Category Working Writer Podcast

Get Feedback On Your Writing

Working with a writing coach can make you a better writer

Writing coach Jamie Morris shares her experience with new writers.

Hiring a writing coach is the single-most important pivot of my writing career to date. Writing is heart-work for me, as much as it is employment, and I can’t imagine my life without it. So, when my fiction stalled and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong, quitting wasn’t an option.

I found Jamie through a google search after writer Ryan Van Cleve wrote about his work with her. I visited her website, filled out a contact form, and within minutes she and I were talking. Jamie said the first thing we needed to find out was how well we work together and what kind of writing help I needed.

I like to say that in those days, “I didn’t know what I didn’t know.” Just answering her question was difficult because I wasn’t sure why my stories weren’t working. She quickly homed in on the issue: I was clueless when it came to plot (she said this gently) and my stories fell apart because they weren’t structured, paced, or developed.

The rest is ourstory: Jamie and I have worked together for over three years as coach and client and co-authored a book together with Joyce Sweeney. She is my dear friend as well as my book-confidant and it was an honor to interview her for the podcast.

Get feedback on your writing

Another benefit to having a writing coach is that it’s a source of feedback for your writing. One of the most frequent mistakes I see aspiring writers make is remaining isolated. Writing is already solitary, which brings its own emotional challenges. But when we allow our work to remain in an echo-chamber of our own thoughts and perspectives, we miss out on skill-honing suggestions and insight readers, editors, and coaches can offer.

Jamie and I discussed the need for feedback in the episode and I extended that content in the Companion Guide that pairs with our interview:

All episodes are paired with a Companion Guide, available on Amazon and linked below.

The ebook also includes helpful tips for what to do when you receive harmful or unsolicited advice and feedback on your writing.

romance author sara celi on the working writer podcast

Make time to write

Best-selling romance author Sara Celi on word count, writing sprints and building an author career with intention

Romance author Sara Celi shares her tips to help you make time to write.

The most valuable writing advice I’ve ever received wasn’t about writing at all; it was about time management. Cal Newport’s Deep Work taught me more about how to make time to write than anything on craft, and was a game-changer in my writing career because by getting intentional about my goals, time, and targets, I had more to show for the same time spent.

It’s less dreamy and more productive than romantic thought on being a writer, but there it is. I had a choice: either spend my life wandering in the wilderness making love to my favorite idea-of-the-moment or get down to business about what I really want from a writing career.

The nexus of dreams and strategic planning was the primary topic of conversation with best-selling romance author Sara Celi. She’s dedicated to the core about getting her word count down, but she’s also mindful of the big picture of her author career, the next book, her target reader, and peripheral issues like marketing.

Without your dedication, real-life will drain your writing time. Sometimes, that’s okay.

Sara and I quickly got into “real talk” about what it looks like to make time to write and build an author career while facing challenges in our lives. Sara experienced the Moore Tornado in 2013 and last year, her baby was born three months early. Both of these events are important markers in her author-journey. Listen to our conversation to find out why.

Other topics covered in the interview:

  • writing in a genre
  • writing to market
  • marketing for authors
  • newsletters
  • social media
  • infant loss
  • what a typical day looks like for a full-time romance author.

Make Time to Write: The Companion Guide to this episode

As usual, there is much more content on these subjects that can fit into an hour-long podcast. That bonus material feeds the Companion Guide eBook (every episode is paired with a Guide). Make Time To Write is available on Amazon for just .99 and it’s a quick-but-applicable guide to time management and strategic planning for authors.

We may receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post, through programs including, but not limited to the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program.

I hope you enjoy the podcast and get real value from it, whether you listen, watch or read. If you do, please subscribe and leave a review.

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Make Writing Your Job

The pilot episode and Companion Guide eBook are live

A pilot for the Pilot! So stoked to kick this off with a friend.

I’m starting by answering the questions I’m asked the most as an experienced professional writer: how you can make writing your job.

