The Author Inside You Podcast Show Notes:
120 Chad Elliot
On this episode of The Author Inside You podcast we interview author, teacher, and podcaster Chad Elliot. As an improv teacher to writers, he is the perfect teacher for you. Listen to his stories about having his book read aloud to him, instant feedback from his audience, and keys to storytelling that will captivate your readers.
Contact Chad at seattleimprovclasses.com
Podcast: Intriguing Interviews
[00:00:00] Matt: [00:00:00] quick note before we begin. This episode is brought to you by audible. Get a free audio book download and a 30 day free firstname.lastname@example.org slash freebook choose from over 180,000 titles. Go to the author inside you.com/free book.
[00:00:22] Announcer: [00:00:22] You're listening to the author insides you podcast, a weekly podcast designed to motivate you to finish writing a book, choose a publisher, and build an audience. Keep listening if you're looking to get propelled into the next chapter of your life. And now it's the author inside you podcast.
[00:00:41] Matt: [00:00:41] Hello, I'm Matt Rafferty and I'm Leah Rafferty.
[00:00:44] Joining us today is Chad Elliott, author of improv manifesto, seven easy steps to confidence, creativity, and charisma. Even if you're shy, Chad has helped hundreds of individuals learn storytelling, public speaking, and other valuable skills through simple improv style games. Welcome, Chad. Thanks for joining us today.
[00:01:06] Chad: [00:01:06] Thanks so much for having me on the show.
[00:01:08] Leah: [00:01:08] What, Chad, can you tell us a little bit about your book? It's basically divided into seven chapters that each focus on some element of how to communicate and think on your feet. So things like, okay, how do you eliminate writer's block or mental blocks? How do you generate ideas?
[00:01:27] How do you communicate to groups? That kind of thing.
[00:01:30] Matt: [00:01:30] Great. And so are you, is your audience writers or is it all types of people.
[00:01:36] Chad: [00:01:36] It's all types of people. It tends to be people who are more introverted or shy or you know, don't feel, don't feel particularly creative, but want to be able to communicate better, wanting to be able to feel confident doing the things they need to do to be successful.
[00:01:53] So did the book come out of your business or. Yeah. So I, uh, so I started a, a company called Seattle improv classes. And I started teaching these, uh, eight weeks series classes. And at first, like I created a booklet to compliment the, the classes and I put, I put together some articles I had done. And then at a certain point I got curious about publishing and self publishing and how that worked.
[00:02:18] And I wanted to try it. And so I took the booklet I had and I. Enlarged. It, published it through Amazon as a learning experience and also like, it's nice because you know, when I and I had hand an actual book to students, like there's a credibility that comes with that, that is a stronger than a booklet.
[00:02:37] Like it, it makes them look at you different. They asked for autographs and stuff too.
[00:02:43] Matt: [00:02:43] Besides selling the book to your students, how are you marketing it to find other people to buy it?
[00:02:49] Chad: [00:02:49] That's interesting. So like I said, I like, I viewed it very much like as a learning process. I put it on Amazon and, uh, largely left it to itself to see what it would do.
[00:03:00] I got some, I got some reviews for it, uh, just like by promoting it to students and that, that sort of thing. Um, but largely I just let it go and, and it has for fairly little work. It's, it's given me a good return just by putting it on Amazon and. What I was really doing is, so, you know, since I published it a few years ago and I just like looked at okay, like was that worth it?
[00:03:22] Yes. It was like, what was, what, what would I do better? Cause you know, they're playing mistakes I've made along the way. And so then I started writing a new book that something that I would really want to put lots of effort into and then I can promote it a whole bunch. And I was like, in the meanwhile, just kind of learning like, okay, like how.
[00:03:39] What is the process of like becoming a guest on podcast? Promote a book, or what is the process of like getting published, you know, articles published in different places where you can, you know, mentioned your book, that kind of thing. So I view this first book is really like a learning process. So that with the next book, which I've been working on for for quite some time, uh, that I can really know what I'm doing and have experienced to, to be really successful with that.
