18: Interview with Joanna Rakoff
Joanna Rakoff has been a writer for as long as she can remember---even back to the days when people more routinely stated things like, "A career in the arts isn't realistic."
That said, her journey has taken more than a few twists and turns. From believing she wanted to follow a specific writing journey that didn't exactly "pan out" as she expected to discovering what type of writing she's truly passionate about (and why one needn't ever utter the words "I thought it was 'bad' to want [fill in the blank]," her story offers no fewer than 973 lessons in perseverance, the value of self-awareness, and the rewards that come from following the unique beat of one's heart.
On this episode of the Write the Damn Book Already podcast, we discussed:
- Joanna's ultimately realization that she desired "to make art rather than comment on it" (having started out with a more journalistic pursuit)
- The process of having her second book, My Salinger Year, optioned for film and the experience that resulted from choosing a producer with her heart, not her head.
- Her thoughts on the publishing industry sometimes wildly underestimating what readers actually want, and how it plays into books that become an unexpected success
What we think goes on behind the scenes of authors walking red carpets (not to mention what was involved in getting there to begin with) is often quite off-base, and a result of us trying to keep ourselves safe by thinking, "Well, that could never happen to me anyway because..."
But when we realize that, just like Us magazine likes to tell us every week, celebrities are "just like us," we can actually begin to get curiously creative about telling ourselves a different story---one that supports amazing and unexpected opportunities.
Connect with Joanna
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