114 episodes

Welcome to Dogs are Smarter Than People with NYT and internationally bestselling quirky human author Carrie Jones, her slightly more normal husband, Shaun, and their dogs. Life tips. Writing tips. Dog noises. It's all here. Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/carriejonesbooks/support

Dogs Are Smarter Than People via Anchor Carrie Jones

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

Welcome to Dogs are Smarter Than People with NYT and internationally bestselling quirky human author Carrie Jones, her slightly more normal husband, Shaun, and their dogs. Life tips. Writing tips. Dog noises. It's all here. Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/carriejonesbooks/support

    How To Invest In The Most Important Thing In Your Writing Career

    How To Invest In The Most Important Thing In Your Writing Career

    Here’s the spoiler:
    The Most Important Thing You Have In Your Writing Career Is You

    We know! We know! You were probably hoping for a cool app, or the perfect book about plot beats, but nope. It’s you.

    You can’t write if you don’t exist. You write best when you’re doing pretty fine.

    So here are the ways to actually invest in yourself.
    Stay healthy for your brain
    It’s pretty hard to write when you feel like crap because when your brain is all broken. As Harvard Healthbeat says, “First it is important to remember that you need a healthy body to have a healthy brain.”

    How do you do that? According to Harvard:

    Step 1: Eat a plant-based diet

    Step 2: Exercise regularly

    Step 3: Get enough sleep

    Step 4: Manage your stress

    Step 5: Nurture social contacts

    Step 6: Continue to challenge your brain


    Stay happy or at least okay. Relationships matter.

    Stay happy or at least okay. Relationships matter.
    Your relationships with other people are really important. They help you evolve. There’s a thing called the dependency paradox.

    As Kyle Benson writes,

    “Our partners powerfully affect our ability to thrive in life. They influence how we feel about ourselves, what we believe we are capable of, and they ultimately impact our attempts to achieve our dreams.

    “Even Mr. Self-Actualization (Abraham Maslow) himself argued that without bonds of love and affection with others, we cannot go on to achieve our full potential as human beings.

    “Once we choose a partner, there is no question about whether dependency exists or not. It always does.

    “Countless studies show that once we become intimately attached to another human being, the two of us form one physiological being.
    “Our partner regulates our blood pressure, our heart rate, our breathing, and the level of hormones in our blood. The emphasis of independence in adult relationships does not hold water from a biological perspective.”

    There’s a link to Kyle’s post in our notes and it’s just so good, but the part that really rings true for writers and other creatives is this:

    “When a partner is supportive, we are more willing to explore and our self-esteem and confidence gets a boost, which allows us to go after our deepest desires. This not only improves the quality of our lives, but it also deepens and enhances our satisfaction within the relationship and our physical health.

    “But as many of us know, sometimes our exploration leads to failure, rejection, and painful experiences. When these bad events happen, our biological programming creates anxiety that leads us to seek proximity (physically and/or psychologically) with the person we love.

    “If they are supportive during this stage, our stress will go down and we cope with our problems faster, which ultimately leads us to overcome the problem and continue to go after our deepest desires.”

    So find those supportive partners and get rid of the rest!

    The rest of the hints are over here! 

    SHOUT OUT!
    The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.


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    • 23 min
    Make Your Books Like Wedgies and Commitment is Not a Dirty Word or Is It?

    Make Your Books Like Wedgies and Commitment is Not a Dirty Word or Is It?

    Seriously. The best books are like wedgies. You can’t ignore them. They get right up inside you and into places they aren’t supposed to go.

    And sometimes it’s hard to get them out.

    This week Carrie talked to a lot of her writers about how if you don’t long to write your scenes, your readers probably aren’t going to long to read those scenes either.

    And recently the New York Times talked to Steve Martin (actor, writer, comedian) about books. He’s allegedly addicted to audiobooks, which is cool.

    He said, “I’m also a sucker for the magic of opening paragraphs. I’ll never understand what the sorcery is in literature and movies that engages you immediately and makes it impossible to look away.”

    A wedgie engages you immediately.

    And a book can do that too, sometimes. But sometimes it’s not like a wedgie; it’s more like a bad 8-hour Zoom meeting about land use ordinances and setback requirements in a town you’ll never visit.

    So how do you keep your book from being boring?

    You wedgify it. Yes, we made up that word.

