The Author Alchemist
Writing is magic but that doesn't mean it is easy! In this podcast, KimBoo York aka The Author Alchemist focuses on the most annoying part of being a writer: writing! After all, you can't become a better writer if you aren't actually writing anything, amirite???!? With a focus on motivation, inspiration, hard work, and fanfiction, this podcast is for writers who are determined to Get Their Words Out.
Monday Mar 21, 2022
Monday Mar 21, 2022
(FYI: I recorded this back in January, and it was originally supposed to be the 7th episode, which is what I say in the opening, but nope! It's really truly the 10th episode of season 2!)
Inspired by part of a graduation ceremony speech Neil Gaiman gave wayyyyy back in 1997, this episodes starts from there and spirals out into talking about the value of your obsessions to you as a writer, not just as "things that you can talk about in a story" but as things that inspire you on a daily basis to practice your creativity.
“Go where your obsessions take you. Write the things you must. Draw the things you must. Your obsessions may not always take you to commercial places, or apparently commercial places. But trust them.” ~ N.G.
Along the way I mention a couple of books I was reading, which you can find out more about here:
Reality is Not What It Seems: The Journey of Quantum Gravity
The Bright Ages: A New History of Medieval Europe(Bonus! Co-author David M. Perry's twitter account)
NOTE: This are affiliate links, so buying from Bookshop.org helps not only independent booksellers but also me! And we could all use the help, yeah?
The Author Alchemist PodcastEpisode 10, Season 2Title: Trust Your Obsessions
Intro:I'm KimBoo, the host of The Author, alchemist podcast, I'm bringing my years of experience as both a fan fiction writer and a professionally published author to the problem, we all love to hate the act of writing. You can't improve on something that doesn't exist. Which means the most important thing you could do is simply write anything. Just write something. I'm here to help you do that. Good morning.
Podcast: It is Saturday, and I'm recording the podcast like a dutiful podcaster. on schedule. Will this get posted on Monday? That's an entirely different story. And I'll keep you posted. For sure. You know that I am absolutely devoted to y'all because I had to turn off the heater to record this podcast because my mic was picking up the noise of the heater running in the background. So I had to turn it off. And it's very cold, I think it's just under 40 degrees, despite the fact that it's 10:30am. And for me, as a Floridian that's pretty much Arctic temperature. So heater is off, but I am wearing a hoodie. I've, of course fully dressed, got a blanket wrapped around my legs to keep my feet warm. I have socks on. So I'm about as bundled up as I can be and actually not have my teeth chattering while I tried to record this. So moving on, this is episode seven, of the author, alchemist. And today we're talking about trusting your obsessions. This podcast idea was inspired by actually the confluence of two different things. One was an old tumblr post that I had saved, that was quoting an old, even older speech by Neil Gaiman. What is it 1997 or so about trusting obsessions in the value of going down research rabbit holes. And I'll get to that in a sec. But the other part of the inspiration of this was me on Twitter. Of course I I'm Mutual's or follow a lot of writers who talk about writing, that's what we do. And there always seems to be a theme, when writers talk about writing, of how we're not writing, how we are not actually doing the thing, how we are doing something else, how we're tweeting, instead of writing, how we're writing a book, instead of writing, how we are learning some new obscure trade or skill, and we're learning how to cobble shoes, instead of writing. Alright, that's all fair. We do need to write at some point. But I think sometimes we tend to get away from the fact that writing is energy intensive, brain intensive, and we can't do it 24 hours a day, as much as honestly, I would love to. We can't, brains just don't work that way. Even writers with incredibly high output on a daily basis, two to 10,000 words a day -- And it's possible to do -- to need breaks scheduled into their life, whether it's a day off, or they write long and hard for three months, and then take another full month off. Breaks need to happen. Distractions need to happen. And we spend all this time and energy focusing on things we're doing instead of writing. And it just made me think of this pullout from Neil Gaiman speech because he was saying that even though you don't always use your obsessions, sometimes they can become really valuable, and turn into something that is useful, usable, enriching, for your writing. So that's why I wanted to talk about this. The quote that really grabbed me from his speech is this part of it: "Go where your obsessions take, you write the things, you must draw the things you must. Your obsessions may not always take you to commercial places, or apparently commercial places, but trust them." If you are doing something that is not writing, please allow yourself the grace and the freedom to do that thing. Not long ago, I was seem to a book that I was really enjoying. And as I was walking the dog, I listen to audiobooks as I walk the dog, just because it's a way to keep myself from being incredibly bored, while Keeley stops to smell yet another bush along the way. So listen to audiobooks. And interestingly, I only listen to nonfiction audiobooks. I've tried to listen to fiction, audio books, I really just can't get into it. I have listened to some podcasts, not audio books that are produced stories that can be really good. And I've enjoyed those because those are really harking back to the old radio shows, right or even further back, you know, to storytelling around the fire in the the early stages of humanity. When all stories were oral traditions, though, in that sense, I do enjoy listening to fictional stories, but for some reason, audio books, fiction, audio books, I've never been able to grab onto that is something I enjoy. Nonfiction though, gosh, I've read a lot of nonfiction and a broad spectrum. It's not like I just listened to memoirs, or I just listened to science textbooks or biology books or reviews of archaeology or something like that kind of all over the place. I'll grab whatever interests me, something that sounds really good, has a good narrator. You know, I've read about Occupy, I've read about Noah, several books about the actual historical analysis of what Noah's Flood might have been. One of my favorite ones was about quantum gravity, beautiful, beautiful book by an Italian scientist. And I will actually leave the link to that one in the show notes. Because it's just a mesmerizing story I know about quantum gravity, which I can't even claim to be able to explain what quantum gravity is, even after listening to this book, but it's worth a read. And I was thinking, you know, I listen to all these nonfiction, I should listen to some books about writing. You know, there's some books out there that should be really useful to me, as a writer about craft, or as, you know, self publisher, which I primarily am at this point, marketing, branding, even the tradesy part of it, like formatting books and, and distribution channels, things like that. And so of course, I did that. And I was so bored. I was so bored, y'all, I was just like, you know, even if this is useful information, I am not ingesting it, I'm not enjoying it. I'm like listening in to five minute increments, and then getting impatient and switching back to one of my nonfiction books. And if you're curious, my most recent nonfiction book is the bright ages. A new history of medieval Europe by David Perry and Matthew Gabriel. I follow David and Perry on Twitter and have for a long time, really great guy to follow. Very interesting book like this isn't a deep scholarly, you know, PhD thesis book. It is written for a mass audience mass consumption, and some of it I already knew, but it's really just very enjoyable to, like, pull the covers back and really look at the real history of medieval Europe, as opposed to a lot of the lies and mythology and ridiculousness that's built up around it over the years. So anyway, I'm gonna plug that one a little bit. Back to my point, though, then in trying to push myself to do something productive. I was actually making things worse, because I was inhibiting my creativity. One of the things that I've realized as I read this little post, and I'll link to it in the show notes, from