The Best .99 You’ll Ever Spend

“For too long, my fragile ego has depended on the affirmation of others” The Writer’s Manifesto

What do you love to do? Take photographs? Paint? Write?

How have you let the expectations of others change what you do? How does your desire for approval or significance in the eyes of an audience affect your work?

The Writer’s Manifesto by Jeff Goins starts here, with our motivation to create. Appropriately, the first section is entitled, The End – this is where most creative people begin, at the wrong end. We start by wanting to impress an audience. We start by looking for approval, when the real beginning is simply to do: to write, to paint, to take pictures.

I think the desire for approval can be used along the way, perhaps, but it is a lousy starting point.

* * * * *

There is something about Jeff’s work that engaged my mind right away. He dives in at the deep end. What I liked most about it is that he makes hard statements, not all of which I thought I agreed with. But I like that about a book on writing, on art, on creating. What do we really know, for sure? Why not throw some things out there and think about them, talk about them?

“This desire to be heard,” he writes. “To be acknowledged as an artist…ultimately it corrupts the art…”

I am not sure about this.

“Writers don’t write to get published. They write for the love of writing.”

I agree with this. In fact, I wrote about it.

“As we care less about our audience’s affections, more people will be affected by our writing.”

I love this.

* * * * *

What? Finished already? This is what I said to myself when I realized I had already read through it.

Learn more about Jeff and The Writer’s Manifesto here. This eBook is only 99 cents, or you might still be able to pick it up for free just by joining his newsletter list. Check it out today.

Have you ever realized that your potential audience was having an undue affect on your work? How do you handle feelings of inadequacy?

7 Replies to “The Best .99 You’ll Ever Spend”

  1. Thanks for your kind words, Shawn. I’m glad you liked the book (parts of it, anyway). I appreciate your sharing it with your audience!

  2. I struggle with this ALL THE TIME as an aspiring author. Why do I write? Too often I write seeking approval from others. But am I supposed to write for myself? Not sure if that is right either — for two reasons:
    1. I always am supposed to write with my audience in mind, right?; and
    2. to spiritualize it, am I writing for myself, my audience, or for God?
    Thanks for posting this.

    1. Great thoughts, Tim. Read The Writer’s Manifesto – it might help you work through some of these questions.

  3. if you have an audience, it might be somewhat easier to forget about them. if you don’t have an audience it could possibly be because you don’t think about them. what’s the point of one’s art if not to share? a therapeutic process maybe but eventually one desires more than that. we are relational people and we want to be known. a balance maybe?

  4. Very thoughtful review Shawn – your perspective on the book was great. I had similar reactions but you articulated them much clearer.

    Jeff, great job again on this piece – I’ve got a review of your book in the queue for next week over on my site!

    Thanks to you both for unintentionally stretching me as a writer!

  5. Great review, Shawn!

    Just bought it off Amazon (even though I’ve got the free copy) because, like you, I believe in what Jeff’s doing.

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