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The Creative Nonfiction Podcast with Brendan O'Meara


Dec 8, 2017

"I have never picked the safe option and I have never regretted choosing what I've chosen ever," says Sy Montgomery. Hey there, CNFers, hope you're having a CNFin' good week. My, oh, my, where do we start? Maybe if you're new to the podcast I should let you know what it's about. This is the show where I speak to the world's best artists about creating works of nonfiction: leaders in narrative journalism (like Susan Orlean), personal essay (like Matthew Mercier), memoir (like Pulitzer Prize-winner Madeleine Blais), radio (Joe Donahue), and documentary film like (Jeff Krulik and Penny Lane). As of now it's mainly writers, but I'm scurrying like heck to get more filmmakers and radio producers on the show.  It's my job to tease out origins, habits, routines, and points of craft so that you can apply those tools of mastery to your own work. I also hope that in having these conversations you might also not feel as lonely or alone in your artistic pursuits. You'll notice every single guest has the same set of anxieties you have and they manage to get the work done. I deal with my own self-hatred and lack of worth from the moment my alarm goes off at 4 a.m. so there you have it. Today's guest is Sy Montgomery and you probably know her from her gargantuan bestseller The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the World of Consciousness. It was a National Book Award Finalist and just one of the literally dozens of books Sy has written about animals.  In this episode we talk about: Sy getting her start as a business writer in Buffalo, NY Belief in projects even when you don't believe in yourself Being open to your expectations of a story changing as you go And much, much more Frankly, I came away from this conversation feeling good, just good, and the people who make you feel that way are the people you want to surround yourself with. I know I ended that sentence with a preposition, but whatever.  Before I send you off into the Animal Kingdom with Sy, here's that part where I ask you to leave an honest review on the iTunes. Any review posted from now through the end of 2017 gets an hour-long editorial consult from me, which is a $50 value if you like putting dollars and cents on things. Simply send me a screenshot of your review and I'll reach out. My pile of editorial is growing thanks to you. Reviews are the currency we play with to reach more people and empower them to do the kind of work they find most inspiring.