Author Addie Woolridge went from being peer-pressured into writing her first 10 pages of fiction to publishing a novel. Addie and Leo discuss Addie’s debut novel, The Checklist; the importance of finding the right community; goal-setting; and how not to let your career define you.
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By: Leo Yockey
Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Leo Yockey show, the podcast where i Leo Yockey interview guests about how their unique life path led them to define success and fulfillment. The goal is to provide you the listener, some relief for your existential anxiety. But here's a secret feeling, it never fully goes away. And that's exactly what my guest explains today, actually. But before we get into that, I have a huge favor to ask for those of you who are enjoying the show. If you can leave me a five star review, a written review, I can't even tell you how helpful that would be. I mean, it's seriously like currency in this podcasting world. And if you want to share this with a friend, but don't really know how to bring it up, just take a screenshot, make your Instagram story, tag me in it, and I'll be sure to give you a shout out on my page as well. Now, this guest I am particularly excited about a lot of you know that I love to read love reading, I think I've read something like 32 or 33 books so far, in 2021. I read 50 and 2020. And I just can't get enough. Now I usually read a lot of nonfiction unless I have a really good reason or motivation to read a particular fiction book. I first heard about Addy woolridge, through her brother, former guests of the show, Marshall Hugh. And he was hyping her up on Instagram all excited that she had this book coming out. And it was a debut novel and it was already posted as a best seller on Amazon. And it piqued my interest. So I pre ordered addys novel, the checklist, which I'll put a link in the show notes so that you can pick up a copy for yourself as well. But listen, I read that book in like six days, very fast for me, especially for a novel. And I just loved it. It was great. And so I was super excited when I hit up Addy on Instagram and asked her if I could interview her on this podcast. And she said yes, kind of a dream come true for my nerdy asked to be able to read a book and then immediately interview the author. But I think what's cool about this interview is that we actually don't talk about the book that much. And we talk about it a little bit. But I'm more interested in addys path as an author, and what prompted her to write a book to begin with, because I think there's something like 80% of us that want to write a book and very few actually gets the point of being published, let alone pest selling. So what motivated her what kept her motivated. And what does she want to do now that her book is published? Does she want to be a full time author now? The answer might surprise you. Anyway, I'm going to stop fanboying it's very clear that I'm really excited for this interview. And I hear Rossum yelling at the door trying to get in so I should probably go deal with the cat. And without further ado, here is Addy woolridge. Addy woolridge What's up? How you doing? Oh, what I hate that zoom does that now. Oh, no. hateful. It was hateful. I was like, Oh, I need to press the button. Is it actually recorded? I don't know. That delay. Oh, zoom. I guess it's good. They're like you can't be sneaky anymore. Just in case I keep this Ed so for the listeners I hit record, starting to say hello zoom screened in my ears. This meeting is being recorded edit completely threw me off my game completely counteracted the very nice calming deep breath that I took. So I don't know how this interview is gonna go. Anyway, Eddie woolridge How's it going? So far, so good. I mean, I can't complain outside of zoom assaulting us. April. Absolutely hateful. I mean, the racism, but I have a friend that anytime anything goes even remotely wrong. They're gay and remotely wrong. They're like, Oh, so this there's this homophobia coming out of this technology right now. I see how I see how it is. what it was doing. It knew I waited. I knew who we were. I know. I said hello. And then it was like over just so y'all know this has been recorded. You really mean that? That's exactly. Ad. Hello. Hello. Thank you for coming onto the show. Thank you for having me. I'm super excited. Absolutely. Me too. It's gonna be fun. I told you offline before, I guess, online technically on Instagram yesterday that, you know, as my listeners know, I'm a huge reader love reading. I have always wanted to in always in the two months that I've been doing this podcast have been wanting to interview an author and you know whose book that I've read and I'm just super happy to be doing it even, even though this isn't really a genre that I read typically, actually, I know I was really impressed that you read the book, and I was like, Oh, we Oh, this is not usually like news reading. And then I was like, Leo does research. I'm very impressed. Thank you for reading the book. Yeah, absolutely. And for most, there's Abby's book debut novel is called the checklist, which I'll let her give a little synopsis in just a second. But yeah, I mean, I, I read a lot of nonfiction, I like to read a lot of like biographies and memoirs. But every once a while, I say I usually do like one two novels a year, this month seems to be the month that I'm just reading a lot of fiction for whatever reason. And I'd say that this is probably the second rom com I've ever read in my life. For some reason, the other one also based in Seattle. Not quite sure what's going on there. But you know, it was like a distant relatives, a millionth cousin's husband or something like that wrote a novel. So my aunt was like, here, read it, I gifted it to you. And I was like, This is I'm actually gonna say on the record, I liked yours better. Thank you. I was so honored to be the second round come that you have ever read and your favorite rom com. Like, when I look back on this entire process and be like, I was somebody's favorite rom com? Yeah, they said it to my face. I did on the record on record. Everybody heard it here first. It was a Leo Yockey exclusive this fact about Leo Yockey? Well, I think something you said actually resonated with me, in that you've been reading more fiction. And I think that, particularly when times are hard and coming out of a pandemic, I think it's easily something to say like times have been hard. What I take most seriously as a writer is kind of that sacred obligation to make life a little easier, if that makes sense. Anyway, I digress. But I was like, yeah, of course, you read more fiction, when life is hard, you read more fiction, it takes you out of your hardship. That's the whole point. If I do my job, right. Yeah, I love it. And I would say for the record that you did do your job, right, because one, one thing that is is, you know, even in your author bio, you know, on Amazon is that, you know, you have well developed characters. And I think that's what I enjoyed about and what probably a lot of my listeners would enjoy about this book. You know, even if you don't like ROM coms, these characters are so well developed that what I like about memoirs, what I like