Podcast Review (Part 3) - Magic Lessons

Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert

This is a longer podcast than many of the other ones I've discussed so far, and it is also incredibly structured. Each episode consists of Elizabeth calling up a creative person who is struggling and discussing why they aren't able to do what they want to do. There is a theme for each person, and the start is always the reading of an essay they wrote that got them on the show to begin with.

Sound Quality

This one is easy: it's about perfect. Sure, the callers are on phone lines that don't sound great, but the engineering behind it is perfect.

Segments

These are clearly broken out and easy to follow. There are two segments with the normal person at the beginning and end, and one segment with another creative person where Elizabeth and a guest address the topic of the show and the project in question.

At the beginning, Elizabeth assigns the caller an assignment relating to their project, and then during the later segment they discuss what transpired and what the next steps might be.

Topics

This is Elizabeth Gilbert. She's incredibly positive and friendly, always uplifting. She refuses to allow people to talk negatively about themselves and keep things upbeat. The show runs a little long and can drag on, but it never really gets boring. She's a genuine pleasure to listen to and the topics she cover are great for anyone, not just writers.

Overall

This is one of the best creativity podcasts around. It isn't going to make you a great writer, but it can help give you the encouragement to go out and try. She lives firmly by the principle that anything and everything that can exist should exist, so you aren't going to have to worry about her ever putting someone down or telling them they are wasting their time.

The world needs more people like Elizabeth in it.

Grade: A