[00:04:02] Well, congratulations. First off, and just putting it out there and people found your book, because that in itself is amazing. And also congratulations on being a life long learner. I think that's pretty cool that you're constantly trying to learn new things. Thanks. Yeah. And what I would say is like the, even with that sort of, you know, neophyte stage of putting out the book, you know, a few things that I think are important is you do want to look at, okay, like how Eva, you know, if I'm just putting it on Amazon and getting it out there, what are people searching for?
[00:04:30] Like what would appeal to them? So I definitely put thought into like the title and the keywords in the title and like what. Segment of Amazon, I put it into, and actually one little trick I discovered that could be useful to people is if you, if you update the manuscript, if you kind of re upload a slightly edited version of the manuscript to Amazon, it tends to increase where they put you in the rankings if they search for someone, searches for a keyword in your title.
[00:04:59] So it's just something handy to know. Well, that's cool. So
[00:05:02] Matt: [00:05:02] even with just a minor change.
[00:05:04] Chad: [00:05:04] Yeah. For I guess they just like, Oh, like this person keeps their book updated, so we're going to put them higher in the rings. So like us, it seems like you would like to motivate writers and you have some points I think that you could help our listeners.
[00:05:18] And what a first one, let's talk about what causes writer's block. A lot of people tend to put so much pressure on themselves to do a good job that it just cripples them really. Actually, I had a really good friend who wants to be an author, but she would, she would, you know, put it off and, and just find any way not to do it.
[00:05:42] Uh, you know, do any writing. And so. I, you know, it was really, she's very much a perfectionist, like a type a. And so I was like, well, I'll, I'll tell you what you can do that. You're not going to like it. And she was like, well, all right, what is it? And I said, well, what I want you to do is I want you to refer for 10 minutes in every day, in the next week, I want you to write for 10 minutes.
[00:06:04] And then at the end I want you to delete everything you wrote. And she was like, I hate that idea. But she did it and she was able to do it, and because she didn't have to worry that anyone would read it afterwards, that anyone would criticize it, even including herself. And she started to notice that she was actually enjoying the writing process because it was taking the criticism out of it.
[00:06:30] She could just do it. She even like called me sort of in tears one day. She was like, Oh, you know, I never like, I'm actually enjoying this for the first time in years, and. And then after that she was able to start doing it and not deleting it, but she had, you know, you kind of had to short circuit that critique mechanism and her brain, and that's something, you know, there are lots of ways to do that, but that's one kind of fun, bizarre way.
[00:06:53] Right. There is a sort of researcher who study the creative process that they use the Disney, and one of the things he found is that they had like sort of a multistep process. So first is like the brainstorming phase to like for when they made a snow white and the seven dwarves, you know, they brainstormed 50 names for the seven dwarves.
[00:07:16] They didn't try and come up with the perfect seven at first because in that brainstorming stages, it's like, okay, come up with as many di ideas as you can. And then in a later stage you're looking more at like, okay, what are the practicalities? And from a critical point of view, which of these is good as which of these is bad?
[00:07:31] But what most people do is they try and come up with ideas at the same time, they're criticizing them, and so they wind up, they think of an idea, they criticize it and shut it away, and then they've just. Kinda crumpled him and just nothing can get out. And so you have to separate those phases. You have to go, okay, now I'm going to be creative and I'm going to generate lots of ideas.
[00:07:51] And they can be, it doesn't, it's good even if a lot of them are bad, because then I'm going kind of outside of my typical thinking and then. Different stages, even like in a different location. So you've got separate places for this. Then you can go back and look at the quality and they do that kind of thing at Disney.
[00:08:09] Like they'd have this, you know, rooms where they'd generate ideas and then they have another room for storyboarding and that they'd. Look at the practicality of it, and then another room where they'd there, those called the, I think like the hot room or the sweat room where they'd view, uh, an example of it and be real, like Walt Disney would be really critical, but they'd separate those so that they weren't doing them all at the same time.
