Episode 02

Mick Silva

Learning To Appreciate The Process

Mick Silva is a freelance editor and writing coach who has spent nearly 20 years in the Christian publishing industry. He has worked for Focus on the Family Books and WaterBrook & Multnomah, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
Mick Silva is a freelance editor and writing coach who has spent nearly 20 years in the Christian publishing industry. He has worked for Focus on the Family Books and WaterBrook & Multnomah, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
00:00 57:14

Show Notes:02. Mick Silva —Why Writing Is Hard: Learning To Love The Process

I have had the pleasure of working with Mick as a writing coach and editor on my latest manuscript. Mick’s knowledge runs much deeper than book publishing and marketing. Mick deeply understands the challenge of writing and the struggle authors face. This episode is a deep and honest dive into the soul of the writer and why writing is hard.

“There are, it seems, two muses: the Muse of Inspiration, who gives us inarticulate visions and desires, and the Muse of Realization, who returns again and again to say, ‘It is yet more difficult than you thought.’ This is the muse of form. It may be then that form serves us best when it works as an obstruction, to baffle us and deflect our intended course. It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work and when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.” — Wendell Berry

Read more: https://onbeing.org/blog/the-vital-obstacles-in-the-creative-process/

Mick strikes an important balance in articulating a kind of heuristic approach to first drafts and a focused and intentional revision process. Writing is more than what we know, but Mick acknowledges we all have to start somewhere. Once we have found a place to start, we have to be sensitive, yielding, and courageous to follow where God is leading.

Mick writes on his blog:

“I’ve long maintained that writing well is one of the hardest things one can do. It requires so much. I’ve justified that by saying the hardest things have the most opportunity to be life-changing. And that’s true. The hardest work is the most trying, but it’s also the truest test of your deepest beliefs. And God knows, we wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t for the promise of that reward. Maybe that’s base self-interest, but I think God takes what he can get. And if it gets us to start writing with God, he delights in taking the work and making it an adventure.

Like discovering unexpected treasure along the way, writing with God is ultimately writing for yourself. You will always be the primary beneficiary. And yet, because he is God, you may find this is also the best way to write for your readers.”

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O’Connor

  • There have been intense negotiations in my house about getting a new dog. I have been arguing that we wait till summer… so we got one in last week. Charlotte got Lucy for her seventh birthday this weekend.
  • Couldn’t help digging through the folder of the letters with Ernest Hemingway. One that he wrote from Paris in the 20s and the other from Cuba in the 50s. Both are the original copies.
  • Caught the train to New Haven to spend the day digging through their archive of Dead Sea Scroll papers.
  • Quick trip to New York for a work project and I got to bring an assistant. We got to stay at the Algonquin Hotel, famous for its twentieth century literary round table (Fitzgerald, Ross, Parker…). We also snuck in dinner and a show at the Met Opera. Still confetti on the streets near Time Square.
  • Survival firestarter kit received for Christmas. He’s already got it down. Nice to know we are in good hands.
  • Another Christmas recital in the books. These two worked incredibly hard and gave amazing performances.
  • Another great day on the White river. If you’re crazy enough to fish in the cold, you’ve got the whole thing to yourself.
  • Big thanks to @rwakie for another great day of shooting ducks (teals, mallards, and a Gadwall.) We saw a lot, shot a lot, and managed to hit some. They are beautiful birds.
  • It was cold. It we shot birds. Great fun for a another South Dakota pheasant hunt, this one with my brother and dad. Throw in some nice points and retrieves from Millie and it was a great weekend.
There have been intense negotiations in my house about getting a new dog. I have been arguing that we wait till summer… so we got one in last week. Charlotte got Lucy for her seventh birthday this weekend.
There have been intense negotiations in my house about getting a new dog. I have been arguing that we wait till summer… so we got one in last week. Charlotte got Lucy for her seventh birthday this weekend.
There have been intense negotiations in my house about getting a new dog. I have been arguing that we wait till summer… so we got one in last week. Charlotte got Lucy for her seventh birthday this weekend.
There have been intense negotiations in my house about getting a new dog. I have been arguing that we wait till summer… so we got one in last week. Charlotte got Lucy for her seventh birthday this weekend.
2 weeks ago
View on Instagram |
1/9
Couldn’t help digging through the folder of the letters with Ernest Hemingway. One that he wrote from Paris in the 20s and the other from Cuba in the 50s. Both are the original copies.
Couldn’t help digging through the folder of the letters with Ernest Hemingway. One that he wrote from Paris in the 20s and the other from Cuba in the 50s. Both are the original copies.
Couldn’t help digging through the folder of the letters with Ernest Hemingway. One that he wrote from Paris in the 20s and the other from Cuba in the 50s. Both are the original copies.
2 months ago
View on Instagram |
2/9
Caught the train to New Haven to spend the day digging through their archive of Dead Sea Scroll papers.
Caught the train to New Haven to spend the day digging through their archive of Dead Sea Scroll papers.
Caught the train to New Haven to spend the day digging through their archive of Dead Sea Scroll papers.
Caught the train to New Haven to spend the day digging through their archive of Dead Sea Scroll papers.
Caught the train to New Haven to spend the day digging through their archive of Dead Sea Scroll papers.
Caught the train to New Haven to spend the day digging through their archive of Dead Sea Scroll papers.
Caught the train to New Haven to spend the day digging through their archive of Dead Sea Scroll papers.
Caught the train to New Haven to spend the day digging through their archive of Dead Sea Scroll papers.
Caught the train to New Haven to spend the day digging through their archive of Dead Sea Scroll papers.
Caught the train to New Haven to spend the day digging through their archive of Dead Sea Scroll papers.
2 months ago
View on Instagram |
3/9
Quick trip to New York for a work project and I got to bring an assistant. We got to stay at the Algonquin Hotel, famous for its twentieth century literary round table (Fitzgerald, Ross, Parker…). We also snuck in dinner and a show at the Met Opera. Still confetti on the streets near Time Square.
Quick trip to New York for a work project and I got to bring an assistant. We got to stay at the Algonquin Hotel, famous for its twentieth century literary round table (Fitzgerald, Ross, Parker…). We also snuck in dinner and a show at the Met Opera. Still confetti on the streets near Time Square.
Quick trip to New York for a work project and I got to bring an assistant. We got to stay at the Algonquin Hotel, famous for its twentieth century literary round table (Fitzgerald, Ross, Parker…). We also snuck in dinner and a show at the Met Opera. Still confetti on the streets near Time Square.
Quick trip to New York for a work project and I got to bring an assistant. We got to stay at the Algonquin Hotel, famous for its twentieth century literary round table (Fitzgerald, Ross, Parker…). We also snuck in dinner and a show at the Met Opera. Still confetti on the streets near Time Square.
Quick trip to New York for a work project and I got to bring an assistant. We got to stay at the Algonquin Hotel, famous for its twentieth century literary round table (Fitzgerald, Ross, Parker…). We also snuck in dinner and a show at the Met Opera. Still confetti on the streets near Time Square.
Quick trip to New York for a work project and I got to bring an assistant. We got to stay at the Algonquin Hotel, famous for its twentieth century literary round table (Fitzgerald, Ross, Parker…). We also snuck in dinner and a show at the Met Opera. Still confetti on the streets near Time Square.
Quick trip to New York for a work project and I got to bring an assistant. We got to stay at the Algonquin Hotel, famous for its twentieth century literary round table (Fitzgerald, Ross, Parker…). We also snuck in dinner and a show at the Met Opera. Still confetti on the streets near Time Square.
Quick trip to New York for a work project and I got to bring an assistant. We got to stay at the Algonquin Hotel, famous for its twentieth century literary round table (Fitzgerald, Ross, Parker…). We also snuck in dinner and a show at the Met Opera. Still confetti on the streets near Time Square.
Quick trip to New York for a work project and I got to bring an assistant. We got to stay at the Algonquin Hotel, famous for its twentieth century literary round table (Fitzgerald, Ross, Parker…). We also snuck in dinner and a show at the Met Opera. Still confetti on the streets near Time Square.
2 months ago
View on Instagram |
4/9
Survival firestarter kit received for Christmas. He’s already got it down. Nice to know we are in good hands.
Survival firestarter kit received for Christmas. He’s already got it down. Nice to know we are in good hands.
2 months ago
View on Instagram |
5/9
Another Christmas recital in the books. These two worked incredibly hard and gave amazing performances.
Another Christmas recital in the books. These two worked incredibly hard and gave amazing performances.
Another Christmas recital in the books. These two worked incredibly hard and gave amazing performances.
Another Christmas recital in the books. These two worked incredibly hard and gave amazing performances.
Another Christmas recital in the books. These two worked incredibly hard and gave amazing performances.
2 months ago
View on Instagram |
6/9
Another great day on the White river. If you’re crazy enough to fish in the cold, you’ve got the whole thing to yourself.
Another great day on the White river. If you’re crazy enough to fish in the cold, you’ve got the whole thing to yourself.
Another great day on the White river. If you’re crazy enough to fish in the cold, you’ve got the whole thing to yourself.
Another great day on the White river. If you’re crazy enough to fish in the cold, you’ve got the whole thing to yourself.
Another great day on the White river. If you’re crazy enough to fish in the cold, you’ve got the whole thing to yourself.
Another great day on the White river. If you’re crazy enough to fish in the cold, you’ve got the whole thing to yourself.
3 months ago
View on Instagram |
7/9
Big thanks to @rwakie for another great day of shooting ducks (teals, mallards, and a Gadwall.) We saw a lot, shot a lot, and managed to hit some. They are beautiful birds.
Big thanks to @rwakie for another great day of shooting ducks (teals, mallards, and a Gadwall.) We saw a lot, shot a lot, and managed to hit some. They are beautiful birds.
3 months ago
View on Instagram |
8/9
It was cold. It we shot birds. Great fun for a another South Dakota pheasant hunt, this one with my brother and dad. Throw in some nice points and retrieves from Millie and it was a great weekend.
It was cold. It we shot birds. Great fun for a another South Dakota pheasant hunt, this one with my brother and dad. Throw in some nice points and retrieves from Millie and it was a great weekend.
It was cold. It we shot birds. Great fun for a another South Dakota pheasant hunt, this one with my brother and dad. Throw in some nice points and retrieves from Millie and it was a great weekend.
It was cold. It we shot birds. Great fun for a another South Dakota pheasant hunt, this one with my brother and dad. Throw in some nice points and retrieves from Millie and it was a great weekend.
4 months ago
View on Instagram |
9/9

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