I write a lot.
Between my books and blog, I’ve written (er, typed) tens of millions of words on various topics ranging from building big guns (biceps) to literal gun rights, from calories and macros to history and religion, from habits and motivation to actually getting smarter, and many excursions everything in between.
So it’s not surprising that many people who are interested in writing ask me how to get started, about the writing process, how to get better at it, and how to break into the content creation game.
To help address this topic, I invited a veteran expert, Lou Schuler, onto the podcast. In case you’re not familiar with Lou, he’s the Editorial Director of the Personal Trainer Development Center (Jonathan Goodman’s online training coaching company) and an award-winning journalist who’s spent decades writing fitness articles for Men’s Fitness and Men’s Health, as well as his own books, including The New Rules of Lifting series and The Lean Muscle Diet (with Alan Aragon).
He’s even delved into the world of fiction, so he’s more than just a health and fitness writing guru.
In this podcast, we chat about all things writing, including . . .
- How writing is different from other content creation
- Why you probably shouldn’t write unless you really enjoy it
- The important of knowing your audience
- The value of self-editing (and how to do it)
- Why writing is hard (and should be)
- Dealing with drafts and coming back to them with fresh eyes
- And more . . .
So, if you want to learn some key lessons Lou has learned from decades of writing in the fitness space, give this episode a listen!
10:04 – How do you get into the writing business?
46:28 – What does your self-editing process look like?
58:10 – Do you tend to sit on something you’ve written and come back to it at a later time?
Mentioned on the show:
What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!
Mike: Hey there, and welcome to another episode of Muscle for Life. I’m Mike Matthews, your host. Thank you for joining me today. Now, as you probably know, I write a lot between my books and my blog [email protected]. I’ve written millions of words on many different thing ranging from the stuff you know about like getting bigger biceps and abs and figuring out calories and macros and so forth to things you may not know about, like the Bill of Rights.
I’ve written a book called. Know your Bill of Rights book and I publish it under a pen. Name Sean Patrick, to keep it separate from my fitness stuff. I’ve also written a self-help book under the same pen name called Awakening Your Inner Genius and Other Things before I got into fitness writing, which is really all I do now.
My original plan was to write on a variety of topics and in a variety of genres, and then my fitness stuff kind of took off, and so I just went all in on fitness. But in the future, I probably will get back to my original plan. I certainly will write fiction at some point. That was my original interest in writing.
Anyway, my point with all of that is many people know that I’ve written a lot and that my books have done well, and that my articles have gotten tens of millions of page views over the years. And so they ask me for tips on writing on how to get started with content production, including the writing process and how to get better at writing and how to get noticed, how to rise above the noise.
And that’s harder now than. Ever before, probably at least in in the fitness space. I mean, that is certainly true since I have been participating in the fitness space. I entered in 2012 and at that time there weren’t as many people producing content at all, let alone good content as there are now. And it was much easier to rank in Google for many different topics related to body composition and health.
It is far more difficult now after the last eh, three to five updates that Google made to their algorithms. And of course, social media is also more glued now than ever before and so on and so forth. Now, none of that is to say though, that there are no more opportunities in fitness content creation and that the market is 100% saturated and the only way to really get anywhere now is to get really lucky or be really connected or spend a bunch of money.
I don’t believe any of that is true. I think there are just as many opportunities now as there were back in 2012, but not the same ones. So for example, the exact things that I did, the tactics that I used to get to where I am now don’t work nearly as well as they once did. However, the underlying principles that those tactics came out of are just as workable as they ever were, and they will always be workable because they are rooted in human psychology and human nature in persuasion in things that just don’t change.
And in this podcast, my guest, Lou Schuler and I talk about some of those principles, first principles really as they relate to writing in particular. And I chose Lou for this interview because he is a veteran expert of not just fitness, but also writing. He is the editorial director of the Personal Trainer Development Center, which is John Goodman’s online training, coaching company, as well as an award-winning journalist who has spent decades writing fitness articles for men’s fitness and men’s health, as well as books, including the New Rules of Lifting Series, which has been very popular, as well as the Lean Muscle Diet, which he co-authored with Alan Aragon.
And Lou is. He’s written some fiction too, so he’s more than just a health and fitness guru. And in this podcast we chat about a lot of that, a lot of things related to writing in particular. So if you are currently doing writing of any kind, really doesn’t have to be fitness writing or if you are considering getting into writing, I think you will find this episode interesting and helpful.
And if you are not a writer and if you don’t plan on doing any writing, maybe outside of uh, emails and text messages, but you’re curious how the literary sausage is made, what goes into creating written content that performs well? This episode is for you. Also, if you like what I am doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my sports nutrition company Legion, which thanks to the support of many people like you, is the leading brand of all natural sports supplements in the world.
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So again, if you appreciate my work and if you want to see more of it, and if you also want all natural evidence-based supplements that work, please do consider supporting Legion so I can keep doing what I love, like producing more podcasts like. Hey Lou, Mike, how’s it going? Can’t complain. Can’t complain.
Staying busy with many things. Well,
Lou: you have an amazing amount of things going. That’s what we just talked about in our interview a couple weeks ago. So I’m astounded. One person. Can you know that you can have an enterprise that. That broad and with so many moving parts and still find time to sit down and do all the writing yourself.
Mike: Yeah, I mean, to be fair, it’s not just me, right? So there’s about 30 of us doing all different types of things. So I, yeah, I can’t take all the credit for all the things that you see when you’re on the outside, you know, looking in. But the stuff that I still do myself yes, is the writing. So anything that goes up under my name anywhere period was written by me.
I do have someone that helps with research. So if I’m gonna write an article, like I have an article on the overhead press coming at, on the blog, right? Because I’ve done a series of articles just kind of chipping away at the big exercises, the more technical exercises. And so I have somebody who is very good at doing research and putting together then drafting stuff.
But I understand from a marketing perspective, and uh, I have some friends, not so much in the fitness space where they have, they’ve set up a whole team of people to write under their name and it’s very efficient in terms of the marketing. So in one case, I’m thinking of it allows him to. Put up, you know, seven articles a week at his blog and then 20 guest posts a week all over the place.
And, but that’s cuz he has a team of like seven writers writing as him. And in the case of fitness, and this is a good segue into what I wanted to talk to you about, is he’s not in the fitness space, he’s in a, in a totally different space and. Writing that type of material is a lot easier. It’s a lot easier just to go look at other similar things and put together actually a good, informative piece on it and figure out some easy ways to make it a bit better.
Maybe include some more examples or some better examples, or some visuals or whatever. But fitness is a lot harder if you’re gonna do it right, if you’re gonna give good evidence-based information, you can’t. Google something and you know, just grab the top 10 results and Frankenstein your own thing together and have it be good.
You just can’t,
Lou: well right. The people who do that, I’m not sure that good is, is their criterion for success. I mean, as you know, far better than me. That used to be kind of the, you know, the operating model for some content sites that they were just constantly scraping, you know, what’s trending, what’s trending, what’s trending, and trying to hit every single keyword with garbage articles just based on what you just described, which is just, you know, stuff lightly rewritten from whatever the top.
Article was for that search
Mike: term. Yeah. And that is, I mean, it’s still, it can be effective to some degree, but that’s something that Google has openly denounced and they’ve made it clear that they are trying to suppress that type of information as much as possible and elevate more authentic, I guess you could say, content.
And in the case of health and fitness in particular, they are now paying more attention to. Is writing this, right? So like I know that they have, in your case, it’d be the same thing. Like Google knows that when Lou Schuler puts up an article that’s the Lou Schuler who wrote these books and who knows how their algorithm weights that, but the, it does weight that.
So it looks at you as a brand of sorts. Right? And the same thing for me, and you know, recently there was that medic update that just decimated. I mean, some people I know lost like 80 to 95% of their Google traffic in the health and fitness space from that Google medic update. But as I was saying, that’s a good segue into what I wanna talk to you about.
I want to talk to you about writing. In particular cuz that’s what you have, that’s how you have built your personal brand. And for the most part I would say that’s probably what most people know me best for up until now is writing books and articles and stuff. And you have been doing it for a lot longer than I have.
And so I thought it’d be interesting to hear, just based on your experience, what are some of the key lessons you’ve learned over your career writing books and writing articles and any other content you’ve produced and where you see things as they are now and and where they are going in the future.
And to give some context to listeners, why I thought this would be a good discussion is I often get asked about writing and just creating content in the fitness space by people who want to do something similar to what I’m doing and who are just asking for tips. And I haven’t written or spoken much about it.
And I do have like a standard copy paste response that I’ve put together that does share stuff. But I thought this could make for a good conversation because Sure. I have my ideas, but you’ve been doing it a lot longer than I have, and you’ve done it in a lot of different ways. So I thought it could be a valuable discussion, both of us just kind of sharing our views and what has worked and what has not worked, and for people who are wondering, you know, how can I get into this?
How can I do something similar to what you guys are doing? Sure. Well,
Lou: there’s so much to unpack just with what you’ve already said, like the, you used the word effective when you were talking about, you know, this content farming, and the first question that pops into my head is, you know, effective for what, what are you trying to accomplish?
And if. The people listening to this podcast are fitness, nutrition, health professionals, and their goal is to put out information with some sort of personal stamp on it. So in other words, they’re putting it out there with the goal of promoting themselves as someone who has ideas. As someone who has knowledge, as someone who can help other people, then you absolutely don’t want to be.
Quantity is not your. Because I think when your name’s on it, there has to be some level of quality control. You don’t push publish until, the analogy I like to use is putting your material out there before it’s been, before you’ve really worked it over, proofread it, maybe shown it to a friend until you know that it’s exactly right.
