This week’s podcast is about something really important. It’s about remembering to have fun. For a lot of us, life has a ton of stressors and responsibilities. We have to make enough money to survive. We have to take care of our family and ourselves. We have to deal with a world and not succumb to constant catastrophic thinking about the state of the world.
Or to feel guilty about having fun.
Or to feel guilty about having hobbies.
And here’s the thing. It’s great to be a professional writer and make money at something you love to do, but you don’t have to make money at it. A lack of financial rewards for your efforts doesn’t mean you’re a failure. It just means you aren’t getting money.
And money, my friends, is not everything.
What is everything? Having fun. Growing. Enjoying your damn self in this short amount of time you have on this world, making yourself wiser and stronger and embracing your moments of joy. Everyone who sings in the shower isn’t expected to make money at singing in the shower. That should go for those of us who write too.
Don’t let other people’s opinions or standards give you or your writing validation. Don’t let the pressure for external measures of success (publication, an agent, an award, 100,000 social media followers) ruin your joy in creating stories.
Writing Tip of the Pod
If writing isn’t your profession and isn’t feeding you and your family. It’s okay to stop if it’s not giving you joy. Wait until it gives you joy and go back to it. Also, remember that y-o-u-r (your) means belonging to you and y-o-u-r-apostrophe-e(you’re) means you are.
Dog Tip for Life
It’s good to have a pack of humans to clean up after you. That way you can enjoy life and be messy when you slobber on the windows barking enthusiastically at the Fed Ex guy. Try to find a good pack of humans to be your clean-up crew.
The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song? It’s “Night Owl” by Broke For Free.
I’m about to publish a super cool adult novel. Gasp! I know! Adult! That’s so …. grown-up?
I have a new book coming out!
Rosie Jones, small town reporter and single mom, is looking forward to her first quiet Maine winter with her young daughter, Lily. After a disastrous first marriage, she’s made a whole new life and new identities for her and her little girl. Rosie is more than ready for a winter of cookies, sledding, stories about planning board meetings, and trying not to fall in like with the local police sergeant, Seamus Kelley.
But after her car is tampered with and crashes into Sgt. Kelley’s cruiser during a blizzard, her quiet new world spirals out of control and back into the danger she thought she’d left behind. One of her new friends is murdered. She herself has been poisoned and she finds a list of anagrams on her dead friend’s floor.
As the killer strikes again, it’s obvious that the women of Bar Harbor aren’t safe. Despite the blizzard and her struggle to keep her new identity a secret, Rosie sets out to make sure no more women die. With the help of the handsome but injured Sgt. Kelley and the town’s firefighters, it’s up to Rosie to stop the murderer before he strikes again.
You can preorder it here. Please, please, preorder it.
So, um, please go buy it. I am being brave, but that means that despite all my reasons for doing this, I’m still terrified that nobody will buy it and I really, really love this book. A lot.
A lot of us humans and writers spend a lot of time trying to impress people by being extra wordy. And it seems like we’re all trying to avoid the word “because.” This is extremely cruel to the word “because,” which probably gets hurt feelings, but it’s also super cruel to your readers and/or listeners who deserve clarity. They need to understand what you’re putting down. So, when it comes to “because,” we do not need to say: The reason is because (that’s redundant).Due to the fact thatOn the grounds thatOn account of If you sound like a lawyer in a bad tv procedural? You’re trying too hard. HERE IS CONTRARY ADVICE…. “BECAUSE” OR “SINCE” CAN SOMETIMES FORCE YOU TO BE WORDY. With the words ‘because’ and ‘since,’ you can almost always use either one. They are interchangeable BFFs. Here are some examples. Because I hate you, I decided to date.Since I hate you, I decided to date. They both mean “because” here because they are synonyms. But sometimes “since” means “from the time’ instead of ‘because.’ Since we went to Disney, I’ve been crushing on Pluto. That means “ever since the time they went to Disney” not “because.” But you might not know that, right? So, instead you might want to be wordy. You don’t want to be ambiguous and have people wondering if you mean “because” or “ever since the time they went to Disney.” The whole point in writing and talking is for people to understand you, so don’t be a schmuck. Be clear. WRITING TIP OF THE POD Don’t be wordy and know what your words mean and what they’re conveying to the reader. DOG TIP FOR LIFE Listen more than you speak. Look for clues in your environment and people’s actions so ...
When I started being a reporter, one of my editors took me aside and gave me some candy and two books. One was the AP Style Guide, which is the manual for all the punctuation rules our newspaper followed. The other was a book by E.B. White and William Strunk Jr., called The Elements of Style. My editor had met E.B. White who had a farm on the same peninsula that he did. “This,” he told me, “is all you need to know.” In that small book was a section called “The Elementary Principles of Composition,” and I’m not sure if it was all I needed to know as a writer, but I am positive that it was a pretty big deal. So we thought we’d share three of those principles during this podcast. The first one is: “Make the paragraph the unit of composition: one paragraph to each topic.” Writers blow this off all the time, but we shouldn’t. We especially blow it off with dialogue and that’s a big no-no. Why is it a no-no? Our brains are wired to think of paragraphs as a single idea or an action or a bit of dialogue. You don’t want to clump it all together because it gets confusing. Sally smiled. “I love her,” Jane said. They each took a bite of calzone and gazed upon the manatee. Sally said, “Dogs are fun.” You’ve got no idea what’s going on here really. Sally smiled.“I love her,” Jane said.They each took a bite of calzone and gazed upon the manatee.Sally said, “Dogs are fun.” Now you do. Each new speaker always gets a new paragraph for dialogue. Here’s another principle. “As a rule, begin each paragraph with a topic sentence; ...
So about nine years ago, DEAR BULLY, the anthology of authors telling their stories of being bullied, or standing by, or being bullies was released. Carrie was the co-editor for this anthology. And I am so proud of all the authors in there. HEY YOU! AUTHORS! I AM PROUD OF YOU! For a lot of them, it was a big act of bravery to tell their stories. For a lot of them, it was a big act of bravery just to survive. I was thinking about that right now because our country (The U.S.) is having some major difficulties and bullying is the norm despite all the efforts and advocacy that happened back in 2009. And there are truths in every single story of that anthology that resonate. Those truths are that pain is real, that actions and words can shatter us, that it's hard to remember how awesome you are when people are telling you that you aren't. And there are differences in the experiences too. Some authors hurt more than others. Some used the experience to try to become stronger. For every one of us, the story is our own, and it is different. But one of the biggest, and greatest truths in those stories is that each and every one of us survived. We all lived to tell our stories. And if you are reading this right now or listening on the podcast that means that you have lived through too. And here's the thing. You must keep on living ...