One of my favourite writers once said “follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.” And to this day, no matter what story I pursue, I can hear Franz Kafka’s words in my mind.
It is no wonder then that I have ended up a human interest writer because ever since I was a child, I have been endlessly consumed by human curiosity and obsessed with the stories my fellow humans have to tell. Having spent my adolescent years buried in the literature of great writers and sociologists, for me, there is no story more emotionally or socially valuable than the stories of the people.
Surrounded in the media by hard-hitting news stories that can sometimes be just too somber to handle, human interest stories bring the world much needed light buried in deep human vulnerability and raw states of pure emotion - they show the world a commitment to human truth.
As a young and emerging writer, I always find my favourite human interest stories in the pages of DAZED Magazine; a publication committed to showcasing the world’s most creative emerging talent. My favourite DAZED human interest stories ever are:
A profile on Rei Kawakubo; Japanese fashion designer and founder of Commes de Garçons
A profile on actress and number 5 on the DAZED 100, Amanda Stenberg
A profile on American businesswoman, interior designer, and fashion icon Iris Apfel
These stories radiate everything I love about human interest writing: they are immersive, emotional, raw, inspiring, educational, and they are odes to human creativity and curiosity
DAZED Media also pioneer the idea of visual human interest stories through their video publishing platform, NOWNESS. Below is one of my favourite human interest videos which follows a visual narrative of the life of Namibia Flores Rodriguez, the only known female boxer in Cuba.
Namibia - NOWNESS from NOWNESS on Vimeo.
But perhaps the most important reason why I love being a human interest writer, however, is buried in my ideals of social advocacy, with my writing commonly focused on giving voice to social minorities. If I have the ability, I feel as if it is my responsibility to use my words as a passageway for the voices silenced by or overhead in mainstream media. Everyone deserves to be heard and if my natural curiosity can allow someone’s beliefs, pain or basic existence to be heard and understood by wider society, then I feel it’s my duty to pursue this responsibility endlessly; a creative ode to Kafka in itself.