Episode 7: Dark Forest, transcript

with your host Jessica Abel

Subscribe to listen on the go!

This is our transcript of Episode 7: Dark Forest, adapted from our script. It’s about 90-95% correct. Please verify against the audio before quoting.

So there you are, skipping down the path, writing your story. The sun is shining, birds are chirping, you feel great. You. can. do this.

You’ve got your map to guide you—your Story Madlib is sitting right there. And so you know the chronology of what’s ahead of you on the path. You write a scene, and then another. But as you get deeper into it, you start asking yourself…”is this the right way?” You find yourself at the edge of the woods.

Why does this character act this way? Does this setup make any sense? Why does this guy show up here? Wait, does any of this mean anything?

Suddenly you notice that those lovely trees that bordered the path have grown tall all around you, blocking out the sun. Wind starts whipping through the branches. Every direction seems equally perilous. There’s no longer a clear way forward. You’re lost.

Welcome to the forest.

I’m Jessica Abel and this is Out on the Wire episode 7: Dark Forest. Today we go deep in the woods, get well and truly lost, and then, we find our way back out again.

Plus we have an interview with Kazu Kibuishi, author of the graphic novel series Amulet.

[little red riding hood]

I got the metaphor of the forest from Jad Abumrad of Radiolab, who talked about his own walk in the darkness at the Third Coast Audio Fest, and then later in a manifesto for Transom.org.

Jad Abumrad

The station manager came to me and he said “Hey, do you want to do an hour on Wagner’s Ring Cycle?”

And I thought to myself, OK. Wagner, Wagner, Wagner, I don’t know much about Wagner. But, uh, sure ok, Wagner, why not.

Fast forward a couple months, I had missed four deadlines, I’m on the verge of getting fired, and I haven’t slept for four days. I had the pressure of ideas that were just out of reach. It was awful.

And we at Radiolab have given this state of mind a name, because it happens quite often.

We call it the German forest.

When you get lost in those deep, dark woods, you think that you’re crazy. You think that no one has ever felt this before. And the fact that you’re feeling that it means that you aren’t any good at it and you can’t do it. I talked to Jad on Skype later about it.


I think literally after Wagner, I guess I would call it an anxiety attack. The classic anxiety attack, where your field of vision would narrow, your heart would start racing would get sweaty, you would have to sit down you couldn’t breathe. I would have that for months after that piece. It was so stressful.

The Wagner piece took me deep into that place.


Yeah well this book took pretty deep into that place. I have to say.

The Dark Forest. That image resonated for me all too strongly. Because when I talked to Jad, I was in the midst of trying to write Out on the Wire, the very book on which the podcast is based, and it was not going well.

I did this interview with Robert Smith and Zoe Chace at Planet Money In August of 2012. But then, over a year later, as I struggled to figure out what my book was really about, I found myself re-listening to it.

Robert Smith and Zoe Chace

there will always be a moment where we think…


…it’s a bad idea


We’ll say it out loud. Why did we volunteer in the meeting? We thought it was exciting.


Should we throw this away?


Should we ditch it? The tape not good, the idea’s not good. We doubt our own excitement. And then you find it again, you find the thing that got you excited in the first place.


I think that’s the nature of writing, though. That happens to me with every project multiple times because they usually take me about three years…


You want to write out a postcard right now that I can send you in six months that says, I really, I’m excited about this story? To your future self.

It was like I really had sent myself that postcard. This is what I wrote that day:

I knew this would happen, I knew it’s gonna feel really shitty. Like, you can’t breathe like you’re getting fat like you’re losing brain cells like you will never be able to think about anything else ever again like there is no end to the German forest.

There are no periods in that sentence!

I read that out to Ben in our story meeting the other day, and I literally got choked up. It sucks so hard to be in the Dark Forest. And rereading my thoughts from that time out loud just put me, Bang. right back in that emotional place.

So what the hell is the Dark Forest?

The Dark Forest is where you end up when you’re way out on the wire.

When you’re sitting down to do the work, but it’s so difficult, and the work comes so slowly, that you just can’t believe that you could possibly be doing it right.

When you think, really? Is this it? Because this doesn’t feel great. Isn’t it supposed to feel great when I’m actually writing? Does this mean I have no talent? Should I just give up?

Kazu Kibuishi, the author of the graphic novel, and recently announced film, Amulet, is a genuine, honest-to-god narrative artist. But the fact that he’s a best-selling, many-times-published author isn’t enough to keep him out of the woods. He wrote an extremely popular tweet that summed up his experience of making the work.

