Ep 205 Meet executive director of NaNoWriMo Grant Faulkner, author of ‘Pep Talks for Writers’.

Share on Pinterest
Share with your friends










Submit

In Episode 205 of So you want to be a writer: We unpack what should you supply a literary agent and how to world-build through your character’s eyes. A new print magazine is about to launch. And you’ll meet executive director of NaNoWriMo Grant Faulkner, author of Pep Talks for Writers.

Click play to listen to the podcast or find it on iTunes here. If you don’t use iTunes you can get the feed here, or listen to us on Stitcher radio.

Show Notes

podcast-artwork
Links 

Think Australian 2017

Pan Macmillan signs two-book deal with debut YA author Guillaume

The Mapmaker Chronicles #1 is having a second printing in the US.

When to Search for a Literary Agent

World-Building through Your Characters’ Eyes

Travel site Luxury Escapes to launch new print magazine

Writer in Residence

Grant Faulkner

Grant Faulkner is the Executive Director of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). If you don’t know about it, it’s the largest writing event in the world. Each year, approximately 500,000 people sign up for what seems like a superhuman task: writing 50,000 words of a novel in a month.

Grant has written extensively for a variety of publications and has just published Pep Talks for Writers: 52 Insights and Actions to Boost Your Creative Mojo. It’s designed to help people embrace their creativity and realise their potential by developing a creative habit and setting audacious goals.

(If you click the links in this bio and then purchase from Booktopia, we get a small commission. This amount is donated to Doggie Rescue to support their valuable work with unwanted and abandoned dogs.)

National Novel Writing Month
Grant Faulkner on Twitter
Chronicle Books on Twitter

Competitions

GIVEAWAY: What was the best decision you ever made?

Your hosts

Allison Tait

Valerie Khoo / Australian Writers’ Centre

Connect with us on twitter

@altait

@valeriekhoo

Connect with Valerie, Allison and listeners in the podcast community on Facebook

So you want to be a writer Facebook group

Share the love!

Interview Transcript 

Valerie

Thanks so much for joining us today, Grant.

Grant

Yeah, thank you Valerie. It’s nice to be here.

Valerie

Now, I am speaking to you from the future. Because I’m in Sydney and you’re actually in San Francisco. What time is it over there? Is it the day or night? Or where are you?

Grant

It is 8:34pm.

Valerie

As we’re recording this, 8:34pm, but the sun is shining here in Sydney. So you live in San Francisco, is that correct?

Grant

I actually live in Berkeley, California. And that’s where the National Novel Writing Month offices are as well. But we’re just across the bay from San Francisco, and I lived in San Francisco for a long, long time. So I consider it my home as well.

Valerie

Now, before we get on to NaNoWriMo, I just want to talk about your latest book which is called Pep Talks for Writers: 52 insights and actions to boost your creative mojo. Now, for those readers who haven’t read the book yet, tell us what it’s about.

Grant

The idea for the book started, I would talk to NaNoWriMo writers, and they would tell me these amazing stories about the transformative experience that NaNoWriMo was for them, and how they discovered themselves as writers. And how they intended to keep writing year-round, all twelve months, not just National Novel Writing Month. But oftentimes, people had hurdles in order to do that.

And so I heard the story often enough that I wanted to write a book that would cover the whole year, hence 52 essays. And so the essays are really on a whole spectrum of issues with being creative. And I feel like it’s kind of a weekly meditation, or a weekly reflection. I think everyone is going to read the book differently. Some people might read it in a day or two, and some people might read an essay a week, or an essay whenever they think about it. But that’s the goal of the book, is to help people be creative, and meet their writing goals year-round.

Valerie

And I think that’s an interesting point, it’s how to help people be creative. Because as I was reading it, I know that – I mean, there’s lots of fantastic advice for writers – but really there’s fantastic advice for anyone who is in any kind of creative pursuit. Whether it’s photography, or art, or creating whatever.

And I was wondering how you… You came up with 52, because obviously there’s 52 weeks in the year. Presumably that’s why you’ve chosen that number. How did you choose the 52 that made it into the book? And were you either stretching to get to the 52? Or did you have heaps and you had to whittle it down to 52?

Grant

Both. At times it was difficult to come up with 52. And I definitely tried out topics that didn’t quite work and that didn’t make it into the 52. I wanted them to be 52 good essays, not just 52 just because of 52. So at times it felt like a stretch. But now that the book is published, I keep thinking about more essays that I want to write. So I think there are a lot more topics out there to explore. There are just so many different sides to creativity.

