Silver Lining presents the second part of our interview with author and zine inspiration Ariel Gore. Her hard-won, entertaining, motivational, and gutsy insights begin in the previous post.
Erin: What has been the most rewarding aspect of your career as an indie writer and publisher?
Ariel: Well, that's a hard question to have follow the last one, because now I am all worked up about how HORRIBLE it is. But it's not! It's amazing and excellent to be able to make an (albeit very modest) living doing what I like to do. I just read Anne Lamott's new book and interviewed her for our community radio station, and I am of course just so freakin' jealous because she makes enough money to have a lot more leisure time in it all than I do, but then I look around at my life and just breathe in my appreciation, because I trusted that if I worked really hard at doing what I love the world would somehow support me and that has been true. Through much poverty and other gloop--but always liveable poverty and other gloop.
What's the latest in Hip Mama world? Has your pregnancy given you a ton of new material to work with? (Of course, this interview was months ago, so it's not quite the latest now. Check out her website for more.)
I don't know. Not so much yet. I just found out IT'S A BOY. That's something new for me. But I'm not sure if the baby thing feels totally real to me yet. (Although, I can say, I really don't know why they discourage the teen mom thing SO much, pregnancy is really very uncomfortable when you're 36). Anyway -- my daughter is headed off to college in the fall, which is just head-spiningly amazing to me. Being the parent of a teenager is hard, hard in a lot of ways, but one thing I love is being reminded that as a parent I am dispensible. I have been important, but through all of my triumphs and fuck-ups, she is her own person with her own destiny. There were things that always came naturally to me that she is no good at, and there are whole worlds I have been terrified to even ENTER that she has, simply, mastered.
You were a big inspiration for the Silver Lining zine. Would you share with us some of your inspirations as a writer, a mom, or just in general?
Diane DiPrima, Katherine Arnoldi, Anais Nin, Micelle Tea, Anne Lamott, Mary Waters, China Martens. Well, that looks like a very femme list. I'm sure that some men should be on it, but they don't pop into my mind just now.
You talk about this in your book, but can you sum up your advice for women who think "I don't have time to be a lit star" or any other kind of star?
Well, a woman--any woman--has to make a real effort not to dissolve into everything that needs her. We are trained to put the thing that we want to do last--and with writing it's also WORK, so if we manage to carve out a couple of hours in the week for ourselves, we might as well just go get a drink and relax. So we've got to learn to put writing up there at the top of our to-do lists, and not let everyone else's wants and needs cut in line.
And lastly, is there anything on your mind these days that you think more people should be aware of or thinking about? Consider this question free reign to spread the word!
There's a lot of jealous meanness going around. There's a lot of frustration and grief on the planet right now. There's a lot of arrogance. Just don't get sucked into that. You are a unique and amazing genius -- and so is everyone else. Share some love, man. I know I sound like a freakin' hippie, but what are you going to do? Avoid everyone who has gotten sucked into that mean jealous arrogant thing, because it's super toxic and contageous. Don't try to save them or anything. Share the love, and then MOVE THE FUCK ON.