Interview with Jacob Eckeberger
I'm a jungle-gym to my kids, a cheesy joke-telling husband, and a new author. We live in Minneapolis, MN and have our hands in a number of creative things, including writing and music. My favorite books are the ones that invite my children and I into a special moment together—bonus if it gets us giggling along the way.
How did you become a writer?
I’ve always felt at home while writing. It’s taken lots of different creative forms throughout the years—poetry filled with teenage angst, love songs, spiritual liturgy, marketing copy and business briefs, and more recently, Children’s books. In January 2021, I promised myself that I’d follow creative energy wherever it led. I began writing stories about our family and stumbled into a couple that actually seemed to resonate beyond us. I kept following that creative energy, writing mostly on my iPhone while I’m rocking my 2-year-old to sleep, on breaks between meetings, and with voice-to-text while I’m driving my 6-year-old to soccer. Like so many other parents squeezing the pursuit of a passion into the fullness of life, I don’t waste any opening in my family schedule to refine my stories and start the next one.
What inspires you to write?
I want to create opportunities for kids to have special moments with their parents. All of us parents have multiple mental checklists going at any given time. If we aren’t intentional, we’ll be so focused on the next task of the day that we’ll miss the chance to connect with our kids. For our family, reading before bed is the final opportunity to have a special moment with our littles each day. So I want to create books that invite us into those moments, and hopefully get us laughing a bit along the way.
Could you share some of your challenges as a writer?
Gosh. Everything! I’m new to this space, so I feel like I’m in a constant state of discovery and learning. But the biggest challenge I’ve found is pushing through the “dip” that Seth Godin so brilliantly describes in his book by the same name. I always feel a bit of euphoria the moment after I create something. It feels perfect just as it is and I’m beaming with pride. Then, inevitably, I begin to see the holes, the issues, the stuff that doesn’t make sense to anyone but me, and I question everything. That’s the dip. When you’re in the dip, you can either quit or you can push through. Choosing to push through is hard work filled with emotional labor, but most of the time, it’s worth it.
Do you have a routine you follow when writing?
I have less of a routine and more of a commitment to write every day. It may be a new story, a new edit to an existing idea, or just a stream of consciousness. I anticipate that most of it will be junk. But I know if I don’t show up to write, I won’t ever get to the good ideas.
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be?
“Stop being your own bully.” I heard that on an episode of “Making It” and it instantly brought me to the edge of tears. I’ve spent so much of my energy getting in my own way and trying to convince myself I’m not good enough. I’d go back in time and redirect that energy. I’d stop bullying myself and start championing myself instead.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
There are so many paths to success as an author. It takes work but you can find your way through it. Write the book, surround yourself with people you trust, and show up every day ready to learn and grow.
What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you?