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Mama Said Knock You Out (With a Shitload of New and Ongoing Content)
Don't call it a comeback. I've been here for years.
Okay, so I’ve been floundering a bit recently. If you haven’t been with me for the two decades I’ve been writing online, maybe you don’t know I’ve been floundering, but I have. What can I say? I’ve been having a writerly identity crisis. Six months ago, I was writing novels and nothing else, but then things got complicated. I took a break from writing books, launched this site, then had no idea what the hell to do with it. Floundering naturally followed.
Fortunately, I know what to do with this website now.
Today, I’m unveiling a metric tsunami of new content for writers and any other creative people … or people who want to be creative, appreciate the creative, or are just readers of mine who’ve been here through thick and thin and are interested in seeing how the creative sausage is made.
Setting aside for a moment the distasteful metaphor of “creative sausage,” here’s what I’ve added:
Three new posts every single week … at least … written for my fellow creatives.
I wanted to create a new podcast (see the next subhead) about how I take ordinary, everyday observations and turn them into an endless source of creative inspiration … basically using the “abundant ordinary” as a real and tangible way to improve my stories and enhance my life as a creative person. But, I knew that a lot of the people who pay attention to me vastly prefer reading over listening.
Because of that, after I started the podcast, I decided I’d better write blog posts, too.
So now, every single episode of the podcast has an accompanying blog post to go with it and vice-versa. Both forms — post and episode — follow the same format: I tell you about something I noticed today that anyone, if they were paying attention, could have noticed … and then I pull a creative lesson from that “Noticing” and describe some ways, right now, that anyone could use it in a real way to improve their writing or other art. (That’s why the blog posts are called Noticings, by the way.)
There are already six Noticings published. I sneaked them in, publishing them without sending emails to you. You can peruse and read them all now, if you want, by clicking here.
Right now, I’m publishing new Noticings on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Mondays and Fridays are for everyone, but Wednesdays are for site members. (More on that in a bit).
Going forward, you will get new Noticings by email unless you have emails turned off. I just didn’t want to deluge you with the first ones before I wrote this post to explain them.
Subscribe below and get new “Noticings” right in your inbox.
Curious about this whole “noticing things and then finding real, demonstrable ways to use them for creative inspiration” idea? Funny you should ask.
A new short-form podcast with at least three new episodes a week, also for my fellow creatives.
The full name of my new podcast is The Art of Noticing: A Bite-Sized Podcast that Teaches You to See and Use the Creative Inspiration That's Already Around You.
It’s “bite-sized” because all of the episodes are only 10 minutes long. That way, you can listen to them in your spare moments, with no excuses. Unlike that bullshit Tim Ferriss and Joe Rogan do, where you have to take a vacation if you want to listen to a whole episode uninterrupted.
It’s about “seeing and using the creative inspiration that’s already around you” because I know that most writers and artists are tired of sitting around and waiting for the muse. SCREW waiting for the muse! Inspiration is already here, all around you! You just need to learn the thought process that allows you to see it.
As with Noticings, new episodes of the podcast come out on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for now. Also as with Noticings, Mondays and Fridays are for everyone but Wednesdays are only for site members.
If this all goes well and people like it, and if it feels sustainable (so far, it does), I might just make the podcast and the Noticings posts that go with them into a daily thing instead of a three-times-weekly thing. (If that happens, weekdays will be for everyone and weekends will be members-only.)
I could keep explaining the podcast to you, but it’s easier if you just click over and read the description. You could also listen to Episode 1 and get a fuller scoop (it’s all of 10 minutes, after all) … or, if you REALLY WANT TO READ, you could read the transcript, because all podcast episodes have transcripts, too.
I don’t recommend listening to the podcast on the website long-term, though. Instead, you should go ahead and search for it (and then subscribe to it) in any of the usual podcast directories, like Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.
As with the Noticings posts, there are already seven podcast episodes published, with more coming next week and every week for the foreseeable future.
