I had the true honor and pleasure of chatting with my friend, Mr. Richard Wilford. He is not only an amazing writer, author and creative soul, he is a respected pastor, motivational speaker, Army veteran and the list goes on! Take a look for yourself and get to know him, he has a lot to say.
◆ How are you doing on this amazing day?
I’m feeling great, and I am super excited about sharing this moment with you.
◆ Writers are known for having thoughts at any given time. When do you have your best ideas?
I agree!! It’s at any given moment. My writing moments seem to come between the hours of 3am- 6am. Six years later and four books later, it’s still the same and like clock work and without an alarm clock.
◆ If you had to give a title to the blueprint of your life, what would it be called?
Finding my way!!! I often say, If any of us had to draw the path of our life on a graph, the line would consist of ups, downs, twist, turns, loop to loops, several steps forward and too many steps backwards. It seems as if it has been a long search for who I am and what I am supposed to be doing.
◆ Do you remember the first time you brought ink to paper?
I didn’t get good grades in school, but English was my favorite subject. The first book I started to write was called, “What to do when it’s not your turn!!” It stayed an idea for almost 15 years later when I published it.
◆ Where do you pull your inspiration from?
Everywhere!!! I travel, read, and surf the internet and for it. I sit on benches and people watch for it. I watch documentaries of people who have pressed their way through life to be great. I absolutely love seeing people flow in their passion and gift. Just this week, I randomly asked a lady at my job, “What is your dream job?” It was almost as if I had woke her up out of a trance. It startled her, but she rattled it off so fast that you could tell, she knew it. She said, “I want to open my own cafe. I want to know all of my customers on a first named basis and I want you to be able to walk in and smell that warm cup of coffee brewing.” This is what I am talking about!!! People are walking around day after day like zombies daydreaming about places they would rather be and what else they would prefer to be doing. It always unctions me to seek harder to find the things that I love and am good at. There is no greater feeling than doing what you love to do and it pays for your lifestyle and the ability to continue doing it. I think those who have found and operate within their love, gift and passions, should be extra loud advocates for pushing and challenging the rest of the world to find their place in this world. The world would be a better place if everyone was doing exactly what they were designed and purposed to do in this life.
◆ The writing community is a huge network of authors, creators and so much more, do you ever feel pressured to perform based on what others are doing?
Yes and No. It’s no because most people generally follow and copy trends. I want to be authentic. I want to be able to see what I can actually create or at least see what God might say to and through me untainted. Writers and creatives spend a lot of time by themselves for this same purpose, the desire to create without outside influence. I just read the other day about at least three people fighting in court over the authorship of the poem, “Footprints in the Sand.” Who actually wrote it? Who was influenced to write similarly or is this a coincidence? Can three different people come up with the same idea? Who gets the credit? We live in a world that is big on suing and copying. It’s important to be original or at least in your own thought process. I stay away at times because I dislike the competitive, envious and jealous side of it. People can be down right nasty with their expert opinions about that which they have no expertise. I as well recognize how sensitive I am about my writing. I am simply trying to protect the baby and not allow others to kill the spirit of it all. Tough skin is a warm coat needed in the winter of public criticism. The more I write the more confident and comfortable I become. I think I’m ready for the world but I wear the t-shirt that says,”Go easy on Me!!” One day the shirt will say. “Dear Critics, Have at it!!” I don’t want to write about how you saw it. I want to write about how I see it!!
I say yes, because I want to stay abreast of what’s going on out there. It’s good to know where you are and where you stand in the company of your peers. We all want to know if our gift resonates and is appreciated by others who do the same thing. Respect is important. I think this platform is great because it provides a home for people of like minds to gather, feel accepted and understood. Pressure and the expectation of others can bring out our best at times. People can push you further than you can push yourself at times. This can be a good thing.
◆ Other than writing, tell us what else you love that gets your heart pumping.
Music!! I love all types!!! Writing music, reading, exercise, teaching myself guitar, traveling, preaching and teaching, motivational speaking, exercising, nature, and photography.
◆ Have you ever googled yourself?
Yes!!! I wondered what would come up so I looked.
◆ Writers block is commonly heard of, but have you ever experienced readers block? No, never heard of it. I’ve experienced days and weeks of no writing. For a writer, that can be scary. I’ve never heard of reader’s block. Like writer’s block, a break away from it sometimes can cure it. The worse feeling for me is when I’m reading and the words just all run together. It may help to read something that inspires you. In addition, Resting those eyes is always a plus.
◆ You are given free plane tickets to go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I would love to travel to France or the Islands. I truly enjoy seeing pictures of some of the most amazing places in the world. I can only imagine what those feel like standing there.
◆ If you could go in reverse, what would you tell the young Richard Wilford?
Go for it!! Take piano and guitar lessons. Learn everything you can. Love yourself exactly the way you are. Follow your heart. Turn the volume up on your internal voice. Set disciplines early and work hard and long at what you love to do. Believe in yourself. Ignore naysayers and kill the negative voices in your head.
◆ In your opinion, what truly defines a writer?
Writers write. Writing is magical. Either you have it or you don’t. It’s the ability to have an idea or thought and communicate it through that pen. When it comes out written in a way that the reader can see exactly what you were thinking, that is magical. It’s the ability to take people on bus rides, flights and excursions without ever leaving their home, experience romantic evenings by candlelight, or tasting a delicious slice of cheesecake perfectly prepared and chilled.
Everyone can’t do it nor have a desire to. Writers come from a different place. We see and feel different than others. Our mind is an entire box of Crayola crayons and the world is our canvas.
◆ How many published books do you have and what are you working on next?
I have four books published, and I am currently working on my next book entitled, “Inside the Mind of a Serial Thinker.” It's a compilation of my thoughts on different subjects and situations that I have been through and how I see it. I’m also finishing up an album of music for April 2021.
◆ In closing, is there anything else you would like to say?
I want to thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts. When I read your work, I instantly knew you had the magic. I follow you because you inspire me as well. Keep up the great work!! Let’s work together to free some people!!! Stay Free and Creative.
AJ writes & blogs from her home in Atlanta, GA. You can also find her work as a contributing writer at www.groovmagazine.com
"This is how you do it; you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it's done. It's that easy, and that hard." -Neil Gaiman