about a lot of nonfiction is the way that it really forces me to look at myself and how I'm living my life and, you know, kind of use it as a catalyst for change. And these characters kind of did a lot of that, you know, like, I saw a lot of either myself or other people in my life in so many of these characters that it did cause me to pause and reflect a lot. And like I told you, you know, for my journal prompt emails, I was like nervous at first, I was like, Man, this might have been a bad promise that I said that we were going to make your book like put a quote from your book into the journal prompt, because this is a rom com, I ended up with six quotes, that all would be great. You know what I mean? Like, I'll have to send you the list of quotes afterwards. So you can see how my brain works. No, I love that. I love that there's stuff in there that you're like, oh, okay, actually, I can see myself here. Like, I hope to never be the kind of writer who writes things that people can't see themselves in. So I'm like, Oh, I did it. Yay. If your goal is to affect one person, you know, you can check that off your list. into that note, because he talks quite a bit about the book now without saying what it is, besides the title. Would you please tell me and us in your own words, you know, what, what is the Book about? Sure. So the checklist is a multicultural contemporary rom com set in Seattle. And it follows the exploits of our type a protagonist Dylan dellacroix, who thinks that you both have a perfect life for herself in Texas. And she's on track to make partner and her consulting firm when she accidentally upstages her insecure boss and is sent on kind of a career killing mission to revive a struggling tech company back in Seattle, which, incidentally, is her hometown. And so she's kind of thrown back into her old life in her old hometown and dealing with her family who are these kind of bohemian artists and they have this long standing feud with the neighbors across the street who are very straight laced, and so on top of trying to manage kind of old relationships that she left why builds new relationships making friends manage this client, which is very difficult. She also has to handle her family's feud with the neighbors and in the process she falls in love with the boy across the street. I guess man, he's grown man. Yeah, yeah. boy, boy, boy next door man next door man across this man who doesn't even actually live across the street, but whatever. His parents live there, it's fine. It's really the back of the book. It'll be great, y'all again. I love it. I love it. Yeah. So so like you said, you know, she's she's at this tech company trying to revive it because they're into some shenanigans. And my God, let me just say if there's anybody listening, that has any experience with tech companies have any fatigue with working in the tech industry. I found it so cathartic. You really You did such a good job of painting the the UPS downs and just ridiculousness of working at a tech company. Tim Gunderson, the CEO of this tech company, is everything you would want as a character in a book, and absolutely nothing that you would want as a person, you know, in real life and somehow still has redeeming qualities he is he is quite something. I had fun writing. And so I was like, This is pretty great. And I didn't want him to be a flat villain. No, it's like, there's just things to love about him, even when he's bumbling. Yeah, absolutely. So like, there's just, there's so many layers to this book. So what, what inspired you to write this? What inspired you, I guess, to write a book in general as well? Gosh, good question. Um, so I was kind of a long story, but a funny story. I have made friends and I was living in LA, with some people that I thought were like, the coolest people in the world. And my definition of cool, by the way, was like, this person had a PhD in folklore and another one with like, an artist architect, like the large scale art installations. Yes. Thank you for having that context. Like, what does that even mean? These are the coolest people. And one of them was like, Hey, we're starting a writing group, do you? Right? And I had said, Oh, you know, I write nonfiction for my job. And I'm like, well, that's okay. You can come to the group. And the rest of them are fiction writers. And so for four months, I read other people's writing and critiqued it and was having so much fun. And I guess, you know, over the course of time, they sort of forgot that I didn't write fiction. So one day, she turns to me and she's like, Addy, we never hear from you. Next week. We're gonna start with your captors. I was like, these people are so cool. And I don't ride me don't remember that. I don't right now. I'm a liar. So I called my sister and I was like, Okay, what do I do? Because I was like, well, girl, I don't know, I think you should go swim because you don't. Right. And, but I don't want my friends. So I called my mom. And I was like, Mom, what do I do? And my mom was like, well, you said it has to be 10 pages, you didn't say it had to be good. So you just need to write 10 pages of something. And I was like, Okay, I think I can write 10 pages of something. And what nobody tells you other writers that the first 10 pages are like, the most fun to write, it's super easy, comparatively, you're having the best time. Because there's no real conflict. It's kind of setting up a scenario, right? You're in that honeymoon stage of the process. And I think this is so fun. So I read 10 pages, and the group thought they were good. They were like, Oh, you should keep writing. And I was like, I'm not gonna do that. I'm gonna wait another four months. And I'll give you those 10 pages when you ask them. But then my sister actually eventually read the 10 pages and call me I was like, Hey, this is pretty good. And so I decided to finish writing the book. So for the record, so you're you're saying Okay, so I love first of all I love there's actually several things that I love here. First of all, the spontaneous writing group is just so LA. Like, of course, you got sucked into some random creative venture that you had that had nothing to do with their life previously, like only in LA is that kind of stuff happened. I love that your sister said, Well, I guess I guess that's the end of that friendship forever. You got an interesting way to solve problems. I love the chaos behind that. I've been really embracing chaos lately. So I really appreciate Coco's energy. There are a lot but when but I do think your mom's advice was probably the better way to go. I mean, clearly because this did result in a whole book that got published. And by the way, y'all it's a best seller. Hey, humble, humble brag on your behalf. Thank you. I appreciate it. I'm like trying to be chill, but I'm like I have zero chill and there is no reason to be chill. You did that shit. You know how it is something like 80% of the population wants to write a book. But like very few actually, do you know what that kind of doesn't surprise me. I think of the random writer group, only two of us actually finished a book didn't and I didn't even want to be there the first boy. So I believe it I mean, even I, in these past few months started and then almost immediately