The Author

Hi. I’m C.J.

I’ve been writing all my life, going back to early childhood in the form of wildly scribbled comic characters on the blank sides of my dad’s discarded office paper. Later in high school a friend encouraged me to write stories about Star Trek, and the moment I realized I wasn’t bound to writing about Kirk and Spock, it was like the blinders came off. I could write anything I wanted! So I put my precious Commodore 64 (don’t laugh!) to work and cranked out pages and pages of what I later learned was called “fan fiction”.

In early college, I attempted my first novel-length project. It was an ambitious story, and I managed to write quite a lot of it before I realized what I was doing—writing because I enjoyed writing, and not really telling much of a coherent story. I attempted to rewrite it from the beginning, but ultimately shelved that project and tried to come up with a new story idea to sink my teeth into. In the meantime, I had started two graphic design businesses and was writing a technology column for a hometown business publication, a gig I kept for four years.

In 2011 I discovered Quora. I’m still hooked. I write there nearly every day, and somehow they think enough of me to call me a Top Writer. I’ve earned this distinction four consecutive years now, and have the prized Quora Fleece to prove it. In 2014 I was asked to be included in their three-volume Best of Quora Anthology, which I consider a supreme honor. I’ve had answers on Quora republished on Slate, The Huffington Post and Mashable.

When not writing, I’m the art director for a major midwestern agricultural cooperative, designing a monthly magazine and managing that cooperative’s many brands and logos. It’s a demanding but highly rewarding job. I’ve learned more about farming and agriculture in the past six years than I ever knew, and put away any shameful illusions I might have had before about the people who produce the world’s food. Farming is one of the noblest and complex endeavors one can pursue, and the people who do it have more heart than I’ve ever seen.

I have a bachelor’s degree in English (emphasis in Creative Writing) with a minor in Philosophy. I also have a masters in Journalism (Strategic Communication).

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