[00:08:30] Matt: [00:08:30] You know, that is really cool. I never knew that about Disney, but it does sound like a great idea if you're trying to come up with a name for, say you're writing a book and you're trying to come up with a name for a character. And then if you came up with 25 names and then you could move on, at least you could do something else and then come back to those 25 names later on and say, no, these names are no good.
[00:08:48] These are the better names. It sounds like a great idea.
[00:08:52] Chad: [00:08:52] Yeah. And you can, you can find lots of examples of that around that. There's, uh, an author named Steven James who writes sort of criminal novels, but he wrote a really fantastic book called a story trumps structure. And one of the things he talks about is that very often, you know, when he's reading a book, he can see, you can tell where someone's going to go with the plot because they just kinda took the first idea that occurred to them.
[00:09:14] And so what he suggest is. Okay. For, you know, for a lot of these key points in the plot you generate, okay, what's my first idea? What's my second idea? What's my, you know, 10th and 15th and often it's like the 20th idea that is really, you know, we'll take an indirection that they can't see company coming, but that also fits really well for the same kind of thing.
[00:09:33] For people who write copy for like advertising, like your first idea for a headline, it's going to be like, so, so, but often it's the 20th idea or the. 30th idea. That's the best.
[00:09:43] Matt: [00:09:43] So, so is that like the, the biggest mistake that people commit with storytelling?
[00:09:48] Chad: [00:09:48] I think that that's, I mean that's one of the biggest, cause you can't really get anything going if you're, if you're stuck.
[00:09:54] And then once they get going, I think you have to really understand the. Key elements of, of structure and stories. You know, uh, something I've seen in classes a lot is that a lot of people don't really know how to define a story. They don't know what a story is. They'll think they're telling a story when they're not, you know, especially if they've worked in like a corporate environment at all.
[00:10:14] They'll talk in a very vague, generalized way that, and, and at the end, you don't know really what they said. But if you understand key elements like this, the start of a story, we have to. Be able to empathize with the protagonist, or at least know a little bit about them. And then we have to understand like the routine, and then there's the break in the routine there.
[00:10:36] You know, some sort of problem comes up and then you have to have an escalation of complications. You have to sort of, things get worse and worse and worse and more complicated and more, you know, the stakes after raise. And then you have to have some sort of resolution that comes from the, the main character that we care about.
[00:10:52] And we get to see some change from beginning to end, you know? And there are different structures depending on the context of what you're doing. You want, you can go, okay, so what is, what is the next key part in the story? Like, am I creating that? Cause there are plenty of times, it's interesting with fiction, you know, even with fictional things, people often worry almost about.
[00:11:11] Their audience. And so like they introduce a problem, but then they immediately solve it or there's never a problem to begin with, or they talk in a generalized fashion. So there's not like one specific instance that they're going like, this happens and this happens in, this happens. So you really have to understand the structure of a story in order to tell a good story.
[00:11:31] So is
[00:11:31] Matt: [00:11:31] that
[00:11:31] Chad: [00:11:31] part of your teaching process with people.
[00:11:35] Matt: [00:11:35] Yeah.
[00:11:35] Chad: [00:11:35] So the way, you know, what I focus on with, with students is, uh, I kind of go through it step by step by steps. Like in the first couple of classes we work on just generating ideas and building on ideas and accepting ideas, kind of the, the typical like improv idea of Yesi.
[00:11:50] And so you accept whatever ideas come up and then you build on them and find out where they go. And then. After that, I started going into structures like, okay, so what is the structure of good storytelling? Like how, you know, what is that the, the process I described of the. Sort of once upon a time there was this character and every day they had this certain routine.
