The Career Author Podcast: Episode 137 – Sharpening the Saw: Doing the Things We Hate Doing

Sharpening the Saw: Doing the Things We Hate Doing

Sharpening the Saw: Doing the Things We Hate Doing

As career authors or even part-time writers, we all have to do things we hate. In a perfect world, authors could sit in a cabin in the woods, happily slapping the typewriter without a care or concern. But that’s not reality, and with the exception of a few authors, it’s never been how the industry works.

“Sharpening the saw” is an important routine in any writer’s life. Or it should be. Like a craftsman, sometimes you have to stop working and maintain the tools that allow you to create whether those are analog or digital. Join the fellas as they discuss some of those pesky tasks that need to be done with suggestions on how to make it just a little less painful.

The Career Author Podcast is a podcast where co-authors J. Thorn and Zach Bohannon share their struggles and successes as full-time authors, advice for improving your writing craft, and honest discussions of what it takes to build a successful career as an author.

In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • Why you can’t neglect your digital files
  • The consequences of ignoring your email list
  • The less-painful approach to creating book links
  • Why you need to keep track of your author bio
  • Why even social media accounts need a little attention every now and then

Also, J. recommends Athletic Greens as a replacement for green juices and supplements. 

Send us your ways and hacks – https://thecareerauthor.com/waysandhacks/ 

Leave us a comment: What’s the thing you hate doing the most?

Thanks to our new Patrons, Marianne Hansen Rencher and Jon Svenson!

Podcast sponsored by Kobo Writing Life – https://writinglife.kobobooks.com 

Get exclusive bonus content by supporting The Career Author Podcast on Patreon at www.patreon.com/thecareerauthor

Want to work with us? Get the details at https://thecareerauthor.com/services/


Athletic Greens – https://athleticgreens.com 

Episode 109 – Accounting for Authors – https://thecareerauthor.com/accounting-for-authors/

Episode 97 – Optimizing SEO with Dianna Gunn – https://thecareerauthor.com/optimizing-seo-with-dianna-gunn/

Episode 69 – Tag! You’re it! Opt-in forms and Tagging Your List – https://thecareerauthor.com/ep069/

Episode 60 – Nerd Alert! Implementing a Backup System – https://thecareerauthor.com/the-career-author-podcast-episode-60-nerd-alert-implementing-a-backup-system/

Episode 50 – List Building Fundamentals (List Building Part 1) – https://thecareerauthor.com/the-career-author-podcast-episode-50-list-building-fundamentals-list-building-part-1/

Episode 56 – Content Marketing for Fiction (List Building Part 2) – https://thecareerauthor.com/the-career-author-podcast-episode-56-content-marketing-for-fiction-list-building-part-2/ 

Episode 2 – Do You Need an Author Website? – https://thecareerauthor.com/the-career-author-podcast-episode-2-do-you-need-an-author-website/ 

2021 Events – https://thecareerauthor.com/events/ 

J.’s monthly mastermind membership – https://theauthorsuccessmastermind.com/join/

The Career Author YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/thecareerauthor

Three Story Methodhttps://books2read.com/threestorymethod 

Three Story Method Workbookhttps://amzn.to/37SAR1a 

Molten Universe Media – http://www.moltenuniversemedia.com

21 thoughts on “The Career Author Podcast: Episode 137 – Sharpening the Saw: Doing the Things We Hate Doing

  • Morning guys. Wise words in this nearly landmark episode.
    Things to take away from today:
    Backup regularly: check.
    Accounting: easy as I don’t earn enough to make it too complex.
    Email: I should know better as in the military we had an admin rule “touch a piece of paper only once.” I should adapt this to “read an email only once.”
    Tabs: never a problem. Might be an age thing coming from a time when computer memories were measure in kbytes.
    What do I hate doing the most wrt my writing business? Nothing I hate, some things I hesitate, but not until they are too late.
    And of course, the really important take away today, bearded blokes on bikes beware of birds.
    Great show.

  • Truly, two things I truly hate to do with regard to this work. One is just dealing with my email list at all. I forgot for months and I know I have much lower open rates because of it. It might be time to kinda start kicking them out. And the other thing is actually part of the writing process itself, which I think you guys have brought up. I hate editing. First draft and revision ar cake. It’s going back over the words, and since I am weird and old school, I print out things and use a red pen. (Yes, I have tried to do it on the screen and I just miss far too much that way. However, I heard something Rachael in her podcast with you J about putting it on her wife’s iPad and using the iPencil. I have ordered on and hoping it works. We will see…)
    But, those are the two big things I truly hate about this work. Pretty much everything else is easier. Heck, even the ads thing isn’t too bad, thanks to Cohen’s little seminar.

  • Such great tips all around! I did find a solution both for tab mania in my chrome, and an exploding bookmarks bar. The OneTab plugin will fold all tabs into one, and you can unfold all of them, or open them one by one as needed. I also use it as my favourites tab as you can lock and organise the links into different categories like dashboards, tools, etc.

    What I hate doing is cleaning up an inbox after I let it stampede on me by procrastinating for too long…

    Thank you for sharing these. Definitely going to adopt some of these habits.

  • For multiple Google accounts, Chrome has different profiles called “People.” I use a different “Person” to log into various Google accounts and stay inside the same browser. Much easier.

    Also, I’ve started using a program called Shift, which is fantastic for managing all kinds of accounts from Google, to Trello, Slack, and many more. I can go instantly from account to account without even having to change browser windows. Love it! https://tryshift.com/

  • I hate accounting most.

    I would hate email maintenance second most if I ever did it. <: )

    For maintaining online bios, I keep a spreadsheet of all the URLs where my bio and/or author photo appears and make a sweep through them whenever something happens that requires an update.

  • Of course I am listening. I am like Beetlejuice.

    Zach. come on man, Nature gives you a chance to be a disney princess only a few times in life. And you go and throw the bird away. sigh.

    I’ll answer as editing since that is what is grinding me away at the moment.

    However, I heard sharpening the saw phrase first from Steven Covey and his habits book. I always felt it meant work on your craft and intangibles not on things you hate. The idea is that if you are cutting down a forest it pays to stop every now and then and sharpen your saw so you aren’t wasting your time with a dull axe. I am alternating reading in my genre and reading craft books as a way to sharpen the saw from that perspective.

    Looking forward to the next landmark episode.

  • Thanks for another genuinely useful episode. For some of these items, I could nod wisely. I’ve been mucking around on computers for a very long time, and I was a programmer many years ago, so naming conventions and tidy folders are part of my DNA. Similarly, backups are taken care of, mainly with Acronis True Image. I’d add one piece of advice. There’s an adage that an untested backup is no backup at all. Every so often, check your backups to see if they can be restored. If they can’t, they’re no good.

    I’ll turn ‘What do you hate?’ into ‘What do you need to work at?’ It has to be time management. When I was a teacher I timetabled everything and worked hard to stick at it. Now, my days seem to turn into shapeless blobs of furious activity. Perhaps it’s the lack of accountability, but I really need to get better at dividing up my days and weeks. I’m having a go with google calendar and tasks, so we’ll see how that goes.
    Thanks again. Keep up the good work!
    Back to the schedule for me.

  • Made me belly-laugh, Zach. J, my desktop would give you an aneurysm. Guys… I’ve listened to his episode twice already as a reminder of things I’m not doing. Considering a nuclear option for my accumulated email. Ugh, could you do a “THINGS WE HATE DOING” episode once a quarter as a kick in the pants to the rest of us?

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