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The Secret Library Podcast

The truth about writing books. By speaking to authors and other book lovers, I'm diving into the mystery that is the book world today. From writing to editing to publishing and all that goes into the creation of a book – all of it is open for discussion on the show.
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Now displaying: Category: writing
Nov 2, 2017

Steven Tagle wants every writer to know about the Fulbright. 

A few episodes ago, when Patricia Park was on the show, she mentioned something that made my ears perk up: that she had researched the portion of her book that took place in Korea by applying for and receiving a Fulbright Scholarship. For my listeners abroad: You DON'T have to be a US citizen to apply.     

In this episode we explore the practical steps to applying for a Fulbright, how Steven researched which country he chose to apply to, and how the year away impacted him as a person and as a writer. To say I was ready to leap into the application process after this conversation is a massive understatement. I hope you explore these options as well and I can't wait to hear about the books inspired by travel and explorations abroad.    

Show notes with links

Jul 6, 2017

Dal Kular didn't plan on becoming a novelist.

 

After recording nearly sixty episodes of The Secret Library, I realized I had a full catalogue of interviews with experts. People who were at the end of the writing journey, in some way. They had either published books as the writer, publisher, or had engaged in the process already and were looking back in order to discuss it. 

This began to feel like a disconnect between the guests and the listeners I knew were out there taking the show in. So many people write in talking about the story they are working on now, the one they aren't sure they'll be able to figure out how to finish. I knew there was a different conversation that needed to happen on the show. 

Dal Kular has been my noveling winglady for quite some time. She has been a social worker, a laughter yoga instructor, and an amazing blogger before a novel snuck up on her and has been pushing her to write it every since. We check in and talk about our writing regularly and share how it's going as we inch our way along through our books. Recently, I managed to talk Dal into coming on the show so we could talk about this stage of the process- the one at the very beginning when you don't know if that story you're working hard on will ever turn out to be a real book. This conversation was such a relief to have, and I think many of you will relate to it. Enjoy listening. I felt such relief talking about the scary aspects of writing from inside the process. Here's hoping it is of use to you. Plus, you get to listen to Dal's lovely accent- a major perk this episode, I must say. 

Show notes with links | This episode brought to you by The Story Intensive

Apr 27, 2017

Madelyn Kent has found a surprising way into creativity.

For many of us who write, we spend a lot of time up in our heads. We might even pend most of our time in our heads. Since writers are making up worlds, it does make sense that our daydreams would come from our minds and that, as artists who create with words, thinking would be our happy place. But when we get stuck, staying in the mind can be a trap. 

I was delighted to have a different sort of conversation this week with Madelyn, who has taught playwriting, screenwriting, and theater at NYU the past 15 years. In 2008, she trained in the Feldenkrais method and, through that work, began to see parallels between movement and the creative process. Since this discovery, she has developed Sense Writing, a mthod that combines writing with movement sequences and often opens up creative awareness and flow. 

I love it when I keep coming back to a subject, like writing and creating books, and keep discovering new worlds and approaches to creativity and expression. I hope this episode reminds us all that not only are we not brains in jars, we are better writers for it. Building a connection with the body can open up all kinds of possibility in your writing. I can't wait for you to listen to this episode and see why. 

Full show notes with links | This episode sponsored by Scrivener

Apr 27, 2017

Madelyn Kent has found a surprising way into creativity.

For many of us who write, we spend a lot of time up in our heads. We might even pend most of our time in our heads. Since writers are making up worlds, it does make sense that our daydreams would come from our minds and that, as artists who create with words, thinking would be our happy place. But when we get stuck, staying in the mind can be a trap. 

I was delighted to have a different sort of conversation this week with Madelyn, who has taught playwriting, screenwriting, and theater at NYU the past 15 years. In 2008, she trained in the Feldenkrais method and, through that work, began to see parallels between movement and the creative process. Since this discovery, she has developed Sense Writing, a mthod that combines writing with movement sequences and often opens up creative awareness and flow. 

I love it when I keep coming back to a subject, like writing and creating books, and keep discovering new worlds and approaches to creativity and expression. I hope this episode reminds us all that not only are we not brains in jars, we are better writers for it. Building a connection with the body can open up all kinds of possibility in your writing. I can't wait for you to listen to this episode and see why. 

Full show notes with links | This episode sponsored by Scrivener

Jan 26, 2017

Amy Kuretsky is over the suffering artist: She's ushering in the healthy creative instead. 