[00:12:11] Until one day there was this break in the routine and things get worse and worse and worse, uh, until finally there's a resolution. That's what I call the story arc. And that's really how that can be very, very helpful in, you know, it's very simple. Um, but it really helps you understand how to move things along.
[00:12:28] Um, there are also other things like. You've got dialogue, and so you've got characters talking to each other, or you've got description of the setting and you've got action, and you have to have those. You have to have a nice mix of those. If you have too much description or too much a dialogue, it can get hunkered down and boring.
[00:12:46] If you've got too much action, then you don't really, you know, it's like one of those car chase movies where you never really know who any of the people are and they . And then, uh, you know, I, I go into two different aspects. I talked to them about how to improvise a speech. And again, you know, there's a structure of it.
[00:13:02] You need to have a compelling opening that intrigues people. You need to have a structure that, for example, like talking about the problems that people are facing and presenting your solution. And then talking about the benefits of that. And then, you know, a recap and a request, like that kind of structure is, is very fitting for, uh, you know, nonfiction books, right?
[00:13:20] So, like in a, in a nonfiction book. You need to detail what the problem is. So you know, your audience recognizes themselves and wants to fix it. And then you talk about the steps of solving problem, and then you, you talk, you know, you talk about the benefits that we'll present to the person and you give them a clear action plan when you're, when you're writing.
[00:13:41] A book in a nonfiction, that's typically what I would do is I would like, I'd write the chapters, the titles of the chapter that I want to want to do, and then I'd figure out kind of the structure, and then I'd fill in the material that goes in the structure. And it's, it's pretty easy to do it that way.
[00:13:56] So you had like an outline. Yeah, yeah. An outline. Um, but it's, you know, and very flexible though. You know, you, you go say you're talking about golfing. Well, you know, your problem is. That your putts go, really, they go into the water, I don't know. And uh, I was like, Oh, uh, and then, you know, the solution is this a new backhanded, whatever deal.
[00:14:19] And then, you know, the benefit of that is that even when it's windy on the, the, you know, the. Runway. Then on the runway. I don't know anything about golf. Um, but, but you know, it's, eh, you find these kinds of structures that help guide you so you don't feel like you're, you're flying blind and then you can look back and see, did I accomplish my goals?
[00:14:38] Are there ways I could do it better?
[00:14:40] Matt: [00:14:40] Well, Chad, let's go back a little bit. You were talking about public speaking and a number of the authors that we've interviewed talk about going to bookstores or to schools or to events and doing public speaking. Do you have any specific advice for somebody who's an author who's not necessarily outgoing?
[00:14:58] To give just a short, like introduction, you know, sometimes at a bookstore or signing, the author will stand up and just speak for just a couple of minutes and then. Take questions and then sign books or whatever. Do you have any advice for somebody who has something like that planned? There
[00:15:14] Chad: [00:15:14] are lots of different, uh, things that could be useful for that kind of person.
[00:15:19] I think if, I think if you're nervous with that kind of thing, one of the things do to think about is almost thinking of it more as like a conversation rather than, you know, if you think of it like you're trying to pitch or like you have to, sure. Yeah. Again, if you're putting pressure on yourself to get a certain result, like it just increases the stress so much.
[00:15:39] It's, it's also a really good idea too. Get yourself in the right mood. So one of the things that's, you know, you can just play some simple like improv style games, like, or just like, do something creative, like come, you know, invent a story and have some sort of fun with that so that you're in a creative space where you're mentally agile in advance, something fun, maybe you enjoy dancing or, or whatnot.
[00:16:04] Um, and then, but then when you're there, you know, you want to look at, you know, this is something you actually. Really love. And the people who are there are there because they're interested in it too. So it's definitely not an adversarial relationship. Right. And so you get to pick the most interesting, exciting parts about this thing you love and talk about it with people who also are fascinated by that.
[00:16:28] And just that perspective and that way of approaching it can can make a big difference.