shelled no pun intended book writing project, I was actually going to write a novel because I was like, I don't read. Right totally right one. It's it's a shelf for later thing I have I have a higher priorities, I was under estimating the time commitment, but that that's neither here nor there. So the first 10 pages that's, it's good advice, like just do it. So for the record, was that you that willingness to write the 10 pages? Was that more of a creative curiosity? Or was that more these people are cool, and I still want them to be my friend, you know, it's a little bit of both. I'm a naturally creative person. So once I got going, I was like, This is fun. I like this. Plus, I still wanted to have friends. It was it was a little bit of both. But I mean, the first 10 pages, that's probably a couple hours before, that's usually the how to describe in writing, they talk about, you know, you kind of got to start with a bang, you know, you're starting with like the big kind of inciting incident. So you're writing this big, exciting scene. And then from there, you kind of have to go in and layer in the backstory and the serious stuff. And that's harder and slower to do. But the first 10 pages are kind of like, what's ridiculous, outlandish, big and exciting. Right? That? Yeah, nice. So could you put into context of like the book, like what what was like the content of the first 10 pages in relation to the actual final product? Like, what what what were you writing in those pages? That makes sense, you know, any books that I've written, I've always kept the first 10 pages. That's not something that ever changes, I usually end up changing something in the middle, or something at the very end. But beginning I have an easier time with than I think some people really I shouldn't say everyone has an easy time with beginning sometimes people really don't care for them as writers, but for me, the first 10 pages, that's really when I'm kind of finding a character figuring out how they talk, what they what they do, how they think. Are they sarcastic? Are they earnest? are they who are the people in their lives that kind of send them into a tailspin? Because you can't meet a character at the beginning of a book and have everything be perfectly fine. nobody reads that. But it's extremely boring book. So you have to have something go wrong. And so basically, you have to find a person, and then figure out what this person wouldn't want to happen to them, and then have that happen. That's a very interesting process. Yeah. Well, would they want? What's like the last thing they would want? That's actually a man, that almost that that feels like? Good, good advice for anybody that's like, how do I write stuff? How do I start a novel there? I always think like complex stakes, like, there has to be stakes involved. I'm like, What is what does any of that mean? Like? What does that mean? in a more practical sense, and I've never heard it explained like that. So thank you. I gotta write that down for me. Because someday I'm gonna finish this book. Yeah. NaNoWriMo. Right. nano. Oh, November is National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo. Highly recommend write your novel by November, I might actually have the time to do it, too. So look at look at you planting all these seeds were like, 10 minutes in and already you're changing my life over here it is. So I'm so it's so interesting. Because you Okay, so you started this as like, I'm just gonna write the first 10 pages, because it's something new to do. Also, these people are cool. I want them to be my friend, which by the way, I'm gonna say really quick, there is there's definitely something to be said, I think about if you are creative, or whether it's that she likes to draw, right, seeing whatever the case may be. I'm noticing because I'm starting to have this shift in my life. It makes such a big difference to surround yourself with other creative people. Because in the same way that you know, you are the company that you keep, and the more creative people in your life is just kind of through osmosis. Like it's going to pool more creative energy out of you, you're going to end up doing more creative stuff than then you would have otherwise. Yes, I cannot stress enough how important creative community is. In actually getting work done. Like that sounds strange. It's one thing to be creative on your own writing is in itself kind of a solitary activity, right? But I will sit and write with friends will quietly write together or bounce ideas off each other. And it also sort of creates the expectation that you produce your art because everyone One is working towards producing something that is of meaning to them and hopefully to share with the world. And so having that community really, honestly changed so much my life and I can point to a zillion places along the way to publication and even getting through the pandemic, where I wouldn't be standing here without a community of people. And I'm constantly floored by just like the investment that people have made in me the kindness, the time people, I was nobody who knew nothing. And someone took the time to walk me through. When we I had to pitch agents in person, I was so scared. I'm kind of an ambivert. Like, I walked into the room, and it was overwhelming. And I didn't like it. And I remember being like, No, no, I'm going home, I'm going back to my hotel room, I've made a mistake, this sucks. And another romance writer was there with me and she literally grabbed my arm and she's like, you will not leave this room, you're going to go in there, you're going to pitch and I will be standing on the other side of this door when you come out. And we'll go down and get some chocolates, and you'll be fine. And I think about that all the time where I was like, I was terrified, I would have gone and hid that woman didn't have to do that. For me, Rebecca hunter didn't have to make time for me. She's written 12 books, she didn't have to deal with a panicking baby author. Instead, she literally I mean, that was a half hour of her life standing there waiting for me to come out of that thing. Just to go eat a candy bar and calm down and like, change the trajectory of my book. Like, that's incredible. Yeah, I think that's amazing. Because you keep bringing up the word community, community, community community, you know, we so often think that success is this individual thing, and we're on our own to get there and we have to figure it out. And, and a lot of times, the thing we individually have to figure out is, Who can I connect with to help me, you know, either directly helped me get to where I need to go or to just give me sometimes just that moral support. I mean, I there have been times where I you know, I sometimes record stuff when I'm out at the park, like just little videos for Instagram or whatever. And it feels so silly. Like, I'm like, I'm like, I don't want people to see me is weird. And I realized once I was like, if I had a friend here with me, even if they weren't helping, if they were just here, I would feel a lot less weird about it like that. Having that energy there, it changes things, you know, yeah, it really does. And it's sometimes I think, as Americans, we're conditioned to think of ourselves as lone