Name: Kelsey Miller
Best Known For: Big Girl: How I Gave Up Dieting And Got A Life (2016)
Education: Film & Television, Boston University
Employment: Senior Features Writer, Refinery29
Professional role models: David Sedaris & Tina Fey
How did spending years in therapy help you write a memoir?
The work I did (and still do) in therapy enabled me to grow up and live my life, without which there would be no memoir. I also never would have been able to write about my problems and difficulties without first sorting through them and working my ass off so that they weren’t the controlling force of my life. It’s a lot more complicated than this, but the short version is that I went into therapy feeling like one big problem — I was composed of trauma and disorder and dysfunctional experiences. Therapy doesn’t erase those things but it helped me realize that I’m not simply the sum total of my [problems]. Those things are in me and a part of me, but I don’t have to sit around and wait to be fixed and perfect in order to move forward with my life. I always thought you had to be All Better with a capital B in order to write a reflective memoir. Nope. You just get on with your life and your goals, issues or not.
Do you think your theatre training has helped you become a better storyteller?
Man, I sure hope so. I’d like to think my parents’ investment in a decade’s worth of theatre training paid off somehow. I’d always enjoyed storytelling and have huge admiration for good storytellers. (My mom and dad are both incredibly funny and I used to wish I could crack up a dinner table the way they could.) I haven’t done theatre in ages, but there are certain lessons that will always be with me: finding your intention in a scene, showing and not telling, etc. Those are all good instincts for writers as well.