Create Out Loud

with Jennifer Louden


27 | How To Avoid Toxic Comparison In Our Creative Life w/ Keri Smith

Though her work centers on wild, uninhibited creative acts, Keri Smith is a self-proclaimed introvert. The hugely popular bestselling author Wreck This Journal is the first to admit that our creative needs to be a sacred choice, an intentional process that we commit to, despite the voices around us (and in our head), telling us not to. 

Keri and Jen get vulnerable as they discuss the gap between their public and private personas, and the very real looming specter of burnout that challenges every creative.

Happy Thanksgiving From Create Out Loud! 🦃

If you're looking to find more gratitude in your creative life, today's episode is for you!

Visit to get instant access to a collection of audios that will:

  • help you with some of the most common struggles we creatives have to manage including fear of choosing,
  • falling into compare and despair, managing the inner critic (s),
  • and feeling too exposed and vulnerable when you put yourself or your work into the world.

26 | How To Market Yourself As A Creative w/ Toya Gavin

For better or worse, so much of the creative life relies on marketing, which can feel icky. But for Toya Gavin, who has brilliantly built her life coaching business through her own ingenious marketing strategies, it doesn't have to feel icky.

Instead, it can feel social, constructive, and even beneficial for those who deserve to hear about your endeavors. Though Jen and Toya might both struggle with that instinct to want to be the invisible creative, today's creator economy just doesn't support that, and instead, we should CREATE OUT LOUD!

25 | Laura Davis on How To Make Personal Experiences Universal For Your Audience

This episode is a treasure trove of a conversation with Laura Davis, the author of seven non-fiction books, including The Courage to Heal and I Thought We‘d Never Speak Again, which have been translated into 11 languages and sold more than 1.8 million copies, that focus primarily on healing, recovery, and the beautiful scars that the challenges of our lives leave behind.

Chock-full of insights about tackling tough topics in your writing, being the writer in the family, changing directions when you’re already known for one thing, completing a creative project that will not let you put it down, taking control of your publishing and marketing, and much more, you won’t want to miss this.

24 | Why Bother To Create At All?

"Why Bother" was the central question of Jen's last book, and so of course, it had to show up on the podcast!

But today we go deep: why bother to create, at all? If you've faced creative failure, despair, or you feel like you're facing insurmountable cynicism, it may feel exhausting and impossible to create. Or even worse, it may feel pointless. And trust me, we get it.

BUT, there are still a million reasons why the beautiful act of creation is often our way out, and we discuss those reasons today.

23 | Optimizing Your Creativity By Creating A Safe Space

It's hard enough to feel like "our best selves" when we're creating, but in this solo episode, Jennifer Louden lets listeners in on a secret no one tells you: We won't create unless we foster a safe space and sacred space around our work! What does that REALLY mean? Tune in to find out.

22 | Aimee Nezhukumatathil On The Essential Need For Wonder In Our Creativity

Aimee Nezhukumatathil is the author of the New York Times best-selling illustrated collection of nature essays and Kirkus Prize finalist, WORLD OF WONDERS: IN PRAISE OF FIREFLIES, WHALE SHARKS, & OTHER ASTONISHMENTS (2020, Milkweed Editions), which was chosen as Barnes and Noble’s Book of the Year. She has four previous poetry collections, and her writing appears twice in the Best American Poetry Series, The New York Times Magazine, ESPN, Ploughshares, American Poetry Review, and Tin House.

On today's show, Jen and Aimee connect over their passion for the natural world, and the unavoidable truth the clock is ticking on that environment. But for both Jen and Aimee, creativity, open-heartedness, and WONDER provide a foundation of hope and could truly change they way we see our own lives, and more importantly, the whole world.

21 | Oliver Burkeman On Accepting and Embracing Creative Limitations

Oliver Burkeman is an award-winning thought leader and the author of 4 bestselling books about time, happiness, and strategies for living our best lives. His new book, Four Thousand Weeks, is about making the most of our radically finite lives in a world of impossible demands, relentless distraction and political insanity (and 'productivity techniques' that mainly just make everyone feel busier).

