Where Are They Now? Ryan Cardinale, Author and Administrator

May 18, 2018 | Posted by the IEW Blog Team


Our IEW alumni enter the professional world well equipped with solid communication skills, whether their jobs are in journalism, science, law, or somewhere else. Today we feature a former student who has taken his IEW skills and brought them back into the classroom. Meet Ryan Cardinale. Ryan was homeschooled through high school and is now working for his university’s school of education. Enjoy learning more about Ryan and how IEW helped him develop the skills he uses daily, in work and in pleasure.


Tell us a little bit about yourself, Ryan.

I was born and raised in the snowy tundra of Syracuse, New York, where besides winter, the only other season was construction. I'm the eldest of three and, like my siblings, was homeschooled from birth through the end of high school.


What do you do now?

I was blessed to meet my future wife while attending college, and we've been married for almost six years. I currently work for a university's school of education, and when I'm not playing with my hilarious one-year-old daughter, I'm usually working on some sort of writing project. Currently the endeavor is crafting blog posts for my new website: Seeking Stories. The goal of Seeking Stories is to help writers find great stories and make great stories.

Besides blogging, my other snatches of writing time consist of scriptwriting and novel writing. My current work-in-progress is a speculative/sci-fi fiction series set during the time of the Book of Acts.


How old were you when you started with IEW?

Up until approximately the age of twelve, I was one miserable student when it came to written assignments, which nowadays is befuddling for me to reminisce, as even at a young age I positively adored reading and stories as a whole. But the concept of writing was otherworldly to me—a mystery that couldn't be cracked and one that I blamed for making my hand hurt whenever the pencil was ready to crawl across the page. I remember internally groaning when my mom had us youngsters begin some writing program called The Institute for Excellence in Writing. I thought, “Hey, at least the guy on the VHS's was interesting.” Then, everything changed. With each new element that Mr. Pudewa introduced, the puzzle became clearer. My hand didn't hurt as much. I was starting to grasp the 2+2=4 of writing! The day I met Mr. Pudewa in 2008, you'd think I had met a celebrity (who am I kidding, of course I had!).


What was your favorite part of IEW?

I truly don't think I had a singular favorite part of IEW other than the fact that it changed my life. Almost everything I do now is either based on writing (books, screenplays, blogging, etc.) or has a strong writing component within it (the day job). If I simply had to choose a favorite IEW element, it would have to be learning how to spice up my writing with techniques such as quality adjectives and strong verbs.


How did IEW help you in college?

Interestingly, my first year of college (at least from a writing standpoint) was mostly easier than high school, and I attribute that 100% to IEW (and my mom's excellent preparation). IEW taught me how to clearly think through the writing process and break it down so that it could be utilized for any type or style of writing, or even any assignment for that matter. That's one of the many beauties of IEW: the techniques work anywhere. For example, my day job consists of writing and replying to dozens of emails a day (professional internal writing) and creating content for my department's website (professional external writing). My free time is split between fiction writing (creative writing) and trying to write interesting blogs on how-to-write topics (non-fiction writing). If there are any remaining blobs of time, those are often spent guiding others in crafting their own sentences (teaching writing). Ultimately it doesn't matter what type of writing you're working on. The brilliance of IEW is that if the techniques and structures are actively learned, consistently practiced, and subconsciously ingrained, anyone can write anything.


What type of writing do you most enjoy?

While I adore any type of writing that involves an element of storytelling, my absolute favorite part of writing is the bit that no one ever sees: the outlining. There is something incredible about plunging into the what-ifs of storytelling, following strands of various stories to see where they lead, and meeting new characters and discovering who they are. Much of this never ends up on the printed page; these are the secrets the heroes and villains have entrusted to you as the storyteller, and figuring out which bits to dramatize and which to hold close to your heart is not just an incredible feeling, but a mighty responsibility as a writer.


Do you have any plans for the future where writing and communicating will be needed?

My dream is to create quality films which glorify the Lord and help others understand and consider His truth and righteousness. From the scriptwriting to the marketing and everything in between, writing and communication is a vital part of every aspect of filmmaking and one that I'm greatly looking forward to!


What one piece of advice would you give your younger self?

It's become somewhat of a cliche amongst writers, but only because it is true: Don't just write when you feel like it, or when you "get the inspiration." Writing is often hard, and why shouldn't it be? Writing is one of God's greatest art forms and tools, and one can never reach the pinnacle of the writing craft. This is a good thing, as writing should always be something we strive to build upon and improve. If I could tell my younger self one thing about writing, it would be to write every day, even when it's hard, even when there's supposedly nothing to say, even when it seems like all the best sentences were used up yesterday. Just as athletes practice every day so they can win games with grace and excellence, so should all of us writers practice our craft every day so that when we're in the heat of the game, we can execute our God-given craft to the best of our ability for His glory.


We hope you enjoyed learning more about Ryan and his experiences with IEW. Ryan’s years of experience with IEW certainly paid off hugely for him! Ryan, we wish you well with your future writing endeavors and the launch of your blog, Seeking Stories. Thank you for sharing a bit of your life with our readers!

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