You may have noted that TRLW writers have literally been on a road less written for a few weeks. Hopefully, we’ve been conspicuous by out absence. Laura took a month to travel and John is taking a couple of months to change day-jobs and move across the country. There are, of course, stories in that, but Justin has been up to something that might be interesting for a lot of us: podcasting.
As any “emerging” or veteran author knows, you can’t do it all. Authors have to decide where to focus their energies. Writing their book, blogging, generating an income, promotion, speaking, and staring into space all vie for their time and creativity. Justin is currently focusing on podcasting (in addition to being a family man, screen writing FOR PAY, promoting his books, and the other things that we all juggle.)
Personally, I think Justin’s decision to let others literally hear his voice is a great fit. If you listen to the podcast embedded below or have heard any of his radio interviews, you’ll note that his voice has a warmth and openness that’s hard to convey in non-fiction blogging. Self-Publishing Answers (SPA) podcasts at www.writehacked.com allows him and his entertaining cohorts, Kevin Tumlinson and Nick Thacker to present helpful advice in a friendly, mentoring tone.
The podcast page is embedded below. (Scroll down to find the play button.) This one happens to be about where to focus your energy as a first-time author. Give it a listen (as you do your work) and see what you think. Could podcasting work for you?
Author Judith Fein (Photocredit: Paul Ross)
If anyone personifies “The Road Less Written,” it’s travel-writer and author Judith Fein who “lives to leave.” You can find her articles in nearly 100 different publications, and she and her husband, photojournalist Paul Ross, share their travel adventures at GlobalAdventure.us. And, she’s a co-founder of the group travel blog, YourLifeIsATrip.com, the “#1 website for experiential storytelling and narrative travel writing.”
Judith is also the author of Life is a Trip: The Transformative Magic of Travel and a new memoir, The Spoon from Minkowitz: A Bittersweet Roots Journey to Ancestral Lands. I came to know Judith’s writing through the latter. Her voice and her ability to connect with the reader, her past, and well…everything else in her path, made me yearn to ask her a ton of questions. Being polite, I limited it to a few. (more…)
The RedwoodsSociety will soon be TheRoadLessWritten.
Like the butterfly, we’re maturing and finding our wings. But the caterpillar is still crawling around in there. We’re staying with our original calling—promoting fellowship with other writers who, like us “attempt to enhance the varied experiences of life through writing.” We’re just refocusing a little. Maybe our wings will look a little prettier–which means we have a new logo.
The Redwoods Society grew out of a group of aspiring authors that met at the San Francisco Writers Conference in 2013. Since that time, we’ve supported each other as we’ve each moved from aspiring to finding our routes to publication. We’ve not only watched each other succeed; we’ve been a part of it.
In fact, we writers are lucky to work in a field where even our competitors can give us a boost. Spreading the love of another author doesn’t cost us a single reader. One good book can make them eager to buy another—by another author.
We are uniquely qualified to help each other to achieve new successes, improve our craft, and to find our voice. We help each other with tips and tricks on everything from fight scenes to social media. We encourage each other when we’re attacked by trolls or slighted by agents. We advise, cheer, challenge, console, and promote.
In short, as writers seeking to better our craft and to find our individual path, niche, and voice, we help each other along the Road Less Written, with all the rich metaphors that implies.
Your road less written probably won’t look like ours does. It might be curvier, less traveled, or more traveled. But wherever it goes, we hope you have companionship, sustenance, and someone to bounce ideas off of. And we hope it takes you to places you want to go, even if you don’t yet know where those places are yet.
Stay tuned. More good things are coming.
The writing life should be about sitting in front of your keyboard and creating. Even better if a roaring fire, quietly content children, and an adoring dog and spouse are thrown in.
But, for most of us, it’s not that simple. We blog. We take to the blogosphere, not out of a desire to create and communicate, but because it’s good for business. Website builders and their plugins can boggle the creative mind.
When I decided to get serious about blogging, I looked to my small business and non-fiction authoring idol, Stephanie Chandler. Back in 2011, she had published 8 Favorite WordPress Plugins for Business Blogs. Although not all her favorites are my favorites, I found it a great starting place.
Of course, the plugin landscape keeps changing. It’s time for a fresh list. (more…)
One thing I’m learning— “I’ve learned” would be a lie—is that there are no short cuts on the Road Less Written. That is, unless you do actually want to take a road to writing less.
But when it comes to listening to gurus, we’re always tempted by the most unreliable one: our brains. Our so-called centers of higher thought, the very organ that should be busy helping us plot out an optimal path to success, can sabotage us.
Sure, it provides inspiration, strategy, and common sense. However, it also peppers us with false rationales. We get caught up in delusions of grandeur, denial – not to mention feelings of hopelessness and discouragement.
So why do we buy into the load of shit our rationalizing cerebral cortex spits out…?
Tabula rasa — a blank slate — offers freedom and potential
When suffering from writer’s block, do as the Romans do and utilize tabula rasa.
Latin for “blank slate,” tabula rasa is a literary term that stretches back to the days of ancient Rome. In those days, people wrote upon wax tablets or tabula. When they wanted a new “page,” they created it by heating the wax and smoothing it out. Though we modern-day writers aren’t penning future best-sellers on wax tablets, we can take a page from those days of hallowed antiquity by utilizing the freedom offered by a blank slate to get the creative juices flowing. (more…)