Happy Friday, CAN Family!
From the freezy flatlands of Illinois, I come bearing a fascinating tale from bestselling author, award-winning journalist, media professional, speaker and teacher Ginny McCabe. While the retired school superintendent in me bristled just a bit when I read about the award-winning journalist part—making her a natural nemesis in my past life—I’m thrilled to say she’s the real deal and the kind of writer you’d love to learn from. So put down your fears, pick up your beverage of choice, and enjoy the read!
Thank you for joining us, Ginny! Let’s start with what drives you from the inside out. What are your passions?
I love writing and I enjoy being able to share stories with others through writing. Writing has provided a platform for me to tell all kinds of stories. I have had the chance to meet and talk to people from all walks of life. I’ve been able to learn so much, and I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to write thousands and thousands of stories over the course of my career. Writing has also taken me to many places I probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity to experience if I wasn’t an author and a writer. I spend a lot of time writing, researching and interviewing. I love every aspect of writing. Encouraging and inspiring others about writing, publishing, media, and being an author is also a top priority for me through avenues like speaking and teaching. A few of my hobbies when I’m not writing include photography, live music and theater, movies and shopping.
Sounds fabulous! Where are some of the places your writing has taken you?
Based on my own experience, it’s taken years to become an award-winning journalist, bestselling author and writer. I’ve worked extremely hard and been very persistent. I continue to set goals for myself and I have always believed in my dreams. My faith has also been a tremendous, driving factor. I love reflecting back on all the different aspects of my writing life and spiritual journey. God has been at work every step of the way, through all of my experiences, and He has allowed me to use my gifts and talents for His glory. I pray that He continues to guide my steps and open doors for me. This past semester, I taught Newspaper and Introduction to Communications classes to undergraduate students at Cincinnati Christian University. I loved being able to teach young writers new skills, and it also gave me a chance to share my own experiences about writing. Other recent career highlights I’ve been excited about include being named “Freelancer of the Year” in 2018 for my work with Reuters, and I was selected as a “Kiplinger Fellow” in 2019. The Kiplinger program took me to Ohio University for a week to learn more about digital journalism. I spent time with a group of 22 elite writers from all over the globe. In 2019, I also had work published in publications such as O, The Oprah Magazine, Forbes and Entrepreneur. When it comes to my expertise as an author, I specialize in non-fiction, and I have written or collaborated on nine books, including the bestselling Secrets Young Women Keep with Dr. Jill Hubbard from Thomas Nelson/Harper Collins and Rich Chick with Michelle Matson, which shares basic financial principles for women. As far as future book ideas, I would enjoy exploring topics related to news and culture, current events and biographies, to name a few. I also have a passion for youth culture and a number of topics that appeal to women. I have quite a diverse background as far as the writing projects that I’ve been a part of and I am thankful for every opportunity.
Now I’m intimidated…that’s quite a writing resume, Ginny! Let’s redirect and talk about what you do when you are not writing. I know you are a faithful servant and volunteer your time to serve our CAN members in your role as assistant treasurer. Where else do you volunteer your spare time—giving you a more rounded life?
I volunteer with the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ). I currently serve as the president of the Cincinnati Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. I am also involved with SPJ on a national level as the membership chair of the Freelance Community and I am part of the Membership Committee. I also volunteer as a media coordinator for the National Religious Broadcasters annual convention and I serve as the assistant treasurer of CAN. I love and appreciate all of these wonderful organizations and I am honored to be involved with each one.
Whew! Now I need a nap! Thank you for sharing a bit more about you with our readers today, Ginny. Now let’s dig a little deeper into your writing life. What would you like our readers to know about you or your writing life?
I have been surrounded by family and friends that love me unconditionally. I have a handful of mentors that have poured into my life and offered solid advice. I’ve had boots on the ground and I have not been afraid to take off running. From the deadlines, expectations, and sheer volume of work, it’s been adventurous and crazy at times. It’s taught me so much through each and every experience. My passion continues to fuel the creativity and further the ways that I’m able to tell people’s stories. I also see my writing abilities as a way to give back or to tell someone else’s story that might otherwise go unheard. I think the biggest thing I’d want to share about being a writer is God knows the desires of your heart and when you seek Him first, He will give you the desires of your heart in ways you didn’t even think were possible. He takes you to places to accomplish things, so that people can see His glory shine through you. And, He often uses everyday people. This is true in many areas of our lives, including our ministry, home-life, relationships and careers. Also, I would say that everyone’s writing path may not follow the same formula with the same rules. Everyone will achieve success, or surpass the finish line in their own way, in God’s time. God’s plan is always bigger than our greatest successes or failures. One piece of advice I’d offer others is to seek God, His direction for your life, keep your pace and stay focused.
Do you have a funny story relating to your writing or an event?
I have so many fun and neat stories. I’ve laughed and cried. I feel like I could put together a book about my experiences alone – from the people you meet to the places you go and what you get to do. Funny and unusual things happen all the time. I’ve covered some high-profile people and stories that have taken me and my writing experiences to all-new levels. There can be a lot of pressure and demands that come with that. All the experience in the world can’t prepare you for some of the things that might happen. That’s when you rely on the Lord, your intuition, and your best instincts as a writer and as a person. Sometimes, you just have to go with where a story or circumstance takes you, and do your best.
Thank you for sharing a bit more about you with our readers today, Ginny. Before we go, I’d love to hear what’s surprised you most as a writer.
The biggest thing that always surprises me and makes me happy is that people want their stories to be told and they hope their experiences will be heard. Often, being a great writer means being a good listener, an interpreter, and an amazing storyteller. If you would like to connect further, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or online at @ginnymccabe on Twitter and at www.ginnymccabe.com.
Ginny McCabe is a bestselling author, an award-winning journalist, media professional, speaker and teacher. Her work may be seen in publications like Journal-News, Reuters and O, The Oprah Magazine. Her books have been published by Thomas Nelson/Harper Collins and Standard Publishing. McCabe has spent decades covering topics like news, entertainment, real estate, business and faith-inspired themes. McCabe was named as a Kiplinger Fellow in 2019. She serves as president of the Greater Cincinnati Society of Professional Journalists, acts as the membership chair of SPJ’s Freelance Community and was named “Best Freelance Writer” in 2018. Ginny is also a member of Christian Authors Network and the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. Her book with Dr. Jill Hubbard, Secrets Young Women Keep, was honored as an ECPA Silver Medallion winner and has been featured on the Young Adult Bestseller Lists. Connect with Ginny at www.ginnymccabe.com and on Twitter @ginnymccabe.