    HOW DO YOU WEDGIFY A BOOK?

    You go all in. Make the conflict as big as possible.
    You have dynamic scenes where things happen. Not just the character’s meandering thoughts about Zoom meetings.
    You make us care. Wedgies matter because your bum matters.

    WRITING TIP OF THE POD
    Go all in with your stories. Make the conflict (internal or external) huge, presidential huge. But more than that, make us care about who the conflict is happening to.



    DOG TIP FOR LIFE
    Won't fit here! Go check it out here

    But it's all about commitment. Shaun gets testy! 

    SHOUT OUT!
    The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.


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    • 24 min
    Is Passion a Bad Choice? A Job A Career or a Calling.

    Is Passion a Bad Choice? A Job A Career or a Calling.

    This week during the blitz of U.S. election news, there was an article gaining some traction called “Seven Life Lessons Everyone Should Learn Sooner Rather Than Later” by Nicholas Cole who Carrie wants to call Nicholas Cage because she is old like that.

    Carrie has a tendency to hate these kind of articles because she thinks they are trite and insipid.

    But his first point hit home. It was, “If you want to ‘do what you love,’ you have to work three times as hard as everyone else.”

    N.Cole“Most people do not get to spend their lives doing whatever it is they love. Instead, they do what they are told they should do or what their parents or town or friends or peers suggest that they do. Or they simply pursue nothing close to their heart at all.”

    Is this you?

    Do you love something?

    Do you do it?

    He said, “But if you want to do what you love, you need to see that as a privilege, not an expectation.”

    Which is interesting. What does that mean, right?

    Carrie does what she loves. But to be fair, Carrie loves everything she does whether it’s being a YMCA gymnastics coach, a church secretary, a student, a newspaper editor.

    “I love all the things,” Carrie says.

    Cole never says anything about his assertion that you have to work three times harder to do what you love. And we're not sure where that comes from because he doesn’t source anything. It might just be a generalization, but we wanted to make sure.

    WORST CAREER ADVICE EVER?
    Despite an exhaustive internet search of five minutes, we couldn’t find anything that backed Cole’s assertion, but we did find an article by Jeff Haden, which said the worst career advice is to do what you love.

    He quotes Cal Newport, Georgetown University professor and author of So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Search For Work You Love.

    Cal Newport"Telling someone to follow their passion--from an entrepreneur's point of view--is disastrous. That advice has probably resulted in more failed businesses than all the recessions combined... because that's not how the vast majority of people end up owning successful businesses.
    "Passion is not something you follow," he adds. "Passion is something that will follow you as you put in the hard work to become valuable to the world."

    According to Haden, passions are a bad choice because:

    They take time to cultivate.
    It’s rare to actually have a career passion.
    Passion is a side effect of mastery at something.
    Working hard and improving your skills is more important than finding the perfect job.

    Haden“Roughly speaking, work can be broken down into a job, a career, or a calling. A job pays the bills; a career is a path towards increasingly better work; a calling is work that is an important part of your life and a vital part of your identity. (Clearly most people want their work to be a calling.)
    “According to research, what is the strongest predictor of a person seeing her work as a calling?
    “The number of years spent on the job. The more experience you have the more likely you are to love your work.
    “Why? The more experience you have the better your skills and the greater your satisfaction in having those skills. The more experience you have the more you can see how your work has benefited others. And you've had more time to develop strong professional and even personal relationships with some of your employees, vendors, and customers.”

    For the rest of the podcast notes (which don't fit here), check out www.carriejonesbooks.blog


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    • 24 min
    Be Brilliant About Money When It Scares You

    Be Brilliant About Money When It Scares You

    ou will find a lot of popular content all about how to make money. There are a lot of random blog articles about HOW I MADE 8 TRILLION DOLLARS IN PASSIVE INCOME A MONTH or 22 AWESOME PASSIVE INCOME IDEAS.

    Which is lovely. But a lot of us writers are thinking, “What are these even talking about?”

    What Is Passive Income?
    Passive income is money that happens and builds from things that already exist. They can be from investments (like you rent a room in your house or an entire house or you open a savings account or CDs). It can also come from the investment of effort and time in something you build. This could be a YouTube channel or your eBook once it’s up and running. It could be affiliate marketing or selling prints of your art.

