This week I had my good friend and fellow bridesmaid Chrissy Stockton as my guest. I first met Chrissy when she and Sarah Heuer were making Tumblr think about how Greek philosophy and Peter Singer crossed with their dating life and sneaker choices on their blog Philolzophy. Since then, Chrissy has gone on to become an editor and partner at Thought Catalog. (Fun fact: this is the first episode I recorded in my pajamas!) Thanks for coming on the show Chrissy!
You’re an editor at Thought Catalog. What’s the culture like there? What do you guys do when you all get together?
I’ve learned that creative communities are tricky. You have to have the right kind of people or there’s going to be a lot of discord in the culture. I don’t think other kinds of communities are this mercurial.
What works for us is that everyone is just a nice person and loves what they do. Some of us got together for a writing retreat in Toronto recently and I was so excited to see everyone and we’d spent a lot of time talking about how we were excited to hang out, but an hour later we’re all sitting in a circle in silence typing into our MacBooks. I think that sounds awful to some people, but I was like, these are my people! We had the best time spending a few long days stretched out on couches writing together.
The other thing is that I think we are all weirdos? My coworker excitedly forwarded me an email from her boyfriend about how one of my articles turned him on. I was like “Finally! I’m around people who are as weird as I am!”
Where do you get inspiration from? Books, magazines, T.V.?
I’m not big into inspiration. I write about whatever I’m thinking about, it’s how I process so it’s easy to do. And then from that initial processing I find something that’s interesting to talk about. I also do a lot of writing that’s meant to entertain, which is fun, so I just think about what people are most interested in reading and then figure out how to do that in the way that would make the reader the most engrossed.
Can you list three Thought Catalog writers people should check out and why?
A very hard question. I love Bianca Sparacino, she has a poetry book that’s coming out with us I can’t wait to read. Her and Brianna Wiest I love because a lot of people are trying to do what they do which is write uplifting, poetic short form articles about what it is to be human in 2015, but they’re the real thing. I’m also a big fan of my coworker Mélanie Berliet because she has such range. Maybe it’s a narcissistic recommendation because I like that she reaffirms the way I am — which is to be open to writing about anything, especially things other people might want to keep private. She’s written about things like being a naked sushi model, trying her hand at being a phone sex operator and what it’s like to have sex in a plane.
What’s would be your dream writing project?
People like Elizabeth Gilbert and Cheryl Strayed and Gretchen Rubin are in their 40’s. I don’t feel like I’m in any rush to do my dream project. I don’t even know what it is yet! I’m learning how to be a better creative person every day. I’m learning what I’m interested in what and frustrates me. I’m learning how to write better and how to manage a whole bunch of people’s creative visions at once and make people feel good about the finished product. I feel like that’s what I’m supposed to be doing right now. When the dream becomes clearer and the opportunity comes I want to be ready to have a sledgehammer behind it.