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The Heidi B Show


Mar 25, 2021

Trusting Your Inner Creative with Diana Biller

Are you looking for a creative passion? Or do you have one that you wish to pursue? In today’s fast-paced world, people often forget to make time for or pursue their creative passions and hobbies. However, it pays to immerse yourself in the creative world, whether it’s for relaxation and unwinding or you want to turn it into your career!

In today's episode, author Diana Biller joins us to talk about her journey to pursue her passion for writing. She shares the different challenges she needed to overcome and the ways she kept herself disciplined and productive. We also talk about some practical writing tips for aspiring authors. 

If you want to be inspired to explore and pursue your creative side, then this episode is for you!

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:

  1. Understand the different challenges you may face when pursuing any creative work.
  2. Discover some practices to help in your creative process.
  3. Learn to love and give yourself empathy, especially when things are difficult.

Resources

Episode Highlights

Diana's Journey

  • Diana went to law school at Cornell.
  • She observes that many writers went to law school because it’s a good way to monetize their writing skills. 
  • Law school was an amazing experience for her. 
  • During her second year of law school, Diana realized that she didn’t have the talent to be a lawyer.

How Diana Started Taking Her Writing Seriously

  • Tim, Diana’s husband, got his dream job in Seattle.
  • This event pushed her to take her writing more seriously. 
  • This period was also when she made a writing buddy. 
  • Diana’s first two books were terrible. But she wrote them, set them aside, and moved on to write the next thing.  
  • Diana’s third book got published in 2017.

The Importance of Support

  • Diana shares that she had a period where she did freelance writing in addition to writing her novel. 
  • Her husband told her to take six months off to focus on her writing properly. 
  • Having a successful art career involves receiving support from your family or spouse. 
  • Diana admits that without this kind of support, her book would have taken many more years to finish.

The Beauty of the Romance Genre

  • Romance novels are about healing, hope, and joy. 
  • These types of novels also have deep character work, and so you get to know characters well.
  • Listen to the full episode to know why Diana’s enjoyed My Beautiful Enemy and Get a Life, Chloe Brown

The Standards of Traditional Publishing

  • Traditional publishing is slow. It’s common to see books on shelves that have been written two to three years ago. 
  • Diana’s book was signed in 2017, but it didn’t get out until 2019. 
  • However, a huge benefit of traditional publishing is the presence of a professional team.
  • In some ways, you will lose autonomy. The writer isn’t the only one making decisions.
  • Remember that the team’s job is to market and sell your book. 

How to Know if Your Work is Ready to be Queried

  • You need to learn to be your quality monitor. 
  • If you think a work is good, then it doesn’t matter what others think about it. 
  • Be grounded in awareness of your own work. 
  • Diana shares that she sent queries to people that she wanted to work with.
  • Six months later, Diana received an email from an agent. 

Diana’s Writing Process 

  • As an active author, Diana is juggling multiple projects. 
  • Diana makes use of candle scents to switch to different feelings. 
  • She also uses music depending on the emotion that she’s going for.  
  • Because Diana does historical romance, she researches a lot. She also likes to go to the place to get a feeling of the environment. 
  • Curious about Diana’s upcoming book? She gives a little sneak peek in the full episode. 

Diana’s Love for Writing

  • Writing isn’t actively joyous for Diana. 
  • But she’s most herself, and she feels whole, when she’s writing.
  • For her, this is love. 

Some Writing Practices

  • Rather than word count goals, Diana shares that she prefers having time goals. 
  • She concentrates for 25 minutes then takes a break.
  • Remember to take a break and let your mind rest from intensive work. 
  • Diana does a couple of hours of intense concentration.
  • She then switches to other activities such as exercising.

On the Most Challenging Thing

  • Diana shares that the most challenging thing is that you’re writing alone.
  • With this comes a lot of accountability.
  • Choose to create for yourself and put yourself out in the world. 
  • Your first draft will be terrible, but it needs to be terrible in a way that’s true to you.

Diana’s Non-Negotiables

  • Diana needs physical space. 
  • Having even just a corner that is solely for yourself is important for creative work. 

Diana’s Advice

  • You are the first person there for yourself. 
  • Give yourself love and empathy. 
  • We often try to look for love in others, but we need to learn to give ourselves love as well. 
  • Community and relationships are important; lean on them when you need them. But remember that you can help yourself too. 

5 Powerful Quotes from the Episode

“I love romance novels because they are about healing, pretty much always they are about healing, hope, and finding joy. They also are for me pretty much as a genre that consistently delivers really deep character work.”

“I believe that one of the most important things that you can do for creative work is to really develop your own internal meter, know what you think is good. And if you think it is good, then it doesn't really matter what other people think.”

“What I know so surely is that when I'm not writing, I don't feel whole. I don't feel like my best self, like my fullest self. So when I have that practice of sitting down every day and working, that is when I am most Diana. I think that is love. It's just love. It's very deep and so integral to myself that it's hard to express easily.”

“I think of it as arrogance, but in a good way. You have to say, ‘Yeah, I think what I'm saying is worth listening to.’”

“When you have a problem, give yourself that love and that empathy... I think a lot of times we're looking for it from other people.”

About Diana

Diana Biller is the author of The Widow of Rose House, her debut novel. She also has two books set for release this 2021. A Christmas Spark comes out on May 4, while The Brightest Star in Paris comes out on October 12. 

Diana graduated law at Cornell University. But she has always loved reading and imagining worlds and scenarios in her head — now she makes them come to life with her books! When she’s not writing, she enjoys hiking, watching and attending ballet classes, snuggling with her pets, and reading.

Curious about Diana’s work? You can learn more on her website.

You can also reach out to Diana on Twitter and Instagram.   

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To being relationship ready,

Heidi B