How My Crappy First Draft Led to an Interview with President Obama (Video)

A recap of the first-ever, virtual Google+ Hangout from the White House on January 30, 2012.

Christine Wolf
22 min readOct 4, 2022


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Here’s a recap of the first-ever, virtual Google+ Hangout from the White House on January 30, 2012. I was lucky enough to have been selected to participate, and the way it all happened still amazes me…

Scroll waaaaay down to see the entire Hangout — as well as specific video clips and a promotional ad

We all have to start somewhere, and that “somewhere” is often the bottom. I know, because that’s exactly where I began.

The bottom SUCKS because it’s easy to look around and think, “So many others have more experience…more followers…more confidence…more bylines…more awards…more money…more connections…more insight.”

They might, and if they do, good for them. They started at the bottom, too, and they didn’t give up.

The bottom also SUCKS because moving away from it can feel like an uphill grind that leads to frighteningly uncertain destinations.

For example, about 10 years ago, around 2010 or 2011, I was working on the first draft of my first book, a middle-grade novel, thinking, “If I even get to the end of this beast, I still have no idea how to find an agent or an editor or a publisher.”

I could have (and seriously considered) throwing in the towel, especially when non-writers asked, “Are you STILL working on that book?” or “When are you gonna get published?” or “Are you still writing for a hobby?” or “When you’re done writing your book, do you think you’ll go back to your real job?”

I’d make matters even worse by fantasizing about getting interviewed by Oprah (Dear God, what was I thinking) or winning a Newberry Award for best children’s writing (seriously?) — only to blink hard and ask myself what the hell planet I actually thought I was on.



Christine Wolf

Memoir Coach. Author. Journalist. Marathoner. Lover of emotions, words & spicy nachos. Grateful you’re here. Twitter/Insta @tinywolf1.