Cyrus Webb Has Interviewed More Than 3,000 Authors, Musicians on His Radio Show | Writer’s Drive

Cyrus Webb has built a literary business based on his love of reading, words, and people. Here, he talks about the journey to building Conversations Media Group.

WL: You’ve built quite a profile in the literary industry. Was this what you envisioned when you set out?

Webb: Not at all! Going back to the beginning of the radio show in July 2003, I just wanted to spotlight local individuals that were doing something that wasn’t being recognized. It just grew thanks to the Internet and those outside of Mississippi started to take notice. The same with the book club. I wanted a place where men and women of all walks of life could come together and discuss books. The rest just happened due to the enthusiasm around it.

WL:  How did you turn your interest in reading and books into an actual business?

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Three Things a Writer Can Learn From Katy Perry

Pop music sensation Katy Perry is set to release a biopic July 5 titled, Part of Me, where she gives fans a glimpse inside her world. She discusses her successes and her tough times. As I read one article about the upcoming movie, I realized the insight Perry is set to share just might be something other writers can gain inspiration and insight from — after all, she also is a writer, a songwriter.

Here are three things a writer can learn from actor/ singer/ songwriter Katy Perry:

1. You can make it through your tough time. “Even if life hands you obstacles and curveballs, you too can get through it if you really want to,” she says in an article by Robert Pace. Perry wasn’t any type of overnight success. She had to go through some drama and lots of disappointments to become the award-winning, chart-topping artist she is today. One record label folded, a couple others dropped her — yeah, just decided they didn’t want her after all. But she hung in there.

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J.F. Penn’s Writing Has Led to Big Book Sales, International Speaking Career | Writer’s Drive

We are excited to introduce a new feature here at Writer’s Living: Writer’s Drive. The aim is to give you helpful insight, tips, and inspiration straight from other writers — in their own words through an interview. The writers we will feature will be diverse, but they all have one thing in common: They have something to share with you to help you along the way to getting more income, satisfaction, and success in your writing career.

First up is J.F. Penn, action-adventure thriller author and blogger.

WL: You published your first book in 2008. What was the most unexpected part of that journey?

Penn: The most unexpected thing was how it changed my life. That first book was on career change, a non-fiction book written out of my own necessity to change my career. I would never have thought it would free me up creatively to write fiction and also prove the catalyst for my journey online as a blogger and then as a professional speaker.

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Why Failure Is Your Best Way to Success

Every day, we have a choice about whether we will pursue our hopes, goals, and dreams or not.

Some of us get up and hammer away at them. Others of us somehow never seem to get around to them. We have handy enough excuses: Our day jobs. The kids. Topsy-turvy life. But the reality is that we’ve made a choice not to pursue this thing on this day.

But the real reason we don’t work hard on our hopes, goals, and dreams is because of failure. We’re either afraid it might happen to us, or we feel as if we’ve encountered too much of it already. Whatever the case, failure prevents us from working as hard as we can on achieving the thing we say is so important to us. And then that only leads to more of a feeling of failure.

The folks over at Income Diary ran a great post today, How to Be Like Mike: 20 Life Lessons from Michael Jordan. In it, they highlighted various Jordan quotes that encapsulated points of his philosophy on life. Perhaps my favorite Michael Jordan quote is what he says about failure. He’s failed many, many times, and that’s why he has succeeded.

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The No. 1 Reason You’re Not Making Money Writing

The top piece of advice I give to writing workshop attendees and others who want to know the secret to making money writing: Put your butt in the seat and write.

Simple, right? Not at all.

The top reason most writers don’t produce is that they simply don’t write. Or more specifically, they don’t finish anything. They tinker over their writing to the point where they are inefficient and don’t get anything done. They have manuscripts they’ve been working on for years. Years.

That’s a terrible way to run your writing career.

In fact, if you do run it that way, you won’t have a writing career.

So the first thing to do is to simply sit down and write. Stop talking about it and do it. The second is to finish something and send it off — a query letter to an editor, a proposal to a potential client, whatever it is you are doing. Many of us grew up with the idea that perfection is a wonderful thing. We were told to strive for it. And if what we did wasn’t perfect, we shouldn’t do it at all. So when it comes to our writing, we strive for that perfection. Which means we write and rewrite. Write and delete. Write and edit. Write and trash. Write and … well, write and never finish a single piece.

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