Archives For textual harassment


  1. Bryan Allain

    I noticed that you’ve visited my blog, thus I’m curious to get your subjective impression of it–what do you think of it? Do you like the blog, and what I’m trying to do with it? Any tips for me?

    Blog Coaching…coming to an internet tube near you soon. 🙂 [I know what you’re saying–I really need this, don’t I? It’s alright, be honest. It won’t hurt my feelings.] Update: Bryan’s blog coaching program has launched at BlogRocket. He’s calling it “creative fuel for your blog.” I like to think of it as helping bloggers reach the stars.
  2. Are you a cat person, or a dog person? Why?
    I’m not a pet person, which I know is not a popular thing to say. They make my eyes water and I’m convinced that all animals could turn on us at any point and claw us to death. I’m not kidding. [You mean like that awful M. Night Shyamalamadingdong movie, The Happening? Animals are gonna rise up like the plants and get us back? Wow! Had no idea.]
  3. I’ve noticed, from listening to your podcast, that you seem be transitioning away from giving your location as Intercourse, PA, and are more and more saying that you’re in Lancaster County, PA. What’s the reason for this shift? Are you ashamed of Intercourse?
    I tried to write a response to this that wouldn’t get me in trouble. It was too hard. [<–very droll, that–“too hard”]

  4. How much do you really love fantasy football? Why the ongoing rivalry with Tyler Stanton?
    It’s fun, but I don’t love it. I’m much more into picking games against the spread, which is what the league I’m in with Tyler is all about. Tyler and I are good friends, so I look for any way I can to show him how much better I am as a person. [Yes, but are you “Bowlin‘” like Tyler?]
  5. I noticed you tweet about coffee quite a bit? Do you make your own, or are you a Starbuck’s/coffee house kind of guy? Maybe you can clarify something for me: is coffee more of a bean juice, or a brown nectar?
    I tweet about coffee because my brain isn’t awake yet and I can’t think of anything else to tweet about. I’m not a coffee snob, and usually brew my own. But if I’m going out it’s Dunkin over Starbucks.
  6. Mac or PC? Why?
    I’m on a PC all day at work, but otherwise I’m 100% a Mac guy. I shouldn’t have to explain myself. [I totally get you on this one, man. Love my Mac. Pry it from my cold, dead hands and all.]
  7. Do you have a particular spot where you do your writing, or do you hole up in the bathroom with a laptop? How important is a well-laid out space to your creative process?
    I write in my kitchen every morning, but as long as it’s not too loud or distracting I can write anywhere.
  8. I’ve heard that you’re a rabid Caedmon’s Call fan—is this true? And if so, why? And how cool was it to interview Derek Webb for your podcast? Did you go a little “fanboy” on him?
    This is well documented, but I’ve been a rabid CC fan since 1997. Since then I’ve seen them in concert close to 30 times, have been to Ecuador and Texas with them, and consider almost all of them friends. Despite being friends though, there will always be a little fanboy in my heart for Derek, Cliff, and the rest of the crew.
  9. I’ve read where you refer to yourself as the “Schnoz.” Have you seen the pictures of me on my blog? Which one of us has a bigger nose?
    My schnoz is unique and allergic to comparisons. [Sorry, Bryan, in the interests of fair and balanced blogging, I had–for the readers’ sake–to throw up a comparison.]

  10. Is your relationship with Jesus Christ absolutely central to your life? Could you “talk” a little about how you came to the Lord/how He called you? And what role your faith plays in your writing?
    Jesus is very much central to my identity as a person and how I live my life. Not to the extent that I wish he was sometimes, but ever since I committed to living for Him as a freshman in college I’ve tried to keep him central. It can be tough, though, when every morning I want to make life all about me.
    As for my writing, I don’t often write about spiritual things. You can find some thoughts on faith on my blog, but mostly I like to make people laugh. I try not to embarrass God or my family with what I do, which means I try not to be too demeaning of others, too hateful, or too vulgar. I also try not to be unfunny, because lame jokes make God weep.
  11. After the somewhat “douchey” way I acted online, do I have a friend in Pennsylvania?
    We’ve all been there and we’re all gonna do dumb stuff in the future, so there’s no point to refusing grace to people. That said, at some point if someone continues to act like a douche then you gotta start ignoring them so they get the point and so you avoid the headaches of dealing with a douche. You’re not at that point yet 🙂 (and again, I’ve been the douche plenty of times, so I get it.) [Almost didn’t include this one, but thought it wise to just be honest about something that is painfully obvious to my poor wife everyday: I can be an a**. I really appreciate Bryan just plain giving me a second chance at a first impression. Thanks for giving me grace, man!]

