On Pursuing Passion & Letting Creativity Flow—An Interview With Andrea Lucado
If you haven't yet heard of Andrea, you may have unknowingly read her words. Author & speaker, she regularly contributes to She Reads Truth (check out her article on patience), has written for Relevant Magazine and recently published her first book, English Lessons. We welcome her as one of our 2018 Conference speakers and wanted to get to know her a little bit better. Read on for a little Q&A with her about making her passion a career and writing about her faith.
Your background as a writer / reader seems to go way back. You have a Masters in English Literature, but how far back does your love for literature go?
My first memory of books and literature would probably be when my mom read C.S. Lewis' The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe to us (my two sisters and me) as little girls. I was mesmerized by that story. Still am.
Did you ever question making your passion a career? What advice would you give to someone looking to make a similar career choice?
Yes. I knew probably around age 23 that I wanted to be a professional writer, but I didn't become one until 28. I dabbled on the side in freelance but worked a corporate job for five and a half years before finally taking the plunge. I think if your "side hustle" is something you can't imagine not doing, that's probably a good sign it should be your career. Of course, whenever something is monetized, it can lose some of its magic and passion, but if it's what you're made to do, you'll keep at it anyways. That's what happened with me and writing.
When facing a deadline, what have you found to be the best way to let the creative energy flow?
I try to give myself plenty of time leading up to the deadline. It's hard to be free creatively when you know something is due tomorrow. I chip away at it a little at a time. I wrote most of my first book not under a contract or a deadline. That was so great because I was really free to write whenever and there was no time pressure there stifling my creativity. That's not always an option, so planning ahead--even though that can feel like the opposite of a "creative" thing to do--will really free up the space for that creativity to flow.
A lot of your writing centers around faith. Have you found your that easy to write about? Or was it initially hard to be open about something so personal?
I process the world through writing. So if my faith is something I'm needing to process, if I have questions about it or issues with it, I'm going to naturally sit down and write about it. I've found so much freedom in reading about others' struggles with faith. I remember how helpful their words have been and it's easier to continue writing my own.
What has been the most challenging part of your career? What has been the most rewarding?
The most challenging part is how up and down it is. Because I freelance, my workload is different from month to month. I can get pretty anxious about that. Also, the vulnerability of writing and receiving feedback is, and always will be, challenging. But I think that's been the most rewarding part too. It's taught me how to connect better with others, and it's taught me that not everyone is going to like the things that I write, and that's ok. Feedback and criticism challenges me to be better, but it's also taught me to accept who I am as a writer, and as a person.
And now for a fun question: what's your favorite junk food?
Nutella. I can't even let myself buy it because when I do, the jar is gone in about two days!