Ep. 125: Putting Your Writing First

In this episode, I talk with award-winning poet and creative coach Mark McGuinness from the 21st Century Creative podcast about why it’s important to put your writing first—both for you personally and for your creative career. We also discuss how you can do this in a life full of demands and distractions. This week's editorial mission asks you to write something you might not expect. 

Putting Your Writing First by the  Writership Podcast .


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This week's submission contains some adult language.


About Our Guest

Mark McGuinness is an award-winning poet who has been coaching professionals since 1996. You can find his poems in leading poetry journals and at MarkMcGuinness.com.

Mark is also the author of Productivity for Creative PeopleMotivation for Creative People, and Resilience: Facing Down Rejection and Criticism on the Road to Success, and co-author of Manage Your Day-to-Day and Maximize Your Potential, published by 99U. He is the host of the 21st Century Creative, a podcast that "helps you succeed as a creative professional amid the demands, distractions, and opportunities of the 21st century, which you can find on iTunes and at 21stcenturycreative.fm


Wise Words on Prioritizing Your Writing

Since the age of fifteen poetry has been my ruling passion and I have never intentionally undertaken any task or formed any relationship that seemed inconsistent with poetic principles.
— Robert Graves


Mentioned on the Show

Find out more about Mark McGuinness

Mark is the host of the 21st Century Creative, a podcast with thougtful and in-depth discussions that helps you thrive as a creative professional.  

Please take a look at Mark's translation of Chaucer's "Troilus and Criseyde: Book I, 1–56." You can find more of Mark's poetry here.

We focused on Productivity for Creative People in this episode, but I highly recommend any of Mark's books, including Motivation for Creative People and Resilience: Facing Down Rejection and Criticism on the Road to Successas well as those he co-authored with the great folks at 99UManage Your Day-to-Day and Maximize Your Potential.


Writing Practice

In the context of the editorial mission, I mentioned writing practice. I've written about this before, but not in a while. I'll draft a post on it soon, but in the meantime, you can go to the source: Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg.


7 Day Scene Intensive

Scenes aren’t the whole story when it comes to writing fiction or narrative nonfiction, but mastering scenes is the most efficient way to become a better storyteller because you internalize macro story structure within the smallest complete unit of story. The 7 Day Scene Intensive is designed to help you master scenes with information, practice, and a quick feedback loop of supportive, specific feedback, similar to what we offer on the podcast.

The 7 Day Scene Intensive is online February 4–10, 2018, so there's no travel involved. Because we offer individualized feedback each day for seven days, we're limiting the intensive to eight participants. If your story isn't where you want it to be, this might be just what you need. You can find the details here.


The Writership Index

Listeners have asked for an index of the podcast episodes and the topics discussed, so we've put together a Google spreadsheet containing details of each episode, its airdate, author name, story title, genre, story type, published location, author website, and topics discussed. Get access to the spreadsheet here.


The Sell More Books Show Summit

Jim Kukral of the Author Marketing Club and the Sell More Books Show is doing another big conference. This time in Chicago in May of 2018. It's called the Sell More Books Show Summit and you can learn more and get a ticket here.

Join 175 other writers and publishing friends for this interactive, two-day conference and networking event in Chicago! Eat, drink and learn together, and be on your way to building a stronger and more profitable career as an author.

Only 175 seats are available and early bird pricing will run out soon. Click here to grab your ticket.


Editorial Mission—Do Some Useless Writing

Mark crafted a brilliant editorial mission for us this week.

Make time this week to do some useless writing: writing that you can’t justify, that nobody is paying you for, that nobody is asking for, that maybe feels like a bit of an indulgence, or a little bit risky or silly. And so, you’ve been putting it off, and you haven’t done it, or you thought, well maybe one day, I’ll do that.

Just give an hour to it this week and see what happens.

I will bet, at the very least, you’ll be glad you did it, you will enjoy it, it will give you a spring in the step the rest of the week.

And who knows, it could turn into something quite extraordinary that you would never really expect. Something so interesting could come from such inauspicious beginnings.

But don’t even think about that now because you can’t go in with any expectation. Just go in with the intention of pleasing yourself and writing something that will have no practical application whatsoever.
— Mark McGuinness

Join the Writership Book Club!

Join the Writership Quarter Masters Book Club! Each month I'll choose a book from your suggestions. We'll read it and, together in a (virtual) book club meeting, analyze it the way I would for a Story Grid Diagnostic.

In December we read The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe. Join now so you'll be in the group for this month's book announcement. For more information, visit our Patreon page.

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