Valerie

Can you share with us some of your favourite pep talks from the book? The ones that you think might be most effective for writers?

Grant

Well, there are different themes. And one of the themes is, I think, a quality of being a successful writer that oftentimes doesn’t get touched on enough. I think there are a lot of books out there, especially for fiction writers, about how to write great dialogue, or how to write great suspense, or how to plot your novel. All great topics. But the thing that makes any fiction writer successful is showing up every day to write, setting goals and deadlines and being accountable to those goals and deadlines.

So there’s a kind of boot camp aspect to it, you know? About what it really takes to dive in and succeed as a writer.

But the boot camp aspect is only one aspect of being a writer. I think there’s also the living life as an artist and a creator. And how to be creative, you need to be experiencing so many different things and experimenting with your creative process. And so there are a lot of chapters on just that. On how to experiment with your creative process.

But I think, also, there is something else about being creative and being a successful writer. And it’s recognising those moments of when you need to get up and take a walk, or be playful, or be totally absurd, or how to develop a writing community. This is something that I think most writers don’t revere enough, is the power of being in a writing community.

So I really do try to touch on all different aspects of what it means to be a successful writer. And also how to think of your daily life as a creative exercise, and a creative moment.

Valerie

Now this book, as you say, is a series of essays. And some of them, you talk about things that have happened in your own life, based on personal experience, and others are observations and thoughts. When you sat down to write each essay, did you have a structure in mind so that each essay would follow some kind of theme or goal that you were trying to achieve with each one?

Grant

Yeah, I mean, as per my previous answer, I was looking to provide a balance of different topics.

I don’t think anyone’s creative process should be a static, finished thing. I think everyone’s creative process should be an ongoing experiment. And so that’s another principle of the book – is guiding people into how to take different creative experiments. Because we’re always changing as people and as creators, and I just think you don’t want to be static.

So there’s a lot of modulation in the book. It’s not just a one tone book. I hope that there’s four, five, six different tones to it.

And per a structure to the essays, I think the only structure is that they’re not long. They’re meant to be very brief, very easily digestible. You can really read each chapter in, I don’t know, five or ten minutes certainly.

Valerie

I think that one of the things about this is that it’s actually, even though when you read it it just flows really well, and it’s interesting, it’s very practical as well.

And I know that, of course, there was the other big book about creativity that came out a couple of years ago now. Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic. And some people love it, and I loved it; it was a great book. But also some people who were seeking a more practical instruction, in a sense, felt that it didn’t have that, even though it was a beautiful read. And I feel that this book has a lot of, even though it doesn’t come across as instructional, there’s so much practical stuff that you can take away.

When you decided on each pep talk – I almost feel that pep talk is not even quite the right word for it, because they’re more than just pep talks. Was the practical aspect a really important part of it? Or did you just kind of, this is what I feel like writing now?

Grant

Yeah, thank you so much for asking that question, because I think it’s really important. The book is really more… It’s not just a meditation on creativity, or a reflection on creativity. We at NaNoWriMo, it’s all about taking action. That’s a principle of National Novel Writing Month. And so each chapter closes with an exercise. And an exercise for a person that… It’s not the kind of exercise that’s like, oh I’ll do that this year or next year. It’s meant to be very immediate. Like, I can do the exercise this week.

I love Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, I read it myself. And I think your characterisation was interesting. I hadn’t heard that before. But yeah, I think that is a differentiator with this book, is that it’s meant to lead people into actions after they read each chapter.

Valerie

So you’re the Executive Director of National Novel Writing Month. How long have you been in that role and what do you actually do?

Grant

Oh my gosh! You actually don’t really want to know what I do. But I’ll touch on it. I’ve been Executive Director, this is my sixth year. It’s been the most important job of my life. It has taught me more about nearly everything.

Valerie

Really?

Grant

Yeah. Every day is a stretch goal. There’s this huge, huge writing community of NaNoWriMo. People think of us as a one-month event, but we’re so much more than that. We have programming that goes year-round. We serve nearly 500,000 writers around the world, including those in Australia and Berkeley.

So I was a very solitary writer before I came to NaNoWriMo. And that community that I’ve been involved with has just been so galvanising and inspiring, and so helpful in so many ways that I couldn’t have expected. And so that’s one huge benefit of the job.

