Here’s the latest installment of my ongoing “7 Questions With an Author…” series.
I’m thrilled about today’s interview because it features a truly gifted writer – who’s also a friend – Jeff Goins.
Jeff is an accomplished blogger, sought-after speaker and best-selling author.
Originally from the Chicago suburbs, he graduated from Illinois College with a degree in Spanish and Religion.
Junior year, he spent a semester in Spain, which opened his eyes to a whole new world. Which inspired his first best-selling book Wrecked.
His blog GoinsWriter.com, is one of the fastest-growing blogs on the web and a well-respected resource for bloggers and writers. In 2011, it won the Top 10 Blogs for Writers award. Each month, he receives more than 100,000 visitors to his website.
He recently released his second best-selling book titled The In-Between which is the focus of the interview below:
1. Tell us about your book?
The In-Between is about all the time in between major moments in life — time that we usually waste. In the book, I argue these are the most important times in our lives, because they’re the ones happening right now. When we learn to embrace the in-between, our lives are filled with peace (because we learn to let go of control), gratitude (because we learn to appreciate what we have), and joy (because we realize how important our everyday circumstances really are).
2. What led you to write it?
My now-sixteen-month old son. He was just born when I wrote it and taught me so much during that first year of life. In particular, I learned how every moment is a big one. When I had to go on a trip for a few days and then returned to a completely different child, I realized how much I had missed. A lot can happen in a day, or even a few hours. When you miss a moment, you miss a lot. And that’s not only true for parenting, it’s true for life.
3. Who is a writer that inspires you and why?
My friend Joe Bunting of thewritepractice.com constantly reminds me that writing is first a passion, not a business. He encourages me to read great books and write well — not because it’ll make me a ton of money, but because the craft deserves it. Furthermore, Joe is also an amazing dad and husband — in a profession often full of men who aren’t. He challenges and inspires me.
4. What was the biggest challenge you faced writing this book?
Because the style was a bit different — it’s a collection of nonfiction, memoir-ish essays — I was really nervous about how it would come across to the reader. I wanted to make my points without being obvious. I wanted people to take away the same lessons I did without forcing it down their throats. So the challenge was to say what I wanted to say and then bury it. My friend Marion Roach Smith, who’s been teaching memoir for nearly two decades, helped me work the manuscript over, as did Ann Kroeker who is an excellent editor. Without these two ladies, along with my wife, the book wouldn’t have been written.
5. What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
The same advice I always give writers: Don’t give up. The difference between a good writer and bad writer has nothing to do with talent. It has to do with perseverance. So many people who start writing quit, because they get discouraged. They stop because starting over each and every day is just too hard. Incidentally, the ones who succeed at this craft are usually the ones who have been doing it for a long time.
6. Where do you get your ideas?
Anywhere and everywhere. But most from my life. In the little, seemingly insignificant moments that surprise me with a little tidbit of wisdom. Sometimes, I miss them. But when I am paying attention, I try to capture the ideas and come back to them later.
7. Anything that you’d like readers to know that I haven’t asked?
I make some of the world’s best guacamole from scratch. I’m humble, too.
If you’re interested you can check out the book trailer that was produced for The In-Between…