Interview with Jenny Polk
This week it was my pleasure to chat with a new friend whom I met through a mutual friend. Jenny and I became friends through Facebook and the online community. We were able to talk about creativity and whether or not you could/should call yourself a “storyteller”. It was such an interesting conversation! I hope you will enjoy it! Feel free to *listen* on Storyteller Station Podcast OR keep reading for all the fun:
Jenny: Maybe you could help me address this with your questions [today]...I don’t think of myself as a storyteller. I don’t create unique, creative stories, I retell things that have already happened or write my opinion about things…
Me: The way that you use your personal stories in your articles, it’s like, you are telling stories. You’re a creator: bringing forth something from nothing.
When we share our story with people we bring them along with us. It’s powerful.
Jenny: It is, I agree with you!
Me: So...Jennifer Polk. Jen, Jenny, Jennifer, what do you prefer to be called? What’s your favorite?
Jenny: Most people call me Jenny unless you’re my mother and your angry at me so…
Me: I’ll stick with Jenny then!
Jenny: Thank you, I appreciate that!
Me: You are not in trouble with me, girl!
Jenny: Oh good-I don’t want to make you mad!
Me: Well, thank you so much for agreeing to come on the show and share you personal stories and experiences with creation! I first found out about you through someone I go to church with and have enjoyed learning more about you through Facebook posts but also to read some of the articles you’ve written as well!
Jenny: Well, thank you! I’m humbled by that. I consider myself an accidental writer. Whenever I hear somebody say those type of things that you are saying is kind of takes me aback. I get surprised by that. But thank you so much, I appreciate that.
Me: You’re welcome! So I just want to ask you a little bit about your writing journey. Which is interesting since you are kind of surprised by the creator/writer compliment. Perhaps you don’t even consider yourself an “author” even? So then how did you “accidentally” end up writing articles and such?
Jenny: I have a lot of strongly held opinions and it seems that is the genesis for a lot of them. But I have a rich personal history that God has given me and as a child I loved books and I loved words and I had this great relationship with my dad where we had these really deep, colorful discussions. The seeds were probably bred in childhood but then I grew and became an engineer and a business owner. As we all know, engineers and business owners do not write so I started putting stories out on Facebook and some opinions and somebody noticed some of them and published me. That’s how we are here today.
Me: Wow! So now, do you write on a regular basis? You write for American Greatness, online magazine, correct?
Jenny: Yes, and a couple other little ones here and there. I write but very irrationally. My business life is a very busy one, I work a lot of hours during the week. It seems I’m still waiting for lightning to strike and that’s when I can write. In between those times the well sort of runs dry. I haven’t figured out how authors who write regularly put a lot of their volume out in those sorts of increments because I just wait for lightning to strike.
Me: Right. And with the business you own being SO busy I would imagine it’s difficult to find the time even if you wanted to write every day or every other day it’s probably difficult to find that time.
Jenny: It really is! My days typically start between 4-5 in the morning and I hit the ground running and fall into bed exhausted at 9 o’clock at night and don’t really know what happened in the in between hours. So…
Me: So it’s like finding the space for that creative spark is a rarity in your life.
Jenny: It is! But it’s like one of those sweet cathartic moments when it does happen. The world kind of gets shut out and you find yourself rejuvenated in telling one of these stories as I’m sure you know! You’re a wonderful writer! I’m sure you know what that’s like-it restores part of the inner part of me when I can do that.
Me: Yes! So then, it’s restorative to you personally but do you have a mission in creating that work and sharing those stories with others?
Jenny: Sometimes I do. Sometimes I want to make a religious point or a political point. I’m a Christian and one thing that I have found in the Christian community is sometimes we are not honest enough with one another about our weaknesses and our failings and our frustrations. So I would say that part of my mission is to let people know that we are all real, we are all struggling, we are all kind of working together at this thing called life that God has put in front of us. And it seems like we can bolster one another if we’re honest and we don’t pretend like everything is okay in our world.
Me: That’s great! So like, honesty, honesty resulting in true caring.
Jenny: Yes! That’s sounds more high-flouting than I intended it but…
Me: it’s beautiful though!