    Bryan, thanks so much for “dropping by” to play Textual Harassment with me! Appreciate your time. See you around the blogosphere. Bryan’s blog can be found at Checkout his awesome podcast, The Freshpod, here. You’ll be glad you did. That’s all the time we have for today. See you back here sometime soon for another “episode” of Textual Harassment with Mr. Stuff Christians Like himself, Jon Acuff.


Bryan Allain

“Textual Harassment” With Bryan Allain pt. 1 Part 2 is here

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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, and his podcast is the Freshpod. You should check them out! You’ll be glad you did. Thanks for reading!

>no pooping!photo © 2004 Johanna | more info (via: Wylio)

Random Thursday—Poop, Sin, and Anniversary Edition
      Hello, and welcome again to another edition of Random Thursday, where things get, well, random! On my mind today is poop… (“His posts are like random droppings from his brain”). Hey, I heard that! Not cool! But seriously, what I was wondering is why have I never heard a sermon preached from the pulpit on how sin is like poop. If you think about it, it really is. It’s completely natural, normal, we all do it almost everyday, and well, it stinks! Let that sink in: what naturally comes out of us stinks. Like sin. Paul asked “who shall deliver me from this body of death?” In other words, who’s gonna take this stinky, rotting corpse off my back? That was his metaphor for the natural man—our stinking sin nature that we, even those of us connected to Christ, carry around with us until we step off of this planet and into eternity. Anyway, I’ve never heard that sermon preached yet? Have you? Have you ever thought about how poop is like sin?
      I’ve posted before about my awesome wife; she’s so awesome that, in fact, she’s hitched her wagon to mine for the last twenty years! I can hardly believe it! I mean how did I get so blessed to have her in my life? And where has the time gone? Through ups and downs, through thick and thin, she’s been there. Without her love and support I wouldn’t be who, or where, I am today. She is more beautiful, and I love her more, now than ever. I’m going to break one of the cardinal laws of dudedom and confess that, yes, she completes me. Corny, but true.
Here’s the list part of Random Thursday
  1. Things might get quiet around here tomorrow—I’m attending the Catalyst One Day seminar at CCV in Peoria, AZ. If you’re going, we can hang if you like. I’m kinda quiet around new people (sort of an introvert), but I wouldn’t be blogging if I wasn’t willing to put myself out there. God is stretching me in a ways I never could’ve even imagined a month ago.
  2. Coming on Monday is a new, well, if not random, but irregular interview series featuring bloggers of renown called Textual Harassment. The first victim, er, subject is Bryan Allain. Bryan is a humor blogger living in Intercourse, PA. (Yes, it’s a real city in Lancaster County. I’ve heard that if one flies into Philly, one has to pass through Blue Ball to get to Intercourse. Kinda sounds like marriage, right?) The text-based interview will take place over the course of two, or three, days. Following Bryan, probably sometime next month, will be Mr. Stuff Christians Like himself, Jon Acuff. (No, I’m not fly like a G6, and it’s not true that all I do is win. Trust me—I was kinda douchey towards Bryan, and yet he gave me a second chance anyway. And truly, all I did was ask both Bryan and Jon if they would be willing to be interviewed, and they both assented).
  3. Freedom Friday happens every week around these parts. It’s all about where we need freedom, where Jesus has given us freedom, and how we can help each other on the way to freedom. Even though I get silly, and sometimes sarcastic, around here I mean Freedom Friday to be inviolable: it’s a safe place to be real. And I mean it. It’s my intention to not moderate the comments, and I will stick by that as long as folks don’t insult, or judge, each other. Get rude, and I delete. It’s my sandbox.
That’s all for today. Peace out.