Alexandra Franzen’s daily mantra is “Today isn’t over yet.”
I wanted to talk to Alexandra because I was so impressed when, a couple of months ago, she celebrated her birthday by giving her latest novel to her mailing list for free. It was so refreshing. It’s such a great book and she had just given it away. Seriously baller. Today on the show we talk about how she wrote that book, what made her want to put it out in the world as a gift, and what she’s cooking up for creative people now.
It’s such an inspiring conversation about why writing matters so much, why life is short and special, and how much a response from a reader can make a writer’s day. We also explore the possibility that some books are meant to go wide and some feel safer when shared in a smaller way. Whether you’re just get started in writing or you’ve been at it for a long time, this is an episode that will keep you motivated and sparkly, at a time when you need both of those feelings very badly.
Show notes for Episode 37 with Alexandra Franzen:
- Giving So This is the End away (2:45)
- Fiction as a personal side project (3:15)
- The dream that launched the novel (3:40)
- The birthday soft launch of the novel (5:00)
- The incredible response from readers (5:30)
- The actual writing process & fiction as vacation (7:00)
- Clarity of concept creating a fun writing experience (7:45)
- Where it got trickier to finish (8:45)
- Taking a break for other work (9:10)
- The timeline of Alex’s writing process (10:00)
- Editing the book (10:20)
- The decision to sell the book on Gumroad (12:00) Mentioned: Alex’s web shop
- To Amazon or not to Amazon and self-publishing for the nervous (14:00)
- Building a troll fence (15:30)
- Different projects have different destinies (15:45)
- Opening a brunch restaurant and Yelp reviews (16:40)
- Interviewing people about getting through discouraging awful moments for You’re Going to Survive (17:00)
- Being a creative in tough times (19:00)
- Coping with fear, criticism & bullying (20:30)
- Why we write (21:45)
- Daymakers (22:30) Mentioned: David Wagner
- The impact of the Q+A Couple’s Journal (24:00) Mentioned: Alex’s Q+A journal
- The story of how Alex got the Q+A Couple’s Journal Project (24:30)
- The role of ghostwriting in her career & the desire to do just one thing (27:00)
- Intention and giving up control upon publication (29:15)
- Having surprising impact on readers & meaningful responses (30:40)
- The frustration of not getting responses & the truth about responses (32:00)
- On choosing to step away from social media (33:45)
- How Alexandra promotes her work now (38:00)
- Ronda Roussey’s autobiography (39:00)
- Searching for levity with N’Sync (40:30) Mentioned: Out of Sync: A Memoir by Lance Bass
- What I’m reading (42:00) Mentioned: V.E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic series
- The impressiveness of world building (44:50)
- A-has from creating You Will Get Through This (46:00)
This Episode sponsored by Scrivener.
A gift before you go...
Get your Copy of Meangingful Units, an eBook and Worksheet to get your draft done along with Footnotes, weekly literary love delivered right to your inbox.