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Anna Harrison: Writer: Sydney

One day after reading a poem I wrote for an assignment (to my year 6 teacher) he took me aside, looked me dead in the eye and very seriously said “you are a brilliant writer, never lose your imagination.” I think it was the first time I truly felt good at something.

Name: Anna Harrison
Occupation: Writer/Contributing Editor
Hometown: Sydney
Currently Location: Sydney

Anna Harrison is usually the lady on the other side of the interview, listening to amazing stories told by some of the worlds most inspiring people, then she gets to share their stories through her charming, witty and detailed words that make you feel like you were sitting in that interview with her.
Anna was the Editor in Chief at Concrete Playground before becoming a writer and Contributing Editor for Australian magazine RUSSH. Her work has taken her all over the globe to interview many inspiring creatives such as Joan Baez, Bill Henson, Devendra Banhart, Pharrell Williams, Alain de Botton, and Caroline de Maigret.
Anna corresponded for RUSSH in New York for two years, an inspiring and historical place most writers dream to call home and is currently living in her hometown of Sydney. Who knows where her writing will take hr next! AR spent time with Anna in the Potts Point pad she shares with her husband Nathan Smith.

When I was a child I wanted to be…An astronomer and/or a fairy.

The mentors/heros in my life when I was growing up were…There have been so many but one has always stood out in my mind: my year 6 teacher Mr Walters who recited the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy in instalments to our class every afternoon. He did it entirely by memory and it took him the full school year to complete. One day after reading a poem I wrote for an assignment he took me aside, looked me dead in the eye and very seriously said “you are a brilliant writer, never lose your imagination.” I think it was the first time I truly felt good at something. Kids need more teachers like that. Also I have to say my grandparents. Pushing 90-years-old they’re both sharp as hell with huge, warm, generous hearts and still work every day.

The studies I took to get where I am…Mainly the ongoing study of life and the human condition. But in terms of formal study, I majored in literature and philosophy at university and graduated with a Bachelor of Media & Cultural Studies.

When I finished studying the next stage in my life was…Lots of travel. Falling in and out of love. Experimenting with jobs. Feeling very free and very lost and very panicked and very alive.

I’m most creative when…I feel connected to something greater than myself

The tools I can’t live without…Google. And meditation’s also become a pretty handy tool.

I’m inspired by…All the obvious things like great music, art, literature, travel. But really, and more honestly, people.
And food.

I’m currently reading…All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. It’s beautiful.

The website I hang out on the most… (obviously)

I’m currently listening to…Friends naff Spotify playlists that they have no idea are open to the public. I love wondering what they were doing while they had “summer 2013 fruity vibes” cranked to the max.

My favourite place in the world…In bed on a Sunday with my love and a coffee. Karaoke.

I would like to travel…Everywhere, all the time.

My travel essentials are…Notepad, earplugs, snacks, music, husband.

One thing I would like to do but haven’t got around to it yet…That would be a close tie between plant a herb garden and become a rockstar

The obstacles that have come my way…My own mind has been my greatest tool and biggest obstacle. It’s a bully. Wants to know everything. Has to doubt everything. And never shuts up.

The highlights over the past 12 months have been…I moved back to Sydney from New York and, to my great surprise, got hitched to this remarkably befitting human. Professionally I had the privilege of interviewing a couple of long time hero’s.

The latest project I’m working on…An art project that incorporates the written word. Running creative workshops. And hopefully soon, my tan.

Advice I have to share for those who want to get into this profession…Seek medical attention immediately.

Do What You Want…If what you want is what you really want. Sometimes what you really want isn’t what you think you want. Figuring out where your ambitions are oriented is half the trouble. It’s an issue of connecting to the heart – not always easy to do. Once you nail that, things tend to just flow.


Photographer: Cloudy Rhodes

Interview: Michelle Owen