Putting it out there before then is like showing up for a job interview in your pajamas. You’ve gotta think of your writing as the presentation of yourself, and how do you wanna present yourself? Do you wanna present yourself with a bunch of typographical errors, with poor grammar, with slang, with obscure references?
Mike: faulty reasoning or lack of congruence, or there isn’t a good flow, you know, from one concept to the next. And there’s a point where you’re no longer following along. You’re like, wait a minute, how did we get here? Wait, did I miss something?
Lou: And a lot of people think that writing, you know, people will say, well, right, like, you talk or, right.
You know, and, and what it ends up being is like, right. Like you think, so you end up with this stream of thoughts and, you know, I’ve been sitting in this little room that you’re looking at now for, uh, the last 16 years on average of probably 10 hours a day, at least five hours every weekend day. I, I rarely go a holiday even without sitting down at my desk and doing something work related.
So, I’ve had a lot of time with my own thoughts in this room, and I can tell you that my thoughts, if I just put them out there, unfiltered, would be completely discordant. There wouldn’t be necessarily any logical flow from one thought to another. So writing is a way to not just capture your thoughts, but organize your thoughts, and you definitely want those thoughts to be organized before you put ’em out there.
Now, I think a lot of people don’t understand how disorganized their thoughts are until somebody points it out to them, and this is certainly with some entry level writers where you look at it and you go, I know you had an idea here, but I can’t tell what it is. Or maybe I know what your idea is, and I think you’ve just tripped over your own shoelaces on this idea because whatever you were getting at, you completely stopped the flow.
You jumped the track. You did something to make me either lose track of what you were trying to say or lose any confidence. That you have something to say that I need to know or that can inform me beyond what I already know. So all these things now, uh, now what I’ve just said, makes writing sound really intimidating and hard and good.
Writing is hard. Yeah. But it’s not intimidating because you know this, you taught yourself, you sat down and you started writing and you build a publishing company and eventually you, you segued into the fitness books. And with me, I did it in a more, you know, a more formal way, but it was also a different era when I was coming up.
I don’t know if we want to talk about my background at all, but just real quickly, you know, I went to journalism school in the late 1970s and back then, you know, no internet if you wanted to get published, Especially at the entry level, you had to go work for a publication and get your work published.
There. There were, you know, it wasn’t just that there were gatekeepers that might keep you from getting an article published on a popular website. They were big old gates and, you know, yeah. There, there was a big moat. There
Mike: was on the moat and then, and nobody’s even at the gate and you’re wondering, uh, how do I even get anybody’s attention, right?
Yeah. How do I, how do I
Lou: get into this thing? And it was built to keep people out because, you know, you had staffs that wrote stuff and you also had freelancers. Virtually any successful freelancer was somebody who had worked on staff somewhere. So there was these clear rules, these big old gates, like you said, there were moats, you know, in some publications there were spikes in the moat, you know, and, and really hungry
Mike: Dragon perched on top of the spike.
The uh, yeah, the
Lou: Citadel broken glass, everything. Scott Tino wire. So it was, and now it’s such a free for all, and I think it has a couple of different effects on people. One effect is that people think, okay, I can just publish anything and I can put it out there. And I think that’s a terrible idea because once it’s out there, it’s out there, you know, it’s a damn internet if.
You eventually succeed and get attention, and people are looking at you, they’re also gonna look at what you’ve done in the past. And you don’t want a bunch of crap out there. On the other hand, a lot of people get really intimidated and they say, well, everybody’s already written about everything, so why should I do anything?
And my answer to that is if you walked into the gym on day one and you looked at the weights and said, there’s no point lifting these weights because every weight has been lifted and every muscle has been built and every great body has already been achieved. So what can I possibly do? And the answer is, that sounds like philosophy right there.
Well, I know, but what do you wanna do? You wanna express, you know, do you wanna have a better physique than you have now? Well hit the damn weights. Don’t worry about other people. Did, do you want to express yourself in this form in this. The answer to that is yes. Then just express yourself. There’s lots of ways to build up to the point where you have a body of work that you know, you feel that, okay, now I, I can start getting this out there and trying to get some attention.
And that’s an
Mike: important point. I think that is worth emphasizing, and this is something I often tell people as well, is I generally avoid black and white thinking. So I wouldn’t say that this is a reason to not write at all, but I would say a strong reason to consider. Writing is, if you don’t like it, people ask me and I’ll ask.
So, how did you go about creating these books and establishing yourself as an content creator in the space? And one of the first things that I’ll ask is, do you actually enjoy the process? I mean, it’s not always enjoyable, but similar to working out, right? So maybe we, we won’t enjoy every workout, but we always enjoy having worked out, right?
So I, I feel like writing is similar. Sometimes it’s a bit of a grind.
Lou: If you’re doing it right, it should be a grind because it’s like if you’re doing fitness, right? If you’re following the advice in your books and somebody is, you know, trying to get down below 10% body fat or whatever the goal is, that’s gonna suck.
At some points, and the closer you get to your goal, the more it’s gonna suck. And it’s the same with writing. You know when you get to the point where you’re putting your stuff out there and you’re getting attention and you’re doing it for real. If you’re doing it for money or you’re doing it for, this is going to be my statement, this is going to be the thing that people know me for.
There are parts of that process that are just going to suck, and it’s supposed to work that way. It’s supposed to be hard because the hard work you do at your end makes it easier. It should, in theory, make it easier for the reader to understand what you’re trying to say. So you’re doing the work so the reader doesn’t have to do it.
If the reader has to do the work, you’re not going to. Reach your goals. I
Mike: completely agree, and I think that’s another great point that you brought up is if you had alluded to it earlier, if at any point the reader’s starting to feel confused or they don’t get what you’re saying, they’re likely to get upset at you.
And rightfully so, if you have not done a good job communicating whatever it is you’re trying to communicate, because it makes them feel stupid and nobody likes to feel stupid. So that’s a good way of putting it though, that a lot of the hard work that you, as the content creator or as the writer are doing is to make it as, I mean ideally, right, you would hit a bit.
On. I mean, it could be purely educational and that’s fine. So you want clarity and if it has a practical element to it, you want them to know exactly what they’re supposed to do. You don’t want them wondering if they, did they understand that correctly or not, or, okay, they get these three steps. They don’t quite understand these elements over here.
Ideally though, probably there’s, well, depending on what you’re writing about, but may, you might wanna work in a little bit of entertainment as well. Maybe you even want to appeal to the, you might want to even move them emotionally depending on what it is. Right. But as you had said, I think that, and this is something many writers have said, but I think it’s true that the primary reason to get into it is because you feel compelled to do it.
And it doesn’t have to be an erotic way, but you have ideas and you really do want to communicate them and express them. And I think that that’s good advice. Even if it’s something that is a bit more utilitarian like fitness, if you do not feel compelled to share any ideas, I just don’t know if it’s worth trying to force yourself to do it.
Because as you’ve said, there are so many people out there creating content. There are a lot of people out there who do a good job. There are many more who do not do a good job, but you are gonna be up against some stiff competition if you want to create fitness content of any kind. And so I think the first prerequisite, like you said, is that you feel drawn to it.
It’s not always gonna be fun. You’re not always gonna enjoy it, but you just want to keep doing it and you get some sort of deeper satisfaction from
Lou: it. Well, absolutely, and yeah, it’s, it’s like so many other things, like with fitness related stuff, when we advise people to do things, your books in mind both focus on strength training and if you hate strength training, I guess there was probably a time where I would, you know, where I was more militant about it and it’s like, well, everybody should train with weights and, and then I would get, you know, went through my anti cardio phase where it’s like, oh, you know, don’t do this, don’t do that.
At some point I just realized it’s ridiculous to try to convince people or shame people into doing stuff they don’t want to do. Yeah, absolutely do something. But whatever it is, don’t make yourself hate life while you’re doing it. And it’s the same with writing. If he just pains you to open that document, was
Mike: it Hemingway?
Say, it’s easy. You just sit down and bleed. I think sit down the typewriter and bleed like, but if that’s all it ever is, uh, hemorrhaging, then I would say find something else. And for some people it might be YouTube, maybe they would rather get on camera and just talk where it’s okay maybe to be a bit more stream of consciousness.
Maybe they just like that more. Or maybe it’s a podcast or maybe it’s not educational stuff at all. Maybe it is more about entertainment. Maybe if that suits their personality more. You know, you don’t have to teach people. How to do things to get a following in the fitness space. If you can make them laugh or if you can just make them like your personality, that’s a whole nother angle as well.
Lou: if you do wanna write educational stuff, and, and we both certainly know a lot of people who fall into this category, there’s nothing wrong with writing, you know, with writing educational material. And by definition you are telling people this, some of this material’s going to be difficult, some of this, you’re going to have to do some work to do this.
But there’s still, you still have to do all the work at your end to make it as clear as possible what you’re trying to say to make sure, and this is one, you know, I guess this is like the number one tool of propaganda and conspiracy theorists. If you’re including research in your piece, it’s up to you to make sure that research actually supports the point that.
Making, or at least it says what you claim. It says if you’re just throwing in a link with the assumption that nobody’s gonna read past, you know, the, the abstract or maybe not even go that far, or it’s just because the, maybe not even open it. Or not even open it or the title of this study, you know, seems to support your point, but the actual study doesn’t.
You know, so again, that’s the work you do at the front end. You’ve gotta read the studies, you’ve gotta understand what they say, and it’s up to you. If you want to be respected and you wanna be known for your integrity, or if you want to have any integrity, then it’s certainly up to you to do the work at the front end and make sure that.
