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The Working Writer Podcast

The Working Writer Podcast

By Tia Levings
Writing is our day job; this is how we do it. Come get the inside scoop on what it means to be a working writer in today's marketplace.
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Screenwriting and Storytelling: Alycia Ripley
Alycia Ripley is an actor novelist, screenwriter, and director with over 20 years of experience in PR and brand marketing. In the months since we recorded this, Alycia directed a film she also wrote, currently in final production. In our chat, we cover a ton of working-writer topics, from industry trends to favorite software. One of my favorite things about Alycia is that she shares the insider tips! Support her projects through her patreon and I hope you enjoy the podcast! 
September 27, 2021
Writing to Heal with Trauma Therapist Dr. Laura Anderson of the Religious Trauma Institute
I met Laura on Instagram through her work educating and nurturing survivors of religious trauma. Over the years she's become a trusted friend and an incredible resource on all things trauma-healing. I wanted her for the show because of the volume of thoughtful, conscientious content she generates along with being a full-time therapist and running a business. Laura's a working writer extraordinaire and I'm excited to share her with podcast listeners.  Here's more about her:  Laura Anderson is a Licensed Psychotherapist with a private practice in Nashville, TN and an Abuse and Trauma Resolution Coach for clients outside of Tennessee. Her primary clientele deal with complex trauma including intimate partner violence, sexual abuse and assault and religious trauma. Laura heads the Center for Trauma Resolution and Recovery, is the co-founder of the Religious Trauma Institute and received her PhD with her research focused on the experience of living in a healed body after sexual trauma. Laura is the author of two educational manuals: one on the topic of domestic violence and the other for clinicians and other healers regarding religious trauma, including how to work with clients who are hoping to heal from religious abuse and trauma. When she’s not working or writing, Laura enjoys spending time with her dog, Phoebe, hiking, being outdoors and spending time with her friends.
July 29, 2021
Should You Use a Pen Name?
Using a pen name seemed like a good idea... until it bifurcated my personality, fed my people-pleasing tendencies, and held back my career. In this bonus episode of The Working Writer Podcast, I share the backstory of why I decided to use a pen name –– and why I changed my mind. 
May 21, 2021
Curiosity is Essential for Writers
Good stories, investigations, and literary projects all start from the same seed: wonder. Curiosity is essential to writing. In episode 9, I bring you the most curious writer I know: Tim Gilmore.  We meander through a variety of topics, including creative obsessions, launching a book during lock-down, suffering artists, and more. Tim's living literary project,, gets much of our focus as we deep dive into process, poetry and passion for art.  A fun behind-the-scenes factoid: as a professor, novelist, and non-fiction writer, Tim's breadth of work was the inspiration for The Working Writer Podcast. I wondered how he did it--worked and wrote prolifically--and I wondered how other writers did it. And so the show was born, out of wonder and curiosity.  My favorite part of this episode is where I can hear Tim's curiosity perk up. He's the author of The Devil in the Baptist Church and Murder Capital, among several others. Check out his site!  Photo credit: Bob Self of the T-U
May 05, 2021
Writing Contests and Careers with Sohrab Homi Fracis
Iowa Short Fiction Award winner Sohrab Homi Fracis shares how contests and competitions helped shape his writing career. In addition to the Iowa, Sohrab's work has been shortlisted and decorated by a long list of festivals and associations, including the South Asia Literary Association. He is warm, gracious, and intelligent and I appreciated the insight he shared on how novels and scripts can have much longer "legs" than just publication.  Sohrab's timely novel on the immigrant experience, Go Home, is a perfect example of such long legs: it was recently shortlisted by Stanford for the William Saroyan International Prize.  I'm excited to share my friend and his wisdom with you, my fellow working writers!  A review of Go Home from Sohrab's website:  "At the heart of Sohrab Homi Fracis's poignant new novel, Go Home, is the question of one's place in the world, the answer never more ambiguous or fragile than for the immigrant or exile, when a person's condition of homelessness is in transition, neither here nor there. Given the cultural moment, I'm grateful to Fracis for his highly topical reexamination of the American Dream, a still reliable but never easy remedy for all those yearning to reinvent themselves beyond the constrictions of tribe and nation. And in Go Home, assimilation, sometimes a wretched exercise, can also be a hilarious and uplifting affair." - Bob Shacochis, author of The Woman Who Lost Her Soul (Dayton Literary Peace Prize) and Easy in the Islands (National Book Award) Photo credit: Madison Gross
April 01, 2021
The Power of Connection: Misty Wagner
Misty Wagner gets real, real quick. Direct, warm, experienced, and connective, Misty’s authentic social engagement sets her apart from the fluff. She’s an entertainment writer, memoirist, and writing group facilitator, as well as a podcaster. Here’s a quick list of some of the topics we explored: PR and entertainment writing Writing memoir Social media engagement Tik Tok Communication and connection with those who are unlike you Working in the film industry Finishing projects The survival of art
March 10, 2021
Freelance Writing Life & Friendship
Freelance writer and editor Bethany Miller shares her experience over the years, touching on the nitty-gritty realities of freelance life. We discuss pricing and finding gigs, dealing with difficult clients, and geek-out in general about our lives as writers.
