Interview with Trent from The Simple Dollar

I have to admit I’m always a little amazed how when I ask a writer of big blog for an interview that they often say yes.  So continuing with this trend, I got a hold of Trent from The Simple Dollar (TSD) to answer a few questions.

Tim:  Your blog recently hit the point where you could consider writing full time (or going Problogger). It seems to me that it is a very personal decision.  How do you handle debating your decision in the public eye with the feedback from hundreds of people?

Trent: It’s made the decision easier.  Having readers offer their own perspectives on the choice has given my wife and I a lot of food for thought on our decision.  We’ve literally used the comments as part of the discussion in our home.

Tim:  Interesting I would not have guessed that your readers have been so helpful in the process.  Now do you feel you can offer more to your audience from your own experience with debt?

Trent: The reason TSD has been successful to this point is that I write about the issues that a lot of people my age are facing and grappling with – the financial realities of getting married, having children, defining the career, and still having time for personal enjoyment of life.  Often, that results in debt.  I try to cover this entire balancing act.

Tim:  It really is a tricky balancing act.  So what is the most important thing you want people to take away from your blog?

Trent: You’re not alone, and it can get better.  Personal debt can be overwhelming and personally isolating.

Tim:  It is an interesting statement given the connected nature of blogs.  Now you have been noted as a very productive blogger when producing posts. Yet you recently reduced your posting frequency in order to balance your own life.  How has this change effected your personal life and the blog?

Trent: I reduced my frequency to focus on other projects a bit.  It hasn’t noticeably lowered my traffic or my feed readership.

Tim: Good to hear.  So what are some of your other writing projects beyond TSD?

Trent: Right now, I’m working out the details of a cooking blog, shopping a book package with an agent, and also fleshing out a special Simple Dollar related project that should be announced in a month or two.

Tim:  Well I’ve got something to look forward to on your blog.  Now in closing what is your idea of your retirement?

Trent: To me, the traditional retirement means “waiting to die.”  I never want to do that.  My goal is to gain enough financial independence so that what I do each day doesn’t have to be for the purpose of earning money if I don’t want it to be.  I want to be able to just walk away and try something new when I want to.

Tim:  That is perhaps one of the better descriptions of retirement I have every hear.  I wish you the best Trent and thank you for taking the time to talk to me.  So everyone that ends our current series of blogger interviews.  In the new year, we will be shifting gears and turning the interview series into a regular feature on this blog.  The exact frequency of interview will depend a bit on the interest from everyone and suggestions on who we should interview next.

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