The Writer's Blueprint

Wondering what it takes to become a professional writer? Well so am I. My goal is to figure out tips and strategies for moving from being a regular guy, working 40 hours a week and writing on the side, to being a full-time author. I'll be interviewing writers who have already made that transition, people in the publishing industry, marketing experts and more, hoping to break down every little thing that can give you a better shot at going pro. All the while, I'll be using myself as a test subject for the advice people give. Scroll down to listen to episodes 1-7. Episode number 8 won't be coming for a little while. The show is on hiatus until I finish my book. 

Episode 6- Louis CK's New Show and an Interview with Glenn Hunt

Glenn Hunt: Content Marketing and Community Relations Manager at Lulu.com

Glenn Hunt: Content Marketing and Community Relations Manager at Lulu.com

Today’s guest was Glenn Hunt and boy does he know a lot about self-publishing. He talked about the medium as a whole, gave advice for self-publishing authors and dived into the nuts and bolts of building your book on Lulu.com.

Also in this episode, I tell you why you should really look into Louis CK’s new show, even if you don’t watch a single episode.

Links from this episode...

The biggest link is lulu.com, the website we spend so much time talking about. Check it out here.

You can listen to Louis CK’s interview on The Bill Simmons Podcast by clicking here

Careful listening to the WTF interview, there’s a spoiler about something big that happens in episode 4. Now that you’ve been warned, check it out here.

The interview with Louis CK on Bullseye with Jesse Thorn starts just after the 48:30 mark. Listen to it here.

Episode 4- How to Get Yourself to Write Seven Days a Week

Writer Jonathan Krieger

Writer Jonathan Krieger

Today's episode is just me. No guest. For most of my writing career, I was the worst kind of writer. The kind who said he wanted to be a writer, but didn't actually do all that much writing. Two things made that change. One was doing the Odd Jobs blog, which certainly got me writing a hell of a lot more. But even then, I still couldn't get myself to truly write every single day, a habit which I always felt was a key part of really becoming an author. That all changed a couple years ago, when I discovered some things that really made a difference in my life, and helped me get to the place where I am today: writing seven days a week, and putting 20 hours a week into my craft, all while working a full-time job and trying to have a social life. Today's episode is about how I did it. Because I know there are a lot of writers out there struggling with this exact same problem. Who want to be putting in the time, but just can't seem to get themselves to actually do it.

Warning: There is a lot of overlap between this episode and my article How I Finally Got Myself to Eat Healthy, Work Out and Lose 25 Pounds in Just 365 Days, because both deal with the difficulty of establishing consistent habits. However, there is some stuff in this podcast that is specific to writing, and if this is a problem you struggle with, I think it's worth a listen. 

Back with more of our traditional interview-style shows next month.

Episode 3- How Hard You Try and an Interview with Meryl Williams

Writer Meryl Williams

Writer Meryl Williams

Meryl Williams is a freelancer whose work has appeared in about a thousand different places. She also runs her own newsletter, is working on a book, and teaches classes to people looking to be a writer just like her. All while balancing a full-time job and a passion for Roller Derby. We talked about breaking into the freelance game, marketing yourself, balancing it all and just how to write openly and honestly about the things in your life.

Also in this episode: I give advice on why maybe you shouldn't try your hardest at everything.

Links from the episode...

Meryl Williams says she basically wants to be Ann Friedman when she grows up. Here's Friedman's website: http://www.annfriedman.com/.

When asked two books she would recommend to someone who wants to become a better writer, Meryl Williams heartily endorsed The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr and A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers. We also discussed how much the latter was real or made up. Here's what Wikipedia has to say.

You can follow Meryl Williams on Twitter here.

Or on instagram here.

Or you can sign up for her mailing list here.

Or just go to her website here.

Episode 2- How to Start a Blog and an Interview with Jim Hodgson

Author Jim Hodgson

Author Jim Hodgson

Jim Hodgson is an author, a blogger, a sketch writer and the editor of a satirical newspaper. He's written novels and mountaineering books, fiction and nonfiction. In short, he's a writer. I was very grateful to have him on for an episode of the Writer's Blueprint, and I hope you enjoy our discussion. We cover all sorts of things like publishing vs. self-publishing, cover art for your book, surrounding yourself with other artists, marketing, and a whole bunch more.

Also in this episode: I give advice on how to start a blog, a podcast or pretty much anything else.

Links from the episode...

Did this episode get you jonesing for a book by David Sedaris, John Sandford, Terry Pratchett, Chuck Wendig, Neil Gaiman, or Neal Stephenson? If so, click the author's name to get a copy of one of their works.

You can follow Jim on Twitter by going here.

And you can visit Jim Hodgson's website by clicking here.

Episode 1- Mailing Lists and an Interview with Michael Bailey

Author Michael Bailey

Author Michael Bailey

Michael Bailey, author of the Young Adult series "Action Figures," visits the show to talk about making it as a self-published author, marketing your own work and other writerly things in the first ever episode of the Writer's Blueprint.

Also in this episode: I give advice on how to get people to sign up for your mailing list.

Links from the episode...

You can see the work of J.M. Aucoin here.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find the specific blog post Michael mentioned in this interview, but you can visit Neil Gaiman's blog here.

To visit Storied Threads, click here.

And, oh yeah, if you want to see Michael Bailey's website and learn more about his books, go here.