WRITER 2.0: Writing, publishing, and the space between show

WRITER 2.0: Writing, publishing, and the space between

Summary: The WRITER 2.0 Podcast is a show about writing, books, and the publishing industry. Hosted by author and professor A.C. Fuller, the show features interviews with authors, journalists, and publishing experts. About the Host: A.C. Fuller is a former adjunct professor of journalism at NYU. His non-fiction has been featured in the Poughkeepsie Journal and New York Newsday; his fiction in Cracked Eye Magazine. The prologue to his writing book in progress—WRITER 2.0—won the 2014 San Francisco Writers Contest, non-fiction category. His debut novel, THE ANONYMOUS SOURCE, was published in June of 2015. For more information: www.acfuller.com.

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 What is Writer’s Block?–Episode 69–October 16 2015 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 20:35

On episode 69 of the WRITER 2.0 Podcast, I explore a few of different perspectives on writer’s block and discuss my last couple months of low productivity. Some of the quotes I discuss in this episode:   There’s no such thing as writer’s block. That was invented by people in California who couldn’t write. Terry Pratchett   I deal with writer’s block by lowering my expectations. I think the trouble starts when you sit down to write and imagine that you will achieve something magical and magnificent—and when you don’t, panic sets in. The solution is never to sit down and imagine that you will achieve something magical and magnificent. I write a little bit, almost every day, and if it results in two or three or (on a good day) four good paragraphs, I consider myself a lucky man. Never try to be the hare. All hail the tortoise. Malcolm Gladwell   The perfectionism is very dangerous. Because of course if your fidelity to perfectionism is too high, you never do anything. Because doing anything results in…it’s actually kind of tragic because you sacrifice how gorgeous and perfect it is in your head for what it really is. And there were a couple of years where I really struggled with that. David Foster Wallace   To get over artist’s block, make shitty art. Dave Horowitz   If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to ­music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don’t just stick there scowling at the problem. But don’t make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people’s words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient.” Hilary Mantel   Writer’s block is my unconscious mind telling me that something I’ve just written is either unbelievable or unimportant to me, and I solve it by going back and reinventing some part of what I’ve already written so that when I write it again, it is believable and interesting to me. Then I can go on. Writer’s block is never solved by forcing oneself to “write through it,” because you haven’t solved the problem that caused your unconscious mind to rebel against the story, so it still won’t work – for you or for the reader. Orson Scott Card   The problem is acceptance, which is something we’re taught not to do. We’re taught to improve uncomfortable situations, to change things, alleviate unpleasant feelings. But if you accept the reality that you have been given- that you are not in a productive creative period- you free yourself to begin filling up again. Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird    

 #1 NY Times Bestseller Iris Johansen–Episode 68–October 14 2015 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 28:10

On episode 68 of the WRITER 2.0 Podcast I spoke with Iris Johansen, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of close to 100 books. This was an especially enjoyable interview for me because Iris and I quickly connected like old friends. We discussed: * her transitions between genres over the last 30 years; * writing canine characters; * her latest Eve Duncan novel, SHADOW PLAY; * the process of writing a trilogy; * our shared love of minimal, tight prose. I also asked her a series of questions that arose from the WRITER 2.0 Facebook Group: * Day to day, year to year, how are you so productive? * How do you know when a book is done? * Do you listen to music when you write and, if so, what kind? * How do you constantly find fresh ideas? * What change in the publishing business over the last 30 years has most affected your career? Plus, on “Today in Writing”–Churchill goes to South Africa. About Our Guest: IRIS JOHANSEN is The New York Times bestselling author of Your Next Breath, The Perfect Witness, Live to See Tomorrow, Silencing Eve, Hunting Eve, Taking Eve, Sleep No More, What Doesn’t Kill You, Bonnie, Quinn, Eve,Chasing The Night, Eight Days to Live, Blood Game, Deadlock, Dark Summer, Pandora’s Daughter, Quicksand,Killer Dreams, On The Run, Countdown, Firestorm, Fatal Tide, Dead Aim, and more. And with her son Roy Johansen, she has coauthored The Naked Eye, Sight Unseen, Close Your Eyes, Shadow Zone, Storm Cycle, and Silent Thunder. Johansen began writing after her children left home for college. She first achieved success in the early 1980s writing category romances. In 1991, Johansen began writing suspense historical romance novels, starting with the publication of The Wind Dancer. In 1996 Johansen switched genres, turning to crime fiction, with which she has had great success. She had seventeen consecutive New York Times bestsellers as of November 2006.[1] Johansen lives near Atlanta, Georgia and is married. Her son, Roy Johansen, is an Edgar Award-winning screenwriter and novelist. Her daughter, Tamara, serves as her research assistant.  