You won’t get email notifications about new episodes because that would flood the hell out of your inbox. Regular podcast listeners should subscribe on podcast directories anyway.
I’m back to writing novels, baby!
I’ve always worked in the dark. I’d write books alone here in my office, and some time later they’d get published … and only at that point could people buy and read them.
I’m going to try flipping that around, and see if I like it.
I don’t think this is going to become my new standard M.O. for writing all of my books, but at least for my next book (tentatively titled The Ephemera, about a world in which memories are bought and sold), I’m going to try publishing it here on the site, in installments, as I write it.
I plan to start writing and posting The Ephemera next week.
It’s going to be weird, because by definition the people who read it as it’s being written will be reading an early, not-entirely-finished draft. I figure it’ll be cooler that way, though. Site members will be be able to see the process as it unfolds, before I totally figure out the deepest themes that always emerge during the writing process.
(My favorite part is often that last pass, where I go through the entire draft and tie together all the stuff that emerged along the way: part of the magical discovery process I’ve talked about some on the podcast I just mentioned. The installments I publish here won’t have had that pass yet, but it might actually be cool for readers to see the difference between the early version and the final version after it’s polished and published.)
It’s also possible that by writing and publishing as I go, I might totally screw up the story and have to abandon it. That’s happened before. But hey, that’s interesting, too, right? To see an established author with 120 books already published fall flat on his face in front of everyone?
A whole new site to hold it all
Just look at my new site front page. It’s totally badass.
You’ll only really get the full picture if you look at it on something other than a phone, but I’m pretty pleased with how it came out.
Substack has all sorts of little dumb glitches (like filing one of my recent Noticings as a podcast episode and sharing the Reginald the Vampire podcast info instead of the Art of Noticing info in some places — seriously, WTF), but in general I’m loving the magazine-style layout that keeps things nice and tidy.
Lots and lots and lots more for members
Right. MEMBERSHIP! I’ve mentioned that a few times above.
To sum it all up, site members get the following, in addition to all of the free stuff that everyone gets:
An extra Noticings post every week, and maybe more than one later
An extra episode of the Art of Noticing podcast (and, again, maybe more than one later)
Other members-only posts, like my behind-the-scenes series full of stories and photos from when I was on the Reginald the Vampire TV set a while back.
My installment fiction projects, as described above.
Membership is all of $7 a month. It’s like buying me a cup of coffee. I mean, come on. Learn all about membership and ideally join the other cool kids here.
And of course, the same big, cool Featured Posts I’ve been writing all along
In the past, I only wrote what I’m now calling Featured Posts. Now, they’re only one of the things I’m doing here, and I write them far less often than anything else. Featured Posts are always public, for everyone. They are the nonfiction writing I’m most proud of, but it takes a buttload more time to write them.
Featured Posts are the ones I hope you’ll read, think about, and hopefully share. They’re the most heartfelt … call them essays about the creative life, or whatever.
Let’s get social
Here’s where I hope you’ll help me out. I mean, I’m giving you at least six new pieces of content every single week, so it’d be pretty rad if you’d hop aboard the help train. That’s what your grandmother would tell you to do because it’s only right … right?
I’m not on social media. At all. It just … makes me want to punch clowns, then go die somewhere. So, I can’t share my stuff on social media. But, I know that a lot of you are on social media. So if I could ask a favor … if you find things here that you like, would you please share them to help me spread the word? Pretty please?
And hey, since “social media” doesn’t only have to be a four-letter word, how about we get social here? If you comment, I’ll comment back. Let’s talk, okay?
I hope you dig the hell out of what I’m doing, so please leave a public comment below and let me know! More interest and more traffic and more spreading the word and more recommending me on Substack and all that cool stuff will just make me produce and publish more often.
Let’s do this!
* If you didn’t get the reference I made in the title and subhead of this post, we can still be friends but I’ve definitely lost some respect for you because you don’t know enough about masterpieces of classic music.
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