“When you need stuff done in conservation, you’ve gotta connect with the heart.”
Hey, it’s the Creative Nonfiction Podcast, the show were I speak to the world’s best artists about creating works of nonfiction, leaders in narrative journalism, doc film, memoir, essay, and radio and tease out habits, origins, routines and punishing self doubt so that you can apply those tools of mastery to your own work.
If you haven’t subscribed to the podcast, go to Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or Google Play Music so you get that little ping each week when we go live.
I’ll also ask that you leave an honest review on iTunes. Those greatly help with the visibility and the hope is to keep growing. This podcast is a LOT of work and if it doesn’t grow then I’ll be forced to “go out of business.” Reviews and ratings will help keep the lights on.
I’m grateful that you stopped by and I hope you stay.
“What I wanted to do was show the commonality of all life on earth…it seemed important to me that we’re related.” —Elizabeth Marshall Thomas.
You’ll excuse that there’s not traditional intro and outro to this show. You might even prefer it. I’ve had what I can only hope is a MINOR complication with recent oral surgery and don’t want to talk and thus compound the problem at hand. I won’t bore you.
It’s The Creative Nonfiction Podcast, the show where I speak to artists about telling true stories. Leaders in narrative journalism (like Bronwen Dickey), memoir (like Maddy Blais), essay (like Erica Berry), radio (like Joe Donahue), and documentary film (like Penny Lane) talk about their origins, routines, processes, and key influences so you, kind listener, can apply those tools of mastery to your own work.
Carl Safina, author of Beyond Words, writes, “We are lucky to have shared some time on Earth with Elizabeth Marshall Thomas…Reading her is like looking through a telescope and realizing that the brightness you see actually happened long, long ago and has taken all this time to reach your own eyes.”
Dig the show? Leave a review for a review! What’s that? Consider leaving an honest review on iTunes and I will coach up a piece of your writing up to 2,000 words. Reviews are the currency that drives the podcast economy and I’d be thrilled if you added your two cents. Show me proof via electronic mail and we’ll get it done. You give me a minute of your review time, I’ll give you a few hours of mine (that’s how long it takes to read a piece three times and give good notes.) You give you get.
Also, in an effort to be less dependent on social media (@CNFPod, @BrendanOMeara, @CNFPodast, and @BrendanOMeara), my monthly newsletter is the bedrock of my little community here. It’s my monthly book recommendations and what you’ve missed from the world of the podcast. I’d love it if you signed up. Once a month. No spam. Can’t beat it.
Maybe I’ll be able to talk next week. In the meantime, enjoy Episode 93, and if you want to hear far more from Elizabeth, be sure to check out Episode 80 with her.
“Lack of information can ruin people’s lives in a profound way.”
“Each of us had a lot of periods during the process where we felt we sucked at writing.”
So I had oral surgery this week so my capacity to speak with my face mouth is greatly hampered.
Welcome to the Creative Nonfiction Podcast, the show where I speak to the best artists about telling true stories, teasing out their origins, habits, and routines, so that you can apply some of those tools of mastery to your own work. What’s goin’ on CNFers! CNFbuddies!
I recorded this interview with Ellen prior to the surgery so I sound like a human person through the interview. She along with Nina Brochmann wrote “The Wonder Down Under: The Insider’s Guide to the Anatomy, Biology, and Reality of the Vagina.” It’s quite a fun read.
Both Ellen and Nina are touring the U.S. as we speak since the book caught fire after their TEDxOslo talk about “The Virginity Fraud,” breaking myths about the hymen and such got over 2 million views. It’s up near 3 million now.
I spoke only with Ellen for this episode because Nina got sick at the last minute. Only one brilliant Scandanavian for you this week…
Ellen hits on:
How her curiosity led her to women’s health
Co-authoring a book and co-writing a TED Talk
How the lack of information can ruin lives
And processing a new sense of global visability
Yeah, a little house keeping, I’d love for you subscribe to the show so you can get one of these nifty little podcasts every Friday. Also, if you leave an honest review on iTunes I’ll edit/coach up a piece of your work up to 2,000 words. You give me one minute of your review time, I’ll give you a couple hours of mine. Not a bad deal for you.
Okay, now it’s time to hear the brilliant … for episode 92, wow.
“I can’t think about writing a big project. It’s too overwhelming for me but I can think about a thousand words a day and then this magical thing happens which is you end up with 90,000 words.”
“I think you have to have the basics down as a writer before you can even think about playing with how to tell it. I would say I spend 80 percent of my time on this one reporting and another the other 20 writing.”
“I have to remind myself that I have to be a little nuts to do this. I think all writers have to be a little crazy.”
“Really what I’m always looking to go back to when I read is a book that is very sure of its own voice.”
“I have rarely began with structure.”
Yo. Wanna help the podcast? Leave an honest review on the iTunes, send me proof, and I’ll coach up a piece of your writing of up to 2,000 words OR give you a fancy transcript of any single episode of the podcast you like. That was easy. Let’s go.
It’s that time again, what’s up CNFers, my CNF-buddies, this is The Creative Nonfiction Podcast and I am your radio-handsome host Brendan O’Meara. This is the show where I bring you talented creators of nonfiction—leaders in narrative journalism, essay, memoir, radio, and documentary film—and tease out origins, habits, routines, influences, books, mentors—so that you can pick some of their tools of mastery, add it to your cart, and checkout free of charge.
That sounds fun, right?
This week I bring you Episode 89 with Sarah Minor, @sarahceniaminor on Twitter and @sarahcenia on Instagram). She is a professor and a writer and her essay “Threaded Forms: Decentered Approaches to Nonfiction,” looks to knitters, stitchers, and quilting bees to discover new and subversive models for writing memoir.
In this episode we talk about:
How boredom dictates her direction
Losing voice and finding it
And the ever-present battle of dealing with social media
Let’s do this.
Okay, if you stay here you’ll be able to sign up for my monthly reading list newsletter that has book recommendations and what you might have missed from the world of the podcast. Once a month. No spam. Can’t beat it.
“There is some advantage to saying nothing and letting people go on forever.”
“It’s usually when you stop trying so hard that you something happens.”
“You have to go away for a few days and then come back and look at it fresh and see what’s magical about the information.”
Hey, there CNF-buddys, I’m comin’ at you live from my shiny new digs. New house up in Eugene and I’ve got a nice little office I can call my own. There’s no foam on the walls yet, so please pardon the audio, but we’re making strides to be the best.
Part of that is me shutting the front door and getting the hell out of the way. I still haven’t quite figured out a way to completely edit myself out of these interviews. But I’m working on it.
Rachel Corbett joins me this week for Episode 88 of The Creative Nonfiction Podcast, the show where I speak with the best artists about creating works of nonfiction, leaders in the world of narrative journalism (like Bronwen Dickey here and here), essay, memoir, radio, and documentary film where I try and tease out origins, habits, routines, mentors, key influences, so you can apply some of their tools of mastery to your own work.
Rachel is a freelance journalist whose work appears in a few rags you might have heard of: The New Yorker, the New York Times, etc. She’s also the author of You Must Change Your Life, The Story of Rainer Maria Rilke and Auguste Rodin.
Rachel hits on some key points about:
Carving out your own niche
How things come easier when you stop trying so hard
Listening vs. talking
Getting away from the work so you can come back refreshed
And the power of being dumb and defeated (some of us were born this way)
So…you dig the show? I ask that you leave an honest rating (10 seconds) or a review (<60 seconds).
A review = an editorial consult/coach sesh of up to 2,000 words