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The other day, Sean and Dan had a call. Sure, they could have talked about growing the business, or Sean’s upcoming sabbatical year.

But, no.

They had to talk about Dan’s lack of progress on his novel.

See, Sean had this brilliant id—well. Sean had this… idea.

“I want you to write a book called, I Tried to Write a Book.”

It’s the story of an aspiring author. A harried, foul-mouthed aspiring author. His name is Dane Jacobson (no relation).

Today, Ben and Dan discuss this ambitious project: Is Sean for real? What is this cryptic book really about? And what the heck does any of this have to do with making a living pursuing our creative passions?

Tune in to find out.

Episode Transcript

Note: This transcript of the episode was machine-generated by Descript and has not been edited for correctness. It’s provided for your convenience when searching. Please excuse any errors.

Ben: [00:00:00] The fallacy is that anyone has pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps. When you write your first book, it will never be because you did it on your own. It’ll be because you were elevated to a place where that was a possibility for you.

Dan: [00:00:37] Good morning, Ben.

I’ve been better. I gotta be honest with you. I’ve, I’ve been better, I mean all live and everything, but I dunno. 

Ben: [00:00:50] So we were talking in the pre show, which, uh, for, for those of you who are listening to this podcast and they’re not in the community, we actually have a whole section of the show before we, uh, start recording the regular podcast where we’re just like talking about whatever.

Dan: [00:01:09] Yeah. And it has background music, which is the real highlight. 

Ben: [00:01:12] And maybe maybe that sells you on being a part of the community because our community members get to listen live. Or maybe you’re like, yeah, I’m okay. Thanks though. But anyways, 

Dan: [00:01:23] don’t. That isn’t how they should be. 

Ben: [00:01:26] no, it’s, it’s fun.

I really enjoy it. I really enjoy it. Um, but we were talking, we were talking about how I’m having a little bit of drama. Right now with Rachel, my wife, over how our studio operates. So we have this offshoot in our room that serves as our studio, and it’s just not well optimized. And so it’s kind of been this, it’s been this point of frustration for a long time.

And then that finally came to a head and not in a bad way, like, you know. We were just like, okay, we, we need to talk about this. And we had, we had a good conversation and came up with some solutions and we both feel so much better and, and honestly like really excited about the possibilities.

And we were talking about how sometimes you, you just become so tolerant of your discomfort and. And your pain, you know, and, and it, you just kind of like let it string along. And, and sometimes you, you need to get to this tipping point where you’re finally pushed over the edge and have to confront it before you can really come up with solutions and ideas.

And, um, and so you said, I thought you were segwaying, and I really wasn’t. But you said, I thought we were segwaying into date. Today’s topic. And so my, my question to you, Dan, is, what is your pain? 

Dan: [00:03:06] Well, I appreciate you. I appreciate you asking Ben, because see, Sean is forcing me to write a book.

Ben: [00:03:14] It’s forcing you. 

Dan: [00:03:16] Yeah, yeah, he is. He’s, he’s basically saying like, you know, you work for me, and from now on, your job is to write a book. 

Ben: [00:03:23] Mmm. Wow. 

Dan: [00:03:27] I mean, it sounds, it sounds like a good problem to have, right? 

Ben: [00:03:31] I, you know, 

Dan: [00:03:33] It hasn’t been. It isn’t a good problem to have. 

Ben: [00:03:36] uh, on the surface though, like I tell my kids this all the time when they are, they’re complaining, you know, we S w well, when they were younger, especially the younger ones still have to take naps and, and we tell them, okay, it’s, it’s time to take a nap.

You have to take a nap and they, they’re really upset because they want to play and stuff, and I’m, and I’m always like, I wish somebody would, I wish someone would come up to me and be like, Ben, you have to stop everything you’re doing and go take, go take a nap. Just go do it. Because then it’s like, well, okay, I guess I just don’t have any choice then I don’t have, I don’t have that kind of authority figure in my life to, 

Dan: [00:04:21] Like if there was a law.

Ben: [00:04:23] Right. A lot that see that would be be like, ah, okay. I guess, you know. Mmm. But to do something, to do something that you aspire to do that you, you care about, that you want to do, it seems like on the surface to be put in a position where you really have to focus on it. Like, you know who, whatever, whatever kind of authority structure you might be under is.

Is saying, no, you have to use, you said that you care about this thing, that you want to do it. And so let’s, let’s make it a mandate. How is, how is that not just, you know, completely freeing and w what is, what is, um, difficult about that. 

Dan: [00:05:15] Well. Okay. It’s a good question because there’s some nuance here, so.

I’m w what I’ve been working on for the last most of a year is a fantasy novel, and Sean is not paying me to write my fantasy novel. As nice as that would be what he wants me to do is he wants me to write a book called, I tried to write a book. 

Ben: [00:05:38] Okay. 

Dan: [00:05:39] Okay, so I’ll give you some details about it.

The protagonist of, I tried to write a book is an aspiring author named Dane Jacobson. Dane is, his name is. 

Ben: [00:05:51] It sounds like really close to your name. 

Dan: [00:05:57] Yes, but that’s a coincidence. 

Ben: [00:05:58] Okay. 

Dan: [00:06:00] Dane is an aspiring author. He’s tried all these different things, but he still hasn’t written a book. He’s.

Tried getting up early every morning. He’s tried building a daily writing habit. He’s tried hiring a coach. He’s tried outlining the whole book. He’s tried blogging about it, taking courses. He’s read all these books about writing. Ben Dane has even tried following inspirational tags about writing on Instagram, but he just hasn’t.

You just hasn’t done it. 

Ben: [00:06:32] And, and, um, okay, so, so I see that that’s kind of like the, the premise of the book and the question that this book that now you have to write is trying to answer is how does Dane overcome whatever’s holding him back away? How will, how does he figure out what’s holding him back and what is it that eventually gets him to.

Finally finish his book, 

Dan: [00:07:01] Well, that’s where it gets interesting, Ben, 

Ben: [00:07:03] or does he, 

Dan: [00:07:04] well, this is the thing. So Dane Dane has this eccentric, long haired boss named John Musgrave. 

Ben: [00:07:11] okay. Is it, um, is, is, is John spelled like traditionally or is it more like a J E. a N like the, the French spelling of.

Dan: [00:07:24] Yeah. Well, that’s very perceptive of you. Although that would be John. 

Ben: [00:07:27] Well, I know, but, but, but if he’s, yeah, I would, you know, I actually, if I may make some, a creative note here, I think, I think Sean would be more relatable as the kind of person who would impose that sort of mandate on someone else.

