The Writer Files is an online interview of various writers about their books and their writing styles. It is a form of getting to know the writer, their writing style and to tell their stories.
About the writer: Tiisetso Maloma
Who are you and what do you do?
I am an entrepreneur, founder of STARTUP PICNIC, blogger and author of 3 books. I write about progress hacks, anecdotes, emotions, feelings, frustrations and philosophies related to entrepreneurship.
What is your area of expertise as a writer or online publisher?
I have been blogging since maybe 2009. I am involved in a bunch of entrepreneurship projects, so there are always tons of lessons to note down and share.
The plight is to always be honest and vulnerable. There is so much superficial content out there which only shares success. Entrepreneurs always get cut – why leave that part out.
I am co-founder to www.bulabuka.co.za which converts and distributes ebooks to about 20 online stores, in SA and internationally: Amazon to iBookstore to Exclusive Books.
Where can we find your writing?
The writer’s productivity…
How much time, per day, do you spend reading or doing research your writings?
I try to write Monday to Friday, in the mornings – between 5:30 and 7am.
It is like in soccer, you have to be match fit. I remember in January after coming back from the Christmas holidays, it was hard filling a page as I had taken a break.
Before you begin to write, do you have any pre-game rituals or practices? (Do you get coffee, tea, chocolate etc before you write)
Coffee yes. I would read a book for about 15 minutes so to get myself in the literature mood and churn my vocabulary.
I tend to overdose on coffee, which isn’t good.
What’s your best advice for overcoming procrastination in writing?
Try to write every day. Then you become match fit. Procrastination is a lie – tell yourself that.
What time of day is most productive for your writing or content production?
Anytime but preferably in the morning. Writing for me is a self actualizing activity, so if I get it done early on in my day, I can do work with a fulfilled heart.
Work can get overwhelming if you don’t indulge in activities that fulfill your being.
Do you generally adhere to a rigid or flexible writing system?
Mornings work best for me. I guess it is a rigid system.
How many hours a day do you spend actually writing (excluding email, social media etc.)?
Haha, excluding email and social media. An hour is fine. But if I am working on a book, I can as far as all day.
Do you write every day?
I try to. Monday to Friday. Sometimes I don’t, and then I hate myself.
The writer’s creativity…
Ironically, my upcoming book, The Anxious Entrepreneur, is subtitled ‘Anxiety Defeats Creativity, Creativity Defeats Anxiety’.
Creativity is productivity. Either you are working or indulging in a hobby you love. It is working on something that quenches your ambition or appeals to your inner being – kind of like you are self actualizing.
The more you practice creativity, the more creative you get – the more ideas you get.
Within my book’s context, I say creativity doesn’t occupy the same space as anxiety. When you are anxious, you can’t think straight, therefore you can’t be productive. You need to zone out by taking a break: either by indulging in your hobby, walking, sleeping or whatever that will take your mind from the anxiety.
It’s like when you come back from a walk, your thoughts are clearer and have ideas of what moves you would take.
Who are your favorite authors, (online or off)?
James Clavell, author of Noble House, Shogun, Tai Pan and King Rat. All of which I have read. He is a great fictional and detailed author. I took my DJ name, The Shog, from his book Shogun.
Another is James Altucher, author of Choose Yourself and The Power of No among others. He is an entrepreneur and investor. He is so brutally open about his highs, lows and blunders. It is like he is bleeding in his writing.
Can you share a best-loved quote?
I thought you would not ask. It is from the book Papillon, by Henri Charriere. It is the uttering’s of a Catholic priest to Papilon, the main character. Here it goes:
“The people, the system, the workings of this horrible machine that has ground you down, the fundamentally evil beings who in their different ways have tormented and harmed you, have in fact done you the greatest service they possibly could.
They have brought a new person into being inside you, better than the first; and it is to them that you owe it that now you possess a sense of honour, kindness and charity, as well as the will power needed to conquer”
If you had not been forced to undergo this calvary you would have never been able to raise yourself to such heights”
Though I have not been through horrible things like Papillon, all my struggles have led me to appreciate being charitable.
