Thursday, July 23, 2015

Cheryl Strayed on Magic Lessons Podcast with Elizabeth Gilbert

 When I was a high school junior, I had to fill out a form about what I wanted to do with my life.

On the form was a space fill out what job you wanted when you grew up.

I wrote down “writer” without fanfare or trepidation.  I just knew that’s what I wanted to do.

My aptitude test suggested funeral home coordinator.  The closest I got to this was working briefly as a receptionist at a pet crematorium in college, but that’s a story for another time.

I didn’t know how to be a writer or what that would look like, so I did the closest thing to being a writer: a junior high English teacher. 

However, my soul knew that close enough wasn’t good enough, in this case.

Fast forward fifteenish years later, and I am receiving some pretty powerful lessons in living a creative life.

Last week, Elizabeth Gilbert debuted her Magic Lessons podcast where she talks to me about mycreative struggles.  She wanted to bring in a writer who is also a mom, and that person was CherylStrayed .  In case you missed it, I wrote a blog post professing my love for her memoir Wild.

I love Cheryl’s advice, but what I also loved is that she painted a very clear picture of the sacrifices she has had to make in order to create her art.

So often, I think that people guard the way they do business, maybe because they don’t want to be judged for their choices.  So we are led to believe it’s easy and life is seamless.

I also struggle with sharing my truth and honoring the privacy of the people in my life.  In fact, I think that is the main reason I have not started my book sooner.

Her insight gained from writing has reminded me that there is always a bigger purpose, in addition to finding your own clarity:

Cheryl Strayed Magic Lesson Elizabeth Gilbert Erin Janda Rawlings

I am forever grateful to have this opportunity.

Here are the links to the podcast:

You can download the MAGIC LESSONS podcast episodes here:
Soundcloud (
iTunes (
Stitcher (

Monday, July 20, 2015

Big Magic Podcast with Elizabeth Gilbert

Last week, I announced some pretty big news: I was chosen to be a part of Elizabeth Gilbert’s podcast called Magic Lessons

Magic Lessons is an extension of her new book that is coming out on September 22 called Big Magic*, which is all about how to live a creative life without fear.

Early one Sunday morning, I saw a Facebook update that said she was looking for people who would share their creative struggles for her podcast.  I wrote about how I have wanted to start writing a book, but had some serious mental blocks about starting.

I clicked the send button and desperately asked the Universe to help me with this.

A few weeks later, my question was answered: out of thousands of applicants, I was chosen.   Me!  Elizabeth Gilbert would be calling to interview me about why I wasn’t writing this book already.

As you may know from previous blog posts, I am a huge fan of Elizabeth Gilbert.  Huge.  Eat Pray Love showed me how it is possible to follow your instincts into the unknown for sake of happiness.

Back in 2013, I talked about her quote choosing your thoughts the same way you choose your clothes helped me get through the holidays. 

I talked about how her book, The Signature of All Things, helped reignite my love of reading

I talked about how hearing her speak at Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend was life-changing, especially since it was right around my birthday.

And at the beginning of this year, I was feeling drained and creatively lost.  Inspired by her Facebook post talking about her New Year's Day tradition, I made a feeling board collage from magazine clippings.

The opportunity to talk with Elizabeth, in and of itself, was thrilling. I mean a chance to talk with someone who has continually inspired me – it still takes my breath away. 

But, as it turns out, the interview was just the beginning.  After completing (and continuing to work on) the homework assignments she gave me (one being start the damn book), I feel different.

Everything is still the same – I still run the kids where they need to go, make dinner, and do the laundry.

But everything is different at the same time.  Writing about this idea that has been aching to get out has lit a spark that I haven’t felt in awhile.  I feel inspired, like the world looks more colorful.

You can download the podcast episodes from Soundcloud (, iTunes ( or on Stitcher (

I can’t wait to hear the next installment with another one of my favorite writers!

Big Magic Podcast with Elizabeth Gilbert Erin Janda Rawlings Mommy on the Spot
One of my assignments was to post this by my computer.
I love it.

*I was given a promotional copy of the book and the chance to speak with Elizabeth Gilbert.  All opinions are my own . . . and consistent before I ever had this incredible opportunity.


Since I am committing more time to writing my book, my blog might not be as active.

You can always find me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.  I would love to connect with you there, too!