The TWISTED MAGIC audiobook is live! Also sharing a call for authors influenced by Tanith Lee. And why I think classes teaching “plotting for pantsers” are damaging to intuitive writers, and other thoughts on process.
The TWISTED MAGIC audiobook is live! Also sharing a call for authors influenced by Tanith Lee. And why I think classes teaching “plotting for pantsers” are damaging to intuitive writers, and other thoughts on process.
The TWISTED MAGIC audiobook is on its way! Also thoughts on reading subjectivity, how reading a book even a few years apart can totally change, sample bias, residual impacts of the pandemic, and writing the whole book.
A great sci-fi movie you’ve never heard of (at least, I hadn’t), why I’m shipping Alex and Paul on The Morning Show, ROGUE FAMILIAR audiobook is now wide, a fabulous giveaway, & giving my books as gifts.
Exciting news!!! For all of you who have been waiting waiting waiting for the audiobook of ROGUE FAMILIAR, it is liiiivvveeee! Just on Audible for the next 3 months, then it will be wide. If you’d like to review, I do have some free downloads available. Comment here or email Assistant Carien via the website contact form.
Amusingly enough, our topic at the SFF Seven this week is self-care and burnout. I say amusing because this has been a topic of discussion in Jeffe’s Closet, my Patreon and Discord, these last couple of weeks. One thing I love about that space is that people can ask me questions and it gives me the opportunity to mull answers I hadn’t previously given thought to.
One gal asked me about advice on getting through when you’re faced with deadlines and your well is empty. I talked about this on Monday’s podcast, too, but I’m going to reiterate here because I think our group mind hit on something really important.
We often think of refilling the creative well as something lovely, peaceful, and largely passive. Self-care often carries the sense of similar calm. We think of leisurely strolls, hot bubble baths, a glass of wine, gazing at the sunset with friends, lingering over moving art at museums and galleries. All of these things are lovely… And not terribly useful when you’re facing deadlines, dealing with crises, and you’re already short on time with a well so empty you’ve got nothing left to put out the fires, much less create something to meet those deadlines with.
So, what do we do then?
The thing is, burnout is something we must take very, very seriously. I’ve been there – and once you hit full burnout, the bottom of the well is dry as a bone, then it can takes months or years to recover. It’s easy to put off our mental health, to decide that refilling the well can wait until this family member is doing better, or this deadline is met, or after some future date when we have time to deal with it. Except that mental health and burnout don’t obey our schedules. Taking this approach is like deciding that an infection can wait until we’ve finished some other projects – by the time we’re ready to deal with it, we could have blood poisoning or lose a limb.
What’s the answer then? This was my advice to her: cut out everything that is not actually on fire and aggressively fill the well.
I was concerned that this was too vague, but it worked for her! Sometimes we need permission to ignore everything that is not a crisis – to ask ourselves “is it on fire?” and set it aside if not. As for aggressively filling the well – an image that seemed to amuse everyone – I can’t tell you how to do that. We all have to find what refills our own wells. But as for going about it aggressively, that is the key. That means you’re prioritizing those activities, going after them with gusto, rather than waiting for the water to seep in. Muster your army of brooms and aggressively fill that well!
Just in case anyone missed the news: ROGUE FAMILIAR is now out and available in ebook and print from all of your favorite retailers! The audiobook is coming, but probably won’t be out for a few weeks. Because I ran late on this book, I lost my time slot with my narrator, the fabulous Deborah Balm. She has the manuscript, but has not yet started recording. I’ll keep you all updated on that!
This week at the SFF Seven, we’re offering one piece of advice for aspiring writers.
It’s funny because we were just discussing my favorite piece of advice for ALL writers on my mentoring and coaching Discord. This is shaping up to be a really fun community of authors at all levels. You can get there by joining my Patreon. At any rate, in the General Writing Advice channel of the most basic Patreon level – Community Member – one of the gals said that this piece of advice is “one of my favorite Jeffe Mantras.” I love that! We may even make a special emoji to denote this mantra, as it’s a recurring point of discussion.
So, what is it?
Building a writing habit and incremental work – when it does and doesn’t work for people. Also an update on loading my audiobooks on YouTube and thoughts on three decades in publishing.
Quitting what doesn’t work for you and getting away from survivorship bias and reverse engineering success. Instead finding out what works for YOU & owning your process. Also putting audiobooks on YouTube.
