somehow selfish and immature, and you wondered if any of those youthful feelings were ever real in the first place.
But even then, you knew you were wrong. No matter how noisy the world got, no matter how busy you became, there would always be something inside you — a small voice that whispered in the quieter moments of life, taunting you with the shadow of the unlived life. If you listen hard enough, you can still hear it.
Does that sound familiar to you?
It certainly struck a nerve with me. After excelling at creative writing in high school, I started off college with a Criminal Justice degree. Why? Because no one in their right mind would hire someone with a creative writing degree. So I went to my back up plan – becoming an officer that worked with canines. Why? Because I loved training my own dogs and felt like I could just get used to the whole gun thing.
My dad sat me down for a heart-to-heart. “Jamie. Sweetie. You couldn’t hurt a fly if you tried. Why don’t you get a degree in something that will make money, like Accounting. You don’t want to end up working in a factory like me, right?” To which I nodded knowing that I’d be spending my next summer in that factory to earn my way, and I was not looking forward to it.
So then I settled on a Marketing degree. But I did terribly in my economics classes. And I didn’t care about the business side of the world. But I sure glommed onto my english and psychology classes. And then two years later I finally took a deep breath and declared myself a Creative Writing major.
And then I became a world-famous writer.
Oh wait. No, that didn’t happen. I became a publishing specialist for a year (a glorified admin), a marketing analyst for five years (Ha! Funny how that worked out, huh?), a copywriter for three months, an ecommerce content creator for two and a half years, and now finally a digital content planner for the last year that now also dabbles in creative writing.
And yet, still no books under my belt. But I’ve been listening. And that little voice hasn’t gone away. No, it has only gotten louder. And this book is helping me to clarify the steps I need to take to pursue my own life’s path. And I really think it could help a lot of people, too. Maybe one of them is you. Maybe not. But if this doesn’t strike the right chord, there are plenty of other inspirational lessons out there that may ring true for you.
Here are a couple of my favorites:
The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Stephen Pressfield
Yes Please by Amy Poehler
Bossypants by Tina Fey
So this is my one last plea for my writer crush of the week (or month…maybe year)…
If you’re floundering, if you’re unsure, if you don’t think you’re in the right profession, you’re not alone. And reading The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to Do just might help you dig deep and listen to that small voice inside of you.
Now go out there and do something brave.