On today's show, Jen and Oliver connect over their complicated relationship with the term "self-help," discuss how we can maximize our creative time, and explore how understanding our own limits can make us feel limitless in our creativity.

20 | Jen's Biggest "A-Ha" Creativity Breakthroughs From Season 1

As much as YOU feel like you've learned a lot from season 1 of Create Out Loud, I promise you, Jen has learned JUST as much.

In this very special episode, Jen's producer Jeff asks her some of HIS burning questions about Jen's biggest creative breakthroughs, and we through it back to some amazing moments with Anne-Laure Le Cunff, Rissi Palmer, and Angeline Boulley.

19 | Poet Kate Baer On Using Your Critics To Fuel Your Art

Bestselling poet Kate Baer has a beautifully truthful relationship with motherhood, with social media, with internet trolls, and with being a woman. It's wrestling with all of this that inspires her poetry, poetry women love (and some men are threatened by) because she tells the truth.

Listen to how Kate uses her life, and her critics, to know her truth and develop her craft. It's incredibly brave.

18 | Ashley Sumner On Letting Roadblocks Fuel Rather Than Derail Your Creativity

Shedding identities has been at the center of Ashley Sumner's creative journey and her company Quilt, and a good thing as she had to change her company's entire mission at the start of the pandemic.

Ashley is the founder of a social media community Quilt dedicate to connection and self-care, creating a unique bridge between Jen's early work and Ashley's company Quilt. Jen and Ashley are both passionate about using story and connection to help women face the climate crisis without being crushed by despair.

17 | Poet Maggie Smith: How To Be Honest In Your Creativity

For bestselling poet and author Maggie Smith, sometimes the secret behind making her poetry interesting, unexpected, and surprising comes to "making it weirder." Maggie's unapologetic, unabashed approach to her work is the reason her work has been read by everyone from Meryl Streep to Dr. Jill Biden.

Maggie hits on something essential about successful creativity. How do we be truly honest in our work? Sometimes it means admitting that we DON'T want to write every day. Sometimes it means making sure you don't miss that therapy appointment. Being honest with yourself is the only way you can be certain to be honest in your work.

16 | Novelist Laurie Frankel: Can you Love Putting your Work out As Much As Creating It?

Isn't it wonderful to hear widely celebrated NYT's best-selling novelists talk about shitty first drafts? Laurie's acclaimed new bestseller One Two Three "wrote hard," for her, and that's OK! For Laurie, the joy comes in the process, whether it's easy, hard, smooth, bumpy, or annoying - that complicated cocktail is what makes the creative process beautiful.

And Laurie gets candid about the other side: PUBLISHING. Sometimes "Creating Out Loud," isn't our first instinct, but it's all apart of what we do as artists.

15 | Poet Tamkio Beyer On Creative Play And Freedom

Tamiko Beyer's acclaimed poetry collection Last Days, was assembled from a collection of poetry written over the course of decade, which speaks to Tamiko's sense of open-minded freedom and patience when it comes to work.

For Tamiko, the creative process is all about leaving space for play and imagination.  By relieving the pressure and intensity of "generating a product" when it comes to our work, we actually create more space to tell the truth and generate our best, most authentic work.

14 | Maggie Shipstead: The Creative Freedom To Get It Wrong... and Right!

Maggie Shipstead is an NYT-Bestselling author of three novels - Seating Arrangements, Astonish Me, and Great Circle (on many best-of lists for 2021) and her work has won a laundry list of awards. She's also written essays and travel articles like her piece for Modern Love. And like all of us, Maggie has to begin again, face the blank page, and watch projects die.

Maggie's newest novel "Great Circle" follows pilot Marian Graves who will take to the sky and circumnavigate the globe at all costs - and isn't that so much like the creative process?

