All Things Writing

Note Keeping as an Author; I Go On a Rant About Our School District; And an Appearance Schedule

June 27, 2021 Bryan the Writer Season 2 Episode 18
All Things Writing
Note Keeping as an Author; I Go On a Rant About Our School District; And an Appearance Schedule
Chapters
All Things Writing
Note Keeping as an Author; I Go On a Rant About Our School District; And an Appearance Schedule
Jun 27, 2021 Season 2 Episode 18
Bryan the Writer

As I am sure you know by now, this is All Things Writing and I am your host Bryan the Writer. Thank you for joining me on this huge milestone of a show. We have done it, dear listener. We have broken through the barrier that is 1,500 downloads and are already well on our way to the next milestone.

I could not have done it without the support of the people listening and the people who have come on the show to be my guests since I started this. 

Alright let’s talk notes!

As you know this show is really about my journey and sharing some of my tips and tricks as I have stumbled and bumbled my way through my writing life. One of the things I have had a really hard time with over the hears is keeping track of, and taking good notes. 

Creativity lives in the back of the human brain, not in the front. If you tried to will yourself, right now, to come up with five great book ideas in ten minutes, I want to suggest that is really hard to do. The best idea for a short story, which ended up in a magazine, came from a nightmare I had. Again, it was that back part of my brain that was fully engaged. But, and here is the important bit,

I had to get up, run downstairs, and jot things down on a piece of paper. Then I let out a yawn and went back to bed. Early morning, and the middle of the night are the best times for the rear of the brain to do its best work.

But that is the thing, we have all done a similar thing. So, what do you do with all those bits of paper and scraps of napkin you collect when the back of your brain is living its best life? Listen to the show and find out.

Also, if you have not checked her out, head over to Ann Kroeker's site and check out her podcast. You will be glad you did. https://annkroeker.com/

Appearances coming up soon!

·         9-11th of July: CONGREGATE; Winston Salem, NC: http://con-gregate.com/

·         17 July: Book Signing at the Book Warehouse at 5625 Richmond Rd. in Williamsburg, VA.

·         30 July – 1 Aug: Scares That Care; at the Doubletree Hotel at 50 Kingsmill Rd., Williamsburg, VA

·         3 October: Fredericksburg Indie Book Festival; We will be located on Sofia Street this year (although maybe in the park next to it). Come one and come all. I have done this event a few times in the past, and it just keeps growing every year.

·         13 November: Hannover Book Festival; 8700 Bell Creek Rd, Mechanicsville, VA. For those of you unfamiliar, that is in the area of Richmond

 

Support the show (http://paypal.me/BryanNowak)

Show Notes Transcript

As I am sure you know by now, this is All Things Writing and I am your host Bryan the Writer. Thank you for joining me on this huge milestone of a show. We have done it, dear listener. We have broken through the barrier that is 1,500 downloads and are already well on our way to the next milestone.

I could not have done it without the support of the people listening and the people who have come on the show to be my guests since I started this. 

Alright let’s talk notes!

As you know this show is really about my journey and sharing some of my tips and tricks as I have stumbled and bumbled my way through my writing life. One of the things I have had a really hard time with over the hears is keeping track of, and taking good notes. 

Creativity lives in the back of the human brain, not in the front. If you tried to will yourself, right now, to come up with five great book ideas in ten minutes, I want to suggest that is really hard to do. The best idea for a short story, which ended up in a magazine, came from a nightmare I had. Again, it was that back part of my brain that was fully engaged. But, and here is the important bit,

I had to get up, run downstairs, and jot things down on a piece of paper. Then I let out a yawn and went back to bed. Early morning, and the middle of the night are the best times for the rear of the brain to do its best work.

But that is the thing, we have all done a similar thing. So, what do you do with all those bits of paper and scraps of napkin you collect when the back of your brain is living its best life? Listen to the show and find out.

Also, if you have not checked her out, head over to Ann Kroeker's site and check out her podcast. You will be glad you did. https://annkroeker.com/

Appearances coming up soon!

·         9-11th of July: CONGREGATE; Winston Salem, NC: http://con-gregate.com/

·         17 July: Book Signing at the Book Warehouse at 5625 Richmond Rd. in Williamsburg, VA.

·         30 July – 1 Aug: Scares That Care; at the Doubletree Hotel at 50 Kingsmill Rd., Williamsburg, VA

·         3 October: Fredericksburg Indie Book Festival; We will be located on Sofia Street this year (although maybe in the park next to it). Come one and come all. I have done this event a few times in the past, and it just keeps growing every year.

·         13 November: Hannover Book Festival; 8700 Bell Creek Rd, Mechanicsville, VA. For those of you unfamiliar, that is in the area of Richmond

 

Support the show (http://paypal.me/BryanNowak)

Good Morning and welcome to the show.

1500 downloads!

