In Part Two of this interview, award-winning screenwriter and author of the debut novel All Our Wrong Todays, Elan Mastai, returned to talk about his fiction debut, the science of time travel, and finding inspiration in dark places.
The writer and producer has written movies for both indie and Hollywood studios, including scripts for Fox, Sony, Warner Brothers, and Paramount.
His most recent film – What If, a comedy starring Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, Adam Driver, and Mackenzie Davis – premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2013. Elan won the Canadian Academy Award and the Writers Guild of Canada Award for his script, and the movie played in over 30 countries.
His new novel – All Our Wrong Todays – is a sci-fi tinged, time-travel romance and much buzzed about debut that is rumored to have landed the writer a seven-figure book deal worth north of a million dollars.
The book has been described as “Dark Matter meets Back to the Future,” and even prior to the book’s publication, the film rights were sold to Paramount Pictures.
Andy Weir, bestselling author of The Martian, called it, “A thrilling tale of time travel and alternate timelines with a refreshingly optimistic view of humanity’s future.”
If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please click subscribe to automatically see new interviews.
If you missed the first half you can find it right here.
In Part Two of this file Elan Mastai and I discuss:
- Why you should double check your facts before sending your manuscript to a celebrity
- How music can influence your writing style
- Why you need to give yourself permission to write badly
- The writer as entrepreneur whose one product is the inside of their brain
- Why your writing is a like a time machine
Listen to The Writer Files: Writing, Productivity, Creativity, and Neuroscience below ...
The Show Notes
- If you’re ready to see for yourself why over 194,000 website owners trust StudioPress — the industry standard for premium WordPress themes and plugins — just go to Rainmaker.FM/StudioPress
- How Screenwriter and ‘All Our Wrong Todays’ Author Elan Mastai Writes: Part One
- All Our Wrong Todays – Elan Mastai
- Quit Social Media. Your Career May Depend on It. – Cal Newport
- How Andy Weir (Bestselling Author of ‘The Martian’) Writes: Part One
- How Bestselling Author Austin Kleon Writes: Part One
- How Wired Magazine’s Senior Maverick Kevin Kelly Writes: Part One
- Elan Mastai on IMDb
- Elan Mastai on Goodreads
- Elan Mastai on Twitter
- Kelton Reid on Twitter
How Screenwriter and ‘All Our Wrong Todays’ Author Elan Mastai Writes: Part Two
Voiceover: Rainmaker FM
Kelton Reid: Welcome back to The Writer Files. I am still your host, Kelton Reid, here to take you on another tour of the habits, habitats, and brains of renowned writers. In part two of this file, award-winning screenwriter and author of the debut novel, All Our Wrong Todays, Elan Mastai, returns to talk about his fiction debut, the science of time travel, and finding inspiration in dark places.
The writer and producer has written movies for both indie and Hollywood studios, including scripts for FOX, Sony, Warner Brothers, and Paramount. His most recent film, What If, a comedy starring Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, Adam Driver, and Mackenzie Davis, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2013. Elan won the Canadian Academy Award and Writer’s Guild of Canada Award for his script, and the movie played in over 30 countries.
His new novel, All Our Wrong Todays, is a sci-fi tinged time travel romance and much buzzed about debut that is rumored to have landed the writer a seven-figure book deal. The book has been described as Dark Matter meets Back to the Future, and even prior to the book’s publication, the film rights were sold to Paramount Pictures. Andy Weir, bestselling author of The Martian, called it, “A thrilling tale of time travel and alternate time lines with a refreshingly optimistic view of humanity’s future.”
In part two of this file, Elan and I discuss why you should double check your facts before sending your manuscript to a celebrity, how music can influence your writing style, why you need to give yourself permission to write badly, the writer as entrepreneur whose one product is the inside of their brain, and why your writing is like a time machine. If you are a fan of the show, please click subscribe to automatically see new interviews as soon as we publish them, and if you missed the first half of this show, you can find it in the archives, on iTunes, on WriterFiles.FM, and in the show notes.