Dan: [00:07:49] Yeah, that’s an excellent point actually. Um, I’m gonna, I’m updating my 

Ben: [00:07:53] Okay. Good, good. 

Dan: [00:07:54] John McGriff. All right. He’s, he’s from Quebec. Um, only the Canadians will get that joke. 

Ben: [00:08:02] I know, I get it. 

Dan: [00:08:03] Okay. That’s good. That’s good. Um, so anyway, John Musgrave basically is, is saying to Dane, look, I already don’t understand what I’m paying you for.

So what we’re gonna do from now on is it’s your job to write this book about this guy who isn’t writing a book. 

Ben: [00:08:24] Wait a second now is Sean. It has. I’m, I’m, I’m confused how many levels deep we are now. So Sean has made it your job to write a book about a fictional, completely fictional character named Dane 

Dan: [00:08:44] Yes.

It doesn’t even look like 

Ben: [00:08:45] who’s boss.

is saying that it’s his job to write a book about an author who is not writing a book. And now what is What is the main characters name in the book that Dane is writing is what I want to know.

Okay. I like, I like how I like how the last name of the protagonist does not change. 

Dan: [00:09:17] No, that’s how, you know, that’s how you know that it’s not, this isn’t just an autobiographical, uh, exercise. 

Ben: [00:09:25] Totally. Not so. Um, I, you know, I think once you get over how confusing this all is, it actually seems like a pretty interesting book is, is this, is this something that you feel like you would be interested in writing?

Like legitimately 

Dan: [00:09:47] You mean like if Shawn wasn’t forcing me to do it? 

Ben: [00:09:50] right. 

Dan: [00:09:51] That’s a good question. Ben. That’s a good question. I mean, I think what’s up for debate is like, do I ever actually want to write anything that someone else isn’t forcing me to write? 

Ben: [00:10:05] Yeah. So who are going to write this book now?

Because it’s your job. 

Dan: [00:10:11] Yeah, I will. 

Ben: [00:10:13] are you writing this book instead of the fantasy book that you had in mind? I don’t, 

Dan: [00:10:22] See, I think that’s an important question, right? Because it would be very easy to say, this isn’t, you know, this, this imposition is not fair. Because after all, I have this other book that I really want to write for myself and I can’t write it because now I have to write this other stupid thing.

but. I mean, the reality is I haven’t been writing 

Ben: [00:10:44] I don’t know if you, I don’t know if you should say that. It’s stupid. Your boss is listening right now. The one who came up with the I, the, uh, just, I mean, you know, 

Dan: [00:10:56] I definitely haven’t told him to his face that it’s stupid. 

Ben: [00:10:59] it is a pretty ridiculous idea, but, but we’re not gonna we’re just, we’re not going to say that out loud.

So, 

Dan: [00:11:07] we’re going to edit this all out of the show and the live broadcast somehow. 

Ben: [00:11:11] so it’s like the book that you want to write that you’re not actually working on. Has to take a back seat too. This other ridiculous idea that now you have to, now that you have to spend time on. 

Dan: [00:11:27] That’s right, that’s right.

Ben: [00:11:29] Yeah. 

Dan: [00:11:31] So you can see how this is a quandary band. 

Ben: [00:11:33] How and and I think, you know, like knowing your boss, I think that he and anybody who’s been listening to this podcast and knows that you have a book in your head. Um, would really like for you to write the, the fantasy book. So why steer you in this other direction?

Dan: [00:11:56] Well, that’s what I’ve been trying to figure out. And so far I’ve, I’ve come up with a couple of possibilities and maybe what you and I can do on this show is try, is test those possibilities and try to see which one you know, holds the most weight. So the first possibility is that Sean is just the worst, basically.

And he’s doing this for his own sadistic amusement. 

Ben: [00:12:19] I don’t, I don’t know that that couldn’t be true. And also some other possibility is true at the same time. 

Dan: [00:12:26] Okay. Well that’s an insightful point to be honest. So I was thinking about this a lot in the last, well, say we, Sean and I talked yesterday, and you and I have to do this show today.

So I was trying to come up with some reason, reasoning behind this, other than just Shawn’s being an evil, evil man. And. One of the things I came up with is, is, you know, this is something Sean has said before elsewhere that you can’t steer a parked car. You, you can’t, you can’t spend all your time trying to invent the perfect thing that you want to make before you make it.

It’s never going to work. Instead, you have to just start doing something. Even if that something is silly. 

Ben: [00:13:13] Yeah. You know what it reminds me a lot of is anytime we’ve talked about writer’s block and just getting your fingers moving, so the idea being you sit down and you don’t know what to write about and you’re thinking to yourself, I just don’t know what to write about and to go ahead and start writing about that.

Fact that you don’t know what to write about. So you start writing about, I don’t know, to write about, I feel stuck. You start kind of writing about how you feel and what you’re thinking, and then eventually, by virtue of the fact that your fingers are moving, something starts to materialize, you, you, you start to move in a direction toward creating actual content.

And. And that I think is, is so consistent with what we talk about all the time, which is, you know, like taking action is more valuable than having, and an amazing idea that you never do anything with. And, and so in some ways it seems like. Based on, you know, your previous experience, the, the, the path or a possible path to your fantasy novel is getting started on this seemingly nonsensical idea, but that creates the momentum that, that, that makes you take action.

Uh, in a way that, that sets you up to succeed at taking action at the thing that you really want to make. I 

Dan: [00:15:07] Yeah. That that seems like. That. That seems like a bit of a long shot, but, but Hey, anything’s worth trying. Right? Especially if your boss is making you do it 

Ben: [00:15:18] dunno. Is it a long shot? I mean.

Dan: [00:15:22] well. Well, here’s cause here’s, here’s another possibility. Another possibility is. That, you know, doing anything other than the book that I’m not writing is just another way to hide from the book that I’m not writing. But, but it is also possible that like I might go through the experience, the terrible, terrible experience of writing this book called.

I tried to write a book and then get to the end and then realize that I wrote a book and I mean. I’ve thought about this before, that there there is something or there might be something about just like you have this thing that you’ve always wanted to do, which in my case is write a book and as long as I haven’t done that thing ever, there’s this like schism between the imagination and the reality.

You know, there’s the imagination, which is like this, this perfect imaginary world where you write a book. And, and what, and whatever you think happens after that. Mmm.

But if you’ve never done that, it’s, it’s easy to keep living in the world where that is just an imaginary thing. I mean, it’s possible that like once I do it, then ah. You know, having done it like reading this other book isn’t such a big deal. Cause I’ve already written a book. Although I would like to point out that Sean Sean said in the chat that Ben got it.

