Welcome to the first installment of SpotLIT, an A Literation web exclusive presenting recurring profiles and interviews with individual Tumblr writers published in our magazine’s digital pages.
BY CLEO TOBBI, special to A Literation
First he was coerced and then he was hacked. Two and a half years later, Nick Desjardins still writes on Tumblr for a wide audience craving women, bars, booze, and half-truths.
“Fuck it, why not?” he said as he first joined the active social networking site home to aspiring writers, memes, and cat GIFs.
His girlfriend in college hassled him into starting a blog on Tumblr, and he succumbed. Desjardins had always been a writer, but never publicly posted his work until he made the blog. The avid prose writer he is, Desjardins would spend the dull hours of classes tuning out the teacher and jotting down stories. He filled the corners and margins of class notebooks with his characters’ dialogue and various story-lines. Always taking bits from his personal life and weaving them into his narratives, Desjardins enjoys crafting his nonfiction fictions.
“It’s actually a really, really, really, personal piece and a lot of people don’t realize that,” Desjardins mentions about one of his works.
Desjardins, like many writers, finds it difficult to write when he doesn’t have something to say. Some writers aim to reach a quota, or queue their writing to post at a certain time each day. Desjardins cannot get himself simply to churn out a chunk of prose for his readers just to meet a personal deadline. He desires for his words to be story-worthy and hopes they resonate with his reader, whether in understanding or relevance. Writing for the sake of writing is not his style.
“I write what I know,” he says. “I write about bourbon and punk rock bars and girls and the love you hear in Bruce Springsteen songs. That’s the shit I write about. That’s what I know.”
What takes Desjardins away from his Tumblr prose is his job as a newspaper printer. Behind the scenes in the journalism world, Desjardins is first to read through a fresh copy of his town’s printed publication. Although some cities around the country have put away their printing presses, Elizabethtown, Kentucky, Desjardins’ hometown, still heavily utilizes the slowly fading medium.
As of late, Desjardins is starting work on his first book. Although it is loosely developed and still in the works, he is sure his novel will be about purgatory. The longhaired, tattooed rebel rocker may label himself “a bad Catholic,” but he has always been fascinated with the idea of purgatory. He admits to never meeting the deadlines he sets for himself, but is at least happy to have started the idea for something potentially big.
Desjardins has only ever used Tumblr for writing, so in a way, he has always been a part of the “Tumblr Writing Community” (TWC). His work and recognition grew the more he read other writers’ work and learned to be active outside of simply posting. For the longest time, he spoke to Jen, tag editor for the poetry, prose and lit tags (and current Editor-in-Chief of A Literation), before he knew who she was in the TWC. Like many within the TWC, Desjardins has never seen another community like it. Feedback is essential for all writers, and finding writers he can trust has helped Desjardins shape and edit his work in a welcoming environment. The encouragement he receives from the writers, both aspiring and published alike, keeps Desjardins coming back.
Expressing his gratitude for the writing community Desjardins says, “I don’t think I would be the writer that I am without being in the TWC.”
Nick’s piece “Turn and Face the Strange,” was selected as Chief’s Choice for the inaugural issue of A Literation, currently available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, and many other fine ebook retailers.