1,070 episodes

Finding the Throughline: Conversations about the Creative Process invites you into the minds of writers and other creatives as they open up about their process, their doubts, and what kinds of changes they’re thinking about making. The questions are mildly invasive, honestly, and the answers are unvarnished…and so refreshing! 
Whether your creative work is writing, painting, making music, parenting, or simply living, Finding the Throughline can help you get—and stay—inspired. Invigorated, even. 
For detailed show notes on each interview, visit katehanley.substack.com. And if you’d like to hear these interviews in one ad-free episode (as opposed to broken up into three shorter episodes with a few ads sprinkled in to keep the lights on), become a paid subscriber once you’re there.
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Finding the Throughline with Kate Hanley Kate Hanley

    • Education
    • 4.7 • 102 Ratings

Finding the Throughline: Conversations about the Creative Process invites you into the minds of writers and other creatives as they open up about their process, their doubts, and what kinds of changes they’re thinking about making. The questions are mildly invasive, honestly, and the answers are unvarnished…and so refreshing! 
Whether your creative work is writing, painting, making music, parenting, or simply living, Finding the Throughline can help you get—and stay—inspired. Invigorated, even. 
For detailed show notes on each interview, visit katehanley.substack.com. And if you’d like to hear these interviews in one ad-free episode (as opposed to broken up into three shorter episodes with a few ads sprinkled in to keep the lights on), become a paid subscriber once you’re there.
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    [Joanne McNeil, inner stuff]: Owning your outsider status + “doing what I can do with with the tools that I have”

    [Joanne McNeil, inner stuff]: Owning your outsider status + “doing what I can do with with the tools that I have”

    In this episode I'm talking with Joanne McNeil, author of Wrong Way (a novel set in the near future at a company that manages driverless cars) and Lurking (a non-fiction look at the history of the internet from a user’s perspective), about the inner workings of creativity–the thoughts, ideas, and beliefs that either help you do your work, or get in the way.
    Warning, there’s a tiny bit of cursing and a mention of sexual harassment in the workplace–not a specific story, but just the topic in general, so take care while listening.
    We talked about:
    The thrill of writing an op ed and indulging that desire to be right…
    …. compared to writing something more personal (fiction or nonfiction) and being more reflective and offering more of yourself
    Reckoning with the fact that since her novel, Wrong Way, happens at work and the main character is female, she’d need to include scenes of sexual harassment in order for it be authentic–and really not wanting to go there (“I kind of wrote them in a flurry”)
    Resisting the urge to overcompensate for the fact that she doesn’t have the ‘right’ writer’s resume
    Why she still considers herself to be an emerging writer
    How having writers who come from outside the traditional writing pipeline is so important for the future of writing…
    …and how those writers will naturally take longer to develop (so please don’t tell yourself it’s ‘too late’ or ‘taking too long’!)
    A mini rant about the use of AI to create art, and being the cheesy romantic who says “humanity is important”
    Joanne’s website: https://www.joannemcneil.com/
    For full show notes with links to everything we discuss, plus bonus photos!, visit katehanley.substack.com.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 21 min
    [Joanne McNeil, practical matters]: On finding your ambition and building your own opportunities + a Trader Joe’s shopping list for fueling your writing

    [Joanne McNeil, practical matters]: On finding your ambition and building your own opportunities + a Trader Joe’s shopping list for fueling your writing

    This week I am talking with journalist, essayist, and novelist, Joanne McNeil. Joanne's first novel Wrong Way came out in 2023. It's a sci-fi novel set in the near future that takes a look at the intersection of the gig economy and big tech and is both satirical and touching–it also made a lot of lists of the best books of 2023 and The New Yorker called it “a literary sneak attack on the very idea of 'the future.'” Joanne's first book, Lurking, is a nonfiction look at the history of the internet from a user's perspective. Joanne is also an important tech critic and has been writing professionally for 20 years.
    We covered:
    How posting on message boards in the early days of the Internet led Joanne, a kid from a working-class Massachusetts town, to pursue writing
    Getting strategic about your career, especially when you don’t come from the traditional path of Ivy League undergraduate degree and top tier MFA
    The often slow but vital work of building a diverse community
    How residencies are like gift cards–and how to create your own residency if need be
    Joanne’s list of must-have supplies for a writing residency: bulletin board, push pins, Post-It notes, and a detailed list of what to get at Trader Joe’s
    Acknowledging the fact that one hour to yourself can serve as a residency when you need it to

