SPS 046: Happiness, Good Habits, AND Becoming a Writer with Gretchen Rubin

AuthorSPS 046: Happiness, Good Habits, AND Becoming a Writer with Gretchen Rubin

SPS 046: Happiness, Good Habits, AND Becoming a Writer with Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Reuben is the author of bestsellers Better Than Before and The Happiness Project. Her tribe follows her both in print and online. She also produces her own podcast Happy with Gretchen Reuben, where she talks about good habits and happiness with her sister Elizabeth Craft and is named an all-time best podcast on iTunes in 2015. She started her career in law when she realized she wanted to be a writer.

She says of her transformation from law to writing, “For my transition, it wasn’t one moment, it was a series of events that happened over time.” At one point, she considered that writing could be a job for her instead of a hobby. Also, at this time, she went over to a friend’s house, and after talking with her friend, she realized that she wanted the same activity for her work and fun time. With an idea in mind for a book, she came to the realization that “if I was to ever try, now was the time to try.”

Gretchen remembers the ecstasy of getting an agent because, for her, that felt like the most significant milestone in her writing career. She was thrilled that someone would put money on her writing career and ambitions.

As for her writing process, Gretchen has never deviated from her original procedure. She does not recommend this to everyone; however, this is what she has found works best for her writing endeavors. Using mostly books and a passion for a topic, she fervently engages in going down the rabbit hole of investigation.

Listen in to find out why Gretchen focuses on using stories from her own life, how she grounds her writing when using specialized terms and how she came up with her idea for her book, The Happiness Project. Learn how novel and challenge make people happier, how she finds time to write, and the easiest way to make an action a habit.

Show Notes

  • [01:51] Moving from working in a law office in the Supreme Court to becoming a writer.
  • [03:21] Gretchen realizes that if she is going to make a career change, now is the time. 
  • [05:02] Toughest part of her transition when working on her book.
  • [06:30] Her writing and research process for each of her books.
  • [09:02] Turning research and investigative notes into readable material.
  • [11:42] For Gretchen, taking notes is a way for her mind to connect the dots of a story.
  • [14:53] When writing, she focuses on using clear direct language and using stories from her own life.
  • [18:39] How being on a crowded bus after running through a rainstorm gave her the idea for her book.
  • [21:32] What is happiness and where can you find happiness in your life?
  • [23:30] How Gretchen finds time to write her books. 
  • [27:00] Her personality framework and how she categorizes people. 
  • [28:30] “You’ve got to have a consistent habit if you’re going to be productive” and the Four Tendencies Framework.
  • [33:18] Advice for new writers who are in the process of writing their first book.
  • [37:20] Engage with Gretchen on social media!

Links and Resources

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