But what I do, again this is going to be so horribly boring, but an Executive Director, it is a really tough job. We are a small non-profit. We have eight staff people. Again, we serve 500,000 people around the world. So I have to really focus on keeping the organisation alive and surviving and thriving. Which involves developing our programming, overseeing our staff, thinking about a strategic vision, working with our board, fundraising of course is huge.

But also, I think just a non-profit is different than a for-profit, because our goal, our mission, our impact is to help people be creators. So I have to always be in touch with the people we’re working with, which includes 4,000 schools that we support through our young writers’ program. Nearly 100,000 kids and teens who write. 1,000 libraries. So there’s just a lot of, we have a huge reach, but we’re still a small non-profit and a small staff, so it’s just every day is a challenge. But it’s also a glorious wonderful challenge.

Valerie

So just in case there are some newbie writers who are listening to this and maybe have been living under a rock, can you just quickly explain to people the concept of NaNoWriMo?

Grant

I’m so glad you asked that, because sometimes I take it for granted that everyone knows what NaNoWriMo is. Because we’ve been around since 1999 and we’ve grown astronomically every year.

And what it is, it’s many things. At its most simple level, it’s a challenge to write 50,000 words in 30 days. And the reason that challenge exists is that so many people have a novel, a story, they want to write, but they either wait for that moment of inspiration to strike them, or they say that, oh, some day I’m going to write that novel, some day when my life situation is better and I have money and time or whatever it is. But some day rarely happens.

And so we exist to ignite people’s creativity, help them reach their creative potential, by writing a novel in 30 days by joining in this amazing, encouraging, and empowering community.

And in the end, we really do believe that everyone has a story to tell and everyone’s story matters. That’s why we’re free. We want to open the gates of storytelling and include really the whole world. Because we believe that when people are creators, when they can tell their story and put their voice into the world, they are change agents. They change the world. And so it’s not just about getting your novel published, it’s about being a creator.

Valerie

And tell us about the first time you wrote in NaNoWriMo. Do you remember that? And did you win?

Grant

Absolutely. Yeah, I did win. I joined NaNoWriMo… Chris Baty, the founder of NaNoWriMo, he was an acquaintance of mine. He was a good friend of a friend of mine. And I decided that I’d been writing for so long that I wasn’t sure if my creative process had just kind of happened to me, or if I had decided on it. And so I decided to do something to really shake it up, which was NaNoWriMo.

And I discovered that in writing so vigorously and so quickly, with just progress of the story in mind, that I took more creative risks. And I’ve always been one who doesn’t like to write a rough draft. I love planning a novel, I love revising a novel, but writing the rough draft is the most painful part. And so NaNoWriMo helped me get that rough draft out. And it helped me get it out in a way that… I was kind of a ponderous precious writer. I would write that first sentence and first paragraph and chapter, and I’d go over and over and over it again until I could move forward. And I didn’t realise that that was kind of a way of being stuck in a way. The main thing is to get the story out and then to do all those refinings, revisions afterwards. So I just found NaNoWriMo to be a wonderful creative experiment, that I keep experimenting with actually.

Valerie

When did you know that you wanted to be a writer? Were you really into it when you were at school, when you were little? Or did it come later in life?

Grant

It came very early. Because I can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t want to be a writer.

Valerie

Really?

Grant

Where I didn’t write. Yeah. Even before I knew how to write, I remember I was sitting in my bedroom reading a picture book. Or probably looking at the pictures. And I got this whole crazy idea for a series of books, and I went running down to tell my mum, and she was on the phone with a friend. And she still might be on the phone with that friend. I am joking. My mum has been very supportive.

But no, I wanted to write. I can’t remember any time when I didn’t want to write. My mum later bought me this really wonderful antique roll top desk for kids, and that’s where I write my first story.

Of course, the thing with being a writer is that it’s hard, you know, you don’t look in the Want Ads and be like, oh we need a novel writer. Like wow, I’ll apply for that job! So I tried on a variety of different careers. And in fact when I was in college I was deciding whether to be an econ major or an English major. And I very fortunately had a semester abroad in France where I just sat around in cafes and read novels, mainly about expat authors in the 20s, and I was like, this is the life for me. And I did the field of economics a great service by not majoring in economics. And came back and became an English major.

And I decided I wanted to be a writer at 20 and I never looked back. So yeah, it’s always been part of who I am.

