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No Fun, Gaby Dunn! An Interview With an Editor of Thought Catalog

By Shawn Binder on October 3, 2012
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Gaby Dunn is an awesome editor for Thought Catalog and a producer for WFMU. She is also a comedian and takes part in People’s Improv Theater house team called BIRDS and on her own, she wrote 100interviews.com. I sent her an email asking her if I could interview her to find out a little bit more about her style of writing and how her life as a freelancer is. This is our interview!

Your “It Gets Better” video was very moving, have your readers reached out to you with their own stories since then?
Not really. I made that video long before I was writing for Thought Catalog, or was really anyone on the Internet. But I have written about being part of the LGBTQ community and so people have responded to me that way. I think particularly readers like when I write about bisexuality as though it’s not a big deal because they feel so alienated by mainstream media, and so to read a person who for all intents and purposes is a “normal girl” just being like, “Yeah, I have a boyfriend and an ex-girlfriend and you know, that’s life” makes them feel normal and included.

Watch the video here

You’re very candid on Thought Catalog, did it ever scare you to be so open in your writing?
I don’t think I thought it through very much, which in the end was for the best. I had a Livejournal all through my adolescence where I was very honest and I think it just translated naturally through that.

How did you decide that writing was a career you wanted to pursue?
I am bad at everything else. I mean, really. Since I was a little kid, all I did was write so quickly it became my identity like, “Oh I’m a writer” and that never wavered.

How did your freelancing career advance?
I started with my own website, 100interviews.com, which I wrote for free for a year. Once people saw I was dedicated to that, they reached out to have me write for them and I did. But I also submitted and was rejected from a bunch of sites, which was rough.

What sort of advice would you give to writers?
Here’s an advice post I did: http://gabydunn.com/post/29355705594/dude-i-think-youre-great-im-totally-in-awe-of-what

Which authors inspire you?
Oh, it’s a long list. I used to LOVE Douglas Adams when I was younger, and he’s very inspirational in terms of whimsy, comedy and science fiction. I love Haruki Marukami. Magical realism is sort of my jam.

Any plans for a future book/screenplay?
Sure. I have two TV pilots I’ve written that I’m working on getting out there. I have book ideas, but I don’t want to just put out a book to do it, where it has no substance or it’s just a memoir about twenty-somethings. Ideally I’d write it when I have more to say. But screenplays and TV shows are in the works, yes!

What sort of topics in writing do you find yourself draw to and want to write about?
I love anything that has a taste of the real world, but also some magic or sci-fi in it. I tend to write about feminism, and television. A lot of my posts are about relationships. And then some are about science. I’m a bit all over the map. I think nerdiness is a consistent theme, but I don’t know!

Anything else you would love for your readers to know about you?
They already know too much! JKJK. I think they should know they can email me if they want. So many apologize when they email me and it’s like, nooo! Go for it.

Does living in NYC have a large impact on your writing?
It does, I think. Because I interact with NYC people all the time and I love the city so it influences the way I see the world. If I were writing from Tennessee or India or somewhere else, I might have some different perspectives, which could be important for me to do in the future.

Thanks, Gaby! Check out her work here.

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Shawn wonders why these 'about me' sections are written in 3rd person since everyone knows who wrote them. Anywho, Shawn enjoys tea, his dog, and singing loudly in his car. Shawn has written for various campus publications including The FSView. He also spends his time freelancing for The Huffington Post and SurvivingCollege.com Send him cool stuff at smb10d@my.fsu.edu!

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