Interview: Jenny Evans

Jenny Evans is a freelance writer specializing in parenting and early childhood. She draws her expertise mostly from her own children (ages 5, 3, and 1) but has worked with youth of all ages in tutoring, mentoring, and teaching capacities. Anything related to the family is usually a topic. When she’s not playing with her kids, Jenny likes to read books without pictures, write, scrapbook, exercise, and relax with her husband.

Enjoy this interview.

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Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from and how long have you been writing?

Currently I live in Columbus, Ohio with my family, but we’re about to move to the Boston, Massachusetts area in just a few months. I’ve been writing ever since I knew how – I think I’ve kept a journal since I was in second grade. I’ve always felt an unrelenting compulsion to write. From elementary school all the way through college, it was always fiction that interested me. But since I started doing nonfiction articles a few years ago, I’ve found that I love that too.

You’ve got almost 300 articles on Suite101. What do you enjoy about writing for them? Anything you’ve learned? Challenges about being an online writer?

I didn’t know very much about SEO writing when I started with Suite101. In the past year I’ve learned volumes about it. Being able to write about whatever interests me while reaching a worldwide audience of over 1 million readers a year is such a perk of online writing. I also like having the freedom to set my own hours and my own deadlines, but at the same time that can be a challenge because I’m obsessed with productivity. I work way too much if left to my own devices.

Any type of writing ritual you have?

I always follow a strict keywording and outlining process every time I write SEO. Sometimes it’s very laborious, but it always results in better articles.

Do you believe in writer’s block? If so, how did you get past it? If not, why not?

Anytime an idea for an article strikes me I write it down, so it’s very rare that I run out of ideas completely and have none on the backburner. Sometimes I don’t feel inspired to write on any particular topic I’ve got in reserve, but I force myself to pick one and start working on it. After that, I usually find that I pick up steam as I go.

Share some of your writing goals. Do you have a writing goal you’re working towards?

With three children under the age of 6, writing shorter nonfiction articles is more manageable for me right now. But at some point I’d like to get back into fiction and pursue both types of writing equally. I hope to do this when my kids are a little older and I have more time to myself, but I’m told by other mothers that this never actually happens.

What’s the most interesting book you’ve ever read?

Probably In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. He has an interesting take on why America is obsessed with health and is simultaneously the least healthy nation in the world. At times I think he purposely tries to be inflammatory because that’s the nature of the book, but he also makes some very good points. I know I changed some of the ways I fed my family after reading it.

Favorite authors?

Charles Dickens, Leo Tolstoy, J.D. Salinger, Virginia Woolf, Nancy Turner, E.B. White, and Dr. Seuss. But I’m willing to read anybody at least once.

Book you’re currently reading?

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. I’m making an effort to read the classics I never read in high school or college.

Where can we learn more about you?

My profile and blog at Suite101 will tell you more about me. About a third of my articles relate to Mormonism, the topic for which I am Suite101’s feature writer, but the rest of my work runs the gamut from kid’s educational activities to budgeting to writing SEO and everything in between.

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