Useful Link: I Should Be Writing

So, things got suddenly quiet around here in the last week or so because I found myself surprised by a sudden onslaught of work and work related stress. It was a generally bad week for productivity on almost all writing related endeavors, but I’ll talk more about lessons learned from the experience in a post coming tomorrow or the next day to reflect on a month of having a blog about becoming a writer.

Today’s real purpose is a new addition to the useful links. Frankly, I feel a little weird writing a post about today’s link because I’m sure that most anyone coming by my little blog has probably been long aware of “I Should Be Writing” the blog and podcast of writer, editor and podcaster Mur Lafferty (twitter: @mightymur) for wanna-be writers.

Still, I can only blog from my own perspective and, who knows, maybe someone will become aware of me before they become aware of Mur Lafferty. (In which case you are almost surely doing it wrong – though I might be doing something right!)

ISBW is both a blog and a podcast, but the real meat of the operation is far more the latter than the former. The blog seems to be mostly a way to let people know about new episodes of the podcast, but there are some true blog posts that are made as well. As it is the podcast that I’m really recommending here though I’ll focus on that. This is the official description of the podcast from The Murverse (which is Mur Lafferty’s more personal website where you can find info on her books and other podcast projects):

Since August, ’05: this show cheers on wanna-be writers from the point of view of an also wanna-be writer. Offers advice, views from the trenches, and interviews with published authors. Winner of the Parsec Award, Podcast Peer Award, and the Hub Magazine Award.

The description does pretty much cover it. I’ve been going back through old episodes and have now listened to most of the podcasts from last November up to the latest episode published today. Over that time span the show mostly alternates between interview episodes, which usually begin with a short editorial opinion piece and general updating by Mur before getting into the interview, and what she calls “feedback” shows. I’ve liked the interviews well enough but as a wanna-be writer it is the feedback shows that I really love. These are shows where Mur fields questions from her listeners (other wanna-be writers). If you’re like me you’ll love all the sympathetic advice and useful information and links that comes out on these shows. I find it hard to imagine how any writer low in the experience department could not find these episodes a valuable use of their time. I also find I really appreciate hearing from others in the community of trying-to-make-it writers through the show and knowing that few if any of my own problems or struggles are unique.

A special greatness of the podcast that I must mention is the absolute sincerity of its host. I am only now just becoming familiar with Mur Lafferty but I’m pretty sure I’ve already entered the realm of fandom. The main reason for this is, as I said, her sincerity. She comes off as very genuine in her desire to encourage other writers and when she talks of understanding the various pains and stresses they might be experiencing you never feel like she is pandering or playing a part. She is often open about her own insecurities and on one of the podcasts I listened to even discussed her battle with depression and its effect on her creative life. Listening to ISBW sounds like listening to a more experienced friend who really does want you to be successful in your career; I can’t recommend it enough.



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