the excerpt from Neil Gaiman speech, and thinking about my obsessions, and the things that I love to explore, is that I was feeling guilty because I couldn't figure out how it applied to my work my job, both as a writer and as somebody who's writing or creating online courses for writers. I feel guilty about something that brings me joy. And you know, that is no way to live. That is no way to live as writers. I'm certainly not opposed to doing research and study of craft. I think it's very important, obviously. But I think we do have a tendency to get swamped by our experts. that that's what we need to be doing all the time. I need to be writing all the time, I need to be studying about writing all the time, I need to read books about writing, I need to listen to podcasts about writing, I need to only talk about writing. And it's just antithetical to the creative impulse to try to corral it 24/7. And to try to only focus on this one thing that you feel is a requirement for you to be a better writer. You know, if you listen to my podcast, at least, I hope you know. But now that my focus is on getting you to write. There are a lot of other resources out there for helping you to write better. And I certainly do want you to write better, because I want to read what you're writing. And, you know, you need to be at a point where you feel comfortable putting it out into the world, either as a blog post, or, you know, an archive of our own. If it's fanfiction, or self publishing, or sending it to an agent, writing better is crucial to all of those goals. But the first thing you need to do in order to write better is to write ironically, sometimes, when we get into these obsessions, they can also serve as a distraction from writing. And I admit that too, sometimes I would rather listen to an audio book all day, then sit down and write sort of a different issue than what I'm focusing on in this podcast. But I think it's important to realize that maybe that instinct to procrastinate that instinct to, you know, not right might be born out of trying to corral yourself too hard trying to whip yourself into shape, so to speak, to the point where you're exhausted and you just can't do it. Trust your obsessions, follow your obsessions, but also understand why they're there. They're there as part of your creative urge. And it can be anything I include knitting, and crochet and the fabric arts, woodworking, anything doing with your hands cooking, if you want to explore a lot of different recipes, baking anything where you're using different parts of your brain, different parts of your experience, and engaging with something that is giving you that kind of learning Hi, oh, my gosh, you know, I'm doing this thing and I'm, and I'm succeeding at it, maybe I'm not where I want to be. But well, this cake looks great. Or, you know, this knitted cap is really neat, I can't wait to give it to my significant other or one of my family members or my friend. All of that is energy, all of that is juice for your creative impulse. And going back to what Neil Gaiman's pointed out, it can also be something that you pull into the creative work that you're doing. It might be a character who loves to cook. And so you love to cook. And you're like, Well, you know, I don't, I don't want to make this character into a self insert type of well, you don't, you don't have to, that's not what we're talking about. We're talking about creating richness and depth to your characters. Somebody who learns knitting as a way to perhaps understand math, you know, to me, knitting is math made large, real, you know, concrete, three dimensional. And so I don't understand it at all. But I could see where somebody who does knit a lot, or sews or something like that can pull their understanding of that craft, into a story into the idea of knitting a story or character who's knitting their life together. I mean, they could go on there. There's a lot of shallow metaphors that we can pull into this discussion from there. And I'm trying to be a little deeper than that. But my point is, trust your obsessions. allow them time to breathe. Focus on what is giving you joy, and inspire you creatively. Because you can't write all the time. And you can't study writing all the time. Because if you try to do that, it's actually going to be counterproductive to writing the stories you want to write. Am I encouraging you to procrastinate on writing? Maybe a little bit like sometimes you do need a break as I was saying earlier. What I'm really encouraging you to do, though is to trust yourself. You can't put words on the page until you trust yourself to be able to put the words on the page. Vicious Circle, but a breakable one. That's what I want you to think about. Next time you sit down to do a puzzle, or read a romance novel, or bake a cake, or garden Outback is not necessarily think about, well, how can I use this in a story, but think about how this is creating much more complex tapestry in your life, that can be fuel for your creativity, which of course means fuel for writing. I hope I gave you a little bit of insight today into trusting yourself trusting your obsessions, the joys of writing, the importance of actually getting words written. That's, that's always the goal, right? So if so, thank you for listening. Please subscribe if you haven't. If you can give me some nice votes up on the different platforms of Spotify, you can give a thumbs up or something to nowadays, and of course, Apple, you can leave a review. So we'd really love it. If you could do something like that. I am trying to make this business a success. And keep having time to write my own stories. Anyway, coming up soon out from fanfiction might even be live by the time this podcast gets posted. And then after that when I'm working on whip into shape secrets of an alpha reader, that's about halfway done. And so that'll probably go up in February. And then after that I thought of a new course I'm really excited about it, the percolator method, which is going to be advice for Pantsers on how to organize their writing life in their writing goals. A lot of times we get told as pantser. So if you get stuck, just create an outline and like, you know, that's the whole, that's the whole reason I'm a pantser is because I don't want to create an outline. So I'm going to be working on that I'm not really solid on how that course is going to go. Might be really short one, but I'm excited about it. So stay with me, subscribe and all that sort of good stuff. And I will talk to you next week. Thanks for stopping by now. Go get you some writing done.
Outro:Thanks for listening to me ramble on about writing here on their author Alchemist Podcast. I'm KimBoo York and I hope this episode has helped clear away the cobwebs from your inspiration. For more podcasts and other tools including self paced online courses, please visit my website at w w w dot author alchemist.com no dashes or email me at KimBoo KIMB o at other alchemist.com I'd love to read your questions and feedback. Now it's time to get some writing done.
Tuesday Mar 15, 2022
Tuesday Mar 15, 2022
1 Million Words! Have you written that many? Do you know, or are you guessing?
Thanks to the stats page for my first fandom account at AO3, I knew pretty close to the day when I went over the 1 million word mark officially. However, I'm fairly certain I had hit that mark years ago, given how many stories I have written since I was a kid. My first "book" was a Jack London rip-off titled Timber Trails and Wolf Wails (I was super proud of that title, dontchaknow) and was 40 single-spaced type written pages...I think I was nine or ten? Or so?
Unsurprisingly, most authors I know have similar tales about the stories they wrote when they were young! But then we get older and start believing that we need to write better before we can write more, which is a complete reversal of reality. In this podcast I talk about how setting any kind of quantitative goal (hours, word counts, timed sprints...whatever!) is the secret to honing your craft and finding your voice.
The parable of the "quantity vs. quality" pottery experiment/class is in the book Art & Fear by David Bayles.
The Author Alchemist PodcastEpisode 9, Season 2Title: 1 Million Words
Main Intro:I'm KimBoo, the host of The Author Alchemist podcast, I'm bringing my years of experience as both a fan fiction writer and a professionally published author to the problem, we all love to hate the act of writing, you can't improve on something that doesn't exist. Which means the most important thing you could do is simply write anything. Just write something. I'm here to help you do that.
