I first started writing articles when I was about 16 years old for a polemical political zine my friends and I distributed in our high school.

Since then, I’ve been regularly creating some form of written content, but I can’t say I’ve put too much thought into the craft of my writing.

I’ve certainly done quite a bit of training in copywriting and attempting to write in order to sell something, but that’s not quite the same thing as writing in order to tell a story.

So, I was really excited to have this conversation with Jessica Danger to get some insight into how she actually teaches creative writing and what she recommends to improve the skill of writing.

Jessica is also an editor at the Morning Chalk Up and a podcast co-host on “A Fresh Cup of Fitness,” so she has insights into how to create and curate content for a large audience – without giving in to incentives to post clickbait or use salacious titles.

Check out the full conversation with Jessica to learn:

  • Why it’s so important to separate writing from editing – and why most writers have difficulty with this
  • How to develop the critical eye of an editor – and the most common mistake made by beginner, intermediate, and advanced writers
  • What drives editors crazy when they receive bad pitches

Check out the episode at the links below. If you enjoyed the episode, the best way to support the show is to share with your friends, so send them a link.

Listen Here

Check out more from Jessica, the Morning Chalk Up & A Fresh Cup of Fitness here:

Show Notes:

  • [01:15] Writing is a skill that is learned through constant practice and iteration – just like skills in fitness. It’s less magical than people think.
  • [07:05] There’s one consistent stumbling block that shows up for beginning, intermediate and advanced writers – it just presents itself differently.
  • [14:52] Does reading actually translate into making people better writers? Or is there some other mysterious skill that makes people good at writing? What other drills can people use to improve their writing?
  • [26:15] Most people make this mistake when trying to write and edit their work. And – what are other drills that people can use to become better editors?
  • [35:00] What is worth sharing with the large audience of the Morning Chalk Up? What different types of people read the newsletter, and how does Jessica develop an intuition for what they are interested in?
  • [42:00] No click bait and no “iceberg lettuce” in the Morning Chalk Up
  • [49:40] What should a potential contributor think about when pitching an editor? And what drives editors crazy about bad pitches?
  • [59:13] “A Fresh Cup of Fitness” podcast – and the difference between written content and a more conversational podcast
  • [01:11:11] Jessica’s memoir – and her plans to prioritize getting published after focusing on different aspects of her career

Links and Resources Mentioned