Rank #1: Anne Lamott: Hallelujah Anyway
Glennon Doyle Melton is back on the Beautiful Writers Podcast; this time in the co-host chair with Linda Sivertsen. Fresh from her whirlwind tour for the #1 New York Times bestseller, LOVE WARRIOR, Glennon shares heart-centered updates on those dizzying details, as well as love notes on her recent divorce (yes, they're darling like that), and romantic musings on her engagement to soccer legend, Abby Wambach (simply captivating). Linda and Glennon couldn’t be more excited to interview their long-time idol (whom they’ve never met)—Anne Lamott—the much BELOVED author of the New York Times bestsellers: Help, Thanks, Wow; Small Victories; Stitches; Some Assembly Required; Grace (Eventually); Plan B; Traveling Mercies; Operating Instructions, and several novels—including Imperfect Birds and Rosie. And let’s not forget, her universally adored, how-to writing classic, Bird by Bird. Anne and Glennon have so much in common it's hard to keep up, but here’s a sneak peek list: Oprah; sobriety; motherhood; bestsellers; acts of charity; Sunday-school teaching, political activism, overall adorableness, and the not-so-enviable burden of social anxiety (unless you figure, as Linda does, that it’s sneakily behind their distinct talent for taking universal feelings and making them hilariously darkly dramatic and touching, thus earning them the adoration of the masses). Tune in as Linda and Glennon catch Anne BEFORE she embarks on tour for this, her 17th book: HALLELUJAH ANYWAY: Rediscovering Mercy. Because she hasn’t yet been asked a million questions on the topic and therefore won’t be looking for the exit routes. Because the world could sure use more mercy right about now. And because you'll soon find out what it means, where you can find it, and why it’s so radically important. Welcome!
Rank #2: Brené Brown: Daring to Create Greatly
One of today’s most beloved authors, Dr. Brené Brown shares behind-the-scenes details of her incredible life and career including: What it’s like to have 3 books on the New York Times bestseller’s list at the same time, why she won't read her reviews, funny/moving details of her meeting with Oprah and Maya Angelou, and what trips her up when writing and real life collide. If you’re one of the over 25 million viewers who’ve watched her 2010 TEDx Houston talk on The Power of Vulnerability, you know that this research professor at the University of Houston is heartfelt and hilarious. (Case in point, her “A" to our “Q" on “Sleep or Sex?” just might be our favorite one yet!) It is with very full hearts that we bring you this conversation. To subscribe to future podcasts or learn more about how we can support you on your writing journey, head over to www.beautifulwriterspodcast.com
Rank #3: Maria Shriver: I've Been Thinking
You’ve watched Maria Shriver on TV for decades. Read her many bestsellers. Cheered as she and her family founded and championed some of humanity's greatest causes. Now’s your chance to get to know her more intimately than perhaps ever before. Maria’s here, on for the first day of her new book tour! In this playful, deep interview for I’VE BEEN THINKING: Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life (Pamela Dorman Books/Penguin Random House), Leeza Gibbons and I talk with this New York Times bestselling author of six (surely now seven!) titles. We muse about family, friendship, parenting, and divorce. On the struggle to believe we’re doing enough; the different ways we three get our writing done; Time Debt and what’s truly important, and the steps we should all be taking to safeguard our precious brains from Alzheimer’s and other dementia. Guys. This episode is epic for me. It’s hard to put into words what it means to host the show with someone who’s touched my life so beautifully for so long (Leeza). But to then have another idol of mine for nearly twenty years (Maria) as our guest?!