This material is aligns with what you say, that it says what you say, it says, and that you construct an argument. Gave it an
Mike: honest effort. I mean, I understand that we’ve all made mistakes and sometimes there are even ambiguity, just vague things in studies where you’re not exactly sure. And sometimes you need to reflect that even in your own position where this study may suggest something or it shows that it may be the case, but we’re not sure about, you know, this element of it.
And, but that alone. Difficult. It can be difficult. I mean, I, I just released a book that I had co-authored with James Krieger, who’s a, if anybody doesn’t know, a published scientist and good guy, he did a lot of the heavy lifting on this project. He definitely made it easier than it would’ve been if I would’ve done it on my own, where we just break down.
It’s really like a crash course in understanding scientific research viewed through the lens of fitness. We’re focusing primarily on nutrition research and exercise research, and it’s kind of like the little book I wish somebody would’ve given me back when I first got into the evidence-based space, because now let’s start with jargon alone, right?
You just get hit with all kinds of technical terms, and if you’re really gonna make it through a paper and understand it, if you’re not already scientifically literate, you’re gonna spend way more time. On Wikipedia and other, and in the dictionary just trying to understand the fundamentals of how, of the scientific method and the anatomy of a study, and especially you get into stuff like statistical analysis and what does any of this mean?
Sure. You know what I mean?
Lou: Right. The people who publish a studies aren’t always, I don’t wanna say they’re not always honest, but there may be sometimes their own work can be a little sloppy and we’ve certainly seen Sure, sure. Especially it’s accelerating now. So many studies retracted even, you know, especially a lot of the people that I used to quote in magazine articles and in books, you know, have been really, a lot of their work has been when people went through it and applied really rigorous mathematical models that I do not pretend to understand to their work.
They said, you know, this work is really, it’s just, you know, this doesn’t say what they say. It says, they certainly, they look like they’ve manipulated the variables to get the p-values that they wanted. Now again, I, I can’t tell you I understand what a variable is. I can’t tell you what a p-value is. I just know that when people who study these things as both, you know, their career and their passion, they get down into the weeds.
When this stuff would, they say, this isn’t what the person says it is. And maybe the person was honest and didn’t understand that they weren’t doing this as well as they could have. Other times you look at it and you go, well, that looks like a manipulation. I haven’t gotten into the weeds on this stuff in a while just because I’m, I’m really busy and, and it kind of makes my head explode anyway, because to get my brain around the way they’re thinking and understand their process, that’s way beyond me.
So I’m glad that there’s guys out there like James Krieger, who’s a great guy. I’ve been following his work for many years. I’m glad there’s people out there like him who love to get into that stuff and do a great job of explaining it to, you know, the audience of enthusiasts who are not necessarily trained.
The way that James and and other scientists are trained. Yep. So those guys are, I think, so valuable to our industry because they’re really like our, you know, translators from, here’s what the science says, here’s how we can use this, here’s what we can glean from this that’s actually applicable. And so we can apply it and then we can translate it down another level to the people we train or the people who are more consumers of books like yours in mine, where it’s like they don’t wanna necessarily, they don’t wanna get under the hood, they just want to understand, okay, I pushed this button in the car drives, right?
Yep. Got it. All right. So that’s their level of in perfectly fine. Which is, yeah, understandable.
Mike: The black box. Right? Like, just tell me what to do. I wanna put something in and I want something to come out and I don’t need to know how it works. Cuz I’m in many cases just because, and I understand that only we only have so much time, right.
And many people are busy and the amount of time it would really take for them to understand how the inner workings operate. It actually just, it doesn’t make sense. The opportunity cost to them is too high. They would rather just, okay, here’s somebody who I trust and here’s why I trust this person and I don’t need to know all the details.
I’m gonna do what this person says and look at that I’m getting the results I want. That’s
Lou: enough for me. Yeah, absolutely. And so getting back to the writing challenge now, if you want to share that kind of information, possibly. The most important thing for you to consider is for whom are you writing this?
Who’s your audience? What do they know? What do they need to know? What language will they understand? You look at where their current comprehension is and you say, okay, so I need to show them how to do this exercise. For that. They don’t need an anatomy lesson. They don’t need a lesson in how to read scientific research.
They don’t need, you know, a PubMed tutorial. They just need to know how to do this exercise. So what do they need to know to be able to do this? And then possibly, what can I put in here that’s going to make this person feel smarter than they did before and make them better at what they wanna do? Pushing them away from what I’m trying to tell them because what I’ve got here is valuable.
My. And my challenge is to get it to this person in a way that they can use this information and then come back to me for more information like this, because they like what I did and they like how I did it. And I won’t say that that’s easy because it took me a long time working for, you know, men’s fitness, men’s health magazines like that to be able to master this myself.
And I won’t even claim that I’ve got a total, I don’t think anybody ever does. But for somebody at, at the front end of this, when I’m editing an article, I’ll look at it and I’ll say, okay, I understand this person has never done this before. And I understand this is really hard. But fortunately I’ve done it so many times that I know what questions to ask this person.
And then through my edits they can look at it and go, oh, okay, all right. That’s what I’m gonna try to do. And if they’re willing to take the lessons from that, then their own writing can improve rapidly because they’ve seen, okay, now I saw how we went from this thing. That was the best I could do at that point to.
Okay, this is the thing that was actually published. The steps in between here. Let me figure those out and then I’ll be able to do this on my own. And then at that point, now you’ve got real value or potential value as a content producer for bigger audiences, bigger venues. Now you can start building that personal brand that you talked about, you know, a few minutes ago if you wanna do that.
But there are lots of steps that come. That, and a lot of it is just these technical nuts and bolts. And then that comes back to, you’ve really gotta wanna do this, you’ve gotta wanna get to be good at it. It’s like if you, you know, again, to use a guy walking, a person walking into the gym for the first time.
Metaphor, if you walk into the gym and somebody’s trying to teach you an Olympic lift and you don’t even know how to grip a barbell, then you know you’re gonna be pretty confused and you’re probably not going to enjoy it. And if you even try it, you’ll probably find some way to hurt yourself. So, you know, you’ve gotta be really
Don’t underestimate what it is you’re trying to accomplish. I, I think that you’re absolutely right in that if you can get to a professional level, which means that you can get paid consistently for the work, that would be the barometer, right? It requires, like you’re saying, nobody just starts out. At that level.
Lou: at this when they first start out. You know, it’s like there’s no, we both know Greg Knuckles, right? The power lifter and, yeah. Great guy. Horrific writer. And he told me once that the first time you picked up a barbell, God, I wish I could remember the exact story, but it was like, I think he said he could deadlift.
I don’t know if he gave me a number or a percentage of his body weight, but he was incredibly strong the first time he picked, he was already strong before he lifted a, before he lifted a weight. And
Mike: you can look at him, you’re like, yeah, he was probably a strong, he was like at 10 years old. He was strong
Lou: and nobody is that good at writing
Mike: their first time out.
And that’s okay. Like you don’t have to criticize yourself. There’s something that’s liberating about that, knowing that, cuz it can be intimidating when you are new and bad and you know you’re bad and you’re looking up to people whose work is good and you know that work is good and the gap is so large, it’s like an abyss that you, you just don’t even want to look at.
You know what I mean? And that’s
Lou: why these intermediate steps, these beginner steps and intermediate steps are so important, right? Stuff on social media. With the goal of helping the people you want to help, and you may not know who that is at first. You know, I think most people start off on social media.
They’re talking to their friends, and then maybe they’re talking to their peers, and then at some point, you know, they’re trying to address the audience. All of those steps are fine. It’s fine if you are not, I mean, you certainly don’t want to jump straight into. You don’t wanna put pressure on yourself to make your work professional right off the starting line.
Mike: didn’t do that in the beginning, even like the first edition of Bigger Leaners Stronger, I’ve very much looked at it as a minimum viable product. It wasn’t very long as far as book skying. Maybe it was 50 or 60,000 words, I think. And I did a couple of drafts and I knew it could be better, but I got it to a point where I was like, all right, this is good enough to see if anybody will even care.
I think it’s okay to take that approach. I think it’s even smart to take that approach in business in many cases, not always. Sometimes with certain things that you would have to do more work and you’d have to really put out something polished. But generally I think that’s a better way of going about it and not getting all wrapped up in perfectionism and comparing your work to the premier writer in whatever, whether it’s fitness or anything else, and being like, well, why even publish this cuz it’s so much worse than this guys or this girl’s work.
Well, and that’s
Lou: what John Goodman, who founded the P T D C and you know, the Personal Trainer Development center where I work, I’m the editorial director there. Um, also the Online Trainer Academy. That’s one thing that he tells entry level online trainers all the time. Your goal is good enough, your goal is not perfect.
Your goal is not great. Your goal is good enough. Get started, make mistakes, figure out what works, what doesn’t work. But. Don’t not do something because you haven’t figured out all the steps. Get started. Okay, good enough. Now let’s make it better. And what John says, which I think is really kind of the key to this whole thing, is the consumers out there aren’t looking for great.
They’re not looking for the best, they’re looking for, I don’t want to feel cheated. I don’t want to know. I don’t want to think that I’ve gotten. Hoodwinked. I don’t wanna feel that I’ve gotten the worst. So they’re looking for good enough. Your goal is good enough and your good enough may not be the consumer’s good enough.
And that may take a long time to get to that point, but definitely don’t, you know, perfectionism is a, I mean, that’s a good way to never get anything done and
Mike: with, especially with anything creative. Right. What’s the little adage? Art is never completed. Only abandoned, I think
Lou: it is, right? Yeah. Well, I heard that in the context of a novel that uh, a novel has never actually completed.
You just at some point give up on it. Yeah.
Mike: Yeah. The first I saw it, it was just art in general, which I agree. Any, any sort of creative activity, I know this happens to me. I’ll finish whatever number draft is on a book. Finally, like, okay, I’m so sick of working on this project. I have to be done with it now, and then I’ll revisit it six months later and I could do another draft.