So I guess whatever it is you said is the, is the 

Ben: [00:16:58] No, I th I think there’s an important layer that you’re adding in what you were just talking about. Mmm.

So first of all, the, the idea of doing something Mmm. Imagining yourself doing something. This is, this has been, I think, a common theme in humanity for years that we would consider ourselves having hit a ceiling in terms of certain accomplishments or whatever until somebody finally says, well, I’m gonna, I’m gonna exceed that.

I’m gonna, I’m going to go further, I’m going to go faster, or whatever. And then as soon as that ceiling is broken. Other people, um, you like, you S you see this with, Mmm. Like with a running 

Dan: [00:17:56] minute, four minute mile, right? Is a famous. Example where I, I’ve heard that he was, he was even posited that it is, that it was physically impossible for the human body to run faster then a four minute mile, and then once someone, I can’t remember his name right now, Roger Bannister maybe, or is that the incredible Hulk?

Anyway? Um. Someone did it. Someone finally ran a sub four minute mile and then in like the year afterwards, like a dozen people did it. You’re right. Like once that barrier, once it was demonstrated that that barrier could be crossed. And so you’re saying this, there’s like an individual version of that where it’s like once, once you’ve demonstrated that you can do something like write a book now suddenly like book writing is just a thing that you can do.

Ben: [00:18:44] Yeah, so I, I think there is kind of an aspect of proving it to yourself. And I think another thing that this type of project makes possible for you that may be doing the thing that you really feel passionately about. Mmm, yeah. Like we struggle with are identity being tied to our creative work.

Even, even if we’re consciously aware of that fact and we’re purposefully trying to detach ourselves from it. It’s, it’s really difficult. So you insert this, you know, silly project. It kind of, it kind of takes, it’s like, yeah, I’m, I’m gonna write this, I’m gonna write this silly book. And everybody knows it’s silly.

And like. Nobody’s going to take it seriously. And I, you know, I’m going to put my name on it, but everybody knows it’s kind of, it’s kind of a joke anyway. And I like, I’m not going to take it personally if I do a terrible job or if it’s not my best work ever, or you know, like you, you kind of take all this pressure off of yourself.

So I think, I think that can be a benefit two, doing this type of thing. So like you’ve there. So there are three positives here that I can see, 

Dan: [00:20:08] Okay. 

Ben: [00:20:09] you know, like we, we talked about the cons, the kind of it being a distraction or an escape from doing what you should be doing. Mmm. It being something that you don’t really care about, but I think the pros here are that It gets you in motion.

You know that it starts to kind of build that quote unquote muscle memory of creating something.

potentially leads you to a place where you’ve completed something and you’ve proven to yourself now that you can finish a book and then you’ve, now you have that knowledge as an asset that you can apply to the thing that you really care about. In three. The, the cost of entry is it’s, it’s perceived as lower.

It doesn’t feel like there is many risks involved in terms of how it might be criticized or received because it’s not something that you’re really taking seriously anyway. You’re just, you know, you’re just doing this project. And so I feel like all three of those things make a pretty strong case for that being.

A viable path toward actually getting started on something. If you find yourself in a position like let’s say, I have said, I want to make a documentary, I want to make a documentary. Mmm. And maybe I even have an idea, but I’m just like not doing anything. Maybe it’s a viable path for me to say, okay, I’m going to make a documentary about how I’m not making a documentary right now.

And the reasons why, what’s holding me back, what might actually get me unstuck and, and then prove to me, you know, like all of those things so I can see it. 

Dan: [00:22:04] Yeah. Can I, can I tell you what I think from everything you just said, which was all really. Good. What I think the core takeaway it should be is the phrase, you won’t take it personally.

Ben: [00:22:18] Yeah. 

Dan: [00:22:20] So that reminds me of, are really a key concept in, we talked about maybe on the last show, we talked about Steven Pressfield’s book, the war of art, and, uh, a couple of the followup books he’s written. And a really important concept in there is his differentiation between being a professional and being an amateur.

And this is such an important part of his thesis that I think the second book in that series is called turning pro and Pressfield’s contention, which I tend to agree with, is that if you, you want to succeed at creating. The work that you’re passionate about, you have to go from being an amateur to being a professional.

And what does that mean? We tend to think of the only difference between amateur and professional as a professional gets a paycheck and an amateur as a day job, right? Like one person gets paid for their work and the other one doesn’t, but. That’s part of it. But another part of it is the bigger part of it is the mindset.

And so one thing in particular that Pressfield points out about amateur, the amateur mindset, the word amateur has its root in the word for love. And an amateur is too in love with their own work, whereas a professional has learned to separate themselves from their work. So. Pressfield, Pressfield quotes.

So this is like me quoting another guy, quoting an ancient scripture. So pardon? Uh, the inaccuracy, but he talks about, uh, a Hindu, um, terrible booze. Moral is basically that like, you have a right to your labor. You don’t have a right to the fruits of your labor, which he sort of takes to mean.

And I kind of take to mean that like. The professional way of thinking about your creative work is, I’ve got to write this book or I have to make this documentary, and then when it goes out in the world, people will like it or they won’t like it, and if they won’t like it, that’s no reflection on me.

And if they like it, that’s no reflection on me. I’m at home making the next thing. It’s not my job to worry about how the thing I made will be perceived. That’s the professional mindset and so the advantage to having a project like this that comes from outside constraints and also isn’t like something that I’m deeply emotionally invested in, is it’s easier to have that mindset about it.

Like if this book sucks, doesn’t matter. I just have to do it. 

Ben: [00:25:12] Yeah. And, and kind of to put that idea. More simply. I think it’s the difference between being in love with the product of your work and being in love with the work itself.

And I think that’s, that’s an important question, you know, do you love writing?

Dan: [00:25:40] That’s a good question. 

Ben: [00:25:43] Do you, do you really. you don’t know. You don’t, you don’t know whether or not you love writing a novel because you haven’t done

it, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Mmm. 

Dan: [00:26:07] There’s a couple things though too. I want to then maybe this is a tangent to the point you’re making. But let me get it out 

Ben: [00:26:12] Yeah. 

Dan: [00:26:14] There’s a, there’s a certain, I think there’s, there’s something a little dangerous about cause we’re talking about creative passions and you know, everyone like, um, I desperately hope that this episode of the podcast is not just about me, that there’s something generalizable here.

Right? And I think we’ll talk about that a little bit more. But if you have this thing that you love and it’s like. I don’t know if I, I don’t know if I love writing because writing is sitting down with a piece of paper or a text editor and making words come out and is, is, do you love that? Or like, do you love, is there like a second level thing?

