Keith Langston writes for Screen Rant and Passport Magazine. His literary writing has appeared in Hobart, 86 Logic, The Daily Drunk, and more.
Langston’s piece ‘The Many Beds of Los Angeles’ can be found in Epoch Issue 01: Beginnings (available for purchase here).
Where do you find inspiration?
That’s a great question… Hmmm. Honestly, I don’t like the word “inspiration”. For me, writing is just something I have to do. Like there’s this need within me to tell people about what it’s like to struggle, but to also (hopefully) make them laugh along the way.
Why do you write/create Creative Non-Fiction?
I started writing when I was severely agoraphobic. I was trapped inside my apartment. I had lost my job. And I was about ready to jump out a window. Blogging was the only way I could connect with the outside world (aside from the suicide hotline, which I was calling numerous times each day).
So, I just started blogging about my experience, and I tried to make it fun and irreverent, because when I’d go online and read stuff written by people with mental illness, it only made me more afraid. I’d legit read things like, “I haven’t left my house in 10 years. I’m covered in bedsores. My family left me. And I just want to die every second of my life.”
It made me feel like life was over. And I told myself that I’d NEVER make anyone feel that way. Sometimes, reading about trauma is so dramatic, that it’s traumatic itself, which just makes it miserable to read. For normal people who are looking for a glimpse at the world of suffering… sure, they might get off on that shit. But for people who are already suffering, that kind of writing only hurts them more. So, I set out determined to talk about my trainwreck of a life, but to do it in a fun way I had rarely seen.
What are you reading now? (If you aren’t reading anything, let us know what other art you’re consuming)
I’m currently reading Erin Brockovich’s book Superman’s Not Coming which is all about how polluted and deadly America’s tap water is. I was inspired by her book to check out if the tap water in my hometown had any violations…and it turns out there are 12 chemicals above safe levels in Toledo’s water…there’s even unsafe levels of hexavalent chromium…which was the same chemical at the centre of her famous lawsuit.
Where can we follow you and find your work?
For starters, I keep [hearing] writers talk about GoodReads. Should I get on this? I always thought it was only for people with full-length books.