(Transcript) – When do you become a real writer?

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Morgan MacDonald : Hey! If you want to know when YOU can become a REAL writer you’re in the right spot. That’s what we’re talking about today. Welcome guys. I’m getting myself adjusted.

 

Silent Moon ( https://twitter.com/silentmoonindra ) : HI!

 

Morgan MacDonald : … Silent Moon Indra. Yes, I met you on Blab… It’s so cool to see everyone doing cross-platforms.  

 

Joann Krall ( https://twitter.com/silentmoonindra ) : Hi, from Boston.

 

Morgan MacDonald : … Hey Joann from Boston… Welcome as you are all popping in. It’s Monday [laughter]. Did you all enjoy the Blab over the weekend? That was so fun! So I was doing a podcast with Ron Estrada, who a lot of yáll know from Periscope, [and] his co-writer and co-podcaster, Gina Conroy. And while we were recording the podcast we also did a Blab, which was really fun, because some of your guys were in there, and interacting, and we pulled a couple of people into a “hot seat”.

 

Silent Moon ( https://twitter.com/silentmoonindra ) : Was great thank you!

 

Morgan MacDonald : … Good. Good. Yes. I think we’re connected on Twitter now. I haven’t checked my feed. I, kind of, took the rest of the weekend off. [I[ don’t check social media on Monday morning [laughter], because we’re trying to get stuff done, right? But I think we’re connected on Twitter now, and so we’ll definitely be having that conversation…Thanks for the hearts guys…

 

Okay. So let’s do the quick, intro, run-down stuff. If you are NEW to Periscope, welcome [laughter] . [Feel free to] tap hearts on the screen to let me know that you’re there, and engaged, and like what we’re talking about. If you like to talk about WRITING, hit that little “Peri Buddy” down there [to] change that “plus” to a “check”, and then you are following me…

 

Darnell Cureton ( https://twitter.com/DarnellCureton ) : The Blab was Fab!

 

Morgan MacDonald : … Hey Darnell! Thanks. Yeah. That Blab was  SUPER fun… That was my FIRST time on Blab, [and] it was, kind of, interesting, but was WAY more fun than I thought it was going to be. It’s like four people can do Periscope at the SAME TIME. You see FOUR people [on video] at the same time. It’s crazy… So yeah, hit [to] follow me. I Scope daily, usually around this lunchtime hour, about writing of some sort, and help give you some inspiration. We try to keep it to 15 minutes or so, and then the idea is [that] YOU go use your lunch break to do some writing. And SHARE! Share the love… Thank you. Thanks for inviting followers… Exactly. I need to really figure this out. You swipe left [or] right, [but] you swipe [laughter], and you can share on Twitter, Periscope, and Facebook. So thank you. Thanks for the hearts too. [irrelevant comment].

 

I am Morgan Gist MacDonald. I’m a writing coach, an editor, and author. I run my business and my blog out of http://www.paperravenbooks.com . There’s the link. And I ALSO do Scope Notes for you. So if you – like I watch Periscope when I’m doing other stuff, like washing the dishes or cooking food…

 

Ayesha (https://twitter.com/LeAyeshah ) : Hello :)

 

Morgan MacDonald : …Hey Ayesha! Thanks for joining…. Tracy is in the room too… So I take Scope Notes for you, and you can always find them at http://www.paperravenbooks.com/periscope . And if you are a writer, and you Scope, use our HASHTAG #periscopewriters :

 

( https://twitter.com/search?q=%23periscopewriters&src=typd )        

 

so we can FIND each other, support each other, get on each others’ Scopes, and give each other hearts and shares and follows, and it’s all fun, and we get to BUILD a COMMUNITY. That’s what this is all about, building a writer’s community.

 

Silent Moon ( https://twitter.com/silentmoonindra ) : You are organised.

 

Morgan MacDonald : …. [laughter] Thanks. I’m TRYING to be organized. “Silent Moon”, remind me of your first name. I cannot remember, but I would love to call you by your first name and not your handle [laughter] , if we can do that. So let me know… I try to be organized, [but] it’s a slow process. This is like my 60th broadcast, or something. So we’re getting a groove down [laughter].

Silent Moon ( https://twitter.com/silentmoonindra ) : Indra.

 

Morgan MacDonald : … Indra. Thank you Indra. I appreciate that… Okay guys. The question : When do you get to be a REAL writer? You probably ALREADY, kind of,  know what I’m going for, but I’m going to give you some PRACTICAL stuff.

 

Silent Moon ( https://twitter.com/silentmoonindra ) : Name is in the handle.