Amy Kuretsky is a health coach for creatives and an acupuncturist + herbalist specializing in the emotional and digestive wellness. She coaches creative entrepreneurs to be their healthiest selves without sacrificing their businesses in the process. Her support is for clients who are seeking to make a deeper change in their well being – as a whole being. She's best known for helping creatives find their own brand of work + life balance. I love Amy because she's also a tarot lover, so we have been swapping readings over the past months and always discuss ways to stay healthy and sane as writers. I knew that she was the right person to talk to as we got to the end of January and some of that fired-up energy from New Years begins to dissipate. Tired of feeling tired and run down? Want to know how you can take care of yourself as you are writing like a fiend? This will have you up and running again in no time. Bonus: enjoy the soothing sounds of LA's recent rainstorms in the background. 

Listen up on iTunes | Sponsored by Pretty by Post

Dec 22, 2016

Sarah Selecky is back! It's time to get into revision...

I must admit, I was a little nervous to have this conversation with Sarah Selecky. As a NaNoWriMo winner five times over who then went on to leave each of those novels untouched in drawers and on hard drives, I am not a great champion of revision as an easy process. Sarah is back, having finished her own first novel draft and into the revision process herself.

It was a total joy to discuss how she approaches revision. It felt so much lighter and more enjoyable than how I've felt about re-writing in the past. If you have revision fears or think you'll never write something that's really worth revising, this will be a conversation that will light you up as it did for me. May we all move on to second drafts together...

Full Show Notes | Sponsored by Muse Monthly

Oct 6, 2016

Stunt journalism is an amazing practice for writing from personal experience. In this episode, you'll learn how to do stunt journalism and how writing can expand your perspective and enjoyment of your own life. Erin Jourdan has taught this process to hundreds of people, both online and in person, with life-altering results. 

She's got not only anecdotes but current scientific research that we discuss about how writing about your life can change it for the better. This was such an exciting conversation and it made me want to run out and start a stunt writing project immediately. I know you'll feel the same way. 

 

Show Notes for Episode 19 with Erin Jourdan:

  • What is stunt journalism? (1:45)
  • How memoir is a loaded term (5:00)
  • Cultural differences and awareness around stunt journalism (6:15)
  • Categories of stunt journalism (7:15) Mentioned:  Marie Kondo | The Box prompt
  • Pretending to be a journalist (10:00)
  • Emotional spelunking (12:15)
  • Having a passport (13:30)
  • Local stunts & mental travel (16:15)
  • The impact and evolution of the stunt writing process (17:15)
  • How writing can change your life (19:00)
  • Emotional barometric pressure (19:30)
  • Further information and eBook with Stunt Writing prompts (21:00) 
  • Storytelling as a therapeutic modality (22:00)
  • Theories on why writing benefits the brain (23:00)
  • Gratitude journaling (25:00)
  • The impact of publishing/sharing fiction vs. non-fiction or personal experience writing (26:00)
  • Getting it onto the page alone vs. in community (28:30)
  • The benefits of sharing work in a safe group (29:45)
  • Fiction feedback vs. personal writing feedback (31:00)
  • Expanding from a scene to a full book on the next level (33:00)
  • Hot spots (34:45) Mentioned: Nona Caspers
  • Writing should be available to everyone (37:45)
  • Community stunts  and making your world bigger with writing (39:30)
  • Take publication out of the equation when you're writing (40:30)
  • Writing as therapeutic and spiritual (42:00) 
  • Writing and memory (42:45) 
  • The role of accuracy in non-fiction, memoir, and personal experience writing (43:30) 
  • Expanding your point of view through stunt writing (45:30)

Full show notes with links | Sponsored by Muse Monthly

Aug 18, 2016

In the beginning, there is the blank page. 

We've talked a lot about the later parts of a book's life: publishing and distribution and design. This week we're going all the way back to the start. 

How do you get a book down on the page?

What happens when you face the blank page and there is nothing there?

What's up with the feeling of having to make a story come out of your head?

What do I do with that nasty critical voice that keeps bashing my work as I write?

Where does it all come from, anyway?

Sarah Selecky has been teaching students since 2001 how to deal with these and many conundrums that the writer faces when getting started on a project. We dive into the process of writing and all the magic that goes along with it. 

I won't lie- I felt a little high after wrapping up this recording. 

Want to dive into that novel you've been dreaming of writing? This is where you begin. This episode. 

We want you to write that novel. It wants to exist. This episode will help you find it. 

This episode is sponsored by MuseMonthly.com

Shownotes at SecretLibraryPodcast.com

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