 Writing Fast (Bad) First Drafts–Episode 67–October 12 2015 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 10:18

Struggling with finishing the first draft of your book? In episode 67 of the WRITER 2.0 Podcast I discuss the merits of writing fast first drafts. I also touch on: * why you can’t wait until you know what you want to say to start writing; * the actual origin of “Write Drunk, Edit Sober” (it’s not Hemingway); * insight from Nora Roberts, Vladimir Nabokov, Anne Lamott, and Bernard Malamud; * why I need to take my own advice. To send comments or questions, find me on Facebook, Twitter, or email me at podcast(at)acfuller.com. And remember, emailed questions can come either as text or as MP3 audio files, which I will drop directly into the show.

 Questions–Stories– Feedback–Episode 66–October 9 2015 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 20:57

On the first ever “Questions, Stories, and Feedback” episode of the WRITER 2.0 Podcast, I share tweets and Facebook comments about the show. I also answer questions about submitting to literary journals and entering writing contests. Finally, I share an embarrassing story about submitting my book to a big-time editor. Links I mentioned in this episode: * Lit Mags that are more open to new writers, click here * WRITER 2.0 Facebook group, click here. * Episode with Harvard Review editor Christina Thompson, click here. * Episode with Robert Fuller episode, click here. To send comments or questions, find me on Facebook, Twitter, or email me at podcast(at)acfuller.com. And remember, emailed questions can come either as text or as MP3 audio files, which I will drop directly into the show.

 Food Stamps to a $10,000 Month with Paranormal Author Rebecca Patrick-Howard–Episode 65–October 7 2015 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 55:57

On episode 65 of the WRITER 2.0 Podcast I spoke with bestselling paranormal author Rebecca Patrick-Howard, who just enjoyed her first $10,000 month as a self-published author. We discussed: * the closest she got to signing with a traditional publisher; * whether there’s still a stigma attached to self-published authors; * how she used Facebook to market her books; * the trend of publishing frequent, short books on Amazon; * the Halloween movie that inspired her as a kid; * using non-fiction to build your fiction audience; * her new Kentucky Witches series, which starts with A BROOM WITH A VIEW. Plus, on Today in Writing, Schindler’s List. About our guest: Rebecca Patrick-Howard’s real biography isn’t nearly as interesting as the one she’s made up in her head so she’ll leave you with that one: At the age of 3, her family sold her to a band of traveling gypsies. Forced to become a bareback rider in the circus, she spent her younger years traveling the country, living out of suitcases and selling macrame keychains on the side. At the age of 16 she became a professional yodeler but, after winning the international yodeling competition in Switzerland at 19, decided to retire at the height of her career. Now, she and her husband (an organic rutabaga farmer from Wales) live in an isolated cabin in eastern Kentucky where they play with a local mariachi band every Friday night, are involved with a murder mystery dinner theater club, and enjoy making origami owls.

 Special Announcement: The WRITER 2.0 Facebook Group is Now Live | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 5:03

A couple years ago I read an article about why relationships are so important for authors. I’d heard this many times before, but ignored it every time. But for some reason, two years ago I finally believed it. When I did, it changed my life and the trajectory of my writing career. I decided to go to conferences, meet people, and learn about the business. Eventually, it led to the WRITER 2.0 Podcast and the release of my first novel, THE ANONYMOUS SOURCE. In this brief episode, I announce the WRITER 2.0 Facebook Group—an online coffee house of sorts, where listeners, guests, and others will gather to discuss the craft and business of writing, learn from each other, and support each other. Of course, it’s 100% free and always will be. Please check it out here if interested. Over the next month, I see this community growing into a wonderful online destination for serious writers who are also serious about being authors. Come join the conversation. To send comments or questions, find me on Facebook, Twitter, or email me at podcast(at)acfuller.com. And remember, emailed questions can come either as text or as MP3 audio files, which I will drop directly into the show.

 The Five Forms of Procrastination–Episode 64–October 2, 2015 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 20:07

“The price an artist pays for doing what he wants is that he has to do it.” William S. Burroughs In this solo episode of the WRITER 2.0 Podcast, I talk about how procrastination affects our writing lives. First, I touch on three things writers should understand about procrastination: Most writers—even successful ones—procrastinate. We procrastinate for good reasons. The key to working with procrastination is awareness. Next, I talk about 5 forms of procrastination and the corresponding emotional sentiments that can keep us from writing. [dt_divider style=”thin” /] Procrastination Form #1: Overwhelm Sentiment: “I don’t know where to start” or “It’s just too big” [dt_divider style=”thin” /] Procrastination Form #2: Rebellion Sentiment: “You’re not gonna make me do this today” [dt_divider style=”thin” /] Procrastination Form #3: Fatigue or Lack of motivation Sentiment: “I just don’t have the energy for this today” or “Why bother?” [dt_divider style=”thin” /] Procrastination Form: #4: Fear of an Unknown Outcome Sentiment: “I just don’t know if this book will go anywhere.” [dt_divider style=”thin” /] Procrastination Form #5: Perfectionism Sentiment: “It’s never going to be good enough anyway.” [dt_divider style=”thin” /] To send comments or questions, find me on Facebook, Twitter, or email me at podcast(at)acfuller.com. And remember, emailed questions can come either as text or as MP3 audio files, which I will drop directly into the show.

