Tag Archives: Support

Lessons from an Author

The fact that I can title this blog “Lessons from an Author” is both amazing and surreal.  You see, my first book was just published so I guess I can officially say that I am an author.  (Buy it here!) Holding the book in my hands led me to reflect on the last 18 months and the journey that my co-author, Sondra Ashmore, and I have been on.  For what they are worth, here are the lessons that I have learned along the way.cover

Persistence Required

When writing a book, or doing any meaningful and challenging undertaking, you must have persistence.  This is obvious, I know, but let me share the backstory.  There were two chapter in our Agile textbook that were particularly difficult – the chapter on roles and the one on culture.  Not that we didn’t have plenty of content, that was never the problem.  It was trying to figure out a way to convey the information in a logical and cohesive fashion.  Each chapter was re-written nearly from scratch three times.  By the time you are writing a chapter for the third time, it is easy to get frustrated, depressed, aggravated, annoyed (can you tell that the memories are still fresh??) and a whole host of other emotions.  This is when you need someone to pull you back to the surface.  In my case, I was lucky to have Sondra.  In my time of doubt, Sondra reminded me that this is the time and circumstances that separates published authors from those with unpublished work sitting in a drawer.  It is persistence.  Pure and simple.  There are lots of great writers out there.  But persistence is the distinguishing trait for true authors.

“Stay-at-Home Dad” – Making it work

We have some friends who are contemplating the husband/father quitting work to be a stay-at-home dad and care for the kids.  My husband and I have had this arrangement since 2008 and it has been wonderful for our family.  Our children are happier, our marriage is stronger and we enjoy each other much more than we could when we were a two income family with loads of stress and no free time.

IronmanBut this arrangement isn’t for everyone and if the benefits don’t outweigh the costs (loss of a second income is a big deal!) then it can cause far greater problems.  Why does our situation work so well for us?  We think it boils down to four key points.

1. His job is to support me – those are his words, not mine.  If that means cancelling a poker game because I have to go out of town – no problem.  If I have to miss family dinner because an out of town exec wants an evening meeting – no problem.  If he has two sick, grumpy kids crying for their mom, he handles it.  The complete ownership on his part creates a guilt-free environment for me so I can focus on maximizing my opportunities and, hopefully, our income.