In this podcast episode, I visit with Jackie and Bill again. We discuss what it is like to write about the people we love, and how it affects them. Jackie is currently working on a (second) memoir and I’ve written lots of autobiographical-sounding fiction (along with a few essays). So apparently we can easily bullshit about this subject for over an hour. (I edited it down to 65 minutes.) It was again great to have Bill’s perspective so he could chime in on how it felt to be written about, even in cases that weren’t necessarily flattering. Give it a listen…
In this Failed Writer video, I talk about how I chip away at my creative projects. I’m definitely no model for success — every week I consider dumping my novel — but I still manage to keep doing creative projects every week. So here is my tactic, sort of.
By the way, I’m use the Clear app for my creative list making. Check it out.
Want to see all my Failed Writer videos? Check them out here.
In this video, I get to focus on Kate’s perspective on the index card treatment, which is how she lays out index cards to outline her novel. It not only can help with plotting a story, but with detecting patterns in your book. Kate also came up with a fabulous metaphor about a risk with the index card treatment — a metaphor that required all of my bad animation skills. She says many more things that I didn’t get a chance to animate, so check out the full one-hour audio conversation for more of her insights. Enjoy!
- Complete audio conversation
- Kate Maruyama’s website
- Kate’s debut novel, Harrowgate
- Scrivener, the writing application for Mac & Windows
For more information about this half-baked series (and how to subscribe to it), check out The Creative Turn.
In this podcast episode, I talk with Scott Sparling about the challenges of writing the second book. We talk about bringing a work-in-progress into your heart when it wasn't born in the heart. We talk about the egomaniacalness of comparing your work to the Beatles. We discuss the pros and cons of having a deadline for your writing project. We discuss bad book sales, writing in tree houses, stones on the beach, delusions of grandeur, depression, tenacity, stubbornness, and masturbating while writing. Enjoy!
- Scott Sparling's website
- Wire to Wire by Scott Sparling
- An article that Scott referenced before the conversation about Reynolds Price's take on publishing a first novel: “…you publish the damn thing and nothing happens. You’re the same social misfit and compulsive masturbator you always were.”
- Sgt. Pepper's and Jimi Hendrix on iTunes
- A Brilliant Novel in the Works by Yuvi Zalkow
- My Failed Writer video called “Failing as a Failed Failure” relates to what we discuss at 42m:53s of the podcast where Scott gives me a quick therapy session on how my dysfunctional world view might help the writing.
The week that John Gruber and Merlin Mann linked to my video tribute of their SXSW conversation, I started getting (temporarily) 8,000 hits a day on my website. As opposed to the previous 50 hits a day. I don’t count these things too closely, but it was a shocking change. I’ve had a few other notable spikes in attention. Once for writing about my Twitter code of conduct, once for talking about my failures with the New Yorker magazine, and once for talking about my failure to read Malcolm Gladwell’s book that discusses 10,000 hours.
Why am I telling you this? Well, because numbers are tricky. [Read more…]
This video is based on my interview for The Rumpus with the fabulous Thaisa Frank. She said a lot of incredible things about the writing process during our conversation, but there was one particular thing about the “failure of the intended story” that really knocked me out. Let me know what you think…
In this first episode, I (pretend to) talk with Elizabeth McCracken about the challenge of writing when you’re not obsessed with your project.
- Elizabeth McCracken’s website.
- Conversation between Elizabeth McCraken and Ann Patchett (from where I swiped all her dialogue).
- My original Obsession x Voice video.
- John Gruber & Merlin Mann’s Obsession x Voice conversation.
To view all my videos, go to my main video page.
It’s been a tough month. A tough month with very little writing. A month of reading at bookstores around the west coast and doing interviews and doing a not-so-great job at publicizing the release of my novel. It is amazing how consuming even doing a bad job of publicizing a book can be. I can tell you that I’m not a natural at publicity. Follow my lame Facebook author page to get an idea. (I’m admittedly better at Twitter, but if you follow me on Twitter, you’ll learn more about my drinking and parenting problems than any book news.) Even though there have been plenty of moments this month when I want to hide in my attic and never confront humanity again, there have been some fabulous moments too, like when someone grabs me after a reading and says, “I made my husband read your book. He never reads fiction. But he loved this book… even the weird parts.” Those moments are worth a hundred hide-from-humanity moments (which gives you an idea of how many hide-from-humanity moments I’ve had lately)……
While I get my head on straight with how to proceed after this book tour, I wanted to share the video I used while on my book tour. I billed it as a “MAKING OF… VIDEO” for my book. It was my experiment at finding a fresh way to talk about a book while still keeping the audience entertained. It attempts to address one of the biggest questions I get about my book: What the hell is true and what is fiction? It also addresses another question I get a lot: How the hell did you piece this thing together? (I guess a lot of my questions have the word “hell” in them…)