Podcast: And yes, this is KimBoo York, wide awake early in the morning. Actually, it's about 10 o'clock in the morning. So it's not that early, but it is for me. I am welcoming you back again to the Author Alchemist podcast.
For regular listeners, I know there must be a few of you out there, this is going to be something that I've kind of alluded to in previous episodes. It's an idea I have about possibly forming a membership group down the road, that's later for 2022. The genesis of this and if you've read the title, you know that you write 1 million words as in the title so you know where we're going with this.
The conversation always comes up over and over again, on book-twitter, on writer-twitter, on Tumblr, in, you know, writing groups I've been a part of: how much do you need to write? The answer, of course, is always "you need to write every day." That's been a popular answer for as long as I've been a writer. If you've read the Artist's Way, then you know that the daily morning pages are a critical component of that philosophy, that approach, to creativity for writing. And if you don't know, if you aren't familiar with them, it's simply the idea that you write first thing when you get up and first thing. That don't mean after you've gotten up and had your coffee and walked the dog and used the bathroom or brushed your teeth, it means literally sitting up when your alarm goes off, grabbing a notebook and a pen or a pencil and writing three pages in your journal or your notebook. I think the assumption too, is that it's a full size notebook. It's not like one of those teeny tiny, you know, A-5 little notebooks. That's actual three pages of something like a legal pad.
Over and over again, as a writer, you hear the refrain: write every day, write every day. I'm here today on this podcast, which you may not be listening to anytime soon but hopefully, you are rolling along with me as we go through all of these podcasts, I'm here to say that your goal should be write 1 million words. I prefer this to the "write every day" goal. And they may work together as well. Although they do work well, in tandem, after all, you can write every day to get to 1 million words.
But not everybody can write every day. And I mean that in a very factual way. There are people who are dealing with mental health issues, or they're dealing with chronic physical body health issues. They're dealing with disability. They're dealing with having young children in the house, they're dealing with moving, they're dealing with elderly parents, they're dealing with, you know, life in general. It is a privilege to be able to write every day. And so we have to look at the practice of writing sometimes through the lens of what would work best for as many people as possible.
And truly, yes, writing every day will get you to your goal. It will make you a better writer, de facto, because you are practicing it every day. That is true for any art. But again, if you can't practice every day, if your brain doesn't work that way, if your life doesn't work that way, what is the goal you can aim for? And I think writing 1 million words is a great one.
I built this off of my own experiences. I'm not just pulling this number out of a hat. And I think I probably wrote 1 million words long before I had the math to support the fact that I had actually written 1 million words. After all, I've been writing stories since the time I could start actually reading, which I guess is about six years old. As we've gone over before in the past, I was a late bloomer! So I know I wrote a lot prior to actually keeping track of how many words I was writing. And in fact, to be honest with you, I wasn't keeping track of how many words I was writing. The Archive of Our Own (AO3) was doing that for me. I was astounded the day I discovered the statistics page on my original AO3 account. I know some people are kind of obsessed with that page, and numbers and things like that. I'm not. I checked it a few times as I went along, like, "Oh, I've written 200,000 words, oh, I've written 500,000 words." And then one day I checked, and I'd written a little bit over 1 million words.
And when I had done that, at the point where I tipped over into 1 million words, was also roughly about the time I was starting to publish, or have published at the time through a publisher, my own novels. I do not think that was a coincidence. I've talked before how going into fanfiction, or re-entering the fanfiction world, like coming like coming back or re-entering into orbit or something like that, really set me on the path of becoming a writer, as a person, not just somebody who writes sometimes, which I really was before that even though writing was an important part of my identity, and I'd written fanfiction, and written original stories. That was all just kind of on the side and reasons I didn't pursue it professionally.
After I spent all that time writing all those stories, I realized I had a voice. I had come into my own writing, with my own style and my own practice. And my own perspective. I really do believe that writing 1 million words was what got me there. Does it really matter at which point precisely in time, I hit the 1 million word mark? As I said, before I hit the 1 million word mark — definitely long before those numbers showed up on my AO3 profile statistics page — but knowing at that point, that I'd written that many words, gave me the confidence.
And trust in my own writing that had been absent before then. It's like, I wrote 1 million words, I can write another 1 million words, I can do this. And people will read my stories and love them — which is important to me, may or may not be your goal. But that was important to me.
An alternative metric, of course, is the 10,000 hours metric, which was really popular a few years ago when it was first, you know, revealed into the world. As you know, you become a "master" of something after you have 10,000 hours of practice. It's been debunked a little bit over time, I think. Honestly it's still a pretty good rule of thumb, you can't do something for 10,000 hours and be bad at it. Unless you're working really hard to be bad at it, you're going to learn something over the course of time.
There's also the experiment that was done that a lot of people talk about, "the quality versus the quantity", where a researcher gave people a task to create clay pots, and they broke it into groups where one was going to be judged on quality, how good the final clay pot was. And the one other group was judged on quantity, not just how many clay pots they made, but actual weight. I thought that was interesting when I read about it, that what he used as the metric was how many pounds of clay did your clay pots weigh. That was the quantity not just the number, but the weight. So very, very, you know, precise measurements of what is the quantity involved here. And in the end, it was decided, it was seen, I guess judged by people who do pottery, that the people who did the quantity, who were just making pots one after another to try to use up as much clay as possible, actually ended up making better pots, better designs, better stability, just better clay pots overall than the ones who spent a lot of time in the theory and the design and trying to make the one perfect pot.
So yes, there are lots of ways to quantify your progress. By quality, by quantity, by hours, by how many words you write, by whether you're writing every day. Any of those will do. I'm not saying that my 1 million words goal is the perfect solution, but I think for writers, it is easy to quantify, especially if you're using tools, digital tools, such as Google Drive, or Scrivener or AO3, posting your work there. There are ways to count those words and figure out how many you've written.
And of course, it's going to take a while. I did the math that I think is like, if you do write every day, and you write 500 words a day, it'll take five and a half years to get to 1 million words. If you write 1000 words a day, of course, it will take two and a half years, give or take to get to 1 million words. And that can be a little defeating. But I think the goal here is to remember, kind of like 10,000 hours, it's not necessarily that you're trying to hit that particular mark, but you're aiming in that particular direction, of whether you write every day 500 or 1000 words, or whether you write once a week, and you write 500 or 10,000 words in that setting. The point is that you're moving forward to the goal, not because it is an end goal in and of itself. But the act of going there is what's going to improve your writing, give you more confidence in yourself, and allow you to expand your creativity, to explore a bunch of new things that you had never even contemplated, when you first sat down to write your first fanfic, or your first original short story, or your first original poem. I don't know, whatever gets you off, my friend.
