“Textual Harassment” With Bryan Allain pt. 1 Part 2 is here
- You indicated that you consented to this interview (very kind of you) merely because I asked. Do you accept all requests, or was this one easier to fit into your schedule because it’s being conducted via email, and you can answer at your leisure? (Just curious about your criteria for accepting, or not, the requests that come your way).I’ve only ever received a handful of interview requests in my life, so I don’t think I’ve turned one down yet.
- I heard somewhere that you came to writing almost accidentally—can you elaborate on that?Accidentally might not be the best word, but I think there was a gap between when I became a writer and when I realized I was a writer. In 2007 I started submitting articles to the Burnside Writers Collective, and only then did I think I might want to call myself a writer. But the truth was I had been writing on blogs, in forums, and in email for the past 5 years and loving it. Also, it was never my intention to be a writer or to be good at writing. If those things are true, I guess it was sort of accidental.
- How do you feel about adverbs? Do you use them egregiously, or do you do your level-headed best to obliterate them completely as often as you can in your work?I hear a lot about not using adverbs, but honestly I never think about it. It’s kind like if you’d ask me where my left elbow is when i shoot a free throw. I have no idea, but once i grab a ball and toe the line, I feel like I know what I need to do to put the ball in the net.
- What is the single most important tip you can give to a beginning blogger?Be as true to yourself as you can be. The more you try to be someone else, the more it’s going to suck in the end. If you fail, it wasn’t even you that failed, it was some fake version of you. And if you succeed, same thing, it wasn’t really you. Better to be yourself, and know that no matter how much or how little success you have, it’s you.Of course, it takes time to find your voice. It’s a process that demands time and work, so it’s not easy. For most of us, our first inclination is to copy what we know works. We’ve got to fight through that to dare and be ourselves.
- How much of your work ends up on the “cutting room floor,” and never sees light of day on your blog?Very little. I’ve got a blog schedule so I only write what I know I’m gonna use. And at this point I know what works for me and what doesn’t. I do a lot of editing on each post, but in terms of entire ideas that get cut, it doesn’t happen often.
- Any news you would like to share on how the process of shopping your book-length works is going? After getting to know Billy Coffey a little bit, and interviewing him on the Freshpod, have you considered recasting your unpublished memoir as a novel?Nothing really to report on this one. I’ve toyed with the idea of a novel, but not really in respect to my own memoir. I’m always open to a good book idea slapping me upside the head, but until my platform is 10 times bigger I’m going to focus on the blog.
- Can you tell folks what the Freshpod is, and how you came to be doing a weekly podcast? Speaking of the Freshpod, which of interviews has been your favorite thus far? And can you give us a sneak peak on your upcoming guests?You’re turning this 20 question interview into a 50 question interview aren’t you? [Why, yes, Bryan, yes, I am. When you can get 20 for the price of 50, who wouldn’t?]The FreshPod is an excuse for me to talk to creative people I admire about their creative process. I got the idea to do it because I love listening to podcasts and thought, “hm. I think I could do this.” My two favorite podcasts were the Derek Webb podcast, because I look up to him so much, and the Jon Acuff podcast, because it was the most fun. No guests are set in stone for the future, so nothing to share there. I like to keep folks guessing.
- How supportive has your wife been of your writing? And does she do any writing herself? Should we expect, I don’t know, like a “The Dirt on Bryan” blog to show up anytime soon?Erica supports my writing 100%. Most of it she likes, some of it she loves, but she is completely behind me in my endeavors, which is awesome. She doesn’t write much herself, though I have been trying to make her do a fashion blog because she would crush it.
- Is there anything about the blogging life that you hate? Anything you would do differently?Hate is too strong a word. It’s an honor to be able to write things and so easily share them with amazing people. Do I wish it was easier to monetize my blog? I guess. But mostly it is a blessing.
- Admit it: the best part about living near the Amish—in addition to the wicked cool pictures you post—is the cheese, right? I mean who doesn’t love goat’s milk cheese, right? (And the fudge—I could live on that stuff!)The best part about living near the Amish is the produce stands that sell fresh produce at ridiculously cheap prices. Corn? When did I eat corn? [Uh, Bryan, who said anything about corn? I said cheese, man, cheese–like what you bring to your blog ;-)]
Please come back tomorrow for part two of our Textual Harassment interview with Bryan. His blog is at BryanAllain.com, and his podcast is the Freshpod. You should check them out! You’ll be glad you did. Thanks for reading!