An open letter to Jeff Goins of http://goinswriter.com/

Dear Jeff,

Few hours ago I read one of your latest tweets. It reads: I don’t want to insult your intelligence, but if you haven’t gotten this yet, what’re you waiting for?  The tweet refers to your latest book ‘Wrecked’. I thought about it for a while. Then I went to re-read some of your work. And that made me want to write you a letter. So I am.

I know that you have gazillions of fans (your ‘tribe’ as you call it) and that I have only recently subscribed to your blog. What’s more I am only a newbie blogger and from distant part of the world. I have no ‘pull’ whatsoever when comes to ‘tribes’. So the chances are you may not even read this letter. At best you, or somebody working for you, may skim through it and send ‘thanks’ in response. That is OK. I am sure you are very busy; as a new father, and as an entrepreneur. I wanted to tell you that your boy is beautiful. And the letter you wrote to him few weeks ago is too. Maybe more than you know. Those are the images, and messages I fell in love with when I first stumbled upon your blog. It started to change my life. And those are the same images and messages that I am finding very hard to reconcile with the current trends and tweets and many other ‘in your face marketing’ techniques.  This is why I am writing. Because I feel it is the right thing to do.

You may laugh at my letter, dismissed it or ignore it. I did read: ‘The Essential Guide to (Not) Responding to Critics’. Only I am not a critic. I am somebody who admired you. Besides, whatever happens, it will not change the fact that, for me, this is the right thing to do. Because of what happened. And this is what happened.

When I found your blog and ‘The Writer’s Manifesto’ it unlocked something in me that has been locked since I can remember. It managed to lodge itself somewhere in the obscure corners of my heart and slowly melt away my fears, my insecurities, and my doubts. When I read words like: ‘Writers don’t write to get published. They write for another reason. This is the first and only lesson every writer must learn’, I felt those words are aimed directly at me. I was melting, even if I did not know it at the time. I was savouring every page. I made copies and send them to all people I care about including my own 18 years old daughter, implying them to read it cover to cover. Not only as the ‘writing resource’, but more as a ‘life resource’, a resource on how to be true to one self. I even quizzed them to ensure that they read it! I do not have many people left alive who I care about. So the impact on numbers is insignificant. Still, on page eight you wrote and I read: ‘Writers everywhere are rediscovering their first love: writing. Not tweets, or publishing contracts, or blog comments. Just writing.’

Sometime ago you generously let me download your eBook: ‘You are a writer (so start acting like one)’ and I thanked you. Then I repeated the above process. I read it in one sitting, and distributed. I told everyone that ‘this young guy from Nashville’ has a real, honest message that is well worth hearing’. The book is great; it is basically the extension of the Manifesto.

Then few weeks ago first 30 pages of ‘Wrecked’ became available. I read it. It is another great work in the same vein as the previous works. Simple, clear, well-worded messages aimed at large audiences on how to improve one’s lot in life. Nothing wrong with that. And nothing new.

And there is hardly a social network without constant messaging about it. Some mild, some provocative, or funny, or cheeky, or all of the above. All of them designed to attract attention. While page 24 of ‘You are a writer’ still reads: ‘It’s fallacy, but it doesn’t stop well-meaning people from saying it all the time. The myth goes like this: ‘You have to be everywhere. That’s ridiculous. You know who says that? People who are always responding to the latest trend. I know this, because I was one of them.’

I know you have done hard yards and feel entitled to tangible rewards that ought to follow hard core marketing. There is nothing wrong with that. You have earned it. I respect you for it.

The only thing is this question that keeps on bothering me; Is it really necessary to have the sales pitch flying in the face of the essential messages contained in the work being promoted? Because page 20 of the Manifesto still reads: ‘We must put these ideas of fame and reward to death. They have no place in the creative process.’

At the end I hope that Jeff Goins I first read about continues to create. And perhaps takes a moment to read ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ by Mitch Albom.

Wishing you and your family all the best,

 Daniela Dragas 

P.S.  There are likely some spelling and/or grammar errors in this letter. This is because English is my second language.

