Rob Young is a self help blogger. Here is a link to his website:
Q: What inspired you to start your blog?
A: Basically, I wanted to share what I’ve learned with other people. I’ve gone through quite a number of trials and tribulations, as you can read in my blog. My family went broke, my parents died when I was young…I have had a lot of challenges to overcome. There were a lot of dark days but these unfortunate experiences led me to develope a deep spirituality which helped me bounce back. I’ve discovered that even the worst of times can be a good learning experience and I hope my experience and insights can help other people who are feeling down and feeling hopeless. That’s why I started Native American Buddha.
Q: What is the most common misconception about Buddhism?
A: Many people think that Buddhism is a religion and that Buddha is the God of that religion. This is all false. Buddhism is a spiritual practice, designed for self improvement and enlightenment. It’s meant to bring you closer to yourself rather than to God. And Buddha is not a God. He was the founder of the religion and is still a revered figure, but Buddhists don’t think of him the way Christians think of Jesus. Buddha was just a man. A great teacher but very human.
Q: What is the most common misconception about Native Americans?
A: There are so many! The Hollywood stereotype that has been perpetuated over the last 100 years still affects the way people think of the First Americans. We think of Indians as stoic, red-skinned people with feathered headdresses, living in teepees. That’s a Hollywood myth. Indians aren’t any more grim or stoic than anyone else and they do not have ‘Red Skin’. You really can’t tell their pigmentation from most Europeans. Most Indians didn’t live in Teepees, even in the old days and they certainly don’t today. And the feathered head dresses are only ceremonial, not daily wear.
Q: What makes a blog interesting to read?
A: To me, an interesting blog has a sense of familiarity. You should read it and say “I totally get that!” If it’s a personal story, you should feel a sympathetic bond with the writer and relate to the writer’s problems. If it’s a hobby blog, you should share the love of the topic. A self-help hub should draw the reader in by discussing a problem that the reader and writer have both experienced and suggesting ways to solve those problems. A good blog should create a bond between the writer and reader.
Q: What is the best way you’ve found to get readers to your blog?
A: Probably the best way is to use links to other places like Facebook and my Hub Pages articles.
Q: Do you do any other kinds of writing?
A: I do a whole variety of writing. I just finished the script to a TV pilot about drug addiction and recovery. It’s been filmed and is being edited. I’ve written a biographical film screenplay about the Marx Brothers, (Which I unfortunately haven’t sold yet) and I have over 150,000 views to my series of articles on Hub Pages. I’ve written film reviews for JustPressPlay.net, published some short stories, authored a play, wrote a graphic novel and I’ve ghost-written seven books.
Q: What sorts of jobs have you had and how do they influence your writing?
A: I’ve done everything. I’ve been an advertising man, a dog groomer, a security guard, a convenience store manager, a janitor, an inventory clerk, a cashier and now I’m a freelance writer. It’s all a learning experience to me. I’ve worked with rich advertising Mad Men and dirt-poor grocery store employees. All these experiences have given me a good view of human nature in every strata of society. It’s a big help in writing to have a good insight into human nature.
Q: What are some blogs that you follow?
A: Most of the blogs I read are written by people I know. However, I like to read ‘One City: A Buddhist Blog for Everyone’ which is done by the people at the Interdependence Project at Belief-net. Also, as film buff, I enjoy readng Roger Ebert’s online journal.
Q: What made you interested in Native American spirituality?
A: When I was going through my toughest period after the death of my parents, I experimented with a whole lot of different religions, philosophies and practices. The two that really stuck with me were Buddhism and Native American spiritualism. Something about the way they held onto their core beliefs through adversity resonated with me at the time. They still do. I visited the Shinnecock Indian reservation in Suffolk County and attended some of the Native American festivals they have around NY city. I became overcome with awe at their spiritual strength.
Q: What is the best book you have read about the Native America experience?
A: There are a lot of good books but the best one is still the classic Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West by Dee Brown. That book really had an impact on me when I first read it. Powerful!
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)