Valerie

So with this book, as you say there are 52 essays, and they come together in this wonderful, beautifully readable and very useful book. When you were actually writing it, tell me about that process. Because it’s not like you have a plot and a narrative arc that you need to follow. Did you think I’m going to write 52 and then put them in order later? Or I’m going to write one a week and it’ll take me a year. Or I’ll write two a week and it’ll take me six months. Tell us about the timeframe and the process.

Grant

It was interesting to me in the aspect of I have never written a non-fiction book before. I’ve written plenty of non-fiction articles or blog posts. I worked as a journalist for a number of years. But I’d never done a whole book.

And so one of the best parts of the process was actually the book proposal. And my agent was very demanding, and so I put together a very careful and very lengthy and deep book proposal. I think the book proposal itself was 65 pages. And it included an outline for all 52 essays. I mean, I could change them afterwards, but basically all 52 were relatively set in the book proposal. And then I wrote a summary of each chapter, and then I wrote at least six to eight sample chapters.

So by the time the book was purchased and I’d signed the contract, it was done. A lot of it was done. And so that really helped. I can’t even remember how long this took to write, to tell you the truth. Probably about a year; maybe a little longer from book proposal to final draft. I can’t really remember.

As I mentioned earlier, I did write more than 52 essays and I did change the order when I was working with my editor, which was also a wonderful experience. He was a wonderful editor.

But yeah, that book proposal, it was a gruelling process, but I’m so glad that my agent just required a lot of it. It really gave me a jumpstart.

Valerie

So this is a non-fiction book and you usually write fiction. So apart from this book, can you tell us about how you fit in your writing? Because you have a day job as Executive Director of NaNoWriMo. How do you fit your writing into your life? Do you carve out specific times? Do you just write when you can? Does it depend on the project that you’re working on?

Grant

It’s all of the above. I’m a very scattered writer, in the sense that I work on a number of different projects. Whether it’s a non-fiction book or articles that I’m writing, or fiction that I’m working on. Which includes flash fiction. I also have this side project, 100 Word Story. And I publish a collection of 100-word stories. I have a novel and a short story collection with my agent.

But to directly answer your question, I try to wake up super early. And so I’m usually up at four or five in the morning, which gives me an hour or two…

Valerie

Oh wow.

Grant

I know. I used to be cursed with bad sleep, and now it’s a blessing. Because it gives me the time I need to write. Because I also have children. And there’s just not much time in the day. And I’m a wreck at night. I can’t do anything like write. So I try to do it in the morning. And I generally wake up and get an hour or two in every day.

I also find that as a working parent, that we need to re-envision what our creative time is. I think too often, I mean before I had children, I would only write in these glorious expanses of time. During the morning on weekends. Or just when I felt my creativity was at this kind of peak. And what I realise, as a working parent, I realised that I rarely have that kind of time, and so I have to fit my writing into the nooks and crannies of my day. And have to seize those moments whether it’s 10 minutes or 15 minutes.

You know, in 10 or 15 minutes you can write 200 or 300 words perhaps. And if you write 300 words a day, that’s over 100,000 words a year. Which is a big novel. And so I think as working parents we need to perhaps change our creative process to fit the constraints of our life. But those constraints can also be wonderful creative opportunities.

Valerie

Yes, it’s one of the things you mention in the book, too. So you are co-founder of 100 Word Story, which people can find at 100wordstory.org. Which is flash fiction. Tell us a little bit about that and why you like flash fiction?

Grant

Yeah. I call myself a schizophrenic writer because I write these little 100-word miniature stories and then these big long novels.

But I think it was six or seven years ago, a father of a good friend of mine had published a memoir that was one hundred 100-word stories, and I was quite taken by it. Both as a way to write one’s memoir, because it focused on all those tiny moments of life that might not make it into a big sweeping grand memoir, but they’re very telling and very important moments.

And so instead of writing a memoir via 100-word stories, I chose to write fiction. And it was the same principle, really, that by condensing the story, by writing a story within a fixed compositional lens, those constraints, kind of like a haiku or certain forms of poetry, it brought out a different type of creativity that was really valuable to me.

Every word matters in a 100-word story, every sentence. You have to develop your skills of characterisation through gestures, through fleeting glances. The stories are told through hints and suggestiveness and through what you leave out. So it’s a different kind of storytelling, and I found it really appealing and really meaningful. And I’ve learned lessons from writing 100-word stories that I apply to my novels now.