actors. And when I feel like I've achieved something alone, that that's an alarm bell, like, I need to step back and really look at myself and what, what am I considering a contribution to my life, like, the people who send you food when you're tired? that's helping you towards your goal. And if you really think that you've achieved something alone, I often think that people aren't necessarily looking broadly enough at the people in their life and who they love and who loves them. Because I think creative community is important. But there's also a whole backlist of people that just kept me standing, you know, and that community really finding your people. I can talk about that for hours. Yeah, it's so important. I mean, it is a central theme in a lot of these episodes so far, because it because I think you touched on something really important here too. I know you were like I don't want to get into but like, finding the wrong people can actually be detrimental to that dream. You know, and I think that's what happened with me in some of my earlier creative pursuits. Because I wasn't, I wasn't really thinking about it. And I had, you know, really good supportive people, and kind of drifted away to other people who seemed like they would be more supportive on paper and should have been, but because we just didn't die like we weren't, we just weren't really each other's community, it actually did more damage. So and I think that's true in all aspects of life, whether it's, it's, you know, personal relationships, professional relationships, family, like if you're around the wrong people, it can be more damaging than being alone. But if you're alone, you're never going to get to where you want to be. So it's just it's so important to find the right people. And it's like, just like with anything else, it's like, you'll know it when to try. Yeah, I think some of the best advice I've ever gotten music school was Be careful with whom you share your dream. And the professor meant it in a way that like when you share your dream matters, like if it's just a nascent Spark, and it's fragile. Keep it keeping close to your heart, find the people who are going to be in your corner and know that not everyone can be like into your program, not everyone is going to get it. But like, who you share your dream with. And when you share, it is so important to your success. So like that, to me has always been something that I've carried really close to me, like, if you're not ready to have your dream stepped on, keep it in your heart until you're ready to share it. But the important thing is that you have to share it at some point. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And Man, just it's very, it's very important. I think you're right timing is everything. And that's what makes I think success so hard, is that there's so many things, there's so much advice, that seems like counterproductive. It's like you guys are not counterproductive, but contradictory. You know, you got to be surrounded by people. But it's got to be the right people, you have to share your dream, but it has to be at the right people at the right time. There's so many opportunities for things to go wrong. And I feel like really the only way to like to know whether tribes like we have to kind of go through trial and error trial and error trial and error until until it fits, you know, very, very few people successfully marry their highschool sweetheart, because you have to oftentimes go through several failed relationships before you really realize what you want. And you know, that doesn't happen in a vacuum by itself. That's how that's how all of life is. That's how every relationship is, you know? Yeah, it really like, it's community is just one of the things you're like, I could probably talk about it forever, because it really, I think it plays such a huge role in how we become who we are. And I also think like, sometimes people go into building community as a, what can you do for me? And I almost feel like that's the wrong way to approach it. Like community is not for tat, like, I retweeted your things. So you should retweet me or I like this, or I was mentioned you and you never mentioned me like, that is not the way to think about community. And I think when we approach community as like, it must be this 5050 split equal trade all the time, otherwise, it's not community. That's, that's like toddlers playing, you know, like toddlers don't really understand sharing, but they taking turns. And like, what, you know, like what I've come to think about communities, yeah, it is 5050. But it's not 5050 every day in every way. Some years, it might be 2080. And some days, I'm on the adn. And some days, I'm on the 20 end, and you're investing in those people because you love them, and they love you. And it all kind of balances out in the end. And I think that, to me, has led me to form a lot more healthy communities and healthy kind of relationships. When I understand that, like, there is a point where if I'm feeling taken advantage of I need to take a step back and say, Are you being taken advantage of? Or are you expecting this person to constantly be in your service? Yeah. And that's important, like, or is this person constantly expecting you to be in their service. And that's important. So it's not like you don't look back at the last, I don't know, event that you had and think that person wasn't there. You look back at the last five events that you hadn't go to hear from that person ever. And that whole picture is more important. Like, I love that. Yeah, it's the average, it's, you know, you're not, you're not the best thing you did, you're not the worst thing you did. You're You're the average of the last five things that you've done. Because we're constantly changing. And we're constantly evolving, hopefully, you know, most of the time, I would say, you know, a lot of what you're what you're talking about with community and kind of understand what community is, you know, I would say to some, to some degree that that that kind of encapsulates a lot of Dylan's lessons. Dylan being the the main character in the checklist, I would say a lot of that was kind of her her journey, you know, and really evaluating every single relationship in her life, which I think going back home will do that to you, right, going back to your hometown unexpectedly. It's like every single relationship from her family, to her friends to her, like romantic relationship work relationships, old and new. You know, it was a constant reflection, reevaluation. You know, trying and trying to figure out her part and all this stuff. It was it was that part of the journey was very relatable, I think, because we are constantly in this position of evaluating and trying to improve where where our relationships stand, and how we can contribute to them to your point. Yeah, I also think like, the thing about old relationships or places that you used to be or things that like people you used to know and stuff like that. Is that not all? Like sometimes when you break things off, or you walk away from something you're like, rather than my past, I don't want to look at it, I'm not going to think about it. And with enough time, space, in life experience, you can look back at certain things