My writing career began almost 20 years ago as intern at Christian Retailing magazine in Lake Mary, Florida. College provided a diploma but little of what I needed to survive in the 9 to 5 or, more important, the 5 to 9 of life.
Thrust into the world of publishing, the job became my training ground, the editors my schoolmasters, the readers my biggest fans and critics.
Countless hours were consumed with proofing, fact-checking, and the less-than-glamorous photocopying. But I learned the most about writing—and life—from hundreds of interviews.
Some people were breathtaking in their insight and depth. Others felt flimsy and shallow.
A few interviews provided rich accounts, compelling details, shocking anecdotes. Many did not. The stories that followed felt flat, unengaging.
As a naïve twentysomething, I thought the issue was them. The people.