    What is Active Income?
    Active income is money that someone pays you when you do something for them that’s a service. It can be your salary at the grocery store. It could be an hourly wage at a bookstore. It could be a commission. It could be a tip.

    So what’s all this have to do with writing?
    According to a study by the Authors Guild, the average full-time writer’s median pay was $20,300 in 2017. That’s full-time. For most of us that’s not a big ton of money. There’s no real standardization of pay and that number doesn’t account for pay discrepencies for sex and race.

    We go way more into this over on the blog with helpful hints.  

    SHOUT OUT!
    The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.

    HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED
    Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast as we talk about random thoughts, writing advice and life tips. We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

    HANG OUT WITH US!
    HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER? JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN.

    CARRIE’S TEACHABLE CLASS!
    I have a quick, pre-recorded Teachable class designed to make you a killer scene writer in just one day. It’s fun. It’s fast. And you get to become a better writer for just $25, which is an amazing deal.


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    • 26 min
    Writing Pet Peeves and Why You Don't Want Writing Tips From Stephen King

    Writing Pet Peeves and Why You Don't Want Writing Tips From Stephen King

    Carrie’s number one writing pet peeve is when authors write,

    "I thought to myself."
    Seriously. You are always thinking to yourself, sweet writer, unless you’re telepathically communicating to a zombie hamster and then all bets are off.

    But the thing is that I, Carrie, get why authors like myself do this. It’s because:


    We’re worried that the reader isn’t going to get what we’re saying.
    We’re padding our daily word count totals for NaNoWriMo, national novel writing month where you try to write a 50,000-word novel in November.

    But here’s the thing. Your readers are smart or smart enough to know that when your characters are thinking, they are doing that to themselves and not anyone else.

    Cut those words, sweeties. Trust the readers. Trust your writing.

    If you say, “I think” or “I thought,” everyone knows it’s to yourself… unless, you know, telepathic zombie hamsters.

    So how about you? What are your writing pet peeves?

    In the podcast we also talk about the "me and my" issue and how you really don't want to say, "I am nauseous." 

    WRITING TIP OF THE POD
    Trust your readers. Don’t write down to them. Believe in your words.

    DOG TIP FOR LIFE
    You don’t need to be insecure. Be proud of what you’re doing, who you are and what you’re putting down for the world to hear.

    SHOUT OUT!
    The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.

    HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED
    Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast as we talk about random thoughts, writing advice and life tips. We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

    Thanks so much for being one of the 252,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

    CHILL WITH US
    HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER? 

    JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN!

    NEW BOOK ALERT!
    My little novella (It’s spare. It’s sad) is coming out October 1 and if you pre-order it now, you can get the Ebook for .99 before the price goes up to $2,99. It is a book of my heart and I am so worried about it, honestly.

    There’s a bit more about it here.





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    • 29 min
    ARE YOU TENSE? Getting the Tension Out of Your Life and Into Your Story

    ARE YOU TENSE? Getting the Tension Out of Your Life and Into Your Story

    This is a continuation of this week's blogs about adding tension and suspense in your writing. It's a bit short today. Sorry. Or maybe that's a good thing....

    Here goes:

    Is My Voice a Little Tense?

    Tension in writing can also come from your voice.

    Not your speaking voice, but your writing voice, your style and your pacing.

    Author Justine Larabeister has a series of posts on her blogs about how she alternates action-packed scenes/chapters with more introspective scenes.

    Author William Reynolds calls it a roller coaster ride and says, “It works for pacing your writing as well as your scenes.”


    I’ve talked about this before especially when I critique things. Sentence length and sound impact the reader’s experience of action and introspection.

    While we’re having nice introspective wonderings about things to give the reader a break and/or a build-up we can have long, winding sentences wondering if anyone is actually reading this blog post at all and we can also natter on about it for a bit with no white space, and with long-long paragraphs.

    But…

    Action comes.

    And as Reynolds points out:

    “Sentences are short.
    Paragraphs too.
    Maybe there isn’t even time to –
    Get the picture?”

    WRITING TIP OF THE POD
    Short sentences. Short paragraphs. White space. Action verbs. That's what makes it tense, baby.

    DOG TIP FOR LIFE
    Don't be tense. Don't add tension to other people's lives. Know how your presence makes other people feel.

    HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER? JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN.


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    • 19 min

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