How To Fail With Elizabeth Day

S11, Ep5 How to Fail: Christie Watson

June 23, 2021

Christie Watson is a nurse turned bestselling author who went back to frontline nursing during the Covid-19 pandemic. But if you were to call her a 'hero' she would refuse the label - and during the course of this interview, she tells me why.

Watson left school at 16 and volunteered at a charity before training to become a nurse at Great Ormond Street Hospital. She spent the next 20 years in hospitals in various disciplines and mainly in paediatric intensive care.

Alongside that, she built up a successful writing career. Her debut, Tiny Sunbirds Far Away, won the Costa First Novel Award and in 2018, she published a memoir - The Language of Kindness: A Nurse’s Story, which has been translated into 23 languages. Her most recent book, The Courage To Care, is just out in paperback. 

She joins me to talk about failures in nursing, motherhood and, in an especially enlightening conversation, she tells me what happened when she thought she was having a breakdown only to be diagnosed as peri-menopausal. Every woman (and man) should listen. [WARNING: contains mention of clambering into fishfinger freezers].


The Courage To Care is out now and available to buy here.


My new novel, Magpie, is out on 2nd September. I'd love it if you felt like pre-ordering as it really helps authors! You can do that here.


How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. We love hearing from you. To contact us, email


Social Media:

Elizabeth Day @elizabday

How To Fail @howtofailpod 

Christie Watson @christiewatsonwriter




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