As a writer, it can be easy to feel like we’re the only ones having our writing experiences. Sometimes, you might wonder:
Am I doing this right?
Do published authors struggle like this?
Does anyone have advice for this?
Answers to these questions aren’t singular or simple. They dig at our insecurities, and can make us stall out or walk away from our writing. It’s not a cure-all, but there is one thing that can help alleviate our self-doubts—community!
That’s why I started The Resilient Writer’s Radio Show, a podcast that can help us all find community, no matter where we’re listening from. And to start us off, I have a trailer for you.
Listen to learn:
[02:39] But I didn’t get “serious” about my writing and my writing life until I was in my late twenties.
[03:16] For every story and poem I’ve published, or award I’ve won, there must be at least a dozen rejections.
[03:48] All that to say that if you are a writer who struggles to get to the page, to feel confident in your work, and continue to write in the middle of EVERYTHING ELSE going on in your life, you're in the right place.
[04:07] Because, here’s the thing… If you've been writing for any time at all, you know what a rollercoaster this writing life is.
[05:46] We love writing, but it feels like we’ve got to fight for it sometimes. Fight for the time, fight for the space, and yes, even fight ourselves.
[07:28] And I know that I’ll probably have to overcome some fear, and eliminate a lot of distractions along the way, if I want to be writing with ease and achieving my writing dreams.
[08:51] We’ll cover all kinds of writing on the show. I’m a poet, short story writer, novelist, and I’ve written some creative nonfiction as well, so we’ll do all of that, and possibly more.
Intro: Well, hey there, writer. Welcome to the Resilient Writers Radio Show. I'm your host, Rhonda Douglas, and this is the podcast for writers who want to create and sustain a writing life they love. Because—let's face it—the writing life has its ups and downs, and we wanna not just write, but also to be able to enjoy the process so that we'll spend more time with our butt-in-chair getting those words on the page.
This podcast is for writers who love books, and everything that goes into the making of them. For writers who wanna learn and grow in their craft, and improve their writing skills. Writers who want to finish their books, and get them out into the world so their ideal readers can enjoy them, writers who wanna spend more time in that flow state, writers who want to connect with other writers to celebrate and be in community in this crazy roller coaster ride we call “the writing life.”
We are resilient writers. We're writing for the rest of our lives, and we're having a good time doing it. So welcome, writer, I'm so glad you're here. Let's jump right into today's show.
Rhonda Douglas: Hey there, Writer.
Welcome to this first episode of The Resilient Writers Radio Show. This is a short episode, also known as a Trailer, just like in the movies, to introduce you to myself as your host and the show—so that you can know what to expect as you follow and listen to the show.
So, hello—this is me waving at you across the internet. I am your host. My name is Rhonda Douglas, and I’m an award-winning poet, fiction author, editor and writing coach, living and writing in Ottawa, Canada’s Capital City. Right now, I live with my cocker spaniel, Mr. Darcy, and my daughter, Emma, lives a short ride away near Montreal. Although I’ve lived in Ottawa for 30 years now, I’m originally from Newfoundland on the East Coast of Canada. And for decades now, I’ve worked a day job in the social justice field.
I’m also the founder of Resilient Writers (you can find out more at resilientwriters.com where I have some great free resources for writers) as well as the First Book Finish Program, and The Writer’s Flow Studio. I have a particular passion for supporting women writers to finally finish their first books.
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I’ve known for sure I was a writer since I was 9 years old, when I got a gold star on a writing assignment about my brother. My mother still has that story saved in a blue scrapbook in the basement.
But I didn’t get “serious” about my writing and my writing life until I was in my late twenties. And by that time, I was also a single mother with a young daughter, a full-time job with a charity, and I was going to graduate school at night. I’m tired just thinking about all of that now, but at the time I was just doing what I thought needed to be done. As you do, you know.
Over the years since, I’ve done all the workshops, the retreats, and the writing programs. I’ve completed a graduate diploma and my MFA in Creative Writing to go along with my degree in English Literature. I can proudly say I’m the author of a couple of books, with another couple in progress.
But for every story and poem I’ve published, or award I’ve won, there must be at least a dozen rejections. At least. And, those hurt like hell—I’m not gonna lie, sometimes they also kept me from writing. I had to learn how to keep going.
In my writing life, it’s been really rare for me to actually have “free time” to write. That blissful, “free time” we all dream of. Over the years, I’ve gotten really good at getting the writing done despite the lack of time, and in spite of the inevitable rejection.
All that to say that if you are a writer who struggles to get to the page, to feel confident in your work, and continue to write in the middle of EVERYTHING ELSE going on in your life, you're in the right place. I started this podcast to help you find the inspiration and resources you need here, to help you get your writing done.
Because, here’s the thing… If you've been writing for any time at all, you know what a rollercoaster this writing life is.
Of course, we love it—we love that sense of flow, when the writing feels like taking dictation from the Muse, we love creating entire worlds and characters from nothing, and spending time with them to understand their stories and figure out the best way to tell them, we love words and language—and our very large, very large, To-Be-Read piles—TBR piles—testify to how much we love books.
