1. What made you want to become a writer?
A general predilection for suffering. But really, it’s been an evolution. I was always fascinated by the clever tricks good writers, performers, even lawyers could play by using words. Long before reading Oscar Wilde or Voltaire, I’d watch guys like John Cleese on Faulty Towers or Leslie Neilsen in Airplane! and study how to emulate their humor. Apparently I should’ve studied harder! The thing was, I always wanted to entertain people. But I was a shy kid, so live performance was out of the question. So I started learning how to craft the written word. As I got older and the hormones started interfering with my fun, writing became a way to outlet more serious emotions. And as my intellectual curiosity grew, my idea of writing morphed once again into a method of sharing information, of evoking feelings about an issue, of inspiring.
2. What is your genre or writing style and has it changed over time?
I used to fancy myself a fiction writer. When I was young, I was fascinated with voice. I’m not sure if “American Southern Lyricism” is an actual sub-genre of literature, but that’s what I’d call what I was writing. Lately my writing has been almost exclusively creative nonfiction. So, basically, reporting on things I experience, but in a way that annoys mainstream media editors.
3. What has helped you the most in the writing pursuit?
Accountability. There was a long period of time where I wasn’t writing at all. Thanks to some encouragement from friends, I started a blog about a strange experience I was having at the time. It seems silly, but their constant hounding about new posts forced me to develop a writing routine. Before that I had never been published. Now I write regularly. Sometimes people actually pay me for it.
4. How would you describe your writing practice?
Aggressively solitary. For any project of breadth, I like to hole up and escape the “civilized world”. I’m doing that right now actually, on Day 30 of a writing retreat on a hillside horse ranch outside of Joshua Tree National Park. I haven’t interacted with a human since I went into town for peanut butter cups. Limiting those interactions is key to focus for me, especially when working on something like a book. Being a bachelor helps, too. Even when I can’t get away from the big bad city, I hole up. I’ve written articles in parking garages before just to get away.
5. What are you writing now?
My first book. It’s a creative nonfiction piece, a memoir, about how secretly moving into my office transformed my life. The story is a very personal one but the themes are universal, particularly in a time in our culture where more folks are aspiring to forge simple, more fulfilling, more sustainable lives for themselves. That’s two-and-a-half years in the making and I think I’ll be ready to shop it around soon. Otherwise, I have a couple screenplay projects I’m toying around with on the side just to keep me occupied.
6. Where can someone find out more about your work?
My blog, www.theofficehobo.com, has a wealth of writing, informative and entertaining. The press page on that site has links to many of my articles as well. I’ve been published in Salon, LA Weekly, Dapper Dan Magazine, The Good Men Project, and this great LA-local print-only called The Pen Name. A piece of mine was also published earlier this year in an anthology on small-space living called Turning Tiny: A Small-Living Paradigm.