Sonitotum with Matthew Wayne Selznick
Summary: Sonitotum is all about creating a healthy, sane, and successful writing life as seen through the personal insights, reflections, and observations of host Matthew Wayne Selznick, an author / creator / consultant living and working at the lush and lavish studios of MWS Media in Long Beach, California.
This is a solo episode — very much a “part two” of the previous episode — in which I explore why my creative production has been so sporadic over the last couple months, and what that lack of initiative and focus might be telling me… and what actions I should take moving forward. Related: the trap of doing things you think people want rather than things that actually matter to you and to others. Links and Topics Mentioned in This Episode * The original post announcing the initial form of the Autumn Project 2018 * My Income / Transparency Report for October, 2018 * Emilie Wapnik and her multipotentialite book, course, and community * Create if Writing podcast hosted by Kirsten Oliphant * No, I’m not shutting down my Patreon page, but I’m no longer making it a priority at the expense of actually shipping creative work * Procrastinaction, as described in Sonitotum episode fifteen * In the spirit of Gretchen Rubin‘s The Four Tendencies, I’m for sure a rebel, and it’s not doing me any favors… * The difference between intuition and instinct The Autumn Project (2018): October 15 through November 17, 2018 More manuscript words; scenes; pages! Not as many as I should… but what does should mean, anyway? That’s part of what this episode is about… * Days Worked: Nine (Thirty five total) * Total Time Worked: 18 hours, 25 minutes (69 hours 07 minutes total) * Words Written: 9,559 on the draft (41,801 words total (including character studies, outline, and draft) * Approximately 869 words per writing day Subscribe to Sonitotum The best way to listen to Sonitotum is to subscribe. That way, new episodes automatically appear in your podcast player app or software as soon as they’re published. Find Sonitotum in iTunes / Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, TuneIn, Stitcher, PlayerFM,
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) Subscribe to Sonitotum The best way to listen to Sonitotum is to subscribe. That way, new episodes automatically appear in your preferred podcast player app or software as soon as they’re published. Find Sonitotum in iTunes / Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, TuneIn, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Podbean, or
Earlier in September, 2018, I introduced the Autumn Project (2018). You can read all about it, but in brief: between September and the end of December, 2018, I’m planning, plotting, and completing the first draft of my next novel, Light of the Outsider, in public. It’s an exercise in accountability, transparency, beginner’s mind, and teaching what I learn. In that spirit, I’ve promised to share my progress on a regular basis through “minisodes” of Sonitotum with Matthew Wayne Selznick. This is the second update! Listen to the episode for all the details… meanwhile, here are some significant statistics and other stuff: The Autumn Project (2018): September 16 through September 26, 2018 This ten-day period was all about wrapping up the character background notes, then “breaking” the novel, and then finally preparing all that material for the day when I begin writing actual manuscript pages of the first draft… which began on September 27, 2018… so that stuff, we’ll talk about in the next update! * Days Worked: Nine (Fifteen total) * Total Time Worked: 16 hours, 42 minutes (31 hours 24 minutes) * Words Written: 9620, not including the timeline, which was adapted from the prose background material (21,624 words total) * Approximately 1069 words per day / 593 words per hour What Do I Mean by “Breaking” the Story? This is a term borrowed from screenwriting and from television series writer rooms. It’s not the same as when a journalist “breaks a story” — that’s when a reporter is the first to report on something. In this context, to break a story means to break the sequence of events down to individual “beats,” or scenes, and put them in order according to their place in the arc of the larger tale and each character’s arc. Typically, there are three acts (or four, if you count the first and second half of the second act as two acts) in a longer work, with several scenes per act. In the episode, I talk about how my last novel, Pilgrimage, stayed very close to the traditional three act structure, and how Light of the Outsider, while still broken into three acts, doesn’t necessarily follow all the usual rules. Lessons Learned The value of writing all those words in character background (see the last update) really proved valuable again and again during the plotting / breaking phase as new connections popped up in my mind. I was reminded of something the author Maggie Bonham (and maybe others have) said: “Outlining is where brainstorming happens.” That’s because brainstorming is almost always more fruitful if it’s done within some kind of structure… like, for instance, three well-defined acts..! Also, I had an important epiphany involving a key (as in, what you use to open a lock) that eliminated one of the more hand-waving story points early in the first act. This was an intuitive thing that, nonetheless, has evaded me for a very, very long time when it comes to this novel. Tools and Resources In the episode, I mentioned the software that’s gone into the pre-draft, planning / plotting stage. Here they are, with links; * Workflowy. I use this list maker / outliner so much, it’s probably my primary tool in my life, not just in writing, and not just in writing Light of the Outsider. I used Workflowy while writing the character background bits. Here’s a blog post I wrote all about how you can use Workflowy in your writi...