Valerie

So you seem to have really diverse interests when it comes to writing, whether it’s flash fiction or long form books, as a journalist, non-fiction articles. If you don’t have a deadline on a project – because obviously something like when you’ve got to deliver a manuscript to a publisher and you’ve agreed to do that, you’ll have a deadline. If you don’t have a deadline on your various projects, do you self-impose one? Or how do you keep the momentum going? Do you try to achieve a certain volume of output? Or how does that work?

Grant

More and more I use a deadline for almost everything, especially after experiencing NaNoWriMo. It’s a really powerful thing to have a goal and a deadline. I think without one, projects can meander and get lost and you can miscalculate the progress you’re making.

I had this rare opportunity this summer to go on a writing residency for 30 days in July. And I knew that, it’s a weird thing to get an opportunity like that, because it’s very easy, strangely enough, to fritter away the time. Or to not be writing as much as you really should be. And so I made sure that I had a daily goal every day. Kind of like NaNoWriMo. I was writing a first draft, and so I really wanted to get as much of that first draft done as possible in July.

And so I do have, I mean, the only thing that I can say is that a lot of my deadlines are publishing deadlines that are assigned to me. So I have a lot of writing that I’ll kind of squeeze in sometimes and won’t be able to finish it. So some things do linger, but generally a deadline is my friend. At NaNoWriMo we say, “a goal and a deadline is a creative midwife.”

Valerie

Yes. And so with the residency that you had in July, and you gave yourself a daily goal, first of all was this project for a particular publishing deadline? And also what was your daily goal?

Grant

It was, it was a new novel. My agent gave her blessing, thought it was a great idea. So I plunged in. I gave her actually two or three different novel ideas and options. And my daily goal was 3,500 words a day.

Valerie

Oh that’s a lot!

Grant

It is a lot. Like I said, this was a rare time. For me to get a month to write, that’s just crazy. I don’t know when that will happen again. And so I needed to maximise that. I didn’t quite finish the first draft of the novel, but I got so much of it done that it really jump started it.

Valerie

Wow. And how does that work, when you get 30 days to go somewhere, and you’ve got kids, how does that work on a practical level? Because I know so many of our listeners will want to know this.

Grant

It’s tough. It’s super tough. Like I said, the practical level is what will be tough to pull off. My wife is a writer, we’re both working parents. My son is 16, my daughter is 12. We somehow, we both support each other as much as we can to make this happen. Writing is a huge thing in our lives. So I think teamwork between my wife and I. Hopefully she’ll get to do it next summer. Before I did it, she went for two weeks on her own writing retreat.

But yeah. I mean, it’s just tough. I don’t know if I have any magic recipe for people, except that sometimes you just have to make it happen. Sometimes you have to accept that your house is going to get messy. You’ve got to give yourself permission to get away from all those ‘shoulds’ of life, all those practical concerns. Because otherwise it won’t happen. So whether it’s a month off, or a week off, or a weekend off.

My wife and I have this thing where because we know it’s so hard to get that time off, we will give each other a long weekend to go on a retreat. And so I’ll go an hour or two hours from our home and stay in a hotel for three or four days and just go crazy with extreme writing. And again, that’s more doable and probably your listeners can do that. But that’s a great way to jumpstart projects.

Valerie

I love that. Extreme writing. So if you go away for three or four days to a hotel, tell me about that. First of all, how many words do you think you would end up with at the end of the extreme writing adventure? But also is it really full on from the moment you wake up? Do you order room service and hole yourself up? How does that work?

Grant

When I do it it’s a masochistic affair. I wake up at four or five and I start the coffee going. And when I did it last it was when I was working on the book proposal for this book and I was working on a novel at the same time. And I wrote for, I don’t know, probably ten hours. It was crazy. And I was very tired at the end of it.

Valerie

Ten hours straight? Ten hours without stopping for meals, maybe? And the bathroom?

Grant

I would stop for a meal and I would take the occasional walk, because I think those are good for your creativity. And I’m actually a roaming writer. So I might write for a couple of hours in the hotel room, I might go out to a cafe and write for a couple of hours there. I like changes of scenery. So I’m not totally masochistic.

But if I have three or four days away from the family, I’m going to maximise my production. But, that said, I would find, for me the evenings are a wind down time. And so I would go have a nice dinner by this little river where I was and have a beer. And I might go to a movie, and I would replenish myself. And then I would wake up at 4 the next morning and pour a cup of coffee and do it again.

Valerie

So typically how many words would you get out of one of those weekends?