ROGUE’S PARADISE, Book 3 in the Covenant of Thorns re-release, is out today! Also, ORIA’S GAMBIT, book 2 in the Sorcerous Moons series is out on Scribd audio! Plus insights on managing To-Do lists and my Vegas vacay.
Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee home. Delicious today is tuesday. August Sixteenth why am I having trouble focusing on that. Yes August Sixteen ha and I’m back went to Las Vegas for the weekend tra la tra lay as one does it was super fun. We went on Saturday morning picked up my friend Megan our friend Megan and went to drove down to Albuquerque there was a little bit of concern with whether or not our flight would go. We actually did a backup flight just in case. But then we made it. Got to Las Vegas um I think I’d mentioned on the planning that we’ve gotten free rooms at the venetian from David’s gambling last spring his. Ah. Big party so they gave us two free nights and we got these extremely cheap tickets on spirit airlines which I’d never flown before and the airplane turned out not to be made of balsa wood um I would fly spirit again I was um. Actually considering how much and I feel bad I have tremendous loyalty for southwest airlines I’ve flown them forever. Ah, but both southwest and american have gotten kind of shoddy and the spirit jets were very new. Very nice. Yes, you have to pay for every little thing they really tried to nickel and dime you. But if you don’t go in for that. It’s um, you know it’s really quite inexpensive. They charge for food and drink on the airplane. But. You know it’s it’s not that different. You know? Ah, ah, if you want wine or anything alcoholic. You have to pay for it on any airline and you know for your free seltzer coke or really bad coffee I had the worst coffee. Coming back on Delta and I really like delta otherwise so I didn’t complain about this but something had gone wrong. It was like brown water. There was like no coffee in the coffee and I didn’t complain but it was like seriously.
So yes I would have had to pay $4 on spirit for coffee which I did not do because I thought I don’t want to pay $4 for crappy coffee and you have to pay to check your bags which you have to do on everybody but southwest um, the huge difference is is you have to pay that carry on a bag. You can have a personal item which is like a small item that what did they say 18 by 14 by 8 which they were not enforcing at least on the way from Albuquerque to Las Vegas there were kids with. Great big backpacks as their personal items that clearly didn’t count unless I’d paid to check to carry them on so people get mad that they have to pay pay to carry on a bag but I’ll tell you what the boarding and de cleaning was so much faster because of it and. There was a time when I was a real road warrior and traveled so much for the day job that I had said that if I were ever in charge of the world that people would not be allowed to carry on luggage because people spend so much time fucking around with that carry on luggage trying to get a fit and they overhead been. And worried about there. They’re going to have space for it. Is it wheels in or wheels out and ah ah and then trying to get it down again. You know and the people who aren’t strong enough to lift it down which you know I I understand but why do you have to fucking carry on your bags. Just check them. So making people to pay to carry on their bags turns out to be a pretty great incentive. It’s like well if you have to pay anyway, you might as well check it. Their whole model is based on saving gas so they check baggage. Um, excuse me checked baggage weight is um, max weight is £40 not £50 so it was pretty funny in Las Vegas coming home. There were people did a fairly sophisticated system. Not so much in Albuquerque not sophisticated system in Albuquerque that’s all right. Ah, but in Las Vegas where which might be their mothership. They had these um where you did the bag drop they had these horizontal scales so you did the kiosk so print your tag put it on there. Do the bag drop. Put your suitcase on this um scale that is also a conveyor belt and it scooted it back and forth and then it read the id and confirmed the id electronically which was kind of cool and also did the weight and.
