How to Create an Action Plan for Your Writing Career
Questions? Comments? Leave us a note!
Transcript of Podcast
Hannah: Hi everybody, this is Hannah Heath, the Live Events Coordinator for WriteOnCon, I’m stoked to chat with author and writing coach Heather Demetrios about how to integrate writing into our lives, along with how to create an action plan for our writing careers. Heather, how’s today treating you?Heather: Pretty good, I’m working on a new book, and doing lots of research and writing, and it’s historical fiction which is new for me, so I’m definitely kinda–there’s a learning curve, but I’m figuring it out.Hannah: Awesome, what time period are you writing for?Heather: So it’s World War 2, and it’s about the swing kids in Hamburg, basically the Nazis made it illegal to listen to swing music or to dance–that style of dance–and that was their little like revolution in Nazi Germany.Hannah: That’s a really cool topic.Heather: Yeah, yeah…the research is depressing, but overall it’s pretty cool.Hannah: Good, well I’m glad it’s going well. For those of you who aren’t in the loop, let me give you some background information about Heather: She’s an author of young adult fiction and she has 6 books out now, which include I’ll Meet You There, Bad Romance, and Exquisite Captive, among many others. She’s also the creator of Pneuma Writing, which I was going to try and explain myself, but I thought Heather, you would be much better at doing that. Can you talk a little bit about what it is you do as a writing coach?Heather: Yeah, so 1 of the things I’m most excited to talk about with people is about their creative process, and also craft, and so I found that you know over the years all my blogs were kinda geared toward those 2 things–craft or process–and I also noticed that 1 of my favorite things to do was to sort of–for lack of a better term, coach my friends when they were like ready to give up on their writing or couldn’t believe in themselves or whatever it was. And then I–my friend is a life coach and she was like, “You could kinda do this as part of your job,” and so I started exploring that, and I was already doing editing for people, you know that just sent me their books, and I edit them and we work together on craft and getting the book ready for submission. But then I started to do coaching, which is basically just working with clients on whatever they need–every writer’s different, so some writers, their big struggle is procrastination, some writers it’s like total paralyzing fear of their inner critic and not believing in themselves. So obviously anyone listening to this is a writer and you guys know so many different things we struggle with, and so basically I just work with them and I have a program that I created with tons of worksheets and resources and we have calls and we just do a lot of work together to get them to where they want to be, and then after that period of time, they kind of go off and apply everything they worked on, and sometimes we get back and do a little more work or sometimes they’re just ready to go. So it’s really cool, it’s so awesome just to be invited into people’s process and to see the growth that they can have when there is somebody there that’s kind of encouraging them and allowing them to own their writing, which for a lot of people is so hard.Hannah: Wow, that sounds awesome. So you sound like then the perfect person to come and talk to us about kind of the process of getting our writing lives organized, so I’m excited. I have a whole list of questions for you, are you ready to get into this?Heather: So ready.Hannah: Awesome, alright. So, first off, can you talk a little bit about what your action plan looks like so that we can get an idea of what some author career plans might look like?Heather: Yeah, so over the years I kinda began to understand my process, and that is you know ongoing, I always say every book is a different beast, so for example, now that I’m writing this historical fiction, it’s a very different process, so my action plan kinda had to be changed from what I normally do with fiction. But 1 thing that I always tell people before you even start thinking about an action plan is to keep a couple of things in mind because I think sometimes we create these plans you know, we write everything down, or we buy cool planners, and stickers, or whatever people do, you know and then they get all these ideas and they think they’re gonna do something and then it’s extremely overwhelming. And so I think before you even start with that, the 1st thing is to remember that your self-worth is not based on your writing career. I think a lot of people–myself included–can fall into the trap of like you know if they miss a deadline that they made for themselves, or something happens in their life and they kinda fall off the wagon a bit and they’re not writing every day, suddenly they start feeling bad about who they are as a person. And so it’s really important to have