That's what you need to be doing. Whatever you decide to do as a goal, whether it's to write every day, or to aim for 1 million words, I don't want you to think of it as your only goal for that reason, like it's easy to get really wrapped up in hitting the numbers. And in that sense, just the idea of writing every day is kind of low key, except for when it isn't, and it's really stressful. Even I don't write every day. And I try to, for me writing every day works really well. But again, it's a little ephemeral, and it's not as concrete of a goal have something to aim for, that I feel like will make a difference. So of course now at this point, I'm working on my next 2 million words, whether it's actually made me a better writer or not, I'll leave for others to decide. But for me personally, I think it has made the writing process easier and it has (subjectively of course) I think being by writing better, it's allowed me to move on to more complex stories that I want to tell. And to me that's important.
As I said at the start, this is something that I eventually want to turn into a group project or a membership project, the 1 million words club where you know, we come together as a community and aim for writing 1 million words, however you want to track that. Kind of a more low key ongoing thing than NaNoWriMo which is 50,000 words over the course of one month. Which is obviously very doable. I think that comes out to a little bit over 1300 words a day, which once you get in the groove is actually not hard to write that much. But to write that much every day is a challenge, I'm not gonna say it isn't. So with the idea of creating a community where our goal is to write 1 million words together and I'd even be willing to start from scratch and and just you know, jump in like everybody else with the number zero or possibly you can count your fanfiction numbers to that...and I could possibly, that's an interesting thought because like I could...I have my old AO3 account which is under Cooper west but my new AO3, which is KimBoo York, and I haven't been anywhere near that much for that account. A few "Nirvana in Fire" fanfic and things like that, but nothing, nothing quite as intense and long range as my original fanfic fiction archive which goes back to I think 2007 at this point, truly some humiliatingly embarrassing fanfic on that account. And, but, you know, it's up there. I wrote it. It got me where I am today, so I can't be too upset about it. Right. Think about it.
As I close out this podcast, just please think about what kind of goals you are setting for yourself, if they really fit the way you live and the way your brain works. If writing every day is a challenge for you, and not accomplishing that, is defeating you, and making you feel like you're not a writer and feeling like you're, you're just, you're not, you're not living up to your potential and feeling shame for not meeting that one goal, it's time to consider changing the goal. If writing every day isn't going to work for you, think of the 10,000 hours metric. If that doesn't work for you think of the 1 million words metric. Go back to the experiment I was talking about earlier, I tried to find a link for that for the show notes. But about the pottery, where quantity versus quality, sometimes the quantity, oftentimes the quantity will get you to the quality faster than just focusing on writing the one perfect sentence. And then going on to writing the next perfect sentence.
I have friends who have spent decades writing a single book because they are looking for the perfect words. Maybe that's what you want to do, too. I'm not saying that that's the wrong way to go about it. It's working for them. Again, think about your own personal goals. Think about what you can do, what you're willing to commit to, and what makes you feel good about writing. You can't write if you coming from a place of shame, and anger and frustration. I mean, you could write a journal entry about that about how angry and frustrated you are and how that makes you feel ashamed. But that's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about writing fictional stories, and using your creative energies in a positive way. So let's keep the focus on that for now. Do some journaling and talk to your therapist about all the other stuff. That's not what I'm here for. But certainly, I'm here to help you pull out of that and get on to writing 1 million words.
So that's it for today's episode. Thanks for listening along. Trying to kick these out a little bit more regularly. I say that every single time don't I? It's terrible. By the time this goes live, though, the course that I've been working on and working on and working on working on out from fanfiction will be available for purchase. That is love child of mine, I've been working on it, but the idea came to me years ago, but I've actually been working on putting it together. All last fall. It's the first online course I've ever done. So if you do take it, please be a little forgiving. I'm trying to figure out how to do all of it. But it is pretty intense. It is for people who are having difficulty with the writing aspect of jumping from fanfiction to original fiction. It's not a marketing thing. It's not telling you how to self publish. It's about the writing and how to make writing original fiction as much fun and as engaging and as rewarding as writing fanfiction because writing original fiction can get frustrating really quickly. And you don't have those automatic rewards centers such as immediate reader feedback that will help you get over the humps and fanfiction. So if that's where you're at with your original writing, I hope you check out the course. I'll be having some specials on it. And if you like it, let me know. If it's not for you then tell me what kind of course you are looking for. Again, I'm not necessarily the craft maven, I am the motivation maven. So let me know what you're looking for. Maybe we can get a course together for you and help you out. So take care be well and you know, go get some writing done.
Outro:Thanks for listening to me ramble on about writing here on their Author Alchemist Podcast. I'm KimBoo York and I hope this episode has helped clear away the cobwebs from your inspiration. For more podcasts and other tools including self paced online courses, please visit my website at www.authoralchemist.com or email me at KimBoo@authoralchemist.com I'd love to read your questions and feedback. Now it's time to get some writing done.
Monday Mar 07, 2022
Monday Mar 07, 2022
Hooo boy! Another unplanned, unexpected episode to delight and amaze! ...well, it should be interesting, at least?
Herein I talk about quitting my day job — why, how, when — and what my plans are now going forward as a "solopreneur," as the kids call it. ;)
Hit "play" to get the inside scoop and why I prefer working from home as well as what you can expect from me for the rest of the year (courses! books! more podcasts!!!). I value your support and appreciate you taking the time to listen in.
Promo Intro:This is episode eight of the second season of the author alchemist. I'm KimBoo York, and today I'm going to talk about why I quit my day job. Hang in there, it's going to be a ride!
Main Intro:I'm KimBoo, the host of The Author, alchemist podcast. I'm bringing my years of experience as both a fanfiction writer and a professionally published author to the problem we all love to hate: the act of writing. We can't improve on something that doesn't exist, which means the most important thing you can do is simply write. Anything. Just write something. I'm here to help you do that.
Podcast:Hi, y'all, it's KimBoo, and welcome back. It is a lovely morning, in spring, early March, when I'm recording this. Who knows when you'll actually be listening to it. But today's podcast is super special! I want to get — just like I did last episode, for those who've been following along, I shuffled up episodes that were planned originally to make room for last episode, where I was talking about the launch of my first online course, Out from Fanfic. If you're curious about that, I encourage you to go listen to the unexpected, unplanned Episode Seven (ep. 28), where I talk a lot about it.
This is the unexpected, unplanned episode eight (ep.29), where I decided to actually talk a little bit about what I'm doing and why. This relates to motivation and creativity, I think in a lot of ways, because it's not just a personal decision on how I choose to live my life, but is also related to my need to be creative, my drive to create things, and how much time there is in the day, and how much energy we have in the time that we have in the day. All of these things are related.
