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Discovering Empathy

“When I was in the third grade I used to write stories in my poetry class. I guess my dad encouraged me as a kid to write. He was my first reader, and kept my first poetry book by his bed his whole life. Writing has kind of gone on throughout my whole life, but in high school I had a creative writing teacher who encouraged me, and that’s when I got really into it. When I started acting I left writing for a while, but I’ve come back to it in the past five years, and I love it as much as I did when I was younger. I write a lot about women in their 20s lately, drawing on my life. It’s mainly the period between being a young adult but still being a kid, trying to figure out what being an adult is, and the pain and fun of entering the adult world. I’m a comedian and when I couldn’t drive as much I started going back to writing again. It was a nice thing to get to write more serious stuff than comedy. I got back into reading and read this book, Eileen. I read an interview with the author and she said she used the book How to Write a Novel in 90 Days to write her own. So, while I was home, I bought the novel, and I wrote a novel draft in 90 days, which I’m interested in publishing too. But the novel got me going and I started taking writing classes.

Writing allows me to take life more seriously. I’ve always had a lot of levity and it allowed me to be more quiet and introspective. I appreciated how I could explore myself. I generally don’t have an idea in mind when I write. I usually do a stream of consciousness writing, and it reveals itself. The unconscious emerges, and I get to inadvertently learn about myself. I think reading and writing is an empathy builder because you look at things from other people’s point of view.”

P.S. Los Angeles,

“When you write, everyone is just a person with their wants and longings and strengths and weaknesses. You become more compassionate for other people. It’s made me more curious in conversation, listening to who people are and what they’re about.”

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