and go actually, that was a value and this is how it plays out in my life now, or that was a value and do I want to be that person anymore? No, but I can look back at who I used to be and say, Hey, thanks, girl. You did a pretty good job. Thanks for keeping me alive. I'm going to go now. And it's okay to evolve and take bits and pieces of the past with you and it's okay to change your stance on this. Pass. Like, that's another thing that I think sometimes we, as humans look at a snapshot in time go, I feel this and we like cling to it. Yeah. And even though we've changed, we cling to the way that we used to feel, and that may no longer be relevant, that may no longer be a relevant or helpful frame looking at the past. I 100% agree. And you know, we I want to move on, but remind me when we got off, there's a couple there's a couple of books nonfiction, of course, that I want to tell you about that kind of talk about this exactly. Because I love that topic. I can talk about it forever. The past can and should be consistently redefined as we evolve, because kind of in the same way that I was talking to one of my friends about some of the TV shows that didn't age well, like friends is a big one that comes up a lot. My friend that I was talking to this about my friend Lauren Blake, we really are we were really into How I Met Your Mother. And we were saying like, the show did not change the show is the show is the show, no one went and edited it. 10 years later, we changed and so our interpretation of it is different, but it's still the same thing. And so are our individual past is the same way. Yeah. But yeah, so you see, so this is actually kind of a perfect segue. So went okay, so still in the first 10 pages, thank you. It Oh, it's fine. I love it. I already love where this conversation is going. And just in case I forget to say it in the intro for those of you who listen to I believe it was Episode Five with Marshall Q. This is Marshall sister so long winded this runs in the blink Did you have a plan because actually we're going to go this way now and then we're gonna go that way. It's it's, it's a it's a journey. And and we're all having fun. And and in your defense, I'm talking a lot more than I did. So Larry Marshall, and nothing beloved buddy. Yeah, so. So to your point, so I think I have a theory now as to because I was gonna kind of ask, how do you go from like, just writing the first 10 pages out of curiosity to now you're this best selling author? But I almost feel like the answer is kind of in the conversation that we had. So you have this group of creative friends are in this writing group, and you're talking about other authors that have kind of been on a journey for you as as moral support, and probably also helping you make connections, or maybe definitely help you make connections, I can't remember what you said, was this one of those things where like, because you kind of did end up in the right group, things kind of just started, for lack of a better term falling into place. And like you kind of going from I'm just gonna try the person pages to this book is now published or ready to be published? Was it just kind of a series of the people in your life are kind of helping you either stay motivated, and or plug you into the right places at the right time to to be able to keep going, Oh, you know, kind of a both. And I think at the end of the day, like nobody falls in the publishing like, that's, it's such a hard industry to get into that. If you don't set out with a goal and you're not making decisions, like every decision you make is an active decision. So it kind of if I decided, the best way to describe it is I decided to take myself seriously. And so people around me took me seriously. And I don't mean in the like, I'm an all tour respect my, like, those writers are the worst kind of people. Oh, they're awful. I mean, that, like, I sat down every day, and I wrote, I, like, showed up at professional organizations, I made friends with other writers, I took myself seriously. And most importantly, I voiced I am a writer, like I said, out loud, this is the thing that I am, I am a writer, and I introduced myself to people as a writer. Yeah. And so because I took myself seriously, I attacted other people, or made friends with other people who were also serious authors who either were working in the business or working towards working in the business. And so in that sense, I think my community was always kind of there cheering me on because they were part of that or they understood how important the writing was to me that I was getting up early to do the work before going to my actual day job. Or that I was, you know, taking time away on the weekends to go to workshops or doing things like that, that people knew that this was my goal. This was important to me. They respected it and then whatever they could do to kind of help cheer me on and support that they did. Wow. He touched on a lot of very powerful stuff there. Addy, I let me let me summarize this a little bit for the listeners just in case they they were there. They're not hearing what I'm hearing. So, first of all, you said that you Yeah, so right, of course, nothing, nothing just falls into your lap without work. You know, and you said from very early on, you set out a goal. And every decision that you made was in relation to that goal. And that is very powerful. Step one, you know, you made a decision, you decided this is what you want to do. And now every decision that you make is through the lens of to some degree, you know, is is bringing me closer or further away from having that book published, right. Yeah. And then from there, you said, you know, like, once that decision is made, you're kind of you know, like, you're all in it sounds like you didn't really look back, you know, you said I, I decided to take myself seriously as a writer. And as a result, so did other people and other people were giving you that, that respect and acknowledgement. And because you were taking yourself so seriously, like, you're not over here trying to be like, hanging out with people who were kind of, you know, wishy washy, I'll maybe I'll write a book, but I'm so busy. Which is fine. If that figure out that's where you're at. But that's not where you want it to be adding, you knew that. So you were you know, it's like serious applicants only, so to speak as far as like, you know, who you were letting into your circle and who you were trusting for advice, I'm sure also, like, you weren't just going to the peanut gallery for, for whatever advice you needed, which kind of goes back into what you said earlier, you got to share your goals, you got to share your dreams, but you need to be very mindful and careful about who you share that with. And so very similar, actually, listeners very similar to some of the stuff that that previous guests, Whitney was saying in the very first episode, you know, like, once you make that decision, you kind of start asking, How do I get there? How do I do this? What do I do? And you start, you know, it's like, your radar is up for that. Like, you're not looking for that before you make that decision? Because it's not important. And you know, there's only so many hours of the day, why would you So I love that. I