sort of some grounding in who you are and what you love, and that there are other things in your life, not just writing, ’cause if writing is everything, and then you have a bad writing day, suddenly like your whole life is horrible. And then another thing I always talk about is getting clear on why you write, because I think when we start making action plans, we get really into the headspace of publishing, which is great, I mean I you know have 6 books out, I have a bunch coming out more, and that’s what I do every day, I’m trying to get published, right? But the problem with that is that you know there’s a lot of power that you don’t have in the publishing business, so you don’t know if someone’s gonna buy your book or not, right, you don’t know if an agent’s gonna want to represent you. And so, you have to be writing for other reasons, not just to get published, and have that be part of your action plan. So like, if 1 of the reasons that you write is that you wanna change the world, then what you would want to put into your action plan would be other ways that you can use your words–not just getting published. Because if it’s only about publishing, you know that can be a really long road–I always say it’s a marathon, it’s not a race. And so you have to have other things supporting you, and you have to keep writing as this thing that’s yours and that you love, and not let it turn into like just to get some money out of it. Of course you want money out of it, and you want to be published, and that is fine. But those are things that I learned. It’s kind of a hard road. And then owning being a writer. So I always tell this to my writers that I work with, I ask them if they’ve come out of the closet, because there are so many writers who are ashamed, or shy, they don’t want to tell anyone they’re a writer, they’re kinda like hiding it or when people ask them you know about their writing, they just say it’s a hobby, and they’re very self-deprecating, and so for me what I found in terms of becoming a writer who actually got published, was I didn’t really get to put any action plans into place until I 1st said ‘ok, I’m a writer.’ And so when I went to the next party that I went to and someone asked me what my job is, I told them, “I’m a writer.” Even though I was teaching, and I was doing other jobs you know, but my identity is, I’m a writer, and so what I would say is, “I’m a writer but my day job is…” and then you know, fill in the blank. Instead of saying, “I’m a teacher, but you know sometimes I write some stories…” you know, never mind, anyways… So that’s the 1st part. So once you get all that in shape and then you’re like okay I’m gonna get an action plan. And so the 1st thing of course is to write, I think a lot of people want to make these plans but they don’t actually want to sit down every day and write, and so the 1st thing is to kinda look at your schedule and be really honest with yourself about what time you actually have, and about what kind of person you are. Because my writing you know style my way of sitting and writing might not be somebody else’s. You know you might be the kind of person that’s like, ‘I really really really wanna write a book, but I’m a fundamentally lazy person. And somehow, I have to make these 2 things work together.’ And so the 1st thing–and this is kinda like with any habit, because I’m also a meditation teacher, and I use that for creative flow with my writers, and I always tell them, “Don’t start trying to sit down for 30 minutes–try 5 minutes,” you know. Because if you aim too high and you fall short, then it’s much more possible to give up on what you’re doing. So the 1st thing is to look at your schedule and figure out when you can write. Now for me I write full-time now, so I’m not gonna use–well, I’ll tell you about what my day looks like, which is basically working all day, but when I had a day job, I knew that I was not a morning person, so I would read all these craft books that would say, ‘Start writing at 5 in the morning,’ or ‘Get up really early,’ and I have some clients that do that because they can do that in the morning, but in the morning, I can barely even speak a sentence, let alone sit down and write a novel. Even after coffee. It takes me forever to wake up. So I knew, ‘okay, I’m not a morning person.’ And so what I had to do was stay up later to write, and I actually had to figure out how much sleep I needed. Some people need like 9, 10 hours of sleep; I realized I need 7. So I was like, ‘great.’ So I didn’t sleep more than 7, because I knew 7 was enough for me, you know and so I figured that out. So time of day when you can write, and your sleeping habits, but then I also had to be really honest about like, okay but I can’t just go to work and write all the time–I’m married, I have friends, I have other things I do in my life, and so I had to figure out you know where I would allow myself to be social and go out and do fun things, and when it was only writing time. And 1 thing that–a phrase that works for me really well, and tends to work well for my clients, is the phrase “non-negotiable.” And so what I tell my clients to do and I’m the same, which is I say like, ‘Okay, when is the non-negotiable parts of your day? That is time for writing.’ And you have to treat it as if like it’s your job. You can’t wake up in the morning and be like, ‘I don’t really feel like going to work today so I’m just not going to go.’ I mean, some people might do that, but typically you can’t really do that, right? We have obligations. And so if you start treating writing like something that’s non-negotiable, you actually end up training the people around you as well to support you. So when I started telling my friends like, ‘oh, you know, I’d love to go out to brunch on Saturday, but that is you know I have 4 hours of writing I need to do that day, so I’ll see you later that night.’ And at 1st they’d be like ‘what were you doing?’ And I’d say, ‘I was writing,’ and they’d be like, ‘Oh come on, you can write later,’ but the more I kept saying like, ‘No, I really have to do it,’ after some time, people were like, ‘Oh, she needs to write,’ and no one like held it against me. They just needed to be trained, but kind of like if you have a dog or a cat right, you train an animal–not that your friends are animals, but–you know they need to understand like this is really serious for you. And if you can’t say no to them, then you’re never gonna be able to say yes to you and to your writing. So that’s like the really big 1st part. But then once you figure out okay when you can write and stuff like that, then the action plan that comes in is basically figuring out what you want to do. You know some people are really clear, you know I wanna write a novel, I wanna get this novel published, I want to be published you know by 2020. And so what you would do is you would look at where you’re at right now, and where you want to be, and then you kinda work backwards. And so it involves math, unfortunately. Noooo! I know. But the 1st thing is to figure out how you write, so for me word counts work really, really well, and it took me a while, but I figured after a lot of trial and error that I can write 400 words an hour. I can’t do more than that. I know people who can write like 5,000 words in a day, and I’m like pretty sure there are drugs involved, I don’t know. But I can’t do that, so I’m like, okay, 400 words a day. So then I know that for myself, I can only write for 4 hours a day. I–even though I write full-time, there’s a lot of other things involved with writing, when you start doing it professionally. Lots of sort of like professional things that you have to do as a writer. But also research, and you know blogging, like any of that other stuff. So I know that every day, I can write 1,600 words. And then I decide, ‘well how many days a week do I wanna write?’ So for me, sometimes I write 7 days a week, but I have to write at least 5 days a week, ’cause I’m like, ‘that’s my job, even though I don’t have a boss breathing down my neck, I do have deadlines,’ you know, and so then basically you’re doing the math and you’re figuring out okay, this is how many words I can potentially write in a week, in a month, in a year, you know. And you kinda just go from there. And I always tell people for a book, just plan for 100,000 words. Like even if you write less than that, just plan that your book is gonna be 100,000 words so that you have a realistic idea of how long it’s actually gonna take you to write this novel. And some people will be like, ‘Oh, I can do 7 days.’ But–if they can, great–but I just tell people ‘be realistic, you have a life, you need to fill the creative well, you need to actually put time into your week to do things like go to a museum, or meditate, or you know do things that get you kinda jazzed about what you’re writing about and about writing and about being an artist and getting inspired.’ So I see a lot of theater for example, because I live in New York City, so there’s just so much great stuff to do and see. So that’s also part of your action plan. So then basically doing the math with that. And I tell people to look at it as–I call it a 3, 6, 9, 12, 18 action plan. So that’s months. So 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, 18 months. And so kind of looking at where you want to be at each of those points along the way, and you do all of this before you sit down to like–well, you’re probably already writing your novel, but when you’re really getting serious and are like, ‘I need an action plan,’ do all of this and then you go from there with your writing. Does that make sense? I feel like I’ve been talking forever, I can talk forever about this, so I have a lot more to say, but you might have some questions that came up as I was monologuing at you.Hannah: Oh great, no, that makes total sense. I do have a few questions though: Specifically you had mentioned