The Complicated Existence of The Climate Pickle

The Climate Pickle can get complicated for me since I’m a writer and also a student.

I write this blog because I love to–that’s the simple part. If I didn’t love it, it wouldn’t exist. I love nature. I love writing about and creating and weaving a vivid experience for people. I love being able to live on this planet. So I write about how humans are fucking all that up. Reconnecting. Showing. Experiencing.

This blog starts to get complicated and interesting for me because The Climate Pickle is also my Senior Honors Departmental Thesis. This factor adds extra work and things I may not have done without a thesis.

Some of that extra work includes being on social media a lot, more than I normally am, to spread the word of my blog. I’ve had people that are friends with me on Facebook ask me why I share links to all the time and wonder what exactly it is. And I tell them, “It’s my thesis! I need people to read my words, so I’ll know if what I’m doin’ is actually working.”

The type of writing I do first sprouted when I was a sophomore and approached my advisor, Nels, for the first time about this idea I had.

I’ve mentioned Nels in passing in these posts, so here’s a little snapshot of my advisor: when you hear his boisterous, distinct laugh, it’s like a bird call–the wild Nels is near. He walks with a slight clomp, smacks desks and swears occasionally to bring students attention back from daydreams. And makes us go outside and touch things in the frigid winter to actually be in contact with the stuff we talk about, wilderness.

Back to my idea—I wanted to make learning about climate change less boring and difficult because I wanted to reach people around my age–we’re the ones who will live with the choices our leaders make today, and no one really wants to read a scientific journal if they don’t have to.

He gave me two paths to choose from: one, write fiction or two, write creative nonfiction.


As a writer, I find my self continuously pulled towards nonfiction, which isn’t the path past-Olivia would’ve foreseen. But the world is so fucking nuts and crazy there’s no need to make anything up. Reality is the craziest thing. So I write about it. I write and write and write, which has brought me to where I am today, a creative nonfiction climate change writer for the Millennial Generation. Whew.

The thing about most Millennials, myself included, is that we work so much we get lazy, and the probability of anyone picking up a longer book I write goes way down, which is why having my writing online is far more convenient.

All people need to do is click a link. And I get instant feedback if people liked it, have something to add on to it, or just make a passing comment about their thoughts.

The Climate Pickle is also pretty neat because all these posts are the exposed development of my thesis from beginning to wherever it ends up; I’m puttin’ it all out there for everyone to see.

If I didn’t have my thesis driving me to push this blog, there’s a pretty good chance I wouldn’t expose so much of my raw, personally revealing, and reflective writing–it’s vulnerability.

Nor would I have done all the research on scholarly articles about blogs and the environment and science and creative nonfiction–building support for my idea and learning cool new stuff.

All this extra stuff is a lot, but it’s good stuff, the kind of stuff that makes me a better writer, academic, thinker, and do-er.

The best part about all the good stuff I’m doing because of my thesis is the fact, as I’ve said, I’m doing what I love and what I want to do with my life. I’m working my ass off, and I’m positively drowning in work of all kinds, but it’s all worth it.


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