Artist Spotlight: Taylor Leddin
Author Taylor Leddin discusses the release of her new book The Time Capsule Journal
Innovation comes in many forms. Meet the creative minds inspiring others through art.
Taylor Leddin is an author, freelance writer, and the Lead Public Relations Associate for Laura Orrico Public Relations. Having received her Bachelor’s in Communication Studies, she was once featured in Thrive Global as a successful woman in journalism and is the editor-in-chief for the online publication The Tidbit. Her new book, The Time Capsule Journal, allows individuals to answer prompts in present day, then place it out of sight for years before answering more prompts in the future. This special journal allows individuals to preserve their past selves while seeing how much they’ve grown over time. Check out how this pop culture enthusiast balances work, life, and writing.
What sort of impact did your parents have on you growing up?
I’d say the biggest impact was introducing me to the things they grew up with—the music, the television, the references. It’s turned me into a nostalgic pop culture nerd (with an epic 70s Spotify playlist). My upbringing also shaped my sense of humor, which is something I often try to incorporate into my writing.
The idea for The Time Capsule Journal came from a journal that you placed in a shoebox after you graduated high school. Do you recall what you wrote inside and how much longer will it be before you can open it again?
I completed the initial journal right around the time of my 18th birthday and my last day of high school (which happened to fall on the same day) and decided to put the journal in a shoebox and write “do not open until May 23, 2022” which would be 10 years to the date that I finished. So, it will be an eclectic little gift for my 28th birthday.
As for what’s inside, I recall there being a number of pages dedicated to Bucket List Items (including skydiving, publishing a book, seeing the Cubs win a World Series in my lifetime, and meeting my favorite actor—John Travolta). I definitely believe in visualization, because all of these things have come true! There is also a letter from a friend that she covered in Starbursts wrappers. I’ve never read it, so I’m looking forward to that!
In an interview with Thrive Global, you mentioned you had a short story published on your 20th birthday. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
The story, titled “Lights Out”, was originally written as a five-minute play for a theater class I took in college. After receiving positive feedback from the class and the professor, I thought it might be fun to turn it into a short story that I could then send to different anthologies and collaborative books in hopes of publication. I submitted the story to over 20 different publications and received rejection after rejection. I figured it was a lost cause until I received a letter in the mail on my 20th birthday that the story was accepted by Goose River Press for their 2015 anthology. That reinforced the lesson of: good things come to those who wait.
Unless they’re a writer themselves, I don’t believe everyone understands that a writer’s brain never stops writing. What is your creative process like and what do you do to unwind?
I always try to carry some sort of notebook around with me (or my phone’s notepad works, too) to write down an idea as soon as it pops into my head. Any creative person will tell you that it’s impossible to rely on memory to remember all the ideas you have.
For some reason, my brain is more active at night, so I will sit down a few nights a week and knock out some of my writing to-do list. I wish I had a more exciting creative process, but I truly feel that creativity is happening all the time—even if only a small percentage of creative concepts are “winners”.
Writing is also my way of unwinding, as I’ll ramble on in my personal journal in order to get all of my thoughts off my mind and onto paper. Aside from that, my unwinding process usually consists of me getting lost in a marathon of some 80s sitcom.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome as a writer?
Getting over the fear of actually sharing my work. This is something that is still a challenge, depending on how personal the subject is. However, finally deciding to develop my own website, where I was in charge of all of the content, was a big step in the right direction. Without taking that step, I don’t think I would’ve been comfortable with releasing The Time Capsule Journal.
What has the response to The Time Capsule Journal been like so far?
The response has been overwhelmingly positive and I am completely humbled by that. It has been so fun hearing peoples’ ideas of what they’d like to do with their journals. This is extra special for me, because the idea of the journal is to inspire creativity.
Laura Orrico is one of the most wonderful people anyone can ever meet. How did you come to work for her and what has the experience been like for you?
She is wonderful! Laura and I met at a mutual friend’s dinner, and got to talking about her company. Interested in what she was doing, I emailed her a few days later to see if she would allow me to shadow her, or if she was in need of an intern. From there, I began training with her during a six-month internship, which turned into a role as the Lead Public Relations Associate for Laura Orrico Public Relations. I’ve been in this role since 2017 and have learned so many invaluable things from Laura!
I know first-hand how hard you work with Laura. Between that, freelance writing, and serving as the editor-in-chief for The Tidbit, how do you find time to keep up with everything?
To-do lists! I’m a freak about making lists. And—Laura can attest to this—I have a very specific way that I organize my email inbox. Most importantly, I truly enjoy working on everything I have my hands in, so much of what needs to be kept up with is at the forefront of my brain.
Do you already have your next book in mind?
I’m toying with the idea of a Volume 2 for The Time Capsule Journal with completely different prompts—as there’s theoretically no end to what can be included! Aside from that, I’m in the process of working on a children’s book, which is in its illustration stage. Anything else I write for now will find its home on The Tidbit!
Where can people find your work?
People can find the bulk of my writing at The Tidbit and can follow me on all social media @taylorleddin.
Taylor Leddin Links:
This article originally published on GREY Journal.