• Jon

5 Thoughts On My First Podcast Appearance (Creative Writing Life Podcast)

Before I jump into things, first we need to quickly go over some background information.

The Creative Writing Life Podcast is hosted by Paul Zeidman and Justin Sloan. Both men are writers, and on their podcast, they talk with all sorts of guest that are somehow involved in the movie business. They’ve had indie directors, producers, screenwriters, authors, and more during the 46-episodes they’ve record thus far.

Episode 46, their newest release, just so happens to be the episode that I lost my podcast virginity on. So, let’s jump right into my first thought, of five, about my first podcast appearance.

#1 - First Time On a Podcast!

Photo by Nicholas Green on Unsplash

A couple of months ago, Paul reached out to me on social media. He wanted to know if I’d be interested in coming on the podcast and talking about my experiences on the website Fiverr.

Fiverr is a freelance website that I’ve been a member of since 2014. On the site, I offer writing services. The website helped me produce my first two projects. We all have different journeys in this filmmaking career, and all have to get our starts somewhere. On the podcast, I’d be given the opportunity to share my story and how I found my first IMDB credits working on a site like Fiverr.

I immediately replied back to Paul telling him I’d love to. Though I’ve been screenwriting for over ten years now, only in the last few years have I started to find some real success in having some of my projects produced and released.

Accepting Paul’s offer allowed me to reach another milestone; be a guest on my first ever podcast!

I’m a huge fan of podcasts and listen to them all day when at work. The Creative Writing Life podcast is one of the podcasts I’ve actually listened to, so to now be a guest on the show was a little surreal but totally awesome.

Proof! Don't judge me on the other choices. There's more than this.

At any time, anyone (including myself) can go to an app like Spotify and listen to my episode.

Hopefully, I’m not a one-hit-wonder and get the opportunity to return to the Creative Writing Life podcast, as well as appear on other filmmaking podcasts in the future.

Speaking of listening to my episode…

#2 - I only Cringed Twice

You ever hear an actor talk about how they don’t watch their own films? They don’t like seeing themselves on screen?

Well, I’m not an actor, but I’ve always understood this sentiment. Personally, I hate the way my voice sounds, so I try not to watch things with myself in them or hear a recording of my own voice.

I’m also my biggest enemy/critic. I’ll cut myself down before anyone else can, plus, admittingly, a lot of the time what I come up with cracks me up, and I usually put it in a script somewhere. Glass half-full I guess.

With that being said, I still had to listen to the episode because it's a milestone moment in my screenwriting career.

The first couple of minutes weren’t as bad as I thought it was in my head. More about that a little later in the article. Actually, the whole episode wasn’t that bad, if I can give myself credit. In fact, I only wanted to kill myself twice when listening to the episode. So, not bad, not bad at all.

One moment came a little early in the episode. As I was starting to speak at a certain point in the conversation, I worded something that’s very simple, very complex, and sounded very uneducated. I will have you know, I have half an associate’s degree from a college that isn’t a college anymore. So, I know stuff.

I’m not going to point out exactly where this moment is as I don’t want everyone to listen to the episode just to hear Jon make an ass out of himself. Also, this moment that I’m pointing out might not even be a moment. As I said, being my biggest critic, I routinely point things out about myself that nobody ever seems to notice about me.

The other moment ties in with my next number on this list.

#3 - Not A Good Salesman/Politician (For Now)

At the end of the episode, I shared a very brief note about an old teacher of mine saying I’d never be a writer because I couldn’t spell worth shit. I think her quote actually ended at - spell. I joked on the show that she was only half wrong. I am a writer, but I still can't spell.

Funny? Maybe dad jokey. Oh well.

Good look to get hired for writing work? Um… yeah...

I'm an honest guy. Maybe too honest when it comes to myself. I definitely need to be more of a Politian and give the “right” answers more. Again, maybe I’m thinking too much into this one, but that is what I do – thinking too much since 1986.

If this is a whoopsie, well, whoopsie.

After I said it I remember thinking, “everybody has editors and everybody does polish drafts. I’m a bad speller, but still professional. I assume people do the same thing. No big deal.”