Just a quick reminder that The Writer Files is brought to you by StudioPress, the industry standard for premium WordPress themes and plugins. Built on the Genesis Framework, StudioPress delivers state of the art SEO tools, beautiful and fully responsive designs, airtight security, instant updates, and much more. If you’re ready to take your WordPress site to the next level, see for yourself why over 194,000 website owners trust StudioPress. Go to Rainmaker.FM/StudioPress now. That’s Rainmaker.FM/StudioPress.
Why You Should Double Check Your Facts Before Sending Your Manuscript to a Celebrity
Elan Mastai: Now it’s funny that you say Andy Weir. I was so flattered and grateful that Andy, who I don’t know personally, read the book and wrote me this terrific blurb, but when we sent him the manuscript to read, I actually had this moment of panic, and I went back and I redid all the calculations. And I realized when we sent him the book, I had gotten the speed at which the Earth rotates around the planet wrong, because I had started in kilometers an hour, because I’m Canadian, metric system, and then I’d converted it into miles per hour for my American publisher, and then I’d done something wrong.
So I was like I was texting my editor, I’m like, “We sent it to Andy Weir, of all the people we could have sent it to, we sent it to Andy Weir, and I got the speed of rotation of the planet around the Sun wrong, we have to get it back, I have to fix it.” She’s like, “I think it’s going to be okay.” Fortunately, I mean, I fixed it in the book, and I ran all the calculations over and over again, but that is funny that you cited him in particular, because I get that one calculation wrong, and I was like super sheepish and embarrassed about it.
Kelton Reid: Oh, man.
Elan Mastai: It’s an honest mistake. I blame the metric system, as I blame it for so many things in my life.
Kelton Reid: That’s awesome.
Elan Mastai: So I like to figure this stuff out, and it’s not just the technology, although the technology and the science is the flashiest part. I like to drill down into everything. If I don’t know about something, I like to find out about it, so there’s a lot of, yeah, I go into a lot of Google holes trying to figure stuff out, but it’s usually a function of some moment in the story that I’ve come to where I realize I need to figure something out. I’ve hit the limits of my amateur knowledge, and I need to start, I need to give myself a little seminar in this area, whatever that area might be.
I mean, the scientific and technological elements are, of course, sort of more complex and finicky, and you have to do a lot of work to not lose the reader. That was a big thing for me. I wanted it to be the interesting stuff that really matters for the story, and if it was just arcane technical stuff, I’m not going to put it in there because I don’t want to bore you, and if you’re interested, here’s some, you know, you can find out more.
Kelton Reid: Yeah.
Elan Mastai: You can go down your own kind of Google hole, but you don’t want to lose people with all that stuff, you just want it to be interesting. So that was always my kind of North Star, which is just, “Is it interesting?” If it’s not interesting, that’s fine. I can talk a lot about traffic patterns for flying cars, but I boiled it all down to like two sentences in the book. Don’t worry. It’s not like there’s six chapters of how flying traffic is. I just like to figure this stuff out, and then I know, and then that’s what matters to me that I know, and then my job is then to figure out what’s the most interesting part of what I figured out for the reader.
How Music Can Influence Your Writing Style
Kelton Reid: Yeah, yeah. It’s pretty impressive just to see the kind of this mashup of worlds, that you know, from an outsider’s perspective, looking at your screenwriting background, I’m sure that you were influenced by some science fiction movies as well as romantic comedy stuff that you’ve written for multiple different genres. But, I think you’ve already outlined your productivity for the most part. When I think of screenwriters kind of looking at, you know, narrative fiction, I always imagine them kind of listening to different soundtracks, and it seems like you were influenced by music in your screenwriting somewhat. Did music play any part when you were writing this? I’m kind of imagining you listening to like Hans Zimmer while you’re writing.
Elan Mastai: That’s not inaccurate. I mean, what I find, actually, is that certain sequences in the book I connect with certain songs or certain pieces of music. So I don’t always write to music, but then there are certain sequences when I’m trying to get myself in the headspace of that sequence, I’ll listen to the same piece, usually instrumental, over and over and over again, and there’s almost a … even if the reader doesn’t, wouldn’t ever catch it, the rhythm of the piece and the tone of the piece become the rhythm and the tone of that chapter or that piece of the story, and so while I’m writing it, I’ll listen to it over and over again. If I’m going back and rewriting or editing that section, I’ll put that same song back on, and it kind of gets me in the headspace.