As I am sure you know by now, this is All Things Writing and I am your host Bryan the Writer. Thank you for joining me on this huge milestone of a show. We have done it, dear listener. We have broken through the barrier that is 1,500 downloads and are already well on our way to the next milestone.

I could not have done it without the support of the people listening and the people who have come on the show to be my guests since I started this. 

Some fun facts for you, since I started the show, San Jose, California has had the most downloads of any city, followed by Columbus, Ohio, Atlanta, Georgia, Clichy, Île-de-France, and then Paradise, Nevada. I love the fact that we do have some international-ness in our rankings. Maybe someday I will do just the international cities in a weekly ranking sometime.

The podcast episode which has had the most downloads is the interview I did with Sammi Parish which was S1 E36. And the least favorite show was the S1E31 where I did a reading of Poe for a short and sweet reading for Halloween. Which is odd since I really expected people to like that short little show. But who knows why one show resonates over others.

The show I really thought would bomb, but did shockingly well? S1E18 which was the show on reference material.

Needless to say, if this is your first time, or first few times, hearing the show, check out the older shows. There are some amazing ones out there. I do know, by the way, that people are starting from the first episode and working their way though. Oddly enough, if I go back and look at S1E1, I can watch the numbers change after that and it tells me there are new fans out there, so welcome and thank you.

Enough statistics for this morning. Look, I really need to thank last week’s guest again. Ann Kroeker, The Writing Coach really hit it out of the park, as far as I am concerned. There was so much good information in that one show I would argue that the show is a must listen if you are a new writer trying to get a handle on the writing world. I actually did a couple of things just based on that show alone. 

For example, I took the plunge and signed up for a subscription to Writers’s Digest. Also, I want to plug her podcast too since I have been listening to her episodes like a madman and have already put into practice a couple of things and bought a book on her recommendation.

That is how the writing biz works people. We learn from eachother. And you could do far worse than listening to Ann’s podcast. I will make sure to put the link in the show notes, but if you go to her website. Annkroeker.com, you can find the podcast or just search for Ann Kroeker, Writing Coach wherever you get your podcasts from.

Alright let’s talk notes!

Why do I bring this up?

As you know this show is really about my journey and sharing some of my tips and tricks as I have stumbled and bumbled my way through my writing life. One of the things I have had a really hard time with over the hears is keeping track of, and taking good notes. 

Even here I need to give a nod back to Ann since it was her story about her poetry professor in one of her podcasts that got me thinking about this topic. It got me to wondering how I keep notes and what I can do better.

At first I sort of had this moment where I was panicking since I was actually not sure at all how I kept notes. It was really strange.

Recently I listed to an episode of a podcast where the casters were talking about where ideas come from and I realized that my ideas for writing actually come from two places. The first is the at sweet spot, first few hours in the morning where the back part of the brain has not yet ceded control to that frontal cortex and is still fully driving your mental train.

That is where creativity lives in the human, not in the front. If you tried to will yourself, right now, to come up with five great book ideas in ten minutes, I want to suggest that is really hard to do. The best idea for a short story, which ended up in a magazine, came from a nightmare I had. Again, it was that back part of my brain that was fully engaged. But, and here is the important bit,

I had to get up, run downstairs, and jot things down on a piece of paper. Then I let out a yawn and went back to bed.

Till about a month or two ago, that piece of paper resided on the desk, taking up valuable space. Look. That is not a good method for tracking ideas! Yikes.

Or, maybe it is?

I hate to think that I am putting anyone’s method of keeping track of their ideas down, but the reality is that the human mind is still the most powerful machine on the planet. It can invent entire worlds, paint pictures which bring people to tears, create a show called Friends. I mean, come on. But all of these ideas, or at least a lot of them, start with an idea scribbled on the back of a piece of paper or a napkin.

But, something has to happen with that idea. Before we do that, I want to ask a quick question to you wonderful creative people. 

Insert Commercial Here

 

Okay, so, you are sitting in your writing space. In front of you is a pile of ideas. They are written on the backs of paper, napkin, old magazine covers which happened to be near you that you wrote all over, fancy writing pads, legal pads you stole from your office, paper you stole from your kids school notebooks.

Let’s talk about using them.

First off, unless modernity has skipped you completely, which begs the question how you are listening to a podcast, you have a computer or some kind of input device. So, you are going to want to capture those ideas somehow.

When I get an idea, I usually drop everything to write it down on a word document. Now, recently I was listening to an episode of the Ann Kroeker Writing Coach podcast and they talked about using googledocs as a way to capture ideas. The best part about Google docs is that it is accessible everywhere and everything you write is associated with your google account.

This means that if your computer decides to let the magic blue smoke out tomorrow, you could just as easily go out and buy a new machine and be up and running again in a matter of hours. You literally could do that anywhere in the world and make it happn’ Capn’

I cannot stress this enough. This input makes no difference if you cannot find it again. While I am not telling you how to organize your files people, I am preaching the gospel that you must organize them in some ways.

