Time to meet Bianca Sparacino, otherwise known as @RainbowSalt on Instagram. Bianca is the author of two amazing poetry books Seeds Planted In Concrete and The Strength in Our Scars, all available on Shop Catalog and from Thought Catalog Books. She also is the creative director of Thought Catalog and does all sorts of amazing things at TC for their clients and the site itself. Let’s start the interview!
What’s your life motto? If you don’t fit in, you’re doing something right.
If you could describe your poetry in one word, what would it be? If I could describe my poetry in one words, I’d say it would be “realistic.” I’ve never wanted to write from a place of knowing, so I always try to write from a place of learning. I aim to write my own human experience into life, and because of that people feel connected to the words because they too are going through the same things. Instead of writing as if I have all the answers, I simply just want to write in a way that makes people feel seen in the way they are navigating life.
How did you start working for Thought Catalog? When I first heard of Thought Catalog I was so compelled to submit my writing to the platform. I submitted two pieces that were rejected, and though I continued to write and share on platforms like Instagram and Tumblr, I simply stopped trying to get published. One day, while on a plane, I wrote an article called How To Ruin Your Life in twenty minutes — it just poured out of me. Though it had been a long time since Thought Catalog crossed my mind, I randomly decided to submit the piece and it ended up getting approved. That night, I started receiving messages from people who were using the “Reader Mail” feature on my author profile, and I soon realized that the article was quickly going viral. A week or two later, TC reached out to me and asked me to start freelancing for them, and I jumped at the opportunity. That was in 2014. I was asked to write my very first book with them, and the process I experienced working with the team made me want to see what I could further do with the company. I knew that I wanted to be a staff member, I knew that I wanted to contribute to such an inspiring and innovative space. Now we are here — almost three years later, and I’m the Creative Brand Director!
What’s your favorite word? It’s sisu, which means stripped down, it represents mental toughness.
What’s your favorite article you’ve written for Thought Catalog? It is definitely Why They Leave When They Still Love You. I feel those words in my bones. The article is very, very close to my heart and it took a lot to write. Those will always be my favorite pieces.
What about generally speaking your favorite article on Thought Catalog? I’d say One Sentence Love Story by Nick Cox.
What’s your favorite book? It’s a tie between A Literate Passion: Letters Of Anais Nin And Henry Miller and an old psychology textbook of mine called Alterations Of Consciousness: An Empirical Analysis For Social Scientists. The letters inspire softness into my heart, they flay me open because they’re just so raw and beautiful. The psychology book inspires my mind. It gets into different personality disorders, drug interactions in the brain, insomnia and sleep disorders, etc. It’s fascinating, and I like to paw through it whenever I need a break from the soul stuff.
What’s your best advice for a writer looking to expand their skills? My biggest growth as a writer has been in realizing that people don’t want to be told how to live. They just want to know someone understands. So that is my advice. Write to show people that you understand what they are going through as a human being. Write to show people that you get it, that you are right there beside them, experiencing life in all of the same ways — the confusion, the breaking, the highlights, etc. Just connect, not as some omniscient source who has all of the knowledge and answers, but as someone who is also figuring it all out along the way.
You run the Thought Catalog Instagram and have a pretty huge following on Instagram yourself. Will you recommend some awesome accounts for us to follow? That’s a hard question, but here are four of my favorites that come to mind first: @lesparisiennesdumonde, @eyesneverliechico, @maijkah, @kellymaker.
Do you prefer IRL or URL interactions? Hands down IRL. As shy as I am, nothing beats having a conversation with someone who inspires you in person, and just riffing off of all of that energy. It’s a completely different feeling when you can see someone, and all of their nuances, and their reactions, and the tonality of their words and expressions. It makes the experience much richer.
What’s the weirdest thing about you? I have winged scapula. I can dislocate my shoulder blades and pop them out of my back. It looks like I have tiny wings, and it freaks people out — though that doesn’t stop me from showing them at parties and other inappropriate social functions. [cw-mark]