Hi, and welcome to #TalkbackTuesday. This week’s interview is with Ms. Jewel Fries (pronounced Freeze). See her interview below.
Talkback Tuesday is a feature for and about everyday people. It is always inspirational to look into the life of another person, and realize it is just as complex and large and confusing as your own.
1. For the readers, who are you, what do you do, and what is your current side project?
I do lots of things but my passion is communicating with people, especially through writing. Before I could write, I told stories to my stuffed animals lined up on our couch. Then I began writing as soon as I learned to string letters into words, and I would read my stories to anyone who would listen.
Now I conspire to inspire through my blog called Rise Like Air, and I volunteer as a blogger with a fantastic non profit organization called Life Vest Inside.
My biggest joy comes from being part of something that helps someone find a new perspective, a new way of looking at something. Marcel Proust said it best “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” My current side project is writing a novel for young readers. It’s been a side project for quite a while.
2. As a writer, what are the difficulties you face? What is the hardest thing to do when you write? How do you deal with those?
That’s an excellent question! In the real world, my biggest difficulty really is time. While writing might be my passion, there are a lot of other “real world” responsibilities and distractions that are always battling for my attention.
I’m the kind of writer where something sparks my interest and thoughts start pouring out of me. Those thoughts would like to be immediately captured, but far too often I don’t have the ability to sit down at that exact moment and get it out. I’ve tried making notes and coming back to it later. Sometimes that works, but too often if feels like the moment and the inspiration have fled. That always makes me a little sad. It might sound strange but it makes me feel a little like a butterfly that was about to emerge from it’s chrysalis, but instead it withers inside.
[If I don’t write immediately,] too often if feels like the moment and the inspiration have fled.
The other hardest thing is putting it out there and then waiting to see how people respond. Sometimes they respond in a completely unexpected way, which is always interesting. Determination and giving myself permission is the best way I’ve found. If the feeling that the words need to get put down is strong enough, I now try to do that no matter what else is going on. I also rely on my family to be kind enough to support me in my passion for writing and how it sometimes means I might not be as present for them as I otherwise might be.
3. Tell me about your volunteering work with Life Vest Inside. What does this organization do, and what kind of blog work are you doing with them?
Life Vest Inside is an organization founded by an American educator Orly Wahba in 2011. She created the viral video The Kindness Boomerang, which is how I came to be introduced to the group. Orly believes that simple, small acts of kindness done by everyday people can change the world.
Our mission is inspiring, empowering and educating people of all backgrounds to lead a life of kindness, which we have fondly termed “living the kindness lifestyle”. LVI is involved in numerous projects including Project Hope.
Project Hope allows people to give and receive hope through 30-second recorded voice messages.
We hold a world wide annual Dance For Kindness that brings countless people together each year to spread kindness. And that’s just a few things they do.
Orly also has recently released her first book, The Kindness Boomerang: How to Save the World (and Yourself) Through 365 Daily Acts. I was honoured to be one of the many people able to have a tiny part in putting the book together. So really, we are all about showing people the difference that kindness can make through being living examples of the lifestyle.
The blog I work on is a monthly newsletter called The Kindness Flash. As a matter of fact, April’s was just released today and the topic this month is friendship. [Note: This interview was conducted in April. You can see all releases of the Newsletter, including the latest, at the link below.]
I edit and write kindness stories submitted by other people, write interviews with our kindness ambassadors, and find topic related content to include. I get to work with amazing people from around the world. Every month I get to learn and share some many wonderful ideas and information.
The best part is that it’s always growing so there’s lots of room for creativity and trying new things. Working with people who live kindness everyday is a truly amazing experience. I am very fortunate and grateful to be a part of it.
4. If you had a room full of young, budding writers hanging on to every word, what would be the three observations / pieces of advice you would give them?
Wow, another great question and I have to admit I would love the opportunity to be in that situation. I guess the first would be Write Write Write. Don’t censor yourself or overthink. Just let it come out and worry about the details later.
The second would be Write for yourself first and others second (unless of course you’re a copywriter or something like that where you have no choice but to follow other people’s requirements). At the same time, read read read and listen to others to hone your craft. But remember – it is always YOUR craft.
If you don’t make your writing a priority, it is unlikely anyone else will either.
The third piece of advice would be to make the time to write. This comes from very personal experience. If you don’t make your writing a priority, to be honest, it is unlikely that anyone else will either. It doesn’t matter if writing will ever pay even one bill, or whether anyone other than yourself will ever read the words. If it is important to you and gives you joy, it is important enough to make time for. Don’t wait for someone else to give you permission to make it a priority, give yourself permission.
5. Great. Finally, do you have anything you’d like the audience to go check out? It could be a product or a business, or even a song or a video that you find interesting.
Well I hope that your readers would like to check out Rise Like Air and Life Vest Inside. I hope that together we can conspire to inspire and make the world a kinder place to share. I’ll end with one of my favourite quotes because it is one of the greatest shifts in perspective I ever had.
“If you dwell upon limitations, then you will meet them.” – Seth
Don’t limit yourself, and don’t let anyone else limit you either. Dwell upon possibilities and start moving in that direction.
Thank you for reading Talkback Tuesday! You can leave a follow-up question for Jewel in the comments below.
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Next, check out the previous interview from last Tuesday with Priyanka Ganwani by clicking on the image below.