Hello, I was opportuned to interview Troy HEADRICK, a co-owner of the blog POINTLESS OVERTHINKING . He’s one of the bloggers I admire and I’m very sure you all would find his blog very interesting and motivating.
1. Tell my readers a bit about yourself and your blog
I’m a writer, artist, traveler, and thinker. I currently manage two writing centers at a community college located in San Antonio, Texas, USA. Most would call me an “educator,” but I think of myself as an “educationist,” and there is a subtle but important difference between these two terms. I have lived in five countries (the US, Poland, the UAE, Turkey, and Egypt) and spent twenty years as an American expat. I’ve been married to an Egyptian woman for eleven years. Now, as far as writing and blogging goes, I’ve been published a lot in many online and print publications and won an award about a decade ago for several political analysis pieces I’d written. I started writing for Pointless Overthinking (PO) about three years or so ago and purchased the site from its Romanian founder and then-owner a few months ago. My co-owner is a Pointless Overthinking blogger who writes under the pseudonym of “AP2.”
2. Why did you start blogging?
Well, I’ve been writing for publication for a long time. I started out as a poet when I was younger and then shifted over to writing prose pieces. My current blogging activities simply began as an extension of my activities as a writer.
3.How did you and your team grow the blog?
When I first started writing for PO, I simply produced pieces of writing and wasn’t at all involved in managing or growing the blog. Over time, I could see that PO had great potential, and I’m really interested in writing creative nonfiction, the sort of stuff that PO specializes in. Because I believed so much in the blog, I started doing little managerial jobs on a volunteer basis and established a friendship with the aforementioned Romanian owner. When the time seemed right, I offered to buy the blog and the deal went through.
I’m blessed to have a great partner and to be collaborating with fantastically talented and insightful writers. I’m working with AP2 to monetize the blog, and we have a lot of interesting ideas about paths we might follow as we continue on the journey of developing the site and making it more interactive.
4. What is your favorite thing about blogging?
Writing is a kind of problem solving. Writing provides me with a method of digging into subjects and dissecting them and sharing what I learn during that digging and dissecting. I have sort of a love/hate relationship with writing. I love the challenge of coming to understand something by writing about it, but writing is also excruciatingly hard work. Using language to solve problems is sometimes tiring and frustrating. Language is a tool that requires precision and is very unforgiving. I sometimes agonize over choosing the right word and phrase. I’m very much a perfectionist about my writing. Writing doesn’t feel relaxing at all. In fact, it makes me a bit nervous, and I rarely reread any piece after it’s been published. If I reread a piece that has appeared in print, it always seems very flawed and I feel somewhat embarrassed about having shared it.
5. What particular topics do you feel happy writing about and why?
I enjoy writing about politics, psychology, philosophy, human nature, and “think pieces” and such. I’m interested in many different topics and will write about anything. I really like writing op-eds and have published a bunch of opinion pieces in quite a few newspapers. (Some of these have even earned me hate mail and threats.) Several of my op-eds have been picked up by the Associated Press and were shared widely.
I have a BA in political science and specialized in political theory. (I thought I was going to become a lawyer when I was a young guy.) I then switched to English while working on my MA and PhD. (I dropped out of my doctoral program just as I was about to finish because I got a fantastic job offer in Abu Dhabi, capital of the UAE; the opportunity to live in the Middle East and make a lot of money was something I couldn’t pass up.) I like writing about the sorts of things I studied in school.
6. What’s your biggest challenge as a blogger?
Coming up with new and fresh ideas. It helps that my mind seems to be working all the time on topics. I’ll have these insights at odd times, so I carry around a notebook to jot ideas down when they come to me. Once I get an idea, I just sort of roll it around in my mind for days. When I finally sit down at the computer, it often comes out pretty quickly, but then I have to polish and polish. I’ll sometimes write out a whole piece only to discover that the thinking just isn’t right, that I’ve misunderstood the subject and only discovered this misunderstanding after I’d gotten it all out of paper. That’s the worst sort of failure and terribly frustrating. I’m a bit hard on myself, and this is something I’m well aware I need to work on.
7. Which blogs particularly interest you and why?
I would encourage everyone reading this interview to check out the personal blogs of those who write for PO. If you like their writing on PO, you’ll love the stuff they publish elsewhere. It is impossible for me to answer this question because I read widely and discover fantastically talented writers every single day. We live at an amazing moment in history. The internet has ushered in an age where everyone has the opportunity to self-express. Everyone can create a blog and share their talent with others. I would encourage everyone to explore the web as I do and read as I do–very widely and voraciously.
8. What is your biggest motivation?
I love the idea of working within a community of thinkers and writers. I think the artists of this world will probably save humans from themselves.
9. How has blogging helped you personally?
Big question. It has helped me make friends, get things off my chest, and discover other writers who teach me how to look at and understand the world and human behavior and motivation. I have this insatiable desire to know more about more things and blogging has helped me learn.
10. Is there anything you would like to share?
I hope for greater enlightenment. I hope we can all learn to be kind and tolerant and figure out a way to work together to save the planet (and thus save ourselves in the process). The most powerful force on the planet is the human imagination. Thanks for showing an interest and providing me with this opportunity. I wish you all the best.