You may already know of Alexandra Franzen, the powerhouse, no nonsense writer – and if so you know why I’m ECSTATIC to have her on the show with me today to talk about her new book, You’re Going to Survive.
Much of what Alex focuses on and shares in this interview is about the creative process. It can be so daunting to show up and do, and then finish, the creative work you’re called to do. As I talked about in Episode 110, I know that I am intrigued by the many possibilities and the brainstorming that comes as part of the process, but it can be hard to be disciplined and actually DO the work. Alex shares a lot about how she approaches this, and it’s so much simpler than maybe you or I would think. (hint: schedule in the time).
Alex’s new book, You’re Going To Survive, is all about the hard things that come with our work, in whatever kind of job you are at. She got curious about the question of “What is the worst moment of your career and what happened?” and found that when people answered this question, it was often a story of great self-empowerment. Nearly universally, people who have had a horrible work experience “turn a setback into an opportunity.”
One of the stories that Alex shares is that of her brother, who was a working musician. He used to perform in train stations and bus stops and while he was very good, Alex wondered why he kept going. Why wouldn’t someone who was making next to nothing quit? Of course her brother kept going and is now a successful studio musician.
I loved this interview because of the tenacity that Alex describes in many of the people she interviewed. The issue of having a bad work experience is unfortunately so relatable, and it’s amazing to have someone share the stories of HOPE and frankly JOY that come from having been in those bad situations. She shares the quote from Christian D Larson “there’s something inside you that’s strong than any obstacle.”
The main take away from this episode is the theme of “This day is not over yet.” Alex shares about how she heard this phrase on one particularly down day, and how it motivated her to turn the day around. Something that had felt low energy and unfulfilling after she made the decision to go to yoga, call her mom, and have a good dinner. It’s easy to choose joy when we are faced with something else, and it just takes making the effort.
In this episode, Alex and I talk about:
– Being an introverted child, and enjoying reading and writing picture books
– Following your creative instincts
– Working as a writer and entrepreneur
– How to approach the creative process and finish what you start
– What to do if you are stuck in a bad job
– Stories of people who have found hope and empowerment after being in horrible work environments
– “Today is not over yet”
– The Internet Pledge and Morrissey’s quote of “It takes strength to be gentle and kind.”
– What resistance has looked like: having lots of amazing ideas for 2018, and not being able to make an announcement on what she’s going to do until she’s narrowed down what she’s going to do
– Her thoughts on how to jump start your joy: handwritten notes, awesome music and making her bed
Alexandra Franzen’s website
Alexandra Franzen’s new book: You Will Survive (on Amazon)
Alexandra Franzen’s Internet Pledge
Alexandra on The Lively Show
Rising Strong by Brene Brown (on Amazon)
Other books by Alexandra Franzen: 50 Ways to Say You’re Awesome (on Amazon)