J.A. Moad II

J.A. Moad II

Pilot/Writer/Professor


Delta Airlines/War, Literature & the Arts

Milestones

Milestones

My road in life has taken me all over.
I was awarded a scholarship to attend the Air Force Academy.
I served in the Air Force either on active duty or in the reserves for a combined 22 years.
Over that time, I flew C-130s on over 100 combat sorties.
I was selected to teach English at the Air Force Academy.
After leaving the military, I decided to go back to school to get my MA and MFA in creative writing.
I started writing and editing for War, Literature & the Art, and joined the Warrior Writers program.
I also fly for Delta Airlines.
I recently wrote a play about the realities of conflict—I'm performing it in Minneapolis this fall.
Keep following my journey
Education

Education

highschool
High School
undergrad
Bachelor
English Language and Literature, General
United States Air Force Academy
graduate
Graduate
Creative Writing
Augsburg College
graduate
Graduate
English Language and Literature, General
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Career

Career

Pilot/Writer/Professor

I translate the stories that come through me and give expression to those stories on the page.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Writing
Writing
Education
Education
Being Creative
Being Creative

Day to Day

If I'm not flying, I get up, have a cup of coffee, eat breakfast, then go upstairs to my attic office, and write for four hours. Then I'll eat lunch, walk the dog, get some exercise, then spend time with my family—my wife and kids. We usually cap off the day by having dinner outside on the front porch. If I'm flying, I try to find a pocket of time on my layovers to write and learn what I can on the road from the people and places I'm fortunate enough to experience.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

In terms of flying, it's fairly straightforward because you need to build up the flight time and experience to get hired. It takes time and a commitment. But for writing, the two most important things you need are discipline and imagination. It's one thing to say you're going to write, or to have the ideas, but the key is to find the discipline to actually sit down and put the hard hours into writing. I always tell my kids, if you can combine those two skills, you'll go pretty far in life.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

If you want to write, you have to study writing, read a lot, and live life. No one really wants to hear what a 21-year-old has to say, so go get some life experiences, and then write about those.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:

undergrad
Bachelor
English Language and Literature, General
graduate
Graduate
Creative Writing
graduate
Graduate
English Language and Literature, General
Hurdles

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Peers:

"You can't be a writer."

I had a friend who was himself a failed writer and told me that I'd never be a writer either. I also had an Air Force officer tell me that I was making a mistake by choosing to go teach English at the Air Force Academy. I got through it by recognizing that these two people lacked imagination, and I decided that I would never let anyone else's lack of imagination impact mine.