A Book and A Dream: An author’s adventure in writing, reading, and being an epic fangirl

Top Four Author Skills I Use in Real Life

September 07, 2020 Megan O'Russell Season 1 Episode 42
A Book and A Dream: An author’s adventure in writing, reading, and being an epic fangirl
Top Four Author Skills I Use in Real Life
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A Book and A Dream: An author’s adventure in writing, reading, and being an epic fangirl
Top Four Author Skills I Use in Real Life
Sep 07, 2020 Season 1 Episode 42
Megan O'Russell

Creating imaginary worlds may not be a usable skill in everyday situations, but that doesn't mean the tools authors use in world building aren't applicable in real life.

Have an "impossible" problem?
Need to travel?
Have to write a scathing letter?

There's an author skill to help you get through.

After the episode, be sure to follow this link to sample more of The Tethering audiobook: https://www.meganorussell.com/audio-books

Show Notes Transcript

Creating imaginary worlds may not be a usable skill in everyday situations, but that doesn't mean the tools authors use in world building aren't applicable in real life.

Have an "impossible" problem?
Need to travel?
Have to write a scathing letter?

There's an author skill to help you get through.

After the episode, be sure to follow this link to sample more of The Tethering audiobook: https://www.meganorussell.com/audio-books

A Book and A Dream Episode 42

Megan: [00:00:02] I have gotten people from point A to point B where it's utterly impossible, I have figured out how to actually round off a love triangle in a way that makes sense.

 

Announcement: [00:00:16] Welcome to A Book and a Dream with Megan O'Russell: an Author's Adventure in Writing, Reading, and Being an Epic Fangirl.

 

Megan: [00:00:27] Hello, my name is Megan O'Russell, and welcome to Episode 42 of A Book and a Dream. If you're hearing a little rumble right now, no, there is nothing wrong with the sound quality. Right now, I have a little purring kitten in my arms and he has not been feeling well lately. So he's just going to sit here and be cuddled as we record.

 

Megan: [00:00:45] Now, one of the cool things about being an author is that you kind of develop some weird skills along the way. Now, those can be pretty extreme. If you are someone like a crime fiction writer, like, you probably know how to break out of a trunk by now or put someone in a trunk. Weird things. There are people who write historical fiction who could totally build you an old fashioned frontier dwelling or, you know, I don't know, trek across Siberia because they've done all the research for their books. Now, I haven't gone quite that extreme, but I do want to share with you the top four authors skills that served me in real life.

 

Megan: [00:01:25] Look at this little guy. He doesn't feel good, but he just wants to cuddle. So here he is now.

 

Megan: [00:01:31] My first author skill is being alone. Like, you can leave me alone in a room for a long period of time, or just like, you know, ditch me at the front of a grocery store and I can keep myself busy for hours. I can plot stories, I can come up with names, I can come up with political systems. Honestly, a lot of my books were started on little bits of Micros paper while I was serving and had absolutely nothing to do. I have stacks of Micros paper written with early book notes because it's how I keep myself entertained. So downtime, I'm totally good with it.

 

Megan: [00:02:06] I'm basically a mobile houseplant. Just, you know, give me some nutrition, some water, make sure I see sunlight every so often and I'm good. That's really all I need from you.

 

Megan: [00:02:16] I'm also very good at travel planning. Now, I think part of that just has to do with who I am as a person. But a lot of it does come as an author skill. Like, I can get two teenagers from Rhode Island to Maine. I can move people all around the country because I have looked up the bus maps and the train maps and the plane schedules and all those different things.

 

Megan: [00:02:40] Oh, honey, that was a sneeze. Oh, he's so sweet. I have looked up all those different things. I've also looked up, you know, how long it takes horses and carts to go and also hiked mountains to see how hard they would [be to] get up. So I'm really good at estimating how long it's going to take to get somewhere and how unpleasant the journey is going to be. Because I have spent so much time researching those things.

 

Megan: [00:03:04] Author skill number three: I am very good at writing emails. Like, I can email you so hard you won't even know what's coming, which is super useful when you know you don't actually want to talk to people face to face, which may also be an author skill, but knowing how to write powerful dialogue, knowing how to set a scene and then best utilize your words to play out that scene: really helpful when you're trying to get your point across digitally. I can set the scene in an email, explain to you exactly what I want done and close out the scene nicely so that, you know, it's a complete experience for the email receivee.