I find things where, Why did I think that sentence reads around like that could be said better, this could be changed. It’s, it’s
Lou: inevitable. The greatest education I got in self editing was when I went to Men’s Health Magazine because when I had been at Men’s Fitness for six years, and at this point by the time I got to Men’s Health, I was 41 years old and.
I had been writing, I guess, professionally for almost 20 years at that point. But I’d spent six years at, at a rival magazine, which, not a really a r but somebody who was doing the same thing and actually had been doing it a little bit longer. So I’d been doing that for six years, won a couple of awards when, you know, my colleagues and I when we were there and they hired me to be their fitness guy.
And because, you know, they thought I knew what I was doing and my God, my work was just torn to shreds my first year. There was absolute hell, there were better ways to handle that and I certainly, when I had a chance to train people, I did not do it the way they did it by just telling people their work sucks constantly and not telling ’em what they should be doing instead.
But what I learned was not to turn in something until I’d looked at that line by line. And weeded out anything that they would want to edit out or that the editor would say, that doesn’t work. That doesn’t work. I tried, so got myself into the head of these editors who in a couple cases were just, you know, really bad human beings, but, you know, moved my family 3000 miles to work for this company back when you had to physically be in an office to do a job like that.
So there was no getting out. I, I had to figure this thing out and work with these people and I learned self editing at that point because I did not want any of my work to ever again be torn apart like that. So that lesson in self editing, I think is made, like, for example, by the time I was writing books, it made editors really happy to be working with me because I was applying that self-editing.
So they’re looking at this manuscript and it looks like it was already edited so they don’t have to do anything. Again, that’s not something that anybody listening to this has to worry about mastering. But you should, when as you. Do this more. And as you build a body of work, you should be able to look at it with the critical eye of somebody who’s not you, of somebody who might be an editor, somebody who might be a more critical reader, somebody who doesn’t like your work, why don’t they like it?
Well, can, is there something I can change here that would, like, for example, am I being, am I being just ridiculously inflammatory here? Do I need to be this strident in this opinion? Do I need to use all this jargon that turns people off and keeps them from being able to understand, do I have to make all these stupid ass jokes?
They seem really funny to me, and like three of my friends and other people keep telling me, you know, your work could be better
Mike: without that. Too many fart and poop jokes, man.
Lou: Right? Yeah. Or you know, just too many pop culture references or whatever they do. I haven’t liked pop culture references, but I’ve seen writers who way overdo it and in a couple cases when they’ve, you know, when people make the mistake of asking my opinion on something, and I’ll say to ’em, you know, That shit.
People have been doing that for 10 years now with the gifts and the clips and all that and these double references and these movie quotes, you know, you really don’t need to do that because it’s been done for so long and people are gonna skim right past that shit. I think this is an Elmore Leonard writing rule.
You know, don’t write the parts that people skim over. That’s good. Just leave those outta your work. You know, if you know that people are skimming over that stuff and at some point it’s just masturbatory
Mike: trying to be too clever. Too cutesy,
Lou: yes, that. And there’s also that throat clearing. It’s like, I’m not sure what I wanna say.
So I’m just gonna type, type, type, type, type, type, type, type, type. Oh, there’s what I wanted to say. Okay, well now you as your own editor, you go in there and you take out all that throat clearing and you start over again with, I know what I wanna say. So boom, now you start however you wanna start it and there’s multiple ways to start a, a good article or post or whatever it is.
But now you just take out all that damn throat clearing because it didn’t get anybody to wear. You want them to go and again, you wanna do this work so that your readers don’t have to do it, so they don’t have to skim over all that crap to get to
Mike: whatever you were trying to say. Yeah. Yeah. Good point.
Something I always keep in mind when I’m writing really anything, if it’s any sort of essay type of, you know, writing where, what is it that, that I’m trying to say, and then I work backward from there. To figure out what do I have to explain? And really, I’m trying to explain just enough so they can go from where they are, which is not knowing what I would want them to know if I just gave it to them.
Because you have to know other things often, especially in fitness, right? If they’re actually gonna truly understand what it is that I’m trying to explain and how to do it. And so I’m kind of working backward from there. And my assumption is I’m always, I’m thinking about writing to, I’d probably say maybe like a, maybe a 10, 11, or 12 year old.
Not because I am looking down upon my readers, but especially with this type of writing. I understand. Cuz I once was that person, the majority of my readers, they. Care to be entertained by me. They don’t want to learn new, interesting words per se. Like they just want to know, how do I lose?
Lou: They don’t wanna hear your childhood
Yeah. How do I lose the stem belly fat? Can you please just explain to me in simple terms, and you’ve spoken about this, so I feel like I’m doing people a service by making things as simple as possible and not being an artiste about it and just being very practical going, okay, so this person wants to know how to lose belly fat.
What does that mean? Well, they’re gonna have to understand energy balance first and foremost. I should probably also tell them about macronutrient balance, cuz that’s important and it probably would be good for them to understand that quote unquote, stubborn fat actually is a scientific explanation for this.
Why some fat stores in the body are harder to lose than others. And that goes back to something you said earlier. Do they need to know that? No, but it is kind of interesting and it does give them a bit more understanding of their body and how it’s working and so they feel a little bit smarter
Lou: for it.
And they can tell their friends, you know, it comes up, it comes up at dinner. Well, I, there’s actually a reason.
Mike: Exactly. And so, but I’m thinking always through the lens of my reader and serving their needs as opposed to what you were just saying, just trying to, it’s the, am I just trying to revel in, in my own words and voice, and so I avoid that as much as possible.
See, I think that’s a very good point.
Lou: I guess the older and less patient I get, I guess. Almost nothing annoys me as much as just the self-indulgence. I’m
Mike: such an impatient reader. It’s gotten bad actually. Yeah. Before, I’m gonna tell you
Lou: what you came to me for. I’m going to talk about these other three or four things just because they’re on my mind or I think I’m funny and I’m
Mike: gonna try to flex my vocabulary, but I’m actually gonna misuse words and I’m so impatient as a reader.
It actually is kind of annoying at this point where. Someone is an outstanding writer. I get a little bit annoyed having to go into the dictionary to check like, are you sure? Can you actually use that word like that? No, that’s, that’s not quite right. Or like you’re saying where it’s like this chapter could have been one third.
Of the length in the, that extra two-thirds, it wasn’t interesting. It just provided nothing. You had 200 words of actual content to communicate here and that turned into 2000 because, well, a chapter can’t be 200 words. So here, let me just bang the keyboard for a bit and we’ll call that a And it’s a very formulaic, right, especially in non-fiction where it’s, okay, I’m gonna share maybe, um, a reference to history or to science and then maybe a, a personal anecdote or two.
And then I’m gonna give some useful information. Rinse, repeat.
Lou: Well, you know what though? I’m finding that exactly that process you just described, which is I’ve got this time, it is applying now to some podcasts and also some documentaries. There was net, it wasn’t Netflix, I think it was HBO Did this one, like the greatest scam that you’ve never heard of.
And it was about how some gangster. Scammed like a McDonald’s giveaway, and it’s like, that’s impossible. How could they possibly, like, how could a McDonald’s like million dollar giveaway be illegitimate? Well, they found a way to do it, and I watched the first two parts of that documentary, I think of three parts.
And I was like, this was a two hour documentary that they stretched eight or 10 hours or whatever it is, because that’s how much time they had. And there was absolutely no reason for this documentary to be that long Tiger King on Netflix was another one. What’s
Mike: that rule, that quote unquote rule that the work will fill the time allotted
Lou: to it?
Yes. And in the modern world, it’s, you know, the content, whatever space you give content, you’ll find the content to fill that space whether you need it or not. And I’m finding this, you know, again, uh, like somebody will, oh, you know, recommend a new podcast series and I’m thinking, you know, I listened to the first hour.
And basically I learned about five minutes worth of really interesting stuff surrounded by 55 minutes worth of either foreshadowing or them trying to convince me that this was important enough to listen to. And it’s like, you know, if it’s, if it’s important enough to listen to, at some point the information, content should speak for itself, right?
That I, you shouldn’t need to spend so much time convincing me,
Mike: or in a book 50 pages, I don’t need 50 pages of buildup. It’s
Lou: just, or of marketing. And it’s like, I already bought the damn book. Just give me what I bought. Don’t spend two chapters marketing the book to me. I already have the book. You already have my money.
Now give me what I want. We’ve both read fitness books, health books, where it’s. You know, those first two chapters were really,
Mike: yeah, I’ve probably been guilty of that to some degree, although I do think in my most recent work, I have included this chapter and like I’m doing a book with Simon and Schuster, and I’ve included a chapter that I, I like this concept of the promise where it’s short and sweet, but it is a restatement of, this is why you should read the book, because I don’t just want people to buy my book.
I really do want them to read it and apply it and get results. And so it does require a little bit of marketing and a little bit of sizzle to get them excited enough to take the time and the effort. And even though I’m, I am going to try to make it as painless as possible, but you still have to sit down and you have to gather your wits and you have to focus on the book, and you have to turn off the TV and put your phone away.
You know, you have to get through it, but I totally agree that there is an, especially in non-fiction, I don’t read very much fiction, but I’ve seen it a lot in practical non-fiction, where the book really probably, you have like a, an 80,000, 70, 80,000 word book that really probably could have been like a 3000 word article if you just would’ve taken the key takeaways and just laid it out and gotten rid of all of the useless stories and all of the, the marketing and all of the, the hyping,
Lou: you know, my brand’s different from yours in that I’m kind of, I think people who like my writing, at least this is what they tell me, I hope they’re not lying, that they like those stories and they like the funniest sides, you know, and they like the analogies as you’ve heard.
