Brianna Wiest, Author
You may recognize her work, or even her name: Brianna Wiest. Brianna writes to a worldwide audience, and if you don't recognize her name, you've probably read one of her many viral articles on emotional intelligence, perhaps in publications such as Forbes or The Huffington Post. Her work speaks to our generation and what we are seeing more of in the media today. In addition to writing articles, Brianna is a published author. Her best known book, 101 Essays That Will Change The Way You Think, aims to help you reconstruct the way you see and interact with the world, and ultimately, change your life. Learn more about Brianna in today’s spotlight.
Brianna, do you consider yourself an artist?
What an amazing question! I don’t think I have ever been asked that before. You know, not usually. Most of the time, I don’t even think of myself as a writer. When I think of myself as a person, it’s not one of the first things that comes to mind, my husband said this was wild because it’s probably the first thing someone would know about me. Funny how we see ourselves versus how we are perceived, right? I do take pride in my writing, though. I don’t want that to be misconstrued. But to answer your question, I guess I am going to have to say that no, I don’t see myself as an artist, but I recognize that what I do is a kind of art form.
Let’s talk about your work: as an emotional intelligence writer, have you ever struggled with listening to your own advice? If so, what methods do you use to get back on track?
Absolutely. Sometimes, when I’m having a hard time with something, I’ll look up an article I wrote and think, hm, I wonder what I told other people to do in this situation! Then I’ll have to take my own advice. It’s interesting, because you can know what the right thing is to do, and yet, you still have to have the courage and clarity to do it in the moment. I think it’s important not only to have the right ideas, but to know how to take action on them.
I honestly use my life as fuel for writing. If I’m having trouble with a friend, let’s say, instead of wallowing in it, I’ll start getting clear on what I’m feeling, then I’ll start researching. Is what I am experiencing a cognitive bias? Is it a normal feeling that I need to allow to pass? Is there a productive way I could address this with this friend? Then, once I figure it out, I can write about it.
If you did not picked up writing and become an author, what another field would you have dabbled into?
I would be an editor, which is actually at least half of what I do during the day anyway. I would definitely still be in publishing.
We are seeing a shift in the media and the overall voices. What are your thoughts about this representation movement in all creative spaces, including the media?
I think that one of the virtues of the Internet — for all its vices, of course — is that it bypasses gatekeepers. By this, I mean, you don’t need to get someone’s permission to have your voice heard. You can start building your own following, and your own platform. There’s so much power in that. In addition, I think that more creative work and space is a closer reflection of what people really want to read and hear, because there’s such an immediate feedback. When you publish something in print, you can evaluate readership by subscription. That’s a shoddy way to do it. When you publish something digitally, within hours and days, you can evaluate people’s responses to individual pieces of work. I think this is better all around. It makes you more effective, and it makes your reader’s experience more enjoyable.
Last one, what’s the next move for you?
Right now, I’m relaxing into my new home and married life, so that’s first! I also have two book ideas in the works. In the meantime, writing each day, keeping my clients happy, and building readership, as always.
To learn more about Brianna, follow her here.