263 episodes

Entertaining, actionable advice on craft, productivity and creativity for writers and journalists in all genres, with hosts Jessica Lahey, KJ Dell'Antonia and Sarina Bowen.

amwriting.substack.com

#AmWriting KJ

    • Books
    • 4.8 • 188 Ratings

Entertaining, actionable advice on craft, productivity and creativity for writers and journalists in all genres, with hosts Jessica Lahey, KJ Dell'Antonia and Sarina Bowen.

amwriting.substack.com

    Episode 258 Writing While #Broken: Talking Depression, Anxiety and Writer's Block with Jenny Lawson

    Episode 258 Writing While #Broken: Talking Depression, Anxiety and Writer's Block with Jenny Lawson

    Writing is hard. In this episode, we talk imposter syndrome, editing, the right headspace for reading your own stuff, why you might need a “nice” agent, reading your work aloud to friends, recording audiobooks in the closet, being years late on a deadline, sending your editor proof of life and the deep inner conviction that people only buy your book because they feel sorry for you. #ohyeah.

    #AmReading

    Jess: Win by Harlan Coben

    Jenny: Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

    Hour of the Witch by Chris Bohjalian

    Note: Bookriot Podcast

    KJ: The Fifth Petal by Brunonia Barry

    Jenny’s Bookshop: The Nowhere Bookshop, San Antonio, TX

    The Fantastic Strangelings Book Club books:

    Professional Troublemaker by Luvvie Ajayi Jones

    Swallowed Man by Edward Carey

    Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

    Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas

    The Did Bad Things by Lauren A. Forry

    Wow, No Thank You by Samantha Irby

    Find Jenny at The Bloggess!

    And have you checked out the Writing Class Radio podcast? Writing Class Radio is a podcast of a writing class.  If you love stories and get inspired by hearing other people tell their stories and want to learn a little bit about how to write your own stories, then this podcast is for you. Check it out here or search for it in your pod-player.

    Need a new gig in the writing world? Have you considered becoming a book coach, but never known how to get started or been able to envision what that might look like for YOU? Author Accelerator can help. Sign up at bookcoaches.com to get a free mini course on what book coaching is, who makes a good book coach, and how you can make money helping writers soar.

    This is a public episode. Get access to private episodes at amwriting.substack.com/subscribe

    • 38 min
    Episode 257 Become a #Better Faster Stronger Writer with Becca Syme

    Episode 257 Become a #Better Faster Stronger Writer with Becca Syme

    Who wouldn’t want to write better and faster? I can’t even imagine. Our guest this week is Becca Syme, creator of the Better Faster Academy, author of Dear Writer You Need to Quit as well as other books in the Quit series and the author of the MatchBaker series of cozy mysteries (with such glorious titles as “Vangie Vale and the Murdered Macaron”). Her superpower is helping writers find what they do best—their strengths—and do more of that instead of worrying about trying to “fix” the things we aren’t naturally good at.

    Links from the pod

    The Clifton Strengths Test

    The Ted Lasso blog post

    Better Faster Academy

    The Quitcast on YouTube

    #AmReading

    Becca:

    Mandy M. Roth

    Yasmine Galenorn

    Rajani LaRocca

    DEVS (TV show)

    Sarina: Unguarded by Jay Hogan (part of Sarina’s World of True North)

    KJ: The S**t No One Tells You About Writing (podcast)

    Have y’all heard about the Writing Class Radio podcast? Writing Class Radio is a podcast of a writing class.  If you love stories and get inspired by hearing other people tell their stories and want to learn a little bit about how to write your own stories, then this podcast is for you. Check it out here or search for it in your pod-player.

    KJ here, popping in to tell y’all about what happened for me with Author Accelerator two weeks ago. I needed a fresh “cold read” of a book that everyone close to me has now read about twelve times, so Author Accelerator set me up with a brand new coach. For $2k (yes, you have to pay for expertise) she read my 320 page manuscript in a weekend and answered all my questions (I had some very specific things I needed help with). I’m wrapping up a revision for my new editor now and I couldn’t be happier. I love that they could do that for me—and I still love the thought that maybe I could become that coach for someone else. If that turns you on, too, head to bookcoaches.com to learn more—or if you’re looking for editorial eyes, check in at authoraccelerator.com. (And reply to this email if you’d like to know more about my coach, who was great!)