13 | Susan Piver: Open Your Heart To Your Creative Yearnings

All of us get caught up in the shoulds and I can't of our creative life, but Susan Piver has learned, through decades of meditation and practice, to disregard these inner voices.

Susan regards all of her creative endeavors as art projects, a chance to get her hands in the clay of creativity and create something beautiful. Susan has learned to open her heart to the creative yearnings and she's passionate about helping other creatives approach their own work with the same level of curiosity and generosity.

12 | Lisa Cron: Using Story To Elevate Your Creativity And Change The World

Lisa Cron is tired of staying quiet. As a bestselling author and widely celebrated story coach, Lisa has worked as a story consultant for decades with best-selling authors, major Hollywood studios, and taught at NYU and UCLA. And now, she's raising her story voice to help us all.

Lisa's philosophies around story are deeply researched truths. She knows that understanding the mechanics of storytelling will help us become the best creatives we can be, but will also help us change the world, by elevating our critical thinking and learning to decode the false stories that culture and the patriarchy try to snare us with.

11 | Annie Murphy Paul: Optimize Your Mind, Body, and Space for Peak Creativity

Annie Murphy Paul is one of the most interesting social scientists working today, and her most recent book, The Extended Mind, will fundamentally shift your relationship with your own creativity.

The book suggests that the things and the space around us have a profound effect on how we think, feel, and develop. There are profound cultural implications and socioeconomic implications that are essential for us to understand.

10 | Kirstin Neff: Why Fierce Self-Compassion Is Essential For Your Creative Life And Our World

How often do we sit down to face the blank page or canvas, only to get crippled by the paralyzing critic: "You can't do this, you're not good enough....WHY BOTHER?"

What if, instead, you told yourself, "keep going, you've got this, your voice matters." This is the self-compassionate approach to creativity, and it's essential to your success. But some days, you need more.

That’s where Kristen Neff’s work on fierce self-compassion comes in. Kristin Neff is the pioneer researcher of self-compassion and she has spent the last years studying how women can combine fierceness with self-compassion, which many of us have been in-cultured to reject.

9 | Grace Harry: Why Joy Is Essential For Creativity

From the outside, Grace Harry looked like she was living a dream life. A top executive at Def Jam records, married to Usher, hobnobbing with some of the world's most powerful voices in arts and culture, Grace was a powerhouse of creative collaboration and making music happen. 

But she wasn't happy. Deep down, she wasn't listening to her desires.

Grace reinvented her life, leaving behind much of what made her well-known and paid the bills, and she makes her living as a "Joy Strategist." It may sound "woo-woo," but after talking to Grace, you will see how creating intention around what brings us joy is essential.

8 | Elizabeth Hargrave: Turn Your Yearnings Into Creativity

Elizabeth Hargrave is one of the world's most respected table top game designers, and the birth of her bestselling, award-winning board game "Wingspan" came out of a simple desire: she was tired of playing games that wasn't about trolls, castles, and zombies. So guess what? She created her own, and it's about ornithology. Yep, birds.

There is so much to learn about this act of defiance. If we yearn for something, chances are, MANY people do to. Elizabeth has since published three games all related to nature, and she's built a beautiful community around those with a shared passion.

7 | Christa Couture: Transforming Trauma Into Creative Inspiration

Have you ever been told to "everything happens for a reason" or "things will get better in time" when something truly awful has happened to you?

Singer/songwriter and author of How to Lose Everything Christa Couture can relate. Christa has an advanced degree in loss: the loss of her leg to cancer as a child, the lost of two children in their infancy, the loss of a marriage, and temporarily, her voice to thyroid cancer. How she could possibly be creative after such life-shattering tragedy? That's what we explore in this grace-filled conversation.

