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.

16.3: Publishing Pitfalls

Your Hosts: Dan, Erin, Howard, and Brandon

Erin Roberts joins us for our third installment in Brandon’s business-of-writing series. In this episode we’re covering pitfalls and common problems—including some predatory practices—for you to be on the lookout for while you develop your career as a writer.

Credits: This episode was recorded my Marshall Carr, and mastered by Alex Jackson

Liner Notes: “Accountabilibuddy,” which is written here so Howard can remember it.

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Writer Beware, w/ Victoria Strauss and SFWA

16.02: Publishers Are Not Your Friends

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

It sounds like a mean thing to say, but it’s not a wrong thing to say. A publisher is a corporation, and a corporation doesn’t have friends. It has contractual relationships. We can make friends with people who work for publishers, but those are not the same thing.

Liner Notes: here is an archived copy of Dave Brady’s essay about “company loyalty”

Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, and mastered by Alex Jackson

 

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Business research! Make a list of publishers who are releasing new books by new authors in your space. Watch for editor and author names.

Active Memory, by Dan Wells

16.01: Your Career is Your Business

Your Hosts: Dan, Mary Robinette, and Brandon

Welcome to 2021, and Season 16 of Writing Excuses. This year we’re dividing the year into “master classes” or “intensive courses.”

We’re kicking it off with Brandon’s episodes, which are all about the business of writing, and the first of those is this one!

So… your career is your business. In this episode we’ll talk about how that mindset—this is a business—informs our other activities, and how valuable it can be to get our heads in the right place early on.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, and mastered by Alex Jackson

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So… GOOD OMENS. Read the book. Watch the series. Consider what sorts of decisions Neil Gaiman made to adapt the novel to a new medium.

Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

15.49: Maintaining Passion for a Story, with special guest Mahtab Narsimhan

Your Hosts: Dan, Howard, Mahtab, and Brandon

This episode comes from a question we’re often asked: “how do you stay excited about a story you’re working on?” We talk about how we maintain our passion for the stories we’re working on, and how that’s not the same as being super excited to write every time we sit down at the keyboard

Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, and mastered by Alex Jackson

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Return to your notes or your outline and look for the things that excited you about writing this story. Write those down.

Dust, by Arthur Slade

15.44: Rebooting a Career

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

What do you do when some of the key foundations of your authorial (or otherwise creative) livelihood are kicked away? How do you go about repairing, rebuilding, or rebooting your career?

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

 

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Write a letter to your hero. Write their response to you.

Leviathan Wakes, by James S.A. Corey (Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck)

15.39: Translation, with special guest Alex Shvartsman

Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, Dan, and Lari, with guest Alex Shvartsman

Translation is fantastically complex. In this episode Lari and Alex help us navigate those complexities, both from the standpoint of the translator, and from the standpoint of the author seeking to have their work translated.

Credits: This episode was mastered by Alex Jackson

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Write a story in which the characters are in trouble because of a linguistic misunderstanding.

“The Green Hills of Dmitry Totzkiy,” by Eldar Safin, (English translation by Alex Shvartsman)

 

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.

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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

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

Kind of a Big Deal, by Shannon Hale