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In today's episode we look back at one of our best episodes of the year. Dani Shapiro has made her living as a writer for more than 20 years. In this interview we have an in-depth discussion about working artists and what it takes to master the craft of writing. 


  • Why there are many trajectories to creative careers
  • Dani's early exposure to working artists
  • The importance of living and rebelling 
  • Why Having a story to tell matters so much
  • Getting back to callings of our youth 
  • How a new generation values of quality of life
  • Why Dani left New York for a quiet country life
  • What it truly means to live a creative life
  • How some of the great things in life happen accidentally
  • The importance of exposing yourself to great artists 
  • Some incredible insights on the best way to start your day
  • Slowing down your mind by reading physical books 
  • Making meaning from loss by telling a resonant story
  • The self doubt that every single writer faces before the page
  • Memory and imagination as engines for storytelling 
  • Being responsible with our gifts as writers 
  • When you feel misunderstood and wounded as a writer
  • The reason you can't hand lack of craftsmanship 
  • Why authors are increasingly responsible for their book's success
  • The role that talent plays in your ability to succeed as a writer


Still Writing: The pleasure and perils of a creative life

Goodbye to all that: Writers on loving and leaving New York


Dani Shapiro is the bestselling author of the memoirs Devotion and Slow Motion, and five novels including Black & White and Family History. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, One Story, Elle, The New York Times Book Review, The Los Angeles Times, and has been widely anthologized. She has taught in the writing programs at Columbia, NYU, The New School and Wesleyan University, and she is co-founder of the Sirenland Writers Conference in Positano, Italy. This episode of the Unmistakable Creative is sponsored by Skilledup, an online course discovery platform built to help shape the future of learning​. Download their free toolkit for creative professionals. 

Originally aired almost 2 years ago.

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Our listeners say, “If TEDTalks met Oprah you’d have the Unmistakable Creative.” Eliminate the feeling of being stuck in your life, blocked in your creativity, and discover higher levels of meaning and purpose in your life and career. Listen to deeply personal, insightful, and thought-provoking stories from the world’s leading thinkers and doers including best-selling authors, artists, peak performance psychologists, happiness researchers, entrepreneurs, startup founders, artists, venture capitalists, and even former bank robbers. Former guests have included Tim Ferriss, Seth Godin, Justine Musk, Scott Adams, Rob Bell, David Heinemeier Hansson, Elle Luna, Jordan Harbinger Brett Mckay, and Simon Sinek.