245 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 amwriting.substack.com

    • Books
    • 4.8 • 179 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 240 #Editing for the Best Version of Your Vision with Tiffany Yates Martin

    Episode 240 #Editing for the Best Version of Your Vision with Tiffany Yates Martin

    Who wouldn’t want a step-by-step process for revision? In her book Intuitive Editing, this week’s guest, developmental editor Tiffany Yates Martin, lays out an approach that will help keep you organized, although sadly there is no magic wand involved. We talked to her about the big picture questions she asks before diving into someone else’s work:

    Is the main story question clear?

    Do the characters drive the story?

    Do we/the characters end up somewhere different than where we began?

    Where does the momentum flag (because it will, somewhere) and why?

    Then we deep dive into questions of finding objectivity in your own work, micro-suspense, suspense vs. tension, writing manuals and—most important of all—how important it is to know that all first drafts are terrible and revision is part of the work.

    A few links from the pod

    If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland

    How to Grow a Novel by Sol Stein

    Stein on Writing by Sol Stein

    *FREE* Editorial Summit - December 6th

    #AmReading

    Tiffany: Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

    Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano

    The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

    KJ: Ties that Tether by Jane Igharo

    Sarina: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

    Sarina and KJ have news!

    The Chicken Sisters is out! Signed copies here, Bookshop.org here, Amazon here—and if you order from your local indie and fill out this form, I’ll mail you a signed bookplate.

    Sarina's novel Bittersweet, the first in her USA Today bestselling series, is currently free at all vendors. Farmers make the Earth move. Amazon: https://geni.us/FreeBittersweet

    Apple: http://geni.us/BsIbooks

    B&N: http://geni.us/bsbreach

    Kobo: http://geni.us/bskreach

    Google: http://geni.us/bsgreach

    Book-gift shopping? Grab KJ’s 12 Days of Books to Give (and Get) list here for everything you need for your Austen-loving brother, your thriller-hound mom and the friend who craves a cozy escape.

    Did you know supporters of the #AmWriting podcast get a little something extra weekly? Whether it’s a Writer Top Five like Emails to Send During Your Book Launch, a #Minisode like Should I Hire a Publicist?, or one of our new product reviews and other things we’re inspired to share, bonus stuff is ALWAYS dropping into their inboxes and pod-players. To get more #AmWriting for just a few bucks a month, click the button.

    And have you checked out our sponsors? If listening to Tiffany makes you think, that is my total dream job, you need to head to bookcoaches.com/amwriting to learn more about the side gig that could supply much-needed consistency to your writing income or become your full-time passion.

    And have you tried Dabble writing software yet? If you’ve been thinking about testing out a tool to go beyond the ordinary word processor and make your work easier, this is the one we recommend. We invited Dabble to sponsor the podcast because, in short, it’s awesome. It’s easy to use, it works offline and on, it’s always synced up and always available on all the platforms and it makes finding your way around in your manuscript easy and even fun—and it’s designed to minimize distractions and keep you going. Find out more, and do a free trial, at dabblewriter.com.

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

    • 44 min
    BONUS EPISODE--Shiny Thing Syndrome: KJ & Jennie Nash discuss career goals, side gigs and distractions

    BONUS EPISODE--Shiny Thing Syndrome: KJ & Jennie Nash discuss career goals, side gigs and distractions

    Gang, it’s a #AmWriting Bonus episode that I think you’re going to love: Shiny Thing Syndrome. Jennie Nash and I I originally planned to get together to discuss whether I (it’s KJ here) might want to do some book coaching in 2021, but we ended up talking way more broadly about finding your why, career priorities, money and passion and fame and all the reasons we think we want to do something versus the good reasons for actually doing it (or not).  

    This first aired as a Facebook Live conversation (and you can find the video in the #AmWriting Facebook group if you’re interested), so you’ll miss the usual intros and the voices of Sarina and Jess, and you will get some waffling around with the tech at the beginning at about minute 50, when Jennie’s video dropped. But we pulled it back together, and it’s a great conversation for those of us who always finding ourselves with more ideas and excitement than time and energy. Hope you enjoy it.  

    Sarina and KJ have news!

    The Chicken Sisters is out tomorrow, 12/1. Today’s the last day to pre-order! Signed copies here, Bookshop.org here, Amazon here—and if you order from your local indie and fill out this form, I’ll mail you a signed bookplate.

    Sarina's novel Bittersweet, the first in her USA Today bestselling series, is currently free at all vendors. Farmers make the Earth move. Amazon: https://geni.us/FreeBittersweet

    Apple: http://geni.us/BsIbooks

    B&N: http://geni.us/bsbreach

    Kobo: http://geni.us/bskreach

    Google: http://geni.us/bsgreach

    Book-gift shopping? Grab KJ’s 12 Days of Books to Give (and Get) list here for everything you need for your Austen-loving brother, your thriller-hound mom and the friend who craves a cozy escape.

