15.26: Taking the Chance, with David Weber

Your Hosts: Brandon, Howard, and Dan with special guest David Weber

David Weber joined us at NASFIC to talk about the importance of risking failure on any path (especially a writer’s path) to success–whether you’re risking rejection in the submission process, or the possibility that the book you write won’t be the amazing thing you’ve been imagining.

If you’re currently feeling the need to be out of excuses, this episode might be exactly what you’re looking for.

Credits: This episode was recorded live at NASFIC by Dan Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson


Go home and roll up a character.

The Gordian Protocol, by David Weber and Jacob Holo

13 thoughts on “15.26: Taking the Chance, with David Weber”

  1. Great podcast. I needed to hear this in this stressful time. And I needed to hear someone unapologetically say “Write the damn book.” Cuz that’s what it all boils down to.

  2. I really struggled with this episode and barely made it through. I found it extremely didactic and, to be honest, arrogant. It’s possible that I would have received it slightly better if it had not been delivered by a white male. As a class, white men currently hold extreme privilege in all fields, including writing/publishing.

    1. You’re absolutely right.

      We’ve tried pretty hard to diversify the voices in our episodes over the last several years, but our NASFIC crew was Brandon, Dan, and Howard, so even before factoring in our guests, the episodes from that event are dominated by that demographic.

      Another issue: *any* lecture on taking chances is very likely to suffer from survivors’ bias. It’s not just that we weren’t hearing about risk-taking from a member of a marginalized demographic. It’s that we don’t hear from those who, despite doing everything right, never reach a position where we get to hear their voices at all.

      Thank you for voicing your concern here. I hope that you’ll keep listening, and not miss out on some of the very-unlike-Howard/Dan/Brandon voices queued for upcoming episodes. We do know that we ain’t all that, but it doesn’t hurt to be reminded.

      1. That’s a really thoughtful reply, Howard. Thanks! To be fair, you have diversified the cast a lot and your efforts in that regard have been appreciated and noticed! Of COURSE I will keep listening! ;) I generally listen on Sunday nights when the cast first comes out. If I miss it for some reason, I typically catch it by Monday. I have learned a ton from the podcast. I really appreciate you receiving my remarks so well and also taking the time to comment back. Two thumbs way up here!

      2. I came over to the website to voice the same concerns. I have been (and still am, one episode is not enough to scare me away) a faithful listener for many years, and this episode was such a disappointment. Usually I feel inspired after a show, but this one just left a bad taste in my mouth.

        There was so much absolutism and disregard for how things have changed drastically for new authors today. I have a feeling that if Mary or any of the other female/PoC voices had been on, they would have called him out on some of it, just like Mary did to Patrick Rothfuss when he presented his “brown-eyed beauty” example.

        One of the worst parts, for me, was the “fish needs to swim, birds need to fly” example. This is the kind of attitude that upholds bad status quos such as blaming poor people for being poor and upholding/increasing class divides.

        Apologies for only now leaving a comment now that something was negative. I’ll try better to also leave feedback when an episode har a particularly positive impact.

      3. I personally LOVED the episode, almost one of my faves. From where I am currently in my writing journey, the message hot its mark with the intent that I needed. Thanks for another inspiring episode

    2. Interesting point. And it never occurred to me (which goes to show the blindspots I’ve got). I have to say, it is spiffy to hear from more voices on this podcast.

  3. Probably one of the best podcasts because it goes to the heart of the problem for writing – sitting down and doing the work.

  4. I know this episode was about failure in writing terms, but it came at exactly the right time in my life. Recovering from traumatic personal failure. You easily could substitute the writing terms for relationship stuff and it would fit. When you fail, you only move forward in life when you break down why you failed, and how you can not do this again in the future. Yeah it’s hard to write that book, or ask that person you’re interested in out. Failure is possible, and you likely won’t succeed if you don’t try and fail until you finally succeed.

    I’m so glad I discovered this podcast 6 years ago.

  5. At SpikeCon, aka NASFIC, Brandon, Howard, and Dan listened to David Weber talk about taking a chance, taking the risk of failing at your dream to be successful. Storytellers, the chapter where it stinks, the golden book, characterization, voice, verbs, dialogue, sentences… There’s a lot of great advice, and you can read about it now in the transcript in the archives!

  6. Oh this was a good one! Straight to the point, but supportive. I needed someone to tell me to give it a go and David’s confidence that a good story will be published eventually is very encouraging. Will pay more attention to my choice of verbs from now on.

Comments are closed.