Like, I don’t know how many of ’em on this one already, you know, drawing these analogies that are like, you know, okay, maybe that paragraph didn’t have to be there, but it made it just a little bit easier and smoother to get to this like, Or difficult information or challenging information. You know, the way I used to structure my books was there would be a, a forward where I would tell the backstory of the book, this is, this is why I wrote this book.
And then there’s an introduction that kind of, this is what you’re gonna learn in this book. And then the book is the book. And then we start getting into it. Getting the new rules book certainly started with new rules, which is an opinion that’s going to be backed up by something that’s going to be supported by the material that I’m presenting.
But with the forward in the introduction, if they wanna skip it, they can skip it. That’s fine. I wouldn’t be offended by any of that. I hope that people like knowing what the background was, but they don’t need to know it. If you’re making that stuff optional, then again, if you’re writing an article, there’s no optional sections, right?
So you’ve really, you can’t waste anyone’s time from the first line to the last. You need to pay off whatever your headline and keywords and you know, whatever your s e o was, you need to pay that off because they came to your site for that. You need to make sure that they get that. They may not like it.
They may bounce off in a few seconds, but you at least have to make sure they’re not deceived, that you didn’t bring them in under false pretenses.
Mike: If you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my sports Nutrition company Legion, which thanks to the support of many people like you, is the leading brand of all natural sports supplements in the world.
What does your self editing process look like?
Lou: Sure. Well, and one important thing, and I do bring this up whenever I talk about writing, is when you’re a professional writer and this is your job to sit your ass down in a chair for 10 hours a day, you have a different process than somebody who only has like an hour to write something and then they’ve gotta train their clients, or they’ve gotta go do something else.
So in my case, I will have, sometimes I’ll let myself wander and I’ll try out ideas. You know, I save those documents and no reader will ever see those. When I come up with, I don’t like to sit down and write anything until I’m pretty sure what I wanna say until I’ve done the basic research, done, the interviews, whatever it is, and I’ll probably stumble and try a few different ways to get into a topic, but I will definitely.
Force myself to look at that. For example, if I write five paragraphs and I realize that there’s no, that I’ve, you know, I can’t jump over the river between that fifth paragraph and what I, and this big point that I need to make here, then I’ll just start over and I’ll say, okay, I need five better paragraphs because I need to get here.
And, you know, okay, maybe there can be a little ditch that I’m asking a reader to jump over. There’s not this chasm where this idea can’t connect to that. I’m not going to, I’m not gonna keep that in just because I like it, or it was interesting to me. I’ve gotta make sure that each paragraph leads to the next paragraph in a logical way and gets me to where I want to go.
So, If I hit that on the first try, which I almost never do, but if I hit it on the first try, I’ll tell you what, if I hit something on the first try, and again, this is after doing this, I’ve been writing about fitness since 1992. If I hit something on the first try, that’s my first thought was, wow. Okay, cool.
I nailed it. You know what my second thought is? Holy shit, I’ve written this before, and I will go and I’ll Google my own work. I will go through my books, I’ll go through anything where I think, you know, I’ll do search on my desktop through all my files, through my emails, if it’s too good the first try.
Can guess at least 75% chance. It’s something I’ve written before and that’s why it came to me so easily because if it’s not hard, if it’s not a struggle to find a new way to say something, I’ve gotta assume I’ve already written that thing and I can’t repeat
Mike: myself. Yeah, I, I can totally relate to that.
Most top of mind ideas and I’ll speaking for myself, whether it’s anything creative really. So it could be writing, it could be marketing for sure. Most top of mind ideas are okay at best and are often cliched and or like you said, just are, it’s already been discussed previously and so I always assume as well that whatever it is that’s coming out in the beginning, It’s not gonna stand.
What’s gonna be there in the end is gonna look very different. And you have to be willing to go through that process. And yes, it’s work, it requires mental effort, but there’s the payoff, right? You get that gem of when you come to the end of it and now you know you have something that’s unique and it’s expressed in a way that you like and it fits into the hole.
But I think that, and I’m speaking now, again, not just with writing, I’ve seen, but marketing as well, particularly on the level of ideas, right? So how we haven’t even gotten to this specific copy yet, but what’s the hook? Like, why should anybody care about this? What’s the idea? And it takes a lot of ideation to get to something worth pursuing.
Lou: Yeah. And again, circling way back to what we were talking about a while ago, you know, when you’re just starting off, you don’t have to have all that if you haven’t written much yet. You don’t have to worry about repeating yourself. And sometimes that’s the really fun part, is you’re saying everything for the first time.
It doesn’t have to be something that nobody has written about. I mean, it’s almost impossible that you’re gonna come up with something that nobody else has written about. So what matters is what you said, which is what is my personal spin on this? Based on my experience and my knowledge, my own research, my own conversations.
And how do I make that interesting to somebody who’s not in my head? And then now you’ve got the basis for writing something and, and again, doesn’t have to be great. It’s just this is the kind of your, this is your starting point is okay, I feel like I’ve got something to say about this, so I’m going to say it.
And I’m gonna put it out there and I’m, then, I’m going to figure out how to do this better as I go along. But just make sure that that first thing you put out isn’t embarrassing. It’s not filled with inaccuracies or typos or bad grammar. Make sure that it’s not plagiarizing somebody else. Which I, my God, I, I hear these stories now that seems to be a bigger and bigger problem all the time, is that people out there just are just, it’s like, well, okay, nobody can write, you know, seven full articles and guest posts, like you said.
Nobody can actually, no one person can sit down and do that. So they’re, they can’t hire people yet, so they’re just taking other people’s material and, and doing it. And again, to me, the idea of putting your name on something that you didn’t do, I guess I understand that people, people like to take shortcuts or just don’t give a damn, and they’re bad people or whatever they are.
But I’ve never understood why you wanna put your name on somebody else’s stuff because it’s like, then it’s not. You know, now it’s not your brand, it’s just you’re constantly in this race against the law until somebody figures out who you are
Mike: and exposes you. Right? Yeah. On the point of plagiarizing, I don’t pay too much attention to other people creating content in the space.
The articles I read are, I don’t even read that many articles cause I’m like, if I’m gonna read, I’m gonna read one of, uh, like if a new issue of Greg Knuckles is, and Eric Helms is, and Zorros says, mass is is out, I’ll read that. Or maybe I’ll read Krieger’s Ology or. Alan Aragon’s as well. So I like the research reviews now more than anything else.
So I, I don’t really see
Lou: Tom Venuto’s another one. You know, he never puts anything out there that’s not worth your time to look
Mike: at. Yeah, yeah. I haven’t seen his work recently, but what I have seen is on Instagram, I’ve seen it. I don’t spend much time there, but I have seen instances, not of people plagiarizing me.
I mean, it’s, maybe it’s out there, but I haven’t seen it. I’ve just seen it as a thing, I guess, where you’re having people just copy and pasting other people’s captions. Right. So they, they see that somebody’s post got a lot of engagement and the caption is well written, and then they’ll just copy and paste it themselves.
And like you say, yeah, it seems like, oh, it’s, it’s a hack, a marketing hack, but it’s not e Eventually you will get found out and people are not going to respond well to that. You will destroy any credibility that you have, that you have created, and it’ll be very hard to get it back. So instead if, what’s the difference between plagiarizing and just to define that, it’s where you’re just taking one person’s work and.
You’re just presenting it as your own. So the difference between plagiarizing and researching, right, is okay. Now, if you’re looking at a bunch of different people’s work, and then you’re synthesizing information, you’re adding your own ideas, you’re presenting it differently, well, yes, that’s adding value.
If we look at it in terms of the overall body of work in the fitness space, for example, you’re adding value. That’s great. That’s the difference, right? Between research. It’s not that every single idea you put down has to be completely unique. Nobody else has said this or even necessarily said it in this way.
That’s how I look at it. That’s how I’ve always approached
Lou: it. But you know, if you really like the way somebody said something, then you can either just share their work. And you know, just say, I love this article. I wanted to share it. Want people to see it, they’ll appreciate it. There’s value in that too.
Mike: You’ve saved them some time. Maybe they didn’t even know about that person’s work and they would’ve never even found it. And
Lou: you’ve also probably scored some points with that person if it’s somebody you admire now. And the other thing is, if you’re synthesizing multiple sources, like you said, which all of us do, that’s research.
You know, that’s just research and it’s writing, and that’s what all writing is. When we talk about non-fiction. If you really like the way somebody said something, just quote him saying that thing. Put it in quotes, link to the original source. Or if you can’t link to it, you know, if it’s in a book and you know, just say what it is.
Make sure the people could backtrack. And you’re giving a, you’re giving the person credit B, you’re telling readers if you like this, here’s how to find the rest of it. And again, you’ve done everybody a favor. You’ve helped publicize somebody else’s work. You’ve helped promote somebody else’s work. You’ve given your readers great information that you enjoyed, and you got something out of, and you’ve done it with.
Perfect integrity. There’s nothing wrong with that. That’s why I don’t understand. When you can link to other people’s work, when you can share other people’s work, when you can quote from other people’s work and do all these things ethically and fairly, and as a service to everyone, to the person who created the content of the people consuming the content, why wouldn’t you just do that?
It is so damn. Unless your goal is to cheat and deceive people, and in which case, it’s so hard for me to understand that mentality. I understand. It’s out there. That’s, you know, why we have prisons, that’s why we shame people, you know? So again, I don’t understand it. I understand it happens.
Mike: Doing it your way also enhances the credibility of the.
Person writing or communicating as well, because it at least implies that they did some research and that, oh, here’s this other expert and this person has taken time to study. The expert’s work for me, and pulled out some key takeaways. Oh, that’s great. That saved me some time. They’ll take Greg Knuckles, for example.
