69 episodes

Author Sara Zarr in conversation with other writers, with a focus on the practical and psychological aspects of creativity, the creative process, and the strange landscape where art meets commerce. Past guests include the author of If I Stay, Gayle Forman; literary agent Michael Bourret; and filmmaker Scott Derrickson.

This Creative Life with Sara Zar‪r‬ Sara Zarr

    • Books
    • 4.9 • 49 Ratings

Author Sara Zarr in conversation with other writers, with a focus on the practical and psychological aspects of creativity, the creative process, and the strange landscape where art meets commerce. Past guests include the author of If I Stay, Gayle Forman; literary agent Michael Bourret; and filmmaker Scott Derrickson.

    Substack & Failure

    Substack & Failure

    An updated statement on the Substack situation and related podcast businesses, plus The Annotated Courageous Creativity, Ep 8: Failure, in thanks for listening. Support the podcast 

    • 38 min
    Ep 74: Author Tracey Baptiste

    Ep 74: Author Tracey Baptiste

    Tracey Baptiste is the author of numerous books for young readers, including the beloved Jumbies series and the New York Times Bestselling Minecraft: the Crash. This episode is not only brimming with the delicious process stuff we love here at TCL, it also gave me several potentially life-changing revelations when Tracey shared with me about recreating a sense of freedom in the writing process, and how a mental health crisis helped her learn “how not to grind.” There’s something for everyone in this ep; I hope you enjoy!
    Selected show notes:
    Tracey’s site
    Creativity Under Pressure and more of Tracey’s videos
    Rocketbook
    The This Creative Life Bookshop shop
    Support the podcast by shopping in the Bookshop shop or making a one-time PayPal donation.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Ep 73: Critic Walter Chaw & the Point of Discourse

    Ep 73: Critic Walter Chaw & the Point of Discourse

    During 2020, in search of things to do from home, I started attending some of the virtual movie talks that writer and critic Walter Chaw gives with guests via the Denver Public Library. They’ve been a true highlight of All This, as Walter’s knowledge is wide and deep and generous. Like all good film critics, he’s also an insightful critic of culture in general, and how it deals in humanity and inhumanity.
    Recently, Walter and I got to talk about his experiences growing up as a first-gen Chinese American kid in Golden, CO, and assimilating via consumption of popular media of the 70s and 80s, for better or worse. We got way into how art can be a catalyst of self-examination, the deep psychology of fandom, and the point of discourse. (Hint: it’s not “being right”.) I realized at the end of the conversation that we didn’t even get around to talking about Walter’s screenwriting projects so you’ll just have to keep an eye out for those!
    Listener note: in the second half of the podcast we talk a bit in an undetailed way about suicidality and depression.
    Selected show notes:
    ‘Parasite’ Won, but Asian-Americans Are Still Losing - Walter’s piece in the NYT after the 2020 Oscars
    Miracle Mile - his monograph on the Steven De Jarnatt film
    Film Freak Central
    Denver Public Library Saturday Matinee YouTube archives. This link takes you to the conversation with Guillermo del Toro about Spirit of the Beehive - check out the playlist for more, and they are always adding. Register here for upcoming talks.
    The This Creative Life Bookshop shop
    Support the podcast by shopping in the Bookshop shop or making a one-time PayPal donation!

    • 1 hr 15 min
    Ep 72: Writing & Brains with Lindsay Eagar

    Ep 72: Writing & Brains with Lindsay Eagar

    Lindsay Eagar is an author and writing coach with a recent ADHD diagnosis. She’s been very open about it online and generous with my personal questions, and I wanted to bring her on for a more topic-focused episode. In this case: our brains!
    Lindsay shares her background, symptoms, diagnosis process, and management strategies in ways that I found so interesting and helpful, and I think you will, too. We also talked about her “fast drafting” 80/20 course and philosophy, dirty books we loved as kids, and the delusions of grandeur we should all strive for.
    Selected show notes:
    Lindsay’s books and classes
    The I Have ADHD podcast with Kristen Carder
    The dubious works of Beatrice Sparks
    The This Creative Life Bookshop shop
    Support the podcast by shopping in the Bookshop shop or making a one-time PayPal donation!

    • 1 hr 15 min
    Ep 71: Author & Songwriter Dave Connis

    Ep 71: Author & Songwriter Dave Connis

    Dave Connis is not only the legendary composer of the theme music for this very podcast, but also an author in his own right, with two YA novels out and a picture book on the way.
    The emotional theme music of this episode is honesty. Dave and I get into matters of art and faith, how a sudden loss changed his writing life and drive, and how not to be a Slughorn in a business where various relational challenges can be baked in. We also, of course, talk about the practical matters of writing, such as: writing with a full-time job and several (at least) children, prioritizing when you’re a person with a lot of ideas, and the freedom in knowing your limitations. And we wouldn’t be two Christians (or in my case, Christian-ish) if we didn’t mention the enneagram.
    Selected show notes:
    Dave online, books and music and newsletter
    Atlas Obscura
    Makoto Fujimura
    Ye Olde Bookshop shoppe
    This podcast is hosted, produced, and edited—for better or worse—by me, Sara Zarr

    • 55 min
    Ep 70: Author Amy Gentry

    Ep 70: Author Amy Gentry

    Amy Gentry is the author of three psychological thrillers for adults, one 33 1/3 on Tori Amos, and a bunch of shorter stuff. Her latest book is Bad Habits, which is here to scratch all your dark academia itches and also make you laugh and cringe.
    After chatting a bit about her book and her own background in academia, we dug into process and publication (and her #pitmad success story), the dead end of trying to be “a good little author,” money and class and missing hotels. Amy also got me thinking differently about my standard weaknesses/obstacles question—nay, the very idea of weaknesses. And, I think she got me back onto Goodreads.
    I loved Amy’s energy and this conversation, and I hope you do, too.
    Amy online
    Small Axe // Lovers Rock
    Joe Pera Talks with You
    Morning [expletive] Pages
    Produced & edited by me, Sara Zarr
    Theme music by Dave Connis
    Ye olde Bookshop shoppe

    • 1 hr 11 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
49 Ratings

49 Ratings

annie644 ,

My favorite

I love this podcast so much! As an aspiring YA writer I love listening to Sarah talk to writers and other creative people (which she frequently reminds is all of us) about their process and the pitfalls of a creative life.

Kaylen111 ,

Helpful and accessible!

Highly recommend

LBK5000 ,

Love it!

Thank you Sara for this inspirational, supportive, entertaining and educational podcast! I've listened to the first 12 so far and love them all! I'm a fan!

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