 Comedian and Novelist Jim Hodgson–Episode 63–September 30 2015 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 46:25

On episode 63 of the WRITER 2.0 Podcast I spoke with novelist, satirist, and extreme athlete Jim Hodgson. We discussed: * whether you have to be good looking to make it in music; * how he got a deal to write his humorous romance, HEARTS RACING; * the funniest things about Atlanta; * David Sedaris in Costco; * the lowest point in his Iron Man training; * what it’s like “suffering from high self esteem.” Plus, on “Today in Writing”–Rumi’s birthday. About our Guest: Jim Hodgson started writing in the mid 90s, after high school. When his adoptive mother passed in 2006, he turned to his writing as a means of coping with her loss. From there it became an invaluable part of his life. He’s the founder and editor of The Atlanta Banana, a satirical newspaper. He’s worked as a standup comic and as a sketch writer for Sketchworks. His work has been published in Georgia Music Magazine, Creative Loafing, The Art of Manliness, Dirge Magazine, Singletracks.com, tripleblaze.com, nerdfitness.com, Georgia.org and others. He’s the author of Dangerous Dan, a humorous science fiction novel, How To Mount Aconcagua, a mostly serious guide to climbing the tallest mountain outside the Himalayas, and Hearts Racing, a romance novel published by Soul Mate Publishing.

 The Five Stages of Editing–Episode 62–A.C. Fuller PNWA Talk–July 2015 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:27:54

This special episode of the WRITER 2.0 Podcast is a recording of the talk I gave at the 2015 PNWA Conference. Important note: the podcast is designed to be listened to while viewing the slideshow, available here: 5 stages of editing, PNWA I start by discussing two of the biggest impediments many writers face while writing, and while editing: procrastination and the inner critic. I then lay out a 5-sage editing process that will help you take your book from first draft to submission:   * Relaxing * Reading * Restructuring * Rewriting * Refining To send comments or questions, find me on Facebook, Twitter, or email me at podcast(at)acfuller.com. And remember, emailed questions can come either as text or as MP3 audio files, which I will drop directly into the show.

 Why Writing is Hard–Episode 61–September 25 2015 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 17:30

In episode 61 of the WRITER 2.0 Podcast, I explore why writing is hard. Drawing on my personal difficulties, as well as those I encounter in both adult and teenaged student, I focus on four main issues. * Getting good takes a long time. * Bad teachers. * Running into unconscious feelings. * Lack of external feedback. To send comments or questions, find me on Facebook, Twitter, or email me at podcast(at)acfuller.com. And remember, emailed questions can come either as text or as MP3 audio files, which I will drop directly into the show.

 Ina Zajac–Episode 60–September 23 2015 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 43:13

On episode 60 of the WRITER 2.0 Podcast I spoke once again with Ina Zajac, author of PLEASE, PRETTY LIGHTS. We debated what genre her book belongs to–chick lit, psychological thriller, literary fiction–and also discussed: * what it’s like to try to write after a concussion; * how social media almost drove her crazy; * screen addiction and the value of zoning out; * what she learned about marketing and the writing life in the year after her debut novel. Plus on “Today in Writing,” the origin of “Paul is Dead” and my favorite SNL sketch of all time, which you can find here or watch below. About our guest: An experienced feature writer, Ina Zajac is an avid people watcher, and lover of quirk and contrast. She enjoys creating contemporary characters; and is especially fond of gritty musicians, passionate artists and irreverent free thinkers. Her debut novel Please, Pretty Lights was selected as an AmazonEncore title in March 2015. Zajac’s writing is heavily influenced by her fascination with music, art and her hometown Seattle. She does not shy away from provocative topics such as religion, addiction and violence. She also explores playful, uplifting topics related to the mystical and metaphysical. She is a fan of Jason Silva, Duncan Trussell, Alan Watts and Abraham Hicks. “Remember who you are” — the central theme of Please, Pretty Lights — comes from this universal perspective. She has a B.A. in journalism from Western Washington University, an M.A. in mass communication (minor in women’s studies) from Arizona State; and studies fiction at the University of Washington.

