Episode 2.25 – Fighting Distractions

We live in a world of distraction. Distraction is an enormous challenge for almost all of us, rearing its shiny head to peel us away from the work we care about or need to do. We recently talked about active and reactive work, but no matter our best intentions, distractions all-too-frequently take us away from accomplishing either. How do you fight distractions?

Recommendations from the episode:

Recommended reading: 


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Episode 2.24 – Reactive vs. Action-Driven Work

Day to day, choices are forced upon us, from the moment we get up to check our inbox and messages, to the many interruptions at work. Often, we get few opportunities to do the work we really want to do because we’re too busy reacting. Important work requires willful action to drive it, but the art of executing this requires battling the forces of reaction that surround us.

Recommended reading:

Download John’s weekly planner.


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Episode 2.23 – Plotsing, or Hybrid Methods

Plotting and pantsing are often described as diametrically opposed concepts, incompatible with each other and mutually exclusive. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. In reality, we all fall somewhere in between on the spectrum of plot and pants. We plotz.




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Episode 2.21 – On Plotting

The first of three episodes taking a deeper look at plotting, pantsing, and plotzing. While we podcasters aren’t exactly outliners/plotters, we discuss what we like about the hard work of outlining. In the future, we’ll bring in a bona-fide outliner to expand more on the topic.



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Episode 2.20 – Going Outside

We have talked about digitally marketing your book, but what about non-digital communication? Conventions, bookstores, reading events, cafes—what’s the best strategy for getting yourself out there, out there?

But beyond the discussion of marketing, what of the writing life? Writing can be a solitary activity, but the reality is that the world of writing is vibrant and dynamic, with conventions, seminars, cafes, readings, and more touching the world of writing. Should you venture out?


Find a convention! Go in disguise. Or, conversely, reach out to your local writing community in whatever way is most comfortable for you.


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Episode 2.19 – A Day in the Life of a Writer

Most of us have much more than writing to fill our days. We have day jobs, pets, interests, lives. Where do we fit writing in?

A few episodes ago we talked about making a living as a writer, and we concluded that there are as many ways to work full time as a writer as there are writers who are pursuing that career. This episode, we focus on what our daily lives look like, whether as full-time, part-time, or hobbyist writers.


Look up The Magic Spreadsheet, a gamified daily word-count tracker that encourages friendly competition. If you want an invitation to our own, private version of The Magic Spreadsheet, let us know in the comments or get in touch on Twitter or via email.


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Episode 2.18 – Plotting vs. Pantsing

The age-old debate among writers with no correct answer: should I outline or write by the seat of my pants? These come by many names: plotters and pantsers, architects and gardeners, outliners and discovery writers…there are many ways to describe the duality. The reality is that most writers fall somewhere in between, because the process is more like a spectrum.


Write two 2,000 word stories. Outline one, and discovery-write the other.


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Episode 2.17 – Making a Living as a Writer

Making a living on novels alone is difficult—in fact, the odds are stacked against such success. But becoming a full-time writer who can support themselves doesn’t mean hitting the bestsellers list with every book you write, it means diversifying your income. How can you make a living as an independent writer?

Recommended Reading:


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Episode 2.16 – Milestones of Intention

How do we measure our achievements against personal goals? How do we learn to feel proud of our writing achievements without throwing the rest of our lives out the window?


Try our hacked version of Stephen King’s 1K-a-day experiment. Instead, write for one hour every day, then take the seventh day off.


Download episode 2.16.