People ask me this when they’re out of work, when they’re under-employed or unhappily employed. They ask me when they imagine the working writer’s life is romantic and full of freedom.

Sleep in! Set your own hours! Be your own boss!

Spoiler alert: none of those are true.

Okay, maybe I set my own hours. But that means no sleeping in. And the client or project is always my boss. My co-workers have been fellow writers and creative marketers… and also cats and dogs. The gig changes. The mindset does not.

The podcast audio and video are one piece of this project. The other is the Companion Guide, the eBook that will further expound on the show topic, in more depth than a podcast episode can allow. The reason for this is two fold:

  1. I want to keep the episode fun and interview-dominant and,
  2. The books aren’t free.
The first rule of being a Working Writer is “Don’t work for free.”

It’s been an intense process to get this project up and running. I wouldn’t call it a harrowing climb though. I’ve had so much encouragement and support along the way and it’s always fun learning new skills. That said, I’m relieved to hit publish on everything and get this party started.

Non-writing friends will save you from the Cliffs of Insanity.

I invited (well, she eagerly volunteered) one my oldest friends, a non-writer (with the heart and soul of one tho) and pilot, Melody Blythe. Melody and I go way, way back. We grew up in the orchestra of one of the largest megachurches in America in the late 80s.

This meant we saw each other six days a week together and twice on Sunday. We spent our spring, summer, and winter breaks witnessing to what Baptists call “lost people” and telling them about Jesus. We spent evenings performing gospel concerts. Melody and I grew up musically privileged, spiritually trained (some would call it brainwashed), and relationally close.

When you grow up in a youth group of four-hundred, with fundamentalist teachings framing your ordinary teenage development, you develop a kind of kindred bond that carries long into adulthood. Melody and I got married at the same time, had children at the same time, left abusive marriages at about the same time, and reconstructed our lives still friends. She’s one of a few people who will always understand where I came from and why I’m “me.”

Melody is a pilot, a property appraiser and a mom to a special needs son. Her sense of memory more than doubles mine, as does her sunny “brush yourself off and try again” spirit. She’s good at math and strategy. Don’t miss her wisdom on pockets and swim lanes.

For fun, I’m including a few photos of those years down below. If you want to follow my work on religious trauma, you can do so on my website or on Instagram: @tialindstromwriter.

Resources to Make Writing Your Job

This episode includes several valuable resources I either used along the way or still use today in my working writer life.

The Writing Life, by Annie Dillard 

The Business of Being a Writer, by Jane Friedman 

Writer’s Digest Magazine 

Michael Anderle of 20Booksto50k Talk on Indie Publishing on Amazon

My standing desk

The Companion Guide for this episode: Make Writing Your Job.

The interview was a lot of fun and incredibly spirit-bolstering. The marrow of how to make writing your job is in the eBook.

Growing up in a Baptist Mega Church

This is not a great photo because it’s a screenshot of a video from one of our high school performances. It also cuts off the left and right, as well as the majority of the orchestra, seated in front of the choir. Our youth group was between 350 and 400.
That’s me in the middle, in 1991. We’re wearing our teal performance dresses, a definite improvement from the previous mauve. The sleeves were puffed! I played in the orchestra at First Baptist for about fifteen years, from junior high until my mid-twenties. Our church had two full-sized adult orchestras.
That’s Melody in front with her eyes closed. She’d say she was being a dork. We all look pretty dorky. This is pre-concert shenanigans in our rehearsal room. The two photo bombers in the back are playing to type.
This is what our wild and crazy spring breaks looked like. Days spent carrying our bibles and witnessing in neighborhoods, nights spent in concert. Boys were allowed to touch each other, girls were allowed to touch each other, boys and girls were not. This photo is the perfect time capsule of the fundie-megachurch lifestyle. We were good kids headed for a lifetime of sorting a lot of those ideas out.

I hope you enjoy the podcast and get real value from it, whether you listen, watch or read. If you do, please leave a review.