word counts, what do you think about writers who have a difficult time maintaining a word count and are kind of better with doing blocks of time, maybe writing for an hour and maybe 1 hour they only write 400 words or maybe in 1 hour they write 1,700, or something like that. Do you think that the time-blocking can work for some writers, or do you generally recommend word counts?Heather: I think time-blocking can, you just have to be really disciplined in the time that you’re writing. Because–well, 1 thing that I do, and I tell everyone else to do, is you know don’t have your cellphone in the room and don’t use the internet at all, which for me is like impossible right now because I’m writing historical fiction, so I’m kinda breaking my own rules a little bit, but there are definitely times when I just have to write a note like, ‘look this up later,’ and I keep a pad of paper next to me. But if you’re just like, ‘okay, I wanna write 4 hours today,’ that’s great if what you’re doing in those 4 hours is writing. But what happens with a lot of people is that they’ll write, then they’ll check facebook, then they’ll go make a snack, and so then there’s no real way to see what real progression you’re gonna make in those 4 hours. Unless you know that typically, if you’re not doing word count but you know that you usually write you know a chapter in 4 hours or something, then you can kind of look at it that way–‘I’m gonna write a chapter a day,’ or ‘I’m gonna write a scene a day,’ ‘4 hours a day,’ or word count. So it really has to be what works for you, and I know for some people, word count is really intimidating and stressful. But I have found most of the writers that I know and work with tend to work best with a word count if they’re really serious about getting that book finished and published.Hannah: Got it. And if–on the off-chance that you’re creating an action plan and you already have an agent or publisher, how involved should they be in helping you–or how much should you factor them into your action plan?Heather: You know, they don’t really have a hands-on approach typically, in the process of working on something, I mean some agents are really great with you sending them you know pages as you’re writing something to kind of give feedback. I don’t do that, and I don’t know a lot of people that do that. Most of the writers I know, what they’ll do is they’ll write the book, or they’ll write you know part–like the 1st 100 pages or something–and then they’ll have beta readers. So they’ll have other writers, or in my case, some of my beta readers are teen librarians, because they’re perfect people to be reading my YA, and so I’ll send them you know the book or whatever and get feedback from them. Agents and editors are so busy, so they just don’t have very much time to work on anything that isn’t like they’re gonna sell right away or they’re gonna publish right away. So I think 1 thing is that if you have an editor–I mean an agent who’s editorial, which is ideal, because a lot of editors don’t have time to edit very much anymore, they really want those books to be almost perfect by the time they get them; that’s not true for every editor, but for many–so if you have an editorial agent, that’s great because then what you could do is once you feel like it’s really the very best it could be and you’re ready to give this book to your editor, then you give it to your agent and say, ‘okay, is this ready?’ and then they’re usually open to doing that because they need to read the whole book anyway, so they know what to sell for foreign rights and stuff like that.Hannah: Great. And what about–you had touched on this earlier–so a lot of writers are just terrible about sticking to their own plans, a lot of times it can be difficult to stay motivated when you maybe have never been published before, don’t really have an end–you don’t see an immediate pay-off oftentimes. Do you have any tips to help those types of writers, the writers who know that they just have a hard time sticking to things? Do you have tips for them for how to stay accountable, should they get an accountability partner, or…have any kind of tips or tricks to help keep them on track?Heather: Yeah, so 1 thing I have my clients do very early on is to figure out who their hype crew is. So, who are those people in their life that you know are excited for them to be writing, encouraging, who believe in them, who take them seriously. And make sure you identify those people and that you bring them into the process. So if you’re having a really hard time sticking to you know getting your action plan out, getting your writing done, then I would say, ‘well call someone from your hype crew and just be like, “Dude, I need to talk for like 10 minutes, I don’t know what’s going on.”