Write While True Episode 27: Transcript

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I’m Lou Franco and this is episode 27 of Write While True.

The name of this podcast is a program that goes into an infinite loop, and that’s because I think of writing as an infinite game.

It’s like a game of catch, which is even more fun when you get better at it, but the only way to do that is to keep playing.

So in each episode, I’ll tell you something I learned about writing and then I’ll throw you the ball with a writing challenge or prompt.

Part 4 of 4

This is the fourth and final episode in a series I’m doing about the book Art & Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland. I’ll put a link in the show notes.

In this, the final episode of the series, I’m going to tell you what they think you need to be in order to be an artist.

Art making involves skills that can be learned. The conventional wisdom is that while craft can be taught, art remains a magical gift bestowed only by the gods.

Art is made by ordinary people. The flawless creature wouldn’t need to make art. Something about making art has to do with overcoming things.

So now with these four episodes we have learned that an artist is just an ordinary person who doesn’t quit, who finds ideas that generate thousands of variations, and by working on those variations, manages to change themselves into an artist.

I find this inspiring because I’m an ordinary person. I know I have a long way to go in order to write the work I really want to write.

I’m guessing that you’re ordinary too.

The best thing we ordinary people have are flaws. Those flaws have led us to create imperfect work, and imperfect work is something that can be an inspiration to us.

Use your flaws as inspiration

So this week, I’d like you to find a piece of your own writing that you know is flawed. Before you try to fix it, start with articulating your intention—what were you trying to do. Where did it come up short? Try getting very specific about the audience you were trying to reach and what your goal was. A big reason my early work failed is because I wrote to think about an idea and left it in that raw state and didn’t transform it into something that communicated that idea. If that sounds familiar, check out episode 5 where I address this issue.

Thank you for listening. This has been Write While True, a podcast where we’re okay with infinite loops as long as they’re fun.