As we were watching as we’re waiting for our turn. There were many people there um like taking things out of their bags and some of them looking very sad and we laughed because on the way there from Albuquerque. Ah, we saw a pair of ripped up jeans in the garbage can like right next to they just had the regular scales right next to the ticket counter and I was like yeah somebody decided they didn’t care enough about these jeans to to keep them was kind of funny. They should put like a. Ah, used clothing bin there. so so yeah it was funny to watch the people having fits trying to take stuff out of their their bags I don’t maybe funny is wrong I didn’t mean to laugh at their misery but it was it was very very clear. You know that your bag couldn’t be over 40 pounds and I had been. Exceptionally and careful to you know, make sure that we didn’t exceed that and we were fine and even though I couldn’t weigh on the way back. So I was slightly nervous on the way there we were like 39.4 pounds and David said well we you know don’t have anything more going back than we did going there maybe less. We should be fine and I was like yes, but you got that t-shirt and my dress had gotten wet at water ads weight I was like we don’t have much margin but I took a couple things that put them in my. Personal item and we were fine. So so it takes more jiggering. Ah, they really do annoy you to death to upgrade seats. They want you to pay for like the big seat in the front. Um and they keep sending you like text some email saying. Better, get your seat. We can’t guarantee. You’ll sit together and David and I were assigned seats together I just went with the phrase I’m I’m like if we can’t sit together for an hour-long flight. We’ll probably live um and it worked out just great. Um, would totally totally fly spirit again. It worked out. Well so um, so yeah, we got there. Um Charlie met us at the airport he was flying in from work Charlie and Megan went to a different hotel. They did not have a great experience. Um, they picked out this hotel I think because. American Express had recommended it and american express ended up making it making it up to them. They stayed because they said their room was fabulous, but the rest of the hotel sucked. So they’re like we’ll just like hold our nose and walk through the hotel on our way.
But the Venetian was amazing. Oh yes, and as I said we’ve got the free rooms and I did get reeled in when we checked in they said well if you want to upgrade and they had sent me an emails. You know one did I want to upgrade to a view room for like. $56 a night I’m like now I don’t care about a few enough. Well when we checked in the gal was like well we could she said there are no rooms available which I don’t know if it’s a trick or not probably wasn’t because we were there a little early. Um. And we could have had them hold our bags but she said but we do have rooms available if you want to upgrade and I was like ah and she said well let me show you and she she was very good I mean I almost did it partly because she was so good. She had her tablet and she said for a hundred and twenty dollars a night you could upgrade to this. She did not say it this way but fucking amazing sweet. You guys you all? Um, it’s a view of the pool and the strip and it had a living area and the. Bedroom was off to the side and it had a walk-in closet and an amazing bathroom with a sunken bathtub and so we just like you know $120 a night. How often do we get a chance to stay in a really nice suite like that so we did it and it was it was lovely. We really enjoyed that and as David said we have paid $120 a night to stay in some really shitty places so it was um, it was well worth it. We went down to the pool that afternoon um had a snack and a froze that was excellent. And we um and that I hung out by the pool for a while then we met Charlie and Megan for dinner at bouchon at the venetian which was a french bistro that I had wanted to go when we were there before and we could get in partly because of pandemic hours. Everything was so much more open now. Everything felt like it was totally back. It was interesting, almost nobody wearing masks. Um, so we had wonderful dinner at Bouchon which Charlie picked up the tab. He has just the I I tried to stop it and he was like no no because it was. It. It was my almost birthday so it was um because my birthday is well a week from yesterday. So next monday and I had put it down as a birthday at Bouchon just because it would be fun and they brought us free desserts. We had a creme brulee and lemon tart and.
Charlie Bought us two bottles of rose because the first thing we did when we sat down they handed us like the you know the wine list and then the special that was summer of Rose which gets me and Megan where we live and so we ended up having 2 bottles of rose which reader we did not need that second bottle. And then we went to see Celeste barber um who I’m you know, just loved from Instagram australian comedian she put on a very tight show. We laughed all the way through it. It was great. um it was um yeah it was absolutely wonderful. So we all felt a little rough the next morning except for Davis who doesn’t treatak anymore because of the parkinson’s he is like I can’t decide if I’m sad that I can’t drink anymore i’m really glad that I’m not not as rough as you all are it’s like yeah um, so. but but I rallied and Megan rallied and she had gone ahead and gotten a kabana with the american express we’re sorry money at virgin hotel she did research on the different pools so I met her over there and we had ah a wonderful day of just. Hanging out at the pool in the cabana having drinks and it was um, it was delightful and then that evening yesterday evening. No Sunday evening I was gonna say go to be that right? No Sunday evening. It was um. They decided they were not Charlie actually never made it out of the hotel room Sunday he was going to meet us over at the pool and made several efforts and just couldn’t do it. He was definitely overserved I think they had also pregamed before they met us. They’d had several cocktails. So it was great party and Megan and I said as we were hanging out by the cabana that we wouldn’t change the thing because it was just one of those really fabulous evenings. There are times when you regret we didn’t need the second bottle of wine and yet it was so fun. So wonderful. Amazing food. Ah so with oysters on half show. They were so wonderful that they’re like Charlie’s favorite thing. He always orders them. So um. Yeah, they did not make it to dinner Sunday night Megan Texted and said yeah, we’re not leaving this hotel room tonight I said no problem because it’s not like we don’t see them here and so David and I went down and went to ah Matteos at the venetian this italian restaurant and.
