What is Neutral Spaces? Why did you bring it to fruition?
Neutral Spaces is a website.
I made it because there are many writers I respect who are writing and sharing beautiful work. I would see more writing added to my feed each day but it was hard to keep track of what everyone was writing. I wanted an easy way to binge the work of authors as I discovered them, but many people didn’t have a site. The people that did have a site normally relied on websites that used their creativity as a billboard for adverts. I wanted to try and give control back to artists; to give them a space where their work could exist without becoming a product.
So I made a website to tell people I would make them a webpage. For the past month I’ve been doing that. I collect no data, I charge no money and I use no ads. Along the way I’ve been adding fun projects for the writers who have signed up, but at its core, Neutral Spaces is my way to help the people who I love and respect.
Why do you think spaces such as yours are important for the writing community?
I don’t know if I feel comfortable saying I think it is important.
I think I would prefer saying that a community is important. That if a space can be constructed to allows artists to be generative, to talk to each other and be influenced by each other, then that can only be good for the pushing the boundaries of art, for producing exciting writing.
I hope Neutral Spaces can do that. I am trying to do that.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am called Giacomo. I am working on a PhD in theoretical physics. I am in love with a woman named Holly. When I’m lonely I watch videos of people playing Mario on YouTube. I like to brush my teeth. I do yoga often, but cannot touch my toes without bending my knees. I sit down to pee. I get great pleasure in sending people complimentary tweets. I love to swim in the sea. Chlorine makes my eyes red for hours after visiting a swimming pool. When focused on a task I find it almost impossible to change my focus until the task is complete. I am frustrated by my inability to remember the feeling of being warm when it is cold. I do not forget the feeling of being sad when I am happy.
Why do you write?
To release pressure. My writing is me learning to cope. Each poem is a napkin I cough tar into.
Where do you see the future of writing?
I don’t feel qualified to answer this question. It feels like a very hard question to answer. What do you think the future of writing is?
Where do you see the future of Neutral Spaces?
I think I feel happy with the current form of Neutral Spaces. There are now many more writers than I ever thought there would be. There is a chatroom which I have enjoyed. People are very open and kind and I have learnt a lot from people there. There is the stream, which is allowing people to write collaboratively together.
The blog was my last *big idea*. I LOVE the old blogspots from ten years ago. That seemed like such a golden age of online writing. It seemed so productive. There is all this powerful writing being shared by people and there was none of the complications of submissions. Just a space to read the creations of various writers.
I feel very fulfilled with how Neutral Spaces has grown, I am proud of it. I am making some good friends though it.
Big dream wise, I was talking to Sophie Jennis today. I recently read her poems on hobart (http://www.hobartpulp.com/web_features/two-poems-61fbcb2f-9fa3-4273-8dae-e6d6ffa8d4f9) and loved them. I retweeted Hobart’s tweet. As I did that I wished I was followed by millions of people; that I was able to show more people the art of the people I respect. I guess my big dream would be able to shout about the artists I love and be heard by those who are interested in learning about contemporary writing.
I want to be a champion of the art I love.
I hope that Neutral Spaces can reach the writers that need it. I hope that word can spread and I am able to offer a platform to people. To give a space to people to share their art.
If you are an editor reading this interview, please connect me with your writers. There are so many talented people out there and it is so hard to reach them though the noise of social media. If you publish the work of someone and they don't have a site, send them my way. I want to be there for those people. The people just starting out. I want to make this as easy as possible for people. I want to help.