Sonitotum with Matthew Wayne Selznick 015: Be Nimble

This episode of Sonitotum is the result of a good bit of self-assessment and re-calibration, which was in turn the result of a good bit of slippage in my routines, progress, and well-being (both creatively and otherwise).  Also included: an Autumn Project (2018) update, and announcements regarding changes in both the Autumn Project (2018) and my Patreon patron program.

Links and Corrections From This Episode

  • I said (at the time of the recording) that I had two hours, five weeks, and two days to finish Light of the Outsider.  I either cannot tell time, or I cannot read. The actual time remaining (as of the time of recording) was two month, two weeks, and three days. Heh heh.
  • I wrote a deep dive on procrastination, what it is, and how to beat it.  It’s telling that, in that post dated March 2017, I talk about writing Light of the Outsider, the book I’m pushing through right now in the last four months of 2018. Clearly, the battle against procrastination and other enemies of a prolific creative life… continues.
  • The Emma Wallace interview episode remains the most popular Sonitotum to date! I’m keen to have more conversations with DIY, independent creators on this show. See below for more about that!
  • I talk about my standing desk. Really, it’s just a big wooden school desk like this one with a couple of LACK tables from IKEA on top — which puts my keyboard, mouse, and monitors at just the right height for me to stand and work.

The Autumn Project (2018): September 27 through October 14, 2018

In this period, I started writing actual manuscript draft pages of Light of the Outsider. However, I fell out of the habit hard, with no writing at all on nine days in the period. That’s rough. I talk a little about that in the podcast episode, and what I’m doing to prevent such slippage through the rest of the year.

  • Days Worked: Eleven (Twenty six total)
  • Total Time Worked: 19 hours, 18 minutes (50 hours 42 minutes total)
  • Words Written: 10618 on the draft (32,242 words total (including character studies, outline, and draft)
  • Approximately 965 words per writing day / 550 words per hour (draft pages)

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What Do You Think About Being Nimble as a Creator?

What are your thoughts on being nimble to avoid procrastination, false obligation, and progress traps in your creative life and work?  Let’s hear from you in the comments!



    Hey Matt,

    Erik Bertel here, the author of Flores Girl and early contributor to Podiobooks. Funny you mention having your patrons watching you write. I have a passage in my latest novel, “A Curious Eve Musings”, where my protagonist, who is an author, is having some serious creative envy watching his girlfriend painting:

    “Give me a few moments. I’m finishing up a piece,” she said.

    Jessie was drawing again.

    “No problem, we got time,” I said. After all, it was a Thursday and most restaurants were usually light during a weekday.

    I sat in her living room and watched as she worked on her large kitchen table. She was drawing in colored pencil and pretty animated as she continued her drawing. She drew with large sweeping arcs of her right hand as the fingers from her left hand smudged the freshly applied color into the paper. She then grabbed an ink pen and carefully drew dark lines about the newly colored swaths. Her hands were actually stained by the pencils and ink.

    I was fascinated, watching her creative process. Frankly, I actually felt a little jealous of her.

    For artists and musicians the creation of their work was as much a physical expression of their talent as it was a mental exercise. For writers the art was all -internal, sitting there, thinking, and then banging out a few hopefully pithy words on the keyboard or, for a few troglodytes, at a typewriter. And face it, typing away at a keyboard is a pretty mundane activity that practically all people do. I think that’s why movies love the writer crumpling a piece of paper, or why so many writers still love a typewriter; at least there is a smidgeon of physicality in those acts. But drawing and painting, playing and singing, or acting and dancing, those are the physical expressions of an artist. I’m not knocking words but their creation is not exactly a visceral experience for the onlooker.

    In any case you are dead on regarding course corrections. In marketing terms we call that pragmatic marketing, i.e. listening to the customer or in our case as authors the reader. Thanks for the thought provoking podcast.

    Erik Bertel

    • Matthew Wayne Selznick

      Thanks for the comment, Erik! I was volunteering with the staff back when Flores Girl came out… I may have even been the one to get it live on that site..!

      Granted, there are certainly some art forms that are better suited to spectators than writing! I’m reminded of a certain Monty Python skit…

      However! When I was writing Pilgrimage, my second novel, I did the same thing (live streaming the writing), and no one was more surprised than me to find that some folks liked to have the live stream on while they themselves wrote… or even just on in the background as a kind of visual “white noise.” Hey, whatever floats your boat!

      Anyway, in true procrastinaction fashion, I very effectively handicapped the whole thing this time around by limiting it to Patreon patrons who pledged at least $3 per month. Which was foolish.

      “Listening to the customer,” indeed… or in my case, noting their silence. 🙂

      Thanks again for the comment, and I’m glad you’re listening! Tell everyone you know about Sonitotum!


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