Name: Anne Janzer Anne Janzer, author of The Writer’s Process: Getting Your Brain in Gear

Book Title: The Writer’s Process: Getting Your Brain in Gear

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What is your book about?

The Writer’s Process is about the inner game of writing – managing the various mental systems involved to make your writing more productive, creative, and fulfilling. It combines the field-tested practices of successful authors with insights from cognitive science. By looking at your own process with an inquisitive eye, you can discover keys to your own productivity, get a handle on when and how creativity strikes, and train yourself to find a state of flow when working.

What inspired you to write your book?

Effective writing connects people in a meaningful way. Today’s world needs those meaningful connections. This book is my way of sharing with others the practices that continue to benefit my writing. Bonus: doing the research to write the book has spurred me to improve my own practices. All authors have room to grow.

Can you describe your writing process? The Writer’s Process: Getting Your Brain in Gear

I divide the writing process into its component parts, so I can bring the right mental systems to each stage. These phases include research, outlining, incubation, drafting, revision, and deciding to publish. Intentional incubation is an important part of my writing process. I invite my subconscious mind (my Muse) to work on ideas when I’m doing other things, and it delivers. When I resist the temptation to shortcut the overall process, the writing is more fun and fulfilling.

How did you come to do what you’re doing today?

I spent many years as a marketing consultant, writing in the brand voice for more than 100 technology companies. In late 2014, I grew disillusioned with marketing’s fixation on the short-term sale instead of the long-term relationship. So I wrote a book about it, Subscription Marketing. (The second edition just came out.) I discovered that I love working in my own voice, exploring topics deeply, and sharing those discoveries through writing. So, that’s what I’m doing now.

Can you describe a typical day in your life?

Each day I identify a single task that is important to my long-term goals. It might be preparing a talk, revising a chapter, or solving a publishing puzzle. Where possible, I tackle that task in the morning, before the many “urgent” tasks of the day distract me. And I write every day, whether or not I’m in the drafting phase of a book. I’m a big proponent of the power of the daily practice.

What do you most enjoy about what you do?

Despite the solitary nature of writing, the nonfiction author inevitably becomes quite engaged in the world. I enjoy connections I make with people through the books, conversations with writers about writing, and friendships with people I admire.

Are there any people and/or books that have inspired you along your journey?

I am always finding inspiration and support from other authors and their books. Seth Godin’s words gave me courage. Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art helped prod me forward. A recent inspiration is Angela Duckworth’s book Grit. To succeed as a nonfiction author, you need a good dose of grit.

Can you share something that people may be surprised to learn about you?

I’m also a classically trained singer. For many years I’ve sung with local symphony choruses, and I do some solo gigs as well. There are interesting correlations between writing and singing – and finding your voice!

What’s next for you?

I’m working on another book, of course, and have a couple more ideas queued up behind that one.