Creative process:

  1. This is going to be awesome
  2. This is hard
  3. This is terrible
  4. I’m terrible
  5. Hey, not bad
  6. That was awesome

#4 on that list? “I’m terrible”? That’s what hurts the most. But it wasn’t true about Kazu, it’s not true about you, and it’s not true about me.

Day to day, I hit moments when I think: “I don’t know if I can figure this out!”

But when you’re in the forest, that struggle tips over into “I can’t figure this out…because I’m stupid and ugly and a complete failure as a human being.”

That’s not just self-doubt. That’s self-hatred.

And frankly, some of the steps in the middle? They do not necessarily go so smoothly or so chronologically. You might find yourself at:

This is terrible, then this is OK. I’m terrible, this is hard, this is OK, this is awesome. I am terrible. god I’m so stupid, I am an idiot. I will never make it out of this. I will never ever see the light of day again. Oh, I see how this might come together. No. I don’t. AAAAAH!!

This is not writer’s block. Or at least it’s not the Hollywood version, where you don’t put a word on paper, and you loll by the pool, chain-smoking and drinking martinis while your agent tries to track you down.

No, It’s much more like you keep writing words and words and words and words and words until you’re swimming in words, and none of them make any sense to you. No idea is any better than any other idea and how would you know anyway you’re such a moron.

Here’s me again, in that fall of 2013, as I was writing Out on the Wire.

Jess tape:

I’ve bitten off way more than I can chew. All I’ve got to show for over a year of research and logging and writing is a file of over 200,000 words, in a vague order, with no narration written by me.

And every time I read over my notes on an interview, or watch a video of these people talking, I just want to go back and spend more time talking to them, and listening to them. They’re so smart and thoughtful. Why even do this book? I’ll just give you a list of streaming audio links, and you’ll do fine.

But then I called up my mom and told her about my troubles.


You’re just using all those things to procrastinate to keep you from getting on with it…like a cat chasing its own tail. YOu just fgo around and around without going forward. A lot of times we do this because it’s scary…because you’re committing yourself. Because everything you’ve got up to now is something you got from someone else.

In other words, pull up your socks, young lady. Get to it!

Fortunately for me, all that tape I was struggling with? It was full of the knowledge from the most creative, most productive people in the world. They’ve been through this too. And they found their way out.

So I went to them to find out: how do I get out of the forest?

The first thing I learned is that everyone goes through this. And to get out, you’ve got to go deeper in. Stephanie Foo of This American Life put it best.

Stephanie Foo

And you might not feel like it’s working…but that’s what it takes. That’s what everybody goes through to become good.

Jay Allison of The Moth Radio Hour gave me my second clue: to work through it, you need to immerse yourself. Get in the flow of the story.

Jay Allison

To me, that’s the joy and pain of the work. Getting deep into a story and figuring out, How do I keep this moving, how do I keep the balls in the air. How do I advance all my armies down the field, and the more complex it gets, the more complex it gets.

There’s a great peace in this work because you can’t multitask. it’s the one time I have to shut everything else off, because you can only exist in the flow of your story, because if you don’t, you’re going to will miss something, you’re not going to be far enough into it.

…to get that deep, to get as deep as you need to get to make it transcendent…

It’s still just enervating, I don’t know how to do this, can’t make it as good as I should…and I think that’s why a lot of people stop creative work because it’s too hard.

Following your narrative as deep as it needs to go, that takes an iron constitution. You’ve got to truly trust yourself, even when the forest makes everything feel wrong.

And the fact is, you might actually BE wrong. Here’s a third clue: When you’re in the forest, you’ve got to be ready to deploy the dynamite. Joe Richman of Radio Diaries told me he’s always ready to blow up his structure and start over.

Joe Richman

Have a structure before you even go out, even if you blow it up. But have an idea of what the beginning is, the ending. What the piece is about.

The more you can draw a map early and then continue to redraw as you go the better off. Because What’s dangerous is have all this tape and then you get there and it’s just completely overwhelming and frightening and you have no idea what you’re doing. You have to kind of pretend to know what you’re doing, sometimes.

I struggled with a mountain of tape for 8 months before I knew what my story was. I wandered in search of the story.

I had a notion what it was about, but then blew it up. I rewrote my structure radically four times, and in some ways ended up exactly where I started.

I had to fight my way through.

For Ira Glass, who I talked to on Skype, getting out of the forest is basically mechanical. it’s putting one foot in front of another.