[00:16:33] Matt: [00:16:33] Right. That seems like that could definitely cut back because you think, Oh my gosh, all these people are going to be so critical of me. When actually they just want to be, they want you to succeed. They want, they want to hear your story.
[00:16:44] Chad: [00:16:44] Yeah, absolutely. I mean, they totally do like nobody. They would, it would be an insane person who would go there and now I want you to succeed. Right. And you know, there was this publicist, this famous Hollywood publicist who was kind of the top publicist in Hollywood for like 20 years, but he had a really bad stutter.
[00:17:02] And he describes in his book about how he was starting to go into handling these big companies for like television accounts and stuff, and a meeting that he was doing this presentation that should have taken half an hour, took an hour because he was stuttering so bad and he was sweating and all of this.
[00:17:19] But the group he was presenting to at the end, like they, they didn't care because you know, he's still got the job because. Uh, they wanted someone who could do a good job, not someone who, like, it didn't matter how he taught. Um, but they did, they did afterwards, like they went out for a drink and they kind of laughed about it and he, and he realized that he should just mention the stutter upfront and kind of a humorous way himself.
[00:17:42] And that would often get rid of the stress of it. And you know, you can at the start if, if you want to just really quickly say like, Hey, I'm nervous, or make some sort of joke about it. One thing I would say don't do is don't. Criticize yourself. Don't say like, look, I'm really bad at this. I'm, I, you know, I'm going to do a horrible job that people don't want to watch you, like beat yourself up.
[00:18:02] But an honest like, Hey, I'm, I'm nervous, but I'm really looking forward to this. People want to support you in that case.
[00:18:09] Matt: [00:18:09] Great. Excellent advice.
[00:18:11] Chad: [00:18:11] So let's go back to your book. When you had a pamphlet style and then you decided, Oh, I'm going to increase this into a book. Um, did you find it difficult. That's a good question.
[00:18:23] Um, not really. I mean, well, here's one of the nice things that, about being a teacher of the thing that you're writing a book about, is that you have lots and lots of experience with what people need to know with that thing. I'm like, what they ask, and that's actually been. A big help in, in the second book that I've been working on, because with the second book, so I kind of wrote a draft of it.
[00:18:47] And then in my classes that I have now, I started, uh, during the classes, like before each class and they week series, I'd send one chapter to the students so they could read it. And that was, yeah, because then. A, they've, they've gotten familiar with what we're going to cover, so we can cover a lot more in the class.
[00:19:06] But B, I can find out what, what did they read but they didn't understand, or what do they then they get? Or they'll also through certain comments that they, you know, that are, um, kind of subtle, like I can pick up, like what captured their interest, what didn't. And so it's over the course of time, it's been this process of, I notice what they.
[00:19:27] Understood from it. I noticed what they got and what, you know, held their attention. I go back and I revise the chapter based on what I'm seeing in the class. And that has been tremendously valuable. And I also like, um, of like beta readers and Alec, I, you know, when someone has really enjoyed the book and they want to read more, I'll say, okay, how about you give me feedback on the chapters?
[00:19:46] And then that's been another way. But, um, the process of, of teaching and in court corporating that into the writing process of the book is like incredibly, incredibly helpful. Writing in a vacuum is very hard, but writing with getting feedback is so, so much easier. Right. And it sounds like in real time,
[00:20:05] Matt: [00:20:05] yeah, I was going to say that.
[00:20:06] Yeah. Getting it right away from, from the students you go when you teach the class and you see what they. What
[00:20:12] Chad: [00:20:12] sticks. Yeah, and you know, something that's interesting too is even the process of sending it to them will make you notice things about the chapter that you didn't notice. There've been chapters where I was like, okay, I feel this is pretty good.
[00:20:25] And then I send the chapter to my students in the class series that I'm doing, and right after I sent it, I go, you know what? There's I like a thing on page five that was, that needs fixed. And I don't know what it is. Like you just start seeing a lift from their perspective and you would. Yeah.