Ah, we had the but probably the best pasta we’ve ever had in our whole lives. It was incredible. Pasta um, you know the the handmade fresh pasta and perfectly balanced sauces and we had a. Chocolate souffle for dessert where we had to wait for it. But then it came out warm with the creme Anglais and a pistachio gelato and yeah, it was delightful. So it was kind of like um, kind of a birthday celebration have a birthday weekend and good partying. Whirlwind. We got it very early Monday morning and flew home we were back home by um, eleven thirty in the morning. So and I got some words yesterday I did not get my full two k but I got some words done and um. Yeah, it was good. So now I need to buckle down and get more work done this week ah exciting news which I should have let off with but then I forgot ah is that rogues paradise. Is out today. So that completes the release the rerelease of the trilogy. Ah I’m really happy in that I had for rogue’s pawn um a certain number of preorders that was. Quite low but I didn’t expect it to be high. Um, you know I thought well it’s going to be just a few right and I had this exact same number of preorders on book 2 on rogue’s possession which I actually think is good because that means an equivalent number of readers. Ah, if not the exact same readers committed to those first two books ah and for book 3 for rogues paradise I have doubled those pre-orders. It’s still not a phenomenal number. But what do you expect for a re-release right? so. So at least that’s what it was as of yesterday evening when I shut down so very excited for rogues paradise to release today. The trilogy is now all out there wide and so forth also in a coincidence. Ah. Book 2 of sorcerous moons on audio at scribd release today. So Oria’s gambit is out today on scribd I think they’re staggering those releases like every two weeks or so so I’ll link to both of those things.
If you have been listening to sorcerous moons though you can continue on with book 2 and I’m I’m still working on getting those books out wide but I will get them out wide. Ah. So so those are the big things. Um, it’s it’s interesting because ah, Megan and I had a great conversation on the ride down Albuquerque airport on Saturday David volunteered to get in the back. So he could doze he knew he was going to be pretty sleepy and so Megan and I could talk which we did nonstop the whole way and that was great but she was talking about I can’t remember who she said she was listening to I should ask her so I can um, link to it but we were talking about. To do list. She was saying that she had taken Instagram off of her phone that was kind of how it got started ah making choices for happiness which you all know if you’re a longtime listener I talk about a great deal on here so I was immediately interested and she was talking about the things that slide down your to do list and how. You move them from your to do list from one day to the next which I was like oh my god ah I really hate that I do that and I was telling her that in a recent SFWA meeting somebody had said that they had read possibly in the same place who knows. That you’re not supposed to re-jigger your to-do list that you’re not supposed to rearrange it during the day from today today and we all kind of groaned because we all do that? Um, so 1 thing that Megan said that this person suggested. Is that you can have your ongoing list of things that need to get done but you move them off of the dates you move them like onto another list entirely that you then reference and only put on each day. What you absolutely. Plan and need to get done and and my big problem is is that I would put this whole raft of things on there of like in case I get to it in case I have time which never happened then I should know better because I’m a big believer in the oh if I happen to find time. I’ll do this thing that that never happens especially with writing right? You know I never find time to write. No, you have to make time to write you have to make time to get things done on your to do list. So one thing I did when I got home. Ah, which was possibly a bit of.
Writing procrastination but I was also excited about this idea was I rejiggered my to do list for hopefully the final time and I took all of these things that are like pending projects and moved them to another list entirely and put only on that day. What I needed to get done that day and. Reader I got everything done yesterday that I had on that list and it was it was like oh angel singing the sun broke through the clouds here. We go the sun if you’re on video ah some broke through the grape leaves. Um, it was an immense relief. So I’m very excited about this if you’re on video. You’ll also see it’s a little bit of a breezy working here a little cool and breezy. Um, but not much rain yet. They Las Vegas people said that it had been the ah coolest August. That they remembered several people said that um so monsoons in the southwest. It’s been a thing there I scooted out of the sun briefly just to say goodbye. Ah, because the the sun ah did indeed break through the clouds. I hope you all have a wonderful Tuesday and I will talk to you all on Thursday you all take care bye bye.