love that. That's kind of how it all came to be. Yeah, that's, that's fantastic. I love it. Yeah. It's, it's incredible what taking yourself seriously. And again, it doesn't mean you don't have a sense of humor, like I write rom com, but I can't be like, you know, such so hard nosed about it, but like, romance writers or business people and like, as soon as I got around people who were published authors, I like had an all new respect for the genre and the work because these are people who run a business and they are a business and they're not messing around. And so to your point, like if people are poking around and kind of goofing off, that's fine. They like humor them to an extent, and then they just kind of keep it pushing. Yeah, absolutely. And because, you know, like, this is where I'm trying to have this is my business, like, you can, you can kind of do that. And they'll ask you, they will ask you where you're at and what you've done and what you've achieved since the last time they saw you, and I didn't want to show up embarrass myself. So I was like, Okay, do the work. It's accountability. Yeah, it's like we were saying earlier, when you have those creative friends, it is it creates a positive peer pressure, you're putting yourself in a position to be peer pressured into doing the things that you want to do. I think that's great. Yeah. So I already know the answer to this, but I'm gonna ask it for dramatic effect, because this is gonna swerve in a very interesting light. So you you have this goal, you knew you want to, you know, publish this book, you're like, I'm all in, let's do it, you're doing the damn thing you have become published, the checklist is a best selling novel. Now, you know, and you're saying romance authors like this is a business. So is this where we're at? Is Addy willowridge running a business? Is she going full steam ahead in the future, you know, as a as a full time novelist? So it's a fine question, because I think everyone assumes that if you publish a book, you want to quit your job. And if the pandemic has taught me anything, is that I do not want to quit my job. I need to see people. And I think the thing about working outside of your primary industry is like it's such a reality check. Not at a certain point, not everybody cares if you wrote a best selling book, they need copies of this thing. And whereas this and that, and the other keeps you grounded. Yeah, it keeps you grounded. You're like, I'm a best selling author. Everyone's like, cool. So did you finish editing that thing yet? And it really does sort of prevent you from like, smelling your own armpits or like, getting a big head or floating away. But yeah, I don't know, actually. That I would want to quit my job. I think the thing that would make me quit my job is if I couldn't do my job well and keep writing. It's important to me to be able to do both. And if at any point I can't do both worlds, then I need to reevaluate, but as it stands right now A huge amount of my ideas come from being in public and being outside of the author community. So if I quit my job, what will I write about? What other strangers will I run into? How will I create realistic characters? So much of being an author is about being in the world. And I think people think you want to quit your job, cuz you want to work for yourself. But the thing about working for yourself is that those are just problems you made, like working for other people, you're solving problems you didn't make working for yourself, you're solving problems that you did make, there are drawbacks to both like, when I'm looking at my author business, and I have a problem. I'm like, well, girl, you asked for that. This is the problem, you may find yourself when I'm at work, and I have a problem like, other persons problem, don't come to me with that. But the nice thing about having a day job is that I have colleagues that I can go and say, Can you give me perspective on this? Can you help me? Whereas when you're an author, so much of your day, is you talking to you or trying to call, you know, other writers who may or may not have run into this thing? Again, that's where community is really helpful. But a lot of it is just kind of you alone, and going through the pandemic made me realize that meat alone is kind of not that fun sometimes. Yeah, I think we all learned that a little bit. Yeah, I think I think that's so interesting, because in my mind, I also assumed it's like, oh, if you write a novel, and you go as far as to getting it published, then clearly the only the only reasonable explanation is because you want to be a full time author. And that is what you want to do. And it's so cool that you were able to go out, have this incredible experience that you're still having, because you're still on your What should we call it virtual press tour for the book. And podcasting is is a audio medium, but for the listeners is very important to me that they know that it just flipped her hair, which is currently back in a ponytail that she did the flipping motion at the press tour thing, you know, because she she'd be living glamorously right now. Um, how fancy? Yeah, so you're you're living, you're living this life, you know, you're having this experience. And it's something that, you know, you don't necessarily want all of your life to change very, you know, it's, it's something that she did, and now, you know, it's something that she got to carry with you. And it sounds like you're still interested in writing, just not necessarily doing a full time. And you found that balance that works for you. Because again, it you know, nothing has to be all or nothing binary, like, you know, like you're either a pro, or your starving artist, you know, like, there's so much gray area in between. And it sounds like you're operating in that gray area a little bit. Oh, yeah, I'm definitely still writing and writing working on other projects. And I don't plan on like, stopping publishing it anytime. I think my second book comes out in October. Yeah, what I realized is that I, I could do both and do both Well, for the time being. And so I didn't, I think sometimes we're eager to move to the next phase of our lives before we've really thought about what that phase means, what that looks like, and what would your day actually look like? I think, yeah, like, you're just like, Oh, I don't want to be here. And so you move to the next phase. And my dad often says, you don't want to run away from something you want to run towards something. So I'm really lucky in that I don't hate my day job, right. I like the people I work with, I like what I do, I don't hate being there. There's no reason for me to run away from that. If I can continue to write and write well, there's also something to be said, for the creative freedom that an independent income gives you, right? I can afford to take some riskier artistic choices, or kind of make some unusual changes or do unusual things. Because I have a second income. So I don't have to entirely like marketing based writing choices, I can kind of do what I wanted to do in a way. Similarly, because I have writing income, I can kind of look at my job and go, Okay, if at any point, I'm unhappy doing this, if I really don't like doing this anymore, then I can