[00:20:43] The author inside your podcast is brought to you by
[00:20:46] Matt: [00:20:46] scuba file. You can find it it S C, R, I, B O, P, H, I, L e.com. It's a fantastic writing community where writers of all genres come together to support and critique each other's work.
[00:21:00] Chad: [00:21:00] There are writer groups where you'll find likeminded writers or you can even start your own writing group or their forums.
[00:21:08] Well, you can meet other members to discuss all things writings, ask for and give help or talk about life
[00:21:14] Matt: [00:21:14] in general. And another great aspect of scuba file is that you can send private messages within the web page. So say you join a writer's group and you become friends with some of the writers within the group, you can actually send private messages back and forth and not have to do it via email so other members can learn more about you, what your style is like, and gained some fans.
[00:21:36] Chad: [00:21:36] With all the wonderful resources on scribble foul.com now is the time to make your book a reality. There is no reason not to start writing your book,
[00:21:49] Matt: [00:21:49] so if you're looking for a beta reader or some like-minded writers. Check out dot com
[00:21:56] Chad: [00:21:56] did you have an editor? Sort of. So in with, for the first one, uh, for the first one, no, the one that's actually like on Amazon, I know.
[00:22:04] And, and you can see that and like, it's, you know, it's one of those things where you just have to be comfortable making mistakes. Like it's kind of interesting there, like some, some typos and some formatting issues that are, I'm comfortable with. Like, I'm like, okay, I'm focusing on the next book, the, this other one can stand on its own legs.
[00:22:21] But with the ne with this other one that I want to do a really good job of. Yeah. I've . First, you know, first off, I've got this sort of ongoing editing process, but then I also make sure there's a program called pro writing aid. Put it through that and then like, I'll read the book aloud, make marks on like, what part doesn't flow?
[00:22:39] What doesn't sound right, when it's weird. Then, um, so my ex, my ex-girlfriend, uh, she, she's been nice enough at times to read. It's the chapters and we'll either like make notes on it or I've had her read it aloud to me so that I can hear what she has problems with or when she like, you know, that's another real time feedback.
[00:22:59] They'll like laugh and be like, you know, the person will laugh and go like, that sounds weird. Or like, that doesn't make any sense. Uh, and that is, that is another thing that's been super useful. And like, she has a, you know, an English, she was an English major. So that was helpful, but that kind of process is actually really useful.
[00:23:14] Just getting anyone to read it and read it aloud to you. I, there is a copywriter, a guy named Gary Halbert, who, who's died about a decade ago, but in his, um. Work on where he talked about copywriting. One of the things he said he would do is cause he wrote like advertisement type stuff, like sales letters, but he'd go to a local bar and ask, uh, just to ask them to the, the, you know, a bunch of people there.
[00:23:39] He said, I'm going to buy you a round of drinks. I'll just listen to the advertisement I wrote. And so he would read it aloud to them and, uh, and he noticed their responses. And in particular, one of the interesting things with this is that he would go, okay, like did they say like, Hey, yeah, that was good.
[00:23:55] That was cool. In which case he knew he had to rewrite it because what he was looking for is them to say, okay. Oh wow. That's really great. Like how can I buy that thing that are like, how can I buy that services talk about in there? Cause then he knew he did a good job. And I've, I've actually found that same sort of thing.
[00:24:10] Like if someone, you know, people aren't always good at giving. Criticism, but if they, you know, if they read one of the chapters and they say, Oh, that was really good, I'm like, okay, that wasn't good enough. But if they say, Oh, you know, I, I saw how I could use that in the future, or, you know, Oh, I'd love to read another chapter because like, I can see how I can apply this.
[00:24:30] Then I go, okay, that's good. Right? Like if they have specific things like this, this is something I want to use. And so really looking at, okay, you know, getting that more immediate feedback. And then what is the actual feedback you're getting was really. Yeah. Very educational.
[00:24:44] Matt: [00:24:44] Yeah, that sounds, that's great advice.
