The Uplifters
The Uplifters
Episode 63: Cleyvis Natera is Going to Teach You How to Find Creative Courage

Episode 63: Cleyvis Natera is Going to Teach You How to Find Creative Courage

Cleyvis Natera hasn’t always been the author of a critically acclaimed novel. She always knew she wanted to be, and she was certain she had what it took, but big jobs and big paychecks kept distracting her, and the big break she was looking for kept eluding her. Her son’s life-threatening illness triggered an awakening that propelled her to reclaim her passion for writing.

I always knew I wanted to be a writer. I began to write stories in High School and even studied under a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer in undergrad. But as a child of immigrants, and as a person who immigrated myself, the idea of making a living by writing seemed out of reach. I tried. I worked full time, went to grad school for an MFA and it seemed as though switching careers would be a matter of time. Things didn't work out that way. After a relentless series of what I saw at the time as endless rejections, I stopped pursuing a writing career. I stopped writing. It wasn't until I had a medical crisis and almost lost my young son that I found myself compelled to get back to it. A few years later, I've now made a complete transition into a writing life and quit that full-time corporate job that provided such a sense of accomplishment and stability. I still marvel at how the toughest and most painful experience of my life led to a breakthrough -- and I feel the most free and fulfilled I've ever felt.

In our first-ever live episode of The Uplifters Podcast, Cleyvis shares with disarming honesty what it really took to achieve literary success and publish her chart-topping novel about immigrant Uplifters, Neruda on The Park. Most of all, Cleyvis shows us how to own our brilliance, badassery, and beauty instead of relying on the outside world to give us its’ fickle approval.

Prepare to be emboldened as Cleyvis invites us to embrace our singularity, confront the harsh realities of the world, and find the courage to birth the beautiful creations that are waiting within us.

5 Uplifting Lessons:

  • Embrace Authenticity: You are more powerful when you use your unique voice even when it defies societal expectations.

  • Cultivate Resilience: Rejection and setbacks are inevitable, but if you can learn how to learn from failures, then you can persist.

  • Nurture Self-Compassion: Be gentle with yourself, celebrate small victories, and embrace self-love as a source of strength.

  • Find Inspiration in Community: Surround yourself with a supportive community of fellow creatives to fuel your inspiration, ignite your competitive spirit, and propel you to reach new heights.

  • Birth Your Creations: Your story deserves to be told.

Check out our new show intro!

At our Uplifters Live event a couple of weeks ago, we asked each guest to tell us what it means to be an Uplifter! Each week, we’ll feature one of these voices in the intro of our show. This week, you’ll hear from Alexa Hladick.

Who’s ready to “Cleyvis” with me??

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The Great Web of Uplifters

Cleyvis was nominated by Kate Tellers from episode 59.

Today’s opening features Alexa Hladick.

Keep up with Cleyvis

Cleyvis Natera is an award-winning novelist, essayist, and professor. Her debut novel, Neruda on the Park, was awarded a Silver Medal by the International Latino Book Awards for Best First Book of Fiction in 2023. Her work has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, TIME, Gagosian Quarterly, The Washington Post, USA TODAY, The Kenyon Review, Aster(ix) and Kweli Journal. Natera has been supported through awards, fellowships and artist residencies by the Vermont Studio Center, PEN America, Hermitage Artist Retreat, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, among others. She teaches fiction at Barnard College of Columbia University and Montclair State University. Natera’s second novel, The Grand Paloma Resort, is forthcoming in 2025. Follow her @cleyvisnatera on all social platforms.

The Uplifters
The Uplifters
This podcast is dedicated to celebrating the Uplifters.
In every episode, we share the tools and strategies Uplifters use to take care of themselves.
You'll hear the deeply personal stories of inspiring women who have worked through challenges to create big, joyful lives; how blocks and barriers became tools for success; and powerful mindset techniques you can use to live up. 💫