Ira Glass

IG I definitely have had stories where I get lost and it’s unclear how to tell the story.

But more common for me, since I am always outlining, and I already know where I am going all the time, more common for me is that I’ll have a structure, but then having to just slog through and execute the structure is such a…that’s the job of making something.

Ira may not be confused as to what his story is about, or where he’s going. But creativity still involves struggle. The only way any of us ever get anything done is one step at a time.

I find that more often than not, I am not lost in the German Forest. It’s more like, I’m a soldier in an army that’s crossing the mountains by foot in the snow. You know, through the Khyber pass. And there are soldiers and an opposing army trying to stop me. And also, I am carrying pouch full of poppy, of opium, that would be so enjoyable to be lying down and taking that rather than slogging my way through Asia on my trail of conquest.

Like, how much nicer to lie down in the snow with your opium pipe. Or you know, your Netflix queue, you know. Whatever.

We all scrabble through the same mountains. Sometimes, we may not be able to find the path, and so we get lost and we have to break our own trail. Ira knows the way, but that means he also knows what it’s going to take to get there. he still has to climb the mountain.


I think that you know, along with everything that’s great about creative work, there is a tedium to certain parts of the execution of it.

I understand that inking. For example, is not a totally enjoyable part of the cartooning process.

Actually, I enjoy inking comics pages. That’s when I get to listen to podcasts.


Like right now, I’m putting together this story about this car dealership.

When I talked to him, Ira was working on This American Life episode 513: 129 Cars.

[story tape: You’re gonna be like Ira, I’ll be back at the office in 2 hours. I gotta pick up my new Jeep. This product is on fire!]

In my part of the story at some point, I have to to summarize everything that happened on wednesday and thursday, the last two days of the month. We have like forty hours of tape that a bunch of us recorded at the course of two days.

Some really amazing things happened, and we have way too much material that’s good.

[story tape]

Even when I met Ira, way back in the late 90s, he had this confidence that allowed him to lay out the process of making his work, and say, here’s what you do, here’s the secret. But that’s not how it feels to him, day to day.


And that’s what I mean when I say tedium of making radio, or anything.

Like at some point you have to stop talking about being a painter. You have to fucking paint the canvas. You have to execute your plan.

That’s the part that I feel like for me is where procrastination can really set in. Because I know what it’s gonna be like.

And the only thing you can do in that situation is truthfully the only thing you can do in any creative situation, you just have to start surrounding yourself with the story and getting it inside your head, so you start to see the problems, and see the paths through, and see what you wanna keep and see what you wanna kill.

And you have to get off your ass and just start thinking about it all the time.

OK, that’s all well and good. But isn’t there a better way to escape the Forest than just slogging through it?



The secret to accelerating your escape from the darkness is editorial collaboration. I’ve said it over and over again, but it’s just the simple truth: if you talk to someone about what you’re trying to achieve, If you try to explain the bits that are slipping away from you, you’ll start to find the answers you need.

And if you record your conversations, you’ll have a way to hold onto those insights.

Jessica: I’m struggling, and you are too, I’m struggling with, what is the difference between these things? 

Matt: Maybe each chapter needs a title…

Jessica: Focus sentence for each chapter.

Matt: Focus sentence for each chapter.

Matt and I talked about every page, every concept, every connection in Out on the Wire, all the way through that fall of 2013, as I grappled with the deepest and darkest Forest I’d ever gotten lost in. And each time we did, I felt another ray of sunshine break through the gloom. And without even noticing how it happened, I realized at some point right around Christmas, that I had written a book.

The truly amazing thing is, you do get through it. I got through it, and everyone I interviewed has gotten through it, over and over. You never think it’s going to happen, and then it happens. Jad did eventually finish that Wagner piece.

Jad Abumrad

When I heard the thing on the radio later, I was like, oh, somewhere in the middle of that trauma, I think I found my voice.

It is one of the first times when I heard myself on the radio and thought, oh yeah, I could work with that. I see where that guy is going. And I kinda want to go there with him.

There’s a real correlation—to use the science word—between time spent in the German forest and these moments of emergence. That’s what I believe.

I’ve been lost deep in the Dark Forest on every major project I’ve ever done. Even on smaller projects, I spend at least a few hours there.

I’ve been doing this long enough that if I didn’t get at least a little bit stuck in those brambles, I’d worry that I wasn’t going far enough out on the wire. That feeling of being lost is what happens when your brain is working the hardest to make connections, to understand what this morass of work you’ve produced actually means.

