Alternative mortician, YouTube personality, and New York Times bestselling nonfiction author of From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death, Caitlin Doughty, rang me up this week to chat about changing the West’s relationship to death, the challenges of running a non-profit funeral home, and how to write a bestselling book in your spare time.
Caitlin is the creator of “Ask a Mortician,” a web series that boasts over 300,000 subscribers, and the founder of The Order of the Good Death, a nonprofit that advocates for death acceptance and an alternative to Western funeral industry practices.
Her first bestselling book and memoir, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: and Other Lessons from the Crematory, chronicled her experiences as a young woman working in a crematorium.
Her latest, From Here to Eternity, resumes her exploration of the field to explore “… how other cultures care for the dead,” and “… is an immersive global journey that introduces compelling, powerful rituals almost entirely unknown in America.”
Her mission to reform the death industry has led to features on NPR, BBC, The New Yorker, Vice, The Atlantic, the New York Times, and many others.
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In this file Caitlin Doughty and I discuss:
- Her strong voice for change and how that got her an agent
- How a full-time mortician finds time to write bestselling books
- The sense of doubt that all writers face
- How her greater mission overtook her fear of writing
- Why writers need to be less precious about their work
- The Muse of Death
- Why you need to Tweet an inspirational writing quote to Caitlin @TheGoodDeath – #TheWriterFiles – after you listen to this show
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The Show Notes
- If you’re ready to see for yourself why over 201,344 website owners trust StudioPress — the industry standard for premium WordPress themes and plugins — just go to StudioPress.com
- From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death – Caitlin Doughty
- Ask A Mortician on YouTube
- Caitlin Doughty on Instagram
- The Order of the Good Death
- Undertaking LA (is not your typical funeral home)
- There Are Better Ways to Mourn – Caitlin Doughty for Time
- Caitlin Doughty on Twitter
- Kelton Reid on Twitter