I mean, I was a software developer for many years and I would say that in general, I did not love typing. You know, squiggly, the S, those little squiggly braces and semi-colons into a text editor. Th th there’s nothing lovable about the act of doing that. What I loved was coming up with creative solutions to problems and the computer code was the way I did that.

You know, in the same way that like you, you, if you’re a builder, I think it’s entirely possible that you don’t love. Banging nails into a piece of wood, but you, you love being able to, with your bare hands, create shelter for someone. 

Ben: [00:27:48] Yeah. I really like that distinction because at the end of the day, and this and Sean kind of demonstrated this in the way that he wrote his previous book through dictation, the mechanics of how and in that sense.

I think it’s, it’s easy to say that Sean loves sharing valuable insights with people and, and so it’s not so much that he loves writing or specifically writing books, but it’s that he loves sharing valuable insights with people in whatever tools he can use to do that. Bull. He’ll learn. He’ll adapt to so that that can happen.

And as many is it in as many ways as possible. Mmm. I mean, does, does Shawn love, I mean, I guess for the next year he’s not going to be doing this quite as much, but this, he loves sitting down and talking into a microphone for an hour and a half. Um, does he, does he love podcasting? I actually really enjoy podcasting.

I love talking into a microphone. 

Dan: [00:29:12] Well, here’s, here’s the thing though too, Ben, like it’s, it’s not a binary either because, yeah. I’m, I’m relating to what you’re saying about like, I love making up stories and telling them to people. I don’t, I, I wouldn’t say that I love the action of using my.

The muscles in my hands to actuate the keys on my keyboard to cause letters to appear on the screen of my computer. I don’t love that. But then again, there are lots of things about the craft of writing that I do love. You know? So to take it back to our builders analogy, you know, you might not love hammering nails into wood.

What you might love is the building of the shelter. However, at the same time. There can be something deeply satisfying and even sort of transcendent about like, you know, and here’s, I’m not a builder, so I might struggle to come up with an example, but like cutting a plane perfectly or putting like a certain little flourish into something that you made.

You know, the same way that with writing, it’s like the, the sort of mechanical work of writing. Is not necessarily the lovable, but I do very much love when I come up with what, like just the right turn of phrase, you know? 

Ben: [00:30:32] Yeah, I hear 

Dan: [00:30:34] if you’re running like you, you want to run a marathon. Like I’m thinking about this cause like Sean just ran a half marathon, you know?

And I’m guessing that every step that he took did not fill him with joy, but some of the time. But at the same time, sometimes you probably do experience this burst of like. This endorphin rush of like, this is great. You know? 

Ben: [00:30:56] So I th I think this, this kind of sparks an idea for me that might unlock something for people.

So I hear, I absolutely hear what you’re saying. Mmm. And I think for some things it’s true that you, you can’t produce certain things without being the one, the sole person involved in the creation of that thing. But for some things, it can be directed or collaborative. So for example, with building a house, the the person who.

Actually, you know, puts the frame together is thinking, know I don’t, I don’t necessarily love hammering nails into wood or using an a nail gun or whatever, but I L I love the idea that once this thing is done, it’s a home for somebody. And that I had, I had a part in that. Mmm. I know that. I know that there are several.

Authors out there who use ghost writers and they actually, they come up with the ideas of a story in and have, you know, the, the plot outline and all of that, but they have somebody else write it for them. Now I don’t want to get into like, is that still your voice and stuff like that? Like I think, I think there’s room for some discussion there, but.

But I, I think it’s a good question to ask. Like is the reason I’m not writing a novel, but I love the idea of it because I love telling stories. I love the ideas that I get for stories. I love following someone’s, um, character arc. Like I love all of that. Part of it. But like the mechanics of writing, I’m not so in love with.

Could it be that your, your role in creating something doesn’t necessarily have to include every part of the process. That’s just a question I want to put out there. Not necessarily specifically for you, Dan, but just for people in general, does your role have to include. Every part of the creative process.

In order to satisfy that desire, you have to create something or you know, like are you, are you in love on a higher level with having built a home for somebody, but you don’t have to be the person hammering the nails in.

Dan: [00:33:52] Yeah. Th th there’s some. I think you’re touching on something important here. And it gets back to one of these problems with ego, which is that we fabricate these, we come up with these ideas of what is valid. You know, like in order to be a, I’m going to use the air quotes only Ben can see on video in order to be a real Novelis story, real, you know, builder or a real, anything.

That means doing X, and you see this in writing all the time because there are so many, like there’s such a mythology about popular writers, like I’ve heard about in the chat before. Garrett brought up Kurt Vonnegut, who I love, whose work I love. I read like all of his books in university when I was probably supposed to be working on computer science assignments, but.

That’s neither here nor there. And I read something about Vonnegut, which was that the way he would write a book is that he would like do every page until it was perfect. So if you looked in the wastebasket next to his typewriter, he’d have a bunch of like rejected page 80 twos and crumpled up page 70 ones because he would just keep working on the same page and until he got it perfect.

And you know whether that’s true or not, and it doesn’t say anything about. You know, mr Vonnegut, I think that is, and incredibly damaging story to absorb as an aspiring. That is to say, uh, you know, kind of just getting started writer, because do you know your mileage may vary, but I’ve found that anytime I try to write something and I sit there trying to get like the first sentence just perfect.

Guaranteed. I will never finish it. And it goes back to what you started saying earlier, which was, you know, we’ve talked about this before, that a good cure for writer’s block is when you sit down and you don’t know what to write. Start writing about how you don’t know what to write. And that seems stupid and pointless because I’m not supposed to be writing about what I, that I don’t know what to write.

I’m supposed to be writing the next great American novel, but the point of the activity is to unlock your brain. And so similarly, you know, this idea that it’s like what you should do is just sit there rewriting the same thing until it’s perfect. Almost guarantees you’ll never finish the thing.

So to come back to the mythology, it’s like if, if Kurt Vonnegut actually did work that way, and I don’t know whether he did or not. I mean a, it’s possible that may, maybe that’s what he did when he was on like his second draft. We don’t know. But then in addition, and, and this is, you know, this is one of these things, I think it holds us back and it’s like, we should take it in the way it’s intended.

Like, like, I’m not Kurt Vonnegut. You know, you’re not Ken burns. Sean is not Elliott kept Shogi like, it’s, it’s one thing to look at the people who are the best in the world, who are famous for doing the thing you want to do, but like comparing yourself to them. And their process and their outcomes is a surefire way to trip yourself up.