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

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Episode 239 #Writer Gift Extravaganza

    Episode 239 #Writer Gift Extravaganza

    It’s the gifts episode! Here are the links you’re looking for:

    KJ:

    Redbubble ❄️ Stamp blocks ❄️ Stamp blanks and stencils ❄️ Frixion Pens ❄️ Leuchterm planner

    Jess:

    Sarina’s Socks ❄️ Half Broke by Ginger Gaffney (for KJ, but Jess loved it, too!) ❄️ Fillion planner cover by Little Mountain Bindery ❄️ Jess’s favorite sticky tabs ❄️ Pens by Schneider ❄️ Sarina’s stamp with the kinda-sorta True North Series three pine tree logo ❄️ The “Begin” mug Jess wants a case of.

    Sarina:

    Hedgehog Pencil Holder ❄️ Post-its that fit over planner months ❄️ Corkicle (it doesn’t come with the sticker, sorry… but actually I (KJ) have extras and if you asked me I could probably mail you one if I don’t get too many asks! Just reply to this email and I will see it.)

    #AmReading

    Jess: Scarcity: The New Science of Having Less and How It Defines Our Lives by Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir

    KJ: The Other Bennet Sister by Janice Hadlow

    Sarina: The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes by Xio Axelrod

    Zowie! Thanks for listening. If you want to check out our last gift episodes (and guides), click the years: 2019 2018 2017.

    If you’ve got other ideas we should know about, share them in the #AmWriting Facebook group.

    And if you’d like to subscribe to the shownotes email or support the podcast, click the button.

    To give a subscription as a gift, click THIS button!

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

    • 40 min
    Episode 238 Turning #Romance on Its Head with Lyssa Kay Adams

    Episode 238 Turning #Romance on Its Head with Lyssa Kay Adams

    Every writer craves that high concept idea that leads to the breakout book, or in this case breakout series. For Lyssa Kay Adams, it came from that joke women often make about wishing their male partners read romance—and a moment in 2016 when she “just wanted to live in a world full of men who get it.” She created The Bromance Book Club, about a group of men who read romance to understand their relationships and their partners. That became her first novel, quickly followed by Undercover Bromance and Crazy Stupid Bromance, and we three have read and loved them all. We talk indie v. trad, breaking out, building a series, writing diverse worlds and more.

    Links from the Pod

    Jason Rogers’ Men’s Health article

    Heated Rivalry by Rachel Reid

    Kobo Libra

    Overdrive

    #AmReading

    Lyssa: Just a Heartbeat Away by Cara Bastone

    Snapped by Alexa Martin

    Sarina: Again the Magic by Lisa Kleypas

    Jess: The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder

    Crazy Stupid Bromance

    KJ: Ties That Tether by Jane Igharo

    All Stirred Up by Brianne Moore

    Speaking of romance, we love you, our listeners. Our sponsorships pay for the production and hosting of the podcast, but you support the time and work we put into being there for you every week, both by following us, reviewing the pod and keeping in touch, and with your financial contributions. #AmWriting supporters get a weekly bonus in the form of a minisode, a Writer Top Five or a little backstage burst of whatever the three of us are talking about that week (like Sarina’s new product review plans. Want in on that? Click here.

    And we love our sponsors! Check out Dabble Writing Software if you haven’t already, and visit BookCoaches.com/amwriting to learn more about Author Accelerator’s amazing book coach training (hello, holiday gift that keeps on giving) or for their free book coach matching service.

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

    • 40 min
    Episode 237: #Reporting from the Economic Trenches with Lauren Sandler

    Episode 237: #Reporting from the Economic Trenches with Lauren Sandler

    It’s a new #AmWriting episode!

    There’s a style of creative nonfiction in which a gifted writer tells someone else’s story. The story of a house being built, or a life in the wilderness—or, in the case of Lauren Sandler, the story of a young single mother in search of housing during her first year of motherhood. Lauren’s subject—a smart, driven young woman caught up in the system because of her own history, and desperate for not just housing but an education, a career, and love and a life of her choosing—was unlikely to ever find a way to tell her own story without Lauren’s help.

    “She chose me as much as I chose her,” says Lauren. We talk to Lauren about how that relationship was formed and how, although the act of observing something changes it, Lauren tried to let Camilla’s story unfold as though she weren’t there, even while her own daughter was demanding to know why they didn’t just let Camilla sleep on the couch. If you’re interested in long-form journalism, or just in the process of embedding yourself into someone else’s life, you’ll love this episode.

