“Tenacity threw the party and luck just happened to show up.”

—  Brian Panowich

Brian Panowich calls himself an “accidental novelist.”

His first dream was to become a professional musician and he found a level of success with that. While he came up with a lot of ideas for short stories, they all ended up as songs.

After the birth of his daughter, he gave up touring… but found that he still wanted that creative outlet. He discovered a flash fiction website — and soon became addicted.

He began submitting short stories to websites and one of his stories was nominated for an award. While he lost, the story caught the attention of a literary agent, who reached out to Brian and suggested he try his hand at writing a novel.

In his free time between being a full-time father and firefighter, he wrote his award-winning first novel, Bull Mountain.

But his instant success came with a price.

“The pressure and amount of stress that comes along with trying to do that again or to recapture that lightning in a bottle for a second time or third time, that becomes a pressure cooker,” Brian explains. “Success is not all that it’s cracked up to be. It’s wonderful, but it has its pitfalls.”

In order to keep his creativity flowing, Brian has a daily morning ritual.

“My ritual is to make sure I get up every morning and I make my bed. I work from home and home is my office,” Brian explains. “Somebody told me one time that if you accomplish something very small immediately, at the beginning of your day, then the rest of your goals — or whatever you’re setting out to accomplish — you’ll feel better about doing.”

In‌ ‌this‌ ‌episode of the podcast,‌ ‌you’ll discover:‌ ‌

  • How Brian moved from flash fiction hobbyist to award-winning novelist
  • How music, nature, and poetry can be used as writing tools
  • The beguiling potential of an open ending 


About Brian Panowich

Conceived beneath a Tilt-a-Whirl in Roswell, New Mexico, Brian Panowich is the latest in a long line of con men, cult leaders, sea captains, unwilling raconteurs, and caviar tastemakers on dime store budgets. He also wrote a few books and won a few awards.


Highlights:‌ ‌

00:27  Meet Brian Panowich

01:04  “What is your ritual?”

03:30  Psychedelics

05:38  Brian’s writing journey

13:37  Professional jealousy & success

17:24  Writing tools

25:10  No happy endings

29:32  Projects

38:56  Community





IG: @bpanowich







Special thanks to Emily Milling and the team at The Ultimate Creative and our business manager Erika Macauley.

Music for this podcast was recorded with producer Spencer Garn at Diamond Street Studios in Atlanta, Georgia.

Learn more at www.hollandcreative.io/ritual





IG: @conversioncopydesign