    Joanne’s website: https://www.joannemcneil.com/

    For full show notes with links to everything we discuss, plus bonus photos!, visit katehanley.substack.com.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 20 min
    [Hayley Krischer: What’s coming up]: What she’s recently learned about understanding her character’s psyches + the incredible allure of hot tubs

    [Hayley Krischer: What’s coming up]: What she’s recently learned about understanding her character’s psyches + the incredible allure of hot tubs

    In this final part of my interview with Hayley Krischer, journalist and author of the soon-to-be-released “Where Are You, Echo Blue?” we peek at what’s coming around the bend for her and I get her answers to my fast five questions.
    We talked about:
    The incredible allure of hot tubs
    How re-watching “The Actor’s Studio with James Lipton” was a key part of her research process for “Where Are You, Echo Blue?”
    What she learned from studying actors about getting in to the psychology of her characters
    The Instagram influencer who’s helping Hayley understand her perimenopausal body and learning how to take care of herself (Health with Holland)
    Thinking ahead to when her youngest child is out of the house
    A preview of both her YA novel that’s coming out in 2025 (think Charles Manson meets Goop meets teenage girls) and the adult novel she’s writing next
    The 620-page novel Hayley read in four days because she couldn’t put it down
    The exact morning beverage (my second guest who swears by Peet’s Coffee Major Dickinson blend) the fuels Hayley, and the (dark) song that gets her fired up when she needs a kick in the pants
    Hayley on Instagram and Threads: @haylerkrischer
    Hayley on TikTok: @hayleykrischerauthor
    Hayley’s website: hayleykrischer.net
    Hayley’s Substack:
    Hayley’s upcoming book (pre-order it now so that you have it for as much of the summer as possible, it’s gonna be the best juiciest beach read of the year): Where Are You, Echo Blue?
    For full show notes with links to everything we discuss, plus bonus photos!, visit katehanley.substack.com.
    Big thanks to our sponsor, AirDoctorPro. Use promo code KATE at airdoctorpro.com to save up to $300 off an air purifier and receive a free 3-year warranty (an $87 value).
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 17 min
    [Hayley Krischer, inner stuff]: True confessions about how “horrible” writing can feel + why–and how–she wrote her next novel in longhand

    [Hayley Krischer, inner stuff]: True confessions about how “horrible” writing can feel + why–and how–she wrote her next novel in longhand

    In this episode I'm talking with Hayley Krischer, author of the upcoming “Where Are You, Echo Blue?”, which is poised to be the beach read of the summer, about the squishier side of creativity– including:
    The steps Hayley takes–and the tools she uses–to immerse herself in the world of her novels and inside her characters’ psyches
    What she does when she’s feeling stuck
    How good it feels when you connect with someone who loved your work in the real world
    The YA author Hayley fan-girled all over when she realized he was also an audience member at a reading she was attending
    How writing and editing can feel “horrible,” “like torture”--and the parts that make Hayley feel like jumping for joy
    How her inner critic loves to tell her she should be able to write a novel while also taking five-mile hikes every day
    How the months between when you’re done working on a manuscript and the book is published is a tough time, mentally–and how to navigate it
    The self-care practices helping Hayley through (the journaling practice, the supplements, the breathing exercise that helps her sleep)
    Busting the myth that writers make a lot of money and how hard it is to make a bestseller list
    For full show notes with links to everything we discuss, plus bonus photos!, visit katehanley.substack.com.
    Big thanks to our sponsor, AirDoctorPro. Use promo code KATE at airdoctorpro.com to save up to $300 off an air purifier and receive a free 3-year warranty (an $87 value).
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 25 min
    [Hayley Krischer, Practical Matters]: The power of just keeping going + how to capture those great ideas that come when you’re not at your desk