Living poetically, or, as I also call it, embracing metaphor, is a kind of “mind hack” to adjust how you see the world around you, and how you interpret events, large and small, in your everyday life. Put it into practice, and you’ll find your creative eye is always activated, your artistic senses, enhanced. In anthropological and psychological circles, this is a variety of magical thinking… but there’s nothing magical about it. Jungians might think I’m talking about synchronicity… but not quite. In this solo Sonitotum with Matthew Wayne Selznick, I sit down with you late on a Friday night and explain what the heck I mean by living poetically, with personal examples from my own life and recent history, and a necessary spoiler of series five, episode five of the television show Episodes. Get the Whole Story! My patrons get exclusive, early access to the uncut / unexpurgated version of Sonitotum a few days before it goes out to the rest of the world. Their version of this episode has nearly twenty five additional minutes of content about living poetically and embracing metaphor. Don’t miss out! When you become a patron, you get early access to the unedited / uncut edition of every episode of Sonitotum for a monthly pledge of at least $1.00 per month… Plus the free Sonitotum theme song (“Anastasia”) and bumper music (“Gwinton”), and whole lot of other stuff. Click here to learn more about becoming a patron of Sonitotum and my other creative endeavors. Subscribe to Sonitotum The best way to listen to Sonitotum is to subscribe. That way, new episodes automatically appear in your preferred podcast player app or software as soon as they’re published. Find Sonitotum in iTunes / Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, TuneIn, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Podbean, or Radio Public. Or, manually add the show to the podcast app of your choice by copy/pasting this RSS feed link. Alternately (or in addition!) you can sign up to receive notifications of new episodes via email. Be A Guest on Sonitotum I’m always interested in talking to independent creators willing to have a transparent, in-depth, unguarded conversation about making stuff, finding success as you define it,
The Autumn Project (2018) is Sonitotum podcast host Matthew Wayne Selznick plotting and writing his next novel, in public. He updates his progress weekly, starting here!
Sonitotum podcast host Matthew Wayne Selznick announces the Autumn Project (2018), wherein he invites you to join him by being a fly on the wall from start to finish as he embarks on the creation of a major creative work.
Sonitotum host Matthew Wayne Selznick speaks with independent musician Emma Wallace on the eve of the release of her latest album "Immortal," about staying positive and steadfast in the face of the challenges of independent creative life.
Sonitotum host Matthew Wayne Selznick defines the artist's responsibility in light of the James Gunn and Sarah Silverman "controversies."
Fred Rogers inspired this eighth episode of Sonitotum with Matthew Wayne Selznick, which is an optimistic and positive exploration of your creative legacy. You might already have one! Listen to learn why.
This seventh episode of Sonitotum with Matthew Wayne Selznick was nearly lost to a crisis of confidence... but sharing the overcoming of obstacles like that is exactly what this podcast is all about. So here it is!
In the sixth episode of Sonitotum with Matthew Wayne Selznick, Matt unveils the concept of your creative family, and how "adopting" this perspective can add meaning, context, and direction to your entire body of work.
In the fifth episode of Sonitotum with Matthew Wayne Selznick, Matt describes the "one weird trick" he wish he'd known years ago to become the best fiction writer and storyteller -- and even human being -- possible. Listen to discover what it is!
In the fourth episode of Sonitotum with Matthew Wayne Selznick, Matt relates a recent experience that shows how our own subconscious will call us out when we act inauthentically, putting us through the emotional wringer of anxiety and depression.
In the third episode of Sonitotum with Matthew Wayne Selznick, Matt uses very personal examples from his own past to show why it's so important to avoid toxic behavior -- both in ourselves and in those we associate with -- in order to cultivate a healthy creative life.
In the second episode of Sonitotum with Matthew Wayne Selznick, Matt shares his current state in terms of finances, creativity, productivity, and emotional and mental health in the spirit of transparency and honoring the mission of the podcast: helping you lead a healthy, successful creative writing life.