[00:24:47] Well, Chad, you mentioned pro writing aid. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
[00:24:50] Chad: [00:24:50] Yeah, absolutely. If you've, uh, it's, it's similar to like Grammarly, which I think is more famous, but it's basically a software program where you can, it'll, it'll take your writing and it'll go through and go like, okay, what are, you know, first of all, what are spelling, spelling issues, typos, that kind of thing.
[00:25:09] But also, how can you write this more clearly? How, you know, how can you make it turn it from like the passive voice into the active voice? You know, it'll suggest actions. It'll suggest. Synonyms. It'll suggest a chat, changing, sending structure, all that kind of thing in order to make your writing better.
[00:25:25] And that actually through those suggestions, you can also help to internalize, uh, the process of editing. So anyone who's read like that, the elements of style by Strunk and white, no. Any number of these. A little tips that you, that you can do in order to write more clearly into write more effectively.
[00:25:44] But it takes, it takes practice and that helps point them out so you can keep going. Okay. Like I wrote in the passive voice there. Okay. Like, I use a vague, a vague word, or, okay. You know, or my sentences are geared towards like, they're like in the, in the 12th grade level. And so people, and, and if you, I mean, if you really want people to be able to.
[00:26:04] Read your work for a wide audience, you want to get down into, you know, at least down in the seventh grade, maybe then the fifth grade. So it offers really good advice. And you know, the more times you go through your own work, like certain things will become invisible for you. And so having. Oh, an outside feedback like that or, or any of the other outside feedback.
[00:26:21] So I mentioned like it is really helpful cause it gives you that new eye, that fresh eye. Yeah. It seems like a very important tool.
[00:26:27] Matt: [00:26:27] It sounds like a built in coach kind of.
[00:26:29] Chad: [00:26:29] Yeah, absolutely. That's exactly it. It's a built in coach and. I just, well, I'm, I'm giving recommendations, uh, uh, another, cause I mentioned Stephen James's book earlier, another really good book for anyone who wants to be better at storytelling is, um, by Matthew dicks, and it's called story worthy.
[00:26:46] And you know, Matthew dicks is a, uh, if you've ever listened to the moth podcast, which is great, your podcast, he's, he's. One like 50 of their grand slam, something like that. It is great. Yeah. And so that's a, that's a really good book. That's a, it's well worth reading,
[00:27:02] Matt: [00:27:02] right? So my friend Dave Jackson, who has a podcast or lots of podcasts, talks about Matthew dicks all the time.
[00:27:07] And I understand, Chad, you have a podcast too. Can you tell us about that?
[00:27:11] Chad: [00:27:11] Uh, yeah, it's called intriguing interviews. Uh, and I actually interviewed, uh, Matthew on there. He was my first interview. Uh, but it's, so I, uh, I hitchhiked when I was 17. I, there was not like running away or anything. I actually told my family that I was going to check, but I,
[00:27:30] they, they, they gave me a backpack from a trip. And so I went hitchhiking across the country. And so I was doing it for about five days, but, um. I also, I did a couch surfing, which is this website where you can stay in with strangers homes, like all over the world. And he did that. I remember like where like, what
[00:27:50] Matt: [00:27:50] are you doing
[00:27:54] that are serial killers out there
[00:27:58] Chad: [00:27:58] for me? I mean, great people. Yeah, it's they, they do, they do a pretty good job of making sure it's safe and they are really like, you just meet wonderful people doing that kind of thing. And so I kind of view the, the podcast is like audio hitchhiking. So I get the chance to, you know, meet really fascinating people and ask them about their lives that I never would have met.
[00:28:19] You know, I met, uh, Matthew, who's like a bestselling author and who has really interesting stories. Uh, an FBI agent who has. Fascinating stories from the FBI. I love hearing stories. Uh, you know, this woman who works with Slavs in Costa Rica and other animals, and like she has, she raises them and she's only able to like sleep for four hours at a chunk because she has to feed these baby sloths.