 

 

Author: Daniela

Reader, Writer, Mother, Freethinker, Habitual Day Dreamer, Blogger - Sharing Ideas, Poetry, Prose, and Conversations on the Lantern Post!

15 thoughts on “An open letter to Jeff Goins of http://goinswriter.com/”

  1. Just sent a comment and it misfired!! Anyway the upshot was I love meeting people like you even if it is just over the internet. I struggled like you to find a voice and write. I hope you try my blog out, it is my way of keeping curious in the world, it provokes me to find new curiosities to engage with. I managed to self publish a volume of poetry too, which I distributed amongst friends (good friends!) and family. It felt great to have finished something that will outlast me. Life can sometimes seem mundane and meaningless, and writing is my escape from that. Especially now my sons are growing up and away. Good luck with your writing, I like your warmth and humanity that comes through.

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    1. Thank you very, very much for all you said. I know quite a bit about trying to find ones voice … I am honoured you found humanity in my writings! It is the best I could ever hope for. I am going to visit your blog. Best Regards, Daniela

      ________________________________

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  2. Ms. Daniela,
    I was led to your letter by Jeff Goins’ email citing it as an example of being “called out.” While I don’t see it as such myself, I do see a person who shouldn’t be apologizing for any errors. Rather, I see a person who should be commended for her beautiful facility with a non-native language. I so wish I had command of a language other than English!
    Best,
    Nancy Lendved

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    1. Dear Nancy,

      Thank you very, very much for your lovely comment! I was quite surprised to find out that Jeff cited the letter, but I am also glad he did!

      Many thanks and all the best!
      Daniela

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  3. Jeff Goins email blast sent me here. Really impressed by you both! And I’m betting Jeff is feeling very thankful for your helpful question.

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    1. Hi Tim,

      Thank you very much for such a wonderful comment. I was quite surprised to find out that Jeff cited the letter I wrote some time ago, very nice of him indeed!

      Many thanks,
      Daniela

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  4. Daniela – I found your site and this piece because Jeff did see it and included it in a post. I have found the same thing as you describe from Jess and others in the blogosphere. I have come to realize that this is the game. Make yourself credible then sell it – whatever “it” happens to be. Earlier this week I posted something similar though I did not call Jeff out by name He is a part of the group I describe. I’ll paste the link below if your interested.

    http://wp.me/p3uhzU-hL

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    1. Hi -:)!

      Thank you very much for visiting the Lantern Post! I was rather surprised Jeff cited the letter I wrote some time ago, but I appreciate it too! When I started blogging, almost by accident, I did not know the first thing about it … but I love words and I love people! With time I found my ‘feet’ and now blog for the sheer joy of it without any notion of ‘selling’ anything! Everyone is welcome here under the Lantern where the main idea remains the same – sharing our human experiences!

      Thank you for the link which I am certainly going to follow.

      All the Best,
      Daniela

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  5. Like the others, I landed here due to the link in Jeff’s recent post. Enjoyed my visit. English may be your second language . . . but writing is your first language. Beautifully written!

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  6. This exactly describes my perspective of Jeff Goins. I found his blog in 2011 when he had just 5k followers on his blog. His writing felt honest and inspirational, so I followed along. Today, after giving Jeff the benefit of doubt for over six months, I finally unsubscribed from all his email lists.

    Jeff has become a peddler of get-rich-quick schemes, in my opinion, and he plays on the hopes of aspiring creatives. Recently I saw an article by him where he explains how to research web trends and then write articles accordingly. Gimmicks. Not art. It’s too bad. He had a good thing going when he first started. Now he’s all about the dollar if you ask me.

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    1. Hi Ryan,

      Thank you very much for reading the Lantern and for your free and frank observation.

      I found the Jeff’s blog in much the same way and was initially taken by his sincerity. As the time progressed and lure of large fellowship with potential of tangible rewards kicked in – it all took rather predictable route. Having said that, I do acknowledge that we all make choices in life – we either stick to our original values even if they don’t offer tangible rewards, or we replace them with those that do. This, in my view applies equally to blogging as to life in general.

      All the best,
      Daniela

      Like

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