 

Morgan MacDonald : … [Your] name is in the handle… Oh, Silent Moon Indra. Gotcha. Okay. That’s good to know. I will remember now… Okay. The person you have to convince that you are a writer is YOU. You have to convince YOURSELF. So YOU are the one who gets to decide when you are a “REAL writer”. I will tell you that the sooner you begin to TELL yourself that you’re a real writer, the more progress you’ll make, and more QUICKLY.  You’ve already DONE some of the backend work. You’re on this Periscope for a REASON. You’re on this Periscope because you are already looking for stuff to DO with writing. That means you’re DOING the writing, you’re trying to improve on your craft…

 

Silent Moon ( https://twitter.com/silentmoonindra ) : Totally.

 

Morgan MacDonald : … Thanks Indra… And you are working DAILY toward this goal of becoming a writer. You are like MILES ahead of most people. Okay? You GET to be a writer.  Í’m going to tell you that right now. If you are on this Scope you get to be a writer, because you’ve ALREADY done some of this backend legwork.

 

But if you’re having a little trouble making that transition …Thanks for the hearts guys. It’s super motivating [because\ I’m like, “Yay! People are here!”… I want to give you some super-practical exercises. This is what I love to do. I love to take big, abstract, mindset shifts – and things like that – and break them down into practical ways you can begin to MAKE the shift happen.

 

So [number] ONE – this is a really powerful exercise, and actually if you were on the Blab you heard me tell this to Steve…

 

Silent Moon ( https://twitter.com/silentmoonindra ) : Ah!! Love hate relationship with my writing.

 

Morgan MacDonald : … [laughter] “[I have a] love-hate relationship with my writing”.. We all do. It’s like our children, “I LOVE you, but sometimes you drive me crazy.” [laughter] … Okay, so the FIRST exercise is [to] write a MEMO to YOURSELF – no one else is going to read this, just you – describing every single thing you have done to make progress in your writing in your LIFE! Okay? So this is EVERYTHING. This is the number of days, or months, or years that you’ve been writing. This is the number of words, or chapters, or BOOKS that you have written. EVERYTHING counts. Classes you’ve taken, people you’ve talked to…

 

Joann Krall ( https://twitter.com/silentmoonindra ) : High school essays. :)   

 

Morgan MacDonald : …  high school essays – whatever it is… Exactly. Thank you Joann… All of it counts, because it is all part of your PATH to becoming who you are today; the writer you are today. So capture it all, write it out for yourself, and let yourself really SEE how far you have come in your writing journey. I promise you will be SO SURPRISED. It’s like you THINK you know how far you’ve come, but when you lay it all out, and write it all out, you’re like, “Damn! I’m good!” [laughter]. So go ahead and do that for yourself, and CELEBRATE the PROGRESS that you’ve made. Okay? Even if you know that you want to IMPROVE, you still have to be grateful for where you are today.

 

Silent Moon ( https://twitter.com/silentmoonindra ) : From being a kid??

 

Morgan MacDonald : …“From being a kid.”… Sure! Why not? I mean, how many of us were writing stories when we were kids? That was part of who we are today. The child in us was sometimes more closely connected to being a writer than we allow ourselves to be in our ADULTHOOD. You know? As children we so easily say, “I’m a writer. I’m an artist. I’m a whatever.” Then as we [become] adults we’re like, “Am I allowed to say that?” Yes you’re allowed to say it! That’s the only way you’re going to get better. So yes, we are working on IMPROVING our craft, but you can’t always be future-oriented. You have to be grateful for the past, and grateful for the present moment.

 

Silent Moon ( https://twitter.com/silentmoonindra ) : I won a poetry competition at school!! Yippeee!

 

Morgan MacDonald : … Yeah, Indra, “I won a poetry competition at school.”. ..That TOTALLY counts! That’s amazing. I promise [you that] that was like [a] pinnacle foundational turning point for you becoming who you are today. So definitely write it down in that memo and celebrate it.

 

Okay. Number two [is to] TALK with OTHER writers. Like really ENGAGE with other writers. I say “talk”, [but] you don’t actually have to call them up on the phone. This would include : commenting on blogs, [and] hanging out on Periscope. But also, if you can find a local writing group, or someone you can Skype, or Google Hangout [with],  or talk on the phone with, that’s great too. The more you can use the, sort of, “lexicon of writing”, and you talk about writing with other people, it comes back to you. It comes back in. It feels more natural. It feels more conversational. It feels more like YOU. So talk with other people about writing as much as you can. I mean, don’t annoy everyone in your life, but you know…

 

Silent Moon ( https://twitter.com/silentmoonindra ) : Where are they all? In dark rooms?

