I was recently interviewed by Brandon Vogt of The Thin Veil; the first part of the inteview is now available for viewing, commenting, and memorizing:
Q: You've run Ignatius Insight for a while, and with your books and editing roles your days are filled with writing. What are some of the ups and downs of being a full-time writer?
Readers might be surprised to learn that not only did I invent the Internet, I was the first blogger. Ever. And if any readers aren't surprised to hear that news, I humbly acknowledge their trust and suggest they seek therapy for gullibility susceptibility syndrome.
But, more seriously (if only slightly), this summer will mark ten years as a blogger—or, as I prefer to be called, “author of thousands of mini-books that don't cost readers a cent.” I began blogging in June 2002, shortly after becoming editor of Envoy magazine, and then began blogging on Insight Scoop in May 2004, after taking the job as editor of Ignatius Insight.
Which brings me to your question. First, I think being able to make a living as a writer is a privilege, and I hope to never take it for granted. Writing is a craft and an art, of course, and so deserves due compensation, but a writer must earn a hearing and a readership.
One of the challenges of being a writer is to develop and build trust with readers, which is a complicated and even mysterious process, but necessarily involves integrity—personally, professionally, and everything in between. And since I obviously write often—almost daily!—about Catholicism, I have a great responsibility to present and articulate Catholic doctrine, theology, practice, and history as accurately as possible. I do so first as a Catholic, but then as someone with a vocation to communicate, as best I can, the truth regarding everything I write about, even in the shortest and least consequential blog posts.