#2 ORIA’S GAMBIT August 16
A well-kept secret about the reality of signing with an agent, one way to assess whether your agent is really working for you, and other thoughts on building the ability to produce work. Also, LONEN’S WAR is out in audio!
Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee.
Sheer ambrosia today is Tuesday August Second so it’s 8 2 2022 a good set of numbers. My birthday is coming up ah later this month in twenty days so that will be another set of eights and twos though I don’t know if I’ll get to podcasts that day I’ll um, be visiting my mother man stepdad in Tucson. So I don’t know maybe we can convince my mom to do a birthday podcast with me and we could just I don’t know reminisce about my birth. Probably we don’t want that. Let’s rethink. So anyway, today is exciting because the. Audio book of Lonen’s War releases today. Very exciting. Ah this is book one of the sorceer’s moon’s books of which there are None um sorceress moons was the none series I did. Totally indie that I did plan to self-publish from the beginning and did it indie all along that as opposed to some of the others where it was like a series that started in trab traad pub. That I continued in indie or it’s a lot of noises out there. Don’t know what that was um or one that I’d gotten the rights back and self-pubished so to. Ah, sorcers moons first came out in 2016 which is amazing right? Six years ago now and I started that when I first left the day job was kicked out of the nest in a fall of 2015 because my team was downsized and I decided to try to. Make it as a full-time writer without a day job. That’s my definition. Um, there are people who disagree with me but um, and I think it’s because being a full-time writer has a certain cachet and so people want to lay claim to it. But. Yeah, that’s what it is for me is if ah I have no other day job.
Ah, so ah, but Scribd Scr I bd scribb bought the audio rights for Sorcerous Moons which my lovely agent negotiated for me for those of you who are wondering how that works. For your indie pub books. You don’t have to have an agent to negotiate for you. But it’s great that my agent does want to do that for me and then she does get the percentage which is you know that’s fine. Ah she made a lot of changes to the contract. The negotiations took a long time. Ah, which I knew she was actively working on because she would send me updates as opposed to a previous agent who claimed to be spending a lot of time in negotiations when actually that meant he just wasn’t getting to it and it was sitting ah on his desk. If he had one not that I’m bitter. He claimed to spend a lot of time on negotiations on the contracts for a particular pair of books and I’ve compared it to the contracts that my previous agent. Ah. Put through that I know she did not do a lot of negotiating and I don’t see any difference so that’s one way that you know how do you know? I’m not a Broadway singer. But if I were. I would want to play Cinderella in any of her incarnations. That’s probably not true I like Amy Adams so so there’s a little bit of a stream of consciousness riffing for you. Ah, anyway, Lonen’s War out today. Dave started releasing the audiobook at the same time I have polled Sorcerous moons ah out of KU Lonen’s Reign book 6 will remain in KU until like September sixth because for some reason that never got uploaded into k u correctly, so it’s lagging behind the others but gradually the other books in the series are coming out of k u and I am putting them back up wide. So Lonen’s War is now wide again everywhere. So oh and I even had my phone out so I could show you the script listing here. It oh big flashing glare from the.
Rising sun if you’re on video but there’s the cover for Lonen’s War audio pretty cool and ah I’ve scribbed as an app on my phone and I really like it which I know is sounds like much right? because yo here I am. Like oh look listen to my audio book. Ah, but that’s exactly how I sound to but um, one cool thing that Scribd when they bought the rights to do audio for this series is they gave me a free subscription to scrib for like a year which. Let me tell you people none of my other audio book trad publishers have done that they in fact, some of my other books they would even give me a copy of my own frickin book on audio and I ended up having to buy it. Just so I could listen to it and know what my book sounded like on audio It’s such a huge mess. It’s stupid. Um, we all know we don’t really love audible and this is one of the big reasons. Why but scribbed is interesting because you can um. Read ebooks on here as well as listen to audiobooks and it’s a nice It’s a really nice app and they have a lot of stuff on here. I’m not a big audiobook listener but sometimes because I can listen. For free. Well, it’s actually is for free since I didn’t have to pay for my so so my subscription that I can try books out on audio that I’m not sure if I want to to buy and rate and then sometimes if I like them on audio i’ll. Stand by them and read them on kindmda or whatever. So anyway, I will put those links up in the show notes please check out the audio book if you’ve already read sorceress moons um, tell your friends who like to listen to fantasy romance on audio. Ah, Lonen’s War is a slow burn princess in a tower. One of the things that I learned as an aside at a polyon is that the readers who ask you to tell them about your books. They really want to hear the tropes and I am not. Always good at saying tropes. Ah I found that I was not good at explaining what dark wizard was about dark wizard did not sell as well in person as it does online. It was really interesting to see the difference of what things sold well in person as opposed to online. Ah.
