Sunday, August 16, 2009

Blog of the Week! ~ What I Learned Today

Everyone has a story that they want to share and all they need is someone to just sit down and listen. There is a man that does that almost everywhere he goes. He is able to create such an instant trust with people he meets that their story unfolds right in front of him. He gives them time. Time to just sit down and know that there is someone out there making a difference with each life he touches in a unique way. He captures those priceless moments of their story caught in time with a pen and paper he carries with him every day.

We know this wonderful quiet spirit in Billy Coffey. He has inspired everyone that visits his blog with such generosity and love that you automatically feel at ease just stopping by. He is like an old friend that you can just pull up a chair on his front porch, pour yourself some sweet tea and talk until the sun goes down.

Billy has this talent. If you stop by and read any of his posts, you are drawn into the stories he shares and the lives of the people he has touched. It’s magical and inspiring. You leave his blog as a better person I believe because you have witnessed something amazing.

I had an opportunity to follow Billy’s blog, “What I Learned Today” almost 3 months ago and he has become such an inspiration to me in his writing. It captures the most simple moments in a persons life and transports you to that moment in time. Since I started my Blog of the Week, I wanted to interview Billy and share his stories and writings with you.

I thought he would be too busy for a request for an interview because as we all thought would happen, Billy is working on his first book being published. I figured he would have too much to do than answer a few questions, but I felt that I just had to ask, and see what the outcome would be. The worst he could say was he was busy, but that was not the answer I received from him.

He said yes, he would be more than happy and if I could send along the questions, he would make time for me. For that Billy, I am forever grateful because I truly believe the best in people and you give that every time. So here is my simple interview with Billy Coffey at What I Learned Today.

Why did you begin blogging?

I had submitted a manuscript to a major publishing house, and the editor who reviewed my book said that while my writing was good, I didn’t have a platform strong enough to be published in today’s market. Nowadays, your level of recognition is just as important as writing a strong book. Her advice to me was to build an audience, and one of her suggestions was to start a blog.

What are the best parts of blogging and what are your least favorite?

The best parts have to be the benefits blogging has for your writing and the people you meet. Having to post something on a regular basis develops a sense of discipline. Writing is much like anything else—the more you do it, the better you get. But the converse is also true. It’s easy to get rusty if you go a while without it.

The people I’ve met through my blog have been my biggest blessing. I never thought developing friendships with people who live so far away and I’ll likely never meet was a possibility, but that’s exactly what’s happened.

As far as least favorite goes, I really think the only thing that bothers me is that I can’t get around to visit as many blogs as I’d like. There are so many good writers out there who deserve a big audience, and I think it’s a shame that they don’t get the readership they deserve.

How do you manage to sit with people and have that natural ability to just talk to them and have that one on one unique perspective that comes across through so many of your blogs?

Honestly, I don’t know. I think there’s a lot to be said for just slowing down in your daily life, to see instead of look. I firmly believe that everything can teach us something, no matter how mundane it may seem. As far as sitting and talking with people, I’ve found that the secret is a simple one—listen, and be nice. People have an innate desire to share their stories with others, and it doesn’t take much prodding to get them to open up. All you have to be willing to do is listen.

What do you see for your future five years from now?

Wow. I have no idea. I’d like to be published by then and have a cabin in the mountains, but I’ve learned to leave things open and keep my expectations to a minimum. It’s more surprising that way.

If you could ask God three questions, what would they be?

Just three?! I have a friend who keeps a file folder on her desk full of questions she’s going to ask God one day, and I’ve followed suit. My folder’s getting pretty thick.
But if I had to narrow them down to three, I’d like to ask Him what exactly he wants me to do with my life, why He allowed my daughter to contract Type-I diabetes, and why He’s said no when so many times all I’ve wanted was a yes.

As you can tell, Billy is an amazing 100%, genuine, warm, soul that truly cares about people and life. If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit Billy’s site, What I Learned Today, please stop by. I have to warn you however, once you pull up that chair on the porch and sit down, you will never want to leave.


Darlene said...

First I want to say THANKS for being loyal to visit my blog! Things have been crazy for me and my life right now is a big roller coaster..full of ups and downs and a fast curve gets thrown in that sometimes I feel is blowing me off the tracks. I hope to get back to blog world and some normalcy to my life. Thanks for the info on Billy and his blog. I will be checking it out. Plese continue to lift my family in prayer! Hope you have a FABULOUS week!!

LisaShaw said...

Hi Kat,

I so enjoyed reading this. I like Billy's writings when I'm able to visit with him. He's very encouraging and I'm not surprised that he's working on his first book. I know it will be awesome.

I pray that all is well with you dear sister and your family.

I'm popping around this afternoon loving on a few blogging friends.

Love you.

Loren said...


Can't wait to go to Billys blog! I look forward to knowing him.

I sooo love that you do this! You my dear friend are such a gift to all of us!

I love you

Billy Coffey said...

Thanks so much for doing this, Kat. Your kind words humble me. Hope you're having a great weekend!

RCUBEs said...

Yup! Mr. Coffey is the one...who invites you to sit on the porch, with iced tea ready and if I remember, he would even barbeque, too! But it is his stories that get you hooked to him. I won't be surprised when his book finally hits the market! I know a lot of readers will be blessed by his honest, funny, thought-provoking posts.

God bless sister Kat! You are a truly awesome encourager...

Joanne Sher said...

Billy is awesome - and you've done him justice here, that's for sure! I am always blessed and changed when I read his stuff.

christy rose said...

Great interview Kat! I love Billy's Blog.

GammySel said...

please accept this friend award.. go to my blog
Copy the image from the left and follow directions..
I appreciate your loyalty to my blog.

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

Great interview...that was so good and thanks for sharing it with us.

Elle Bee said...

Very cool! Can't wait to check out his blog. Thanks Kat!

Anonymous said...

what an amazing blog you've shared with us! thank you so much kat! love, hugs, and prayers to you :)

Sea Glass said...

Thank you for another great read. I've put Billy on my follow list and look forward to reading posts in the future; but, I also anxiously await your blog daily. Blessings

Andrea said...

I am heading over to check Billy's blog out. Thank you!
I quoted your comment on my Sunday post and used it on today's post. My post for today is a prayer request and your comment was perfect. Blessings, andrea

Beth E. said...

Great interview! You did a great job, and asked Billy some questions I've wanted to know. His blog has blessed so many people, including me.