Grant

Gosh. That weekend I didn’t measure the words, because I was working on the revision of a novel, and then I was working on my book proposal. So it wasn’t so much word count as more hours. So I was putting in a good ten hours a day, certainly. Maybe twelve to fifteen.

Valerie

So will you be doing NaNoWriMo this year, yourself?

Grant

Absolutely. Yes. That is the best perk of my job, is that I get the opportunity to write a novel every year. And the number one excuse I hear from people is they say, I don’t have enough time to write a novel. And I also don’t feel like I have enough time to write a novel in November. But you can do it. I feel like I have to role model that.

And one thing I do is in the month of October, next week I’m going to do this, I go on a time hunt. Which means I keep track of my time in 15-minute increments for the whole week. So I see how much time I’m spending on social media. I see how much time I’m watching Netflix. I see how much time I walk my dog. And I look for ways to fit in two to three hours of writing a day so that I can succeed during NaNoWriMo.

Valerie

I love that. What did you call it? A time…?

Grant

A time hunt.

Valerie

Hunt?

Grant

Yeah. And the premise is that we all have time in our lives, we just don’t recognise we have time. We think we’re busy and we are busy. But we also have time that we can use in different ways. And if we want to prioritise creativity for a month, we have to really prioritise it. Which means cutting some things out.

So I think that doing any big act of creativity, you have to learn to say no. And that’s the hardest thing for a person like me to learn. So you have to say no to the dinner party, or whatever it is. A movie. You have to say, I’m writing a novel this month so this takes priority, so I have to say no. And generally people will understand and support you once you tell them that.

Valerie

And so with this NaNoWriMo for this year, do you already have the idea of the book? Do you already have that mapped out in your head? And for those people who like the idea of NaNoWriMo but haven’t got any idea, what are your suggestions for them?

Grant

For me, by this point I generally like to have an idea. I love to spend the month of October just mulling over the idea, letting it marinate, letting ideas percolate, writing some things down. I don’t like to write with an outline. I don’t like to just start from scratch. I like to find that happy middle ground. So that’s what I’m doing now.

And I love writing one novel every November, and then having that kind of completed 50,000 words that I can then hopefully revise at another time.

And so for people who maybe don’t have an idea now, or haven’t done NaNoWriMo before, we have a NaNo prep, a whole season, where we’re providing resources and webcasts and Tweet chats and blog posts. All sorts of things to help people succeed during NaNoWriMo. So oftentimes people sign up for NaNoWriMo on October 31st and they do it. And sometimes they have no idea for a story, they just want to do it and they start. And we’ve even had people sign up in November, on November 7th or November 10th and still complete a novel.

So I guess I would say to people, don’t limit yourself. The main thing is to sign up and write. And sometimes your first NaNoWriMo is kind of a practice NaNoWriMo just to see what it is. And then you’ll succeed another time. I can’t tell you how many people have told me that they’ve failed NaNoWriMo, and they’ll say, I only wrote 10,000 words. And I’m like, oh my gosh, you didn’t only write 10,000 words. You wrote 10,000 words in a month! And if you do that every month, that’s 120,000 words a year. That’s huge.

So the main thing I want people to do is to not put obstacles in front of themselves. To just dive in and write and do their best.

Valerie

Wonderful. And where can people sign up to NaNoWriMo?

 

Grant

Nanowrimo.org. National Novel Writing Month. That’s the acronym. It’s kind of a weird one. But nanowrimo.org. And it’s free! Nothing to lose! You can do it, Valerie!

Valerie

Of course. And we’ll put the link in the show notes. Now finally I just want to circle back to your book, Pep Talks. What do you hope people who read this book leave with or end up doing?

Grant

I really want people to be empowered as writers and creators. I think that too often people think that other people are writers, and they aren’t fully writers, or they’re not real writers because they haven’t published. You are a writer because you write. Every human is a creator and a creative type.

And I often times think of this Pablo Picasso quote, which I can’t say word for word, but he basically says every child’s an artist, but the challenge is how to be an artist once we’re adults.

And it really pains me to see people lose their creativity, and put their creativity, diminish it, and make it secondary or even lower than that in their lives. So I want them, I hope that people think of themselves as creators, and experiment, and do big things like writing a novel. Or other big creative acts. I mean, as you said at the beginning of this, the book is for writers, but it’s not exclusively for writers. It’s really for anyone who wants to live a creative life.

Valerie

Wonderful. And on that note, thank you so much for your time today, Grant.

Grant

Thank you, Valerie, I really enjoyed this.

 

Comments