Hello, friends, fellow CNFers, it’s The Creative Nonfiction Podcast, the show where I speak with the world’s best artists about creating works of nonfiction and the actionable insights they share to help you with your work.
For this episode, Jess reads the essay in its entirety and she gives a knockout performance. I noodled around with music for a bit, but I couldn’t find the perfect tracks for it, so I just let it stand: Jess simply reading her wonderful essay.
Before we get to her reading I want to ask you something: What are you struggling with? Is there something in your work that’s giving you trouble or are you hitting road blocks? I want to know. Ping me on Twitter or email me. Maybe I can help.
Also, be sure to share this with a friend, leave a review on iTunes if you got any value out of this, and let me know if you dig these author readings.
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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“I don’t spend a lot of time lingering over breakfast,” he says on The Creative Nonfiction Podcast. [Subscribe on the Apple Podcast app or Google Play Music! And leave a review in iTunes. One generous soul has left a 5-star review! Join him/her!]
Check this: When dealing with early drafts (and Dinty writes as many as 40), he says, “I don’t think, ‘Oh, God, I hate myself. I’m a horrible person.’ I think, ‘You know what? I can actually fix this.'”
Great advice for patience and kindness to you and your work.
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“A successful writer is someone who alters me.” —Elane Johnson
“Teaching for me is writing.”—Elane Johnson
We’ve made it to 25 episodes, can you believe it?
Elane Johnson comes by the podcast to talk about her essay “The Math of Marriage,” which won Creative Nonfiction’smarriage essay contest for Issue No. 59. You’ll have to subscribe to magazine to read it.
What will be in store for the next 25 episodes of the podcast? I have no idea. I just hope you keep hanging around and listening to these often unsung writers talk about their work.
Elane also references Sarah Einstein, author of Mot: A Memoir. You can hear her episode too.