 

Morgan MacDonald : … “Where are they all? In dark rooms?”… I know, this is a problem for writers. We are so introverted, but we can STILL CONNECT with people. even introverts like connection. Introverts are still HUMAN. We still enjoy friendships. We don’t want to go to a big party where we don’t KNOW anyone…

 

Lakesha Tables ( https://twitter.com/Kesha76 ) : I don’t know many other writers.

 

Morgan MacDonald : … You don’t know many other writers… Kesha. Is this “Kesha” who I’ve been talking with?. I’m going to pull up your profile. Kesha, let me know if you’re [the same] Kesha who i’ve already been talking with on email… Yes, writers are introverts…

 

Lakesha Tables ( https://twitter.com/Kesha76 ) : Yes.

 

Morgan MacDonald : …Oh, hello! Welcome to my Periscope [laughter]…. but don’t confuse introversion with FEAR. I think a lot of us do this. We use our introverted personalities as an EXCUSE to not connect with other people, and we’ve got to change that around. We’ve got to encourage ourselves to be more BOLD.

 

Okay. You KNOW there are other writers out there, but you have to go FIND them. You are connecting with each other RIGHT NOW. So [while] you’re on here, if you see people commenting, tap their profile, hit “follow”, find them on Twitter. I mean, you never know where these connections are going to go. Hey! [Use] Google. [Search for] “local writing group”, [or] “writing group in Houston”, [or] “writing group in Indianapolis”, wherever you are. Just see. Maybe there’s something cool out there. People [also] use meetups.

 

This is the other secret. As you start telling people that you are writing, they will start being interested, and [start asking], “Oh! What ARE you writing?” I can’t tell you how many people secretly pull me aside, and they’re like, “No one else knows this, but I’m writing a book.” And I’m like, “Why won’t you TELL people that! That’s AMAZING. It’s so life-changing to write a book.”…

 

Silent Moon ( https://twitter.com/silentmoonindra ) : We are all weird in the UK.

 

Morgan MacDonald : … Indra [says], “We are all weird in the UK.” [laughter] … We’re all weird EVERYWHERE. It’s true.  But I still think that a lot of us hide behind the feeling of introversion, or the feeling [that] it is culturally inappropriate to talk about myself. That’s NOT an excuse. We have to reach BEYOND that, and connect with other people, somehow. Whether it’s on Periscope, or on Twitter. If there’s someone that you really connect with online say, “Hey, you want to Skype? You want to take our relationship to the next level [laughter]? Maybe they’ll want to Skype. Who knows.

 

Joann Krall ( https://twitter.com/JoannKrall ) : My own husband didn't even know I was writing when I started.    

 

Morgan MacDonald : … Joann says, “My own husband didn't even know I was writing when I started.”… I know! Why are we so SCARED to tell people that we’re writing. Well, I can go on a  whole Scope about that, let me tell you. We are. We are scared, [but] it’s okay. It’s okay to be scared, but you also have to, at some point, turn to yourself and [ask], “I AM scared. WHY am I scared?”  And you can’t let yourself SIT in that place of fear, because that is keeping you from growing into the writer that you are meant to be. I honestly believe that. That fear of failure, like Indra said, is keeping us…

 

Joann Krall ( https://twitter.com/JoannKrall ) : @silentmoonindra I'm out now. :)

 

Morgan MacDonald : … [laughter] ”You’re out now.”… from becoming the writer that we’re meant to be. So, get out there , talk about yourself, talk about your writing, connect with other writers, [and] ask them what they’re writing. Secretly, we ALL want people to ask us what we’re writing. So do that for someone ELSE. Be that person for someone else, if you know [they’re] writing, ask them about it. [Then] every time you talk to them ask them about it. If you know that your cousin told you one time [that] she’s writing a book, when you get together for Thanksgiving say, “Hey, I remember you told me about a book. How’s it going?” Just give them that SPACE to talk about it.

 

Okay. Sorry. Quick recap, [as} I, kind of, wound off the trail here [laughter]. I TRY to stay organized, but sometimes I just get on it. Okay. So the first was : writing a memo to yourself about all of your writing accomplishments from childhood. Number two [is to] talk with other writers.  Okay. Number three : absorb content about writing…

 

Amber J Boswell ( https://twitter.com/YogaPantsCEO ) : I've been writing a fictional novel for 5 years!  

