Hey, there CNFers, Happy New Year! It’s 2018 and we’re gettin’ rollin’ here for the biggest, baddest year for The Creative Nonfiction Podcast. It’s got a new Twitter thingy.
And what is The Creative Nonfiction Podcast? It’s the show where I speak to the world’s best artists about creating works of nonfiction: leaders in the worlds of narrative journalism, documentary film, radio, essay and memoir, and tease out the habits and routines so that you can apply their tools of mastery to your own work. Continue reading “Episode 82—The Language of the Gods”
“It’s kind of like the Internet is everybody’s dad.”
“I think of research as this open-ended, beautiful thing.”
“Research is this vehicle that allows you to follow your interests however long you want to follow it.”
“If you can’t love the grind, you’re doomed.”
For Episode 80 of The Creative Nonfiction Podcast, the show where I speak with the world’s best artists about creating works of nonfiction, I spoke with Rachel Wilkinson, a writer and research based out of Pittsburgh, PA.
Her essay, “Search History,” won Best Essay for Creative Nonfiction Magazine’s Science and Religion contest for Issue 65. It’s Google as religious experience, how the very act of asking questions is very faith-based, and, if we’re getting grim and dystopian, how this technology, which is getting increasingly sentient, might supplant us some day. #spitoutthebone (Metallica reference for all y’all.)
In our conversation we talk a lot how she crafted this essay and how it hangs on a big idea rather than sheer character drive, David Foster Wallace, The War of Art, the fun of research, embracing failure, and trusting—yes, trusting—self-doubt.
Self-doubt is my spirit animal.
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Tweetables by Jessica Lahey (@JessLahey on Twitter):
“Give me everything that was wrong with it and have me learn.”
“I’ve realized that long walks and gardening are a part of my process.”
“Almost always the editor is right.”
“Our tagline is, ‘Keep your butt in the chair and your head in the game.'”
“The work of being a writer means you get words on the page.”
Jessica Lahey, author of the essay “I’ve Taught Monsters,” which recently appeared in Issue 63 of Creative Nonfiction and the NYT best seller The Gift of Failure, came by the show to talk about teaching and getting the work done.
“The work of being a writer means you get words on the page,” Lahey says. “It’s as simple as that. I means you read, you write, and get words on the page.”
We talk about her approach to teaching and language, and also how Stephen King’s On Writing influenced her style. We also talk about what it means to work hard as a writer, a very nebulous term. What does hard work look like?
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