But I did not do a good job of communicating what the dark wizard books were about for whatever reason. But I think it’s tropes I need to figure out what the tropes are for that book and series. Yeah, ah. But Lonen’s War. Do I even know my tropes I mean it’s enemies to lovers and he is attacking her city. He comes from the barbarians and she is literally a princess. Who is psychically fragile and so must live up in the tower away from all of the psychic energy of the city and because of this she’s like the only member of the royal family left alive when the barbarians win and. She ends up and lonan is a younger son but he is also ends up being the only one left alive of his family and so the 2 end up negotiating with each other to stop the violence to find a peace. Which of course inevitably involves them getting married right? Um, but that doesn’t happen till later. It is a slow burn I’ve seen I think it’s still like the top review on Amazon is this one person is like they don’t even touch each other. For the first book and it’s true but oria can’t be touched because of the um of her psychic abilities. She um, it’s it’s agonizing for her to be touched by somebody so they figure out very creative ways. To overcome that although much of that happens in book two after the wedding night. Um I’ve considered consolidating those and making them into a trilogy. You could put books 1 and 2 together and I mean it would work. 1 and 2 3 and 4 5 and 6 but I just left them as the separate books. So I do have um the audio books are they’re putting them out as a staggered release and let’s see if I can tell you. I think um, today’s August second I think the second one’s coming out. She gave me a tentative list. she said it might not happen um exactly on that she said it might change that’s it August Sixteenth is book 2 so they’re putting them out.
I think they’re looking at every two weeks so yeah by the time um the sixth book comes out and audio it will come out. It’ll be white. It’ll be out of k you so um. Have to kind of keep up with those things.
One thing I talked about with agent Sarah when we had lunch at Apollycon was I might just have the agency take over publishing the ah 7 contemporary bdsm books that I got back from Carina Press ah that would mean that the agency gets 15% of those books but would also mean that I don’t have to deal with them I’m trying to decide. Um, it would be good for me to do them myself. Algorithm wise I do get more money It’s also more work and. It’s no longer squarely on brand for me. So I don’t know if it would help with my other list. You know. Um, so still remaining on my notes that I took on the plane. 1 thing I was thinking about is how we learn how to work how we learn how to produce work and i. Got to have lunch with a newbie author at Apollycon. She’s an agency sister Tiff Holloman and she is not yet published so she signed with my same agent. Sarah Younger at Nancy Yost literary right before pandemic hit and excuse me that first book just didn’t so which happens sometimes um, actually happens more than people realize. And Tiff and I had lunch in part I think because she she did say that Sarah suggested that she make contact with me just because here I am I am the advice giver and ah, you know and I said you know I know it’s really frustrating when. The book that you signed an agent with doesn’t sell because there is a tendency to think when you’re a newbie author that once you get your agent that you haven’t made and I know so many people that it just doesn’t work out that way for whatever reason the book doesn’t sell. The agent doesn’t turn out I don’t know to be someone who actually does any work which is not the case with Sarah Sarah is awesome but
Sorry I’m starting to go down the mental path of like that first agent that didn’t like to work. Ah, if he had liked to work. He could have done a lot but he was just um I don’t know fatally and eternally distracted. So anyway, um, we talked about that Dave Tiff has written another book and they’re going out on submission with that so fingers crossed with her for her on that. Ah, really lovely. Go. She’s a lawyer works for the federal government. In Dc so she was local and so she came to the con to see how it was but then ah you know into meet with Sarah and so it was really nice that we got to have lunch with each other and one of the things we talked about was productivity. Ah, which of course is something people ask me about a lot and I talk about a lot on this podcast and I do a fair amount of author coaching on the topic because that’s always a question right? is how do we be productive. How do we get the work done and so I was giving her advice on writing in the morning. Before she goes to work. It’s ah yo that for me writing every day at the same time every day was the thing that worked and it’s the thing is is as I believe that is a guaranteed process. A lot of people feel like that’s not possible and I understand ah but. If you do that if you get in the habit of writing every day at the same time every day and it doesn’t have to be for very long that you will build a writing habit and that’s the most important thing that you need to reliably produce work. And she was lighting up as I was talking about this because she’s saying you know when I get home at the end of the day and after I’ve put the kid to bed and all of that and I said yeah, you’re done. You’re you’re out of juice and that’s why I write in the morning because that’s when I have the juice different people. Have different processes and some people have more juice late at night but if you have a day job if you have children if you have lots of day responsibilities then it’s not reasonable to expect your creative self to have much juice. At the end of the day after you’ve already done everything for everybody else, some people might but most of us know me I’m I’m kind of brain fried after these days. Ah after about five or six o’clock at night I am just I’m done and that’s when I want to read books.