 

Morgan MacDonald : … “YogaPantsCEO” [says], “I've been writing a fictional novel for 5 years!”… What’s your first name? I’m clicking on your profile…Amber!… Okay. Amber, FIRST, that’s fantastic! Second, when are you going to finish the novel [laughter]!? It’s time! Finish that. It’s not going to get any better by letting it sit around. Novels – and books in general – are better when you write them CONSISTENTLY, okay? So get on it. You can DO this, by the end of the year. We still have October, November, [and] December – three whole months. You can TOTALLY finish a novel in three months.

 

Amber J Boswell ( https://twitter.com/YogaPantsCEO ) : That's the million dollar question..

 

Morgan MacDonald : … “That's the million dollar question…” ..I would recommend that you finish by December 31st, 2015. Just a suggestion [laughter] … Okay, absorb content about writing…

 

Joann Krall ( https://twitter.com/JoannKrall ) : I have been writing my memoir for about the same time. :)

 

Morgan MacDonald : …[You’ve have been writing your memoir for about the same time]… Guys, it’s not going to get any better by letting it sit around, okay? Just finish it…  

 

Lakesha Tables ( https://twitter.com/Kesha76 ) :  She needs a coach!!!

 

Morgan MacDonald : … [laughter] Kesha [says], “She needs a coach!”… That’s right! That’s why we HAVE coaches [laughter], to hold you accountable to the things that you already WANT to do.

 

Silent Moon ( https://twitter.com/silentmoonindra ) : I stopped my novel.

 

Morgan MacDonald :  … You stopped your novel, Indra?… Okay.  Sometimes we stop projects because we legitimately [irrelevant comment] [have] good reasons, because they are not serving us in our broader goals. Sometimes big projects can be a DISTRACTION from our true goals. BUT if you feel, in your heart of hearts, that this project [or] goal will actually ADVANCE you down the path that you WANT, no procrastinating! You’ve got to get that done FAST, FAST, so that you can live the life you’re meant to live…

 

Redirecting back to number three [laughter] : absorb content about writing. So Periscope broadcasts about writing totally count, [listening] to podcasts, read blogs, participate in forums, read books – of course! If you haven’t read Stephen King’s memoir on writing [it’s] a great place to start. He’s a FABULOUS writer, I think. Some people disagree. But that’s a really easy, friendly, fun read : Stephen King’s “On Writing”. Or,  for nonfiction, William Zinsser’s “On Writing Well”.

 

Tracy Borgmeyer ( https://twitter.com/tracyborgmeyer ) :    Doing it before having a baby is a good motivator.    .

 

Morgan MacDonald : … Tracy [says], “ Doing it before having a baby is a good motivator.”… Yes [laughter]. Tracy is 36 weeks pregnant, and we are finishing up her book right now, and I am so excited for Tracy’s book. It’s going to be phenomenal.

 

Tracy Borgmeyer ( https://twitter.com/tracyborgmeyer ) :    Morgan's book is a great motivator.

 

Morgan MacDonald : …Oh, thanks Tracy!… I DID write a book, [and] I will tell yáll where to find it in a little bit… Yeah. so absorbing content around writing is almost like talking about it [in that] the more you think about it the more it becomes part of your daily, natural life.

 

Amber J Boswell ( https://twitter.com/YogaPantsCEO ) : @shelovesscience Yesssss! I have 4 kids my last 2 are babies…great plan!

 

Morgan MacDonald : … Amber says she has four kids, and the last two are babies. Great plan… Amber, I know how you feel [laughter]. I have THREE kids, and I wrote my book when my third was four months old – that’s when I STARTED writing it, [and] it took me three months until it was published – and it was one of the hardest things. Writing the book AFTER the baby was HARDER than HAVING the baby [laughter]. But BOTH were totally worth it [laughter]. Sometimes you just need to FEEL that fire, and just do it. So yes… Thank yáll for the hearts. That’s really lovely… Okay. So absorb content.

 

Then number four : if you have put anything out in the world. If you have published ANYTHING on Amazon – I don’t CARE how long it is – you get to be an author.  For the rest of your life you call yourself an ‘äuthor“. Okay? So if you not yet put anything on Amazon, why the heck not!? It’s super easy! You write it in a Word document, you put a cover on it, and you upload the Word document to Amazon. It’s like so simple. In the Scope Notes I will put a link to [the] behind-the-scenes video on how I wrote MY book. I show you the process, [and] it’s SO easy.  

 

So even if it’s not the best book in the world. if you just want to push yourself a little bit further, write a really short book, and put it on Amazon, and then you can say, “Well Morgan told me that I get to be an author now.” So there you go [laughter].

 

Amber J Boswell ( https://twitter.com/YogaPantsCEO ) :  Amazon made me an International Best Selling Author and it's not my best work AT ALL.