Ben: [00:37:13] Absolutely, yeah. And. Even, even as I was thinking about this idea that, you know, I’m, I’m trying to think of the specific author. I think it’s, and I can’t remember his last name, but I, 

Dan: [00:37:28] the, but what’s the thing. 

Ben: [00:37:30] he, he writes, uh, I know he writes like thrillers and stuff like that. Mmm. But, but he’s, you know, like he’s this millionaire, multimillionaire author.

Who comes out with several books. Um, I think I, I want to say like at least two or three books a year, if not more. And, and is not the one actually sitting down and writing the whole thing out, or maybe he does a draft or something like that. Um, but that’s just one way to approach it. And, and I think it’s, I think it’s really important to answer the question.

Bryce. Just shared this in the chat. He said, I just edited a video last weekend that I’ve been delaying for months, every excuse not to do it. So I finally pushed myself to sit down and color correct and it hit me. What I made was good and it was fun to edit and I started asking myself why I had been avoiding it.

Another possible outcome could have been that he sat down to color correct. And start to edit. And confirmed everything that he thought about the process of editing, that it was tedious and terrible. And, and so, like, you don’t know, you don’t know until you actually sit down and do that. And I would say maybe even, you know, sit down and do it enough.

Mmm. That you really get a sense for whether or not. You are the person for that part of the process of creating something. And again, you know, like there are exceptions. Sean. Sean can’t have someone run a half marathon for him, you know? Mmm. There, there are certain creative acts that have to be done on your own, but the documentary, for example, I do enjoy every part of the process.

But maybe in this season of my life, I don’t have time for certain parts of the process, and that’s the thing that’s stressing me out and it doesn’t, it doesn’t take away from what that thing could be for other people to be involved in the process of bringing it to life. Because the alternative is it never sees the light of day.

And that comes, that comes back to ego as well. Um, but that’s, you know, that’s just where I am. But I think for somebody who isn’t really sure, like, am I going to love this process? Am am I going to, you know, I think, I think you have to give yourself the chance to experience it so that you can make that determination without looking at what other people do and thinking, well, maybe that’s the path.

Or maybe that’s the path. Like you, you kind of have to find your own way through the woods. 

Dan: [00:40:33] Yeah. Well put. Yeah, I like that. Find. Find your own way through the woods, but, but you do, you do have to, I think you have to do something initially. Part of that’s pragmatic, which is Um, I can’t remember his name either, but I know the author you’re talking about, or I know there are also similar authors where like some authors write a few books and they get very popular.

And then in order to keep up a heavy production schedule, they will team up with other authors. So yeah, so there’s this one person who wrote, they wrote a bunch of books and now the way they write books is they come up with like an idea. And then they have a team of like, say, six authors that they collaborate with, and each book is a collaboration.

And so 

Ben: [00:41:21] Is it James Patterson? 

Dan: [00:41:24] ah, that sounds right. 

Ben: [00:41:25] That sounds right. 

Dan: [00:41:26] it does. Um. So, so that’s an example. I think the, but it comes back to these like these mythologies that we tell ourselves, because, you know, you know, you said it about documentaries. You feel driven to do everything yourself.

However, at the same time, I think filmmaking is one form of art that is, that, that, like most people understand is generally not the work of a single person. It’s, it’s the work of a large number of people. Mmm. But book writing is usually thought of as a solitary activity, but something like what James Patterson is doing is a little bit, you know, I think about someone like that is a little bit more like a showrunner for a television series or an executive producer at that point where it’s like.

You know, George George RR Martin, to use a recent example, he wrote the first few books of a song of ice and fire, and then when HBO made it, made the TV series, game of Thrones, George Martin didn’t write all those episodes, and he’s sure as heck didn’t direct them, and he didn’t do this production design for them.

Other people did that, but he was up top as like, Mmm. You know, kind of kind of guiding and shaping. Because he had, he had the original artistic vision that was then built upon. Right. And, and that’s perfect. That’s perfectly valid. However, I would also say that like, honestly, when it’s your first time making a film or your first time writing a book, you probably do need to do that yourself.

Ben: [00:43:06] Yeah. And, and that kind of, I think that’s consistent with this idea that you need to, there are things you need to learn about yourself and about how. You feel and your experience working through different parts of the process? And I don’t know. I’ve, I think we, I think sometimes we think we know more about what’s going on in our heads and what’s holding us back than we really do.

I keep looking back at the comment that Bryce made said every excuse not to do it. And I, I feel like one of the things we are, we’re really good at is coming up with excuses that aren’t related really in any way to the real reason we’re not doing something so that we don’t have to deal with the discomfort of facing the, the real reason.

Dan: [00:44:11] Oh, as well. Absolutely. 

Ben: [00:44:13] Or so that like we can feel better about ourselves for not doing something because the real reason is a silly one and it shouldn’t hold us back. Or you know, like. 

Dan: [00:44:24] No, but that’s, yeah, but that’s probably not true. I mean, I think it’s usually more like the fake reason is a silly one.

Like I just don’t have time to work on this thing. And the real reason is at some deep, you know, not to go too dark, but like at some deep level, I don’t like myself, you know? 

Ben: [00:44:40] Yeah. 

Dan: [00:44:41] I don’t, I don’t think I’m good enough. I’m not worthy of having anybody’s praise. Like the reasons that we get stuck are usually hung up on like deep psychological barriers like those, and then they, but they masquerade and we dress them up in these, you know, in these excuses.

Ben: [00:44:59] Yeah, and 

Dan: [00:45:00] that’s, that’s why it’s so hard to get past those, those excuses. 

Ben: [00:45:04] yeah, and we’re, we’re so good at. We’re so good at tricking ourselves. Not purposefully. It’s just, you know, we are masters at fooling ourselves. 

Dan: [00:45:21] Yes. Well, and, and I, and I think we do it out of self-defense, right?

Like, I don’t think we’re masters of fooling ourselves as a cruel, existential trick played on us by the gods, although maybe, but I think most of that stuff is. You know, we build up these psychological defense mechanisms throughout our lives, and eventually they don’t serve us very well, but they are there nonetheless.

And this is why it can be so difficult to root out some of these. This is why we so often like act against interests. Like I could, I could, I could have told you, and I would have told you for years that I want to be writing a book. So why aren’t I? But knowing that was, has not been sufficient to.

You know, create the, to cause the writing of the book. Why is that? Right? Like that’s kind of what we’re talking about. 

Ben: [00:46:09] Yeah. So, so anyways, like getting, taking it all the way back to the beginning, this theory that. Getting started with something I think I think does serve the same. Like we keep talking about you gotta take action.

