I just finished up answering some questions for a publication that will be featuring one of my articles this fall. It’s one of those “contributor profile” kinds of things where they ask a whole bunch of questions and then pick out some of the quirky stuff in your answers to give you a little context for whatever article you’ve written.
That kind of thing.
I like to multitask, so it occurred to me that my answers to those questions would make a good blog post. Also, I’m a narcissist. (All bloggers are, to a degree.) And so I just assume you readers want to read my answers to these interview questions, right? Of course you do.
So here they are:
What’s the best piece of advice someone has ever given you?
It’s actually a bit of design advice (I’m also a professional graphic designer): “White space is always good.” The more white space in a design, the more attention is given to the important stuff. That’s good design advice, but also good life advice. Margins are good. By making sure I have enough “empty time” in my life, I keep sight of what’s important.
Tell our readers three things they don’t know about you.
1. I can play the hammered dulcimer (like Rich Mullins…but not as well as Rich Mullins).
2. I am the drummer for the worship team at my church.
3. And the first book I ever wrote was a suspense novel, about a shepherd. (It never got published.)
When did you know you wanted to be come a writer? When and where was your first article published?
I knew I was naturally talented at writing in high school, when I always excelled in any creative writing assignment or essay. I didn’t decide I wanted to be a Writer (capital W!) until college. My first published article, I think, was for a Southern Baptist magazine called Student.
Who is the most influential person in your life?
My wife, Aimee. She gets to influence pretty much every decision I make.
Do you have any quirky rituals when you write?
I can’t listen to music while I write. It’s too distracting. I wish I could be the type of writer who puts in my earbuds and cranks up something cool to listen to while I churn out words, but I’m not.
What inspires you the most?
As a writer? As unromantic as this sounds, as a writer I am inspired by the idea of financial independence and freedom. My goal has long been to be successful enough in this pursuit to do it full-time, while also supporting my family. I’m not there yet.
As a human, I am inspired by the common mercy of helping improve the lives of others. I love charitable organizations that take a creative approach to meeting peoples’ needs, whether it’s poverty in the U.S. or clean water in Africa. Helping the helpless is so central to the Gospel, it always thrills me to discover a new way to do it.
What are your hobbies? What do you like to do in your free time? movies, books, etc? If you could have any job in the world what would it be?
If I could have any job in the world? It would be as a full-time novelist.
What goal do you hope to accomplish in the next five years?
Publish my first novel. Only I have no idea what it will be about, so I had better start thinking…
As a narcissist, I’m open to answer any other writing-related (or, well, completely random) questions you might have. Ask in the comments. I’ll try to answer.