Morgan MacDonald : … A,ber says, “Amazon made me an International Best Selling Author and it's not my best work at all.”… Amber, exactly! I totally agree. We load [all of these fears up] on like, “I’m putting it on Amazon. Oh my gosh!” But just do it. And if you caught the Scope on Friday, iterate. You know? Put something out there, complete it, publish it, get it out there, and then do ANOTHER, and iterate and iterate and iterate. That’s how we do it. That’s how we improve.

 

So, sorry for some little rabbit trails in there, but if you want to be a REAL writer, YOU are the only one stopping yourself from calling yourself a real writer. Okay? So, write a memo to yourself. Talk with other writers. Even if you’re an introvert that does not mean you get to be fearful of people. You’re NOT agoraphobic, you’re just introverted, okay?. You like people, so just go find a couple. Absorb content about writing, and then if you have put ANYTHING on Amazon you OFFICIALLY get to be an author for the rest of your life. If you have NOT put anything on Amazon, do that before the end of this year. Then, from 2016 on you’ll get to be [an official] “author” for the rest of your life.

 

So I hope that’s helpful for you guys. I hope that I have provided some Monday motivation for you to get cracking on some writing, because it doesn’t that long to write a book…. Oh, I’m supposed t share with you… Thank you Tracy for plugging my book for me… My book is out on Amazon. It is my BEST writing advice that I give to all of my coaching clients – because that’s what I do, I coach writers through the process, [where] we start with vague idea, go through the first draft, all the way through [the] finished manuscript…

 

Silent Moon ( https://twitter.com/silentmoonindra ) : What if ive wrote for magazines? Am i an author too?

 

Morgan MacDonald : … If you wrote for magazines you’re an author!… Indra, yes! You’re published. Totally! “Indra the author”. It’s official. I give it to you…. So I package all of my best advice to writing coaching clients in my book. It’s on Amazon . You can search “Morgan Gist MacDonald” – [as] I’m the only author with that name -or “Start Writing Your Book Today”. That [book] gives you all my best ADVICE. Then on my Scope Notes I’ll put a link to my behind-the-scenes video too.

 

So yes. Does anyone have any questions? We’re about to wrap up, because I want to give you guys a little time to [even go] do ten minutes of writing today. That’s it! You can totally do ten minutes of writing, can’t you? Like, it’s 12:05pm Central [time]. We’ll log off here in a couple of minutes. [Then you can do] ten minutes of writing, eat a quick lunch,  and you’ve written today.

 

Sheila N ( https://twitter.com/herbally ) :Name of your book again?

 

Morgan MacDonald : … The name of the book is “Start Writing Your Book Today”. That’s the title. The the subtitle is, “A step-by-step guide to write your nonfiction book from first draft to finished manuscript”. BUt if you just type in “Start Writing Your Book Today” it brings it up. ( http://www.startwritingyourbooktoday.com )

 

Silent Moon ( https://twitter.com/silentmoonindra ) : It's 6:05pm here.

 

Morgan MacDonald : …It’s 6:05? Indra, where are you? You must be in London or something. Oh, right. You told me [you’re in] the UK… So yes. Thank you guys. Actually, if you go to Amazon, and you look in the inside cover, there’s a link that shows my behind-the-scenes video also. You can grab that. But I will [also] put it in the Scope Notes.

 

Thank you for hanging out with me today guys… Well, Indra, you can still write [for] ten minutes before you go to bed. I assume you’re not going to bed just yet, so go write really fast for ten minutes…. Thank you for all the comments and hearts. You all totally made my Monday…

 

Amber J Boswell ( https://twitter.com/YogaPantsCEO ) : Ok. Ok. Ok. Time to finish the novel! thank you!

 

Morgan MacDonald : …Time to go finish that novel Amber. Yes, yes, yes. Definitely. You’re ALREADY an international best-seller, [so] you can TOTALLY push out a novel. You can totally do it. And you have babies, [so] you can do ANYTHING [laughter].

 

Lakesha Tables ( https://twitter.com/Kesha76 ) : Where are scope notes?.   

 

Morgan MacDonald : … Scope Notes are [at]… Thanks Kesha for asking… http://www.paperravenbooks.com/periscope . [I keep all of the notes, and replays and transcripts for all of the Scopes I’ve ever done.] So, yeah thank you guys. Hit “follow” if you haven’t already, and we do this every day. So it’s fun. All right guys. Go do some writing, go set some goals, call yourself a writer, find some writing friends, and it’s going to be awesome. All right  Have a good. Bye.      

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