The projects where you find yourself lost like this are really only the big, important ones. This kind of stuck doesn’t happen with little things, with easy, non-challenging work. If what you’re doing is deep, if it’s worth doing, it’s going to be hard.

Jad Abumrad

And to be clear, the German forest changes a bit. That sense of, the work is just too big to put my head around this, how am I gonna do this, that never changes.

But what does change is that the terror gets reframed for you, because now, you’ve made it out a few times.  

The terror takes on a different character. It’s like your vision gets to a higher altitude. You can see over the treetops, and into the future, to where, there you are, you’re still there, you’re still alive.

So in that way, you begin to recognize the German forest for what it is. It’s actually a tool. It’s the place that you have to go to hear the next version of yourself.



I was writing an article about the Dark Forest a couple weeks ago, and remembered Kazu Kibuishi’s concise, perfect Tweet.

[tweet tape]

And then as I was writing this episode, I thought, damn, I gotta talk to Kazu for this!

He’s been so eloquent and generous with his audience in sharing his creative process, and I wanted to bring some of that wisdom to you.


I’m Kazu Kibuishi, I am the creator of Amulet. It’s a graphic novel series for middle grade  readers that is published by Scholastic Graphix.

I get really nervous if I’m OK with an early draft. Because it just means there’s you know that I haven’t I haven’t made enough mistakes on it yet. If I’m OK with an early draft it’s generally because I was lucky.

You know so if I see something that I didn’t intend to do that looks great, I will I will move in that direction, and sometimes it informs the entire book.


in the case of Amulet seven. I drew the first thirty or forty page of the book several times before I decided to just do a completely different book based on a question somebody actually asked me.

In one of the audiences that I talked to as with those of the young girl who asked me about this particular scene in the in the story and asked what happened in that scene. She just asked what happens at the end of amulet five in the chess scene. And I felt like I didn’t adequately answer it in the previous volumes. So I shifted gears to do just that in the new book. And I thought and I thought the book was better for it.

The scene I was working on at the time. I was doing it because I thought oh this would be really neat. this would be really cool to see. And it was giant epic action-adventure sequence that I was opening up the book with.

And this kept, every time I kept working on it. You know there’s…something inside was telling me that I was going the wrong direction. I could sense it. And when she asked that question and it reminded me that I needed to be focused on my main character, and that ended up informing the whole book


Tell me, is there is a moment of like cold. Seeping into your entrails… you’re like oh shit she’s right. And she’s twelve…


No no no no no for me it’s not there’s not a cold seeping in there it’s like it’s. I feel energized.  


And then you start enjoying when things don’t go well. I think that’s when you know you’re a professional.

I equate it to pro athletes sometimes I hear quarterbacks talk about it, to the you know that you do you want to be given the opportunity to rise to the occasion when something isn’t going your way. And if you can overcome it. You know the results are so much greater than if everything was going your way the whole time.

I mean it’s just not as, not as interesting to people, it’s not as memorable to people if things just go well. We need that conflict, that tension, For us to be able to sort our way through it and that’s what we’re looking for. That’s what we want to see in the writing.


I always think of Indiana Jones and in the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. And when I read the first interview with Spielberg after it was done, he said, hey, that was the first time we just went with first cut, it was so easy. I was like of like, Uh oh. Uh oh. That’s not going to be good.


You know because like I think a producer here is that they’re like yeah I congratulations, that’s great. This is that means everything is going well. And I’m thinking as an artist like no! That means it’s going to probably be awful.

Even the best of us don’t, we can’t just you know. Immaculately conceive an amazing thing it just doesn’t happen you know. It’s all work. We have to be OK with molding it into the shape it’s going to be.




You know I get the impression. Sometimes. Amongst my colleagues that they think everything’s easy for me or the things you know oh yeah you know it’s Kazu. things are going well for him they go well all the time. And they don’t know have the truth you know. It’s so it’s always difficult always so hard. You know. And I barely feel like I make it. Every time I make a book. I but I’m just gotten used to that. I’ve gotten used to feeling like that.

If I do it right the first time I feel something’s wrong. Something is off. It’s Indiana Jones and the kingdom of the Crystal Skull here. Something’s going on. I’m doing Indy 4. Why am I doing Indy 4? And then I have to try to figure it out.

[But] I always like when someone can call me out.


When that can happen I know that I’m on something. As an artist and writer, I’m more excited about it when I go to work.

