Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Success, Digital Stress and Answering Life's Questions: An Interveiw with Jennifer Louden

Contributed by: Susan Gallacher-Turner

I had a wonderful opportunity to interview Jennifer Louden when she visited Portland last month to teach a writing retreat, Walk into Fire, with Susan Piver and Patti Digh at the Kennedy School. Even after a long day inspiring writers, Jennifer still had energy to talk to me about her difficult start as a writer, her ultimate success and her newest challenge balancing the internet, her life, writing and a new venture.

Best selling author and Comfort Queen, Jennifer Louden, has written a series of self help books starting in 1992 with The Woman’s Comfort Book, The Couple’s Comfort Book, The Pregnant Women’s Comfort Book, and Comfort Secrets for Busy Women, followed by The Woman’s Retreat Book, The Life Organizer Book and companion CD. Even though she’d published successful books, Jennifer still has problems seeing herself as a real writer. That inner critic was saying to her, “Well yes, you wrote a book and it sold hundreds of thousands of copies, but it’s a ‘self help’ book. It’s not a ‘real’ book. It’s not literature.”

Every book was a ‘self-help’ book for Jennifer. By looking for the answers to questions in her own life; Jennifer helped herself and many other people, too.

“I think that’s why so many of us write anything or create anything because we have a question. And somehow we are directed or constructed, or both, in a way that we don’t just do it for ourselves, said Jennifer.” “There’s something about the conversation that is huge for me. That’s what I love about the internet, and my blog, creating products and doing teleconferences, retreat calls or both, there’s feedback back and forth. And that sparks more learning and questions for me and then I get interested in answering questions for other people, too. But it’s got to be that sweet spot between the two.”

Hear the entire interview with Jennifer Louden as she talks about how she answers the questions of balance, success, digital stress and saving the world in the podcast on Voices of Living Creatively website. Or you can read a text version on my blog at Sculpting A Life. Read more!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

London Calling: A Gift of Hope From Norway

Today, like many other Londoners, I gravitated towards Trafalgar Square, drawn by the annual magic of the Norway Spruce, a tree sent with love and gratitude from the people of Oslo to the people of London, every year. I first saw the the tree as a tot, with my Mother and Father. The consistency and persistence of this gift, sent every year since 1947, has a charm and magic I can't explain. It's the kind of persistency we need as writers. It says, 'We don't mind whether you're in fashion, or whether the world hates you. We don't mind that you're young, and beautiful, or that you grew old and your face is wrinkled, your hair hair silver. We just remember you because you're you. And if we're writers, we write it down.' Love You, Norway. Read more!