    [Hayley Krischer, Practical Matters]: The power of just keeping going + how to capture those great ideas that come when you’re not at your desk

    This week I am talking with journalist and novelist Haley Krischer. Haley's journalism has won awards and appeared in the New York Times, the New York Times Magazine, the Atlantic, and Elle, among other places. She has profiled celebrities like Tatum O'Neill and Celine Dion and Gabrielle Union, and she's reported on trends through a feminist lens. Haley's first two novels were for young adults: “Something Happened to Allie Greenleaf” and “The Falling Girls.” This summer, her first adult novel is coming out: “Where Are You, Echo Blue?” It's about a journalist's obsessive search for a missing Hollywood starlet. And I for one am so looking forward to packing that on my summer vacation.
    We covered:
    Which former child actor/celebrities Hayley obsessively researched for her upcoming book, “Where Are You, Echo Blue?”
    How she found herself working at the Boston Globe in college and found all the journalists “these grimy, sexy, fascinating people”
    The brilliant wisdom she tells her kids about power of just keeping going.
    The circular editorial career that led her to being an author
    The “pure insanity” that keeps her coming back to the page
    The writing program Hayley signed up for that took the story she’d been working on for 20 years and could never sell and helped her revise it into a form that sold to a major publisher in four days (her first YA novel, “Something Happened to Ali Greenleaf”
    The exact mechanical pencil she used to write her upcoming YA novel that’s coming out in 2025
    The author that inspired Hayley to write a novel in longhand
    Why you should never trust yourself to remember that great idea and the myriad ways Hayley captures those ideas, wherever they may happen
    For full show notes with links to everything we discuss, plus bonus photos!, visit katehanley.substack.com.

    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 23 min
    [Jennifer Fink: What’s coming up]: The lure of leaving it all behind and becoming a flight attendant + the Post-It note sayings that light the path

    [Jennifer Fink: What’s coming up]: The lure of leaving it all behind and becoming a flight attendant + the Post-It note sayings that light the path

    In part three of my conversation with author of Building Boys, Jennifer Fink, we talk about the mind trip that is beginning to envision retirement.
    I have to point out that this is the third interview in a row where my guest mentions that they have a phrase written on a Post-It note hanging above their computer monitor. In addition to sharing what she’s written on her Post-It notes (plural–there are two), Jennifer shares some of her go to shows, snacks, and songs.
    The lure of leaving it all behind and becoming a flight attendant: “After raising teenagers, unruly passengers? Cinch”
    The Building Boys Book Club Jennifer is currently dreaming up
    What’s written on the Post-It note above her computer (there are two of them, actually)
    Finding ways to connect more directly with the people who value your skills and expertise
    Thinking about retirement, and having more regular access to scuba diving
    Envisioning being able to work only on the things closest to your heart and having plenty of time for relationships
    The Netflix show the world went crazy over a couple years ago that Jennifer just discovered
    The secret to making movie-theater-caliber popcorn
    Her go-to Pandora station
    Why December 23rd is the best day of her year, hands down
    Connect with Jennifer:
    At her website: buildingboys.net
    At her Substack (email newsletter): buildingboys.substack.com
    For full show notes with links to everything we discuss, plus bonus photos!, visit katehanley.substack.com.
    Big thanks to our sponsor, AirDoctorPro. Use promo code KATE at airdoctorpro.com to save up to $300 off an air purifier and receive a free 3-year warranty (an $87 value).
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 19 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
102 Ratings

102 Ratings

Mins18 ,

My creativity boost

Listening to Kate and her guests have become a creativity ritual for me. 3 times a week, I know I’ll be getting my creativity boost with the thought provoking questions and the down to earth honest answers. Thank you Kate!

Paigelc78 ,

LOVE this podcast

This podcast is so great! I love the short segments, the content is always so on point, Kate’s is so real & down to earth, and her voice is so soothing. Highly recommend!!

Princessp925 ,

LOVE the short to the point advice

I listened to 3 podcasts during my massage chair session and it’s so great. Her voice is soothing and kind. I like to improve myself and change my mindset and habits for a better life and If that is you. This channel is for you!!!

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