Jeff Goins Writing Quotes

Jeff Goins has helped many writers get started on their career. His writings address various challenges that most writers face. In this article, we explore his insights and advice on writing through quotes from several of his books and interviews. Some of the topics covered include:

  • His thoughts on making money through writing
  • How to become a better writer
  • How to deal with fear and doubt
  • His insights on blogging

If you are an aspiring writer struggling with self-doubt and procrastination, check out his books, especially The Art of Work, Real Artists Don’t Starve and You Are a Writer.

If you want to learn how to write from Jeff Goins, check out his writing course at CreativeLive.

If you want to learn more about Jeff Goins, check out his quick biography.

Quotes on Following Your Passion and Purpose

1. Life is too short to do what doesn’t matter, to waste your time on things that don’t amount to much. What we all want is to know our time on earth has meant something. We can distract ourselves with pleasure for only so long before beginning to wonder what the point is. The Art of Work, 2015

2. Find what you love and what the world needs, then combine them. – The Art of Work, 2015

3. I used to think that your calling was about doing something good in this world. Now I understand it’s about becoming someone good -and letting that goodness impact the world around you. – The Art of Work, 2015

4. When you are stuck fulfilling an obligation instead of chasing a dream, you aren’t your best self. – The Art of Work, 2015

5. When we are in the midst of pursuing our calling, we must not only ask if this is something that we are good at, but if it is something good. We need more than excellence to satisfy the deepest longings of our souls. Which should raise the question: Is it, perhaps, possible to succeed at the wrong thing? It is, indeed. – The Art of Work, 2015

Quotes on Becoming a Writer

6. I used to write a lot but didn’t consider myself a writer, so I used words like “aspiring” and “wannabe” to minimize my own gifts – mostly because I was scared. Then one day, a friend said, “You Are a Writer; you just need to write.” So I did, and before I realized it, I had an audience and a book deal. – Becoming Minimalist Interview, 2012

7. If you’ve written, then you’re a writer. Time to start acting like it. – Becoming Minimalist Interview, 2012

8. Being an amateur is simply a mindset, as is being a professional. – Becoming Minimalist Interview, 2012

Quotes on Success in Writing

9. Most people don’t realize that the thing they dream of doing is closer than they think. It’s just a matter of dedicated practice. – Becoming Minimalist Interview, 2012

10. The challenge for any artist -and we are all creating something on the canvas of our lives -is to do our work well while letting go of the result.- The Art of Work, 2015

11. I think one of the greatest lies we believe is that we’ll ever fully arrive. That one day, we’ll be completely satisfied. That’s not true, and it’s part of the adventure of life to always be searching. – Cole Bradburn Interview, 2012

12. The path to your dream is more about following a direction than arriving at a destination. – The Art of Work, 2015

13. I had seen the top and still didn’t feel satisfied, so I realized I must need to create for another reason. – Becoming Minimalist Interview, 2012

14. Very few people talk about enough. That’s the deceit of chasing numbers: you never know when enough is enough. – Becoming Minimalist Interview, 2012

15. The challenge…is learning to be content in the midst of this tension – always striving for more, while relishing the beauty of the moment. – Cole Bradburn Interview, 2012

16. Successful people and organizations don’t succeed in spite of failure; they succeed because of it. – The Art of Work, 2015

17. All it takes is perseverance. If you work hard enough (and don’t completely suck at writing), you’ll build a tribe, find an audience for your words, and get your message out…All it takes is the desire and the willingness to do it. – B2C Interview, 2012

18. I stick to what works. – B2C Interview, 2012

Quotes on Making Money Through Writing

19. Self-publishing usually lets you make more money, but it’s limited to your own sphere of influence. I would recommend going with a traditional publisher if you have a message the world needs to hear and it’s really not about the money. – B2C Interview, 2012

20. Self-publish to make money (and build a tribe), and traditionally publish to establish yourself and reach more people. – B2C Interview, 2012

21. Part of what I do (writing and publishing books) I consider my “art.” I do it because I have to, but I don’t expect it to pay the bills. The other part (selling professional education to other writers) is what I consider my patron that makes everything else possible. – Copyblogger Interview, 2013

Quotes on Motivation To Begin

22. Where does motivation come from? It starts with a spark. You get a vision of your future self. You see someone you want to become. – Jeff Goins quoting Daniel Coyle in The Art of Work, 2015

23. We think that passion comes first, that our desire is primary; but if we are truly called, the work always comes before we are ready. We will have to act in spite of feeling unprepared. – The Art of Work, 2015

24. As we step into our life’s work, we discover that we have been preparing for this our whole lives, even though in that very moment we feel insufficient. – The Art of Work, 2015