[00:28:43] Uh, you know, uh, the, there's like a. A man in the Netherlands who's a therapist, who's kind of like a, a negative therapists. Like he'll tell the person all the negative things they believe about themselves so that they will fight back and be like, no, I'm not that bad. And, and you know, you get to gain a glimpse into all of these fascinating worlds.
[00:29:06] It's a, it's called intriguing interviews. And if you go to. Um, Apple podcasts, then you can just search for intriguing and intriguing interviews and you know, if you need to add in the name, Chad Elliot and uh, you can find it there.
[00:29:19] Matt: [00:29:19] Excellent. We'll put a link in the show notes of this episode so everybody can find it and subscribe.
[00:29:23] That'd be great.
[00:29:25] Chad: [00:29:25] I appreciate that. Thanks. Well,
[00:29:26] Matt: [00:29:26] Chad, you've given us tons of great, useful information today, but is there any like one last ending thing that you can, you can give our listener for somebody who hasn't finished writing their book yet?
[00:29:39] Chad: [00:29:39] I think the most important thing to understand with that is that the, the not finishing it is a, an internal issue.
[00:29:48] It's an internal block. It's like a comfort zone issue. You've got to, it's not going to be about some special time in the future when things will be different. It's about changing something inside yourself as far as how you're approaching it, how you're viewing it. Uh, you know, one of the things that helped me.
[00:30:05] Was that I, I was viewing it as a learning process and I wanted to go out and just like do it. And I didn't mind making mistakes because I wanted to in the longterm, I wanted to see, okay, how can I do this better two years from now? Uh, I wasn't doing it to be successful in the moment. I was being doing it to be successful a couple of years in the future when I had more experience.
[00:30:27] But the only way I could gain that experience is by doing it. One sort of mental trick you can do is actually, rather than trying to do a good job, is to try and do like kind of a mediocre job or bad job because it's like, okay, like I'm just going to kind of do this badly and often you actually won't do it badly.
[00:30:48] You'll do pretty well, but it gets rid of that mental block and you know another way to, another way to kind of get past that is. To go at it from another direction. So like I had a student in the classes who had been working on a book, like she'd worked on it for a long time, but then she had writer's block for a year, and then she came to the classes and after the first class she started writing her book again.
[00:31:09] But it was just because she had gotten in front of an audience and done something out of her comfort zone, played some creative games. It was kind of a random. Like, I don't even think, I don't even think she directly was thinking of the book at the time she did the class. She was more just looking for a way to shake things up otherwise, and it came about when she wasn't expecting it.
[00:31:31] Let's see. Add, if our listeners are interested in finding more about your improv classes, where should they go? I have a website called Seattle improv classes. At the moment, of course, uh, the all classes in the world are shut down, however I do, I'm sure they'll reopen again. But I do a lot of coaching with students over the phone, and I actually have basically a version of my classes that I do one on one with students over the phone.
[00:31:57] And so if they go to Seattle improv classes.com/coaching, uh, there's all sorts of information about that. And, and it works really, really well. A lot of people I think, are. Surprised that you can do that kind of thing over the phone. But I mean, you know, you can talk over the phone and you can do stories over the phone.
[00:32:13] Like you can act out a scene, you can improvise a speech, you can do anything over the phone. So it's really fun and I enjoy it.
[00:32:19] Matt: [00:32:19] Well, Chad, you've been a great guest. Thank you very much for joining us today on the author inside you.
[00:32:23] Chad: [00:32:23] Thank you very much. This is a lot of fun talking with you both. We always enjoy hearing what people think about our
[00:32:29] Matt: [00:32:29] podcast.
[00:32:31] So if you have a second, drop us a email@example.com until next time. Right on.
[00:32:39] Chad: [00:32:39] Thank you for listening to the author insides you podcast with your host, Leah and Matt Rafferty.