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Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing

Jan 12, 2018

Mark interviews Joanna Penn of about her latest book The Healthy Writer: Reduce Your Pain, Improve Your Health, And Build A Writing Career For The Long Term (co-authored with Dr. Euan Lawson) and they also have a discussion about trends in publishing and speculation about the opportunities that might be coming for writers.

The Healthy Writer

In his introduction to the episode, Mark announces that Findaway Voices is now an official sponsor. He shares his own experience with using Findaway Voices to create audiobooks and also his plans for some forthcoming projects.

In Mark's interview with Joanna, they talk about:

  • The new book Joanna has co-written with Dr. Euan Lawson (The Healthy Writer) as a book she has written because it was something she needed to learn
  • The “letter to sugar” that Joanna shares in the new book and how it was affecting both her physical and mental health
  • How the decision to co-author this title came about (measuring the value that each brings to the project) and how Joanna and Euan worked on it together
  • How Joanna balances her three different personas (JF Penn, dark fantasy/thriller author; Joanna Penn, the optimistic writing and publishing personality, and Penny Appleton, the co-authored books she is writing with her mother)
  • The critical importance of scheduling one’s time into blocks of activities, including “time off” from particular types of activities
  • The role that personal connections can play in terms of building and sustaining a sense of community for a writer
  • How Joanna incorporates business related travel and decisions on which events to agree to speak at for helping with research for her fiction projects
  • The state of “burn-out” Joanna had reached almost two years ago and what inspired her to double-down on her own podcast instead of letting it go
  • A strategy for how writers and entrepreneurs can approach out-sourcing some of the work they need to do for their own goals and objectives
  • What has changed in the writing and publishing industry since Joanna started as a blogger and a podcaster almost ten years ago
  • The thing that surprised Joanna the most about what happened in publishing in the past year
  • The challenges that come with being an early adopter in the digital publishing space
  • The potential forthcoming shifts that are likely to be coming within the book industry within the next few years and what it means to authors
  • The story structure, drama, character development and masterfully storytelling from particular movies and television program like The Crown, which are also areas of opportunity for writers
  • What the advent of self-driving cars might mean for content creation and distribution

In his post interview wrap-up, Mark shares a short section from The Healthy Writer that has resonated with him, discusses the importance of optimism in a writer’s life, and then shares his own plans to train for a half-marathon later this year and how that ties back to an inspirational talk that Joanna gave in a backlist episode from her own The Creative Penn Podcast about a 100 Kilometer ultra marathon that she completed and what that taught her about her own writing.

Findaway Voices logo

This podcast was sponsored by Findaway Voices – a company that gives authors and publishers everything they need to create professionally-narrated audiobooks and reach listeners in more than 170 countries through the world's largest audiobook distribution network

Euan Lawson & Joanna Penn

Links of interest: