Making the Leap from Media Executive to Debut Novelist

Hi everyone, I’ve got a new episode of Everything I’ve Learned this week, an in-depth conversation with Dawnie Walton, author of The Final Revival of Opal & Nev.

It’s her (excellent) debut novel — the story of a rock duo that rises to fame in 1970s New York City. Walton worked as a journalist and media executive before the story of Opal Jewel inspired her to go all-in on pursuing her dream:

I was working full-time, and I would wake up at like 5 a.m. and try to squeeze in some writing time before I had to get ready to go to work. If I wasn’t too tired at the end of the day, I would also write at the end of the day.

It was an idea that gripped me, more than any idea has ever gripped me. And that’s what kept me coming back to that computer. I probably shouldn’t admit this, I was thinking about while I was at meetings at my job, I was thinking about it when I was cooking dinner.

If you open the notes in my phone, they’re like a disaster of old notes and little ideas that I wanted to jot down. I was working on this novel around the edges of my day. Until it reached a point where I felt like, I’m ready to devote more to this. 

You can listen and subscribe at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you like to listen.

Hope you’re all having a good week,


About this Newsletter and Podcast

Everything I've Learned podcast

Mark Armstrong is the founder of Longreads and producer/host of Everything I’ve Learned, a podcast about lessons, mistakes, and other turning points. You’ll receive this newsletter every couple weeks. You can subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you like to listen.

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