A Writer’s Dream
An Interview with Jo Ann Harris
Hello, everybody! We are now at the very first Interview series of About Me Stories, which I would like to introduce. Jo Ann Harris is our first featured interviewee. She frequently shares book and story recommendations, lessons learned, and learnings to share about everything she has experienced and overcome.
1. Introductory question: Hi Jo Ann, welcome to About Me Stories. Would you like to say something to our readers?
Thank you all you readers for reading a lot of my stories. I appreciate it. As you can tell by my stories I have had a very rigorous life. There were bad things going on. If it had not happened no one would know about it and I couldn’t help anyone to see what could happen when you are stuck with a narcissistic person, mentally ill, with new twin babies, living in another country.
Oh! also, there was family abuse as well.
2. What are some of your writing inspirations when writing non-fiction and what inspires you to become a novelist?
Writing inspirations: my life journeys are usually my inspiration for writing non-fiction. I have written 23 chapters of my book and posted each chapter on Medium under “About Me” stories. I tried to publish the book myself but got nowhere. Anyway, I may or may not have given up on publishing it.
3. You’ve been writing since 2018 on this site, and have since been through so much. Do you think writing in any way has saved you?
Yes, I think writing about my experiences has purged me of a lot of emotional baggage. I have written about those experiences more than once on Medium. One of my favorite posts is Killing Me Softly which is a thoughtful listing of my feelings.
4. How has your writing helped you from your personal experiences?
Well, I still don’t trust anyone but I am working on it every day. I have a boyfriend of five years now. We keep each other at arm’s length but are intimate. We don’t live together and that is fine for both of us. He has his life and I have mine. He works constantly as he is a contractor and refurbishes homes and I have my twins that work and still live with me.
I think I trust my boyfriend more now than I did when we first met. It is all a matter of trust.
5. What type of impacts do you believe you create as a writer?
Well, I am truthful and there is no B.S. I think people like that and can learn from my mistakes.
6. 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 do not feel successful. When I make some bank I will feel better. I only post to Medium.com and maybe send some articles out here and there. I guess you have to do a lot of promoting and marketing to become successful.
The algorithm on Medium.com cannot find you if you change genres or if you don’t write every day. I have not had anything go “viral” as they say, nor made an excess of $100. That happened twice since the beginning.
I am still working hard to be seen.
7. Have you ever had any moments that have made you really proud of the writer that you are? Any tips to share with other writers?
All my life I was support staff for corporate people in the financial industries. This has taught me many tips to keep organized. When I retired back in 2014 I had to reinvent myself. I tried many things and nothing happened financially. I decided to take up writing because I had a knack for it and had good writing skills. This seemed logical to me.
I guess I am proud to be a writer but I will never be a journalist or anyone who is considered a “great writer”. Mostly plug along and hope for the best as that is all I have found to do. I hope to find the “secret sauce” one day and be able to pay a few more bills. Right now I make about $25 a month on Medium. That pays for nothing.
The younger writers have their own tricks and tips so they really don’t need me to give them any. They are more successful when they use them.
I admire how openly Jo Ann Harris responded to our questions. Another thing about it that I find fascinating is the learning and application she incorporates into it from her own experiences.
I want to express my gratitude to her once more for accepting and participating in this interview with About Me Stories. Make sure to look at her Medium profile!