Mar 06, 05:03 AM
And you thought our shelves full of self help books were just to manage our own issues! Nope, there’s another use for them. Our guest this week, Kathleen Smith, is a therapist and writer and the author of Everything Isn't Terrible, a helpful and humorous guide to shedding our anxious habits and building a more solid sense of self in our increasingly anxiety-inducing world. It’s very useful, and we’re valiantly attempting to tame our own anxieties—but that’s not (much of) what we talk about. Instead, we’re focused on what’s really important—and within our control: Creating believable, dysfunctional characters and then helping them to grow and change.

We talk about romance dynamics: the pursuer and the pursued, the over-functioner and the slacker—and how important it is that a couple be at a similar level of maturity (or, more likely, immaturity) to be believable. From there, it’s headlong into siblings, birth order and circumstance, family coping mechanisms and some of the ways to develop deeper conflict within our work. It’s such a great conversation. 

Episode links and a transcript follow. Thanks for being with us! If you love the podcast, tell a friend. Right now. Just drop everything and go sit someone down and make them listen. And if you love the podcast, you can support it! There are perks. #SupporterMini episodes. #WriterTopFives. 


Family Constellation, Walter Toman

#AmReading (Watching, Listening)

Kathleen: Bringing Down the Duke, Evie Dunmore

KJ: Ex Libris, Anne Fadiman

Sarina: 19 Love Songs, David Levithan

Our guest for this episode is Kathleen Smith, author of Everything Isn't Terrible: Conquer Your Insecurities, Interrupt Your Anxiety, and Finally Calm Down. For more: 

This episode was sponsored by Author Accelerator—training book coaches and matching coaches and writers. 

Find more about Jess here, Sarina here and about KJ here.

If you enjoyed this episode, we suggest you check out Marginally, a podcast about writing, work and friendship.

Transcripts for all episodes are always available at amwritingpodcast.com.