Here’s How Jeff Goins Writes

Here’s How Jeff Goins Writes

Reader Comments (57)

  1. Happy that you’ve featured Jeff on here! He’s a great writer and one of the “good guys” online (that last part can’t be underestimated when it comes to helping people).

    Thanks for publishing The Writer Files — it’s so cool to get a peak behind the curtain to see how your mentors work.

  2. Good interview Kelton,

    I’m finding a trend where the most successful people prioritize faith.

    Meanwhile the masses are focused silliness like reality tv and video games and then they wonder why they are not finding success.

    This series is good because it helps us see how successful people think and how they work.

    So I’m not the only one with a messy desk? ok cool.

  3. Thanks for sharing this post. It’s great to get to know more about Jeff. I’m a part of the TribeWriters class, but it’s always inspiring to hear Jeff’s perspective and thoughts. Thanks copyblogger for a great interview.

  4. Cool interview!

    I enjoy seeing the photo of the desk/office of the featured writer. My desk and office must be neat, clean, and organized. Clutter makes me anxious. The office that I am working in now has too much stuff and furniture for my liking; however, it’s not my office space. Thank goodness it’s temporary. 😉

  5. Jeff is an inspiration and motivator for my work. He has helped me claim that I am a writer. I love his TribeWriters course and highly recommend it to anyone who really wants to move their writing forward and expand their tribe. Love The Writer Files too…Thanks!

  6. I feel most at ease when my desk is messy.

    As a magazine Editor, I used to wear torn-up jeans and an old shirt when I knew I would be pulling an 11-hour work day (deadlines, mostly).

    I still remember the irritation with which a member of my editorial team complained to me that a friend of hers visiting our office said: “That little girl wearing a torn jeans and sitting cross-legged and barefoot in front of a computer…That’s YOUR BOSS???!!!”

    I guess I just like being messy and untidy…

  7. Reading through this post was a great way to start my day. So much of what Jeff shared resonated deeply within me. I’m inspired to find my copy of Walking on Water and dig out Anne Lamott and remind myself that although I’m slogging copy 24/7 to pay the bills right now, somewhere inside I’m still a Writer.

    Brilliant series – and I love the desk photos. Very affirming!

  8. Great interview! I like Jeff even more now. He seems very down to earth as a writer, which I respect very much. And I’m an Explosions in the Sky fan too! Really talented band. I saw them play in Houston a few years ago. One of my best concerts to date.

  9. Thank you for a great interview. Boy, could I ever relate to Jeff. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in fear-based procrastination. Every time I need to write something new, and particularly every time I write for a new client, the fear comes up and I drag my feet. Once I get going, I’m off. But it doesn’t matter now long I’ve been writing. This always happens!

    Btw, I appreciate the picture of the desk. Sure matches mine.

  10. I’m in Jeff’s Tribewriters class too and have found it immensely helpful as a newbie writer to define what it is I want to write about and who my audience is. Jeff gives due credit to others’ quotes and writings but I have found him to be far wiser than his years and terribly insightful. I particularly like his statement: “Creativity brings good things in the world that otherwise would not exist. It’s a noble act of pushing back darkness and giving hope to despair.”

  11. Another Tribewriter here. I just keep going over and over Jeff’s material. This was a great post. First time I’ve been to this site. Had to come and check it out. And great idea showing the photo. That was fun.

  12. Lets see, Seth said:
    “..writing is a calling…”

    Seth said his favorite authors were:
    Ernest Hemingway. Seth Godin. C.S. Lewis. Anne Lamott. Michael Hyatt . Shauna Niequist. The Apostle Paul.

    Seth said his favorite book was:
    Walking on Water by Madeleine L’Engle.

    If I was looking for Seth’s “secret”, I would guess he would say he doesn’t have one, other than maybe, “get to work.”  However, it does appear that his secret, in fact, is found in his answers to the three questions noted above. “For those who have ears to hear, let them hear.”

    Trail blazer? Appears to me it is more a matter of “the road less taken.”