—Good God. Life can be so surreal. And, as Maria points out, it can also be incredibly complicated. For everyone. Doesn’t just knowing that make it easier already? Imagine this. Your uncle promises the country that he’ll land us on the moon—uttering some of the most famous words in the history of our world. Your parents start the Peace Corps, Head Start, Jobs Corps, and the Special Olympics—all organizations still uplifting the masses. How the heck, against this backdrop, do you find your words, your voice? And yet, as you’ll hear, it was Maria’s words, Maria’s voice that truly changed the course of my life and in part gave me the freedom I have now. I’m extra excited to share this conversation with you—one in which Leeza stumps Maria during our rapid-fire Q & A with the hardest—and I’m guessing funniest—question she’s ever been asked. (Hint: It may have to do with hair and coffee, although not hairy coffee.) Then, as Maria tells us she’s NEVER before been asked our next question, and I hear these long-time besties laugh—I’m now thinking: How in the world did I get so lucky? Here’s a woman who worked her way up from writer to producer to anchor at both CBS News and NBC news, and traveled the world interviewing presidents, kings, activists and more—and has been interviewed countless times herself. Did we really just hit the back-to-back question jackpot here? (Smiley.) Surreal indeed. I’m so glad you’re here. Welcome! P.S. Subscribe here so you'll be the first to know when a new episode airs. For more info, go to www.BeautifulWritersPodcast.com
Rank #4: Glennon Doyle Melton: Beautiful Love Warrior
Linda Sivertsen and her guest co-host, bestselling author and Oprah magazine columnist Martha Beck, are self-described giddy fan girls in this playful, wise interview with Glennon Doyle Melton--author of the New York Times bestseller, CARRY ON, WARRIOR. Her new memoir, LOVE WARRIOR (Flatiron Books), is now available for preorder and the reviews--“astounding” (Rob Bell), “epic” (Liz Gilbert), and “blew me away” (Brené Brown)--barely hint at the mind-blowing experience that is this book (trust us)! Glennon’s blog, Momastery.com, reaches about a million people daily, and and her non-profit, Together Rising, has raised more than 4 million dollars to aid women and children in crisis around the world. We cannot say for sure where Glennon's magic fairy dust comes from. Could it result, perhaps, from her raw, extraordinary honesty? (You may remember how Martha told Danielle LaPorte and Linda Sivertsen during her episode for this podcast last year that: “Every time you get more honest, you get more magical.”) Regardless, tune in to find out why, in comparing herself to Glennon, Martha’s now threatening to put her own head in the toilet:). Enjoy! Take your dreams from idea to done with us. Find out more: http://beautifulwriterspodcast.com
Rank #5: Elizabeth Gilbert : The Big Magic of Creative Living
In this conversation with Elizabeth Gilbert, our generation's "Mark Twain," we unpack the inherent magic of language, embracing the sacred "No," what it takes to have the things you say you want, and to sex or not to sex on book tour. Ha. Liz has an extraordinary way with words (but you knew that) and a rich perspective on what it means to share your magic with the world. Her eighth bestseller, BIG MAGIC is nothing short of brilliant and we're elated to have her with us. For more inspiring interviews with best-selling authors, subscribe to the Beautiful Writers Podcast on iTunes. To get access to our thriving community of writers visit TheBeautifulWritersGroup.com.
Rank #6: Geneen Roth: Messy & Magnificent
Martha Beck guest co-hosts in this radical conversation with legendary author Geneen Roth, which aired on Easter Sunday, 2018. Whether you celebrate the holiday or not, imagine this. Chocolate eggs. Jelly Beans. Ham. A little Hawaiian bread with your butter. Or, a LOT of Hawaiian bread with your butter… plus gravy. I mean you’ve tried that, right? Gravybutter? Good God. My point: do you ever wish you could finally attain peace over your weight and what you eat? This episode won’t be sending the food police to your door—no worries!—but it may bring some much-prayed-for relief. I know it has for me, as you’ll hear. These women—Geneen and Martha—are walking, talking, living proof of the magic of transformation, in a wildly abundant and crazy fun kind of way. The three of us have what just might be the radical conversation you’ve been wanting. Because let’s face it; everything you thought was going to fix things hasn’t so far. Perfect timing, I figured, for a holiday about mercy and freedom and rising and angels. Ya? I heard of Geneen’s work years ago, back when book angel Oprah Winfrey shared her awe of this woman’s writing with the world. Geneen was one of the first to link compulsive eating and perpetual dieting with deeply personal and spiritual issues that go far beyond food, weight, and body image. And Lord, can she write. Her words are poetic. Hypnotic. Delicious, all on their own. Food for thought and the soul. As the author of TEN titles, including the just-released THIS MESSY MAGNIFICENT LIFE (Scribner), and The New York Times bestsellers When Food Is Love; Women Food and God, and Lost and Found (about losing all of her money to Bernie Madoff)—Geneen is PROLIFIC. With lots to say about healthy ways to get our books completed, and how to live peacefully as a writer, teacher, and sane citizen in an insane world. Bestselling author Martha—who is in her 17th year as an O, The Oprah Magazine columnist (can you imagine making all those deadlines?!)