Like I feel like that is the answer to this question of like, how do I, how do I see past the facade of what my, of all of these excuses my brain has come up with for why I’m not doing something. How do I, how do I experience the reality of what a thing is so that I, so that I know whether or not I love or can tolerate the process or the outcome, you know?

And, and action is the thing. Like that’s really is the only thing. And so then the question is how do, how do I take action? How do I finally get started? And I feel like we addressed that in so many ways. So really in this episode, all we’re doing. Is offering one path of many possible paths, but, but one path that might get you there.

It’s, it’s worth trying come up with some stupid throwaway project that doesn’t matter to you. Maybe, you know, try to set it up to where like someone is making you do it and then see what happens. 

Dan: [00:47:40] Well, well, and to the point actually do it. 

Ben: [00:47:43] Yeah. 

Dan: [00:47:44] Right. And so then what does it take to actually do it?

Because the, the goal there is that, you know. The goal there is to have done something so, so there’s a bunch of overlapping tactics behind this strategy, and one of the tactics is work on a project you don’t care so much about. And then another one of the TA. Then the other tactics are all the things we’ve talked about in the past about accountability, right?

Which is like. You know, uh, come up with deadlines, make them external, make promises to people that you’ll deliver on this thing up. Keep people updated on your status about it. Like those are the things that we’ve talked about a lot and we all sort of know that we should do them. Maybe it will be easier to do those things for a project that isn’t quite so, uh, that you aren’t quite so emotionally attached to that isn’t quite so ego threatening.

Ben: [00:48:37] Yeah. So, so I, I support Shaun’s. Am I pronouncing that correctly? 

Dan: [00:48:47] John, you support John Musgrave. 

Ben: [00:48:49] Yeah. I support Sean John the grave and his quest to get you to finish something to see it through with, with the three possible outcomes being you learn that you hate writing. I don’t think that’s true.

You ditch this project. 

Dan: [00:49:12] learn, you learn 

Ben: [00:49:14] Okay. 

Dan: [00:49:14] that you hate John, which might, which might be 

Ben: [00:49:15] You ditch, you ditch this project eventually because you’ve got the momentum. You need to finally get started on the novel that you want to write, or you actually finish this. It turns into a runaway success and you retire on your millions.

Dan: [00:49:34] Yeah, yeah. And then your years later, years later on my death bed, I’m, I’m like, if only I had written the novel I really cared about. 

Ben: [00:49:42] Yeah, but then it will be too late.

Dan: [00:49:48] Oh man. I feel like we’re given so many mixed messages in this episode, but you know, but I want to say two things. And the first one is, Ben, I’m very disappointed that you are taking Sean’s side on this instead of mine, although I can’t say I’m surprised.

and the second one is just another point about ego. So Sean and I were talking about this whole thing. Yesterday on a call. This is where the whole idea came from and he said something kind of half jokingly that it’s like, but now the problem is now you’ve got to live with the fact that like Sean pushed you, like pushed you over the finish line, like Sean made you write a book instead of you just doing it on your own.

And he might’ve been half joking, but there, there is something real. There is something real there and it’s about ego. And it’s just this idea that, again, you know, you come up with this idea that like the only way you can do something, the only way that thing will be valid is if it’s this specific thing.

If you do it yourself, if you do it without certain constraints, but those are, those are kind of imaginary roadblocks, right? They’re arbitrary. 

Ben: [00:51:05] Well. And I think that the fallacy is that anyone has pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps. we know that there’s, you know, we, we S we’ve heard stories about people who, despite their circumstances, we’re able to, to overcome and, you know, like make a life for themselves or whatever.

I think the.

I think that the people who our happiest and who have the healthiest relationship with success and accomplishment are the ones who realize that they were not alone, that there were helpers and mentors. Mmm and people along the way who prop them up, whose shoulders they were able to stand on. Even even just looking at where we are in this point in history and the tools that we have available to us.

You and I did not imagine, could not have imagined. What we have now is the internet and all of these. Computer based writing tools, let alone pen and paper had that technology not existed. I mean, we, any of us who are making anything are standing on shoulders. We are being propped up. The idea of doing something okay by your own strength and, and motivation.

And you know, like even even that. Was somehow instilled in you. And, and so I, I feel like thinking about yourself in that way becomes the antidote to what really is this paralyzing idea that you have to make something happen for yourself in order for it to be a legitimate. 

Dan: [00:53:24] Right? Listen, I think it comes back to that Pressfield idea of between the professional and the amateur where, because everything you’re talking about comes down to being too wound up in your.

Your own work. Right? So Sean corrected me in the chat. He said, actually what I said was, after you’ve written 40 books, you’ll look back and wonder if you ever would have written them had I not forced you to write a book. And this is a great, this is a great point, because talk about an existential crisis, right?

But here’s where I make that differentiation. The amateur would consider that and go. I’m not a real writer cause the only reason I wrote 40 books was Keshawn forced me to write the first one. And the professional would look at that and go like, okay, I’ve written 40 books now what’s the 41st because all that matters is that you did the thing.

How you feel about it is just your ego. You know? 

Ben: [00:54:18] Well, and I think another thing that you can say is you, whether it was Sean or someone else or you know, some other elses like other people, you know, whatever that looks like. You don’t. You don’t. Right. I think that’s the, I think that’s the mentality you’ve got to grasp.

When you write your first book,

it will never be because you did it on your own. It will be because you were elevated to a place where that was a possibility for you. And, and that kind of, it takes some humility to accept that and to think about things that way. But man, it, I don’t know, I, I feel like that does something too.

I don’t, I don’t want people not to feel proud. And, and not to feel a sense of responsibility. You know, like I, I don’t think that’s what it is, but I think that you have to attach to that a sense of humility and gratitude. Otherwise, those, those same things that can be positive, that pride in that sense of responsibility can also keep you from moving forward.

Dan: [00:55:48] Right. Well, because it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s not, it’s not true. It’s a bit of a delusion, you know? I think what I said when, when Sean made that remark about after you’ve written 40 books, you’ll look back and wonder. And I saw where he was going with it. And I, you know, I said, well, sure. Like you can, you can take this to a ridiculous extreme and go like, I can’t deal with the fact that in order for me to exist, my parents had to conceive me.

Why wasn’t I able to do that myself? Well, like, that’s, you know, that’s transparently ridiculous, but it’s the same mindset, right? Um. Yes. You so you make a good point. Yeah, I was, I was thinking back about the young, talking about Vonnegut in his getting every page perfect math. Like again, you know, if Vonnegut had, if it turns out that he had someone standing over his shoulder, smacking him on the back of the head every time he was like, he stopped writing, it still wouldn’t matter cause the world’s still got all those Vonnegut books.