So a little bit of backstory. I have had a day job. Well, you know, since I was a teenager, my first job was at Winn Dixie, I was a cashier. I'm sure I was adorable. But I was what 15,16? I've always had jobs, off and on, obviously, always also tried to do side hustles off and on. This job came about in a way that kind of fell in my lap. I wasn't planning to work in higher ed in the sense of working with Disability Services. That was never the intention. But I got a part time job in the Student Disability Resource Center, as it was then known in 2011. About that? 2012? Anyway, working part time on a massive textbook conversion project. We were converting a math... graphing math calculator... Wait, no, wait, hold on. It's been so long now. Okay, graphing calculus math textbook, into Braille math project. After the project wrapped up, the person who hired me essentially walked off the job. And in desperation, the current director, the then director Martha asked me to put in for the position. So I did and I got it.
It really wasn't what I wanted to be doing, in the sense that I had actually gone to get my degree, a master's degree in Library and Information Studies, because I wanted to work with rare books. I got very interested in archives along the way, so I would have been happy to work in an archive job as well. And I did for a little while at the Claude Pepper congressional library on FSU campus, shout out to Robert! I enjoyed working with him, it was a great position. But it just didn't leverage into anything better for me, I tried, but the market was really tight. And it is always really tight in those fields, because even though there's very few people with those skill sets, they're also very few jobs. So unless somebody retires or runs away to you know, start a goat farm or something, those jobs just don't open up. And I was desperate for a job. So, that's the story. Nothing special about being desperate for money. I had come out of my master's degree program with a degree but also with whooping cough and other health issues, and massive student loan debts and absolutely no resources and no help because as friends of mine are aware, where I got divorced right before I started graduate school. So there it was, there was no fallback there.
For many years, it was a very good job. It was very comfortable job. I did like the work that I was doing and I liked assisting the students who came in and wanted to use alternative or adaptable technologies. It was interesting to work on the back end with different publishers on getting alternative texts, files, usually digital files, either PDFs or ePubs for students to use. I mean, a lot changed over the time I was there, because I officially got hired in October 2013, which was almost going on 10 years ago now. So! Technology has really grown. Like when I started in the position, text to speech readers were very uncommon and very expensive. But of course, this was the era when the smartphone was really coming into its own as a strength, as a tool, as a technology aid for people, which has become de facto what it is now. And now everybody can get a text to speech reader on their phone if they aren't already using things like Siri. So it's definitely been a changing, changing field.
But again, not the job I wanted. I kept writing as you know, I was writing throughout that whole period, I definitely wrote fanfiction during that time. I did write some books I put up. Yeah, Parker's Sanctuary, my Cooper, West, male/male novel was put out... 2013 I think? 2014? Self published that one. And Wolves of Harmony Heights, which was my big NaNoWriMo project that got absolutely carried away, came out in 2017. And so I was writing I was working on my career. But it could not be a focus for it.
Around 2018, I also decided that I wanted to go into creativity coaching now, over time, I realized that one on one coaching isn't really my strength. I do offer it as a service, but it's a really premium service because it takes so much energy out of me that I can't do it for a lot of people. So I have to be very careful about who I do one on one coaching with because it is so energy intensive. That desire changed into wanting to provide online courses on motivation and creativity. I'm always very clear here at the Author Alchemist about my role, which is not to make you a better writer, but to make you write. There are a lot of tools and people out there who can help you with your craft, and find ways to develop your skill set. My role, I believe, my my talen, the thing that I do best is helping people actually sit down and do the writing to get over the mental mind blocks the psychological hurdles, the fear and the insecurity that leads people to not write. That's what I do.
So the whole time I've had that job, I was working on these things. And then the pandemic hit. Why do feel like a lot of books of the next 10 years are going to be opening with that line: "and then the pandemic." Because well, it makes sense. I mean, it changed everything overnight. Our lockdown started on March 18 2020. We went work-from-home expectation was probably working from home through summer, and then coming back into the office in fall...which actually we did. FSU called us back into the office, but we were only working a couple of days a week and only with a skeleton crew. So only one or two, of us were in the office at any given time during the course of the week. Some people worked one day a week I was working two days a week...Wednesdays and Thursdays? So yeah, we were actually called back into the office a lot sooner than a lot of other people.
And that kind of leads to the two pronged reason on why I decided to quit. One: I was not happy that my employer was so desperate to get warm bodies back in the office that it would be willing to risk our lives to do it. If you think back into 2020, we were dealing with a lot of unknowns. We didn't know how deadly COVID was going to be, and we didn't know how the government was going to handle it. There was...just...it was just a yawning void of uncertainty. And so being called back into the office when the campus itself was shut down, there were no students on campus. We only went back to partial repopulation in the summer of 2021 and then full repopulation in the fall of 2021. So we were there for six months for absolutely no reason, no reason at all. I didn't appreciate that. And it was kind of the writing on the wall for me to realize just how little my life matters to my employer.
I'm gonna say my boss, I had a pretty good boss, I think the leadership team for the department I was in wasn't happy about it either. But we're a public institution. So you know, our governor, I'm just going to be straight out people. I know, I don't try to get political here, but our governor is awful, totally awful. Basically, organized crime is running Florida right now, not very happy about that. I was very happy to get away from public university setting for that reason.
The other reason though, was a little bit more personal in the sense that working from home made me realize how much more energy I have when I am able to be in an environment that feels safe for me and that doesn't require a lot of energy for me. I saw something interesting on Twitter the other day, a talk, a discussion that was going on about people working from home and their preference for it. And it was specifically talking about introverts versus extroverts. And I do have friends who are extroverts and who have had issues with being isolated, and who are really looking forward, if they haven't already, to going back to the office so that it can be around people. That's something that energizes them and gives them purpose and, and helps them focus on what they're working on. And so they've been complaining a lot about not being able to do that. Then somebody else said, you know, the frustration you feel over being forced to be an introvert for the last two years is the same frustration, introverts feel being forced into environments filled with people all the time. Literally as an introvert, I have been forced into situations where I'm constantly around other people since I've got my first job. I've never liked it, it's always been soul sucking, it's always been draining.
Having that time to work from home really brought that home in a way that even working from home during my graduate program, which kind of is what I did, like first year and a half that program, I didn't even have a job and so I was working from home and it felt great. But in a way, mentally, to me, it was an exception, because I knew that it was for grad school. I knew I would have to get a job eventually and that I would not be working from home in the future. I probably could have if I thought about it that way. But you know, I was just really locked into the idea of, you know, get a master's degree, go get a real job, which I did. And then you know, go back and work in an office like an adult, isn't that would adults do? So even though I kind of clued in at the time, "gosh, wow, I'd really love to do this live this way, you know, be at home, work from home be around" — at that time, my cat had gotten a dog yet — "...you know, be home all the time. That's this is great." That's what I thought. "Unfortunately, I can't do this. Because I'm gonna have to go out and be an adult get a real job once I graduate." So I wasn't really thinking of it in the same way I was thinking of it during the pandemic lockdown when I realized, "ah, this is really what I should be doing. This is really how I should be living."