—is pretty smart about that stuff, too. Can I get an Amen? I know you’re going to love Geneen as much as I do. One of her superpowers, for the past 30+ years, is helping people find freedom at her weight, food, and money retreats and seminars. Rather than pushing away the “crazy” things we do, Geneen’s work proceeds with the conviction that our actions and beliefs make exquisite sense. The way to transform our relationship with food, our body, and so much more, is to be open, curious and kind with ourselves—instead of punishing, impatient and harsh. Ahhhh. Told ya. Church. Even when you find yourself eye to eye with that chocolate bunny with the big ears. Especially so. Linda xx P.S. Subscribe here so you'll be the first to know when a new episode airs. For more info, go to www.BeautifulWritersPodcast.com
Rank #7: Martha Beck : Shortcuts to More Magic
This interview is so full of magic it’s not even funny. Except that it is! Martha Beck's passion for writing (and life!)is infectious, and you'll quickly see why she's so prolific (recently completing her 10th book, in the midst of a very full artist life that includes world-class painting). Listen as Martha shares some of her best “shortcuts" to attaining more magic, including details of her “integrity cleanse,” the best advice she’s ever been given (summed up in two words), the ultimate marketing strategy for any creator, and what the “rocket ride of rapture” means for your productivity. Buckle in. Her ideas are lightning fast. For more inspiring interviews, follow the Beautiful Writers Podcast here on Soundcloud or subscribe on iTunes. And for access to our thriving community of writers, coaching calls and more, visit TheBeautifulWritersGroup.com.
Rank #8: Tom Hanks: Uncommon Type
The one and only Mr. Tom Hanks is here, and he’s caffeinated and ready to rock this podcast—with melodic typing accompaniment, no less. I couldn’t have chosen a better guest host than Danielle LaPorte to join me in perhaps our most enjoyable conversation yet. From the first seconds of Tom's hilarious/unorthodox entrance, we do our best to keep up with one of the world’s most creative minds. But as he soon learns, we ladies have several psychological tricks up our sleeve, and even get him to gut laugh a few times (go, D!). The 17 fictional stories in Tom’s book, Uncommon Type: Some Stories (Knopf), are whimsical, satirical, surprising, funny, and deeply touching. The characters and worlds he creates stay with you. Change you. Cause you to see things, you’d never thought of before. According to Kirkus: “While these stories have the all-American sweetness, humor, and heart we associate with his screen roles, Hanks writes like a writer, not a movie star.” Steve Martin says: “It turns out that Tom Hanks is also a wise and hilarious writer with an endlessly surprising mind. Damn it.” Just what you’d hope to find from this Oscar-winning (2x) actor, screenwriter, director, producer, and musician Renaissance man who has previously published pieces in The New York Times, Vanity Fair, and The New Yorker, but for whom this is his first collection of fiction. We can only hope it won’t be his last. Pull up a chair and sit a spell as we mix up our usual format a tad and experience the interviewing time of our lives. And P.S.—We just might get Tom to comment on our fantasy of he & Oprah running for office. God, I love this gig. I’m so happy you’re here. xx Next month: I interview novelist Dean Koontz (500 million books sold) about his new thriller, The Whispering Room, from the NYT bestselling Jane Hawk series. The legendary screenwriter/story + dialogue coach, Robert McKee will be back, this time in the co-host chair. Subscribe here so you'll know the minute it posts. For more info, go to: www.beautifulwriterspodcast.com.