Like that’s what matters. 

Ben: [00:56:50] Yeah. But I still like, I still kind of feel like Vonnegut should have given that person a little bit of credit. 

Dan: [00:56:58] He could have, to be honest. Yeah, it’s, it’s, 

Ben: [00:57:01] Maybe. Maybe he wrote them in like as a character and it’s book under some like version of their name. 

Dan: [00:57:11] that’s probably who Kilgore trout actually was.

Ben: [00:57:14] Yeah. Show him my grave. 

Dan: [00:57:19] No, Joel, John Musgrave. 

Ben: [00:57:21] I’ve been over in pronouncing Joel. 

Dan: [00:57:23] Listen, Ben, it’s, it’s weird to have a person with an Irish last name and a French first name anyway, so 

Ben: [00:57:31] It’s true. 

Dan: [00:57:33] yeah.

Ben, you, uh, you want to wrap this up? 

Ben: [00:57:40] Yeah. And now, you know, now’s a good time as any Dan, where can people go to find us online? 

Dan: [00:57:47] You can go to Shawn west.com and join the membership because as as Ben already said, you get to hang out with us live. When we record shows like this one, you also get access to all of our courses, including a little course called presale profits, which Sean launched as a live class over this past summer, and we’re going to be selling.

Next year for four 99 and it’s definitely worth it. It’s a great class. You get it for free when you sign up to become a member. So go to Sean dot com join the membership. We’d love to have you. 

Ben: [00:58:20] Yeah. And, 

Dan: [00:58:20] where can people find, Oh, go 

Ben: [00:58:22] well, no, I was, I was going to say another benefit, we haven’t really talked about this much about being a part of the Sean West community is, you know, like, we’re all here.

I’m, I’m in the community. Dan is Sean, some of, uh, some other folks that you might recognize from the Shawn West network over the years. We’re here. We want to. Help you know, we want to answer your questions and maybe potentially be that person who’s smacking you on the back of the head, getting you to do your project.

So you know, that’s, that’s what we’re here for. And if that’s something that you want or need, you should definitely consider joining. 

Dan: [00:59:04] Well said. Where can people find you online? Ben? 

Ben: [00:59:07] You can find me@bentolson.com and I am at Ben Tolson. On all of the things, and Dan, where can they find you?

Dan: [00:59:16] Well, I suspect I will soon be writing a blog post about this ridiculous project I’ve been forced to undertake, and you will be able to find that@djjacobson.com and I’m at DJ Jacobson, author on Instagram, which I, I guess I should also be doing stuff with. 

Ben: [00:59:33] You should. 

Dan: [00:59:35] I’ll think about it.

Ben: [01:00:18] So speaking of technology and uh, and being amazed at what other people would come up with. I am, I’m using this thing called sidecar. Are you familiar with sidecar? 

Dan: [01:00:31] Is that the, is that like the maca West Catalina feature where it can. Use your iPad as a second 

Ben: [01:00:37] It can use my iPad as a second screen.

Dan: [01:00:39] No, I’m not familiar with it. 

Ben: [01:00:41] and I did actually, uh, I updated my iPad, I updated my Mac, and then it didn’t work. And I was like, Oh no. And so I went and I looked and it turned out that my iMac did not meet this. The specs. For using sidecar. I was so devastated. And then all of a sudden, one day it just popped up in the toolbar at the top.

I was like, Oh, I can actually use it. I don’t know why, but it works. I’m, I’ve got, and this is, this is the crazy thing. I’m, I’ve, I’ve got you full screen inside car on my iPad. Your, you know, your video is pinned there, so I can see you. 

Dan: [01:01:28] That’s 

Ben: [01:01:29] can also hover another application that I’m using, another app that I’m using on my iPad over the display video.

This is, this is blowing my mind, so I actually have the soundboard sitting above your head. And so like, you know, when I do, when I do a, a sound bite, it’s like I’m poking you right in the eyeball. 

Dan: [01:01:54] a sweet. That’s a pretty sweet deal. Language. 

Ben: [01:01:57] Yeah, we need to get more sound bites, by the way.

So that’s 

Dan: [01:02:01] going to say, I don’t think we had any sound bites during the show. So 

Ben: [01:02:04] No, we didn’t. 

Dan: [01:02:06] you exercising incredible self-restraint cause if I were you, I probably would’ve wanted to poke myself in the eye. 

Ben: [01:02:12] Yeah, but I didn’t. So you’re welcome. 

Dan: [01:02:16] So it only occurs to me now banned now that it’s too late, that we had questions from the community that we didn’t get to.

Ben: [01:02:23] You know, I mean, the after show is a good time as any that to get into a couple of them. 

Dan: [01:02:29] Should we tackle it? If you have time 

Ben: [01:02:32] Yeah, I’ve got, I’ve got a little bit of time. Let’s go for 

Dan: [01:02:35] and this way, this is a great test of how patient, the people who ask the questions are, because now you know, if they stopped listening, well, sorry.

Ben: [01:02:45] Yup. 

Dan: [01:02:46] Okay, let’s do this. Tony asked, I’m really tempted to start a podcast to document my journey while I become a personal trainer. I need a creative outlet. I have so much more to share than what Instagram can handle. The trouble his time. I work full time and we’ll be starting school part time in January for my accounting degree.

How in the world will I fit a podcast in there? What should I do instead if I can’t right now? I think this is a, this is a great question because it, it’s, it’s very similar to the kinds of things we were talking about today. I think. 

Ben: [01:03:23] I’m curious to know what Tony means by, I have so much more to share than what Instagram can handle because I, I mean, I think of, I think of Instagram and I understand kind of the front facing side of it as a visual platform and you’re posting, you know.

Couple of times a day, maybe at most, uh, if you’re, if you’re wanting to not overwhelm people, but at the same time like that, that’s also, that’s one of those things where it’s like, I think often that’s more of a self-imposed limitation then what the platform will actually handle. Like, you know, if you post five or six times a day.

Yeah, maybe some people aren’t going to be into that, but the people who really enjoy content from you, especially if you’re posting stuff that’s valuable, you know, they’re, they’re going to have their pick of some of the best content in that niche. You’ve also got Instagram stories, which you can just go nuts on.

You know, like. I don’t, I don’t feel like in terms of the amount of content, there’s really a wrong play when it comes to Instagram. Um, so those are, those are my initial thoughts, but, um, I, I do, I do want to know more what she means specifically about that. 

