Editors’ Blog

August’s Member of the Month: Kirk Citron on Stories that Matter

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

By Vivian Chum

August’s Member of the Month, Kirk Citron, insists that “some stories are more important than others.” Not long ago, SMITH Magazine caught Citron’s TED 2010 talk about his work on The Long News, a blog featuring news stories that will still matter 50, 100, or even 10,000 years from now. “As you can imagine,” says Citron, “there aren’t many.” We got to wondering what Citron’s personal “long news” might be.

“I Almost Missed It,” Citron’s story for The Moment project and the same-titled book coming out in January 2012, is about Citron’s chance meeting with a cute redhead who eventually became his wife. “There’s nothing you can do to plan for the coincidences and contingencies that will come your way,” writes Citron. “And they’re likely to be more important than whatever else you think is important at the time.”

Recently Kirk Citron took a few minutes to answer Six Questions from SMITH Magazine.

You founded your own advertising agency AKQA. You’re a playright and writer as well as an editor of The Long News. What inspires you?
There’s inspiration everywhere I look—my wife the painter; my son the actor; my daughter the musician; art; theater; film; TED talks.

What was it like to give a TED talk?
Giving a talk at TED was a lifetime highlight. The scariest audience you can imagine, a parade of brilliant speakers, and the knowledge that if you do well your talk will go up on the web for hundreds of thousands of people to see. It was just three minutes, but I practiced fifty or sixty times, pacing around my hotel room; then from the moment I went onstage I had no idea what I was saying.

What happened after that Moment you almost missed?
There are so many moments that flowed from that moment: Getting married at my wife’s parent’s house; watching her give birth to my children; traveling to Provence, Tuscany, Macchu Picchu, the pyramids, the Serengeti, the Grand Canyon; watching our kids graduate from kindergarten, eighth grade, high school, college, graduate school; grieving with her at the death of her parents; reading to each other; cooking together; dancing; singing. I could go on.

What advice would you give about being creative/living a creative life?
Pursue your dreams. Nobody else will.

Any big writing projects you’re in the middle of?
At the moment, I’m working on a novel.

Finally, Kirk Citron, what’s your Six-Word Memoir ?
Still married to her. Still happy.

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