tctpod-season1-03: Writing in the raw (with Kristen Forbes)

In this podcast episode, I get to talk to my good friend Kristen Forbes about writing well-crafted pieces that cover emotionally raw material. I really enjoyed speaking with her, and other than the number of times I stupidly say, “Wow!”, I’m pretty pleased with how this conversation turned out. Check out the first two links below to read the two main essays that we reference in the discussion. Also, I’m still working out minor audio issues… bear with me… Please?

Show notes:

Video inspired by the conversation

Meta links:

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I’m A Failed Writer #11: 10,000 Hours

I intended this video to be about the way I once organized my whole submission plan for magazines. I had this fancy pants spreadsheet characterizing my every step. But a few minutes into making this video, I realized how much I have changed over the years. Now there’s a wife. There are kids. I don’t have time to fetishize the process. But it’s more than that. I also see how we writers are so compelled to obsess over the accolades we think we deserve before fully maturing our writing chops. And so this video turned into a talk about the need to write. To write a lot.

Without doing a lick of research (or even bothering to read his book), I swiped Malcolm Gladwell’s notion that it takes 10,000 hours to master a particular craft. (Don’t quote me on this!) I just love the idea of that number because it is a damn big number. And I think it is roughly true. It takes a long time for most of us mortals to get good at writing.

And so here is my not-entirely-educated take on it:

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I’m A Failed Writer #9: Non-Crappy Writing Groups

I’ve begun dabbling in the world of stop-motion animation. What does this mean? This means that I wait for my toddler to take a nap and then I frantically begin playing with his stuffed animals.

My excuse this time for playing with his toys is that I want to talk about writing groups. I’ve been in plenty of writing groups and here is my take on what makes an (in)effective writing group:

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I’m A Failed Writer #4: Failed Book Trailer (& Literary Agents)

I have two short videos for you this time. First of all, I made a book trailer for the novel that I was struggling to sell. Instead of talking about the high points, it emphasizes all the rejections. It requires just one minute of your life! Check it out before you get too annoyed with me and my gratuitous and ineffective use of exclamation marks! (WARNING: This one minute video has two occurrences of a neurotic Jew in his underwear.)

And related to this trailer, I created another “I’m a Failed Writer” episode, this time about the balance between the writing and the marketing of the writing, where I tell my own story about re-balancing things to de-emphasize the marketing and focus again on the writing.

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From Poop to Glimmer

This is a 20-minute presentation I gave during my MFA senior lecture at Antioch University. I originally created it as a coping mechanism for stage fright, but I’ve gotten feedback from people who attended the lecture or watched it online that they found it useful when thinking about their own process of writing, submitting, getting rejected, and eventually getting published. So let me know what you think…


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