So yeah, I mean, I listen to sometimes movie soundtracks, but actually more, I listen to more like composers. Ludovico Einaudi, I hope I’m pronouncing that write, who’s an Italian composer. His music is used in films a lot, but he’s just a composer. I like his stuff a lot. There’s an American composer called Carly Comando whose work I listen to a lot. Max Richter, again, who’s somebody whose work is used in film a lot, but who also just composes his own pieces.
Kelton Reid: Yeah.
Elan Mastai: I find, like, they’re just, they create these very moody soundscapes. Giles Lamb is another one, and I like to listen to those. Although there are certain ones, like I’m going to blank on his name, but he did the soundtrack to the Danny Boyle movies Sunshine and 28 Days Later. I’m blanking on his name. I think it’s John something, but his stuff is terrific, and you know, when you’re writing, even if what you’re writing is terrible, it feels epic when you’re listening to his music.
Kelton Reid: Yeah. Yeah. Well, here’s the million dollar question. How do you feel about writer’s block as a guy who writes every day? Have you ever run up against it? Or do you believe in it?
Elan Mastai: I believe in it, but what I believe writer’s block is a lack of preparation. I think that if you don’t know where you’re going with the story, you haven’t figured out what you have to say, you don’t know how your story ends, you don’t know what the actual journey your character is on, that’s where writer’s block comes from because you’ve hit an obstacle. It’s like you’re on a journey and you don’t have a destination in mind, and so you’ve gone down a dead end.
Do I believe in writer’s block? I mean, I don’t feel writer’s block much at this point in my life because I know what I need is preparation. I don’t really start anything until I have a pretty good sense of my ending. Which doesn’t mean I know every single step along the way. For me, it is like a road trip. I know where I’m going, I know a couple stops along the way, and then I like to leave room to discover. I like to be surprised by my own story, but the way that, for me, I know that I’m going to do the best possible work is if I know I have a terrific ending, because to me, the ending is why I’m writing in the first place.
If I don’t feel like I have a great ending to my story, I don’t even start. Because to me, then I’m just going to be spinning my wheels. A lot of movies and a lot of books and a lot of everything in writing loses its way right in the middle. Because that’s the moment, you know, you’ve gotten over the initial hump of, “Okay, I’ve started my story, I’ve picked everything off, I’ve gotten everything placed. Wait, where am I going?”
Kelton Reid: Yeah.
Elan Mastai: You know, “I’ve packed up my car, I’ve filled up the gas, I’ve, you know, inflated the tires, and I don’t actually know which way to drive.” And so for me, writer’s block, it can be a very real thing for people, but almost always, in my experience, it’s about a lack of preparation. You haven’t actually thought about what you’re doing enough. Once you’ve had a chance to think it through, then all of a sudden, you’re like, “Okay, now I know where I’m going,” and the writer’s block has a way of kind of magically dissolving.
Why You Need to Give Yourself Permission to Write Badly
Kelton Reid: For sure. For sure. And all screenwriters probably study the canon of, you know, McKee and Freytag’s Pyramid and all that stuff, so that probably assists you as well, I would imagine.
Elan Mastai: I don’t actually take much kind of comfort or guidance from that sort of stuff. I mean, I think it can be very useful for people, especially when you’re starting out. I don’t turn down my nose, look down my nose at it or anything, but for me, what I find is I just, if I’m feeling like I haven’t figured stuff out, I just pick up a book, I watch a movie, or read a screenplay, I read a novel. I just go back to reading and get, and that’s usually what inspires me, rather than sort of, because I don’t find … I think we’ve internalized a lot of the rules anyways, and so I find a lot of these storytelling rules actually can make you feel more kind of bound than less.