    Links from the Pod:

    Lauren’s latest book This Is All I Got: A New Mother's Search for Home

    Find Lauren on her website: www.laurenosandler.com

    #AmReading

    Lauren: The Days of Abandonment by Elena Ferrante

    The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante

    KJ: The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins

    Jess: Goodnight Beautiful by Aimee Molloy

    Thanks for letting us into your inbox. If you’ve got questions, comments, episode ideas, head to the #AmWriting Facebook group or email us at amwritingpodcast@gmail.com.

    Want more #AmWriting? Support the podcast with just a click of the button below for less than $2 an episode, and get weekly Writer Top Fives like Top 5 Mindfulness Tricks For Better Writing Sessions or Minisodes like How an Editor Considers an Essay.

    Have you checked out Author Accelerator’s Book Coach training at bookcoaches.com/amwriting? Seriously, if every time you hear us talk about book coaching, you think to yourself—hey, I could do that!—you should. They have great programs for fiction, non-fiction and making your side-gig full time—and they offer tuition help for BIPOC coaches as well—more info on that at bookcoaches.com/equity.

    And if you haven’t tried Dabble yet, YOU MUST. Just go play with the storyline building tools. Trust us.

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

    • 44 min
    Episode 236 #Shipping Your Creative Work with Seth Godin (Take Two)

    Episode 236 #Shipping Your Creative Work with Seth Godin (Take Two)

    MADNESS! We don’t know how, but somehow this went live without audio at midnight. So here it is again for you subscribers, with —the actual podcast episode.

    We don’t have a lot of repeat guests, but Seth Godin can come on the podcast any time he wants. Seth is a fountain of wisdom about writing, pitching, selling, and building your audience, and his new book, The Practice: Shipping Creative Work, is a great addition to his (substantial) body of work.

    Seth Godin is not only the master of the short pithy book of helpful advice, he’s the master of dishing out that advice straight from his brain to yours, as well. He does not have to stop and re-frame. He does not meander about his point. Not one bit. He’s a fountain of quick sentences that wallop you upside the head with their truth and clarity and demand to be written down. Here are just a few from this interview, which you won’t want to miss:

    “Process saves us from the poverty of our intentions"

    “There is never enough reassurance from outsiders” 

    “Don’t let your audience expect another greatest hits album every time”

    “Be the boss of the process”

    “Creativity is an act of leadership”

    Jess, Sarina and Seth talked about getting the work out there to your readers. That’s it. Shipping the work. Sure, we also talked about how it gets done because we always do (and Seth reveals Isaac Asimov’s advice for getting 400 books written) but in the end, the work has to end up with your readers.

    We did not talk books this week because we were on a tight schedule and Seth had so much wisdom to share, we skipped it. However, Seth recommended the documentary Double Take about the sculptor Elizabeth King, who is quoted in The Practice: “Process saves us from the poverty of our intentions.”

    Find more about Jess here, Sarina here and about KJ here and don’t forget our sponsors and partners, Author Accelerator’s Book Coach training at bookcoaches.com/amwriting and DabbleWritingSoftware. They’re hand-picked because we LIKE them. So check them out.

    Finally—KJ here—Obviously, with The Chicken Sisters coming out in December, book marketing has been on my mind.

    One thing I learned in the last go-round when How to Be a Happier Parent came out is that it’s a bad idea to do it alone. There’s no way I could have done the whole launch by myself and you know, still had all my faculties intact.

    One piece of help I got was taking a course called How to Launch a Bestseller from Tim Grahl, a book marketing phenom who’s had dozens of clients on the bestseller list. He pushes my buttons a little—because no matter what anyone says, you CANNOT make a bestseller yourself and to believe you can is to set yourself up for failure—but his advice is solid.

    Another piece of help I got was from Sue Campbell, a book launch coach who helped me execute some of the monster-sized launch plan I put together based on Tim’s course. We had fun together and did some really fun things, like a quiz (find your parenting mantra).

    Sue was actually personally trained by Tim and now she’s launching a really cool thing.

    It’s a monthly membership that will give authors the resources they need to build an audience and the opportunity to pick Sue’s brain on a weekly basis. 

    Basically, Sue’s the perfect person to help you set and reach your goals for your author career.

    Membership in the club includes:

    Direct access to Sue Campbell, Book Launch Certified Coach and her team at Pages & Platforms team at a fraction of the cost to hire them privately.

    Mindset coaching to help you break through your marketing block and find your “clean selling” approach.

    Help with goal setting and attainment.

    Specialized coaching and workshops to get the knowledge and skills you need to market well and avoid wasting time and money.

    24/7 access to a community of

    • 39 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
179 Ratings

179 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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