Dear readers, we bring you a very Smart Woman Online this sunny, springy Thursday. Jane is on a business jaunt...not far from home, but surrounded by women business owners-- which we will tell you all about next week. For today, we present Sheri' McConnell, the founder of the National Association of Women Writers, and the mother of 3! A busy lady, a smart lady, and one savvy writer. Sheri' is an Infomarketing consultant--specializing in women. We encourage you to visit her website and check out her books, The Woman's Book of Powerful
Quotations, Over 100 FAQs Women Asked About Writing, Women on Writing--From Inspiration to Publication and Feminine Writes: Women, Wisdom & Writing.
Lip-sticking: As one writer to another, give our readers some insight into the process YOU use to write. We often hear people say they’re thinking of writing a book and when pressed to tell why they’re only ‘thinking’ they say, “I’m not sure how to go about it.”
Sheri': I have found that accountability is the key to my production. Plans are also crucial to my getting large projects completed on time. Planning helps me alleviate the overwhelmed feeling that we all experience. I personally do not get a lot of writing done if I wait for the muse.
I also find that if you “have to” make money at something, you find a way to accomplish that goal one way or another. NAWW has created a coaching program for nonfiction book writers that offers this accountability plus a manual that walks them through the book proposal process. If anyone is interested, just email us at [email protected] and we will send you a flyer about it.
Lip-sticking: Tell our readers about the publications you offer through membership in NAWW. We have several and refer to them all the time.
Sheri': The NAWW creates a new printed book for its members every year. Then after they go out of print, they are available in our eBook Library. You can read more about each of the books here.
We create each book based on the feedback during the year that we receive through e-mail and our continuous Web site survey.
We also publish the weekly online newsletter that goes to over 11,000 women every week and we have a quarterly online member publication called THE NAWW WRITER'S GUIDE too.
Lip-sticking: Do you think women have any advantages or disadvantages as writers? Is our innate ‘intuition’ a help to us, or can it lead us astray when we’re composing a story?
Sheri': All women have an intuitive feminine power. Most of time the disadvantage of being a women lies in our ability to harness our intuitiveness because of the lack of time. Women are the community and school volunteers and they are usually the main caregivers in their families too. I know that struggle personally--I have three girls under 10! I have learned how to prioritize, say no, and ask for help.
Lip-sticking: Tell us a little bit about YOU—when did you first realize that writing was what you wanted to do for a career? Is it your career?? What kinds of things do you write and what inspires you to write—people, books you’ve read, or other writers?
Sheri': I have always loved books, research, and writing. My favorite subject was English and I made perfect grades in it often. I also love helping people and being an activist. My Bachelors is in Social Work and my Masters in Organization Management provided a wonderful mix of skills and knowledge that I use every single day.
When I see something that is wrong, I get a burning feeling in my stomach until I express myself in some way (usually by writing) to try to change it. So I am inspired by strong, energetic, funny people! I write on self-help and business topics mostly because they help me follow through on my mission of helping women and girls "hold their space". Women can't hold their space if they can't feed themselves or their children.
Lip-sticking: When did you start the NAWW? How many members do you have?
Sheri': I founded the NAWW in 2001. Our weekly eZine goes to over 11,000 women writers and our membership is around 2,700 now.
Lip-sticking: We would like to know more about your blog. As a communication tool, we think blogging surpasses even the telephone. Since starting your blog,
have you noticed an increase in traffic to your website? Do you have guidelines or rules about posting?
Sheri': We think so too! Ya know, it is a really efficient way for us to manage all the communication coming into NAWW. Because it is so easy to update,
we can get information back out to our membership quickly. All NAWW members can post to our blog by sending the post to [email protected]
Lip-sticking: How has the Internet changed writing and reading, in your opinion? Do you think e-books will ever replace real books?
Sheri': No, I do not think eBooks will ever replace printed books. I sure am glad to have the technology available though. We offer so much to our members because we can take advantage of this low cost method of delivery. I think eProducts in general are the perfect tools for marketing. In fact, the NAWW just started a new division called the InfoMarket Network where we teach individuals how to market in the Information Age.
Lip-sticking: We think writing requires discipline…do you agree? The standard advice is: write something every day. But, what if you have writer’s block??? How do YOU overcome that?
Sheri': This goes back to my answer in number one. I create accountability through deadlines and relationships so that I do not have time for Writer’s Block.
I found that this is the only way I would make “writing” a priority. This stresses women out sometimes—me included—but it works!
Lip-sticking: Other than books, what kinds of things do you buy online? Do you have a favorite online shopping portal (other than Amazon, please!)
If you’re an online shopper, as most of Jane’s interviewees are—tell us why you shop online, or—if you prefer shopping offline—tell us why you prefer that.
Make sure to tell us a secret—such as: what was your last guilty pleasure bought online…and when?
Sheri': I do ALL my shopping online. Personal and professional. I don’t mind shipping charges because of the amount of time I save. There is no way I would be able to run multiple businesses and raise three kids without the Internet (and my husband too!). I love the fact that I click a few times and UPS is doing the legwork for me while I move onto the next task on my list. :) Costco, Office Depot and yes, Amazon (!) are the places I shop at most often.
Once again, dear readers, we have a delightful lady who not only loves shopping online, but credits her husband with helping her be the successful Mom and wife and businesswoman she is. We can only say...
What's not to like about that?