“I thought that if things were hard it somehow meant that you shouldn’t be doing them. I think that was a youthful notion.” –Cynthia Sweeney
In this episode of Deviate, Rolf speaks with Cynthia about therapy and hugging (2:00); career changes, writing her first novel, and the benefits of obtaining an MFA (6:30); writing tactics (21:15); starting a career in writing later in life (27:00); signing a seven-figure advance for her debut novel, and navigating the resulting expectations (34:00); writing in different genres, and the process of adapting a novel into a screenplay (46:40); the idea of talent, and its relationship to hard work within the creative process (57:00).
For more information on Cynthia Sweeney, you can visit her website, https://www.cynthia-sweeney.com/.
- Esther Perel podcast
- UCLA Extension (writing program)
- MFA in Writing at Bennington (graduate program)
- Scriptnotes podcast advice for MFA degrees
- Poets & Writers (magazine)
- UCB Theater (improv program)
- John Irving’s The World According to Garp (novel)
- Six by Sondheim (documentary)
- Memento Mori (theory of mortality)
- “Tell me why I shouldn’t hate you” interview with Cynthia
- Bret Antony Johnston (author)
- Peter Ames Carlin (author)
- Amy Poehler (actress and comedian)
- Conan O’Brien (TV host and comedian)
- Jill Soloway (writer/director)
- Henry Dunow (book agent)
- George R.R. Martin (author)
- Dennis Lehane (author)
- Stephen Sondheim (Broadway composer)
- Gillian Flynn (author who adapted her own novel for the screen)
This episode was sponsored by the Paris Writing Workshop, an intensive one-month course in the artistic heart of Europe.
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