It was a wake up call for me in a lot of ways, as much as I had already planned for the fact that that my job at FSU was so-called temporary even though I had it for years, I hadn't really acted on that. I'd gotten complacent, I'd gotten comfortable. And for some people that's necessary. I don't want to say oh, if you get complacent you're not going to do anything. There are people out there who really need that sense of comfort, that sense of safety in order to be creative, in order to do the work that they need to do like that. That's a requirement for them. It turns out I'm not one of those people. When I am in a situation where I'm comfortable, I do get complacent. I do think well I can always do that tomorrow or I can do that next week or I can do that over break. I'm actually looking back on myself shocked that I got as much done as I did, that I did as much writing as I did, that I developed the Author Alchemist as much as I did. And literally the author Alchemist has taken almost four years to really get to this point of launching; not making any money, it's been a, it's been a money drain the whole time there, I have not made any money at this business. But I've developed websites for it. I've worked on this podcast, I've thought about the courses I want to develop, I've refined exactly what services I can offer that fit in with both my needs and the needs of the people I'm hoping to help. They weren't four wasted years, they were just for very part time years/ I could, literally if I hadn't had a day job, I'm sure I could have condensed all that learning, and experience and effort down into, you know, six months. But I didn't because I had the day job.
So two years into the pandemic, I found myself in a place where I do have a little bit of, of a safety net, a little bit of money in the bank. It's not a lot. I figure I've got about six months smooth sailing before things get really rough for me. And I'm just gonna lay it out there and be totally honest, this is not me saying you know, I have I have $500,000 in the bank so I can just make my business dreams come true. No, nooooo, nope nope. I do not have a lot of money in the bank, but I do have some. And when my job made it very clear that working from home was never going to be an option for me, they turned down my my disability accommodation request to be able to work from home part time, I was only asking for three days a week, they wouldn't even talk to me about it. Well, they did talk to me about it. Basically, were talking to me about it saying "no, we can't do that. How about you just deal with it." Alright, byyyyye!
I really decided to quit my job over November in 2021 going into the American US thanksgiving holiday, but I wanted my holiday hours through the fall or through the winter break, so I didn't turn in my resignation until January 4th. Because we were short staffed and everybody's quitting — hey, great resignation! It's hitting everywhere. I think my job, my department still has four position counting mine for positions open out of a nine person office. That's a lot, kind of tells you something. Anyway, they asked me to stay on until March or through the end of February. So I stayed until March 3rd, which was the end of a pay cycle for FSU. And then I left.
Now it's March 7, as I'm recording this, and I am a free woman on a countdown to making some money. But here's the deal. Instead of investing myself emotionally, in getting up early to be at the bus stop by 706. So that I could be at work before eight o'clock. So I could sit in my office and deal with all these other people and not be home. And just energy sucking me dry and phone calls and just, distractions and barely being able to work on my things simply because there's so many other things that I had to do. I'm going to be able to take that six months and really throw everything I've got at it.
What can you expect? What can you expect if you're listening to this? This is a longer episode already. Sorry about that. But here we go, we're gonna wrap up with what you can expect: more courses from me, I have Out from Fanfiction, which is one of my premier courses. Full cost is $130. But I'm going to be doing some smaller courses to my next one is actually going to be based on a module out of out from fanfiction. It's only going to be about $30, it's gonna be real short and sweet. But uh, hopefully will be just as helpful. As for that.
The next month, the next thing that I'm working on after that I'm kind of haven't decided yet, I might eventually open up a membership group. I have ideas for that, but I haven't really nailed down how much energy that would take for me. I think that's one of my biggest holdouts on doing a membership type-of group because it would take a lot of energy and oversight on my part. Not sure I'm ready for that one yet.
And of course, fiction writing I've got an erotica, male/male erotica series of shorts, they're really short stories that I'm going to be publishing that I'm really excited about called His Secret Life. And then I've got two novels that I'm working on right now. Bones and Brews, which some of you have heard a lot about over the past year and a half, which is kind of my steam-punk, diesel-punk, magical, urban, magical fantasy, fake dating romp, which I think developed the plot unexpectedly...that we're kind of stalled out, but it's still still one of the priorities. I'd like to get that done within the next couple of months.
I've also got the polyamorous fantasy novel The Queen's Aerie, about 40,000 words into that one, I think it's going to be closer to 90 or 100,000 words. Very happy to be back to writing that one. That's a fun one. It's got a lot of tropes. And it's got dragons. I mean, what could you what? What more do you, what more do you want from me? That's going to be coming out in a few months as well. So you're gonna see a lot more creative writing for me. Maybe even some fanfiction might get like on that back on that train. It's been a hot minute, since I've written any fan fiction at all. And I miss it. I miss it. Just what, you know, what, what am I gonna write? I don't know. I have the time and energy to do it.
There's a lot of stress being my own boss, and you'll probably hear me complaining about that. But I'm excited. I have finally hit the point, I think, I'm gonna have a lot to offer people, and I'm willing to ask for money for some of those things. I hope you're here with me on this journey. I think we're all going to create some wonderful stuff, books, stories, fanfiction. It's gonna be great. Thank you for joining me on this journey. I appreciate it. Now get you to writin', because that's what you really need to do.
Outro: Thanks for listening to me ramble on about writing here on the Author Alchemist Podcast. I'm KimBoo York and I hope this episode has helped clear away the cobwebs from your inspiration. For more podcasts and other tools including self paced online courses, please visit my website at www.authoralchemist.com (no dashes) or email me at KimBoo@authoralchemist.com I'd love to read your questions and feedback. Now, time to get some writing done.
Monday Feb 28, 2022
Monday Feb 28, 2022
My FIRST online course, Out from Fanfic! is live!!!! WHEW!!!
In this episode, I talk about the backstory of this course: the idea that inspired it, how long it took to put together, and what I hope people will get out of it. Whether you are interested in the course or not, you might enjoy this episode where I talk about my trials and tribulations and, eventually, success in brining this course to life.
Let me know what you think, whether you plan on taking the course (or not!), and what other courses you are looking forward to!
I'm KimBoo, the host of The Author Alchemist podcast. I'm bringing my years of experience as both a fanfiction writer and a professionally published author to the problem we all love to hate: the act of writing. You can't improve on something that doesn't exist, which means the most important thing you can do is simply write. Anything, just write something. I'm here to help you do that.
