Finding the Throughline with Kate Hanley

Finding the Throughline: Conversations about the Creative Process invites you into the minds of writers and other creatives as they open up about their process, their doubts, and what kinds of changes they’re thinking about making. The questions are mildly invasive, honestly, and the answers are unvarnished…and so refreshing! 

Whether your creative work is writing, painting, making music, parenting, or simply living, Finding the Throughline can help you get—and stay—inspired. Invigorated, even. 

For detailed show notes on each interview, visit And if you’d like to hear these interviews in one ad-free episode (as opposed to broken up into three shorter episodes with a few ads sprinkled in to keep the lights on), become a paid subscriber once you’re there.


How To
Bless and Release EP: 45
We all have heard that to forgive is divine, and it is. But it can also feel like a pretty tall order sometimes. The desire to forgive may not come for a while, but there is a half-step a long the way, and that’s what I want to talk to you about...
4 min
Make One Thing Reusable EP: 44
I recently read that every single piece of plastic that’s ever been made—which adds up to 8.3 billion metric tons—is still on this Earth. Some plastic is recycled, sure, but, according to National Geographic up until 2015 only 9 percent was...
6 min
See the Fingerprints on Everything EP: 43
Today we’re talking about a way to look at the things you buy and consume as more than mere things. And that is to think about all the many, many people that went into creating those things.
3 min
Catch Them in the Act EP: 42
This is a little different than my previous tip to give someone a high five, although it’s definitely related. Giving a high five is about celebrating. This is more about training yourself to notice and call attention to something that’s positive,...
3 min
Somewhere You Would Normally Drive EP: 41
I’m not talking about getting more steps on your Fitbit, although this can help you do that and that’s a perfectly lovely thing to do. It’s really just about interrupting the impulse to do things the no-brainer way.
4 min
Re-Motivate Yourself EP: 40
A powerful way to get re-motivated is to really think about the difference your work is making for people. You don’t have to be working for a nonprofit that’s saving the world in order to do this. Here’s how.
5 min
Build Your Boredom Tolerance EP: 39
At some point today, you’re going to be somewhere where for a few moments you have nothing in particular to do. And I’m willing to bet that after about, oh, 10 seconds of waiting, you’re going to get this great idea that says, I could check...
4 min
Check in With Yourself EP: 38
It’s easy to get in to the habit of checking in with everyone else in your household or on your team at work to see what they think, prefer, and need. But it’s really damn hard to remember to do the same thing for yourself.   
5 min
Make a Difference Day EP: 37
Make a Difference Day has been a national holiday since 1992. I’m sure you can easily find several volunteer opportunities you could do in your city or town today, and I hope you’ll do that! But I want to suggest another way you can make a...
4 min
There’s More Where That Came From EP: 36
When you start thinking “there’s more where that came from”, you shift your focus FROM the money you no longer have and TO the additional money you could invite into your life.  
4 min
Don’t Be an Interrupting Cow EP: 35
Getting interrupted is so frustrating. It impedes your train of thought, for one. Worse, it can feel like you’re being silenced and that what you have to say doesn’t matter. And it’s something we can do to other people even when we have the best...
5 min
Get in Bed When You’re Tired EP: 34
Falling asleep is a little bit like re-entry of a space shuttle – there are certain windows you need to hit for best results. Here’s a dead simple way to make sure that you’re in the right place at the right time for falling asleep.  
3 min
Give a Feedback Sandwich EP: 33
One of the trickier things about working with other people is that you often have to give them feedback on how they’re doing. And few people actually enjoy getting feedback, especially when that feedback contains something that could be...
3 min
Celebrate Others’ Successes EP: 32
You know how when you see someone doing something really cool, sometimes you get jealous? Or maybe even think, “That bee-yotch!” C’mon, you can admit it. Today’s tip is here to help you shift out of that mentality.
3 min
Soothe Yourself to Sleep EP: 31
It can be hard to sleep on Sunday nights when you’re thinking about the things you want to and need to get done that week. To help us all get more zzzzs tonight, I’m sharing 2 simple DIY things that help you get to sleep.
4 min
Let Someone Else Go First EP: 30
Being in a hurry makes it easy to wish everyone would just get out of your way already. It’s a little bit like, how dare you slow me down, can’t you see I’ve got important things to do here! I mean, right? Here’s a simple way to step...
3 min
Make an Extra Monthly Debt Payment Every Year w...
If you’re a homeowner, financial gurus and advisors (and my Dad) will tell you to make one extra mortgage payment a year. I say, that’s a great idea! The problem is, it’s not exactly easy to find extra money just lying around waiting...
3 min
Don’t Be a Snowplow EP: 28
Today we’re taking aim at something that so very many of us do--especially those of us with kids, although it’s certainly not reserved for the parents of the world--and we tend to do it unconsciously. Or, if we’re aware of it, we...
5 min
Take a Stretch Break EP: 27
It’s really, really hard to be a person of any kind without a body, am I right? So, a better cared for body helps you do the things that being a better person will call on you to do. #wellnesswednesday
4 min
Take a Transition Between “Work” and “Life” EP: 26
Today’s tip is intended to help you build more of a boundary between your work time and your personal time. It’s not a solid wall – if you need to work for an hour after the kids go to bed, there’s no shame in that. It’s more like...
3 min
Look for the Loving Reason EP: 25
I suppose this gets a little woo-woo. So I hope you can go there with me. I’m basically asking you to try on the idea that life is happening for you instead of to you. Also, the blog post I mention is here:
7 min
Forgive YOUR Mistakes EP: 24
What I want to share with you today is a deceptively simple, and deceptively powerful, forgiveness exercise. What’s deceptive about this? Well, for starters, it is NOT about forgiving someone else.
3 min
Actually Silence Your Phone EP: 23
There’s no denying it—it hard to resist the allure of a ringing or dinging phone. Sometimes, I even flinch when I just imagine I’ve heard my phone vibrate or buzz. (I’m not the only one, right?)
3 min
Check the Urge to Buy New EP: 22
I’m guessing you’ve had the experience where you’ve gone to the store to pick up something you need, only to realize once you get back home that you already had it. Or that there’s at least one thing hanging in your closet right now that still...
3 min
Don’t Treat Gifts Like a Burden EP: 21
Today your mission is to recognize how you might be contributing to your own unease by treating good things as if they were bad things. (This is such a common thing to do.)
2 min