Hey… lean in close… I am going to tell you a secret. This is how I do it.

First off, new ideas always go into a new idea file. They are the snippets I have taken from my pieces of paper and thrown them into a word document. Literally my novel that is out for beta reading was first written down, at least the idea, on a part of a church bulletin. Yes, I wrote the idea for my vampire novel first on a church bulletin.

Okay, so I have all of these snippets of ideas out there. I take the one that I am most excited about and start working on that idea. It is true that I will usually have multiple projects from different genres working out there all at the same time, but to make it work, I have to really concentrate.

So, I create what I simply call my WIP file. That stands for my Work in Progress. That is where everything come to live while I am working on those ideas. Never more than a couple of ideas in there at a time so it doesn’t get too cluttered. 

After the project takes on a life of its own. I will create its own file with the working title of the piece. It is also at this point that I put it up on my chalkboard to track the progress and make sure I am updating that at every checkpoint.

For those of you wondering where I am in my process, I am usually at the point where I am in my creative process, I am in full on first draft mode. Rocking and rolling, as they say.

I did, for the sake of ensuring I was being genuine, go into google docs and checked out the utility in that. You can do a ton of things in there to ensure you are saving your project.

And yes, you can do it the old school way of saving everything to your hard drive. That is what I do, at least in the beginning, and then move it into google docs to ensure I am saving a copy of the work, but there are literally hundreds of ways to skin a cat here.

If you wanted to maintain old school file folders, that works to, but does make it a little harder to do an automated search. I do know of an author who still writes things out long hand and then sends things off to a person who will do the typing for them. Yes, that is a service you can still hire out if you want to. They are harder to find these days, but they do exist.  Just do a search for professional transcription services and you will find gobs of them out there.

There is another way to organize your thoughts and ideas. I have mentioned it before, but consider a specially designed organizer to put together your ideas. My good friend C.J. Ellison, who is a best selling author produces a wonderful guide called “Plot Your Work” and it is designed for authors who want to organize their projects in a way to allow them to keep better control of when they should undertake certain tasks. The book is used as a took to keep those writing projects infocus and on track.

You can find her book if you search Amazon for “plot your work” in the books section. Check it out. I have used her work in the past, and it certainly helps organize the thoughts and keep me focused.

But you can also devise your own system which uses benchmarks and expected times you would like to hit those marks. What you devise is completely up to you. But I do advise you come up with a system to track your projects.

Look, today we have tons of things going on, all of us do. Now that this COVID nonsense is over, things are starting to open back up and we are getting our lives back on track. That means more commitments and more pulls on our time. A little organization does not hurt anyone.

Okay so, speaking f the end of COVID. I want to give a shout out to my upcoming events. Pretty soon, in a couple of weeks in fact, I will be at CONGREGATE 7 which has paired with DeepSouthCon 59. We will be the lovely city of Winston Salem, NC. To check out more information about that show, check out con-gregate.com. Also, during the month of July, I will be at a booksigning in Williamsburg on the 17th. Come see me at the The Book Warehouse at 5626 Richmond Rd. in Williamsburg.

Finally, just squeezing in there is my personal favorite event of the year. Scares that Care. It is a charitable event. You can come on you to the Doubletree Hotel at 50 Kingsmill, Rd. Williamsburg, VA. STC is a non-profit event where proceeds go to support the greater charity. Go to https://scaresthatcare.org/home for information on tickets. You can buy them the day of the event, but you will stand in line for those and no one wants to stand in line. Come find me in the main vendors room. Of course, mention the show and I will throw in an extra 10% off whatever you buy from me and that is on top of my normal discounts for multiple titles.

I will post about additional events as I have more information to impart. Remember to mark your calendars.

And, speaking of remembering, remember that if you like the show, hit that like button and make sure you know when the new shows come out. Also, you can donate to the show. Every little bit helps, no matter how small the amount. I get nothing from my plugs on the show and right now I could use some financial help keeping the lights on around here. It costs me money every month to make sure the back shelf of shows are available on all platforms and I also desperately need a new microphone which will allow me to improve my studio situation.

That’s it for this week’s episode of Bryan the Writer. Remember to keep writing. This is Bryan the Writer, signing off.

 

·         9-11th of July: CONGREGATE; Winston Salem, NC: http://con-gregate.com/

·         17 July: Book Signing at the Book Warehouse at 5625 Richmond Rd. in Williamsburg, VA.

·         30 July – 1 Aug: Scares That Care; at the Doubletree Hotel at 50 Kingsmill Rd., Williamsburg, VA

·         3 October: Fredericksburg Indie Book Festival; We will be located on Sofia Street this year (although maybe in the park next to it). Come one and come all. I have done this event a few times in the past, and it just keeps growing every year.

·         13 November: Hannover Book Festival; 8700 Bell Creek Rd, Mechanicsville, VA. For those of you unfamiliar, that is in the area of Richmond