Skip to main content

Mishka Shubaly On Writing: Faith, Guilt, Stubbornness, Abandonment, Revenge, Forgiveness & Why He Swears He’ll Make It Up To You

By February 21, 2016May 23rd, 2019No Comments

“We imagine memory to be something that records or preserves the truth and that’s not what it does at all—it transforms what happened.”

Mishka Shubaly

Devoted listeners are well-acquainted with the gravelly voiced, predictably disheveled, typically homeless, chronically self-deprecating, sometimes tortured, but always charming, self-avowed nomadic povertarian commonly known as Mishka Shubaly — back on the podcast for a record-breaking 7th appearance.

A writer oozing talent from his already overactive sebaceous glands, Mishka pens 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 receipt of his expensive MFA, he promptly moved into a Toyota minivan to tour the country nonstop as a singer-songwriter, often sharing the stage with comedians like Doug Stanhope and musical acts like The Strokes and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

But mostly he drank.

It sounds glamorous. It wasn’t. At 32, Mishka hit bottom, got sober and laced up a pair of running shoes. In between ultra marathons, he began publishing a string of #1 bestselling Kindle Singles – short non-fiction novellas — through Amazon. The Long Run*, his mini-memoir detailing his transformation from alcoholic drug abuser to sober ultrarunner, to this day remains one of the best-selling Kindle Singles in Amazon history.

Today, Mishka’s on the cusp of releasing his very first book book. I Swear I’ll Make It Up To You – A Life On The Low Road* hits bookstores everywhere March 8, 2016.

Brutally honest, fiercely emotional and muscular in its prose, it’s the booze-fueled, opiated account of a precocious young underachiever trying to be good (and failing and failing) until one day he succeeds. It’s about serial abandonment, school shootings, alcoholism, loneliness, artistic frustration, faith, guilt, sobriety, running, relationships, resentment, revenge, music, art, and creativity. It’s about one man’s attempt to reckon with the wreckage of his past and his journey to reconcile his relationship with his family, and most importantly, to forgive the father that jettisoned him.

I love Mishka like a brother. I love this book. And I love this conversation.

Peace + Plants,


P.S. – If you’re new to this podcast, dig the Mishka vibe and want to hear more, check out RRP episodes 27, 31, 65, 95, 104, and 171. That’s about 11 hours of Mishka to keep you all warm and fuzzy.

P.P.S. – If you are an aspiring writer, consider taking Mishka’s writing course at Yale University this summer.

Listen & Subscribe on  iTunes | Soundcloud | Stitcher

Check out Julie’s new podcast divine throughline

Thanks to this week’s sponsors: A superior shave at an affordable price. Type in my coupon code “ROLL” at purchase for $5 off your starter set and get an entire month’s worth of shaving for just $10 when you visit The web’s largest event ticket search engine is offering Rich Roll listeners a $20 dollar rebate off their first purchase. Download the FREE SeatGeek app, go to the settings tab, click ‘Add a promo code’ and enter promo code “ROLL”.


Connect with Mishka: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Mishka’s Kindle Singles:

Background, Context & Reference:

Notable People Discussed in today’s podcast:

Related Podcasts You Might Enjoy:

The show concludes with Mishka’s song Ohio from his new album Cowards Path. Special thanks to Tom Medvedich for graciously allowing me use of his photography in today’s podcast. The transitional song is a new demo entitled My Girl by Ana Leimma. Show notes & 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 and affiliated sites.

The Plantpower Way  is available at these fine retailers!

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  IndieBound  |  Penguin

Are you a company interested in sponsoring the podcast? Click here to learn more & take our sponsor survey.


Tell Your Friends & Share Online!

Subscribe & Review:  iTunes | Stitcher | Soundcloud | TuneIn

Donate: Check out the DONATE button on the podcast homepage or click HERE to learn more.

Download Our Free App! Now you can access, stream, download and share the entire RRP catalog in the palm of your hand on any iOS mobile device (iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch) with our mobile app. Never miss an episode, plus special announcements, discounts, giveaways. Already downloaded? Awesome. When you have a minute, and it feels right to you, do us a solid and give the app a review in the iTunes Store.

Leave a Reply