10 Questions with Frank McKinley
I met Frank when he actually interviewed me a couple years back. So, I wanted to return the favor because he is so passionate about what he does. Writing can be such a great outlet for anyone. Frank not only writes from his heart, but he also helps other bring out their inner writing warrior.
While his path wasn’t always easy, writing has helped him overcome tough times as a kid and has given him purpose in helping others. My favorite quote of Frank’s is, “If I can help someone find her greatness and share it, my life is worth living.”
Tell me a little about yourself.
I’ve always loved writing. My public writing started with letters to family and friends, but I kept the rest of my writing to myself. When I won a schoolwide poetry contest, I realized people might want to hear what I have to say.
1.What is your career/passion?
I’ve been in business most of my working life. My passion is helping others communicate better so their messages get heard.
Words fascinate me. It doesn’t matter if they’re written, spoken, or sung. I’ve spent my life discovering what works and what doesn’t - and why.
2.What is it about writing that gets that fire in your belly going?
For me, it’s the chance to create something that lights my fire.
Maybe I tell a story that teaches a universal truth. Or I take what I’ve read, thought about, and reshape into a blog post or an answer to someone’s question. Whatever shape it takes, it’s the thrill of the process that gets me going. And if it starts a conversation, that’s awesome.
3.How do you balance the pressures of life with taking time for what you love?
I do a lot of creating early in the morning before anyone else is awake for the day. Then I start my day with a sense of accomplishment while having a bit of time for my family after work each night.
4.Do you remember the first piece you wrote that you made you sit back and smile?
The two poems I wrote that won first place in the school made me smile. But it was my first speech at Toastmasters that thrilled me most.
What was cool about that was I not only wrote it, I got to perform it in front of a crowd. That was unthinkable for me just a year before.
Fortunately, they loved it!
5.As a writer, the words don’t always flow. How do you get in the writing zone?
I use a few time-tested tools to stay productive.
First, I pay attention to what’s going on around me. Then I think about it, looking for patterns and generating theories.
Then I sit at my desk and draw a mind map. I also use freewriting and journaling to think things through, giving my theory a practice run before shipping it to readers.
6.Who is your all-time favorite author?
Steve Brown. I love his conversational writing style and warm, authentic delivery. He’s an old guy, so he’s wise. He’s got a great way of making complex things understandable and applicable. I try my best to model these things in my own writing and teaching.
7.Did you ever want to give up and take another route?
Yes. But I just can’t. In those times when I write less and just settle into a job, I felt an inescapable sense of emptiness. When you’re called to write, do it or you’ll die inside.
8.You also help other writers. How did that come about?
I’ve always wanted to help people. When I was young, I never felt like I fit in anywhere, like God made a mistake when he made me. But as I got older, I realized I had something valuable to offer. And if I did, others surely did, too.
I know what it’s like to be ignored and to make an impact. If I can help someone find her greatness and share it, my life is worth living.
9.What is your favorite book genre?
Mysteries. I love it when complex problems get solved. The figuring it out is as fun (if not more) as closing the case.
10.If you could give ONE PIECE of advice to someone who is starting out on a quest to follow their passion, what would that be?
Be willing to fail as you grow.
Sounds crazy, right? We fear failure like its fatal. Most of the time it’s not. It just a step on your creative journey. Skip it and you won’t get where you’re going.
A huge thanks to Frank for his interview. You can find out more about him at:
Please comment below and let us know what YOUR passion is AND please follow Happiness Depends for a little more happiness in your life.