    This is a public episode. Get access to private episodes at amwriting.substack.com/subscribe

    • 42 min
    Episode 256 Your Q's, A'd: Stealing ideas, asking for blurbs and the elusive "platform"

    Episode 256 Your Q's, A'd: Stealing ideas, asking for blurbs and the elusive "platform"

    It’s part one of… who knows? As we answer questions from our email and our Facebook group (if you’re not part of that, jump in HERE). We answered questions about working with experts, talking about WIPS (nonfiction and fiction, both), sucking up to influencers, being told your platform sucks, Goodreads etiquette and the always popular can you make a living writing (yes, but not quickly or easily).

    If your questions is still unanswered, no worries—we’ve got more in the queue for upcoming episodes. And feel free to ask us anything, via Facebook, by replying to this if you’ve received it as an email or by emailing TKPOD EMAIL LINK.

    #AmReading

    Jess: Yellow Bird by Sierra Crane Murdoch

    KJ: A Cup of Silver Linings by Karen Hawkins

    Jess here, to rave about all I continue to learn at The Great Courses Plus. I’ve been on a Jamestown kick, a Victoria kick, a great women in writing jag, and even traveled to Ireland recently in a travel video and again through a course on paganism in Europe. Who knows what I will be learning next week. Sometimes I listen to random classes just to see if I like the topic, and if not, who cares! Try another! You can get a month free if you use the link thegreatcoursesplus.com/amwriting. Go forth and learn something!

    This is a public episode. Get access to private episodes at amwriting.substack.com/subscribe

    • 39 min
    Episode 255 The Power of Writing as Play with Nalini Singh

    Episode 255 The Power of Writing as Play with Nalini Singh

    Nalini Singh is a romance writer. Or, she was a romance writer until she decided she wanted to write a thriller. Jess and Sarina had so much fun talking about genre hopping and writing the books that speak to you. There’s no requirement that we stay in our lanes, Nalini reminded us. We also took some time to lament our dearly missed in-person writers conferences and Nalini gushed about the joy of afternoon teas with her superfans.

    Sarina often points to Nalini’s email newsletter as one of the best she’s read, so we are linking to it here and you should absolutely sign up. She offers bonus content and glances behind the scenes of her life as a writer in New Zealand.

    Finally, Nalini reminds of the power of play in writing. She wrote her thrillers as exercises in play, something with no deadlines attached, and offers this sage advice:

    “Don’t be afraid to write the book that wants to be different from all the rest.”

    With that, go forth and play with your words, but go visit Nalini Singh’s website first.

    #AmReading

    Nalini: The entire J.D. Robb backlist

    Sarina: Darkroom by Kate Willoughby (part of Sarina’s World of True North)

    Jess: Simon v. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

    KJ here, popping in to tell y’all about what happened for me with Author Accelerator this week. I needed a fresh “cold read” of a book that everyone close to me has now read about twelve times, so Author Accelerator set me up with a brand new coach. For $2k (yes, you have to pay for expertise) she read my 320 page manuscript in a weekend and answered all my questions (I had some very specific things I needed help with). I’m wrapping up a revision for my new editor now and I couldn’t be happier. I love that they could do that for me—and I still love the thought that maybe I could become that coach for someone else. If that turns you on, too, head to bookcoaches.com to learn more—or if you’re looking for editorial eyes, check in at authoraccelerator.com.

    Jess here, to rave about all I continue to learn at The Great Courses Plus. I’ve been on a Jamestown kick, a Victoria kick, a great women in writing jag, and even traveled to Ireland recently in a travel video and again through a course on paganism in Europe. Who knows what I will be learning next week. Sometimes I listen to random classes just to see if I like the topic, and if not, who cares! Try another! You can get a month free if you use the link thegreatcoursesplus.com/amwriting. Go forth and learn something!

    This is a public episode. Get access to private episodes at amwriting.substack.com/subscribe

    • 35 min
    Episode 254 How to Prep a NonFiction Launch the Jess Way

    Episode 254 How to Prep a NonFiction Launch the Jess Way

    Jess’s new book, The Addiction Inoculation, launches April 6th, and we talk about all the things she’s done to set herself up for feeling like she’s done everything in her power to make this launch a good one. We discuss the differences between launching fiction and non-fiction, first book vs. second book, non-covid v. covid, when to hire a publicist, turning a book into a speaking career and (as always) more.

