Jeff Walter is the newest member of the Hammock editorial team, joining in March 2020—shortly after we started working from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although he has been part of our team for more than a year, none of us have worked in the office with him! Before finding his home at Hammock, he worked as a copy editor for The Tennessean and its parent company, Gannett, for nearly 20 years. Jeff lives outside of Nashville with his wife, Carol; their dog, Sadie Mae; and their cat, Woodrow.
What is the first thing you do when you sit down at your desk each morning?
Before sitting at my desk, I sit in a recliner next to my desk, where I start my day with coffee and Bible study. Once I move to my desk, I check my work-related email and make my tentative plan for the day, based on whatever writing assignments I might be working on and any meetings that might be scheduled. I say “tentative” because things are always subject to change: a new assignment with a more pressing deadline, for example, or stories submitted by other writers that need editing.
What’s your favorite organizational tool, whether electronic or otherwise?
I would have to say my to-do list, which is a Google calendar. I have kind of a love-hate relationship with many electronic tools, including calendars, as they don’t always function the way I want them to function. But if I don’t put a task on some type of planner, it’s unlikely to get done.
If you could hop on a plane right now, where would you go?
If I were staying in the continental U.S., probably San Diego. Otherwise, since I have a passport that I still haven’t used, probably the British Isles.
What is your favorite book you’ve read in the past year?
Lately I haven’t done nearly as much non-work-related book reading as I’d like. But I did recently finish my friend and musical collaborator Dave Isaac’s The Perpetual Beginner: A Musician’s Path to Lifelong Learning, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and I am still working through Rumours of Glory, an autobiography by Canadian singer-songwriter-guitarist Bruce Cockburn. And I read my Bible every morning.
If time travel existed, where would you be heading?
I’m not sure I’m ready for the future just yet, so I’d love to go back and experience the Nashville of the late 1960s and early ’70s.
How do you spend your time when you’re not working?
Playing, writing and listening to music; reading; watching sports (especially Kentucky Wildcats basketball and football and the Titans); barbecuing; spending time with family; church activities; volunteering.
What new skill (or superpower) would you most like to develop?
I’m still struggling with patience, so that would be a good place to start.
If you wrote your memoir, what would be the title?
Work in Progress might be a good title, as it would describe both the memoir and its author!