So I find, actually, I’m more free to come up with an unexpected solution. I also, just as a writer, I like to put myself in the headspace of my characters. I’ll write myself into a corner. I’ll put the characters in a place where I don’t know how I’m going to get them out, and then I have to figure out how to get them out, just like they have to figure out how to get out, and so I do trust that stuff. Now, of course, again, just to be clear, a lot of this stuff you fix in rewriting anyways. I mean, you know, nobody is, no movie you see, no book you read is the first draft.
Kelton Reid: Right.
Elan Mastai: I mean, by far. So I also, the other thing about writer’s block, for me, is I just give myself permission to write badly. You know, sometimes, the work is not going to be to your highest standard, but I’m going to rewrite it anyways, so I’d just rather write something that’s okay knowing that I’m going to go back and fix it, because it’s always easier to fix something you already wrote than it is to stare at the blank page or the blank screen. Because if I have a bad line of dialog, then I’m like, “Okay, this is a crappy line of dialog. What would be a better way of expressing this?” It’s totally different than, “I have to come up with a line of dialog from scratch.” So I’d rather just write badly for a while and fix it later.
Kelton Reid: Yeah, yeah. I think Andy Weir expressed that exact same sentiment, and that’s a good takeaway. All right. So I’ve got a couple quick workflow questions for you. Mac or PC?
Elan Mastai: Mac.
Kelton Reid: What software are you using, predominantly? I’m imagining you use a different screenwriting software, obviously, then for the prose stuff.
Elan Mastai: For screenwriting, I use Final Draft, and for novel writing, I just use Microsoft Word. I have Scrivener, which I like for organizing the story. Like moving things around, getting a sense of the structure of it all, but I actually like to use software that is as invisible as possible, and part of invisibility to me is just being used to it. So I’ve been staring at Final Draft for so many years that I barely even notice anymore. I know there’s lots of screenwriters who advocate for other kinds of software which they think is much better than Final Draft. I’m not even weighing in on that. When I open up Final Draft, I don’t even notice it.
Kelton Reid: Yeah.
Elan Mastai: Same thing with Microsoft Word. I am in no way advocating that it’s the best software to write a novel on. I actually wrote All Our Wrong Todays on like Microsoft Word 2001. Like not even the newest versions. Like the old version, with as few bells and whistles as possible. I hate it when the little paperclip comes up and tries to tell you that you’re doing something wrong. I’m like, “Get that paperclip out of my way.” I don’t want anything that, when I’m in the flow of writing, I don’t want anything interrupting me, and so I actually use the simplest software as possible, and then later, I’ll go in and I’ll, you know, I’ll actually import it into a newer version. So I actually went from the 2001 Microsoft Word to the most recent one when I was actually doing edit, like the copy editing and production editing for the novel.
Likewise, I’ll write in an old version of Final Draft, and then I’ll update it to something newer when I’m editing or when I’m in production, when you need all the bells and whistles, But for me, it’s like I want it to be as clean and as uncluttered as possible. I think a lot of software, unfortunately, they try to shove as much stuff in there as possible to get you to buy the new version, whereas all I want is the oldest and simplest version.
The Writer as Entrepreneur Whose One Product is the Inside of Their Brain
Kelton Reid: Love it. I love it. Well, before we talk about creativity, I guess my last question is how do you unplug at the end of a long writing day when you’re kind of going back and forth and wearing all these different hats?
Elan Mastai: I don’t know that I do, man. I mean, it’s a lovely aspiration. I would love to. Can you tell me, please, actually, can you answer that question? I mean, sometimes, it’s very simple. I have an office in my house. I work from home most of the time. I do go out and work in other places sometimes, but I mostly just like to work from home, and I sometimes just leave my cell phone in my office upstairs at the end of the day, and I go down and just don’t answer it. Don’t look at it.
You know, the reality is, unless you’re in production on a film or your book is literally going to the printers, there are very few emergencies in the writing life, and so I do like to just leave it in another room, leave it on vibrate or even off, and do try to take the time to just be very, you know, present in my life. But it’s hard because when you’re a writer, whether it’s a screenwriter, a novel writer, any kind of writer, whether you’re a freelance writer, whatever you’re doing, you are an industry of one. You are an entrepreneur. You are completely self-directed, and you’re basically running a small business with one product, which is the insides of your brain, and so it can be hard to turn off.
