What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I wanted to be a writer, so I feel pretty lucky!
How did you first figure out that you wanted to be a writer? What was your writing journey like up until now?
I wrote my first short story when I was around seven years old and that kind of unlocked something. I spent the next fifteen or so years figuring out what writing meant to me and the ways I wanted to use it and right now I do everything from short blog posts to profiles and interviews to comedy writing for my sketch group. The fun thing about being a writer is that that the kind of writing I do now could morph into something totally different as I get older. That’s definitely been the case so far, at least.
Do you find that there are certain challenges that come with being a female in a too oft male dominated field? Have you had to do anything different than your male peers to have your writing be seen?
I’ve been lucky in my professional career to pretty solely work at female-focused publications. I’ve never had a male boss, and rarely a male coworker. So really the only sexism I’ve experienced has manifested in offhand comments from people I run into outside work. I had a boy I was seeing once make a comment about how I should push myself to be a “real writer,” and I’ve had dudes at parties dismiss what I do as “just getting started,” assuming that this is something I’m settling for, when really this is where I want to be the rest of my life.
What is one piece of advice you would tell yourself at the beginning of your career if you could go back in time and do so?
I definitely held myself back from pursuing certain opportunities because I just figured I wasn’t experienced enough for it, but the only way to do anything is to just do it. It literally only hurts you to miss out on opportunities. There are no negative consequences from giving something a try, and that includes just sending an email asking someone for coffee to applying for a job to making the damn thing you want to make. It’s advice I have to push myself to follow!
What do you do for fun? Do you give yourself a proper day’s off or do you steal minutes here and there?
For me, fun means I’m working on creative projects outside of my day job, so anytime I’m not at work is dedicated to that. I’m not good at doing nothing. I just start fretting about how I’m not doing enough. If I were to think of the moments when I’m totally relaxed and clocked out, it’s when I’ve put something on the TV while I’m cooking dinner, hopefully with friends.
Who or what do you find inspiring? Have they evolved throughout the years?
When I was younger, JK Rowling, Tina Fey, and Mindy Kaling were definitely some of my first inspirations. But now that I’m an “adult” it’s really my peers who I look to for inspiration. There’s an Issac Rae quote about “networking across.” She says your fellow friends, your fellow aspiring whatevers are the people worth building with, rather than trying to network up on your own. And I’ve definitely found that most of my success has come from collaborating with people who I trust.
What does your workspace look like? Do you have to be at your desk for inspiration or do you find that confines you?
I’m constantly trying to make my desk at work look prettier, but at the end of every week it gets covered in random stuff. Right now there’s cough drops, disinfecting wipes, and tissues (I’m getting sick) littering what I keep telling myself is going to be an Instagram-worthy workspace one day. At home, I 100% work from bed.
What is one thing you’ve yet to accomplish that you feel called to do?
Write a successful sketch or short film. Thanks to friends I’ve made it New York, I’ve started considering comedy seriously for the first time. I’m still just getting started, but I really hope to dedicate more of my time to that.
What is your favorite book? (Okay…top three!)
There answers will not be the same even three months from now, but in terms of books that I read super quickly and recommend whenever anyone is just looking for a fun book, it’s Startup by Dpree Shafir, Modern Lovers by Emma Straub, and The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P by Adelle Waldman.
Kathryn lives in New York City and is an Entertainment Writer at Refinery29. You can find some of her writing here.