ABOUT ME STORIES
A Writer’s Heart
Hi, everyone! As we continue this interview series with About Me Stories, it’s really a great privilege to this time have Katie Jgln as our second featured interviewee. She writes her stories with such confidence that as we read them we’d feel so much of her heart out from them. It’s been a huge honor to have her give us this chance to get to know more about her and also learn from her.
1. Introductory question: Hi Katie, welcome to About Me Stories. Would you like to say something to our readers?
Hi, thank you for inviting me to this interview. I really appreciate it.
2. How do you see life, and how did that impact you personally and your writing journey?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been really curious about the world around me. And I always wanted to understand why things are the way they are or seem that they are and what we could all do to make this place, this society, better.
I’m afraid too often we carry on doing things, even if they’re harmful and discriminatory, simply because ‘we’ve always done it this way.’ Because it’s tradition. Because someone, some time ago, suggested that’s the way to go, and now we’re stuck with what can essentially be described as peer pressure from dead people.
Complacency might seem easier, but it’s also an obstacle to progress.
That’s why one of the most important goals of my writing is to challenge some of those long-held beliefs. Offer a different perspective. And ask questions, even if I’m not certain I know how to answer them just yet.
3. You seemed to be very open-minded and straightforward in your writings, can you tell us if it’s something natural to you or something you have learned along the way in life?
In my native language, Polish, there’s a saying: ‘Only a cow doesn’t change its mind.’ And it often comes to my mind when I feel I might have gotten something wrong and should probably take a step back and re-evaluate my opinions and beliefs.
It’s not an easy thing to do, but I know it’s necessary.
When we allow ourselves to be too preoccupied with always being right, and too wrapped up in self-righteousness we miss out on seeing the world the way it truly is.
I don’t want that to happen. And I don’t want to end up being the proverbial stubborn cow.
4. Who or what are your writing inspirations, and why? Do you have any writing tips you want to share with your readers?
There are many writers, journalists and investigative reporters that inspired me over the years and made me want to pursue writing. But I also take inspiration from several other things, from movies, TV shows, people watching, travelling, music, art and history to internet culture.
I know this is probably one of the most commonly given pieces of writing advice, but if you want to be a great writer, you must first be a great observer of everything around you.
And you need to be more than just a person who writes.
5. Among all your stories, which one is your favorite and why?
To be honest, I usually consider my latest piece to be the best so far simply because I feel like I’m constantly improving. My latest one is a satire on religious people’s attitudes towards atheism, https://medium.com/p/2c264742cf42
6. I really love how bold and honest you are in your writing. Do you think that is important for every writer? Why or why not?
If you’re not being honest in your writing, I’m not sure why you even chose this profession or hobby in the first place. Writing is, or rather should be, all about honesty. And about not only laying words flat on the paper but making them dance and sing and come together and make your reader feel something real.
I believe you can’t do any of that without at least attempting to put a little bit of yourself, your genuine thoughts and feelings, into whatever it is you’re writing. Even if that’s a listicle on the healthiest root vegetables.
7. How do you define success as a writer? Do you think you’re there yet, or are there more that you want to work towards?
I’m not a big fan of our modern world’s obsession with ‘success’, however you define it, and the never-ending race so many people participate in nowadays to achieve more, have more, consume more, etc.
I like what I do, and I’m glad I’m able to change people’s minds on matters that are important to me from time to time. If I get even more regular readers next year, that’s fine. If not, and I’ll be hit by a truck one day and then that’s it; that’s fine, too.
8. How do you handle readers who don’t agree with your advice? Is there a secret to help appeal more to your readers, and do you mind sharing these tips with us?
I know that my writing style and the topics I write about aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. So if you don’t like it, don’t read it. Because I doubt I’ll ever change myself or my tone to please random strangers from across the world who’d like me to be something I’m not.
And I’d recommend to other writers to do the same.
If you want to be admired by everyone, go work in Disneyland as a character performer instead. Writers aren’t supposed to be people pleasers who only write what others expect to read.
9. How big of a role do you think writers play a part in bringing change to the world?
Writing can be a potent driver of change. It can push our collective consciousness in the right direction, even if that happens at a glacial pace.
I also like to think of it as sort of a bridge, both literally as it connects one sentence to the next, one thought with another and then another and so on, but also figuratively as it helps us communicate the state of the world and society today, and what we have to do to even have a tomorrow.
I can never deny just how awesome it is to read and see how Katie Jgln genuinely answered all of our questions. Made me realize the uniqueness of every person and that we should always remember to embrace, be grateful for, and live who we truly are.
I can’t thank her enough for accepting and participating in this interview series. Check on her profile and never miss her stories!