February 24, 2021
Get Feedback On Your Writing: Coach Jamie Morris
How do you know your writing is good? How can you fix what's broken in your work?  Writing coach Jamie Morris chats with podcast host (and client) Tia Lindstrom on how working with a coach can make you a better writer. The Companion Guide Series includes the title for this episode is called Get Feedback On Your Writing. The ebook expands the feedback topic to include alpha and beta readers, editors, and that pesky of all writers' problems: what to do about unsolicited feedback?
February 10, 2021
Collaboration: Write as a Team
Team Little Quotes is in the house to share how a virtual team made a real book!  In this interview with the editors behind Little Quotes by Little Folks, we share how a virtual team made a real book, and explore how collaboration can increase your success as a published author.    This topic is covered further in the Companion Guide. Write as a Team is available on Amazon, and is a short read with big content, full of insight on team writing and tips to make it work.   Check out the Little Quotes by Little Folks book at
January 27, 2021
Make Time to Write: Romance Author Sara Celi
In this episode of The Working Writer Podcast, Tia Lindstrom interviews best-selling romance author, Sara Celi. Topics covered include writing sprints, genre study, and how to manage a writing career in the midst of real life.  Sensitivity alert: the trauma of premature birth and infant loss are both discussed in this episode.    The Working Writer Podcast is available on audio anywhere you listen to podcasts. Every episode includes a giveaway; engage with us on Instagram to enter. The Companion Guide eBooks that pair with each episode are available on Amazon. 
January 13, 2021
Career Evolution, Creative Blocks and The Copy Cats
Corporate copywriting can pay your bills. This episode includes an interview with The Copy Cats, a team of corporate copywriters who share how copywriting shaped their careers, how to find copywriting jobs, and what it's like to work on a team of writers.  Also, this episode explores creative blocks, perfectionism, and trauma. Writers fret over being blocked to the point where they spend more time talking about writing than writing. Creative blocks restrict the flow of ideas and progress; they prevent us from taking risks and chances. Simply put, a blocked writer can't grow. The reason behind your creative blocks may surprise you. But with understanding comes the power to overcome creative blocks. The Companion Guide to this episode of The Working Writer Podcast takes a deeper look at creative blocks, exploring the losses and trauma that thwart our progress as working writers: Overcoming Creative Blocks. 
December 16, 2020
A Pilot on the Pilot! Make Writing Your Job
As a working professional writer, I get this question all the time: "How can I make writing my job?"  I also hang out with more non-writers than writers. While my writing friends and I talk shop and understand craft and get the inside-jokes... it's my non-writing friends who save me from the Cliffs of Insanity on the regular.  One of those friends is Melody Blythe. She's a pilot, property appraiser, special-needs Mom. As I say in the podcast, Melody embodies Sprite. She's sunny and upbeat, determined, and madly talented. She and I go way back; we grew up in a Baptist megachurch together, in a youth group of 400. I shared photographic evidence (cringe-warning) in the show notes.  Melody and I cover a lot of topics in this episode that effectively takes my podcast virginity. (Purity culture peeps will appreciate the metaphor. I talk a lot about purity, deconstruction and religious trauma on Instagram. You can follow me and the podcast over there.)  Also, the marrow of this episode of how to make writing your job is in the Companion Guide eBook. That's where you'll find the practical steps to get to work doing what you love.  I feel like I owe a little caveat here: one thing I've learned is that podcast pilots are a lot like early novel drafts. There are some bumps and bumbles that will certainly work themselves out in future episodes. I'll undoubtedly get quicker and more agile with both the content and the supporting tech. Until then, thank you for your kind listening and forgiving ears. All artists need a little grace :-). 
December 02, 2020
Welcome, writers! Let's talk shop!
One thing I know for sure: a writer is always working. The only variance is income! And while it's easy to romanticize what it means to "be a writer," the truth is that writing is hard work. Working writers distinguish themselves from hobbyists through their attitude, skill, and dedication to craft.  It's an honor to be able to pay bills with words, and this podcast will explore the many ways that can be done. I promise to make it as fun and valuable as possible! Each episode will pair with a downloadable ebook available on our website and on Amazon, because I believe the best inspiration leads to action.  Please subscribe and share with your friends. I love to talk writing and I can't wait to talk shop with you. 
November 16, 2020