 The Five Things Writers Must Know–Episode 59 + Blog Post–September 21 2015 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 17:48

This is the prologue to a writing book in progress, WRITER 2.0, which won the 2014 SF Writing Conference Contest, non-fiction category. You can listen to a summary of my thoughts in the podcast episode above. I have taught writing in wildly diverse settings for fifteen years. From privileged nineteen-year-olds in New York City, to Native American students in Washington State, to adults struggling with jobs and families, writers everywhere face five distinct challenges. This post is about how to work with those challenges and all their permutations when writing your book. The most important thing when writing a book is writing every day. Writing when you’re inspired and when you’re bored. Writing when your life is going well and when it’s going terribly. And, of course, writing when you would really rather read another blog post about writing. For this reason, I’m offering a summary of the book I’m working on in this post. 1. WRITE THE BOOK ONLY YOU CAN WRITE Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. – Howard Thurman Every year, publishers throw marketing money behind thousands of books. Most of them lose money. A few of them break out. Every year, books published with little financial support climb up the bestseller list, carried to number one by some invisible hand described later as “word of mouth.” And every year, thousands of people self-publish books. Most of them lose money. A few of them break out. Agents, editors, and publishing companies know a lot, but they don’t know what the next big thing will be. You don’t know either, so don’t bother trying to figure it out. Instead, focus on writing the book you really want to write, the book only you can write. As we’ll see later, by writing the book only you can write you avoid pitfalls, write more efficiently, and have more fun. Maybe your book will be published and you will strike it rich. Maybe you will self publish and find your audience. Maybe you will print a hundred copies and give them to friends and family. Or maybe you will delete the book a year from now and write something else. In any case, the book will not win you anyone’s true love. It will not fix your life. It will not silence the voices in your head. Money is not the best motivator, and neither is trying to please someone else. If you write the book you truly want to write, you are much more likely to complete it, and to actually enjoy the process of writing. In the end, you will be alone with your book. But writing it might teach you something about the world and about yourself. And this will only happen if you write the book that is true to you, the book you need to write, the book only you can write.  2. DON’T QUIT YOUR DAY JOB, BUT NOT FOR THE REASON YOU THINK How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live. – Henry David Thoreau I don’t have time. It’s the excuse we use for everything. And it’s the best excuse not to write. But here’s the thing: you do have time to write. You just use it to do other things. Most writers have busy lives: families, jobs, hobbies, and other commitments. Naturally, we fantasize about a full-time writing life. But this is not what we need. For most, this would be a terrible thing. What we need is to make time to write in the midst of our busy lives, not instead of them. Why? Because we need things to write about. Most readers live busy lives, too, and they want to learn about real life in our books.

 Changes and Reflections After One Year–September 20 2015–Special Episode | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 5:01

It’s been almost a year since I started the WRITER 2.0 Podcast, and it’s time for some changes. In this brief update, I thank listeners and guests for a wonderful year and discuss the two big changes coming to the show. * I’ll be creating two additional episodes each week. These will be short, solo episodes, released each Monday and Friday, in which I’ll discuss various topics that I cover in my writing workshops. Look for episodes about writing fast first drafts, procrastination, editing, and much more. * The show is becoming more interactive. Because the writing life can often be lonely, I am looking to create a community around the show. With this in mind, I’ll be adding occasional feedback and question episodes. To send comments or questions, find me on Facebook, Twitter, or email me at podcast(at)acfuller.com. And remember, emailed questions can come either as text or as MP3 audio files, which I will drop directly into the show. Many thanks for a great year!

 Write Your Memoir–An Introduction–Audio and Presentation | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:12:43

This podcast episode is a recording of a class I offered at Vineyard Park at Mountlake Terrace on July 12, 2016. To get the full experience, listen while viewing the slide show, which can be viewed on my website here: Write Your Memoir Presentation.compressed. In this class, we explored: • the difference between memoir and autobiography; • how to decide what portion of your life to write about • the basics of character arc and memoir structure using the films Titanic and Casablanca as examples • how to develop a writing practice Questions or comments? Find me on Facebook here or email me: podcast(at)acfuller.com

 Sci-fi Author Benjamin Seims–Episode 58–September 16 2015 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 51:43

On episode 58 of the WRITER 2.0 Podcast, I talked with sci-fi author Benjamin Seims. We spoke about: * the correct way to introduce your kids to Star Wars; * his debut novel, AFTER DAY ONE; * three books that changed his writing life; * the process of writing a trilogy; * why kettelbell workouts are so popular. Plus, on “Today in Writing”–Bob Dylan’s classic album, Blood on the Tracks. About our guest: Benjamin Seims lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and their three teenaged boys. He works full time as a cardiac nurse and is currently an officer in the Washington Army National Guard. After Day One is his first full length novel and is the first book in a planned trilogy. You can find Ben’s website here and you can find him on Twitter @ben_seims. And be sure to check out his debut novel here.


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