Quotes on Creativity and Finding Ideas

25. Creativity is not about being original; it’s about learning to rearrange what has already been in a way that brings fresh insight to old material. – Real Artists Don’t Starve, 2017

26. Every time I run across something, it’s because I was looking for something else, which I consider real discovery. It’s when you don’t expect it that you really discover something. – Real Artists Don’t Starve, 2017

27. This is the Rule of Creative Theft, which says greatness doesn’t come from a single great idea or eureka moment. It comes from borrowing other people’s work and building on it. We steal our way to greatness. – Real Artists Don’t Starve, 2017

28. There’s a difference between being blocked and being empty. – Copyblogger Interview, 2013

Quotes on Becoming a Better Writer

29. Everything is practice. Every word you write and action you take is a chance to get better. You Are a Writer, 2014

30. Good writing is rewriting. You Are a Writer, 2014

31. The “genius” stuff happens in the editing process. Most successful writers go through a tedious process of drafting and shaping their content to get something worth sharing. How do they do this? They write every day. They write a thousand terrible words to find a hundred words worth using. They share their work with a close friend. They edit, tweak, and then ship. But they have to have something to start the process with. You Are a Writer, 2014

32. What doesn’t make a writer great is talent or intuition or giftedness. What makes a writer great is one thing: perseverance. – Copyblogger Interview, 2013

33. I want to write more words that people don’t see. I feel compelled to do more of the deep writing that professionals do -the long, hard stuff that doesn’t get noticed or applauded. But, it’s what makes you great. – Copyblogger Interview, 2013

34. All good writing is copywriting. Every writer has to earn a reader’s attention, word by word and line by line. – Copyblogger Interview, 2013

35. Everything I’m learning is practical and applicable. When I read, it’s just for my love of good books and to deepen my understanding of the craft. – Copyblogger Interview, 2013

36. I’m reminded of what my friend, The Nester, says about this: “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.” – Cole Bradburn Interview, 2012

Quotes on Dealing with Challenges in Writing

37. Over the course of a lifetime, we may find ourselves facing new challenges at every turn, and when we do, we must remember that we are never done becoming who we are. – Real Artists Don’t Starve, 2017

38. Comfort never leads to excellence. –The Art of Work, 2015

39. You can’t find your passion if you don’t push through pain. – The Art of Work, 2015

40. Pivoting isn’t plan B; it’s part of the process. – The Art of Work, 2015

41. Don’t give up. Keep going, don’t stop when you get discouraged. Go, go, go. This is about endurance, not energy. As the cliché goes, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. – Copyblogger Interview, 2013

42. You can’t become who you are without pain, without trial. We grow when we are uncomfortable. And in a society that praises the status quo, we have to be careful we don’t miss our callings in life. If you’re playing it safe, it may be time to change. – Cole Bradburn Interview, 2012

Quotes on Dealing with Fear and Doubt as a Writer

43. Most amateurs I know…say they struggle with knowing what to write, or feeling confident, or having an outlet to publish their work. All of those are excuses, justifications for stalling. – Becoming Minimalist Interview, 2012

44. Most pros I meet struggle with those same doubts; they just don’t let that stop them. They get up every morning, sit at the desk, and just start typing. – Becoming Minimalist Interview, 2012

45. I find that for me one of the reasons I’m afraid to own my gifts is because there is responsibility that comes along with such ownership. – Becoming Minimalist Interview, 2012

46. What most people call being “lazy” is really just fear. Fear of failure. Fear of rejection. Fear, fear, fear. – Copyblogger Interview, 2013

47. While I like doing new things and the thrill of the unknown, I’m terrified of failure. So as much as I can, I try to play it safe. But then I get bored and have to do something that might not work. – Copyblogger Interview, 2013

Quotes on Productivity in Writing

48. I treat my life as a series of seasons, and for the past year, I’ve been building a writing platform. That meant saying “no” to a lot of really good things that weren’t writing. Now, I’m entering a season of being a father, which I’m sure will have its own series of “no”s associated with it. – Becoming Minimalist Interview, 2012

49. I’m not very disciplined and am pretty terrible at commitment, but if there’s one habit I’ve learned it’s this: You have to focus. You don’t have to do something every day for the rest of your life in order to be good at it. You really only have to do it for a concentrated amount of time. – Becoming Minimalist Interview, 2012

50. I don’t believe in balance. If I had to pick a “thing” that I believe in, it would be harmony -the idea that over time, there is a rhythm of life we must fall into. – Becoming Minimalist Interview, 2012

