Writing Excuses 9.44: Getting in the Writer’s Mindset with Peter Beagle

We were thrilled to have Peter Beagle join us for an episode, recorded live at Westercon 67. We talked about the writer’s mindset, and how to get into it. Peter schooled Brandon before the episode even began, and then proceeded to school all the rest of us.

Peter is an absolute delight to listen to. We hope you enjoy this episode as much as we did.



Write about someone who is an aspiring something. Write the scene in which your character makes the transition from “aspiring” to “doing.”

Four Years, Five Seasons, by Peter S. Beagle, narrated by Peter S. Beagle

9 thoughts on “Writing Excuses 9.44: Getting in the Writer’s Mindset with Peter Beagle”

  1. Ok, 2 comments.

    First, the only book of Peter’s that I’ve read is The Last Unicorn, which I didn’t really care for, but I’m going to remedy that as soon as I can.

    Secondly, I don’t know if it’s the slight echo that his mic had, but I really think that if you had a voice like Peter’s talking to you and telling you to calm down and relax whenever you’re having a bad day, that you would immediately feel a lot more relaxed, and you would know that everything was going to be ok.

  2. Oh hey this sounds like a lovely podcast to listen to during the last week before nanowrimo. Presumably that was done on purpose? Looking forward to it.

  3. Mr. Beagle needs to play God in every movie ever. Sorry, Morgan Freeman.

    I don’t know how *not* to be in the writer’s mindset. Which is cool. I also have a supportive family (my Dad gave up on trying to make me a lawyer as soon as he saw I had no interest or ability in conventional education). Adding to that, my friends are almost all musicians or artists of some stripe, so we all wind up supporting each other and, wherever possible, collaborating to some degree.

    This is a really nice, feel-good podcast and is really good for encouragement if needed.

  4. I thought this was a great episode with Mr. Beagle offering practical advice and encouragement in the straight-forward way that New Yorkers have with the attendant humor (what do you call New York humor sensibilities droll, clever? Not sure but it does stand out to me).

  5. I’m no longer an aspiring novelist because I dropped the aspiration alltogether, deciding to pursue different artistic venues.

    I’m still an aspiring webcomic writer, because …. duh ….

    On the plus side: Yesterday, I dropped the “aspiring” from “provocative praise provider “, when I finally launched my blog.

    Even if my hit count is still a low-digit number, it felt incredibly rewarding to see that I got views from three foreign contries (one of them is the US, mind you; I live in Germany).

  6. This podcast gave me an interesting perspective. I am a professional technical and nonfiction writer. Although I have numerous published articles and one published work-made-for-hire science book to my name, I’ve always felt a bit tainted by that as I have begun to write fantasy. Do you think this background will be an asset or a hindrance when trying to break in as a professional fantasy writer? Should it be something I mention in a query letter, for example?

    Thanks for another great podcast! I’m trying to get caught up with past episodes as well.

    1. Asset. You know how to write clearly, and you know how to work with editors. Your network of tech-writing folks might not do you much good when it comes to connecting you with a publisher for your fantasy work, but they’re not holding you back, either.

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