Episode 210: How Do We Spend Time Alone? — Florence Williams & Alexandra de Steiguer on Creative Fuel

We Know You’ll Love: Creative Fuel

When writer Florence Williams’ 25-year marriage falls apart, it sets her on a journey to explore the science behind loneliness. Photographer Alexandra de Steiguer has spent the last quarter century spending her winters solo as a caretaker in the Isle of Shoals. With the help of these two creatives, we explore what spending time alone means for ourselves, our creativity, and our connections to the communities around us. This week, we’re sharing an episode of Creative Fuel, a podcast that Gale’s co-producing and more importantly – a show that we know you’ll love. Find it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you listen to podcasts.

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Full transcript is available after the photos.

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Featured in this episode: Florence Williams and Alexandra de Steiguer

Hosted & Produced by Gale Straub

A production of Ravel Media

Sponsored by Danner Boots

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Creative Fuel is Hosted by Anna Brones

Creative Fuel is Co-Produced by Anna Brones & Gale Straub

Theme Music is by cleod9 music


  • Alexandra de Steiguer: Alexandra de Steiguer is a photographer, writer and musician who spends every winter as the caretaker of Star Island in the Isles of Shoals. Nine miles off the coast of Maine and New Hampshire, this rocky, windswept place provides great inspiration for her creative endeavors. She is drawn to the solitude and beauty of the deserted islands, and captures the environment in stunning black and white photographs, personally printed in her traditional darkroom. She is a two-time artist fellow of the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts and the author of Small Island, Big Picture: Winters of Solitude Teach an Artist to See.
  • Florence Williams: Florence Williams is a journalist, author, and podcaster. She is a contributing editor at Outside Magazine and a freelance writer for the New York Times, New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, The New York Review of Books, Slate, Mother Jones and numerous other publications. She is also the writer and host of two Gracie-Award-winning Audible Original series, Breasts Unbound and The Three-Day Effect, as well as Outside Magazine’s Double-X Factor podcast. Her public speaking includes keynotes at Google, the Smithsonian, the Seattle Zoo, the Aspen Ideas Festival and many other corporate, academic and nonprofit venues. She is also a fellow at the Center for Humans and Nature and a visiting scholar at George Washington University, her work focuses on the environment, health and science. Her books include The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative and Heartbreak: A Personal and Scientific Journey.

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Music is also by Josh Woodward.

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Creative Fuel – How Do We Spend Time Alone?

For every episode, Anna Brones designs different art!

Featuring Alexandra de Steiguer, photographer, musician, and winter caretaker of Star Island in the Isle of Shoals.

Featuring Florence Williams, author of The Nature Fix and Heartbreak


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Note: This transcript was lightly edited and created using a transcription service. As such it may contain spelling errors.

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