How to Manage Creative Anxiety


While writing, you may have had questions like this race through your head:

What if nobody likes it?

What if I can’t get published?

How can I write something I’ve never written before? 

If you have, you’re not alone. All creatives experience creative anxiety. And that’s exactly what causes these thoughts!

Creative anxiety is a barrier that keeps us from writing, but it doesn’t have to be. In today’s episode, host Rhonda Douglas walks us through the process of recognizing and managing our creative anxiety so we can finally finish. 

Listen to learn: 

  • How uncertainty affects us as writers
  • The importance of normalizing experiencing creative anxiety
  • Techniques for managing it in the moment 
  • Techniques for managing it in the long-term

Of course, the techniques alone aren’t enough—we also have to want to make the change.

Here’s a sneak-peek of today’s episode… 

[03:34] Our brain has...

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Playing, Plotting and Pantsing, with Gail Anderson-Dargatz


Writing as play is something we need as authors. It’s fun, it’s freeing, and most of all, it can be the kind of thing that helps us reach new heights in our writing and publishing journeys.  

Our guest on this week’s episode is best-selling author Gail Anderson-Dargatz. Gail’s written several novels, and her thriller The Almost Wife that became a Canadian bestseller in 2021. And as she’ll tell you, Gail wrote a thriller so she could play. 

But that’s not all we need for writing success. Gail’s learned plenty of tricks over the years that have changed the way she goes about her writing, from mashing-up genres to streamlining the writing process. 

Listen to learn: 

  • The value of being both a panster and a plotter
  • How to use narrative structures as tools in your brainstorming
  • Tips for shortening novel-writing time 
  • How to avoid a passive protagonist

Of course, you’ll have to tune in to hear about the...

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He Doesn't Know Anything, with Michael Blouin



Who knows? One day, your writing might end up on the moon. 

In fact, some authors are having their work sent up soon, including Michael Blouin, our guest for this week’s podcast episode!

You may be wondering, “Gee, Michael, why is your writing being sent to the moon?” 

While Michael himself might say “I don’t know” fairly often, the answer is clear from his long publishing journey: persistence. 

It can be difficult to maintain our writing when we feel discouraged, but Michael reminds us that sticking to our writing and writing what we want, even if it isn’t commercial, can let us live the writing lives we dream of. 

Listen to this week's podcast episode to learn: 

  • Why you shouldn’t give up on being published
  • The unexpected perks of having an agent
  • The value of collaboration with other artists
  • How Michael’s work ends up in space and why that matters 

We hope that you’ll grant...

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Behind the Scenes of a Small Literary Press


Getting published by a big-name publishing house is an idea with allure. One that most authors dream of, and see as necessary to reach success. 

But is getting published by a big house the right choice for you? 

Independent presses have their advantages, and depending on what you want—not what you think your goals should be—a small press might be exactly what you need. 

In this week’s episode we’re joined by Aimee Dunn, the owner of the award-winning, independent literary press Palimpsest Press. She tells us all about the inside processes of getting published through a small press, and what benefits they have compared to a big publishing house. 

Listen to Learn:

  • What the publishing process really looks like
  • Dos and don’ts when submitting to a publisher
  • Some reasons for rejection (perhaps not what you think!)
  • The differences between publishing with large and small presses

The independent, small press can...

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On Grace and Self-Compassion


Every writer has their own “toolbox.” 

There are literal tools in it—our favourite pens, notebooks, our laptop (maybe a typewriter, if that’s more your style). But our toolboxes are also filled with strategies, things that motivate us, things that make writing incredible and pleasurable for us. 

But there’s one tool many writers forget, or don’t even know they need. Self-compassion. 

In today’s episode, host Rhonda Douglas will unpack why self-compassion is important for writers, and how we can expertly wield this tool to our advantage.

Listen to learn: 

  • How to listen to the way you talk to yourself
  • How to stop negative self-talk and thoughts
  • Why community is important for practicing self-compassion
  • How to avoid getting swept up in negative thoughts

As writers, we can be our own harshest critics and most judgemental audience. But that doesn’t mean we have to be mean to ourselves. 

Here’s a...

