A curated collection of the latest and most interesting podcast episodes about the author life.

Hello Fellow Author! I’m Valerie Ihsan. So glad to talk to you today. I’m a published author, story analyst, podcaster, and writing coach.

I specialize in helping memoirists to find the core message of their books and in analyzing fiction and non-fiction manuscripts as a Certified Three Story Method Editor. The story diagnostics I do are really fun for me and super useful for the author. I like talking shop with writers, and the rubric gives us both the vocabulary to talk about their manuscripts.

I am living the dream life in Oregon with my Turkish husband and three rescue dogs. I work in an independent bookstore, run a summer writing retreat, and my husband and I are planning a move to Costa Rica in two years. Good times!

Here are a few of my favorite podcast episodes this past week:

Top 3 Must-Listen Episodes

Writer Craft Podcast // Ep 52: Reading Like a Writer

Writers read. It’s part of our job description. Erick and I talk about dodging the writer/editor brain while reading (if we can), and why we would choose not to sometimes.

1) The magic is when we lose ourselves in books. But when we become “aficionados,” we can’t help but notice the obligatory scenes, global conflict, and dark nights of the soul. Just like a chef tastes the spices in meals, we can’t not see those things. But sometimes we need to read intentionally to find the things that work or don’t work, so that we can diagnose our own stories, or to learn parts of our craft that we want to improve, like a case study exercise.

2) “You don’t have to take your medicine,” Erick says. We don’t have to finish reading books. Super Tip: along with your list of books that you read, if you DON’T finish one, put it on a Books That I’ve Tasted list. We read to bring ourselves joy. If you aren’t having joy, why not stop reading? We don’t finish listening to an album we aren’t enjoying; we don’t finish the bottle of wine; and we don’t stay at the party when we’re tired. Why would we finish the book we aren’t liking?

3) Study outside the genre in which you are writing. And that means reading mysteries when you’re writing romance, but also means taking botany classes when you want to level up your setting descriptions. Or taking an anatomy class if you write about serial killers.

More info…

Writing Excuses // Ep: 17.4: The Gun on the Mantel is Actually a Fish

This episode has great ideas for creating red herrings in your manuscript. My two favorites were: have a reader’s favorite character look at the wrong thing, and “put a fish next to a fish”–meaning distract the reader from something by putting a similar thing right next to it. (Sleight of hand.)

The hosts always give homework at the end of the episode, which is useful if you want to practice what they’ve just talked about.

Plus, the episodes are short. 15 minutes–ish. A worthy podcast.

More info…

Next Level Authors // 09: How Do You Level Up Your Business?

(Warning: they swear.) How do you level up? You can’t track until you know what your north star is. Have an action plan with trackable way points. Reflection is a big part of it, and then push yourself to make positive change (aligned with your values and heading to that north star—which can change). Even small steps is leveling up. Building a habit (like writing daily) also requires tangential things, like sleeping enough and quitting toxic relationships.

So do the work (consistently moving towards the goal), have a willingness to experiment/fail and be outside your comfort zone. You can’t grow within a small circle, so push the boundaries of what you think is possible in order to level up.

How do you push yourself beyond your comfort zone? Changing what your definition of success is can be part of that. Other times it might be aiming for forgiveness for self-limiting beliefs and improving money health/freedom.

More info…

The Latest from The Author Success Mastermind Podcast

OUR LATEST EPISODE // 47: Should I do a pre-order?

This week authors J. Thorn and Crys Cain talk about the ins and outs of pre-orders and how they can be utilized effectively.

More info…

The Wildcard: Interesting Episode from a Non-Writing Related Show

Promote Yourself to CEO // Run Your Day Like a CEO

Racheal Cook’s latest episode is heavy on daily routines and systems. If you’ve followed J for long, you’ll recognize some of these tips. I appreciated this episode because I, personally, feel frustration at the amount of self-care I need in order to thrive and to age gracefully. But Racheal embraces this personal self-care in order to become more efficient in her work. More powerful, purposeful, and present each day. Hers will be different than yours, but this episode will kick off ideas for you to implement into your day.

For her:
1) Sleep (evening routine, journaling, Fitbits, sleep-tracking, waking with energy)
2) Morning Routine for Introverts (movement, silence, reading, meditation)
3) Simplifying Decision-Making (clothes, advance self-care planning)
4) Having essentials shipped to the house
5) Manage the time sucks

More info…

Inside The Author Life

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