I think we all struggle with that, and in fact, you know, part of, one of the big reasons why, you know, I advocate for using the simplest possible version of the software is it’s minimizing distractions in a sort of an environment, a cognitive environment, where there’s so many distractions coming at us all the time. And most of, you know, whether it’s social media or cell phones, all this sort of stuff. They’re literally built to get your attention. They’re trying to get your attention and catch your attention and give you the little pleasure buzz of a note that’s come in, of somebody liking or reacting to something.
Kelton Reid: Yeah.
Elan Mastai: Again, I’m not even turning down my nose at that stuff. Like it’s all very fun and pleasurable, you know. It’s like Facebook and Twitter, it’s like a video game, where the final boss at the end of the level is, you know, people approving of you.
Kelton Reid: Yeah.
Elan Mastai: I like video games, but you know, it’s like I don’t play a video game while I’m writing, and so I try to avoid social media and stuff like that while I’m writing, but unplugging is tough, and I think it’s something that we all struggle with, and I think it’s just like you have to be adamant about carving out time to write in a focused, uncluttered environment, and nobody is going to do that for you except you.
That’s been like the biggest thing that I’ve figured out with my own writing over the years, which is that you are the only one who’s going to advocate for that quiet mental space, and if you don’t do it, absolutely nobody else will do it. You’re the only one. It’s just like working out. Nobody else, no one’s going to pick you up by the scruff of the neck and haul you to the gym and throw you on a whatever, an elliptical trainer. Like, you have to do that, and so whether you have a day job, whether writing is your job, it actually doesn’t matter, because if you don’t, even if you’re a professional writer, if you don’t carve out the mental space to write without interruption, you’re not going to be able to do your job.
Kelton Reid: For sure. For sure. I will link to an article by Cal Newport in the New York Times where he, well, the title of it, Quit Social Media, Your Career May Depend On It, echoes much of that same sentiment, and I think it’s important to kind of think about those distractions that can keep you out of flow state, as you noted. That’s important to writing. So, let’s talk about creativity before I lose you here.
Elan Mastai: Sure.
The Source of Elan’s Creativity and Inspiration
Kelton Reid: Because the inside of your brain is a fascinating place. Obviously, the book is kind of the definition of creativity. All these different fascinating things. So do you think you could define creativity, kind of in your own words?
Elan Mastai: Oh wow, that’s a big and intense question. To me, creativity is taking all the things that make you specifically you: your history, your experiences, your perception, your emotion, your psychology, your desires, your fears, your hopes and dreams, your anxieties and worries, and finding a way to take all of those things and communicate them in a way that makes sense and is appealing to other people.
Now, of course, some creativity can be totally personal, but to me, creativity is connected to connection. It’s indivisible from connection. Part of what makes my creative life appealing to me is the ability to connect and communicate with other people. Whether that’s my book being a conversation with the writers, and the books that have inspired me, or whether my book is starting a conversation with readers who might get in touch with me via social media or in person, or even better, write their own books.
I mean, the greatest compliment anybody could give me is that my book inspired them to write a book that I can then read. And so for me, creativity is about taking what makes you absolutely, uniquely you, your brain as the one and only iteration of it in the Universe, and finding sort of a vehicle or a means to express it to others.
Kelton Reid: Yeah. I love that. Do you have a creative muse right now? Something that’s kind of piquing your interest?
Elan Mastai: Probably the fear of death. You know, a classic one.
Kelton Reid: Yeah.
Elan Mastai: That I don’t have enough time. That I’m never going to be able to tell all the stories that I have to tell, say all the things that I want to say, connect with as many people as I want to connect with. I don’t lie around in that sort of like, you know, like the protagonist of a Woody Allen movie from the 80s, like, bemoaning my mortality or anything like that, but you know, honestly, my mom died quite suddenly when I was in my mid-20s, and you know, she was a very, very smart, very accomplished, very impressive person. She was, you know, she was my mom, but she was also a good friend and a mentor to me, and I lost her, you know, very suddenly.