sit down and think, can I leave, I can leave, I can walk away, and I kind of in some way, and then some people, you know, have partners who can support them, and they can do that or that sort of thing. But for me, I'm not married. So I am, in a sense, my own partner. I have a number of options that I've kind of given myself. But I think one of the things if anybody is thinking about making the jump to full time creative is that I took a couple weeks off a few years ago, and I just decided to live like I was a writer like all day, right? Which live your life as if you were a full time writer, what would your day look like? And after doing that for two weeks, I was like Have I been wearing the same thing for four days? Who have I seen anybody? What like, what did I do? And I realized that like, that lifestyle wasn't actually the lifestyle that I wanted, I like the structure of having to get up and go somewhere. I love that sort of structure. And I just wasn't as creative in some ways, because I had all day to do my creative work, as opposed to a set time in the morning and sunset time in the afternoon that I have to sit down and focus. When I had all day, I just kind of didn't do anything, just for like goofing off. Yeah, that totally makes sense. And what's so interesting to me is I feel like so many people, because I think it's just human nature, we were so hard on ourselves all the time. I think so many people, if they were to do the, you know, live live as if for a little bit as like a demo, which by the way, I love that I love the idea of giving yourself some sort of test run, you know, if you have the ability to do that before diving right in, if you're taking that week to figure out if this is what you want to do. And you kind of realize in your in your case, it was kind of an it turned into a very unhealthy schedule in a lot of different ways. Because one, it was unproductive to you're not taking proper care of yourself and taking care of ourselves is obviously very important. I think a lot of people would have had that experience of those two weeks, and said, Oh, I can't do this, I'm not a writer, you have that experience and said, Hmm, so I guess writing works better for me more as a side hustle than a full time thing. And I love that I love that you were like, No, I do want to do this just not in this way. Because we get so caught up in what success should look like and how it should be done. And that's not the case at all, like all you should just be doing you and in your case, doing you and doing it the way that you want to do it and the way those best for you, you know, kind of bucks the tradition. But again, I will just say it over and over again, best selling author, you clearly did something right. You know, like, that doesn't happen by mistake, you know? So like you did what worked for you. And now here you are. And I think that that's really cool. I think there's this weird binary that people do, where you can only be one thing. And in reality, I think all of us are going to have seven eight careers in our life, right. And instead of letting a career kind of define what I do, I sort of let me decide what I do. And where I spend my time and I let this is gonna sound so well. But like there's joy in writing. For me, it's a really joyful activity. So I like to starting my day with words on the page. I like if I'm in a bad place, just taking 15 minutes and writing a little bit and kind of retreating into this mental world that I'm building and giving other people problems and then solving their problems. And I think that you can be multitude like you don't have to be a single thing at a single time. It's this sort of weird, like, 1950s version of like, I am an auto mechanic and then I come home and I eat steak and potatoes. And that is it. life has changed. And it's okay to to have passions and interests and monetize those or don't monetize those, spend your time where you want to spend it. But I think recognizing what works for you. And where you can slot those little pockets of joy into your day or to make your entire day joyful, I enjoy my day job. So that's great. I also enjoy my writing career. That is also great. As long as I can do both, well, why would I stop doing things I like doing? I shouldn't have to trade one for the other and I don't need to 100% 100% and I love I don't think it's woowoo at all to say that writing brings you joy and I love it. He said that, you know, you try to do it first thing in the morning. You know, that was that was something that Marshall touched on to in his episode, you know, the first two hours of his day, give or take. He's he's writing. He's listening to a beat and writing a song. And I took to that too. And I've started I am in the beginning stages of a career in comedy. And to your point where you said you're like I tell people I'm a writer, who It feels weird telling people that I'm a comedian, I got it like kind of get used to that it's almost like a muscle I have to work. But I think even if you're not creative, just doing something, first thing in the morning that brings you joy. It's a way to like, fill up your cup because the very first thing you do when you wake up in the morning is something that's going to make you miserable. That's gonna kind of set the tone for the whole day. But if you you know, do something brings you a lot of joy, even if it's just for 30 minutes, 20 minutes, whatever. You know that traffic jam getting to work might not bother you as much because you've already done something for yourself. You know, it's like when we're doing stuff that makes us miserable. It's like, what's even in it for me like why am I doing this, but like your day already had something cool. So like, it's a great way to start the day. I love that. Yeah. And I also feel like just identifying if you like, again, every job has problems, there is no job that you don't have problems as somebody who likes about their day job and their personal small business that they run, I still run into problems and being aware of the things that bring you joy, and finding ways to slot those into like, if there's a meeting I hate, and I know I hate it, and I have to go to it. I know that being outside for five minutes brings me joy. So I literally schedule 15 minutes to go eat a snack outside before I go into this meeting, so that I'm not miserable the whole time. And then when I come out, I go outside again. And I eat another snack like, and my life is literally better because I have surrounded the things that I don't want to do with things that I love to do and that boost my energy. In so I guess yeah, I just wanna encourage listeners to like, identify things that bring you joy and find ways to slot those into your day. Even if it's stretching, even if it's yoga, even if it you know, just little things like making that time for yourself and really filling that well. Like your personal well is so important. Yeah, absolutely couldn't agree more. That is great wisdom to end this on. I think we're right. Right about time. So before I let you do your plugs and promos, is there anything else that you feel like you'd be remiss if you if you didn't bring it up during this conversation? Oh, my gosh, that's like such a big question. We Oh, my God, shape of the universe. There's anything where you were just like, oh man asked me about this. Ask me about this. And I did it. Yeah, not not? What's your stance on life? Not like some sort of esoteric exploration of like, ghosts or whatever. I mean, if you would feel remiss if that Be my guest, but no, I guess more than anything? Well, aside from Thank you for having me, I really appreciate it. It's fun to chat with you. I guess I just want to leave your listeners with the idea that baby steps are the best thing that you can do for yourself. Be kind to yourself, like if there's I think sometimes even within a novel, you think you have to write 1000 zillion words all at one time. And I can tell you now that start writing five minutes a day, five minutes a day will end up being about 100 words. 