Writing is hard
I’ve been working on my book for five months now. Most of that time has consisted of two things.
Interviews and procrastination.
Early on, I was worried I wouldn’t have enough content to write more than a pamphlet. Once I began actually writing and transcribing my recorded conversations, I realized I actually had to cut some folks out. That was a relief.
There were some interviews that, while I’m incredibly grateful for them, just didn’t hit as hard as others. “Trimming the fat” sounds cold. But writing this book felt like less of a chore once I decided to only include chapters that lit me up. I narrowed it down to seven people—including duos.
My last interview was a dream come true. I had a long conversation with James and Anthony Deveney—the hosts of one of my favorite shows, Raiders of the Lost Podcast.
They started their movie podcast in June of 2020, in the middle of quarantine. Since then, they’ve gained half a million followers and have grown arguably the best film podcast to date.
Their story was captivating and inspiring. They were also two of the nicest dudes I’ve ever met.
They took me through their journey of pursuing their dream: being full-time content creators. It’s one thing to see people doing something cool. It’s another thing entirely to hear about what they had to do to get there.
James just quit his full-time job a few months ago once the podcast was able to totally support both of their lives. I’m thrilled to tell their tale.
As for my process of writing, so far it’s looked like this:
Come prepared with strong questions to ask.
Play the interview back with a Google Doc up.
Transcribe the major bits of conversation while playing and pausing the interview.
Use willpower to not immediately edit my writing (i.e. write shitty).
When a story or concept of my own comes to mind, make a note of it in the doc so I can come back and write about it later.
Use the Pomodoro technique for productive time management: 25 minutes on, 5-minute break.
Finish this first run-through before hiring my editor.
Right away, I’ve recognized the necessity of an organized system. If I were winging it every time I sat down at my keyboard, it would be chaos. With this structure, it’s actually pretty easy to write this damn thing.
The only thing getting in my way is initially sitting down to start. It’s the Resistance which gives me all these reasonable-sounding excuses for why I don’t have to start typing just yet.
Luckily, I eventually brush that voice aside and begrudgingly begin writing. Without fail, I enter a flow state in five to ten minutes.
What’s my biggest challenge now?
First, it’s making the time to actually write. I need three to four hours of deep work in order to make meaningful dents in this. Unfortunately (or fortunately), I run a full-time business that’s doing well. That means I have a lot of client calls. Sessions require a ton of mental energy, so I refuse to write for four hours in the morning and then do calls in the afternoon. My brain would be fried.
Second, the debate is creeping in on whether I get a publisher or I just publish it myself. But I’m trying not to focus too much on things that are farther away.
Regarding the first challenge, it’s highly likely that I push back the release date. The plan was my birthday, March 2. The new plan is probably my mom’s birthday, May 5.
Since I don’t have half a million followers like James and Anthony, I doubt anyone will make a fuss about this.
Am I working as hard as I possibly can on this?
Am I having a ton of fun?