Well, isn’t there a saying, “Assuming makes an Ass out of Me and You”. I feel like an ass? Anybody wanna join me.

Oh well, if I do think about this for too long I do start to laugh. Another Jon foot-in-mouth moment.

#4 - Anxiety City

Photo by Camila Quintero Franco on Unsplash

You know what’s nice? Sunsets? A baby’s laughter? Constantly thinking about one thing, twenty-four-seven, non-stop, wanting to just say no, cancel plans, hide in your bedroom, be alone, in your comfort zone, nobody judging you, not even yourself, then you need to go to therapy.

If you went with, (takes a deep breath in) constant thinking about one thing, twenty-four-seven, non-stop, wanting to just say no, cancel plans, hide in your bedroom, be alone, in your comfort zone, nobody judging you, not even yourself, then you need to go to therapy.

Actually, I have and the reason why you can listen to this podcast with myself as the guest is, in part, that I have gone to therapy in the past. Let’s not jump into that story, but one thing I’ve been working on is pushing myself to do things I never have done before, or to do things I swore I’d never do. Giving myself that push.

I gave myself one of those pushes almost three years ago and meet the love of my life. I gave myself another one of those pushes and found a good job that works for my screenwriting goals. And when I find myself with a great opportunity but fear wanting to rip me apart, I give myself another one of those pushes and make myself do it.

I’m glad I did. Even with my own critique, I still enjoyed the experience and know I’ll get out of my head more and more the more and more I do this.

#5 - Screenwriting/Life Tip: Network, Be Vulnerable, Push Yourself

One of the biggest keys to screenwriting is actually not writing at all but making connections - networking. I’ve been lucky to have a few films and pilots get produced which brought with them, cast and crew that I’ve been able to become friends with.

An example, Juan Alexander, an actor/producer in Atlanta, Ga was a supporting actor on my project, Ernie and Cerbie. From that small role, we’ve become friends and have worked on a couple of projects together, including the upcoming Pilot, Purple Gang.

That’s a connection that I made many years ago and has lead to several projects I wouldn’t have been a part of if not for knowing and working with Juan in the past.

As a writer just starting off, you might not want to write something for free, but there are certain times when I think you should do some free work cause it’ll pay off in the future. I did just this on a couple of my first projects and in turn, I was able to build contacts and connections that helped future me.

I think we live in a world that could use more honesty. I’m not saying that in the past I’ve been a liar and done terrible things, but I have learned from some experiences and observing others that being honest with people and yourself always makes things easier. If you can be honest and pair that with being willing to be vulnerable with another person, now you’re starting to find the sweet spot.

You can do this with family, friends, co-workers, business associates, romantic relationships. When you’re honest, and a person knows you’re willing to be vulnerable with them, you’ll build a better all-around relationship with them. Better relationships make for better business; better relationships, better friends.

I’ve known Paul for a few years through social media, and his website He’s a super talented screenwriter and will have his “breakout” moment any second now. I’ve read a script of his before, and have followed his journey through the last several years, and he’s one of the best screenwriters I’m friends with.

Paul has given me script notes in the past, and I likewise. We’ve picked each other’s brains on creating and the business side of screenwriting. He’s always great to chat with.

It was truly an honor to have him think of me as a possible guest for the show he co-hosts with Justin.

Before the show, I had never met Justin, but in my brief time talking to him before and after recording the episode, he was funny, genuine, and kind to me. He’s a super talented, full-time author, game writer, and screenwriter. He has many of his novels on Amazon for sale and they’re all highly rated.

Fade Out

The first podcast appearance is in the books. All-in-all I’m happy with how it went and I look forward to the opportunity to do something like this again.

There are things I never really thought of when I first started screenwriting. Something like podcast didn’t even exist then. Now I’m sounding like an old man. I never thought an actor would actually ever say lines I wrote. I never thought strangers would watch a film that I wrote and have an opinion on it. I never thought I’d be someone that gave their expertise.

There are a million things I could list with “never thought” at the start of them. I've said my biggest problem is constantly thinking. I've begun to notice, the best things I've done in life are things I never took the time to constantly think about.

9 views0 comments