892: Karen Rinaldi, Author of (It's Great to) Suck at Something
"By sucking at surfing, I was able to get over my fear of public humiliation, right? Because when you surf, you are surfing where everyone can see you wipeout and miss waves. I got really used to being okay with that. Then I realized I could apply that to my writing. I started sharing my writing more as I got accustomed to that and thinking, “Well, the worst thing that happens is somebody sees my writing and they don't like it,” right? I mean, I’ll be okay with that." - Karen RinaldiWhat is something that you do in your life that you suck at...but....you love it?
For me, I'd say it's tennis. I don't suck at stand-up comedy, but it is something that I know is a constant work in progress...and, at the same time, is really exciting to me and hasn't, for some reason, discouraged me. It's actually inspired me and it led me to be better at other things, such as podcasting and thinking on my feet and not having a filter :) We are in conversation with Karen Rinaldi, a professional preacher of the gospel of suckitude. Before she found surfing, she sucked at plenty of things, among them skiing, horseback riding (which almost ended tragically), boxing (she doesn't want to talk about it), running, rollerblading, cycling (for which she boasts the least suckiness.) Along with her side hustle of suckitude, Rinaldi has spent 20+ years in publishing and is the publisher of Harper Wave, an imprint she founded in 2012. Her first novel, The End of Men, was the basis for the 2016 feature film Maggie’s Plan, directed by Rebecca Miller and starring Julianne Moore, Greta Gerwig and Ethan Hawke. Her book, [It's Great to] Suck at Something: The Unexpected Joy of Wiping Out and What It Can Teach Us About Patience, Resilience and the Stuff that Really Matters, is a non-fiction deep dive into the joys that sucking can bring. Rinaldi’s essays have appeared in The New York Times, TIME, Motto, LitHub, Oprah.com among others.