Wild Ideas Worth Living: Elizabeth Weil


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Elizabeth’s wild idea: To write about people who adventure for a larger purpose.


There are some writers whose words and stories transport you into their world. Today’s guest, Elizabeth Weil, has evoked that feeling for me multiple times with her work. The award-winning writer often covers the kind of people I love. People who live outside the normal boundaries of society, and pursue their own wild ideas and make them a reality.

She has written about everyone from snowboarder Shaun White and skier Mikaela Shiffrin to swimmer Diana Nyad, Senator Kristen Gillibrand and a man named Doba who kayaked across the Atlantic in his seventies. In addition to writing articles for The New York Times Magazine, Outside Magazine, Wired, and more, she has also written a book about her own marriage, and she recently penned the New York Times bestselling book, The Girl Who Smiles Beads. In addition to being a writer, she’s also a mom and a wife. She’s married to one of my other favorite writers (who happens to cover surfing and rock-climbing), Daniel Duane.

In our conversation, Liz and I talk about a few of the subjects she’s covered including Doba, and some other adventurers who have done wild feats without the desire for any recognition. We also talk about why she is attracted to stories about people who live wildly and what she has learned from them, as well as her advice for anyone who wants to make a living as a writer.

Listen to this episode if:

  • You want to be a writer.
  • You love reading amazing stories.
  • You like stories of adventurers who do wild things just for themselves.
  • You are looking to improve your relationship.
  • You need help balancing your personal and professional life.
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