Good morning, it's your girl KimBoo. And I am here on podcast number seven of the second season of the author Alchemist podcast. This is not the original Episode Seven, I'm changing up the order, I have a couple of episodes I recorded earlier that would normally be posted in order. But I'm super excited. So I wanted to share it, I have actually turned the "on" button for my very first course, "Out from Fanfiction: Use what you know to write what you love." I have talked about this course, honestly, for a couple of years. It has consumed me as an idea. I've talked about it with people. I've, you know, mapped out different ideas on how the course would work and what exactly I was trying to say and get down to what I wanted to share and what I wanted to teach. Gosh, about six months ago, I think, my friend Gina signed up with Kajabi. And I had been hosting my own website on a WordPress instance before that, so the Author Alchemist website has been around for a while. And I was going to try to host the courses that I wanted to do on the website, I may eventually go back to that. But one of the things that I really liked for my friend Gina, Gina Hogan Edwards, who's a fantastic writer and editor and who runs the Women Writing for Change Facebook group, making her own online courses on Kajabi, which will be coming out soon, you'll probably hear me talking about that. I just liked the way it was so simple to do. And I'm usually much more interested in having control and being able to make exactly the kind of changes I want to make and use exactly the kind of fonts I want to use. You see that on my Cooper West website and my K.C. York website and of course, on my own personal website, KimBooyork.net.
But for this, I really just decided that I was willing to sacrifice that level of control in order to make it easier for me to run the business and get the courses up and running. In November... was it November? Early October, somewhere in there. I went ahead and signed up with Kajabi myself because I was impressed with what Gina had managed to do. And no, this podcast isn't sponsored by Kajabi. Would that it were, but no, this is just me talking about my own personal experiences. It nonetheless has taken me until now, the middle of February as I'm recording this podcast, to get everything in place. November was spent building the website on Kajabi or rebuilding the website and moving everything over from the old website. Then, December was spent putting together the pieces of the course. And when -- I'm pausing when I say that because there's there's worksheets and there's videos and there's the script and honestly I had been writing the script for the course modules well over a year off and on. So by the time I got into December where I was really facing down doing the recording the videos for the different lessons in the course, I already had the script pretty much nailed down. Learning to use it with the teleprompter was a challenge and I think sometimes I came across a little stilted in the recordings which I am not happy about but I got it across, you know I talked about what I needed to talk about. And I have transcripts for each course lesson.
So that's a bonus too. But anyway, that was a dip very steep learning curve. December I was recording all the lessons. January ended up being taken up with designing the course itself, figuring out all the graphics I needed, which were a lot more than I expected. And thank goodness, I have a Canva account. And that helped a lot. Again, not sponsored by Canva. but I really used it extensively, because it's just so easy to use and you can get to it through any browser, right. So whether it was at work, or whether it was at a coffee shop, or whether it's here at home, where I record this podcast, I could access my Canva account and put together the graphics I need. And so then the first couple of weeks of February was putting all the pieces together, figuring out what I was missing, and finally getting it all in one place. And all the pieces in place, and the transcripts formatted and the caption files uploaded, and the little bits and bobs that go into something like this. And it's done. It's done. It's done. And it's available. It's $129 for the whole course, that's the full price. I'm going to be having some sales on that a little bit later on.
Which is a big, long introduction. And you could tell I'm pretty excited. I'm really proud of myself for coming together and doing this. But really the question is, you know, what, what is this course about? And no, this podcast isn't going to be a sales pitch for it. I really want to talk more about why I created this course. As I said, I thought of this course a long time ago, probably longer than two years ago, I've been thinking about this off and on for quite some time. I even reserved the name fanficacademy.com, the domain name, several years ago, so obviously this idea is old. It's changed, as I've explored what I can do with it. But I intend to use the Fanfiction Academy label over a series of courses, not just this particular one, which is "Out From Fanfic," but also the course "WIP into Shape: Secrets of an Alpha Reader," and I've also got a course on world building using fanfiction principles. I had some really good ideas going in with this, and I'm proud of that. But the reason that it really became important to me and became the basis of what I was going to do with the Author Alchemist, website and business... And I've talked about this before in other podcasts, but it is the fact that at one point when I realized I had written 1 million words of fanfiction, and I realized how much better my writing had become. Seems obvious in retrospect, right, you're right that much, something's gonna happen. You're either gonna get better or you're gonna go completely off the cliff. But it's obvious is that seems in retrospect, it wasn't my goal at the time. At the time, I just wanted to tell the stories that were exciting to me in the different fandoms I was cycling through over the years starting with Hot Fuzz and go into Life on Mars, detouring and due South and Stargate Atlantis, all through all of these changes and all these different fandoms I've just wanted to tell the story and I was excited to get my words on the paper. I remember when I first got back into fandom and the first fandom I started writing again for in 2007, after the 20 year break, was for Hot Fuzz and then jumped really quickly from there into Life on Mars. I remember just being in a fever haze of writing sometimes. It was just invigorating. It was exciting to be back in it.
Years later, I look back on that and I look at the stories I write... I cringe a little bit sometimes. Don't we all? But what I look at is how much I learned both during the writing process and during the post writing process of posting my stories and getting feedback and having people read them or not read them. Not every story was a success insofar as having a lot of readers or a lot of comments or whatever metric we're using today to decide whether fanfiction is a success or not. I certainly never wrote any, you know, classics of any of the fandoms I was in. I just wrote my little stories and had fun doing it and learned a lot along the way. And then I went back to writing original fiction. Y'all it was hard. I'm not gonna lie. I think there's there's a tendency to make a diametrically opposed opinions about jumping from writing fanfiction into original fiction, and there's the group to say, there's no difference. They're all original stories, you know, shouldn't be any harder and if it is, you're just making things up and making trouble for yourself versus the other side, which is saying, Oh, it's almost impossible, because fanfiction is just so easy, because everything's set up for you and everything's on the platter and you just have to pick and choose what you want to eat, type of situation or meal of a story. And the truth is, obviously, a little bit of both, and somewhere in between. So I wanted to bring that to the table as it were, in the sense that I wanted to say, Yeah, fanfiction is different from writing original fiction, and it can be more difficult when you're starting out making that leap. That was certainly my experience of it. Looking around, I've found that it's true for quite a number of authors who came out from fanfiction to publish original fiction... that's not true. I mean, there are some who made that jump easily and without any problems, and are publishing many books every year without pause and all power to them. But I was not one of those people, and I know a lot of other people aren't either.
I wanted to find a way to take the love and the excitement and the sense of flow that one gets writing fanfiction, and figure out how to create that same feeling that same sense of flow, writing original fiction. And that is what I hashed out in developing the "Out from Fanfiction" course. And as is my way, I'm gonna give all my secrets away for free. You don't have to take the course, unless you really want to get dig down deep into the issue or the things that I talked about here. But the secret is that there are parameters in fanfiction, the type of characters the type of plot the the premise of the show, or the book or the movie, that you're basing that fanfiction around. And these limitations cage you in but in a positive way. The real "aha!" moment for me when I was thinking about developing this course, was realizing. and I was working on one of my own stories at the time when I realized this, that writing original fiction can lead to decision fatigue. You have so many choices to make. And so many options for each and every choice, that by the time you get through to deciding what your characters are, who they are, where they are, and what the story is, you've pretty much used up all your energy. Usually have to take a break. Some people do that by outlining, and then they take a break before they actually jump into writing. Those of us who are Pantsers might come up with some characters, and get, as in my case, and if you've listened to my podcast, you know this already getting 30,000 words into a story and then hitting a brick wall. It's not always decision fatigue, of course, but I think a lot of times it is. So what I did was I took that premise and looked at how I wrote stories when I was in the flow of what what was the thing that made it really easy for me to write. That was the parameters that had been established in the story.
