Writing All the Things Season 3, Episode 1

Yes, believe it not, we are on Season 3 of our podcast. This is a big season!

Here’s a picture of the kind of lamp Drema got for Christmas to replace her identical, worn out one, although hers has a shade on it. And she loves it!

Show notes:


1. Cold Open: 2021 is here…do you know where your writing goals are? Taking your writing from a hobby to a business…This podcast may contain not-safe-for-work language and subversive ideas. Listener discretion is advised.

2. Welcome/Intro

Welcome to WATT, your home for all things writing instruction, analysis, inspiration, and writing news and trends. Our show is an irreverent guide to writing literary fiction.

I’m Drema Drudge, author of the novel Victorine about Edouard Manet’s favorite model who was actually a talented artist in her own right, and the upcoming novel Briscoe Chambers’ Southern Fried Woolf.

I’m Barry Drudge, co-host and recent MFA graduate of Spalding University, former ghostwriter and a songwriter and musician who has worked with Grammy winners in Nashville. Story forthcoming in Round Table Literary Journal.

3. Literary News:

Tattered Cover Bookstore just became the largest Black-owned bookstore in the US after being sold to Kwame Spearman and David Back, described in a release as “Denver natives, high school rivals, and long-time friends.”

The Bigger the Publishers, the Blander the Books says Dennis Johnson, Co-founder and publisher of Melville House in a Dec. 9, 2020 article on The Atlantic website.

The Penguin Random House–Simon & Schuster deal, he said, threatens the values that the book business champions.

PRH has purchased Simon &Schuster for $2.2 billion, or twice the asking price—a fee none of the other big publishers could match. News Corp, the owner of HarperCollins, blasted PRH for “buying market dominance.”

Johnson feels “The DOJ needs to stop the consolidation.”

In protest of the merger, he said, “Talking about books isn’t talking about just a retail marketplace, but also the marketplace of ideas—of art, free speech, and, yes, damn it, democracy itself.”

This opens up a discussion that needs to take place in the literary community and describes in part why Barry and I are embarking on the publishing course we are.

4. Today’s Topic: Let’s take this writing thing and make it a business! But where do we start?

For those of us with MFAs, let me tell you, we’ve spent tons of time and money earning those MFAs only, alas, to feel weird about making money with our writing. Our artistic integrity requires us to use those talents for sacred, literary-only purposes, right?

We use those spare morning hours, our weekends, to craft and pare at our words, hone them into beautiful origamied stories. And that’s fantastic.

But here’s the thing: does the marketplace reward us?

Mostly, it does not.

If I tried to count the number of our friends who has been nominated for a Pushcart, I’d quickly run out of fingers. It’s an honor, and I’d love to be nominated, but first of all, I don’t know anyone who’s won.

And secondly, that seems to be the zenith of their aspirations and, alas, sometimes accomplishments. That and being published in the “best” literary journals. We all do it – we have a list of A journals, B, C, and so on and we go down the line until, finally, our story is chosen by C journal and maybe we’re truly happy about it or maybe we only pretend to be.

Or you get published and you are so thrilled, and you get your book but then your book disappears like a sinking ship if you don’t know your marketing. (More on that later, because boy do we know marketing now!)

These are all wonderful things to achieve, but what if you could actually financially benefit from your writing while avoiding the gatekeepers?

(Are we all aware of the shitshow that is publishing right now? From monster mergers to paper shortages, from too many book releases crashing into one another to small presses closing due to COVID, it’s ugly out there. So what can we do?) 

We’re not trying to tell you what to do, but we’ve agonized over this, we’ve talked and talked, and we’ve decided that indie publishing is right for us. We may do traditional in the future or a combination of both, but for now, this is our path. So stay tuned as we begin this journey. We’ll give you highlights of our successes and stumbles.

Just know that we haven’t abandoned our commitment to literature. Rather, we’re committed to find the perfect marriage between writing and the marketplace for us.

We discuss this article on our episode: https://insights.bookbub.com/indie-vs-traditional-publishing-which-path-right-you/


Here are just some famous authors who self-published at some stage of their career:

  • Margaret Atwood
  • Frank Baum
  • William Blake
  • Beatrix Potter
  • Alfred, Lord Byron
  • Willa Cather
  • Julia Cameron
  • Pat Conroy
  • Stephen Crane
  •  e.e. cummings
  • Charles Dickens
  • Roddy Doyle
  • Alexander Dumas
  • T.S. Eliot
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Thomas Hardy
  • E. Lynn Harris
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Ernest Hemingway
  • Stephen King
  • D.H. Lawrence
  • James Patterson
  • Tom Peters
  • Edgar Allen Poe
  • Alexander Pope
  • Beatrix Potter
  • Ezra Pound
  • Marcel Proust
  • Carl Sandburg
  • George Bernard Shaw
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley
  • Upton Sinclair
  • Gertrude Stein
  • William Strunk
  • Alfred Lord Tennyson
  • Henry David Thoreau
  • Leo Tolstoy
  • Mark Twain
  • Walt Whitman
  • Virginia Woolf
  • WB Yeats

5. Whatcha Reading?

Joann Penn’s Your Author Business Plan: Take Your Writing Career to the Next Level. (Are you noticing a theme today?)

After Alice by Gregory Maguire

Barry: Listen to the episode to hear!

6. Writing Instruction: If you don’t already know what your writing goals for 2021 are, get on it! Then, break those goals down into steps.  (You may not be taking as big a leap as we are, but any writing requires planning.)

Here is what I (Drema) did: I figured out how many hours I could devote per week to writing, and I estimated how long it would take me to complete each project. So far, so good.

So if you want to write five short stories, figure out how long it takes you to write a rough draft, how long to edit it, and so on.

While us writers don’t like to think our time and talent is quantifiable, and if you’re writing as a hobby, bless you and do whatever you want, but if we’re to make a business of our writing, we have to plan this shit. And plan we have.

Here’s to making this a year of literary success (whatever that means to you) to us all!

We’d love to hear your goals for the year. Write and let us know at writingallthethings1(at)gmail.com!

7. Outro: Please subscribe, rate, review, and share our podcast. Subscribe to our mailing list at writingallthethings.com. Contact us at: writingallthethings1(at)gmail.com.

Thank you so much for listening and keep writing all the things!

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