Kiana Azizian is a writer and poet based in Portland, Oregon that you need know about if you're hopelessly devoted to words. This twenty-something has taken the literary web space by storm, with thousands of re-tweets and re-pins from all over the world, including big accounts like Poems Porn, Words of Queens, and even Britney Spears herself. Her honest, beautiful language has captivated readers who now clamor for more.
A resident writer for ThoughtCatalog.com and EliteDaily.com, you've probably read one of her articles before, with crushingly relatable titles like, "This Is Why You Should Stop Blaming Yourself For His Actions," and "What It Means To Be A Girl Who Always Loves 'Too Much'," being shared like viral hotcakes on Facebook and Pinterest. Azizian released her debut book, "To All The Ones I've Ever Loved," a collection of simplistic, soulful poems this past November. And what's more, she's coming out with a new book in less than a week!
Between Azizian's busy schedule, I was able to pull her aside for an in-depth interview about life and love, her authorial debut, and upcoming book release. Her words have stirred the hearts of social media users across the world, including my own, and I'm thrilled to share her story.
Read on for my one-on-one interview with Kiana Azizian!
Congratulations on your recent publishing debut! What a huge accomplishment. Did you find publishing your first book changed your process of writing?
Thank you so much! Publishing my first book has only help motivate me even more. It’s been so inspiring seeing how people have been able to relate to my work. And this only pushes me more to write and put my work out into the world.
Each poem is incredibly poignant and challenges even my own perceptions of love and loss, alienation and acceptance. I imagine it could be an emotional process writing it all down! Does writing energize or exhaust you?
I would have to say it does a little bit of both. Some days, writing can be completely draining and take a lot out of me. While other days, it’s the only thing getting me through.
What is your ideal writing atmosphere?
A crowded coffee shop. I just love the chaotic atmosphere, somehow I find it calming.
What is your writing process? Do you draft on paper or keyboard?
My writing process is messy and chaotic. I’m constantly coming up with new ideas and content. I prefer to draft on paper. I always carry around a little notebook with me, so whenever I find inspiration, I jot it down. I just love the pen to paper aspect of it all.
You touch on the subject of being human a few times in your book, “To All The Ones I Ever Loved.” Could you talk about what you mean?
Honestly, I think we’re all too hard on ourselves. We put on so much pressure to be perfect and live a certain type of lifestyle. At the end of the day, we’re just human. We make mistakes. We fall. We break. We fail. But it’s okay. We learn. We grow. We heal. We move on. Life is meant to be fun, and I think we all take it a bit too seriously.
The second half of your book is titled “Heartbreakers,” wherein each poem, titled by initials, appears to describe past lovers. You continue this inclusion of initials through much of the rest of the book. Have any of the guys you’ve written about read the book and/or recognized their initials?
Surprisingly, none of them have said anything. I’m not really in contact with any of the “heartbreakers” mentioned in the book. I bet none of them have even taken the time to read the book.
Many of your poems contain a message of self-acceptance and perseverance. Are there any personal experiences that helped shaped the overall narrative/theme of the book?
Just life to be honest. I think we have all been through our own struggles and setbacks. Growing up, I had a difficult time expecting myself and loving who I was. I think it’s such a shame how we spend our lives hating ourselves and wishing we were someone else.
What did you edit out of your book?
I sometimes find my work can be repetitive. For me, writing is a healing process. So when I’m dealing with something difficult, I find I tend to repeat myself quite a bit. I had to edit out a few pieces, which seemed they had already been discussed in the book.
Okay, girl. You’re all over my Pinterest feed! Tell me about the success you’ve had with online platforms and what guidance could you offer young authors trying to market and publish their own work?
I would say to just keep going; keep publishing and putting yourself out in the world. Even if rejection and failures come your way, use these to motivate you even more.
What advice would you give an aspiring writer? Are there any tips you’d share?
Stay true to yourself. Find your voice and stick to that. We all have something important to say, and I think we often forget this. Say what’s on your mind, even if other people disagree.
When's the next book coming out?
Actually, I am coming out with a new book in about two weeks. The title is "us," and it’s a book about love, loss, heartbreak, acceptance, and healing. It will be available on Amazon, so keep an eye out :)
Thanks so much for having me! I love being able to share my work.