A recent interview with writer and photographer, Thomas Slatin to encourage readers and writers.
A question which is asked of most children, and one most adults can remember being asked as a child is as follows, and it is a question that Thomas W.P. Slatin took seriously when asked at the age of eight. Thomas Slatin recommends that anyone with an interest in writing should, “write what you love, write about what inspires you the most.” Slatin recalls his eight year old self, remembering this question posed to him at this young age. The person who asked such a question is a person who would help Slatin think about his future, possibly for the first time. This person happened to be a friend of his father, specifically the legendary American journalist, the late Charles Bishop Kuralt. Charles Kuralt, according to Thomas Slatin, “was a friend of my father and the first to ask me as a child, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” To which Slatin recalls responding,”I don’t know, but I do know that I want to see the world and write about it.” Thomas Slatin remembers this profoundly, as he was standing on the corner of Bank Street and Waverly Place in Manhattan with his father, scientist and physicist, the late Dr. Harvey L. Slatin and Charles Kuralt, who needs no introduction to most. Charles Kuralt appeared on the CBS Evening News known for his “On the Road” segments with Walter Cronkite. Kuralt was later the first anchor of CBS News Sunday Morning, a position he held for fifteen years. According to Thomas Slatin when he answered Charles Kuralt’s question, Kuralt turned to Slatin’s father and said, “I predict Thomas is going to one day grow up to be a successful writer. Just wait and see.” It is safe to say that a “seed was planted” for Thomas Slatin, one which made him think of the realm of infinite possibilities relating to what he would enjoy doing the most when he grew up. This is a question that Slatin has said, “stayed with him for a lifetime.”
The encouragement from Kuralt helped Slatin and continues to guide him, to pave the way for a career where he “enjoys documenting his life experiences, through photography and yes, as a writer,” states Slatin, “My father is the one who told me I should document my life experiences.” Not long thereafter, Slatin began to write.
“When I was younger, my writing consisted of day to day events throughout my childhood, and later centered around the typical musings of a teenage boy,” states Slatin. Continuing, “After being mistreated in grade school, I spent the last four years in boarding school, where I utilized my writing as a source of solace to document my experiences. Then throughout college, I wrote every single day without fail.” Into adulthood Slatin discussed that while pursuing a career as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Firefighter, he was still writing. Slatin recalls his written work evolving to daily handwritten notes and long form poetic prose. In recent years, after 18 years of service, he retired from his work as a firefighter and EMT. Slatin states, “In terms of my writing, I started to self censor my work a bit more, wanting only the best ideas to become better written pieces, and then only the top ten percent of what I write actually gets published on my blog.”
As an accomplished urban exploration, landscape, wildlife and locomotive photographer and a writer of his award winning blog, www.tomslatin.com, he writes about his life experiences, his childhood, and what he refers to as “random musings about life,” documenting it through the written word and photography. Thomas Slatin describes his writing style as non-fiction and one which chronicalizes his life experiences from his own perspective. His next phase of evolution as a writer is to publish a forthcoming book. Slatin’s autobiographical book will contain some of his current blog content, yet mostly a wealth of unpublished material, as conveyed by Slatin. Thomas Slatin has some advice for other writers, as well as for those who wish to share their writing through a blog. “Write whatever makes you happy,” states Slatin. “Never compare yourself, or your success with other bloggers. Inevitably one day, you will find a group of people who can’t simply do without your blog, and they will appreciate the work and content that you have created.” Concluding, “Success is only a matter of time, determination and dedication.”
Concluding the most recent interview with Thomas Slatin discussed the purpose he finds in his writing and photography work, “I hope to inspire others to achieve their true potential and to encourage others to not live by what others may consider the “only right way” to achieve one’s goals or to measure success. I became successful after decades of hard work, determination and dedication, despite the obstacles and the odds that were stacked against me, in addition to the doubts people mistakenly cast at me in the past.”
As a writer and photographer who sees the importance and value in documenting life, Slatin continued, “I believe that everyone who has lived has a story to tell. Every single life is worth documenting, especially a life in which a person not only survives, but thrives above adversity.” Inspiring truths.