Tuesday Mar 08, 2022

41 | How Sue Monk Kidd Listens to her Soul (And You Can Too)

Sue Monk Kidd is one of the world's most beloved writers, occupying a rare intersection of critical and commercial success writers dream of. 


Perhaps most recognized for her #1 New York Times Bestsellers, The Secret Life of Bees, which went on to become the basis for a blockbuster movie, and The Invention of Wings, her earlier works, When the Heart Waits, an autobiographical account of a spiritual awakening, and Dance of the Dissident Daughter, a memoir that explores feminist theology, were groundbreaking for millions of seekers too.


And yet, she's still willing to acknowledge how hard it is to start a new project. Sue says that every time she sits down to start a new project, she feels like a beginner. Fortunately, she listens to her soul and her craft, and together, they get here there.


Jen and Sue also discuss:


  • How Sue consistently taps into what women are feeling and experiencing
  • Recurring themes throughout her body of work
  • How writing memoir helped her find courage and freed her to write fiction
  • How she pivoted in her spiritual life but maintained her creative beacons
  • Writing as an act of courage that serves your soul
  • Why Sue believes our salvation is in our imagination
  • The importance of writing what you deeply care about 
  • Creativity as playing with what you love 
  • The two questions to ask yourself when starting a novel
  • Using imagery and collages as part of the writing process 
  • Why Sue still feels like a beginner 
  • How she dealt with the staggering success of The Secret Life of Bees
  • How perfectionism stymies writing
  • Method and mystery, beginning the writing process, and writing rituals
  • Doing research for historical fiction
  • What Sue would say to her younger self
  • Reflecting on her spiritual path
  • The importance of the simplicity of being
  • Creating as a spiritual act, writing as prayer
  • Transitioning between projects
  • The tension and energy that goes into writing a book

Get a copy of Sue's books here:


The Secret Life of Bees



The Invention of Wings



When the Heart Waits



Visit jenniferlouden.com/podcastkit 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.

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