The parameters, which I talk about in my course, a lot, can be very, I don't want to say generic, but very broad guidelines to fence you in to some ideas. The basic premise being that every decision you make constrains you in the next decision that you make, which is a good thing. A lot of people tend to think "Oh, no, you know, it's just like I've got a...I'm going to cage myself in and then be trapped and with these characters or this plot." And my point is, is that if you set out with the parameters set ahead of time, it actually allows you the freedom to explore all the things within the story that really interest you. Think about when you read fanfiction that's what... or write fanfiction, you what you're really interested in are the things that you can explore about those characters, whether it's their sexuality, with, you know, sex scenes, porn without plot. If it's deep metaphysical questions about life, if it's about popular topics of interest, politics, sociology, anthropology... I mean If you look at a fandom and you look at the breadth and depth of fic, in a fandom, it's never just about the original story as it was in the canon for that fandom, it's always just broad swath of really interesting ideas. People will just hit the ground running and explore. And they can do that because the perimeter is in place to set them up in a safe, I guess might be the right word for it, environment to make the choices that are different and unique and special, then that is true if they're writing something that adheres to canon very closely, or an alternative universe, or, you know, alternate divergence, you know, it doesn't matter. The point being, they're dealing with specific characters and specific backgrounds and specific ideas that they can set down like tent poles, and then build an entire creation around it. If you do that with your original fiction, I believe you can find that same flow, that same energy, that same motivation, that same inspiration in your original fiction that you have for your fanfiction. So that's what the course is about.
It's important to me to take the lessons that I've learned from writing fanfiction, and share them with people who want to be telling their stories. I don't think I'm revealing deep mystical secrets. I think most people who've written fanfiction for a long time, like I have, probably implicitly understand a lot of the things I talk about both here on this podcast and in my course. And in future courses. I'm not revealing some great, eternal mystery. But my skill, and I believe my talent is in being able to take complex ideas, break them down, make them understandable, turn them into set of guidelines, or a process that can be easily followed and used by nearly anyone. That's my skill set. It's what I'm good at. It's why I'm really good at writing, like technical documentation for software. Now, my course isn't that boring. But the point is: similar skill set. You're taking something very complicated, and with a lot of different variables to it, and you're trying to just put it into a concrete application that somebody can use. I can do that. I like think I've done it with this first course, we'll see. I don't know. Again, like I said, I'm gonna have some sales coming up on that. If you're at all interested in no pressure, if this isn't the type of thing that's going to help you, that's fine, too. Maybe there's another course of mine down the road that maybe will help you or not. Either way, you're listening to my podcast, and I appreciate that. So!
That is me rambling on excitedly about my very first online course, "Out from fanfiction," under the fanfic Academy umbrella where I will have other courses available soon enough, now that I've got the process down and figured out all the nuts and bolts and how to do this thing. I think I can put it together a little bit more often. And hopefully even with a better quality than I did at the very first time. Let me tell you the very first lesson that I recorded, it's not going to be any of the lessons that you see in the course, because that one got ditched a long time ago, it was terrible. Absolutely terrible for so many reasons. But moving forward, I've gotten a lot better, and I hope that if you do decide to invest in the course, you find it helpful. And if you decide the course isn't for you, that's fine, too. I appreciate your support, in whatever form, you can provide it. And hopefully I can give you some support back either through this podcast, or through my books or through future courses and coaching whatever I'm going to put they're up on the site. So thank you for listening and joining me on this journey. So now it's time for y'all to get to writin', folks. Can't put it off forever. Have a great day.
Thanks for listening to me ramble on about writing here on the Author Alchemist Podcast. I'm KimBoo York and I hope this episode has helped clear away the cobwebs from your inspiration. For more podcasts and other tools including self paced online courses, please visit my website at www,authoralchemist.com (no dashes) or email me at KimBoo@other alchemist.com. I'd love to read your questions and feedback. Now time to get some writing done!
Monday Feb 14, 2022
Monday Feb 14, 2022
Prompts often get a bad rep in writing circles, considered as nothing more than teaching tools at best. In the fanfiction community, though, prompts are often tools of inspiration, motivation, and community building.
In this episode, I dive into the value of prompts not just as "tools" but as little sparks of creativity! The discussion ranges from the inherent value of prompts to the different ways to use them.
Places to find prompts:
Monday Jan 17, 2022
Monday Jan 17, 2022
Today’s Alchemical Lesson: Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom. - Aristotle
What does this have to do with being a writer, anyway?
It’s trite to say ‘know thyself’ with the expectation that it will automatically happen; it takes work. It takes VULNERABILITY.
But so does the best writing. Your best work, even in the most trope-y genres, will reflect the vulnerability you put into it as a writer.
I spent many years ignoring myself, trying to change myself, denying who I was. Not just as a person but as a writer.
Trying to write things that did not interest me
Giving up on dreams of becoming a published author
Hiding the things that gave me joy (writing fanfiction)
How I learned about myself, as a writer:
Start writing things that interest me (thank you, fanfiction!)
Figure out what kind of writing career I really want
Wallow in the things that give me joy
Write what YOU want to write, what you want to read, what you want to share.
TAKEAWAY: Know what you love to read and write, and write what you want to read!
Wednesday Dec 29, 2021
Monday Dec 20, 2021
Sunday Dec 12, 2021
Sunday Dec 12, 2021
Why aren't you writing what you love to write? Is it insecurity? Fear that no one will read it? A belief that you need to "write to market"? In this episode KimBoo talks you through the hurdles you put in your own way so you can sit down and write what the stories you want to tell!
Saturday Nov 06, 2021
Saturday Nov 06, 2021
The story behind the story of my oft-used quip, "Write what you love to read!" I read a LOT of things but I don't necessarily want to write them; on the other hand, the stories I NEED to write are definitely filling the void of stories I want to read that don't exist (yet). How about you!?
KimBoo is your Authorial Alchemist!
Writing is magic but that doesn't mean it is easy! In this podcast, KimBoo York aka The Author Alchemist focuses on the most annoying part of being a writer: writing! After all, you can't become a better writer if you aren't actually writing anything, amirite???!? With a focus on motivation, inspiration, hard work, and fanfiction, this podcast is for writers who are determined to Get Their Words Out.