Episodes

Weekly Inspiration for Writers

NaNoWriMo Guidance: Getting Through the “Muddy Middle,” featuring Gennifer Albin

The Muddy Middle is inevitable when you’re writing a book—that place all writers get to when the newness of their writing endeavor begins to wane, and the project isn’t feeling so exciting anymore. In this episode Grant commits to trying to make better use of the nooks and crannies of his life, writing even when he has just a ten-minute window, and Brooke confesses that one of her downfalls is needing the conditions to write to be just so. Guest Gennifer Albin, veteran NaNoWriMo writer, has super-helpful tips for getting through the Muddy Middle, and shares how she finds the time and how NaNoWriMo has been a productive and inspiring way to get her writing done.

Kicking Off This Year’s NaNoWriMo, featuring Municipal Liaisons Catherine Noon and Alexis Daria

We’re five days into NaNoWriMo, and today’s guests are two seasoned NaNoWriMo municipal liaisons who know a lot about the value of a writing community. Brooke and Grant share where they’re at with their writing goals—Brooke slow and steady and Grant sprinting out the gate to get ahead, a strategy he says he always uses since inevitable life issues are bound to throw him off his word count goals every November. This episode is chock-full of ideas for getting out there and finding community—which is the best way to ensure you get your writing done.

NaNo Prep: The Power of Believing in Yourself as a Writer, featuring Jasmine Guillory

Today’s episode is for anyone who struggles to call her or himself a writer—whether it’s because you have such a strong professional identity that it’s hard to try on a secondary one, or maybe because you came to writing later in life, or, like Brooke shares is true for her, you might feel you need to qualify your experience somehow. Guest Jasmine Guillory shares her own struggles to claim the label—and gets us inspired for NaNoWriMo on the immediate horizon with encouraging words about her approach to preparation—and getting tons of words on the page.

NaNo Prep: Coaxing the “Magical Cookies” Out of Your Story, featuring Susan Dennard

Join Brooke and Grant in conversation with Susan Dennard, who believes that if we’re not at least looking for that which inspires us about our writing, we might want to make a better effort to find it, or change directions. In this episode Susan shares her evolution from pantser to planner, and how she goes about planning and prepping, especially now that she writes series. Join us for this helpful conversation that’s part of our month-long get-ready-for-NaNoWriMo series.

NaNo Prep: Finding the Beats of Your Story, featuring Jessica Brody

Do you feel stuck in your story? Not sure where to begin, or where to go from here? This episode has real solutions! Jessica Brody has taken a popular structure used for screenplay writing and adapted it for novelists—and in this episode she unpacks how that works, explaining beats and how writers can think about them and use them to crack their own stories. As they gear up for NaNoWriMo, Grant and Brooke consider the value of structure, and also reiterate that no matter your approach, NaNo can be a game-changer in your writing process.

NaNo Prep: Insider Secrets from NaNoWriMo’s Founder , featuring Chris Baty

In this episode, NaNoWriMo Founder and record-holder for the most NaNoWriMo’s ever completed, Chris Baty, joins Grant and Brooke to talk about NaNoWriMo’s origin story and how setting the bar really low is part of the point of doing NaNo in the first place. This inspiring episode will help listeners considering doing NaNoWriMo this year get over any anxieties they might be harboring. With less than a month to go, Write-Minded is getting in the mindset to get words on the page.

Changing the World by Writing Alternate Histories (and Prepping for NaNoWriMo), featuring Mary Robinette Kowal

This episode kicks off a series dedicated to preparing for and getting through National Novel Writing Month in November. Guest Mary Robinette Kowal has embraced the structure and community of NaNoWriMo for all of her novels, and she shares with listeners about how she’s a “plantser,” and also some of her personal strategies around preparing to write a new novel. In this episode, Grant, Brooke, and Mary Robinette discuss the sub-genre of “alternate histories” and encourage listeners to gear up for NaNoWriMo by harnessing some of that “what-if” sensibility at the heart of alternate history storylines.

Perseverance and the Art of Changing Directions, featuring Emily X.R. Pan

It took today’s guest, Emily X.R. Pan, ten years to finish her novel. In today’s high-pressure, fast-paced, ambition-oriented culture, you hear more about the people who write a book a year than you do about all the writers toiling away at their craft—and the perseverance, endurance, and diligence it takes to finish a book. In this episode Grant and Brooke talk about taking U-turns in your writing, reinvigorating projects that feel like they’re dying on the vine, and the many variations of creative process that exist.

“I Should Be Writing,” featuring Mur Lafferty

All writers face that nagging, guilting critical voice telling us: you should be writing. This episode’s title comes from Mur Lafferty’s podcast: I Should Be Writing, and Mur talks with Grant and Brooke about some of the challenges she and her many guests face in their writing. Writers will always face time constraints and other obstacles to getting their writing done, so today’s episode, perhaps more than anything, provides comfort in knowing you’re not alone (with a bit of inspiration and few good tips thrown in for good measure!)

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