Between being a mom, freelance writer for online outlets, memoir-and-television-pilot-writer, Erin Khar has a lot on her plate. It's a struggle to find time for everything, but somehow she does it And her writing doesn't stick to one style, either. Erin writes it all — from a weekly advice column at Ravishly, Ask Erin, to hard, emotional pieces like the one about her past heroin addiction for Marie Claire to fun pieces comparing her relationships to Beverly Hills, 90210, for Ravishly.
I have always been the type of gal to want to remain close with ex-boyfriends. Well, except for that one guy that poisoned my spaghetti, who was even crazier than Emily Valentine.
— Excerpt from I Learned Everything About Relationships From Watching Beverly Hills, 90210. Read the rest here.
Erin is a bi-coastal American, raised mainly in Los Angeles but who spent a lot of time in New York, with her father, throughout her childhood. One of the memories that stands out the most from that time period is of riding horses, she said.
"Horseback riding saved me in a lot of ways," Erin said. "It was really therapeutic."
In addition to horseback riding, young Erin was passionate about acting. In fact, the first dream she ever had was to be an actress, something she did on an irregular basis through her early 20s.
Writing, for Erin, started as a bit of a childhood hobby, something she started doing after reading John Irving's, The Hotel New Hampshire, and returned to after folding a clothing line she had started. Then she went to school for writing.
"I went back to school, at The New School, started writing again, and never looked back," she said. "The most rewarding thing about writing is when I hear from someone who felt less alone from reading what I wrote."
She hasn't shied away from writing about tough topics, even when it was painful for herself. She's currently working on a memoir, and that, she said, has been the most difficult thing to write.
"There are dark parts of my past that I write with ease, but there are some parts that are very difficult for me to write about," she said. "And I realized that I had been glossing over certain aspects, certain events. Once I finally did it, started writing about the things that scared me, I felt relief.
"There is always going to be something that feels scary to write about," she added. The trick is to push through and get it out there.
Erin's friend Lauren Jonik said Erin has an ability to do just that.
"Erin is a brave writer in that she doesn't protect the reader from the truth of her life, but rather shows what she's been through — and where she is going," Lauren said. "[She] is gifted in placing a reader in the scene beside her."
Lauren and Erin have been friends since they took a class together at The New School, where they were paired up because both women were working on memoirs.
"What began as an academic partnership of sorts quickly evolved into friendship," Lauren said. "Erin is intelligent, funny and kind. There is something special about people who have done the internal work on themselves and who have committed to a path of growth and humility — they radiate a brilliant kind of light. Erin is one of those people."
Another good friend, Lara Green, who has known Erin since they were teenagers and described Erin as a "survivor," said, "Her best qualities really can't be described without sounding trite, you just have to experience being on the receiving end of her generous friendship for yourself to truly understand."
Because of their writing relationship, Lauren has had the unique chance to witness how Erin has grown as a writer and how she stands out above the crowd.
Lauren said Erin shines because of her determination. There is a saying that success comes mostly from "perspiration," the willingness to do the hard work after the inspiration has struck. Lauren believes Erin is willing to do that.
"Erin has always been a talented writer, but I've witnessed her determination to share her work with the world grow and flourish," Lauren said. "She has done exceptionally well with writing for numerous publications all the while continuing to work on her memoir."
Lara, who also said Erin is "one of the most amazing people I know," compared the experience of reading Erin's work to that of living from moment to moment, never knowing what's coming next or how it will affect you.
"Her writing is brave and visceral," she said. "Her images haunt you. The truth of her words pierces your heart at its deepest level. When you read her stories you have to be ready for anything... as in life, it's often impossible to predict with certainty what the next turn will be."