The Working Writer Podcast on YouTube

The Working Writer Podcast on Anchor.fm

The Working Writer Podcast on Instagram

Anchor distributes podcasts everywhere. Look for the show wherever you prefer to listen to podcasts.

I may receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post, through programs including, but not limited to the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program.

working writer podcast on youtube infographic

The Working Writer Video Series

The Working Writer Podcast is also on YouTube

Start a podcast, they said! It’ll be fun, they said! Put the episodes up on YouTube, they said! Make The Working Writer Podcast a video series, they said!

Turns out, they were right.

From a production standpoint, there’s quite a bit more effort in making videos. I could record a podcast in pajamas or on bad-hair days and I’m sure many podcasters do. (I’ve seen quite a few record videos that way too but eeeeek! Dress for the job you want, people!).

Video means a camera (and subsequent USB scarcity issue). It means preparing guests who might be going gangbusters about being on a podcast but hesitating about being on camera. And YouTube is a different ballgame as far as platforms go.

But there’s some solid overlap too. For instance, I record on a video call, which results in both audio and video file formats. Two files for the price of one, so to speak. My editing software is video, exported in two formats, so again, I’m getting two products for the same amount of effort as one.

Deciding to do both The Working Writer Podcast as a video and audio series increases the ad revenue potential. It also increases the audience reach. People have favorite platforms and favorite ways of consuming content. It makes sense to go where they are. In this vein, I guess it’s fair to say that print options are also on the list because The Working Writer Podcast Companion Guides will include show content, in addition to tons of content that couldn’t fit into the episode.

Subscribe to The Working Writer Podcast on YouTube
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The Working Writer Podcast

Look for the pilot episode December of 2020!

The series is underway! I’m so excited to see the universe continually open up for this project. When I decided to start a podcast, I had some experience on the backend. I understood how much work would go into it. But, work that meets resistance (ideas, resources, confidence) is MUCH harder than work like this! It’s been nothing but green lights, baby!

Look for episodes anywhere you listen to podcasts or on YouTube, if video is more your style.

It’s pretty thrilling, if I’m honest. Putting this together is exercising all my skillsets and stretching me in other ways. For instance, I know how to write well on the fly and brainstorm lists of topics (there’s no shortage of material here). But, I’m less experienced behind the camera and microphone. I was a wee bit intimidated to ask for my first interviews but that was like jumping into a cold ocean on a hot day: it only hurts for a second! Then, REFRESHING!

Seriously, it’s going to rock to have conversations with so many people I admire on topics that I love so well I’d discuss all day, every day.

The Working Writer Podcast’s Guide to…..

The aspect of the podcast I’m ooey-gooey in the middle about is the companion ebooks I’m writing to go with every episode. Even though these episodes are hitting around the hour mark, which is in-step with the kind of podcasts I most often listen to, there’s way more material for every topic I want to capture somewhere.

This is how-to, hands-on, actionable content that will be of real value to anyone striving to be or become a working writer. These books also make great use of the show content and hit a goal that every working writer should be working on anyway: catalog expansion.

And you know what else? They’re not for free. That small price tag on each Companion Guide keeps me from breaking the golden rule of Working Writers: Don’t work for free. That’s called volunteering and that’s another topic entirely. Volunteering certainly has a beloved place in the world, even in the writing world, but it doesn’t pay the bills. The content is valuable and it’s worth more than the price I’m asking, making this win-win a part of my contract with the muse.

I saved the BEST FOR LAST about what thrills me most about The Working Writer Podcast. So far I’ve recorded five of the first 20 episodes I have planned, two of them with collaborative writing teams. I can already tell my hunch was right: this labor of love is my way to give back to the writing community, and a chance to highlight and promote the work of my fellow writers. None of us get anywhere on our own and I’m honored to be building something that is finally going to help me, help others.

Can you do me a small favor? Can you go subscribe and follow my accounts right now? Believe it or not, that super-quick-click has big impacts for new podcasters. It’ll take less than ten seconds, promise: follow Working Writer Podcast on Instagram and subscribe to the channel on YouTube. Please and thank you, you’re the best!