In addition to just that feeling of, you know, that she never really got to know what my life was going to be like, what my career was going to be like, she wasn’t going to meet my wife, she wasn’t going to meet my kids. It was also that feeling of like oh, wow, like, you know, the last gift that she gave me was the awareness that I don’t have unlimited time, and if I’m going to accomplish anything, if I’m going to tell the stories I want to tell, write the movies, write the books that I want to write, I gotta get going, because you never know when it could be over.
So that’s a super depressing answer to your question, I’m so sorry, but that is the truth is that I have a real sense of a ticking clock, and I don’t know when it’s going to, when the alarm’s going to go off, and so I just want to get as much stuff out into the world, but also make it as good as possible. You know, I just I want everything to be as good as I can at this point with my talent, and just connect with people.
Because to me, it’s not, I don’t see my novel as me standing on a milk cart in, you know, the town square with a megaphone screaming at everybody, “Listen to me, look at me.” I want to connect with people. I have all these ideas, but I also have questions, and I love the conversation you get with people who have read the book, who’ve connected with it, who it gets them thinking, it gets them excited. I want people, I mean, I think the book is fun. It’s funny. It’s not like a downer.
Kelton Reid: Yeah. Yeah.
Elan Mastai: But it also asks a lot of big questions, and it searches for answers, and I mean, to me, that conversation is why you do it. It’s why I get up every day and sit at my desk and hunch over the keyboard and start smacking on it, is because I want to engage.
Why Your Writing is a Like a Time Machine
Kelton Reid: Yeah. Yeah. Well, I hope that listeners find this interview before they read the book, because kind of all of those things come through in this fantastic book, and Austin Kleon actually said almost exactly the same thing about his methodology, I think, early on in his creative process was to read obituaries as kind of a, you know, I mean, just a reminder that, like, life is temporary. We don’t really, no one knows how long they’re going to be here, right?
Elan Mastai: I do live, I’ve never done that. I do live only about maybe seven or eight blocks from a cemetery. If I wanted to get really grim, I could hop over there.
Kelton Reid: And you’ve written horror before.
Elan Mastai: I suppose, yeah, I could gaze longingly at the tombstones. No, I mean, you know, the other thing is, again, I mean, this is more of a personal answer, but I have two young daughters, and they’re not going to read the work I’m writing right now, but I love the idea that in the future, they could discover my work, my voice, what was, you know, the things that I was thinking about, the stories that I was telling when they’re older, and that is a kind of time machine. All the art you create, the writing you do is a kind of time machine, because it’s a portrait of who you were at the time.
Kelton Reid: Yeah.
Elan Mastai: That inspires me as well. You know, I mean, I want to be, it’s like that idea of like, I could be gone at any time, but that I could still communicate with my children, you know, years after I’m gone is, it’s also something that inspires me every day.
Kelton Reid: Yeah. Well, before we wrap up with your advice to your fellow scribes, I’ve got one more fun one for you. If you could choose one author from any era for an all expense paid dinner to your favorite spot in the world, who would you take and where would you take them?
Elan Mastai: Oh, wow. That’s a really good question. I’m going to say Neal Stephenson, the science fiction, primarily science fiction author because when I read his books, I just feel like I’m learning so much, and his storytelling is so bold and ballsy, and he has such a scope of his vision, and I’ve been reading his books since I was like, you know, a teenager, and watching him progress. So you know, I don’t know him, but I know something of him from the work that I’ve been reading since the first one I read was Snow Crash in like ‘91 or ‘92.
Kelton Reid: Yeah.
Elan Mastai: I went back and read his earlier books, and it’s like he’s been developing as a writer for basically, you know, for most of my conscious adult life, and so I would love to take him out for dinner, because I think it would be a fascinating conversation.
Where would I take him? There’s a great restaurant in New York City called Estella, which I’ve never had a bad meal there, so I would take him to Estella in New York City. It’s in SoHo. I mean, it’s very fancy, but I mean, you know, if somebody’s paying for it, it’s not me, right, it’s all expenses paid.
