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Interview with Greg Kieszkowski from Ten Minas

Typepad's Interview with Greg Kieszkowski

You may have seen Greg’s picture here a few times. He has written an amazing piece about the myth of writer's block and his blog was one of our featured blogs. We loved his blog, Ten Minas, and his writing so much we wanted to know more about him and his blog. He was gracious enough to let us interview him so he can share his insight with the rest of the Typepad community.

Ten Minas is part motivation, part reflection, part personal experience. Inspired by Seth Godin’s blog, Greg started his own blog and revived his passion for writing. 

1) Can you tell us about yourself and your blog?

My name is Grzegorz Kieszkowski (Greg) and I was born on August 12, 1972, in Bydgoszcz, Poland. I was born at an interesting time in history, and in an interesting place. My father was a political prisoner and a member of the Solidarity movement. His resistance left us no choice but to seek refuge outside of Poland, and so on Janaury 9th, 1985, we were welcomed in Canada, and it is here, in the beautiful little town of Cobourg, Ontario, that I now make my life.

I have always been in love with literature and writing in particular, but instead of doing what I love, I compromised and became a High School English teacher. (Close, but not close enough). It was the safe and prudent thing to do at the time, and I don’t really regret it. Teaching has given me a great life so far, but after eighteen years, I feel restless, and I’m once again, deeply drawn to writing, which is how tenminas.ca was born.

I read Seth Godin’s book The Icarus Deception, in January of 2017. I decided, when I was finished, to test his theory that writers-block is a myth. I now know that it is because I write everyday. No excuses. Without fail. Some days the words fit better, on others, they could use a bit more finesse.

I am very grateful that I can team up with Typepad, as my partner in crime. Pretty much everyone I asked suggested and told me that the world has gathered on Wordpress, but all I know is that the people at Typepad are nothing short of wonderful, and everything works flawlessly. I guess the world is where you want to be.

The title tenminas.ca is a personal reference to the parable of the talents. I don’t want to go into much depth on the significance of the parable, but lets just say, if you know the parable, I am now working all of my ten talents, instead of burying or only working with one.

2) What is your process for writing a blog post?

I have made a commitment to write every day and so I do. Monday to Friday I write a full post, aiming for about 500 words. On Saturday and Sunday, I find a meaningful quote, and offer a personal reflection. I write my blog at 5:30 am. I am always unprepared. I never know what I am going to say or what is going to come out, but inevitably a single idea raises her hand, and I puruse that idea for as long as I can.

There is really nothing mystical or magical about the act of writing. It’s just a matter of hard work. You need to make a commitment to dig your ditch; one keystroke at a time. The mystical or magical part, comes after, when you look at what you created, and wonder where it all came from?

3) What is the funniest thing that has happened to your blog?

I guess I’ll need more readers to have funny stories. So far, it has been a pretty lonely experience, but people are beginning to join the journey, one person at a time.

4) What is your favorite feature in Typepad?

I love the simplicity of the layout. The dependability and the simplicity of the templates. I have decided to just stick with something for a while, and let my words speak for themselves. But if I had to pick, I would say the best feature are the people behind the scenes. They are very dependable. They are friendly and have a lot of passion. They have a love for blogging and writing, and want all their bloggers to be successful.


5) What is the most important thing you have learned from blogging?

I have learned that we are our own worst critics. We judge ourselves too harshly and than become numb and shy to share our thoughts with the world. It is a lot easier to be a copy editor than a writer, but it's never going to be as rewarding.

There is no reason to be afraid of anything, especially the critics. But its really important to silence our own critical voices of resistance first, before we get at the critics, outside our mind.

6) You have a few minutes, what is your go to tip about blogging?

Dig your ditch!

It’s a mantra I repeat every day. My tip is simple. Do the work. Dream out loud. Say what you’re going to do. Plan it and then do it. Dig your ditch. No matter if it’s summer or winter. Daytime or nighttime. If you’re sick or you’re well. If you’re happy or sad. Tired or well rested. Don’t worry about the quality. Don’t worry about yesterday or tomorrow. There will be time for that. Worry about your ditch. If you don’t dig it, when it rains, you will be out of luck.

7) What blogs do you follow?

I get inspired by Seth Godin’s blog, which relentlessly uplift my soul, every morning. A close second is the blog run by Tim Ferris.

8) What is one goal for your blog in the next 6 months?

My goal is to grow my readers, because I want to awaken their talents and hear their stories. The world needs more good men and women to connect with each other in a truly meaningful way. We have never lived in such an excting time and so full of possibilities. I need help to grow my readership, because if I cannot do that, I can do very little, talking to myself.

I will be putting together the best 75 blog posts from 2017, and will be releasing them in book by the end of the summer.

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions! 

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