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Today, I have a conversation with Leslie Watts, an author and Story Grid Certified Editor. Leslie and I are in Nashville where we’re learning how to tell better non-fiction stories and to launch her new book, What’s the Big Idea?, which she wrote with Shelley Sperry. We talk about the three things she tries to do every day to be happy, productive, and be at her creative best.
I first met Leslie in 2016 at the first every Story Grid event in New York City. After that, we kept in touch via a study group that morphed into the Story Grid Editor Roundtable Podcast.
She’s also the captain of Writership, which is her blog + podcast + editing services. She’s also active in the Story Grid community on both their blog and on the Story Grid Editor Roundtable, which I was a proud member of and left to start this podcast.
One of the reasons Leslie is such a great editor, among other things, is because of her editing philosophy. Quote:
I believe writers become better storytellers through study and practice and that editors owe a duty of care to help writers by offering specific and supportive guidance.
Leslie not only takes us through the three daily habits she tries to do to stay happy and productive but also talks about the writing process and how Natalie Goldberg’s writing retreats give her a creative edge. She also happens to be my editor for my memoir, so I can attest that she lives by her words. I’ll someday share the memoir with everyone once it’s done.
You’ll probably hear some background noise and a siren or two since we were recording this in the common room at the Stay Alfred at The James in The Gultch neighborhood of Nashville.
Now, let’s get better, together.
Actions to Try or Advice to Take
- Have Daily Habits: Leslie has three and her day is much better if she does all of them.
- Keep Your Creative Edge: Go on a creative retreat to help you get inspired.
- Read wide and Deep: Read all sorts of books and stories from all over the place. Don’t limit yourself. You’ll find some gems.
- The Problem is the Problem: Don’t beat yourself up about challenges or messing up. Focus on the problem and only the problem. You are not the problem, the problem is the problem.