‘ Because usually when somebody isn’t writing, unless they’re just not very serious about it, but my assumption is that most of the people listening to this are pretty serious about their writing and they want to get published. And so usually that’s based in fear. And that’s actually something that my clients and I talk a lot about because I think fear is probably like the #1 thing that writers struggle with, and it’s very hard to identify, because fear often presents as laziness or being kind of scatter-brained or you know bad time-management, like you know that feeling of ‘where did my day go?’ you know, so oftentimes there’s this underlying thing of like, ‘this book is terrifying to me, I feel like I’m the worst writer in the world, and when I sit down I don’t feel good about myself and so I’m just gonna go clean my bathroom now,’ you know. So that’s something you know, make sure you do have a support system, and a lot of writers–I’m sure a lot of your writers realize this too–I’ve met so many awesome people on Twitter–even if you don’t have family members or friends who are those people for you, you will find other writers you know through doing different things on Twitter or organizations like I’m part of SCBWI, which is like the children’s writers’ thing. And there’s just a lot of different ways to connect with people, because you have to find your people, because we really are very tribal as writers, and you know there are things that we do where people are like, ‘what is that about?’ But if you told another writer they’d be like, ‘oh totally, I did that yesterday,’ you know. And then the other thing is, if you can, I know planners don’t work for everybody, but there’s a gazillion planners out there, that usually there’s 1 for what you like. I usually suggest people use a Passion Planner; I don’t work for them or anything, but I just suggest it because it works for me, and it’s hourly, so what you can do is I’ll highlight a block of time and just be like, ‘okay, I can visually see I am writing in this pink space right here.’ And you can write down you know at the end of your writing like what your word count is, other ways to just track it, because I think like sometimes I’ll have weeks where I really feel like I was writing all week and then I’ll look back and I’ll look at my planner and be like, ‘oh my god, I only wrote twice this week.’ But because I think about it all the time, I feel like I’m writing, but just thinking about it isn’t writing. So that’s 1 thing that I tell people to do. And again that idea of it just being non-negotiable. Because…most of us don’t have trouble getting to work, like we know we have to work because we have to pay rent and we have to eat, right? So even if we hate our job, we get up, we go to work, and we do it, right? So, it’s the same thing with writing, where it’s not like, ‘oh do I feel like writing today or do I feel like binge-watching something on Netflix?’ It’s really like, ‘this is my job, I am a writer, this is my pink spot on my planner and I’m gonna sit in the chair and I’m gonna write.’ And so it really comes down ultimately to like discipline, but discipline is a lot easier when you have people supporting you, and so if you don’t have those people, I tell my clients, like, ‘by the end of our time together, we need to find somebody for you; 2 people at least who are there for you with your writing.’Hannah: Awesome, I like that plan, that sounds good. When–what about…I just lost my train of thought, hold on. Oh, okay, so how can you keep room in your action plan for things like life [crises] or just unexpected setbacks, anywhere from health problems to family issues, anything along those lines?Heather: You know, it’s really interesting, because I know there are a lot of theories on this, and of course self-care is so important, and you don’t want to get to a place where you’re not being healthy. So there are definitely times in your life when you know taking a break is what life is calling for you know at that moment. But what I have found, is that writing is actually kind of like my safe space. So like for example, when my grandfather died, I was like so upset, but my family asked me to like speak at his funeral so I had to write this whole thing, and it was so–it was some of the best writing I’d ever done, you know, because it was just like I–the words were this place of safety for me where I could kind of hide away for a while. And so then you know I wrote the thing and I gave the talk and everything. But I’ve had friends who have had cancer, miscarriages, their spouse leaves them, like just basically any tragedy you can imagine, like I know a writer who’s gone through it, and almost all the writers I know who have–who are really serious about their writing–sometimes they’ll give themselves a break especially if they’re new moms, ’cause like that’s just like so much work–I don’t have kids, but all my friends who are new moms are like, ‘oh my god,’ you know they’re so tired and all that kinda stuff. So sometimes people take a little break there, but mostly they say they just keep writing through it. Just write through it, even if the