Rank #9: Gabby Bernstein: On Judgment & Bestsellers
I LOVE this soul sister. Gabby Bernstein makes me laugh. Her honesty is refreshing. Sometimes I look at her and think I’m witnessing an honest-to-goodness, real-life angel. But when this #1 New York Times bestselling author of THE UNIVERSE HAS YOUR BACK, and five other bestsellers sent me her latest book, JUDGEMENT DETOX (dropping Jan. 2nd from North Star Way), I didn’t think I could do it. I figured I had zero chance of embracing, much less TALKING about a subject I could barely stomach. Detoxing my judgment? Are you kidding me? When it comes to eating, I’m all about detoxing. Give me a juice fast any day of the week, and I’ll pucker up and chug the slimiest of swamp grass. But emotionally, I’m in activist-mode, #metoo-ing and marching with chin held high. Additionally, I live in a part of the world—Los Angeles—that’s experiencing its worst fire season ever, in December, mind you; at a time when our administration’s rolling back environmental protections with the speed and ferocity of our Santa Ana winds. Not judge? Not interested. Except, I know better. Anger and judgment provide an energy boost, but the pump is temporary—certainly no long-term strategy for wholeness or happiness. What if Gabby has come up with a way to be nonjudgmental AND outspoken? More peaceful while more vocal (and effective)? A girl could hope. I had to give her a fair shot. Not to mention, I knew we’d have one hell of a writing and publishing convo. Because girlfriends can talk shop! And we’re mad crazy in LOVE with this industry. Gabby does not disappoint. Her candor—about her writing insecurities and internal and external fixes—will not only make you laugh and surprise you, but will help you better create, receive, and navigate your own publishing prowess. It is my great honor to welcome you into one of my favorite chats yet. As I reflect on the blessings of the past twelve months, this show leaves me shaking my head. Tom Hanks? Van Jones? Glennon Doyle? Dean Koontz? And Gabby? I’m not entirely sure how I got here or where we’re going, but my heart overflows with each interview and download. Thank YOU for sharing your time and love and curiosity with me month after month. I wish you and yours the Happiest of Holidays and a coming New Year that will somehow surpass even your brightest and most beautiful hopes and dreams. God bless, Linda xx P.S. Subscribe here so you'll be the first to know when a new episode airs. For more info, go to www.BeautifulWritersPodcast.com
Rank #10: Marianne Williamson: From Tears to Triumph
Marianne is a spiritual teacher and author of 11 books—(4 #1 NYT bestsellers), who shares with us unforgettable insider publishing stories, including the dangers of ignoring the “still, small voice within” when it comes to media and pressure from industry experts. We discuss being pregnant with a book; how to invite more miracles, and the difference between learning through suffering vs. joy. As the founder of Project Angel Food (a meals-on-wheels program serving homebound people with AIDS); a co-founder of The Peace Alliance (supporting legislation to establish a United States Department of Peace); her tireless work to end poverty (worldwide), and running for Congress (bringing the revolutionary concepts of love and forgiveness into the political arena), this visionary woman doesn’t mess around! Newsweek magazine has called Marianne one of the 50 most influential baby boomers, and with her new book, Tears to Triumph: The spiritual Journey from Suffering to Enlightenment, the brilliance continues… To hear past and future podcasts, and learn more about how we can support you on your writing journey, head over to www.beautifulwriterspodcast.com
Rank #11: Elizabeth Lesser: Creative Courage
Linda Sivertsen and bestselling author and Oprah magazine columnist Martha Beck team up yet again... this time to interview their buddy… the New York Times bestselling author and Omega Institute co-founder, Elizabeth Lesser. Elizabeth's new memoir, Marrow: A Love Story (HarperWave), tells of being her sister’s “perfect match” for a bone marrow transplant when in their real lives, the two were more of a mismatch. (Incidentally, this leads to unimaginable highs of emotional and spiritual healing.) Hear these three friends share behind-the-scenes details around the stress/honor of speaking at TED/TEDWomen; working in depth with Oprah to put on a tele-conference for a mere 15 million people; the challenge of writing about family members; how standing tall with integrity and openness around those we love can lead to a "soul marrow transplant,” and how the often "boring practice part" of a person's spiritual practice often results in a kind of unparalleled life potency that more than makes up for any of the daily grind. So, if you’re able, brew up a cup of tea and put your feet up for this heart-and-soul(ful) conversation. To learn about taking your dreams from idea to done with Linda: beautifulwriterspodcast.com
Rank #12: Danielle LaPorte: White Hot Truth-teller
Author, Visionary, & Oprah SuperSoul100 leader, Danielle LaPorte, isn’t risk averse. No. She’s “risk erotic.” But that doesn’t mean she didn’t get a not-so-little unwelcome surprise after choosing to walk from a Big 5 publisher and go rogue to self-publish her latest book, WHITE HOT TRUTH: Clarity for Keeping It Real on Your Spiritual Path from One Seeker to Another. Linda and bestselling author Dani Shapiro (9 books; currently on tour for HOURGLASS: Time, Memory, Marriage)chat with D about what taking big risks really looks like when the realities of funding your mission, your art in the world, test your “limits.” This is what Danielle calls the teeth of entrepreneurship. Three writers. Two on book tour. All mothers with sons. On today’s episode, they get real and really vulnerable about: Tradeoffs and damn hard parenting lessons learned (stuff you can’t take back and don’t ever want to regret); the fear of not looking pretty enough on stage; why confidence is not necessarily a writer’s friend; the courage it takes to step into a bigger arena (where the stakes keep getting higher), and how writing is like a lover who waits for you (who sometimes argues!). They talk, too, about not having a Plan B; the GIFTS that come from saying no because of your values, health, or family priorities; what goes on Instagram and what doesn’t; how to find the spine of your book—the rhythm of things, and being in total effing denial about time. As you listen to Danielle say: “I’m so done with not having fun in getting where I want to go,” think about how that can be your new mantra. About how, via her example, you can walk and write lighter and brighter. Write on. Welcome.
