Life of a staff writer: Five interviews that have shaped me

As a staff writer, you meet a lot of interesting people and get to see a lot of interesting movements along the way — and I am embarrassed to say I do not always remember all my interviewees’ names; however, their stories stay with me. Not only do they inspire me, especially the seniors who I have interviewed for our Senior Life publication, but they show me what I can be, even when I become a senior!

Additionally, some of the movements I have written about have also made me aspire to change aspects of me life — to strive to be healthier, to be more connected with my community and just be a better person.

Below are five people and movements/concepts that have really stuck with me and changed me as a person:

  1. Anne Drake will always stand out in my mind as one of my most favorite interviewees. Not only did she attend college at an older age, but she did so without vision, with the help of her seeing eye dog, Tabitha (Full Story Here). I will always remember what Anne had to say about her experiences, and my interview with her came at the perfect time in my life: You see I had just had to put my 12-year-old cat, Dotty, who I had hand-reared, to sleep, and needless to say, I was devastated by this — after all, Dotty had been named by my mother who had passed away from leukemia in 2006, and she had been a constant reassurance and a large piece of my life in the years that followed. While Tabitha was still very much alive, Drake had still needed to make the difficult choice to send her to a better home as Tabitha aged and could no longer work. And when, she explained that choice, she said words that will stay with me forever: “You’ve got to be the person that they need you to be.” And it is something that I aspire to remember because with pets — even when it hurts like Hell — you have to remember that and do what is right for them.
  2. Go green… this is a phrase that is tossed around a lot; however, after writing a green cleaning article, I really want to embrace this practice/philosophy/lifestyle after I make my move. When you read about what goes into the cleaners we use, it will make you also want to use supplies like vinegar, baking soda, and so on to make your living area shine rather than toxic chemicals that can potentially cause cancer. This article also led me to the DIY movement, which covers everything from making home decor to your own health and beauty supplies.
  3. Along the same line is living interconnected with our food sources. This philosophy comes up quite frequently among my interviewees and in several articles and is not so surprising; after all, the local food movement appears to be quite strong across the nation, with its farmers’ markets, backyard chickens and small family farms. The conditions that factory farms put their animals in are often atrocious, and why not support our local family farms, the ones who strive to treat their animals well, who use good farming practices and are environmentally minded? After several interview people, from farmers to the every-day person like me, I really want to embrace this movement, because beyond promoting sound practices, both environmentally and sustainable, it encourages me to eat well. Some of my interviewee have even taken it a step further with the eat wild movement, where they harvest food from nature in the form of cattails, berries, nuts, etc. And yes, I did eat the insides of a cattail for the article, and it did taste very similar to a cucumber.
  4. Along the way, I have also gotten to meet several fellow writers who have inspired me. One such individual was Nik Havert, a police officer by day, and during the rest of his time, a comic book writer, short story writer, among much more. After interviewing him, my mind was a flutter of energy that just wanted to put words to papaper and actually make a career of my fiction writing, in addition to giving short stories more of a go — or possibly some genres that I might not have thought to try out. Plus, the sheer amount of talents Nik has is just amazing — gives a lot a person can aspire toward. Nik’s website can be viewed here.
  5. Last November I did an article on NaNoWriMo article, and during that interview, I got to meet a few talented writers who live in my area, including a writer who is now a good friend, Beth Anne. During that interview, I picked up a lot of good writing advice that went well beyond the traditional and into marketing yourself, attending writers conferences, how to find sources in the form of living-breathing people and a host of other informational topics. That interview was also the stepping stone to great a write-in group, where we pick a spot and just come to write with some mild chit-chat. I also have to say Beth Anne has introduced me to the non-consumer movement, which I hope will help me save money as I move out, and I hope soon she will help me with my knitting.

It just goes to show that interesting people and stories are all around you, and they hold the power to change and inspire you, even if you live in a rural area or small town — it just takes some digging!

**I promise to resume my business of writing series yet this week. I’ve been trying to balance too many things at once and have been having family-related problems. I had already had this post written so I decide to just post it. Hoping things start looking up soon.**


Published by smwright

Sarah Wright is the author of The Heritage Lost Series and several other works of speculative fiction. Professionally, she works as a staff writer and editor at a newspaper/magazine company. She enjoys interweaving her love of history into her writing, even in the most fantastic settings.

2 thoughts on “Life of a staff writer: Five interviews that have shaped me

  1. As a fellow writer, I don’t think enough can be said about how important it is to engage with other people, even non-writers because they shape your perspective and help you grow. Great article!

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