Category Archives: Career and Lifestyle

These episodes talk, at least in part, about how to manage your career as a writer, and how to keep writing.

15.37: Writing Under Deadlines

Your Hosts: Brandon, Victoria, Dan, and Howard

What’s it like to write under a deadline which has been set for your project by someone else? What strategies might help you bring the writing in under the deadline?  Can you train yourself to be ready for this?

Those are all good questions. Hopefully we won’t run out of time to come up with answers…

Credits: This episode was recorded by Dan Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson.

Play

Experiment with a “stay on target” time management tool, like the Forest focus app, or something similar.

Overly Sarcastic Productions (YouTube channel)

15.36: Collaboration, with Shannon and Dean Hale

Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, and Dan, with special guests Shannon and Dean Hale

We’ve had several discussions about collaboration, and we’ve learned that the answer to “how do you collaborate with other authors” is different with each collaboration team we talk to.

Shannon and Dean Hale have written fifteen books together, and in this episode they talk to us about how they do it.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Joseph Meacham, and mastered by Alex Jackson

Play

“Picture-word” game, which you kind of need to listen to Dean describe.

Kind of a Big Deal, by Shannon Hale

15.32: Short Story Markets

Your Hosts: Dan, Mary Robinette, and Lari, with special guest Erin Roberts

Erin Roberts joins us for a discussion of short story markets—a topic which is very susceptible to “churn” because of the way short story markets come and go. We cover how to research and evaluate the various markets based on what you need from publication, and what you might reasonably expect from them.

Credits: This episode was recorded remotely during the Great Isolation, and mastered by Alex Jackson.

Play

Pick a couple of contemporary short fiction writers. Track their publication history, and get a feel for how their writing career has developed.

Nebula Awards Showcase 2019, edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

15.31: The Agent in the Room

Your Hosts: Dan, Dongwon, Piper, and Howard

You had questions for agents, Dongwon has answers!

  • How do you go about becoming an agent?
  • How do an agent and author work together?
  • At what point do agent and author talk about the “sticky stuff?”

Credits: This episode was recorded by Bert Grimm, and mastered by Alex Jackson

Play

Make a list of the questions, especially the hard ones, you want to ask prospective agents.

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

Play

Go home and roll up a character.

The Gordian Protocol, by David Weber and Jacob Holo

15.20: Mental Wellness and Writing

Your Hosts: Brandon, Victoria, Dan, and Howard

In this episode we’ll be talking about the things we do to stay creative, productive, healthy, and happy. For the purposes of this discussion, “mental wellness” is not about coping with mental illness, it’s about self-care.

Liner Notes: Here’s the gridded lifestyle tracker for the homework, lifted directly from Victoria’s Twitter feed.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Dan Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson.

Play

Get some paper and some colored pencils, and create a lifestyle tracker.

Lab Girl, by Hope Jahren

15.18: Finding a Community, with Shauna Hoffman

Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, Dan, and Lari¹, with special guest Shauna Hoffman

Many Writing Excuses listeners (especially WXR alumni) already know Shauna Hoffman. She joins us to talk about how to deal with the fact that we, as authors, often feel isolated.

The listener question that sparked this episode: “How do you keep the pressure off when you feel alone?”

How indeed? If this feels timely, well, some of that is coincidence. And some, of course, is not².

Credits: This episode was recorded remotely³, using a variety of VOIP tools, and was mastered by Alex Jackson. 


¹ Larissa Helena is joining us as a guest host. She has worked as a literary agent, a translator, and a rights manager, and we look forward to hearing more from her this season.
² Yes, the irony of this being the first of our recorded-during-sparkling-isolation episodes is something we’re leaning into.
³ This is the first airing of a Writing Excuses episode in which the participants not physically present in the same room. We suspect it won’t be the last, and that we’ll get better at it. 

 

Play

Make a list of people you can reach out to this week—people who might inspire you, help you feel like part of a community.

Guy Free Working on Me, by Shauna Hoffman

15.14: Agent Query Trenches

Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Howard

The title of this episode comes to us from listener questions along the lines of “what do you do when you’re ‘in the trenches’ querying agents?” Our answers, predictably, have almost nothing to do with actual trenches.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Joseph Meacham, and mastered by Alex Jackson

Play

Read some 1-star reviews of your favorite books

Seven Deadly Shadows, by Courtney Alameda & Valynne E. Maetani, narrated by Traci Kato-Kiriyama