Have you ever gotten stuck in your creative work? REALLY stuck?
Sometimes this comes in the form of writer's block. Or sometimes your process gets in your own way. You keep trying to move forward and instead keep hitting a wall. This week I took reader questions and got two that fit well together dealing with the writing process and writer's block. Let's dive into some reader questions from the Create If Writing Facebook group and Periscope!
Now, on to reader questions!
Penelope from @Foster2Forever asked about writing process on Periscope.
You can hear the full details on the podcast, but I always start with a vomit version. That's a really ugly, horrible draft where I get as many words on the page as possible to shape them into something good. Then: editing. Lots and lots of editing.
As far as WHAT I write, I don't write a lot of fiction now that my kids are little. For now, my brain on little kids (not unlike my brain on crack
Anita @blestbutstrest asked in the Facebook group about writing conferences.
I have been to a TON of conferences lately. Podcast Movement has been the best, but I've also been to AdventureCon (which I couldn't remember in the episode), Declare, Re:Write, Blog Elevated, and the Houston Baptist Writer's Conference. They are ALL good for different reasons! I'm a conference junkie, what can I say?
Thanks for listening this week and I would love to answer any questions you have about my new course or about the webinars! You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
"If everyone else is doing it, what's the point?"
This is the quote that stuck with me from this delightful, weird, rambly conversation with Marc Martel. Let me introduce you to Marc, in case you don't know him already.
Or, maybe I should have given you this one first: an imagining of how Pavarotti and Freddie Mercury would have done a duet.
Incredible, right? Marc and I have known one another for fifteen years, back when we were both graduating college. He was playing with the band Downhere, who had just been signed to a major Christian label. I was working in a church doing youth ministry. Now he is pulling double-duty with his first solo album, Impersonator (it's SO GOOD) and being the frontman for the Queen Extravaganza, which means he channels Freddie Mercury for half the year. Exciting life, right?
Marc has navigated the music industry in the new, digital age, which set the stage for changes in the book world as we have moved to digital there as well. I loved talking to him about promotion, his passion, and....the Backstreet Boys. No, really. We talk about the Backstreet Boys.
I hope you love this interview and feel inspired to find your weird way of embracing your passion. I think we all dream of making our passions a working reality, and that's just what Marc has done and is doing.
For more on Marc, please check out his site for tour dates, and you can also snag his album Impersonator from iTunes!
And if you LOVE the new music on the podcast as much as I do, you can check out more about her and her music on her site.
Two and a half days. Twenty-five pages of notes. More knowledge than I can possibly share here. The Podcast Movement conference was honestly the best conference I have ever been to. Not simply because of the attention to detail and how smoothly everything went, but because of the incredible sessions and the connections with other podcasters and speakers. I can say now that Aisha Tyler, who is laugh-out-loud funny, also possesses the ability to make me cry.
Why so incredible? Podcasting is not new and yet it still has an aura of freshness. A palpable sense of excitement buzzed through the Omni in Fort Worth. Coming straight from a blogging conference, the difference in atmosphere was staggering. Everyone I talked to had an excitement about their podcast, whether they are on their 50th episodes or just gearing up to launch.
I met Taylor Bradford from Pink Heels Pink Truck and the Boss Girl Creative podcast. She and I had been friends online but never actually me, so it was great to have another person I could hang around with and share notes and observations.
Practical Application: Meron Bareket led a session on sound that totally gave me the tools I needed to up my game. I've got an editor for some of my interview episodes, but the difference in this week and the weeks before is stunning. Plus? His post-production method took ten minutes.
Inspiration: I feel like this was a ten-way tie. Hearing Sarah Koenig from Serial was incredible. It was like EXPERIENCING an episode of Serial. I got to meet John Lee Dumas before his keynote and was so impressed with how kind and generous and real he was. I'm a huge fan of Pat Flynn, so getting to hear him talk (and beat box) put a giant smile on my face. He had some really neat stories (that I mention in this episode) and shared his vulnerabilities and fears with us.
What impressed me most about the speakers across the board was how incredibly willing they were to connect. They took time to talk to EVERYONE. They did not put on airs. Katie Kimitsos, who led a session on community, talked with me and Taylor at the end of the conference about some of the things she is working on and her goals.
I really loved getting to meet Cliff Ravenscraft, aka The Podcast Answerman. He had a meet up I attended before things officially started and I got to actually talk in person about my podcast. When I had a few questions after the conference, he dived into the comment thread to answer. THAT is the kind of connection I felt as a theme of the conference and was very much what Cliff talked about in his session. He had so many great things to say, many of which impacted this episode.
Can I tell you about this episode? It's a little weird.
There's no music, first of all. Just me. While I LOVE the music that my friend Josh of Unbroken Light put together for me when I called in a favor when I started the podcast, I want to shift a few things and I think shifting the music is a must. When listening to a session on email newsletters, Maritza Parra challenged us to think about niche and to be even MORE niche than we already are. What could be more niche than a podcast for writers and creatives dealing with the passion and practice behind making good art?
The more I thought about it, the more I saw this podcast as a place for the worn out. The burned out. The tapped out. The down and out. I feel like this podcast provides inspiration and tools for writers and other creatives who find themselves in that boat. The vision isn't wholly different than the one I came in with, but it is more specific and I think better helps me think about my goals.
Which brings me to my biggest two goals after Podcast Movement:
1. Sound. (Thanks, Meron!!!)
I want to connect better with my guests. To have amazing interviews, not just GOOD interviews.