writing is terrible. So what I tell people is that even if the only writing you’re able to do during whatever you’re going through is like journaling, that’s something, right? Just keeping the words coming out of you. And the thing is like when you have an action plan, you know stuff does happen and then you move things around, you can’t be so rigid about it because another thing that I’ve seen writers go through is not necessarily–like yes, personal things, but sometimes there’s something with the book, where like they’re writing, they’re doing the action plan, everything’s going great, and then all of a sudden they’re like, ‘oh my god, I don’t know what my character wants,’ and like the whole book is like kind of a disaster zone. And so that’s really gonna mess up their plan, because now they realize, ‘oh I think I have to start over, I think I have to rewrite this book,’ you know, or ‘oh my gosh I have to like create a new magic system for my fantasy,’ you know, so things like that will happen, and the most important thing about any action plan is that you have 1 basically, it’s just an intentionality. So when something goes on in your life, and you don’t have a lot of time to write, then it’s time to go back to that action plan and be like, ‘okay, what can I do right now? What is possible for me, and I’ll move on from there.’ Instead of trying to force yourself into like being you know Wonder Woman when you’re sitting in front of your laptop.Hannah: Right. You mentioned sometimes when you sit down to write and it’s just–your draft isn’t any good, which I think every writer has kind of experienced that–do you kind of ascribe to the concept of writing really crummy 1st drafts and just writing and getting it down on paper, and just keeping–moving forward no matter what, or do you think, as far as action plans, that it is okay or sometimes necessary to go back and edit as you write?Heather: You know, I think it really depends on well–1st of all the kind of writer you are, and 2nd like what your goal is–because if your goal is to you know get published within the next year and a 1/2 or something, then you’re gonna have to soldier on and just push through no matter how bad the writing is, because you don’t really have–because the thing is, if you go back and fix things, which I do a lot, but then what happens is, if you have to do a major re-write, you’ve spent all of this time perfecting these early chapters, and now you can’t even use them, right? Which is totally fine if that’s your process and you’re not married to like, ‘I have to be published by a certain time,’ because for some people, their action plan is just like, ‘I wanna finish a draft of this book.’ They’re not even thinking publication because they’re working on their craft, like maybe they don’t feel like their writing is ready yet, you know? And as long as that’s not based in a place of fear, you know then that’s fine, you can take the time. But what I usually tell people is, just keep going. And you know there’s an abbreviation in publishing, it’s TK, I don’t know if you’ve heard of that, but TK means “to come,” and I didn’t know that until I started working with my publisher and then I would see copy-editors put TK and I’d be like, ‘oh my god, what does that mean?’ It was kind of freaking me out, and it was, ‘oh it just means “to come.”‘ And so I’ve found a lot of freedom, especially working on historical fiction, where–I mean, honestly I feel like every sentence I feel like I have to go and look something up–‘Wait, did they have that song out at that time?’ or you know ‘What kind of gum would they have had in 1940?’ or whatever, right? So I just put TK, TK, TK as I’m going, basically just to get a skeleton of the book and just knowing that Anne Lamott talks about you know the 1st draft just being this kind of big mess, and so basically just accepting that, and knowing that that’s part of the process, and then you know that’s what revision is for. And for me, revision is my absolute favorite part of the process, I love revising; I hate drafting, so the sooner I can get done with the draft, the better in my opinion. But all that being said, I do often go back and read like what I wrote the day before so that I can kind of get back into the world, get back into the rhythm, and kinda see where I’m going next, and I might edit as I read that, but if you keep going back and trying to rewrite the 1st chapter so that it’s the perfect 1st chapter, unless that’s part of your process, like you really can’t move forward unless you have that set in stone, then I would say just keep going along. But like I said, every book is a different beast and sometimes you have a process with 1 book and then the next book you realize like for whatever reason that it’s not working, and you have to think of a new way to get into the story.Hannah: Great, alright, so I have 1 more question before our time is almost up, so how do you as a writer differentiate between being