    #AmReading

    Sarina: Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade

    Jess: 1619 by James Horn (watching: Jamestown on Amazon Prime)

    KJ: You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey by Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar

    Spring is coming (slowly here in New England) and we’re excited about the whole idea of change and new beginnings and birds and grass and—stuff like that. What does that have to do with #AmWriting? Maybe it’s time for a new beginning for you as a book coach? Just imagine enrolling in the classes, meeting a cohort, learning all the ways coaches are editorial and emotional support for writers and then starting to line up your first clients. Students working with Author Accelerator say they begin to book authors before they’re even done with the course, and often end up being booked months in advance. Sound like fun? AGREED. Go to bookcoaches.com to learn more.

    And at the beginning of the episode, we listened to Jess talk about all the things she loves about The Great Courses – and we think you’ll like it too! Whether you want to learn ASL, deep dive into Russian literature, or study more about the history of getting to where we, as humans, are today; The Great Courses Plus has a topic for you. You can find out more by visiting https://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/amwriting.

    This is a public episode. Get access to private episodes at amwriting.substack.com/subscribe

    • 40 min
    Ep 253 From Breakout Article to Book: Writing about #Nothing and Everything with Olga Mecking

    Ep 253 From Breakout Article to Book: Writing about #Nothing and Everything with Olga Mecking

    Today's guest, Olga Mecking, is a freelance journalist who’s enjoyed exactly the version of success many freelancers dream about. She went from publishing her own work on her blog to pitching outside publications, gradually reaching bigger and bigger audiences until her article The Case for Doing Nothing in the New York Times became a breakout success and led to a book contract for her new book Niksen: Embracing the Dutch Art of Doing Nothing.

    I know you’ll enjoy this interview—we go deep into building a freelance career and the nuts and bolts of making that happen. We’re shaking things up a little this week, and I interviewed Olga solo, which made a nice break for me from the novel revisions I’m working on, or at least staring at, this week. One thing Olga and I talk about is what it was like to go from writing articles to writing an entire book—and part of the answer was, painful! But it’s still the dream for many writers. If you’ve got a book in you and you’re struggling to bring it out, you should absolutely check in with our sponsor, Author Accelerator, where they can match you up with a book coach who suits your work no matter where you are in the process. And if it’s the book coaching part of that that intrigues you, Author Accelerator also trains its book coaches in everything that goes into working with writers and running a book coaching business. You can find out more about that at bookcoaches.com/amwriting.

    Links from the Podcast

    Olga’s freelance portfolio

    Olga’s original piece in Woolly Magazine is no longer available online.

    Susan Maccarelli’s Beyond Your Blog podcast is also no longer available.

    Olga’s original article in the NYT: The Case for Doing Nothing

    Olga’s piece in Well Family: In the Country of Motherhood, Finding My Own Path

    Some great advice from Olga on freelancing at Forbes.com.

    Olga’s grandfather’s memoir of surviving the Holocaust, translated by Olga.

    #AmReading

    Olga:The Confession by Jessie Burton

    Oxford Key Mysteries by Lynn Morrison

    KJ:The Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey

    Follow Olga on Facebook, by joining her Facebook Group The Nikseneers or at her website: www.olgamecking.com

    And—love us, love our sponsors! If you’ve been dreaming of a book coaching career, you know you want the guidance of Jennie Nash and the crew at AuthorAccelerator. You’ll find everything you need at bookcoaches.com/amwriting.

    We hope you’ve heard Jess waxing rhapsodic about learning all the things over at The Great Courses Plus. Goodness knows what she’s learning about today….small business accounting? The Pacific Theater in WWII? Anything’s possible, because…Jess. If you’d like to learn something new today, you can get a free month of The Great Courses Plus at thegreatcoursesplus.com/amwriting.

    This is a public episode. Get access to private episodes at amwriting.substack.com/subscribe

    • 41 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
188 Ratings

188 Ratings

LaineyCameron ,

One of the very best writing podcasts

Such great discussion and commentary, well -produced, and so approachable. Truly one of the best podcasts out there for the writing community.

SJR2500 ,

Great podcast for writers

I love this podcast. KJ and Jess have such great rapport and I love how I can be interested about any topic related to writing and find multiple episodes to listen to. Always so much helpful info packed into each episode.

CT Hawkins ,

Terrific resource for writers!

I love this podcast and have learned a great deal from this professional writers.

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