6 | Angeline Boulley: Finding Self-Trust In Your Creativity and Journey

Do you feel like it's too late for your creative desires? For Angeline Boulley, her first major creative success came in her mid-50s, with her debut novel The Firekeeper's Daughter. In addition to debuting at #1 on the New York Times, being optioned by the Obama's for a Netflix TV adaptation, and being chosen for Reese Witherspoon's book club, the novel is celebrated for its honest and multi-layered portrayal of modern indigenous life.

How did Angeline become such a literary lightning rod, especially at an age where many may given up? She trusted herself. She trusted her artistic voice, the long journey it took, and never let "time anxiety" get the best of her. Instead, she trusted herself to create the art that would be born when it was ready.

If you're feeling stuck, or like it's too late, or you are too old, or are anyway wondering "why bother?" this is the conversation for you!

5 | Morgan Harper Nichols On Knowing, Embracing, & Honoring Your Audience

Morgan Harper Nichols is many things - writer, musician, and celebrated print illustrator, but she has a beautiful, twisty road to get there. After struggling as a touring musician and freelancer for many years, Morgan channeled her frustrations into poetry and illustration, creating beautifully ornate online print graphics. Morgan quickly ammased a huge digital following for her heart which was CLEARLY resonating with many people. Even though it wasn't her "immediate plan" for her creative life, she embraced it, and is now one of Instagram's most popular illustrated creators.

Morgan's work resonates deeply with adolescent girls - so why was her immidiate, knee jerk reaction to push away from that audience? Learn more in this episode!

4 | Pixar Story Experts On Saying Yes To Your Creative Calling

What would it take for you to turn down an interview to run JJ Abrams production company? Ask Meg LeFavue, the Oscar-nominated writer of Inside Out, who had to DO this after committing to her creative calling to become a writer. Meg LeFauve and her frequent writing partner and podcast co-host Lorien McKenna BOTH get extremely candid about the challenges and essential importance of committing to your artistic path and declaring it. The power of saying: "I'm a writer" can't be overstated if you decide to take that leap.

In addition to the importance of declaring, we discuss questions around creative time management, balancing multiple creative projects, when and how to send out drafts of your work, how to take notes, and why failure is an essential part of the creative process. We hope you enjoy!

3 | Anne-Laure Le Cunff: Releasing Creative Anxiety

Anne-Laure Le Cunff is an entrepreneur, and an ex-Googler turned neuroscience student who is leading the conversation around creative anxiety, mental wellness in our modern age, the delicate balance between productivity and creativity, and how we can use technology to make the world better.

In today's amazing conversation, we talk releasing ourselves from the pressure or time anxiety, how to align our creative desires with our professional goals, and yes, even how to make money as a creative.

2 | Rissi Palmer: Be Your Own Creative Gatekeeper & Save YOURSELF

If anyone understands "creative Rock Bottom," it's Award-winning singer-songwriter Rissi Palmer. After a top-charting, well-received debut album, Rissi entered a vicious court battle with her label, leading her to bankruptcy. After the heartbreak of seeing her own music video playing in the record store at the mall across from the retail store where she was working, Rissi knew it was time to take matters into her own hands. Rissi committed to creating out loud on her OWN terms.

Now Rissi is one of country music's most important voices, not only with her music, but her activism in the community. Her partnership with Apple Music lifts BIPOC voices in the music community through her radio show "Color Me Country."  I hope Rissi will inspire you to choose yourself lie she did me.

1 | Anne Lamott: Prayers, Love and Generosity for Your Creativity

Anne Lamott is one of our most celebrated creative and spiritual leaders, and for good reason. With 9 bestselling fiction and non-fiction books, including Bird By Bird which many celebrated creatives consider the best book about writing ever written, Anne's one of the wisest teachers about the creative life and definitely one of the funniest.

In this episode, Anne offers you prayer, honesty, and ideas on how to change the channel from the critic to the creator. She shares that creative expression is one of the most generous acts we can offer to both ourselves and the people around us. It's not just valuable, it's essential.

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