His articles are often very long and very technical, and so for somebody who maybe doesn’t have the time or they just don’t have the, in Greg’s case, would be really be like scientific literacy, for example. If they don’t know how to speak the language of science, they’re gonna have a hard time with some of his work.
So if you can go through it and pick out some useful information, maybe explain things also in a way that makes it more accessible to the layman, then you’re also enhancing your own ethos, right? Your own credibility.
Lou: And you’re also associating yourself with this other person. Yeah. Who you know, let’s say that person’s better known now you’ve created a link, literal link online.
Between, there’s a literal connection between you and that other person. That’s a good point
Mike: in the mind of the reader
Lou: as well. And if it’s somebody you know or you’ve met, you’ve corresponded with, that person knows who you are. Now you can sort of in subtle or overt ways, say I’m in the same club as this person who maybe other people who are in that club may have never heard of you, but now you kind of planted this idea out there that you are with this group.
So again, it enhances you. It’s a brand building exercise to associate yourself with people who are respected at, you know, higher than you on the pyramid of, of fame or credibility or whatever it is. But now you’ve done something for yourself. Without cheating, without doing anything unethical. You’ve elevated your own status.
I don’t, again, I don’t understand why more people don’t just do that if they want to, if they like somebody else’s work and wanna share it or wanna use it, you know, even if your goal is just, I really like what this guy did, I don’t have time to do what they did, I just wanna use this thing. You can still quote in link that’s, you know, again, you don’t have to take the time to completely reinvent what they did and recraft it.
Mike: Or like you said, curation. Right? I mean, that’s what, let’s see, what are the, in some, in my inbox, I get curated digests of sorts from pocket, from Flipboard, and I actually, the reason why I remain subscribed to those emails is sometimes I find some interesting stuff to read, but more often I’m actually just looking for clever titles that I can dump into my swipe file.
So, you know, just to give me more grist for the marketing mind. Well, of
Lou: course. And that’s different if you are headlines, titles, they’re not copywriter, they’re not. You know, maybe something’s trademarked.
Mike: 80% of good marketing is good
Lou: swiping, you know, if you do it, literally don’t give the person credit.
And if it’s like a super clever headline, but what’s wrong with using the other person’s headline and then just acknowledging, I love this headline so much, I didn’t change it. It’s so and so, why not? Your readers aren’t gonna think less. Yeah. That you didn’t come up with this clever thing. Yeah. You know, you shared this clever thing and they got to see the clever thing.
Attribution is so damn easy and it doesn’t make you look worse. Yeah,
Mike: I totally agree with editing. Do you? I’m sure you do. This is something, this is a tip for everybody listening. It’s so easy, but it really does make a difference. So write, let’s say a first draft and then put it away for I find at least 24 hours and then go and read through it again.
And it’s a bit, maybe not dismaying, it’s a bit obnoxious that as much as I’ve written you’ve probably experienced the same thing in terms of volume of words. I’m sure you’ve written quite a bit more than I have. I’ve written a lot though, and so as much as I’ve written, I still am unable to produce a first draft that I can just put away for 24 hours.
Come back to and still. For the most part, well, maybe that’s a bit extreme. Maybe I can like it for the most part. But every time, no matter whether it’s, it could be a a few paragraphs of copy or something much longer by just putting it away and coming back to it, I’m gonna find things that obviously need to be improved.
Sometimes just fixed or things that are maybe okay, but can be done better. And then I’ll do that, put it away for another, at least 24 hours with successive drafts. I like to leave it for a little bit longer, come back to it. So when I’ve finished that second round, I’m pretty happy with it. I’m like, yeah, I think I did a good job.
Right. Okay. Now round three, and it’s the same thing again. I’m finding more things and you do eventually reach a point of diminishing returns with this, and then it does become well, yeah. You get
Lou: to the
Mike: point where you hate your own work. Right. I think though, you have to get close to that if you’re gonna produce very good work.
I do think that, but do you do the same
Lou: thing? Well, mine’s a little bit more condensed, especially if I’m on a deadline, but I do like, rather than 24 hours, I like to sleep on it. So if I’m, you know, the, the classic trick of you stop yourself in the middle of a sentence, you know, it’s like, okay, say, you know, whatever it is where I hit the wall.
Mike: So you know exactly where it puts you right back into the mindset to carry on. Right.
Lou: So, you know, I’m a morning person, so usually by four in the afternoon I’m cooked, so I find myself, I’m just staring at the screen and I’m not getting anything done. Okay. I might be right in the middle of a sentence and I will.
Close a file, reopen the first thing the next morning, and if I can’t figure out how to finish that sentence, then I just cut the sentence and figure out a, you know, something else there. You know, if I sleep on it overnight, I can usually fix a problem. But then again, what I do, I have other chances to review something before I put it away.
Now, back in when I was writing books, I like to put away the first draft for a week. In some cases, like especially while working with the publishers I work with, it might be a month, maybe even longer, between when I turn in a draft, and again, this is the best draft and self, best self-edit draft I can do.
It might be a month before I start getting editors notes on that, and that’s usually enough time for me to look at it with fresh eyes. So, but again, nobody out there is gonna wait a month and I wouldn’t recommend it. You do have to press publish. If you’re not publishing,
Mike: then you’re actually not a writer.
Lou: Yeah, well, yeah, that’s right. If you’re, you know, if you’re putting anything out there. You’re a writer, you’re not a good writer, you’re not a bad writer. You’re, you’re just a writer who’s publishing their own stuff.
Mike: But if you never publish, then what? I guess you’re talking to yourself,
Lou: I guess, you know, you’re a direst.
I don’t know. I, I mean, that’s totally fine. You know, it’s no different for meditate, you know, I’ve always said, you know, I think with my fingers on a keyboard, so that’s my way of getting thoughts out there and there, you know, again, I’ve got tons of thoughts that I will never share with anybody, and that’s totally fine.
I just had something in my mind. I. Get it out. I might come back to it later and find a better way to say it. The key
Mike: point though, is you record those thoughts. Yes. I, I don’t lose anything, but that’s a good tip for people who I think want to create content of any kind. I do the same thing. I use, I, I do it on my phone.
I use Google Keep, which allows me to just quickly dump notes into it. And then once a week I go through my Google Keep and I’ll pull those notes out and then I’ll put ’em into Evernote. Google Keep, you can tag their system is a little bit too simplistic if you get too much stuff. So I’ll bring ’em into Evernote and I have a whole bunch of tags.
So those will be thoughts and ideas of mine. Things I come across in books, just anywhere, right? So I’m just building this repository of ideas and like you, that’s just the creator or sometimes even the clown hat where it’s not the editor, there’s no judgment on. If the idea is good or bad, if I’m even expressing it well, I don’t care.
Just getting it down. Because like you said, nobody’s gonna see it anyway. And who knows, maybe it’ll become the kernel of, maybe it’s an article, maybe it turns into a book.
Lou: You never know. Sure. And like you said, you’re not judging yourself at that if you’re just interested in the idea and you want to explore it a little bit.
I mean, that’s like, you know, to me that’s what make life worth living is that everything I do doesn’t have to be work. Circling way back to what you said at the beginning of this, of this conversation, sometimes you just have to do something to remind yourself that you enjoy writing. You know, sometimes, you know, it was fun at the beginning and then it got to be a grind, and sometimes it just needs to be fun again.
And that’s why, you know, that’s why I self-published a novel a few years ago. I’d been writing fiction for so long and it’s like, you know, I just have to. Put something out there that I’d like, that I think’s worth sharing. And you know, a few people read it, a few people liked it. They weren’t all relatives of mine, so that’s a win.
It’s like, I never felt for one minute that any of that time was wasted, that it was just, it was just, I was glad I put it out there and Okay. It never had blockbuster potential and probably undershot the lack of potential that it had, you know, it, it, it probably did worse than even whatever minimum potential it had, but that’s fine.
You know, I suck at marketing and that certainly proves it, but it reminded me of how much fun riding is. It, it reminded me of how much fun it was to wake up, you know, just to be like going out and mowing the grass and having the characters. You know, get the lawnmower, you know, the big noise and all that.
And, and the characters are in my head and I’m thinking, what should that person do in the next scene? And then the characters are like telling me what they wanna do. They’re like writing their own dialogue. In my head, they’re talking to each other in my head. And it sounds like schizophrenia, but when you’re a writer, that’s actually really healthy because that’s the coolest part of the process is where it begins to feel like it’s a story that needs to be told.
And I think sometimes in non-fiction, it works that way too, where you just feel like this is important enough that I need to put this out there. If nobody likes it, okay, nobody likes it. If nobody agrees with me how important it is. But if it feels really important, then put that stuff on paper and look
Mike: for those things.
Because this is something I’ve also, some advice I’ve shared with people who ask for it, that if you are. Bored while you’re writing something like that’s your emotional response to this is just boredom. You’re just hitting the keyboard or whatever, getting it out. Then that is likely to produce boredom in the reader as well.
That’s my personal theory. Why should they be more excited about it? Exactly. A lot of that is because of the. Amount of nuance and subtlety of the English language. Right? And so when you are just bored or worse, maybe you’re angry or you’re like in just apathy. Yeah, just one more word. Okay. Then it’s gonna come through in non-obvious ways.
And a reader may not even be able to pinpoint that of like, you know what? This writing makes me really bored. That’s what I don’t like about it. Or maybe they don’t know why that is. But on the other hand, if you are enthused about something, I think that naturally is going to be infused into your writing through your, even just the choice of your words and the tempo.