I’m not just fulfilling some old promise that I made a long time ago. You know. Now I’m actually solving problems in the moment and that’s so much more exciting than than trying to fulfill years of, what I what I like to call my, your idea debt, right. That you have this dream of this idea this awesome thing for years you think, oh I’m going to do this epic adventure. You know and it’s going to be so great. and the truth is no matter what you do, it will never be as great as it as it is in your mind. So you’re really setting yourself up for failure in some ways. And I try to avoid that as much as possible I don’t I don’t want to feel that way even though I have to be the architect of this sprawling epic adventure I don’t want to think of it that way. if I do, I’m probably going to ruin it.

I used to go  snowboarding a lot of times. I still like snowboarding in the parks. And I used to like hitting all the jumps. And when I would go down the mountain, I would notice a bunch of young snowboarders who were waiting at the, the top of the jumps. They may look like they’re waiting their turn. But in fact that they’re waiting there because they’re actually kind of afraid to hit that jump. And what they don’t realize is that over time. They’re getting colder. They’re physically getting colder. The idea debt of having to make that jump and land it and be impressive is getting greater. So that by the time they actually do it, they’re probably not going to fulfill that dream.

And so one thing I learned is not what it was to just hit the jump or just pass it. Just you know if you’re just do it in the moment. Or not at all. Just skip it. And so you can move on and wait for the next time.

and I always apply that to the work that I do as well. I try not to to look at the thing I’m going to do as being this amazing great grand thing. Because if I do that I will. I will probably not achieve what I’m looking to do. It to be like looking at the sun.


Actually making the book doesn’t take that much time it. I can draw very quickly, I can write very quickly. Takes a long time to figure out what the emotional core of each book is. You know and so I can’t work off of the plot. I can’t work off of the technical stuff because none of that gives me the emotional core of what’s fueling this book.

The best writing just happens right I mean, if you’re a writer you always feel like you’re, you should just be a passenger along for the ride, and your your characters are taking you to interesting places. And they can’t do that unless, unless the engine is fueled by that emotional core for the story. And if you can’t find that thing you can’t get going. And a lot of times you can’t.

And that’s that’s actually when you know you’re a professional is when you can push through when you don’t have that, that that emotional fire. Those are the hardest days for me.

But once that engine is on. I mean I’m clicking, and I am moving down the road so fast. And it’s exhilarating. And that’s why I like doing this job.

You know my wife is also a writer, so she knows when that most of those moments are on. I just hand her the babies. You know just tell her like, OK. It’s on! Right now, I’ve got to go! She’s like OK. We got it, let’s go! Go go!

And I just get pages done. Sometimes I can do about forty pages in a sitting.

Then sometimes I can’t do four panels. Because it just isn’t there. So you know I just. I mean but you know some people write differently I just tend to like very emotional content. So I kind of have to feel it in order for it to work for me.




It was really hard to think of my own work is art and actually trying not to as much as I can so that I can retain my sanity actually. Because I care a lot about art, I care a tremendous amount about art so when I do my work I actually think of myself as an educator. I think of myself as a teacher’s aide. And if some art slips in there, that’s cool.


So does thinking about art. Does that become an idea debt for you?


It does yeah because you you specially if you care about a lot. It’ll cripple you because you feel like you’re not ever meeting the standard. You know, that you’re not answering the call. And if you always feel that, then you’re probably not going to be entirely effective in your, in your job. So…


You’re not going to take the jump.


So yeah, you just, you just basically, a lot of I think a lot of people just end up sitting at the top of that hill and just looking at the jump and yeah, they just don’t, they just don’t jump. So I always want to be the person that’s the first to take the jump. Not care about it so much and then the can look back at it and think of it as art but you know. I definitely didn’t as I was rolling down that hill, or else I would have probably buckled.



I just really want to get it this is Step four here, I’m terrible, because you have not said anything today that has made me think that you ever think that you were terrible.


Oh no, I always am! Always, there’s always this point where I just think, Oh man, I’m messing this up. I am not a professional, I’m a, I’m a total fake. Like, I don’t know how I got here. And that happens.

And then those moments I do have the perspective to look at to go, come on! Look, things are working. You’ll get through it. It’ll be fine and I think it’s the combination of those, those two voices in an artist’s head I think that that can keep them moving.

I think I just wanted to remind my Twitter followers that I feel the same way. I still do, and it always be there and just as the years go on, I just get used to that step coming up and instead of when when it’s sort of just resting on that step. I’ll always remind myself, in that moment, that that means the next step is coming.

