We are so excited to announce a special guest on Audrey Press today! Jeff Goins is a writer, author, speaker, and dad. Jeff’s 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 over 80,000 visitors to his website. He is the best-selling author of five books including The Art of Work, Real Artists Don’t Starve and Wrecked.
Valarie was given a very special opportunity to ask Jeff about his life, writing, and specifically about his book Wrecked: When a Broken World Slams into your Comfortable Life in 2012, and much of Jeff’s advice and wisdom is still relevant 6+ years later.
Valarie: Welcome Jeff! Thanks so much for answering these questions and including us in your newest release’s joy and success. I love that you used the Jack Nicholson quote “is this is good as it gets?” I remember thinking those very same words in my early 30’s. I just couldn’t fathom living 50 or more years like this. Same old schedule, same rhythms of the year, same everything, just sort of aging as I go along. That’s when I had the thought “I need to do something bigger than myself.” Jeff, you refer to the “bigger or more” as getting Wrecked. What is getting Wrecked?
Jeff: To be wrecked is to be disabused of the status quo, to be made uncomfortable in a good way. We all sense that a comfortable life is not a good life, and yet that’s typically what we choose for ourselves. The people I know who live the most abundant lives willingly choose discomfort. That’s what we all should be doing.
Valarie: What are the steps towards getting Wrecked?
Step 1: Believe in a bigger story.
Step 2: Go somewhere uncomfortable.
Step 3: Let your heart be moved to action.
Step 4: Repeat for the rest of your life, regardless of where you are and what you do.
Valarie: There was a quote from your book that really stood out as I read it. I just had to read it a few more times to let it sink in. “ Coming back to grips with life as it was meant to be lived will hurt. It will bring discomfort. You will have to bear the burdens of others and carry those whose legs can no longer take them where they need to go. You will have to suffer, endure, and persevere, not just for yourself but others. And it will be painful”. Does coming back to awareness and living have to be painful? Are there other ways to shift our perspectives on life without suffering? Or is the pain just part of the journey?
Jeff: It’s only painful if you’ve been living a safe, comfortable life. If you’re already letting your heart be broken by a broken world, then it may be less painful. But yes, I think pain is part of the journey.
Valarie: What is the difference between serving others and compassion?
Jeff: Servants serve. They do it out of a sense of duty or because it’s their job. Mother Teresa didn’t serve. She had compassion. She literally felt the pain that others feel (compassion literally means to “suffer with”).
Valarie: Oftentimes, after being Wrecked there’s a period of feeling blue. What do you do to conquer the blues after being Wrecked?
Jeff: Something. Do something. Don’t sit on the couch or fantasize about the work that you did in some distant, far-off place. Step out your door, open your eyes, and pay attention. There’s work to be done right here, right now.
Valarie: What’s on the future horizon for Jeff Goins? What projects are you working on at the moment?
Jeff: As you may know, I try to help other writers online. On that front, I’m in the process of launching a course: tribewriters.com. On the writing front, I’m doing a lot of interviews for Wrecked and already working on the next book (which will be a sort of sequel of the commitment themes in Wrecked).
Valarie: From a writer\’s perspective, I know you are a new Dad I\’d love to know how you juggle parenthood and still keep your rhythm as a writer. Schedule everything? Or roll with the punches? Please share!
Jeff: Definitely roll with the punches. Just try to find a way to do the things that you need to do every day. Some days, I don’t always pull it off, but it’s all about managing tension, not finding a resolution. I think that just about does it.
Valarie: Thank you so much, Jeff. Where can our readers find you?
Valarie: Thanks again for all of your time and consideration. Wishing you much success!