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Loving Independence: On Self-Publishing, with Emma Dhesi


As writers, we often see independent publishing as one of two things: incredibly liberating, or a terrifying unknown. 

Both of these things are truebut can’t that be said of anything that’s new to us?

To truly appreciate independent publishing, we need to know about the process, including the things that free us and the things that make our stomachs drop into our feet.

Luckily, we have author Emma Dhesi with us today to tell us all about her journey as an Indie writer, who’s already published three books and has a fourth on the go!

Plus, Emma will share the new writing craft anthology she's just curated for all writers.

Listen to learn: 

  • Why writing advice from other authors doesn’t always work for us
  • The benefits of Indie publishing over traditional publishing
  • Similarities and differences between Indie and traditional publishing
  • How to fit your writing into your lifestyle

There’s so much to learn about the world of Indie...

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How to Find the Focus to Write


Hey, focus! Focus on your writing!

… Easier said than done, right? Trust me, I know very, very well, how much so. As writers, we all want focus. We crave it, because it is instrumental in our craft.

We need focus to finish, and finishing is the basis for being able to complete our work - we need a first draft, if we ever want to have a finished book, right? 

But in our current world, distractions are everywhere. So how exactly are we supposed to focus? Well, in this episode, we will, will give you the inside scoop on how to build yours to create a writing life you’ll love.

Tune in to this podcast episode to learn:

  • Techniques to help you focus 
  • How to make more time to write
  • How to be fierce with your focus 
  • What obstacles get in the way of our focus 

Believe it or not, these aren’t even all the aspects that play into finding our focus - you’ll have to listen to the episode to learn them all!

But here’s a sneak...

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On Writing and Failure: Interview with Stephen Marche


In his new book, On Writing and Failure: Or, On the Peculiar Perseverance Required to Endure the Life of a Writer, author Stephen Marche argues that writing is, and always will be, an act defined by failure. The best plan is to just get used to it. 

Join me for this interview as we talk about facing rejection, artistic failure and continuing to write anyway. (And we go on a little tangent about AI there at the end!)

Listen to learn:

  • The norm of comparing yourself to other writers
  • The difference between Career Envy vs. Creative Envy
  • About the writing market and author autonomy within it
  • The benefits of knowing how other authors got where they are

To learn all the secrets of this week’s episode, you’ll have to tune in. 

But here’s a sneak peek…

[04:28] … it's almost a ludicrous fact, but like the more successful the writer to me, the more anxious they are. 

[04:47] … I think even in my own way, I thought like, well, if I...

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Inspiration from the Compost Heap: Interview with Frances Boyle


 As a writer, it can sometimes feel like others don’t understand our craft unless they’re also writers. This can make us feel isolated, sensitive to rejection, and even leave us feeling like our work isn’t good enough. 

If we feel our writing isn’t good enough, we may not take opportunities right in front of us, or take the time to look for some. 

But finding another writer, and a community of writers, to have in your life may not be as difficult as you think. Of course, according to Frances Boyle, author of Openwork and Limestone, it means we have to take those opportunities for connections when we see them.

In today’s episode, Frances tells us about the value of:

  • Writing groups and community
  • Submitting pieces to literary magazines
  • Seeking out rejection (!)
  • Finding inspiration in the compost heap

Here’s a sneak peek… 

[5:25] I began to have deadlines and community and accountability with the writing group, and...

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Tent Poles: Structuring Writing and Life with Elisabeth de Mariaffi


Work-life-writing-balance can be tricky for writers. Whether you’re published already or trying to crank out that first draft for publishers, it can be difficult to find writing time amidst our busier-than-ever lives. 

There’s always something that says “hey, I need you to pay attention to me!” that really does need your immediate attention. And isn’t it always right when you’re hitting your stride? 

It can discourage us, and make us worry that we might have to leave it all behind. 

Luckily, Elisabeth de Mariaffi, author of The Devil You Know and The Retreat, knows the balance is possible–with a little bit of prioritization and ambition.  

Listen to learn: 

  • The benefits of attending a formal program for creative writing 
  • The importance of community as a writer
  • How to think about structuring your novel 
  • Drawing your reader along with emotion

Of course, Elisabeth also has plenty of writing...

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