fearful and overly critical of your work, and actually recognizing that there is a problem with your writing? Does that question make sense?Heather: Yeah, totally. So it’s so funny because you know I have an MFA in writing and you know I’ve taken so many writing classes and you know written 6 books and I still feel like a beginner. And–this is not name-dropping, this was just a profound moment for me–but I don’t know if you know who Katherine Patterson is, she wrote Bridge to Terabithia, and Jacob Have I Loved, and Jacob Have I Loved is 1 of my favorite books in the world and it’s a beautiful YA novel written like a long time ago. And so there was this auction to have lunch with her, so my friend and I like bid on this lunch with her, and we got to go, we were like ‘oh my god!’ So we sat down of course and she’s like an older woman, I think she’s in her 80s or 90s, so she has so much experience and wisdom, and she told us that every time she sits down, she feels like a beginner. So, when she said that, I felt so much freedom, like, ‘oh it’s not just me.’ So I think that you know because every book is different, no one’s ever written that book before, right? You’ve never written it, neither has anyone else–you can’t read a book about how to write the book that you’re writing, right. So there’s a lot of freedom in just knowing that you’re totally in uncharted territory every single time you sit down to write, so you really have to think of yourself as an explorer and just appreciate the adventure of it all, and just know that like stuff happens, you know sometimes you’re on a journey and you know a tire goes flat right and that just happens. But, all of that being said, craft is really important, and I think a lot of people–you know, people fall into 2 camps: people who don’t work on their craft at all, or people that only care about craft and it paralyzes them because they think you know they can never be good enough and they’re comparing everything they write to Tolstoy right. Who definitely needed some editing done, by the way. But yeah, so I think that as long as you are actively working on your craft, and trying to not borrow from yourself–so the more that you write, the more you’ll realize that there are certain expressions you like or certain ways that you describe for example a kiss or something, and just making sure like that these characters are kissing differently than the characters in your last story right. And just like paying attention to the minutia, but a great way–’cause you know it’s expensive to take classes and stuff–but a great way to work on craft is to get somebody to read it, to get other writers to look at your writing and give you critique. And so I always tell people, if you can get in a writer’s group, that is gonna save you every time because that means that every month or twice a month, however much you guys are meeting, you are talking about craft, and you learn even more from reading other people’s writing and critiquing it than your own critiques sometimes that you get for your work. So I think just having a good balance of like not being too hard on yourself but not being too easy on yourself either, and trying–the more that you write and the more that you work on craft, the more that you’ll hone that ability to know if something just doesn’t feel right. And you might not know why yet, but even being able to identify like, ‘that sentence, every time I look at it I get this feeling, this niggling feeling … but it looks nice, I don’t know what’s wrong with it.’ You know, and then investigate that, and eventually you’ll figure out what’s going on. And you just get better, it’s always each book–if your goal is to get better with each book, then you are in a great place.Hannah: Absolutely. Great. That was super helpful, thank you so much, Heather.Heather: Yeah! This is so much fun. You know I could talk about this for like 5,000 hours, so…Hannah: Yeah, I wish you could, but because you can’t, can you tell us where we can find you online so we can go and get more information from you on there?Heather: Yeah, so my author website kinda has everything, which is heatherdemetrios.com. But I also have like a separate site for my coaching, which is Pneuma Creative, which is spelled kind of weird, it’s pneumacreative.com. And we also have a facebook group, it’s for ladies only, and we every day like I post a quote of the day and we talk about craft, we talk about writing, we talk about the good parts of our day, the bad parts of our day, we do a writing roll-call at the end of every day, just to kind of support each other, and so there’s that, and then I have a blog which you can access through either of my websites and that is kinda–I talk about craft, I talk about process, and using mindfulness to do that, so yeah.Hannah: Alright, so cool, well this has been Heather Demetrios everybody, so go say hello to her online, and thank you again Heather for chatting with us.Heather: Yeah, thank you.