I first met Jeff Goins
on Twitter, and I am extremely grateful for his encouragement to writers. Because of him, I call myself a "Writer" on my Twitter profile although I am a newbie. If you haven't already, you must check out his awesome blog.
Despite being only 29, Jeff has rare wisdom and insight on living a meaningful life.
DL: Most people know you from your excellent writing blog, and now from your debut book, WRECKED: When a broken world slams into your comfortable life
, but in case they don't, lets start with an easy question: 1. What was the catalyst for starting your writing blog?
I know you said you had a previous blog for five years that had not gone anywhere, but you have experienced exponential growth with this one.
JG1: Frustration. I was frustrated at the success I saw other bloggers having and wondered what they knew that I didn't. That started a yearlong pursuit of relearning what it meant to blog. Turns out it's a completely different craft from writing. And my blog is about bridging the gap between the two.
2. In your book, you say "To be wrecked is to be disabused of the status quo...to have a transformation that goes beyond mere words." As I read your book, I was struck by how you had different wrecking experiences (e.g., when you studied abroad in Spain), and how you responded. When you returned from Spain, you were wrecked when you helped the homeless.
What would you say to someone, who doesn't have the ability (due to poor health, or finances) to travel somewhere to get wrecked?
JG2: I would say it doesn't matter. We all have opportunities to get wrecked. Being wrecked means willfully stepping into discomfort, because that's where we grow. We all have opportunities to do that. These days, getting wrecked (for me) may mean simply mowing the lawn or doing the dishes. It's doing the things that I don't want to do and learning the lessons from those activities.
3. In WRECKED, you mention how God led you several times, such as when you befriended a single mom and her kids, and she disappeared, and you were wrecked because you didn't know what happened to her. At the same time, you had been sensing God telling you to "let go." What helps you to cultivate an attentiveness to Jesus' voice and leading?
JG3: Shutting up. Realizing that I don't need to constantly yammer on in order for there to be a relationship. God's voice is loudest when mine is quietest.
I am interested in the influence your parents had on you, because you seem like a well-grounded person, fearlessly living his dreams, while also genuinely caring for others. In this post http://goinswriter.com/dad-essay/
you talk about your dad, and in another post, you mention how your dad told you one day you would tell better stories than him. He cast a positive vision or dream for you, which came true. What did that do for you, as a young boy, and as a man to have a dad that believed in you?
JG4: Well, my childhood was far from perfect, but I've come to realize how privileged I was to have two parents around while growing up. That's more than a lot of people get. My dad has always believed in me. I think this has made me want to do my best to make him proud. I haven't always gotten it right, but this unconditional love has made me want to honor my father's belief in me. I want to make him proud. It's also made me feel safe to fail, which is inevitable.
[If you didn't have a dad like Jeff, don't despair. You have a heavenly Father God, who believes in you, and loves you unconditionally. Really.]
5. In your book, you write your parents "divorced and then remarried one another to give each other and their children the best life they could." (p. 105) What was it like for you when they divorced?
JG5: I honestly can't remember. I was really young. What I do remember is thinking it was cool to have two Christmases. :)
I think a lot of families have their own dysfunctions, and ours was no different. We all said and did things to hurt each other, because that's what people sometimes do. What I can say is that as an adult, I'm learning how to see my parents not as "Mom" and "Dad" but as people. And in so doing, I'm learning how to love them all over again. I think every child needs to learn this lesson.
6. What was it like for you when they remarried each other?
JG6: I don't remember when my parents got back together. They remarried years later, and I recall being a little embarrassed about that. I was in sixth grade, and it felt silly and awkward to me. But at the same time, I think I was proud of them.
7. How do you think the experience of your parents' divorce then remarriage to each other, shaped you?
JG7: I tell people that my parents divorced and got remarried and people assume that means to different people. When I explain what happened, they also go, "Wow, that's incredible." I never thought of it like that. It seemed pretty natural to me, but I guess it's not. What I think I've learned from that experience is that despite differences and struggles, what makes a marriage work is the commitment to love and forgive each other. My parents were able to resurrect a relationship from the dead and recommit to each other. When life seems hard, I remember that and am inspired to persevere.
8. How can I pray for you today?
JG8. My biggest fear is that my art will take over my life and crowd out my family. Pray I balance it all the best I can. Thanks!
[For my readers, who pray, will you, please, join me in praying for Jeff. Thanks!]
9. Whom did you write WRECKED for?
JG9: The book is for people who are searching for something more, but there's a reason they haven't found it. Finding your fulfillment will cost you; it will hurt. Because when we find our purpose in life, we realize that life is not about us. And that can be a startling realization. Not everyone should read Wrecked; it might mess with you, which is exactly what it was intended to do.
Well, I hope you enjoyed reading this interview as much as I did writing it. Many thanks to Jeff for graciously and generously answering my questions.
Because I believe in Jeff's message in WRECKED, I am giving away a copy of his book. To enter to win the free book, please leave a comment about the book, or the interview with Jeff.
If you tweet, or post on Facebook, let me know in the comments, and your name will be entered an additional time for each tweet, and FB post. Entries close on Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012.
Instead of having our girl randomly pick a name from a hat like an earlier giveaway, I will assign a number to each entry, and have my husband pick a number. (I know, we're high-tech...smiles.) If there is a very large number of comments, then I may use random.org to pick the winner.
Please leave your e-mail address with your comment, so if you win, I can contact you for your mailing address. Sorry, only entries in the U.S. are eligible.
If you can't wait, and want to buy your own copy:
(This is an affiliate link to Amazon.)
Based on my husband's random number picking, the winner is Jennifer Dukes Lee for the book. Thanks to each person, who left a comment, and/or tweeted.
© Soul Stops/Dolly Lee 2012.
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