Dan: [01:04:58] So, so that’s fair. I want to, I want to touch on something that I think goes, goes to the topic of this show, which is that it’s better to do, it’s better to actually do an imperfect version of the thing you want to do then not do the perfect version of the thing you want to do.

So. Uh, just for a little more context, Tony asked this question, and Sean mentioned, just throwing this out there, you could post multiple times a day. And Tony responded, I have a hard enough time posting once a day. So, uh, you know, with, with, with due respect to Tony, I want to put this out there because maybe this is something that’s holding her back and she can decide if that’s true or not.

If the problem is that, like you’re not even posting once a day, then well, like work on that problem. 

Ben: [01:06:01] Yeah. That’s like, I still want to know. I still want to know why. I’m just this, I’m just assuming that it’s not as much like I don’t have time as it is. I feel like I’d be spamming people if I posted multiple times a day.

Dan: [01:06:25] Oh, well there, there’s a couple things to work on there. I mean, one of them is like, I think the problem is. When we, when we think a lot of the time when we think I don’t have time, what we mean is I don’t have time to do this thing that I imagine that I should be doing. But, and Sean demonstrated on our recent episode about how to create daily content that, uh, I want to say it was four 49 that you can just hold up, like open the Instagram app and hold your finger on the record button for 15 seconds and you’ve created content.

That’s all it takes. And you do have time to do that because it’s like you do. It’s impossible not to. The second principle there is this idea of documenting instead of creating, which, uh, is an episode three 32 or the Sean West podcast, that number I did look up beforehand. The idea behind documenting versus creating is instead of setting aside time to create fresh content about, in this case, personal training from scratch, you just, whenever you’re working on whatever you would work on anyway, capture that and share it.

And so you know, there, there’s this, if you’re having these, if you’re held back by these thoughts that like, I should be creating a podcast, but I don’t have time. Well, okay, don’t create a podcast, but create something. And the thing that you create can just be like a 15 second video of, you know, I’m holding up my phone in the, in the camera frame.

Hey, Hey guys, I’m writing this post about, you know, personal training and I’m talking about X and Y and Zed post. There you created content. That’s what you did. And maybe for now while you’re in grad school and doing all these other things, that’s all you can do. But do that. Instead of doing nothing because you don’t have time to make a podcast.

So I mean, Tony, if that’s totally out of line, because you like that isn’t the actual problem. Fair enough. And, you know, let us, let us know what’s, what’s really going on. But, uh, I think that’s an important point to make. 

Ben: [01:08:40] I think there is, there’s something too where, um, I’m, I’m thinking like five or six years ago, so not that long ago.

If you wanted to create something of quality, and you know, as a part of the Sean West community, we’ve always placed a high value on the quality of the thing that you produce. And Mmm. Or I should say that’s, you know, like the focus of the Sean West brand has been to create quality. And.

true. Like the content is more important than the quality because if you got great quality but poor content, people aren’t going to pay attention. But what you what used to take a law a lot of time and effort five years ago to create even passable quality, it’s so much easier now. Um, in every stage of the process.

So for creating a podcast, you know, like, you used to have to set up your own feed and like, do all this, uh, the tools for creating artwork. We’re more complicated. Um, even, you know, transcription, editing, like all of that stuff. Capturing, capturing good sounding audio. I mean, everything’s gotten better.

The equipment, the software, the automation, everything has gotten better. And, and I think for some of us, maybe this doesn’t answer Tony’s question directly, but I think for some of us it’s a matter of kind of. You know, peeking back behind the curtain and seeing, okay, what, what is the process and now for creating a podcast, because you might have this idea in your head that it’s so much more involved than it actually is now that new technologies had been invented, Mmm.

Or improved. You know? So I think, I think it’s worth checking that out as well. It could, it could it be that I just, I, um, I have this old template in my head of what it’s going to take to get started. 

Dan: [01:11:09] Yeah. That’s a good point. Uh, so I mean, I think we’ll wrap up this question just by focusing on the words.

When Tony asks, how in the world will I fit a podcast in there? What should I do instead if I can’t right now? So the answers to those questions are. A creating a podcast might be easier than you think it is, but B, if you can’t do that right now, what you should do instead is the simplest thing possible.

Like one level up from not doing anything. And if, if that is just share, like document what you’re doing on Instagram than do that. And as far as the posting, more than once a day, like again, if you’re struggling to post once a day, the problem. Uh, or the, the solution is to, you know, work on the process that allows you to post once a day and then you can work on posting more than once a day, and then you can work on doing more complicated stuff.

There’s a, yeah. Uh, there was a question here from Laura. Uh, so now these start to get a little more on the, the topic of book writing in general it Laura said in previous updates on the book writing, I heard Dan mentioned. The one current novel, have you encountered the same troubles in the past with different projects?

Was there a time where writing slash editing your work was easier for you? Can you pinpoint what and when it changed? Well, uh, not to go too long on what’s more of a personal question about me, but no, I don’t think it’s ever been easier. Although I will say that SA at some point in the last 10 months, I wrote 50,000 words, so.

But I tended to work in like, um, you know, these peaks and valleys where like I’d read pretty consistently for a few weeks and then I wouldn’t do anything for a few weeks. And then I would do something and then I wouldn’t. And if I, if I could boil it down, the times when I’ve been the most productive, we’re, when I just, I knew exactly what to do next because I had a list of scenes and I could just pick one and start writing it.

And the second part is that I had a habit so. I knew I was gonna like get up in the morning and at this time, every day, work on the book, and then I knew what shape that work was going to take so I could just sit down and do it. Whereas I think what I’ve been struggling with since I finished the draft is that like what to do next has not been super clear.

So even if I sat down to do it, I’m not really sure what I should be doing. So as points, you know, points toward some solutions obviously, but. Uh, and then finally Garrett asked, I’d like to write fiction someday. Where can I ask you about how to write? Are you teaching how to write? How do I write?

Mmm. So sign up for my course. I mean, I’m not, I’m not teaching how to write necessarily. Maybe I should, but, uh, Garrett is a member of the, Sean was community, so he can certainly ask me things there. Uh, for people who aren’t, you can shoot me an email. Uh, dan@djjacobson.com. Um, you know, that’s so associated with my blog where I do write about this stuff.

Garrett asks, how do I write? And I mean, you know, we could do a dozen shows on that question and we have done, in terms of fiction. Uh, it’s a little too probably too big of a topic to get into in the after show. It’s really more of an after, after show topic, Ben, but Mmm. Well, I am interested, I’m interested in talking about this, so people who are interested, let’s go talk about it somewhere.

Probably not here. 

Ben: [01:14:51] Yeah. So, uh, to the after show then.