 

Megan: [00:03:45] The fourth and most important one―especially to this sweet little guy who I think might be asleep in my arms at this point. I can't quite tell. No, he's still awake―is that I am not one to take no for an answer. Here's the thing. You can't tell me that there isn't a solution to a problem. I have toppled kingdoms in my books. I have gotten people from point A to point B where it's utterly impossible. I have figured out how to actually round off a love triangle in a way that makes sense. Don't tell me that anything's impossible.

 

Megan: [00:04:17] If you can get through a love triangle, you can get through just about anything. So, recently, they told me that this little guy was not going to make it because he's sick. He's my little kitten, Mo. He's one of the two kittens we adopted. We planned on one. This one came, you know, as a bonus prize. And they told me he wasn't going to make it. And first of all, I got very sad and very upset because, you know, you don't want your little kitten to go. But then I realized I don't believe you.

 

Megan: [00:04:43] I don't believe you at all.

 

Megan: [00:04:45] This is isn't Eragón. I'm not backed into a corner where I have to deal with, like, quantum mechanics in order to save a fantasy storyline. No, there's a way out of this. And you know what? There was. So sometimes you have to use your author skills and decide, no, I will not take "this is impossible" from you. I will figure it out.

 

Megan: [00:05:05] And we have figured it out. So if anyone. Oh, hi. Hi, little guy.

 

Megan: [00:05:09] If anyone ever tells you that there is no hope for a kitten with FIP or Fip, shoot me an email. Also, if your health insurance ever says that, they're not going to pay for your medical tests. There's a lovely little thing called MDSave. This is my week of not taking no for an answer, of telling people I will find alternate resources if you don't want to help me.

 

Megan: [00:05:30] So, for medical needs, look up MDSave, of GoodRx if you're in America because, you know, sometimes our healthcare system leaves things to be desired. And if you're having a problem with your pet, reach out on social media. There are things that veterinarians won't tell you because they are protecting themselves. So it took other skills and a lot of digging into weird things to figure out how to help this little dude. But now he is here sleeping in my arms because of those other skills.

 

Megan: [00:05:59] So it's easy to take jobs like being a writer, being a performer, or being in any field in the arts and be like, but I have no practical skills for all the work in the arts I've done. It's not true. Being a performer teaches you to work as a team. It teaches you to think outside the box. It teaches you to communicate, which is a huge thing that a lot of people can't do.

 

Megan: [00:06:21] Being an author teaches you so many skills, new skills with every book you read. Being an artist, I don't actually understand how visual arts works. I, like...mad respect to anyone who can do it. My poor cover artist knows I'm just like, "colors are nice." I don't...I'm sure there are big lessons that you take out into the world, but I understand none of it. So good for you. You're doing a great job. But in this crazy world where it feels like the arts are unappreciated and there's a lot of people who think they may never get to go back to their art. Yes, you will. We're going to fight our way back out of this. It's going to happen.

 

Megan: [00:06:56] Oh, kitty, you want to go down? Are you just flipping? He's flipping. But in the meantime, in the meantime...I can't stop laughing at him. He's so cute. In the meantime, you have amazing skills that people outside the arts do not possess. You have created your own skill set, and continue to appreciate them and use them as we survive until this intermission is over. It's going to be amazing.

 

Megan: [00:07:21] I know. My kitten Mo says so. And in going in line with, you know, things are going to be different for a while, but we will get things back, The Tethering audiobook is now available. It was recorded by a wonderful stage actor, and I am so excited to share it with all of you. So keep watching the video. It will pop up in just a second with a sneak peek at The Tethering. Or you can click the link above or below depending on your platform. And it will take you to a website where you can listen to a bit more of the audio files. I am super excited to share this story with you. It's all going to work out.

 

Megan: [00:07:56] We're going to find a way back one step at a time. Until next time I would have Mo wave goodbye, but, uh, he's passed out. He's completely passed out. Yeah.

 

The Tethering Audiobook Sample: [00:08:10] *Audiobook sample. Visit https://www.meganorussell.com/audio-books to hear more!