Writing & Creativity

Want to Write a Book? Happiness Expert Gretchen Rubin Reveals Her “Messy” Process

March 23, 2020

Hi! I'm Marie

You have gifts to share with the world and my job is to help you get them out there.

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It’s no secret we’re living in strange times. Since publishing the coronavirus support guide last week, I’ve heard from many of you and, let me just say, I could not be more proud of and grateful for this community.

These are stressful times and my heart is with you. Honestly, we went back and forth on whether we should share today’s interview as it was recorded months ago — long before the pandemic hit the news. But we decided to publish it for a few reasons. 

First, I believe a break from the news is necessary. It’s not healthy to focus on the coronavirus 100% of the time. Know the facts, yes. Stay inside and stay healthy, yes. But obsessively watch the news? No.  

Second, this collective experience is a catalyst for us to think differently about our lives, our health, our livelihoods, and what we want to create and accomplish in the future when this crisis passes. And yes, it will pass. 

I believe this interview with Gretchen Rubin can be much-needed relief from the news. It may also spark inspiration and insight, which we’ll need for the long weeks and months ahead.

Gretchen is a leading expert on happiness. She’s the author of the blockbuster New York Times bestsellers The Happiness Project, Outer Order, Inner Calm, The Four Tendencies, and Better Than Before, plus she’s the host of the award-winning podcast, Happier, with her sister Elizabeth Craft.

What I appreciate most about Gretchen is that she’s refreshingly transparent. On today’s MarieTV, you’ll hear about the surprising start to her writing career, the messy truth about her writing process, and the habits that made the biggest difference in her life and career. 

Even better, her advice isn’t one-size-fits-all. Every strategy, every question, and every idea that Gretchen puts into the world is designed to help you discover your best recipe for success. 

Whether you want to write a book, start a podcast, declutter, be more productive, or just feel happier in any circumstance — this episode will help.

You’ll learn:

  • 2:00 — How Gretchen’s interest in power, money, fame, and sex made her leave her law career.
  • 5:42 — The easiest and hardest parts of becoming a writer.
  • 8:00 — Why Gretchen couldn’t get a book deal for The Happiness Project.
  • 14:00 — The messy truth about the creative process (even bestselling authors struggle with this!).
  • 16:00 — 3 crucial questions to ask yourself if you want a happier life.
  • 22:05 — How to declutter without getting rid of what makes you happy.
  • 28:02 — The most important ingredients you need to transform your life, no matter your personality type.
  • 32:35 — How to become your most productive self.

Personally, I love hearing origin stories from accomplished people. Whatever dream you’re trying to bring to life, I hope this episode nourishes your creative soul. 

WANT MORE ON WRITING? If writing more powerfully and persuasively is something you want to learn right now, sign up for our free 7-day writing class here. It’s fun, funny, and actionable.

Now, Gretchen and I would love to hear from you. What's the biggest insight you're taking away from this conversation and, most importantly, how can you turn that insight into action starting right now?

Share as much detail as possible in your reply. Thousands of incredible souls come here each week for insight and inspiration and your words may help someone else have a meaningful breakthrough. Important: share your thoughts and ideas directly in the comments. Links to other posts, videos, etc. will be deleted as they come across as spammy.

If you’ve spent any time around these parts, then you know I take a strong stand for kindness. Please write and respond to each other in that same spirit.

Important note: please come follow me on Instagram as I’ll be going live and sharing resources to help us all stay strong emotionally, mentally, and physically during this turbulent time. 

Nobody knows what’s around the corner, but I’m certain that our current situation is figureoutable. Part of how we’ll get there is by taking really good care of ourselves. Stay inside. Stay healthy. And do keep dreaming and creating, whatever that looks like for you. The world needs that very special gift that only you have. Now, more than ever.

All my love,


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