But, there’s also a fair amount of rejection and failure involved. Rejection when we seek to be published so that we can connect with our Ideal Readers, and failure all the freakin’ time as we learn and grow in our skills and craft, figuring out how to make this story or poem just a bit better than the last one.
And today’s world isn’t structured to help us get the writing done. We’re working, and raising kids, and supporting partners, and caring for elderly relatives, and trying to be part of our communities, and remembering our friend’s birthdays while also keeping some groceries in the house.
And when we do have some free time, we’re sucked into scrolling through Instagram or TikTok, catching up with our high school friends on Facebook, or falling down a YouTube rabbit hole. Our phones and screens are with us 24-7, and it can be really hard to focus. The world just isn’t set up to allow us the blissful months of free time it takes to complete a creative project like a novel, memoir, or collection of stories or poems.
We love writing, but it feels like we’ve got to fight for it sometimes. Fight for the time, fight for the space, and yes, even fight ourselves.
Because it’s hard work to create entire worlds out of nothing! Every book written was once a blinking cursor on a white screen, or a pen poised over a blank page. We’re artists, creating something to compel and engage the imaginations of our readers, where before there was nothing.
And that’s not a small thing. It’s no wonder we are sometimes filled with fear and self-doubt. That’s a normal part of the process, but it can also feel like we’re in it all alone. That we’re the only ones feeling like we don’t know what we’re doing, that our book will never get published.
That’s why I’ve created this podcast. So you’ll know you’re not alone, and you can have some resources to help keep you going on the hard days and motivate you to celebrate your wins as well.
When I think about what it means to be a “Resilient Writer”, I think about cultivating the skills and community to sustain us through this rollercoaster writing life. It’s about knowing the reality of the writing life so we can adjust our expectations accordingly.
It’s about having the skills to feel grounded and centered in ourselves, and our creativity, no matter what the external world of gatekeepers think, do, or say. Or don’t do. It’s about learning and growing in our craft as writers. And it’s about becoming unshakeable in our conviction that our stories and our words matter.
I always say I want to be writing for the rest of my life. As in: I want them to remove the pen from my cold lifeless hand when I’m 92 years old. And I know that I’ll probably have to overcome some fear, and eliminate a lot of distractions along the way, if I want to be writing with ease and achieving my writing dreams.
So there you have it. That is why I’ve created this podcast, and I’m so glad you’re here to join me in this journey.
Here’s a taste of what you can expect from the show in the days and weeks to come.
Most of the shows will be interview format. I’ll be speaking with published and award-winning writers, writers who’ve finished books and gotten them published. And we’ll hear from them how they organized their lives and their writing to make that happen.
From time to time, I’ll add in a solo episode, where I’ll share tips on the writing process and the writing craft. It’s all focused on helping you create and sustain a writing life you love, which includes finishing your books and getting them out into the world.
I’m traditionally published myself, but I’m also working on a project that will be my first foray into independent publishing—also called Indie publishing or self-publishing—and I have a lot of friends who are self-publishing right now. So this podcast will be a mix of both, but I do know the first season is a bit heavier on the trad publishing side of things.
Speaking of which, this podcast will come out in seasons. My goal is to do 3 seasons of 12 episodes each year. That’s to give me a short break between seasons to book and record the next one for you.
We’re gonna cover all kinds of writing on the show. I’m a poet, short story writer, novelist, and I’ve written some creative nonfiction as well, so we’ll do all of that, and possibly more. And we’ll cover all genres as well. This is a snobbery free zone!
And from time to time, we’ll also hear from folks who are on the marketplace side of things. Publishers, literary agents, festival directors and booksellers. Because this book business is a fascinating little ecosystem, and there is a lot we can learn from one another.
If you have topics you’d like to have covered, or writers you think should be featured on the show, feel free to reach out. I’m easily reachable on Instagram @resilientwriters, or via email at [email protected].
And I’d like to ask a favour if I can. If you listen to the show and enjoy it, I’d really appreciate it if you would give it a review and rating in whichever podcast app you use to listen. That helps tell the algorithms that the show is a good one, which means they’ll put it in front of more writers who could use a boost of inspiration and motivation in their writing lives as well. So if you’d do that, I’d really appreciate it and I promise to read every one. Thank you in advance for that.
Okay. Well, that’s it for today. This is me sending you the very warmest welcome to the Resilient Writers Radio Show. Thanks for listening, and I’m excited to bring you this first season and hope it supports you in creating and sustaining a writing life you love.
See you next time!
Outro: Thanks so much for hanging out with me today and for listening all the way to the end. I hope you enjoyed today's episode of the Resilient Writers Radio Show. While you're here, I would really appreciate it if you'd consider leaving a rating and review of the show. You can do that in whatever app you're using to listen to the show right now, and it just takes a few minutes.
Your ratings and reviews tell the podcast algorithm gods that “yes, this is a great show. Definitely recommend it to other writers.” And that will help us reach new listeners who might need a boost in their writing lives today as well. So please take a moment and leave a review. I'd really appreciate it, and I promise to read every single one. Thank you so much.