Or watch shows and that was ah that’s where I’m at. I was thinking about talking about something ah that I just watched but or several things that I watched but I think I’ll save that and finish this thought. So anyway, one of the things I was thinking about was how no one ever taught me how to study. I did get the advice to write every day at the same time every day for more than one author and I resisted it for a very long time I did not want to do that. It felt incredibly difficult for me and part of the reason that I started doing it in the morning was it was the only time. That I could find where I could actually reliably write at the same time every day so I started getting up at four thirty or five and I was not a morning person so that I could write 2 hours before I went to work and then from there my day got progressively crazier. So. That was the one thing I could count on and as I told Tiff some of the stuff I wrote back then like hopeful monsters is one oh I’ll link to hopeful monsters if you all want to read that little story. Um, some of those things are seriously psychedelic and it’s because I was sleep deprived. And she was saying well I don’t know if I could go to bed early enough to be able to get up that early and I said I tell you what? at least the way it worked for me was if I made myself get up that early eventually I shifted and I was going to sleep early which is why I go to sleep around 9 because I wake up at 5 and that works for me. So anyway I was just thinking about in college my transition from high school to college and how in high school I just almost never studied I was fortunate enough to um. I’m an auditory learner so I could sit in class and listen and as long as the teacher had said it at some point I could put it down on the test I’m also good at absorbing from reading and I like to read so I would read the the assignments. Ah but I never worked very hard because I didn’t have to. And the classes I would have had to work in. Um I did not do great in and I was thinking about my transition to college because I went to a private liberal arts University Washington University in St Louis which I loved but I struggled in some of the classes because.
I needed to study and I didn’t know how and looking back mosquito if I had implemented that schedule then which of course never occurred to me but that first semester. I took a calculus class that started at seven thirty in the morning because I had already in high school been used to getting up that early. We had an ap biology class that I think school started at like 8 or 8:05 and the ap biology class had all um. Voted and agreed because we were hopeless overachievers to start class at seven thirty so that we could do some dissections and the sun is coming to get me here but I’m almost done. Ah, so I did that calculus class at 7:30 4 days a week and and I liked getting up and going to that class early but I didn’t work on learning the equations and so forth outside of class. Ah so it was not not. Not great and I felt like it was because I wasn’t good at it. But it’s simply that I couldn’t just absorb it and regurgitate it. So I wish if I were going back and I don’t often have something to say to my younger self but i. Wish that it had occurred to me or that someone had suggested it to me. Ah, if I had just in college and grad school gotten up early and studied did my. Um I could always do the readings I always did the readings. But if I just like run the math problems worked the various things biochemistry and so forth if I had just done that stuff for like 2 hours every morning I would have um. Probably would have done much much better than I did and I didn’t do abysmally but I didn’t do it brilliantly either. So there’s something to be said for that learning how to work incrementally incrementally which I know I’m a big fan of that. It took me a long time to figure it out and it was because I wanted to write novels and I had deadlines it was only after I had a traditional deal. Um, actually I ended up with several at once and I started to panic about being able to meet those deadlines.
That that was when I got really ritualized with my goals and deliberate about writing for a couple hours every morning and I still did it for a very long time up until I left the day job that was a nice circular. Discussion which I don’t often do wrap around to the beginning again. Um, and then I continued it after I got laid off because I already had the habit built so thoughts thoughts um, please share about the Lonen’s War audio book or and that’s wide now. Be nice to this series has new covers. So let’s um, we’ll be lovely to see it get a little resurgence and I will talk to you all on Thursday you all take care bye bye.