James Nestor – The Art of Freediving and Writing an Award-Winning Book


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James Nestor’s Wild Idea: To leave the corporate life for a job as a freelance writer, then learn to freedive and uncover an entire world of science beneath the surface of the ocean that lead to an award-winning book, Deep: Freediving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us About Ourselves

About a decade ago, James Nestor knew he wanted to quit his job, but he had no idea he’d become a freediver and develop such strong connection with the ocean. A surfer at heart, James always loved playing at the surface of the ocean, but when doing a story about freedivers, he learned so much more, including about what the ocean can tell us about ourselves.

If you love the ocean, have ever wanted to freedive, or want to be a writer, listen to this episode.

The Deep Dive

  • 01:50 – How James discovered freediving from a magazine assignment.
  • 04:00 – The appeal of free diving.
  • 06:20 – Archaeological evidence of people freediving.
  • 06:50 – The Japanese Ama Divers who have been freediving (mostly naked) for 2,500 years.
  • 08:40 – The Japanese women that James met were in their 70s and 80s and had been diving every single day since they were 15 to 16-years old.
  • 09:50 – Why when you freedive, sea creatures swim towards you, not away from you.
  • 14:50 – Why your heart rate will continue to lower, the deeper you go.
  • 17:15 – The two times James was most scared while freediving.
  • 20:05 – What it looks like 2,400 feet down.
  • 26:10 – What freelancer writing life is really like.
  • 30:10 – How the freelance writing culture has changed considerably.
  • 34:10 – Why freelance writing isn’t for everybody.
  • 36:30 – Why when writing a book, you have to disconnect, and get offline.
  • 39:10 – James Nestor’s first book, Get High Now (Without Drugs).
  • 45:05 – Where James had an amazing surfing experience (not where you think).
  • 49:25 – What James would tell his younger self about cutting the cord sooner.
  • 54:15 – James reads all day. His favorite reads, including, Dark Matter, by Blake Crouch
  • 55:30 – What’s next for James?

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