100 words added up over a year as a book, though, yourself. Love that. Yeah, baby steps, baby steps baby steps and having Google hold you accountable makes that a lot easier. Baby Steps happen. Yeah, cuz especially in this like Instagram, everything. It's like, everyone seems to be doing better than you always. And it's like you need people to be like, That's not true. Or even if it is don't pay attention. And I'm like, they started way before you, they should be way ahead of you. Or the industry was different when they got started. Like that's another thing with publishing, where people are like, Oh, and I was gonna tell you the thing about calling yourself what you are. You never feel like you've made it like, even with a book on the market. I am an author. I am a published author. I have done that. I still feel like, Can I say I'm an author? Do you need to have 10 books out before you're a real author? I don't know. Like, you're never gonna get comfortable calling yourself where you are. So you may as well just be uncomfortable with your identity. That's That's such a good point. You know, we can't think our way and intellectualize our way into feeling like this is who we are. So we might as well just do it. And yeah, I love that. Be you. Addy woolridge this was a great interview. This is gonna be a fantastic episode. I am so excited. I already know that you have stuff that you want to promote because one is sitting to to your left or maybe right. I don't know if this is mirrored. I guess it's your right because I can't eat it. Right. Yeah. So what what would you like to promote? Where would you like to be found all the things? Oh, yeah, sure. So if people want to read the checklist, it's available at basically any major bookseller, or minor bookstore, you can get an indie bookstores around bookshop. It's on Amazon, if you're a Kindle reader. I think my second book comes out to bounce back in October. So you can look for that. And I guess I'm on Instagram and Twitter if you want to follow me at a woolridge basically the only one and my website is just added what were calm. And I love talking to readers. So come talk to me and also tell me what you're reading because I really love to talk about books, even nonfiction books. Absolutely. If you're if you're on Goodreads, we'll have to add each other. But yeah, this has been great like I said, like I'm not I'm not just blowing smoke because you know add is like as I genuinely enjoyed it. I read the book in about six days. That is lightning speed for me when it comes to a fiction book and I actually today I think I just finished what I finished it Monday, today's Wednesday. I finished it on Monday. So yesterday I found myself being like oh No, I can't read it like what am I getting? Like? I was like, looking forward to reading it because I realized that I was like sad that I couldn't anymore. The characters are great. It's a fun little read and and like I said, you know, the stuff that that Dylan is going through the main characters very relatable, especially, you know, listeners of this of this show, you know, she is living through a lot of the stuff that we talked about in in this podcast. So def, definitely check it out. Highly recommend it. And, Addy, thank you so much for coming on. Again, you're kind of making my dreams come true, too. It's so cool to be able to like read a book and then be like, I'm gonna have a conversation with the author like, this is really cool for me, too. So thank you so much. And I look forward to being able to chat with you again in the future. Of course. Thanks for having me. Thanks. All right. All right. Once again, that was Addy woolridge. Addy, thank you so much for coming on the show. Again. That was great. I love that conversation. I loved being able to interview an author, I really, really hope that this is the first of many, and Hey, why don't you come back when your next book comes out? anyway? Isn't it interesting how she kind of figured out her own path. I mean, seriously, if I had taken those two weeks off and didn't have a successful time writing, I guarantee you I would have given up I'm so glad that Addy brought us this different perspective because, you know, success means something different to every single person. And now that we kind of have the ability to to learn a new skill right away or to have multiple careers, multiple jobs, and multiple streams of income. You know, it's kind of, it's a little bit more challenging to figure out what it is that we want. But taking that time to figure it out can be so rewarding. And it seems so silly sometimes to like the idea of, you know, just adding in a couple minutes of joy throughout the day. Does that really make a difference? If you haven't tried it yet, all I can say is trust Addy, trust me. You know, for those of you who are part of my weekly journal prompt with a book quote, I'm sure you'll notice that Addy woolridge, I use one of her quotes from the checklist last week, you know, something about how our family and other aspects of our upbringing seemed like they could be major roadblocks, when actually they can be helpful, something to lean on. And I think it's cool to be able to look at these different perspectives. So if you're looking for ways to get more out of the Leo Yockey show, every Friday, I send out an email with one of my favorite book quotes, as well as a journal prompt. So if you're listening to this podcast, and you're like, Leo, I don't know what the fuck I want. Why do you keep saying we have to know who we are, know what we want, like, I don't even know how to start. Here's a way to start. So if you want to get signed up for that, you can head to my website, but LEOYOCKE wide calm. There might be a book club coming later with some of these books. It depends on which ones get the most amount of hype, we'll see. But for now, thank you for being a part of this show. Please rate please review. Please make this your Instagram story. Again. Thank you for being a part of this show. And I'll see you next week. Stay evolving. Wait, why do I always say see you next week? You know what? Maybe Maybe it's a sign you know, eventually let me know. Do y'all do y'all listen to twitch? Do y'all use twitch? Let me know because I've been thinking about doing live shows on Twitch. I keep saying See you later instead of Talk to you later. Maybe it's a sign. Maybe it's because I'm trying to record this at seven o'clock in the morning. Who's to say, but either way, let me know. Stevan