vulture festival 2015

Taylor Swift Taught Tavi Gevinson to Accept Her Lack of Work-Life Balance

Vulture Festival Presents: Tavi Gevinson In Conversation
Photo: Craig Barritt/Getty Images

Separating work and life isn’t an easy feat for anyone, but especially so when you’re Tavi Gevinson and your career began in middle school. On Sunday, at the second annual Vulture Festival, Gevinson explained just how inextricable the two can be. “I started writing publicly when I was 11, and it was never like, ‘Oh, I’ll write an article.’ It was just like diary-keeping and more personal than stuff I could share with my friends.” She couldn’t draw a distinction between her writing-self and her self-self. “I weirdly often felt if I had a friend or a boyfriend, I was like, ‘You don’t really know me unless you’ve read everything I’ve ever written.’”

In a recent interview for Elle, Gevinson spoke with Taylor Swift — another New York–based workaholic — and received some sage advice on the cons of trying to separate the two and rebelling against the lifestyle: “I was asking her, ‘I think you’ve never had a period of rebellion because you weren’t under Disney or anything, but I wanted to know do you ever want to rebel in some way?’ And she was like, ‘I have no desire to burn down the house that I built. I’d redecorate it. But it’s made of really nice foundation.’”

While Gevinson thinks the idea of a life separate from work ”sounds lovely,” it would appear Swift’s advice has been taken to heart, as she later explained she couldn’t stop herself from swapping out her kitchen table for an Ikea desk she found on the side of the street, “I had resisted making my house a workspace, but I went outside and I brought in the writing desk and I got rid of the kitchen table. “I was like, Yeah, I’m supposed to be a writer, I have to be able to do it at home.” Adding, “I’m not someone who can just go to Starbucks and do it.”

What Taylor Taught Tavi About Work-Life Balance