And there’s so much that goes into composition that is you. You’re not gonna be able to control all of those variables by
Lou: faking it. Absolutely. Like say you’re, the thought that just popped into my head was, How many times have I written pushup articles and how could I possibly bring myself to write another pushup article And the way I would like if it, if that ever came up or that were ever an issue, I would find something new to say about it.
I would find something interesting to say about it. I would tell a story and try to get the reader interested in it that way. And even if the advice is just nuts and bolts and maybe just going through the motions and trying to make this as simple as possible and put your palms on the ground with your fingers open and your hands shoulder width apart and blah, you know, align your body this way.
You know, that’s the boiler plate stuff. I would have to find something interesting about that topic. Something that I didn’t know, something that was totally like a maze balls to me. I would have to have that, for me to get excited enough to write an interesting article about that. And that’s time well
And I think that’s, it’s time well spent searching for that. You know, I, I’m sure you’ve experienced this until you get it, it can feel very unproductive. And you wonder. So, I mean, I’ve had that where like, am I gonna find anything? Is there anything that just grabs me and says, oh, that’s it, that’s the angle or the hook, or that’s something I can get excited about.
And sometimes it takes a bit of work to get there. And along the way I feel like I’m not even working. Like, should I just be writing the fucking article now? I just wasting my time. You know what I mean?
Lou: Well, you know, but it’s easier if you start with that where it’s like through whatever process you stumble on something you didn’t know, and then it’s like, wow.
That reminds me of something else that I never put into an article, and that reminds me of something else. Why don’t I write an article? Anna, you can start with this fun new thing and then you don’t have to go searching for it because you know, it just, it came to you. And that’s really all the stuff that we’re talking about, about process and self editing and, you know, and the long march to actually getting good at this.
The fun part is where you start with something you’re really excited about. I didn’t know that. Wow. How do I share this? Well, depends on who your audience is and what platforms you have, but it’s so much easier if you start with something that’s like, wow, I didn’t know that. That’s, wow, that is so cool. I, I can’t wait to share that with people.
And then at that point then, all the hard work of writing you feel. That it’s worth it, especially when there’s that spark at the very beginning makes it so much easier to get to the point, you know, I guess it’s in some ways it’s like running a a 10 K or a marathon or all these things that I don’t do with my knees, you know?
It’s like, okay, so maybe starting off the right at the start, you’re excited about that run and then you get to like halfway through that marathon and you’re just like, oh my God, why did I do this to myself? Well, it’s because of how excited you were at the beginning and how excited you’re gonna be at the end.
That’s how you get through that middle part. If everything is the middle part, you’ll never do anything.
Mike: Yeah, it’s very true. And that, that’s the premise of a Seth Godin book, I believe it’s called The Dip.
Lou: Oh, right. I’ve probably got it on my shelf over here. I’m looking. Trying to think of, I may not have that one, but I mean, Seth’s books are, you know, they’re all one sitting books anyway, so I don’t know how many I actually have or how many I just feel like I read.
Mike: And then also a lot of his ideas, he’s shared his blog as well, so sometimes like Was that on his blog or in his book, yeah. Right. But yeah, no, I, I totally agree. Well, this has been a lot of fun, Lou. I appreciate you taking the time. Hopefully people who are interested in writing and creating content, Taken some good takeaways from this.
I think that there’s definitely some stuff in here that I wish I would’ve known when I started out. I think that’s a good sign and uh, why don’t we wrap up with where people can find you, your books, your work. Do you have any new projects that you want people to know
Lou: about? Well, I interviewed you a couple weeks ago, and that’s going to be a feature at the P t PTD C.
That’s the ptc.com, where I’m editorial director. So that article I hope, will be up on the site before this podcast drops. So people, if they like this podcast, then they can go read more about you in that feature. So that’s mainly what I do. I mean, that’s full-time gig working for John Goodman. And as far as my own writing goes,
Mike: any more fiction in the work.
So that, that resonates with me, by the way. Cause No, no, that was my original interest in writing was fiction. Yeah. I wrote a novel. I didn’t know what I was doing. I just kind of jumped into it. What started as I wonder if I would enjoy this, turned into, I finished it because I enjoyed it so much, even though I didn’t know what I was doing.
And then after that, subsequently I, I read a bunch of books on fiction writing and storytelling and I realized that maybe the premise has some potential, but everything else just needs to be scrapped. I did not know what I was doing. And in my next life I’ll probably write fiction. So yeah,
Lou: that’s with me too, you know.
And the thing is, I gave it a fair shot. I mean, I spent five years out in LA waiting tables while I, you know, wrote screenplays and then segued. Yeah. Read about that. Segued into fiction. I’ve written probably. I haven’t counted ’em up in a while, but probably 10 screenplays, I’m gonna guess seven or eight novels.
And then different versions of different stories with different same characters where I like recreated the character and made it something else. So, and I’ve only published one of those things. Why don’t you publish the other ones? Oh, that would just be too much work. And some of it was actually, you know, I saved it on like floppy disks, and I’ve never found, I guess the discs are just corrupted, they’re too old or whatever.
So I would actually have to take the manuscripts and hand type them or hire somebody to hand type them just to have my first draft back. Like I said, I don’t lose anything. I’ve got file boxes full of my fiction and screenplays down in the basement, and I’ve thought about it. But it’d be one of those things where I would have to have enough money to live on for a couple of years, you know?
For sure. It takes a lot of time. Right. And when you’re writing fiction, that’s definitely the time where when you finish a manuscript, you put it aside for at least a week, probably a month before you go back and look at it and say, okay, what’s, do I still like this? Does this work? I think it probably takes a month to really be able to look at it somewhat objectively.
And I’ll tell you when, you know that there’s been enough time passed. I was doing one of my many reorganization. I found an old novel that I did not remember writing. I did not remember writing this novel. I mean, it’s like, once I saw it, I, it’s like, oh yeah, okay. I wrote that and I was sitting down, I was having dinner, you know, our kids were really young then, and so we were all having dinner together and I was picking it up and I was leafing through it and I did not recognize anything about it until I got to like page 10.
And it’s like, okay, that one rings a bell. So. That’s like probably 10, 15 years between when I wrote that draft and abandoned that project and where I was sitting down and, and that’s like, okay, now I can really look at it objectively. And my objective opinion was, the writing’s fine. The story was idiotic.
So, so that’s why I definitely won’t be reviving.
Mike: Yeah, that was similar to my take on mine. It was, the story is semi idiotic. The writing is pretty bad, so I should probably just, uh, leave that one
Lou: alone. Well, at that point, I’ve been writing for a very long, Already, even though, you know, it was back in my table waiting days.
So I’d had a lot of time to work on that part of it. But it’s like looking at it, it’s like the writing is not the problem here. This story is just really dumb.
Mike: Just to comment on that is I think that premise, the idea behind the story is one of the most important things and that I’ve been rereading some classic books recently, dystopian things that I think are particularly relevant to what’s going on.
Like what? So I, I reread 1984 Animal Farm, brave New World Fahrenheit 4 51. And. Theoretically I may reread Atlas Shrugged, but it’s so long and tedious. I do like some of the ideas and I appreciate certain aspects of it, but it’s like a 1200 page trudge through quicksand cuz she was not a good writer, so I don’t know if I’ll do that.
She was a good writer.
Lou: She was a good writer. Not a good fiction writer. No, she was a good writer when she started. She was a good playwright. I was in actually in one of her plays when I was in high school. It was called like the Night of January 13th, or I forget what the exact date, but it was a night of something.
She was a good writer. And then when she became a philosopher, bloviator o Bloviator, right. When she had this,
Mike: when you read 30 pages of Atlas Shrug and you’re like, literally nothing has happened, right? Actually, no. Yeah. It’s too much.
Lou: It’s, it’s not for me. I,
Mike: I don’t, although I do like some of her ideas in that book, I don’t agree with her hyper individualistic philosophy with much of it.
But I do think that, and of course the book has been an enduring success because the subtext and some of the critiques that she makes of which really human nature are accurate and we are seeing a lot of it, I think, going on today just in terms of the trend toward, I guess it’s just parasitism just being.
Parasitic taker from somebody who does not give much to the world and is more interested in what they can take from it and what the implications of that are in terms of,
Lou: you know, human nature is human nature and we wouldn’t call human nature if it weren’t, if people weren’t different from each other.
And if we didn’t have this full spectrum of attitudes and abilities and personal codes and ethics and all that. So what we’re doing here is we’re trying to share ideas and advice for an audience, and that’s what. You know, I think is the best part of human nature is this instinct to help other people who want to do things that you know how to do, to be able to help them do it.
To be able to give people a hand up, not a handout, but give them a hand up. I’m gonna help people do this. Whereas with somebody like I Rand where you look at that and you say, you know, She talks about objectivism, but really you can boil that down and say it’s to be incredibly selfish and not feel responsible for anything other than your own pleasure and gratification.
And that’s human nature. But that’s way over here at one extreme that I frankly repels me. So I would like to go over here, not to an extreme, but I like to go over here and say, this is the part of human nature I wanna deal with. Whereas sincere people try to help each other and share information and deal in, in honest deal with each other in honest and productive ways and enjoy their lives while they do it.
That’s where I am. Whether that’s in the middle or it’s off to one side or the other, I don’t know. But that’s the part of human nature that I like and that I like to participate in. So the other parts of. I can’t change, I can just not want to emulate
Mike: them. Yep. I totally agree. After reading that book, I didn’t look too much into her philosophy.
I read a little bit about it cause I wanna understand a little bit more, but I came to the same conclusion where the John Dawn thing, right? No man is an island. Like, it doesn’t make sense to me to be a completely atomized individual out only for my own interests and to pretend like I’m not, uh, part of larger groups that will not be able to function as well as they could if I operated like that.
