Kris Kidd, a confessional poet and essayist, is young, hot and hating it. Kidd, who can be found in campaigns like Calvin Klein and multiple short films, has two published books, "I Can't Feel My Face" and "Down for Whatever". Kidd began his writing career at age 14 in 2010 and recounts his angst-filled experiences with the dark side of modeling, eating disorders, substance abuse and feelings of vulnerability and alienation.
Erica Marney, Threading Twine's Director of Development, had the incredible opportunity to interview Kidd about his writing process and advice for budding writers to break into the industry.
What was the first piece you ever wrote and thought “I can do something with this?”
It was never really about 'doing' anything with the writing. Even now, when I write, I try to do it without the pressure of trying to figure out what it could potentially end up 'being.' For me, it's always been more about the catharsis of the process itself. When I started out, I was posting a bunch of long winded and hyper-emotional streams of consciousness on Tumblr. At the time, that was my way of coping.
What does your writing process look like?
That's all in shift at the moment. I used to take the old Hemingway mantra way too close to heart and stay up all night writing and drinking. For the last six months or so, I've been trying to write during the day and treat it more like a job. I think there's more longevity in that, both in terms of my mental/emotional health and the writing itself.
Why/How did you decide to share such personal stories?
Like I said, at first it was just my way of dealing with the circumstances of the life that I was living. I treated Tumblr more like a diary than anything else. It was never a conscious decision to share my story with 'the masses,' or whatever, but I think that allowed me to be super vulnerable. Anyway, it's too late to turn back now. Haha!
Have you experienced any sort of discrimination in the writing industry or as a writer in general?
Not really, no. I mean, I know there are a lot of people who think my work 'glamorizes' serious mental health and substance abuse issues, but I completely disagree with that. I have struggled with these issues for a very long time, and I write about those struggles as I've experienced them. There's nothing glamorous about it. I do sometimes use dark humor in my work, and I can see where that upsets people, but I am also a firm believer that you need to be able to laugh at yourself.
What do you do outside of writing?
Writing's been pretty all-consuming for the last few months, but it's a very isolating process, so I have to make sure I get out and socialize every once in awhile. I've got a very small and tight-knit group of friends, so when I'm not working, I'm usually spending time with them.
If you could cast an actor to play you in a Hollywood adaptation of your life, who would it be?
90’s Macaulay Culkin.
What do you want your tombstone to say?
Young, hot, and hating it.
Any tips for young writers still in high school?
Write every day! Sitting down for just an hour a day and forcing yourself to write, even if you don't feel like it, and even if the writing ends up being terrible, still produces content. The greatest thing about writing is editing. Also, high school is such great source material. Haha!
What can we expect from you in the future?
Who knows? I've been attempting to make the transition into creative fiction and I'm currently workshopping my first novel at UCLA, so I guess we'll see where that takes me.
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