Kelton Reid: Nice, nice. Three degrees of separation on The Writer Files, I believe that the founder of Wired Magazine, Kevin Kelly, is buddies with Neal Stephenson, so we will link to that episode as well. Well, can you leave us with some advice for writers on how to keep the cursor moving, how to keep the ink flowing?
Elan Mastai: Finish things. That would be my biggest advice. It’s very easy to start things, it’s very hard to finish them, but until you finished it, you don’t know what you have. So just kind of push through. It’s okay to write badly. That is the hardest thing, you know. You know what it’s supposed to feel like in your head, it just doesn’t seem to be coming out on the page, but you are going to rewrite everything so many times.
Your favorite books, your favorite movies, your favorite songs, your favorite everything, those were not first drafts. Those are the result of months and months, years and years of rewriting and revising and rethinking, and so you can’t get discouraged by all the stuff that you love, even though it seems so much better than what you’re doing, because it wasn’t good when it started.
None of it was good when it started. Nobody starts amazing, and so I would just say my advice is to finish things, and then rewrite. Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. I mean, it’s sort of like Writing 101 advice, but in my career, that feeling of finishing something, allowing it to not be great, because I find in the confidence to rewrite and rewrite and get it there over time, that’s been everything for me.
Yeah, over time, you do get better, you know. Every time you write something and you finish it and you rewrite it and you put it out into the world, whether or not people love it or hate it or are indifferent to it or never even knew it happened, every single time you do that, you go through the whole process, the next time you start a first draft, it’s better. Every single time.
So it’s a long process. It’s a lifelong thing becoming the kind of writer you want to be, but like anything, it’s all about the muscles you exercise, the patience you have, and how far ahead your vision for yourself is. So that would be my advice, and the best possible result of this podcast is a couple people who listen to it turn off their … turn the podcast off right now and go and finish whatever it was that they started and couldn’t finish.
Kelton Reid: Yes, yes. Click stop here, and we will talk to you later. Awesome, awesome. Well, thank you so much for doing this. All Our Wrong Todays comes out February 7th, is that correct?
Elan Mastai: That’s right, February 7th.
Kelton Reid: And you can pre-order it now. It is a fantastic, almost indescribable sci fi tinged love story that we can’t begin to explain here, but it is fantastic. Kudos on the novel, and where can listeners connect with you out there?
Elan Mastai: Well, there’s my website, ElanMastai.com. It’s E-L-A-N-M-A-S-T-A-I.com. You can get in touch with me, there’s like a, you know, you can connect with me by email through the website. I’m also on Twitter, @ElanMastai. I’m on Facebook, Elan Mastai, I have an author page there. Goodreads, you know. I’m around. I’m not that hard to find. And fortunately, although my name is hard to spell, once you’ve figured out how to spell it, there’s no other Elan Mastais out there. I’m the only one.
Kelton Reid: Right.
Elan Mastai: So once you actually figured out how my name’s spelled, it’s very easy to find me.
Kelton Reid: You’re good. You’re halfway there. Awesome. And you are on tour starting February 7th, it would appear.
Elan Mastai: Yup.
Kelton Reid: I’m going to try to catch you February 8th in Denver, Colorado, at the Tattered Cover Bookstore.
Elan Mastai: I love the Tattered Cover. It’s great.
Kelton Reid: Me, too. Me, too.
Elan Mastai: Yeah, it’s got this awesome record store right next door.
Kelton Reid: Yeah.
Elan Mastai: And there’s the Denver Film Society Movie Theater. It’s a great little complex.
Kelton Reid: Yes, yes. Well, best of luck with everything. Hopefully, you will come back and talk to us again on your next adventure, and we look forward to what comes next, and especially reading this amazing, amazing book. So congrats.
Elan Mastai: Thanks so much, Kelton. Thanks very much for having me on your show.
Kelton Reid: Thanks so much for joining me for this half of a tour through the writer’s process. If you enjoy The Writer Files podcast, please subscribe to the show and leave us a rating or a review on iTunes to help other writers find us. For more episodes or to just leave a comment or a question, you can drop by WriterFiles.FM and you can always chat with me on Twitter @KeltonReid. Cheers. Talk to you next week.