And certainly I think this is a good morality test. Something I use with myself is what if everybody behaved like this? What would things be like, oh it would be really bad. There are so many examples of this. Right? And we could see this in even in terms of, I guess it would be like, might even be as far as kind of an anarchic kind of libertarian view though, where to
Lou: me that’s hell on earth.
You know, this idea that everybody’s out for
Mike: themselves. Absolutely. Where. Let’s say I bought all this land, right? Say I bought all this land fair and square and now I want to destroy it. Wanna destroy the environment? I bought thousands of acres. I’m gonna cut down all the trees. I’m gonna poison everything.
But what do you mean this was a fair and square transaction? I got it. Why should I care about the greater effects? I mean, so you get to some pretty illogical when you take these things to their logical conclusion, then you just go. No, no, no. That’s just wrong. So there’s something wrong with the philosophy that got me here with the core
Well, whether we like it or not, our actions and decisions affect other people. They affect the economy in both, you know, micro and macro ways. They affect how other people behave. If we’re modeling poor behavior, you can bet there’s somebody out there who’s going to emulate that poor behavior. And if we’re modeling good behavior, some people are gonna try to take advantage of us.
So you certainly have to be selfish enough to where you can protect yourself and your family and your integrity from people with bad. Don’t be naive. You can’t be naive. On the other hand, model good behavior. The word altruistic, I think would’ve made I rand vomit, but there’s an altruism to. Believing that if you behave well and behave charitably, whatever that means to you, that you will in some way, large or small, make the world a better place for other people, and that that’s a good thing to do.
I’m all in on that. That doesn’t mean, you know, I’m going to give up my. My house in the suburbs and, you know, or star my family or go out, you know, live in the shed, you know, and, and give up material things. I absolutely not. I’m a little bit greedy, I’m a little bit selfish, but at the same time, I’d like to think, I certainly understand through life experience and, and through study, that everything we do affects other people.
So why would we wanna affect other people in a negative way? What do we get out of that if we negatively affect other people? And I don’t see anything good that comes from that. Yep, yep.
Mike: I mean, I, I agree. Of course, there’s always money and that’s usually why people are, that’s probably the most common reason why people are willing to do things that they would not want done to them.
But there are, I mean, this is again, my opinion. I think that Jordan Peterson, Put it in a good way where if you behave like that consistently enough, you are accumulating penalties that will visit upon you some day. And the worse your behavior is when it does finally hit you, it might be really bad and it might turn your life completely, it might upend everything.
Uh, but realize that you did that to yourself. You accumulated bit by bit. There is that disconnect between cause and effect. And so it may not even be obvious to you why all of a sudden your life is falling apart. Or maybe it’s one of those kind of home truths that you don’t wanna look at. You just something.
These are the things you’ve been pushing into the memory hole, but the memory hole can fit no more. And so now it is just spewing back. And it can be again, I think in very non-obvious ways. And so on the flip side, I think that if you behave in the way that you’re talking about, what we’re talking about is behaving, helping, helping other people, and treating other people the way you want to be treated.
I mean, this is like. Very old simple
Lou: ideas. What you were talking about was Jacob Marley’s chain in a Christmas Carol, you forge it link by link. By link. That’s a good analogy. And if you’re forging a chain of through bad acts, through acts of greed and dishonesty and treating people poorly, well eventually that chain’s gonna be heavy enough to hold an anchor.
And eventually that anchor’s gonna hold you down. A lot of people escape this life without ever having to pay that penalty, and that’s just, again, life can’t possibly ever be perfect. Or they
Mike: do, but it’s insidious. Or it’d be like adding a little bit of, maybe it’s 15 grams of weight on your head every day, but you acclimate to or take a simple fitness analogy when you are.
Cutting. And you, you’ll see you have quite a bit of fat to lose. And you look at yourself in the mirror every day, it’s easy to not see the changes until you look at your progress pictures and you go, oh shit, look, look at me here and look at me a month ago. Whereas in the day-to-day, you’re like, is anything even happening?
And it’s funny, anybody who has cut from really has lost, let’s just say, a significant amount of fat regardless of where they started. And I’m sure you’ve experienced a slew where it kind of seems to all come together in the. If you’re just looking at yourself in the day-to-day where eventually you get to a point where you wake up, you look in the mirror, you’re like, oh, wow, I actually look pretty good.
Lou: a different mirror. It’s when you’re walking by and you see your reflection in a pan of glass or in a car window and it’s like, oh, you get the right lighting. You get the right lighting. Yeah. Something happened. Yeah. Or the right lighting. Yeah. Or, or you’re saying in a hotel and it’s a different mirror.
Now, in my case, when I’m saying in a hotel with a different mirror, that’s usually where I’m like, oh my God. You know, because it’s like no mirror in my house goes below the waist, blame the lighting, just blame the lighting. Right. And I’m looking at a full length mirror and it’s like, oh, so went wrong here.
Mike: But yeah. So these things that are getting better or worse, but it’s happening so incrementally, right? That, and you know, I’ve, I’ve experienced this to some degree where I get to a point with something where I’m like, okay, I officially don’t feel good about this. We’re talking about conscience here, right?
Of what’s right and wrong. And look at how did I get here? Yeah. It’s usually by little progressive steps. Right. And I think so long as you’re willing to stop face something, And do what it takes to fix it. It’s okay. We all make mistakes,
Lou: but a major transgression is almost never the first
Exactly, exactly. What’s funny, we got off on a, a whole different talk that could make very, uh, maybe an interesting follow up podcast. There
Lou: is a connection in that I think conducting as you, you know, have some luck and some success and, and work your way up to the point where people know who you are and you know, established a reputation.
You definitely want that reputation to be for doing good work and treating people well and Yep. Being generous to whatever extent you’re able or capable and. You definitely don’t want the reputation to go the other direction where you’re leaving behind a trail of people who feel cheated or information that is, you know, found to be erroneous or intentional errors, whatever it is you want your reputation to be over here with.
This was somebody who helped other people as somebody who did good work. Whatever you’re trying to build, you definitely wanted to be built on positive impressions that people have of you and
Mike: your work. It really is the foundation of everything that we’re talking about. So that’s, uh, I think a good, it’s good connective tissue between our philosophical musings and then the more practical element of building a business or a brand in the fitness space.
Yeah, and it,
Lou: well, it was what binds your work and your life. Yeah. I mean, we all have a past, we all have a present. Hopefully we’ll all have a future and these things, you know, at some point there’s not that clear separation between this is what I do for a living and this is what my life is at a certain point.
What is that saying? How you do one thing is how you do everything is I
Mike: think, relevant. Yeah. And just a final comment on that is I think people generally, especially, I mean I see it definitely in the fitness space. They crave authenticity and that they’ve found someone who is genuine and this person doesn’t have to be right all the time.
I’ve been wrong about things. I’ve been open about that, where people have asked me like, Hey, you mentioned something about reverse dieting and you don’t really recommend it anymore back here. You did recommend it. And actually I, I addressed that on a podcast where I explained this was my position on this and.
This is why it was, and now this is my position and this is why it is now. This may change in the future, and that admission of being wrong or admission of making a mistake, it doesn’t turn people off. So long as they understand that, here’s why I thought this way at that point, and they go, oh, that makes sense.
I understand there wasn’t much research on this, and there were a lot of smart people who were saying that this was probably a thing and it’s not harmful, blah, blah, blah. And now I think differently. People like to see that. They go, oh, that’s cool that he’s willing to admit one, that he was wrong, and two, that he is working to, to evolve and to update his positions on things.
Lou: well, if you’re never wrong, you’re not trying a hundred percent, man, you know, you’re not, you’re not pushing yourself. Sometimes you push a little too far and maybe you go for information that makes sense to you, but will subsequently be found to not be what you thought it was. And sometimes you just change your mind.
It’s like, that made sense to me at the time and it doesn’t anymore. I found better ways to do it, or I just don’t think that works. Or the research wasn’t what I thought it was, or I misunderstood a concept, which, you know, in my case happens a lot because I don’t have a scientific background. So if you never change your mind, Then you’ve got a very small mind.
And, and if you’re never wrong, it means you were never, you weren’t working
Mike: hard yet. Yeah. Yeah. I totally agree. Well, again, why don’t we finish wrapping up. Yeah.
Lou: We’ve wrapped up for a half hour, so. Yeah, I
Mike: know, I know, I know where we left off, where we got off. Uh, where I just veered us off the road is
Once you get into dystopian fiction. Yeah. That’s a hard hole to dig it back out
Mike: of. But we can get back here. We can get back to it was your books. So you had mentioned that you had fiction and, but you hadn’t mentioned yet your fitness books. Well, the
Lou: new Rules of Lifting series, which I wrote, wrote with Alan Cosgrove, there are six books in the series.
I would actually start with the most recent, which is strong. It’s written for. Women, it’s written as a follow up to the new Rules of Lifting for Women, which was the most popular book in the series. But I think Alan would say that the program is something that is much closer to what he works with does with his clients in his gym when his gym is open now, and I have yet to recommend that program to a guy who said, oh no, I didn’t get anything out of that program.
If you’re a guy, that program will kick your ass. If you’re a woman, that program will kick your ass. It’s a good program. If you are looking just to read, you know, my work, I would go to my, my website, lou schuler.com. You’ll find links to everything, all my books, all my ar, uh, most of my articles, and I’ll
Mike: link to everything in the show notes as well.
All right, Lou, thanks again for doing this. I really appreciate it. Okay, thanks a lot, Mike. All right. Well, that’s it for today’s episode. I hope you found it interesting and helpful, and if you did, and you don’t mind doing me a favor, could you please leave a quick review for the podcast on iTunes or wherever you are listening from?
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