Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Writer Wednesday - Emily Hughes

Emily Hughes is awesome. She's one of my favorite childhood friends' best friend, and so I met her for the first time when Alisha brought her to my going away party right before I studied abroad. I sometimes wish she were *my* best friend and we got to hang out all the time because every time I've talked to her, she's been wonderful. A fellow publishing-worker and travel-lover, Emily also juggles three awesome Tumblrs that you should probably read immediately after finishing this interview.

Also, this is timely because earlier this week she became internet-famous for being a feminist, which is basically the best reason of all time to become internet-famous. Seriously. She is just a normal person fighting the good fight for equality with one tweet that really struck a cord, and in addition to being quoted by Fox News and Ms. Magazine, she's also gotten a lot of hate for that insight. So after reading this, go send her some love, because I know ya'll are also fighting the good fight. 

Emily in Istanbul
Who are you? I'm a book publishing lifer working in digital marketing at one of the Big Five. I've been a New York City resident for the better part of nine years but am still a relatively recent Brooklyn transplant. I pour most of my spare money into travel (just came back from a trip to Istanbul) and most of my spare energy into the internet.

Where can you be found online? Do you have a blog or other online receptacle for your work? If so, how would you describe it to a stranger you've just met while on vacation? Oh god, everywhere? My most-used outlets are Twitter and Tumblr, definitely. My personal Tumblr just celebrated its fifth birthday (!) though that's only intermittently writing-focused - it's mostly a catchall for inspiration, pictures, funny bits and pieces, publishing minutiae, and so on. I've also got a photography Tumblr that I use as an outlet for the thousands of travel pictures I've taken over the years.

More recently I've been putting a lot of time and energy into Proof Reading Books, where I recommend book and booze pairings. Some of the posts are relatively straightforward, where others are a little more experimental in form and content. I find myself using the format as a sandbox in which to play around with short-form fiction and different voices, and the response I've gotten has been really encouraging.

What inspired you to start writing/blogging? When did it happen? I... don't remember? Livejournal, I guess, back in early high school. That was all very sophomoric, raw, reactive "I'm a teenager and everything is terrible!" writing that I'm mildly to moderately embarrassed about now, but hey, it had its place and its time and its use. Since then, though, Tumblr is the first thing I've really stuck with. The community piece of it is key - I don't feel like I'm just dumping words into a void.

Why do you write? Usually because it's cleansing. You have a thought kicking around your head in various permutations and it doesn't go away until you've put it down somewhere. That kind of thing.

Your writing inspires me. Who inspires you? Nicole Cliffe and Mallory Ortberg over at The Toast are basically doing everything I aspire to do online, ever. I've found some deeply cool people on Tumblr as well, especially Victoria McNally and Dude in Publishing, the best of the book Tumblrs.

In keeping with the admittedly loose travel theme of Not Intent On Arriving, if you could have an all-expenses paid trip anywhere in the world, where would you go? Ooh, Australia and New Zealand. Everywhere else I think I can get to under my own steam and on my own dime, but ANZ... man, that's an expensive flight. The problem is I want to go pretty much everywhere, so I'm choosing ANZ on a purely financial basis. Hell, just get me a flight into Sydney and a flight out of Auckland six weeks later and I'll figure the rest out myself.

What is your favorite place on earth? This is SO HARD Kristin why in the world would you ask this? Dammit. Okay, I've been thinking about it for twenty minutes now and I just need to decide. The Cloisters, way uptown in Manhattan. An outpost of the Met, the museum is cobbled together from parts of a bunch of different medieval European abbeys, and it's situated in a really beautiful park overlooking the Hudson and New Jersey. It feels like you're properly out of the city even though you just spent $2.50 on the subway ride there. I've been dragging my friends up there once a summer for a picnic for almost seven years running now.

Anything else you'd like us to know? Just take a moment once in a while and realize all the ways in which the internet is the best thing that ever happened to our generation. Also, never pass up an opportunity to pet a cat.

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