      • Mr. Goins, you took the words out of my mouth. And if the “the road less taken” is a nod to Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken”, then I believe you are mistaken. Trailblazer: one that blazes a trail (i.e. one that does something different). The road “less traveled” is a common metaphor for the path to individuation.

        • To be fair, I think Curtis was referring to the faith element (i.e. that I pray and some of my inspiration comes from Christian authors). And if that’s the case, then yes. My belief in God certainly has been a part of my pursuing the call to be a writer and to become a better one. I thought it was interesting what Darnell said about successful people making faith a priority. I hadn’t considered that, but it made me think.

  13. Jeff is awesome. I love devouring his honest and refreshing newsletters when they drop in my inbox.

    Favourite line from the transcript above: “Sometimes, I pray. Usually, I just tell myself to shut up and write.” Ha!

    I hate how easy it is to give up as a writer. But it’s great to hear how another writer is living the dream by persevering and working hard. I’ve recently launched a new support site for women freelancers called and while it can be deflating to see so few comments on what I know are useful and engaging posts, I’m going to keep on truckin’ and grow my audience.

    Thanks for yet another nudge, Jeff!


  14. Thanks!
    Another good source of inspiration and encouragement to continue making effort to write as often as possible

  15. I really love how Jeff describes the relationship between his art (writing & publishing) — which he doesn’t expect to pay the bills — and his “patron” (selling professional services to writers). That’s a very elegant and freeing way to describe all aspects of the writer’s life — makes me feel like writing for commerce (which I do) is noble and not a sellout at all; instead it’s enabling, not compromising, the writing I do for love of the art and creative expression. Thanks (as always) for the inspiration, Jeff, and the great interview, Kelton!

  16. Thanks for a great interview, Jeff and Kelton!

    As a writer myself, I can definitely sympathize with a lot of what Jeff said. Sometimes my love for writing is stronger than others. My head is full of fresh idas and my fingers fly across the keyboard. On other days… well, it’s a grind.

    But I keep coming back for more. I can’t help myself. I agree that writing is a calling. It chooses us. It’s taken me a few years to realize it, but giving in to the call (and managing the day to day frustrations) is easier than ignoring it.

    Sometimes it gets lonely being a writer, so it’s nice to read about other writers’ struggles. Especially writers as accomplished as Jeff!

    Thanks for the great interview,


  17. Great interview. I know Jeff is a serious writer, less because of his actual work available and more in how he answered these questions. We have many common thoughts about writing. Thanks for providing this post.

  18. That’s really awesome. Jeff is one of the persons, whom I admire the most. GoinsWriter really helped me in becoming a better writer. His blog posts are so inspiring.
    It’s so good to see him here.
    Thank you

  19. Jeff is such an inspiration. It’s great to hear this insight. I was just thinking of re-watching his interview with Michael Hyatt on Platform University today when I saw this piece! Awesome!

  20. Thanks, Jeff, for pointing us here! I need to start subscribing to Copyblogger. I read so much of their stuff anyway. I have to admit I’m pretty lazy about writing sometimes, unless I’m on a deadline. Writing just for me was something I had abandoned in the past. I’m trying to do it more often as a way to put thoughts to print and out of my head. Great interview!

  21. Here are two quotes that keep me going from “gurus” I followed when I was trying to learn blogging. The first is from Joe Vitale and the second is from Jeremy and Jason at Internet Business Mastery.
    “money loves speed”
    ‘good enough is good enough”
    The fact is, if you get an idea don’t sit on it. Write it and publish it. It’s not doing you any good if you don’t get it out there.

  22. I came across Jeff’s work several months ago and liked it. Jeff is on target and is a pleasure to read.

    That’s why I have been a fan and decided to become a subscriber.

    Jeff has been an inspiration and he has helped me understand the artistic and professional sides of writing: writing as an art and writing as a business.

    Therefore, I can’t thank you enough for publishing this post and running a series on what makes writers tick. Sharing their personal stories has been a great learning experience.

    Regarding the debate about inspiration v/s hard work, one needs both. Persistence pays. Too many writers have abonded ship without trying to remain faithful to the long journey. That has been my learning experience.

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