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#AmWriting

#AmWriting with Jess & KJ

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Entertaining, actionable advice on craft, productivity and creativity for writers in all genres, hosted by Jessica Lahey (freelancer, essayist and NYT best-selling author of "The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Children Can Succeed", KJ Dell'Antonia (NYT contributor and former editor; her novel, The Chicken Sisters, debuts in June 2020, How to Be a Happier Parent is available now) and Sarina Bowen (USA today best-selling author of more than 30 romance novels).
 
Love your career? Love your family? Best of Both Worlds is the show for you! Hosts Laura Vanderkam, author of I Know How She Does It and a mom of four, and Sarah Hart-Unger, a practicing physician and mom of two (soon to be three!) discuss work/life balance, career development, parenting, time management, productivity, and making time for fun. Tune in each week for strategies to help you thrive in all spheres of life.
 
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At the halfway point of 2022, Sarah and Laura chat about goals! Sarah discusses various ways of looking at our progress and the year thus far, and the two discuss their goals in several different categories: 1) done/successful 2) in progress & looking hopeful 3) still interested but looking less hopeful 4) those that need to be tabled or abandoned …
 
Sarah & Laura open with a brief discussion of makeup and Sarah's experience with accessories styling, and then they are joined by Jenny Eversole and Rebecca Kirkwood. Jenny is the creator of Style Space (and longterm BOBW listener!) and Rebecca is a makeup artist and clean beauty expert who worked with Laura for a beauty styling session! They chat …
 
It’s the things-that-aren’t in the episode edition of your weekly #AmWriting email! First off, about 60 seconds in, I mention (this is KJ, it’s nearly always KJ) a podcast I like. But then I flake off to look up the name… and forget to ever mention it again. It’s the Crappy Friends Podcast with Kristan Higgins and Joss Dey. And it’s FICTION GOLD. E…
 
In this episode, Laura and Sarah discuss their earlier life concepts of working motherhood - did they think about being 'working moms' when they were young? Then, Laura is joined by Lisa Segner, who has a great career in finance as well as two young sons. Lisa shares her story, including her entry into working parenthood which did not go as well as…
 
This episode is for you if: you’re starting, re-starting or sparking a freelance career with a focus on something you’re passionate about OR you’ve ever thought the heck with this, I’m striking out on my own. Sometimes the best way to find a publication that reaches the readers you want is to start one. That might mean starting a Substack or a podc…
 
In the intro, Laura and Sarah open with some thoughts on anxiety and their own experiences. Then, Sarah interviews Maggie Sarachek, one of the two original self-named Anxiety Sisters, and author of the Anxiety Sisters' Survival Guide. She is a clinical social worker, mother, and has spent many years learning about and growing through anxiety, and n…
 
It’s hard to start. It’s hard to finish. It’s hard to choose. Sometimes writers (especially those who have had to step back from a professional journalism job for family or other reasons) have all the ideas and in some sense, all the time to execute them, and the result isn’t wild productivity, but a frustrating spinning of wheels—because if everyt…
 
In this episode, Sarah and Laura open with a discussion of mid-life awakenings (as opposed to the traditional mid-life crisis), and certain things Sarah feels she has gotten clarity on over the past few months upon reaching the (possibly?) wise age of 42. Then, they delve into some listener contributions and questions. A very helpful listener wrote…
 
Oh yeah we’ve been there. Heck, we are there. Pigeonholed. Safe in our little bunker. Maybe just a tiny bit typecast. Jumping genres can be exciting, scary, nerve-wracking. But it can be done. Everybody gravitates to one genre or another when we get started. Maybe nonfiction feels a little less threatening—or maybe it feels too hard and fiction is …
 
Laura and Sarah open this episode discussing some of rules from Laura's upcoming nonfiction release, Tranquility by Tuesday (out in October). Then, the episode is dedicated to the experiences (and sometimes challenges of) parenting 6-10 year olds. Sarah and Laura discuss their favorite aspects of this age group as well was some difficulties - some …
 
I don’t think we’ve ever talked about middle grade on #AmWriting, which was why I was so delighted to talk to Jamie Sumner, author of Roll With It, One Kid’s Trash, Tune It Out and the forthcoming, literally any day now The Summer of June, which you should order for your kid’s beach bag right now. (And if you happen to be in Nashville, scroll down …
 
Today's episode is a treat - Rebecca Fike (of LagLiv blog fame) who was a fantastic guest in 2018 returns to give an update on how life looks different now - exciting new job, bigger kids, a move, and more pets! Sarah loved catching up with her as she captures how things have changed and evolved over time within her law career and in her family. Sa…
 
Some of us, which might be all of us, have spent a decent amount of time writhing in the throes of writer envy lately. Can’t IMAGINE what we’re talking about? Never opened Facebook to see news of yet another Netflix deal, or celebrated a friend’s fantastic New York Times review while just a little bit kind of secretly asking yourself where yours wa…
 
In they intro, Sarah and Laura discuss the mildly 'parasocial' relationship they enjoy with podcasters, Youtubers and bloggers. Then, Laura interviews author, teacher, and mother Jess Lahey on the topic of addiction, including how to best prevent the development of this issue, and ways to talk about it with kids. In the Q&A, a listener writes in ab…
 
Jess here. On this week’s episode, I talk with New York Times bestselling author Kristen Green about her first book, Something Must Be Done About Prince Edward County: A Family, a Virginia Town, a Civil Rights Battle and her new book, The Devil’s Half-Acre: The Untold Story of How One Woman Liberated the South’s Most Notorious Slave Jail. We go int…
 
