Being able to balance life and work is key to balancing mind and body. Sean Platt is a stellar example of a man with a plan. He has his game together and it shows in his projects. He is a dad, author, and blogger among many other things. He recently took time out of his busy schedule to share with us things that have helped him get to where he is. Notes: Sean thinks I am complimenting him, but I am not. I simply state facts. He is a master, but is too modest to admit it. J Thanks, again, Sean, for your time and your grace!
Enough of my ranting…you came to see Sean and here he is!
You are a busy, busy man whose family plays a prominent role in your life/career. If anyone knows how to get projects done and live life, it’s you. What organization tips and tools have helped you balance it all?
Hey Tania, thanks for the compliment!
Yes, my family is the most important part of my life, and the biggest driving force in my career. Not only do they help me recognize where I want to go, they do everything possible to support the drive.
Balance is the hardest thing of all, by far. The last three years I’ve had to write ridiculous amounts of copy, both for myself and to pay the raging bills. Balancing it all is, at times, a nightmare. Only now am I surfacing enough to get my head above water enough to see land, and the bigger picture.
The best advice I can give to anyone just starting out online, or someone without a team, is to be patient. Even if you can do everything, you can’t do it all at once. So stop pretending you can. Breathe deep and take your time, you will eventually hit the finish line.
But remember, whatever your life and your career goals, living them is a process, not an event.
Your words seem effortless when you write. What is the most difficult part of being a writer or writing for you?
The most difficult part for me, by far, is knowing where to focus my attention. The reason my words seem effortless is because I write almost exactly like I speak, which enables me to write with tremendous speed, and with a style that zips all over the place, like in conversation.
During my last two years spent as a ghostwriter I’ve written everything from sales letters to wedding vows to fiction to speeches and blog copy, so I can write fast, furious, and across practically any genre. Yet, having that skill set makes me feel schizophrenic at times since I don’t know where to focus my creative energies. I just finished Season One of Yesterday’s Gone while in the midst of releasing a few social media and writing books, and right now I’m juggling the production of some children’s fairytales and a collection of short horror stories for grown-ups.
And while I like writing all over the place, sometimes I think it would be better if I would just focus on writing one thing at a time!
You have a great writing partnership with David Wright. How did that come about? What recommendations can you make to those looking into writing with a team? Has the writing team mode helped you manage the many pokers that you have in the fire?
Thanks, yes, David Wright is an amazing creative partner, and I’m very lucky to be working with him.
Our friendship and partnership happened in the most wonderfully natural, organic way. My first website was Writer Dad, which was the domain name Dave wanted for his first website, too. However, he never purchased the name and when he went to buy it, he found out I had – a guy who lived on the opposite coast, who he’d never met before.
He started reading my site, loved the way I wrote, then reached out and introduced himself my second week online. We’ve been friends and collaborators since almost day one.
Writing with a partner is absolutely wonderful for me. I love writing in isolation, too, but I’m collaborative by nature and most of the books I’ll be publishing are co-authored.
The best advice I can give is to never let ego get in the way. Ego is the enemy of amazing. Relax and let the creative chemistry do the heavy lifting and you will create superior art. And yes, absolutely, without a solid writing team behind me, my fries would have burned a long time ago!
You are Ghostwriter Dad. How did you decide on your platform or was it a natural succession in your road map? What advice can you give to those still struggling to figure out what their platform should be? Do you feel a writer’s platform should be directly related to writing or is a platform a platform no matter what the content in a publisher or the market’s eyes?
Ghostwriter Dad’s origins are sort of funny. Writer Dad had given me a lot of attention when I first started out, but zero dollars. After about six months chasing attention, and slowly bleeding my bank account, I realized I needed to start selling something. I was a fast writer and could sell my services, so I did.
I popped the word ghost in front of the word writer and piggybacked off the online brand I’d started to build, simple as that.
However, if I were doing it all over again, there’s no way I would have ever started a site about writing. I love Ghostwriter Dad and always will, but there are a million and one blogs about writing, and it’s extremely difficult to stand out – no matter how good your content is.
Under no circumstances do I ever think a writer’s platform should be directly related to writing. It should be related to whatever will help that writer bond with their audience most. Chasing attention from fellow writers is a losing game, for the most part, especially if you’re trying to write books. Other writers are too busy writing their own books to help you market yours!
My only goal with Ghostwriter Dad is to help struggling writers. The site isn’t set up to make money, nor would I ever intentionally start a website about writing aimed for big revenue. I’d much rather make my money from readers than from writers.
Recently, the masterful Justine Musk posed the question “Are fiction writers screwed?” on tribalwriter.com. While she is not of that mindset, she points out that many in the industry are. What is your take on that?
I like Justine a lot, but no, I don’t believe fiction writers are screwed – at all. Fiction writers have never had it better. Nearly all the top 100 paid downloads on Kindle are fiction, and some are from self published authors. That’s never been possible until now.
A more accurate statement is, “Fiction writers with no ability to market or desire to learn the basics are screwed.”
A marketer who knows how to write reasonably well is far more positioned to benefit from the Kindle economy than a great writer without a clue how to market.
You recently released your serial fiction “Yesterday’s Gone” with David Wright. What is your next big project?
Oh man, we have more projects in development than we can count!
Something I just released, that I’m ridiculously proud of, is the children’s poetry title, Syllable Soup. I’m in love with the language in this project, and am proud the title hit Number 1 in children’s humorous poetry on Amazon.
I also love the trailer Dave made for the book! Check it out below.
I’m following that up with a collection of children’s fairy tales: three traditional fairy tales retold in my voice, along with three new fairytales written by me.
Dave and I have a book of six short stories (with killer endings!) that we’ll be publishing in November, then I have an untitled writing/marketing book for Ghostwriter Dad, scheduled for release on December 26. January starts strong with the release of Yesterday’s Gone’s second season, followed by a FAT publishing calendar throughout the rest of 2012.
There you have it guys…write hard, write fast, write often. And in your own voice. Think you can do what Sean is doing? I don’t know if I can, but I certainly want to try! All the best to my guest and to my readers…no matter what your goals are.
Let Sean know what you think of him in the comments! J Be nice.