Rank #13: Guru Singh: Buried Treasures Revealed
Linda Sivertsen interviews her longtime friend Guru Singh—a third-generation yogi, spiritual leader, and author—for one of her most powerful conversations yet. Named “Best Guru in L.A.” by Los Angeles magazine in the early 90s (that claimed Guru's yoga classes were so popular, attendees had to levitate for space), Linda made an appointment to see what all the hype was about. What she found was positively addictive. For decades, people of all faiths have flocked to this minister of Sikh Dharma because, as you’ll see, his unique and profound take on the world is spellbinding. We also can’t say enough about Guru's memoir, BURIED TREASURES: The Journey From Where You Are To Who You Are, a book that takes you through a most mystical of hero’s journeys. About this episode! Guru Singh is epic, and we need epic right about now. We promise you’ve never heard insights like the ones you’re about to discover… crazy-cool strategies on bringing through your most inspired writing; cutting-edge wisdom on what the heck is going on with our planet (and between the sexes!), and the enormous benefits of sitting in the lap of your creator and whispering in its ear, to name a few. It’s long. Our longest episode yet. And we’re guessing you may just wish he’d gone on even longer:). Guru has requested we tape today’s show without a co-host, to make the chat a little more intimate. Get your pen and papers ready, if you’re not driving. Because your mind is about to be blown. To learn more about Guru, go to GuruSingh.com. And, to take your writing dreams from Idea to Done, we’ll see you over at: www.beautifulwriterspodcast.com
Rank #14: Steven Pressfield : Resistance and Invoking the Muse
In this lively chat with a legend of contemporary literature (The War of Art, Gates of Fire, The Legend of Bagger Vance … ), Steven Pressfield shares details of his own hero's journey, and his best pro writing tips: the “Foolscap Method” for starting (and ending) a book, working with the “equal and opposite” energies of assistance and resistance, and how to invoke the muse without pissing her off. Steven’s warrior code approach to the creative life has been the saving grace for writers and creatives around the world who endeavor to overcome the inevitable pull of self-sabotage. His classic style is captivating, making this one of our favorite interviews of the year. Join us as Steven illuminates the Odyssey of the creative journey like only he can. For more inspiring interviews with best-selling authors, subscribe to the Beautiful Writers Podcast on iTunes. To get access to our thriving community of writers visit TheBeautifulWritersGroup.com.
Rank #15: Mary Karr : Write the Next True Thing
Known for her dry humor and unrelenting honesty, bestselling memoirist Mary Karr shares how she threw away the equivalent of four finished books, how she gets through the “scary blankness” of bad writing days (and invokes favorite prayers!), why she ALWAYS writes a proposal for every book, and one of her biggest motivations (hint: a lot of writers will disagree with this one). While Mary’s first love is poetry, her 1995 memoir, The Liar’s Club, reignited the memoir movement, while her most recent book, The Art of Memoir, reveals in detail both her personal process and insights from a decade of teaching the form at Syracuse University. You’ll be ready to do the tough work and tell the tough truth after this jam-packed conversation. For more no-holds-barred conversations with your favorite authors, subscribe to the Beautiful Writers Podcast on iTunes.