“The only way to succeed is to fail… over & over & over again. Just get right in your head with failing; that’s how you succeed.”
If you’re a long-time listener of the podcast, then you’ve treated yourself to several of my conversations with today’s guest. You know this guy well as my gravelly voiced, eminently talented, always charming yet generally disheveled, periodically homeless co-host — now back for a record 6th appearance on the RRP.
Mishka Shubaly doesn’t care much for formalities. But if you need a resumé, his goes something like this:
A self-professed povertarian, Mishka writes true stories about drink, drugs, disasters, desire, deception, and their aftermath. He began drinking at 13 and college at 15. At 22, he received the Dean’s Fellowship from the Master’s Writing Program at Columbia University. Upon receiving his expensive MFA, he promptly moved into a Toyota minivan to tour the country nonstop as a singer-songwriter, sharing the stage with artists like The Strokes, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Decemberists.
At 32, Mishka got sober and shortly thereafter began publishing a string of bestselling Kindle Singles – short non-fiction novellas — through Amazon. His writing has been praised for its grit, humor, fearlessness, and heart. The Long Run*, his mini-memoir detailing his transformation from alcoholic drug abuser to sober ultra-runner is one of the best-selling Kindle Singles in Amazon history.
Mishka’s third solo album, Coward’s Path — the finest set of miserable and sad songs you might ever hear— will be released on October 2, 2015. His new book, I Swear I’ll Make It Up To You: A Life on the Low Road* hits bookstores March 8, 2016.
Otherwise, I hope you enjoy this peek into the complicated, curious, fascinating and always entertaining mind of one of my best friends. I say this everytime I post a podcast with Mishka, because it’s always true: I’m fairly certain this is our best conversation to date. A conversation that explores many themes, including:
- the toil of writing a book
- unconscious forgiveness
- acceptance of one’s alcoholism
- bifurcation of the Self
- the artistic impact of New York
- virtual empathy & praise
- investing time with family
- anxiety stressors
- pushing boundaries to inspire
- the power of the spoken word
The show concludes with Mishka’s new single New Jersey Valentine’s Day Orphan Blues from his forthcoming new album Cowards Path.
I sincerely hope you enjoy the exchange.
Peace + Plants,
Special thanks to Leslie Hassler (photo credit: Mishka with graffiti) and Karrah Flores (photo credit: Mishka with guitar) for graciously allowing me use of their photography in today’s podcast. Click their respective names to check out their beautiful work.
Background, Context & Reference:
- Pre-Order: I Swear I’ll Make It Up To You* by Mishka Shubaly
- Top40: Alcoholic Turned Ultra Runner Mishka Shubaly To Release ‘Coward’s Path’
- Yale: Summer Session Writers Conference
- The Moth: Mishka Shubaly: Shipwrecked
- CNN: A Marathon for Boston
- Reddit AMA: I am Mishka Shubaly, Anonymous Drunk
- NYTimes: In Latest Volley Against Amazon, Hachette’s Writers Target Board
- The Fix: What Happens When You Accidentally Slip on Stage
- The Fix: Let Me Do Sobriety My Way
- Diffuser: [VIDEO] ‘I Can’t Remember When You Were Mine’
If you like very good writing and quick easy reads, check out Mishka’s array of Kindle Singles and consider taking his writing course at Yale University.
- Of Mice and Me*
- The Long Run*
- Beat The Devil*
- Bachelor Number One*
- Are You Lonesome Tonight?*
Notable People Discussed in today’s podcast:
- John Joseph: Cro-Mags front man
- Doug Stanhope: Stand-up comedian
- Jeff Castelaz: President of Elektra Records
- JT Habersaat: Stand-up comedian
- Jay Whitecotton: Stand-up comedian
- Tom Rhodes: Stand-up comedian
- Michael Dean Damron: Musician, songwritier
- Mike Wiebe: Riverboat Gamblers
- Brett Erickson: Stand-up comedian
- Robin Arzón: Ultramarathoner, cycling coach
- James Lawrence: 50.50.50 Ultra-endurance athlete
- Conrad Anker: Adventurer
- Scott Kummer: Ultra-endurance athlete
- Josh LaJaunie: Public speaker, athlete
Related Podcasts You Might Enjoy:
- RRP 27: Mishka Shubaly
- RRP 31: Mishka Shubaly interviews Rich
- RRP 65: Mishka Shubaly on “Beat The Devil”
- RRP 95: John Joseph & Mishka Shubaly
- RRP 104: Mishka Shubaly, Modern Day Ganesh
- RRP 99: Ambassador of Sweat & Swagger-Robin Arzón
- RRP 166: James “Iron Cowboy” Lawrence
- RRP 170: Conrad Anker
- RRP 63: Josh Lajaunie on How One Man Overcame Incredible Obstacles
- RRP 152: Josh Lajaunie
Production, music & sound design by Tyler Piatt. Additional production by Chris Swan. Graphic art by Shawn Patterson.
*Disclosure:Books and products denoted with an asterisk are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
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