So when I feel terrible that’s a good thing. I’m like, oh, this is terrible! And then I smile. And I go, OK. That means something good going to come up.



Now for this week’s challenge. Remember, we post new full episodes every two weeks. At the end of each episode, there is a challenge, designed to get you working on a narrative project of your own.

And if you find yourself in need of timely feedback, you know where you can find it: in the Out on the Wire Working Group.

You join the Working Group by going to my website at jessicaabel.com/podcast, and signing up to receive my newsletter.

That’s Jessicaabel.com/podcast.


OK, Here’s the challenge:

Collaborate. I know I told you to do this last time, but I’m betting you didn’t do it.

So now, I’m keeping it simple: Find someone to sit down with you for half an hour, and explain to them what you’re working on, and where you’re stuck. They don’t need to be experts on your subject or your medium. You just want their honest feedback and their honest questions.

Record your conversation. If you have a smartphone, it will have a recorder built in. If not, you can get a cheap digital voice recorder. It’ll be worth having.

After your collaborative meeting, I want you to post a quick debrief of what the experience was like, and what you learned.

If you want to find someone to work with who is more attuned with your goals, find a local or online writers’ group and ask for volunteers, then meet at a cafe, or do a Google Hangout or Skype conversation with them. But make sure you’re talking out loud, not exchanging email. The talking part is the magic.

And of course, if you’re in the Out on the Wire Working Group, you’ve got a tested field of possible collaborators. Just reach out to someone whose work you like and see if you can find a time.

I know this will make you feel vulnerable. It’s scary to admit you are stuck. It’s scary to ask something of someone. But I think you’ll find that it’s all worth it. And very likely your collaborator will too. Just make sure you pick up the tab for the coffee.

If, on the other hand, you’re struggling to even get your creative work off the ground, I’ve been writing a lot about creative project management on my blog, at Jessicaabel.com, including designing some activities you can try.

In fact, just right now, this week, I’m running a workshop for project planning that is completely amazing, I mean, the people in this group are knocking my socks off. I’ll be running this workshop again, so be sure to join my mailing list to be notified when that happens.


I’ll have show notes on this episode, including

  • links to all the stories we mentioned today

on my site, at jessicaabel.com/podcast. You can also get show notes emailed to you, if you’re on the newsletter.

Out on the Wire is a crowdfunded show. We’ve got a great Patreon, where we put all of our full-length interviews, Kazu Kibuishi, Larissa MacFarquhar, Stephanie Foo, and Jonathan Mitchell as well as additional Ira Glass interview clips, downloads of music from the show by Matt, and more. Everything from hand drawn internet avatars to personal story consultations with me. As we approach the conclusion of this season, we’ll be sunsetting some of the larger rewards, so now’s a great time to check it out.

Your support is so important to us. Please join us as a patron.

We’ve got links to our Patreon at my website, at jessicaabel.com/podcast.

You can find me on twitter at @jccabel. Benjamin is @BenjaminFrisch.

We’re also on Facebook, Tumblr, and Pinterest. Those links are on our webpage.

Out on the Wire is produced by Benjamin Frisch, with music contributed by Matt Madden.

Made with the support of La Maison des Auteurs, Angouleme.

And an extra special thanks this week to Robert Smith and Jess Jiang of Planet Money for doing a real pro-style edit with us on this episode. We’ve got it all on tape, and you’ll get to hear what it sounds like in Episode 8, so stay tuned.

See you in a week with Benjamin Frisch and Matt Madden for a discussion of some of your work from the Out on the Wire Working Group on our workshop episode!

And then, we’ll be taking a 2-week break for the holidays, and will be back in early January with episode 8: Your baby’s ugly.

Help us out by sharing this show with your friends!

Get Bonus Content & Support Out on a Wire


Check out the Out on the Wire Bonus Pack. Featuring all of the new interviews we conducted for the show, plus our soundtrack music by Matt Madden. It’s ten bucks (or more, if you’re feeling generous.) It’s a great way to spend more time with our fabulous guests and support the show.

Includes full length interviews with:

  • Stephanie Foo (This American Life)
  • Jonathan Mitchell (The Truth podcast)
  • Larissa MacFarquahar (The New Yorker)
  • Kazu Kibuishi (Amulet)
  • Our edit with Robert Smith and Jess Jiang (Planet Money)
  • Rob Rosenthal (the Transom Workshop, How Sound)

Next Podcast Episodes