Do you prefer a particular type of music (or silence) when you write?
Sometimes yes and sometimes no. I prefer silence mostly. It can get so quiet that I would want some noise.
My music can range from house, Erykah Badu to Tracy Chapman.
How would you personally like to grow creatively as a writer?
Yes I do. I want to work on making my writing more spellbinding and finger-chopping-sharp. A mixture of Stephen King and James Altucher.
Do you believe in “writer’s block”? If so, how do you avoid it?
Yes and no. It is like I said, if you write every day, you will be match fit. More concepts will come to you.
Who or what is your “Muse” at the moment (i.e. specific creative inspirations, like goddess of inspiration)?
James Altucher. All I will say is, check out his blog www.jamesaltucher.com
Would you consider yourself someone who likes to “take risks?”
I am an entrepreneur. I do do. No risk, no gain, no next level. No testing and building your potential.
What makes a writer great?
Honest. Vulnerable. Helpful. Self deprecating.
The writer’s workflow…
What hardware or typewriter model are you presently using?
Just my Acer laptop. I would scrabble an article concept on my phone if I am not at home.
What software are you using for writing and general workflow?
For other work, I use a model I devised called EBC Business Model.
Do you have any tricks for staying focused?
It is a struggle. I try some of these things
- EBC Business Model
- Respond to emails when I am ready
- Not entertain personal relationships during the day
Social media is always a problem. I am always fiddling with my phone to see if I do not have a comment on my social media posts or an email carrying good news.
Have you run into any serious challenges or obstacles to getting words onto the page?
Not really. The challenge could be:
- arranging the flow of an article
- picking the right stories to relate concept
- Being superficial is a problem. If I see it in an draft article, I take it out.
How do you stay organised? (Methods, systems, or “mad science”)
EBC Business Model lol.
Do one task until complete.
How do you relax at the end of a hard day?
I would watch a movie, hangout with friends or rock music.
I love music.
A few questions just for the fun of it…
Who (or what) has been your greatest teacher?
Life. By being overly venturing. It humbles you.
What’s your biggest aggravation or pet peeve at the moment (writing related or otherwise)?
There were some upgrades at my house. The house was upside-down inside-out for 2 weeks. I could not play far.
Choose one author, living or dead, that you would like to have dinner with.
James Clavell. He is no longer with the living. I would have loved to pick his brain.
Do you have a motto, credo or general slogan that you live by?
What do you see as your greatest success in life?
I have done a lot of things as an entrepreneur. Many failures, few successes. I am just proud that today I am still going on.
If you could take a vacation anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would you go (cost or responsibilities are no object)?
I don’t know, maybe the Maldives. It seems serene there.
What would you like to do more of in this year coming year?
I am on a blogging marathon in promoting of my upcoming book, The Anxious Entrepreneur.
Can you offer any advice to writers and content producers that you might offer yourself, if you could go back in time and “do it all over?”
Just write. Every day. Work on being vulnerable. Read a lot.
Please tell our readers where they can connect with you online.
On my blog, www.tiisetsomaloma.com. It has links to all my social media.
Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about your next book, the title, what is it about and when will it be released?
It is titled ‘The Anxious Entrepreneur: Anxiety Defeats Creativity, Creativity Defeats Anxiety’. It comes out on 28 October 2015. People can pre-order it here www.tiisetsomaloma.com/books at a discount.
The premise of the book is anxiety is a zone where one becomes less productive and creative. To be creative and productive, they have to zone out of the anxiety zone by doing activities which appeal to their being and interest.
Entrepreneurship is a nerve wrecking business, especially when things are not going according to one’s wish, plan, desire, need or desperation. This is almost all of the time.
It covers several anxiety causing accounts to relate ways to defuse anxiety and depression in one’s entrepreneurship life, and setting in proactive and reactive – attitudes and actions.
This book is targeted at aspiring and startup entrepreneurs to get them productive with the ventures they love.
AND FINALLY, THE WRITER’S DESK…
Please send us a picture of your writing space, an office, room, desk with all your writing equipment.
(I am not home, tell me if this pic would work)
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