51. I’m learning to prioritize the things that need to get done over the things that I’d like to get done. And the biggest struggle is setting some things aside – good things -with the knowledge that they may never get done. – Cole Bradburn Interview, 2012

52. A great lesson is doing what really matters and being okay with not doing the rest when you don’t have time. – Cole Bradburn Interview, 2012

53. You have to choose your priorities, or they will choose you. You Are a Writer, 2014

Quotes on Jeff Goins’ Writing Process and Routine

54. Definitely early morning. I try to wake up and write before any of my distractions do. (On best time for writing) – Copyblogger Interview, 2013

55. I write every day, no excuses or exceptions. – Copyblogger Interview, 2013

56. I don’t do word counts or timed sessions. If I’ve written, even just a few words, then it’s a success. – Copyblogger Interview, 2013

57. I write for various projects about two to three hours a day. Beyond that, I start to see diminishing returns. But I’m still new at this, so who knows. – Copyblogger Interview, 2013

58. I read every morning for about an hour. I don’t consider this research, though. Research for me happens when I start writing; I’ll get stuck and have to look something up. – Copyblogger Interview, 2013

Quotes on Reasons for Writing and Creating

59. For me, writing is a calling. It’s not something I chose; it chose me. – Copyblogger Interview, 2013

60. My muse is the conviction that I don’t just write for myself, I do it, because I have to. – Copyblogger Interview, 2013

Quotes on Being Consistent and Disciplined in Writing

61. Everybody does stuff they don’t want to do. Children are forced by their parents to brush their teeth and go to bed earlier than they’d like… When you become an adult, you don’t have to do any of those things. The hardest part of growing up is realizing that no one will make you do those things, but there are some tough consequences if you don’t do them. – Cole Bradburn Interview, 2012

62. The challenge of becoming who you are is learning discipline in a way that brings joy -not because you love doing those things, but because you love the result they bring. – Cole Bradburn Interview, 2012

63. If I can procrastinate or do something besides write, I will. So I force myself into a situation that requires me to write. That may mean a public deadline or going someplace I know won’t have wifi. I have to trick myself. – Copyblogger Interview, 2013

64. I ship. I give myself regular deadlines and I meet them, no matter what. – B2C Interview, 2012

Quotes on Blogging

65. Blogging is a form of social media, and the best network you can build is your own. Try to get as many people to your platform and get permission (i.e. subscriptions) to keep communicating with them. – B2C Interview, 2012

66. I wrote content I could be proud of. This sounds like a given, but most bloggers don’t do this. They settle for “B” content, because they’re busy or restless or lazy, and they don’t think anyone will notice. But people notice. I made the decision to always write content for my blog. – B2C Interview, 2012

67. I wrote for other websites and blogs. I’m a big proponent of guest posting. I started small – with friends and other bloggers who were peers. But then as I built momentum, I started befriending bigger bloggers and leveraging those relationships to help them and then eventually publish content on their websites. This helped me reach a broader audience. – B2C Interview, 2012

68. Most people (especially online) are more accessible than you realize. You just have the courage to ask and the sensitivity to care. Pay attention, be patient, and don’t give up -that’s the formula for earning influence. – Becoming Minimalist Interview, 2012

69. At first, this was blogging every day and since has scaled down a bit. The point, though, isn’t the frequency. It’s the discipline you learn when you have a deadline…It also gives your audience the sense that you’re going somewhere, and it builds anticipation. – B2C Interview, 2012

Bonus Quotes

70. You can’t choose to not be blind. Someone or something has to open your eyes. What you can choose to do is go somewhere you’re not used to being. And just stay there until your eyes begin to open. It’s the experience of compassion that gives us a deeper vision into reality. – Cole Bradburn Interview, 2012

71. We can’t simply choose to become more compassionate people, but we can intentionally expose ourselves to painful situations – the only place where true compassion grows. – Cole Bradburn Interview, 2012

Further Reading

If you loved the quotes by Jeff Goins, check out the huge collection of writing quotes below. The collection features the best quotes by some of the most famous writers such as Steven Pressfield, Malcolm Gladwell, Margaret Atwood, Ray Bradbury, and Stephen King among many more.

The quotes are full of valuable advice for any aspiring writer.

If you are struggling to create a business around your writing and need some encouragement, read the quotes below.

  • Sources Cited for Jeff Goins’ Quotes

B2C Interview (2012) An Interview with Jeff Goins, author of “Wrecked”

Becoming Minimalist Interview (2012) You Are a Writer. An Interview with Jeff Goins

Cole Bradburn (2012). Wrecked – An Interview with Jeff Goins

Copyblogger (2013) Here’s How Jeff Goins Writes