Ep. 2 - Doing it Wrong the First Time

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Why this is a bad idea, but not for me.

The idea is to write twelve books in as many months.

Because I started writing because I like writing. And one day I woke up, near thirty, nearly every day working on something called “marketing” and “exposure” and all the other baloney I’ve been told will allow me to do the thing I want to do.

Because you’ll find a common thread among people who do what they like: they do it for free, and they do it so often that sometimes they get so good at it that they end up being paid to do it.

Because I like writing, so I’ll like writing twelve books in as many months. Twelve times as much, maybe.

Because you’ve been sold a series of lies that tells you that writing twelve books in as many months is a bad idea. I’m not saying that it’s a good idea, but the reasons you think it’s a bad idea are probably wrong.

Lie number one says that what is good in life is what makes me comfortable and free and… what’s that term they use for having money and not having to do anything? Being well-off? Being well-off sounds pretty terrible. Sounds like being a sponge. An unmoving filter-feeder. Sit too long, and my leg begins to bounce, and my mind begins to wander, and I begin to do something just to have something to do. That ought to tell us something about what it is to be well-off. It is - in part - to have some good purpose to put that energy toward.

Lie number two: ideas are precious, rare, and worth protecting and perfecting. Bullony. The only way to find out if an idea is any good is to put some flesh on its bones and make it dance a little.

Lie number three is that there’s something better I could be doing with my time.

The podcast isn’t about me. It’s about what it’s like to do something like this and get a lot of ideas out the door without getting caught up in making the ideas perfect or being afraid to have my garbage critiqued. It’s about figuring out what stops us from doing the stuff we want to do. But so far as the podcast is actually a little bit kinda about me, let me tell you who me is. I’m an author who’s had some near brushes with being published. I’ve written five books, a bunch of plays and short stories and whatnot, and I’ve been paid for my work by magazines and filmmakers. I’ve won some middling competitions. One of them had the word Emmy on it, but it’s not the big national Emmy you’re thinking of. And the reason I say all this is that if Ann Leckie or Angie Thomas or Stephen King decided to write twelve books in twelve months and put out the first draft as a free PDF for all to schadenfreude, to gleefully wince at… I would tell them that it’s a very bad idea. But for me, who’s had nothing but brushes so far… what’s the worst that can happen? Whether for entertainment or for education or for just the pleasure of my smooth, spongy voice cooing in your ear, I invite you to observe this year-long stress-test of the chassis that is my mind and body.