For our first installment of "Art Saves" Conversations meet the delightful Robin May Fleming; a proud Canadian and talented writer living with her husband and rescue poodle in the Pacific Northwest.
Read more about Robin's story, and the unique way she and her husband met https://darlingmagazine.org/the-dreamer-embodied-robin-may-fleming/
or follow her on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/robinmay/
Did you always know you wanted to write
It's more that I've just always written. I got excellent grades throughout most of my education, sometimes worrying I was a fraud—that I was just tricking my teachers and professors into thinking I knew what I was talking about. Ha! Seems silly now. Classic imposter syndrome. But writing on just about any topic has always felt effortless to me.
Was there someone, or something, that inspired you to write?
When I joined Instagram in 2011, captions were typically short and to the point. It was rare to see more than a handful of hastily chosen words tacked beneath a photo; the platform was still very much about the photos themselves. When I began testing the limits of that space, it was because I'd recently pulled the plug on my career and was feeling adrift in a city I thought I knew so well. It's disorienting stepping out of the hustle! So I leaned heavily on Instagram, using it as a sort of journal while also tapping deeply into the Instagram community. When I felt lonely or aimless, I loved seeing glimpses of lives all over the world. Then, much to my surprise, people seemed to enjoy seeing glimpses of mine. So that encouraged me to share not only more but also more meaningfully. I began writing my story and I haven't stopped.
How has writing influenced or even “saved” your life?
When I left my career, I was struggling with what doctors had me believing was burnout. I thought a short break from the 9-5 was all I needed. Since then I've gotten better answers about my health, and I've accepted that some of my limitations are permanent. But the loss of my work identity really took a toll.
When I write, and it flows so easily, I'm reminded of who I am, unshakeably. Strip it all away. I remain. That sort of self-knowledge saves lives.