Even when you do embrace outsourcing - there's still plenty to do in most households! Sarah and Laura discuss (and sometimes debate :) ) their favorite household management hacks, routines, and tips. Areas discussed include laundry, dishes, picking up, errands, meals/cooking, breakfast, lunches, and more! In the Q&A, a listener writes in asking for…
 
Shownotes up front—but scroll down, there’s an announcement! Mia P. Manansala (she/her) is a writer and book coach from Chicago who loves books, baking, and bad-ass women. She uses humor (and murder) to explore aspects of the Filipino diaspora, queerness, and her millennial love for pop culture. She is the author of 2 books so far in the Tita Rosie…
 
In the intro, Sarah discussed with Laura the timing of her kids (none during med school). Then, Lisa joins Sarah for a fascinating (and at times very emotional) discussion of her experiences having her first child during medical school. She shares what she learned, what she experienced (including an atypical presentation of postpartum depression) a…
 
Jess here. A.J. Jacobs has long been my inspiration for both writing and writerly mentorship, so I was thrilled when his forthcoming book, The Puzzler: One Man’s Quest to Solve the Most Baffling Puzzles Ever, from Crosswords to Jigsaws to the Meaning of Life landed on my doorstep. I adore A.J.’s work and this book might be a new favorite. We talk a…
 
In this episode, Laura and Sarah delve into weekends. They discuss how they plan their weekends, what elements feel 'essential' in each weekend, and balancing fun for each and every family member. In the Q&A, a listener writes in about potentially going part time to write. Episode Sponsors: Better Help: Better Help offers convenient online counseli…
 
Fave return guest alert! We talked to Mary Laura Philpott in episode 71–#YouandYourBookstore, back when she was a Parnassus Books guru. And then in Episode 150: #NeverReady, when MLP (as we like to call her) launched her first book of essays, I Miss You When I Blink, into the world—and then again, for episode 163 #BookTourReality. And now she’s bac…
 
In the intro, Sarah and Laura discuss some of their favorite blogs -- those that still write in an honest, real style and depict the high and low moments of parenthood. One joint favorite is The Frugal Girl, and writer Kristen join Sarah for a discussion on this episode. She discusses her experiences in blogging (since 2008!), meal planning and avo…
 
Where should your energy go? KJ here, and in this episode Jess and I catch up on what’s worth it and what isn’t when it comes to travel, the importance of getting over any (non-pandemic-related) hesitation around taking the time for conferences and work events and also, in our usual digressive fashion, covers, paperback launches and boots. Links fr…
 
Summer 2022 is approaching (and faster than many of us may realize!). If your'e out of practice in summer planning, this episode will get you back on track. Laura and Sarah discuss planning childcare, camps, travel, and personal fun, too! In the Q&A, an introverted listener writes in about not wanting to 'get back out there' post pandemic -- can sh…
 
New York Times investigative journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey broke the story of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assaults in 2017 and harassment and won a Pulitzer Prize for their efforts. Their book about the Weinstein investigation, She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement, came out in 2019 and the film versi…
 
Oliver Burkeman is a self-proclaimed self-help enthusiast, but also enjoys taking a look at some of the common advice from other angles. His recent work 4000 Weeks focuses on the finite nature of life, and how the fact that it is truly impossible to do everything might inform how we spend those limited hours. It was a natural pairing to have Laura …
 
Like all great stories, The Vortex: A True Story of History’s Deadliest Storm, an Unspeakable War, and Liberation was born out of writerly curiosity and a deceptively simple question: Why would India build a wall around Bangladesh? I (Jess) spoke with co-authors Scott Carney and Jason Miklian about their collaboration and the work involved in answe…
 
The concept of sharing what is "SMLRN" or "saving my life right now" has caught on, and for good reason - lots of great ideas, plus it can also be a powerful gratitude practice when things are tough. Laura and Sarah independently brainstormed and then shared together (live!) for this fun episode. Episode Sponsors: Better Help: Better Help offers co…
 
Urban fantasy. Paranormal romance. Historicals. Plus the occasional billionaire, and now a rom-com, complete with a cute graphic cover that tells you exactly who you’ll be rooting for and what to expect. What do all of these things have in common, besides being written by todays’ guest, Seressia Glass? Two things. First, they’re all—as she says on …
 
Laura and Sarah recently took a podcasting/relaxation retreat together, and got to record together for the time in years! This episode is quite meta, as it's all about retreats -- why you might consider taking one, how to plan a retreat, micro-retreats, and more. In the Q&A, a variation on a common question is asked -- with a flexible job that the …
 
Abby Kincer is a reader and a bookstagrammer, a fun person, an enthusiastic consumer of bookish socks and t-shirts, a user of filters, a wearer of glasses, a possessor of many tote bags and—that’s what I know about her! Because her Instagram is bookstagram through and through, and that’s why she’s here. We asked Abby everything we ever wanted to kn…
 
In the intro, Sarah and Laura discuss recent kids' birthday parties, from video game trucks to cold playgrounds. Then, Sarah interviews Molly Beck, podcast listener and tech entrepreneur. They chat about family logistics, her work story, division of labor in their house (50/50!), and much more! For the Q&A portion, a listener writes in asking for t…
 
Crew, Anne Le Tissier is a listener with a question: What should I have on my website—and how can I get there without breaking the bank? She’s also the author of six traditionally published inspirational titles, some out of print, a speaker and the creator of a rather genius non-blog blog idea that I may just have to steal for myself. We critique h…
 
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