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This blog was featured on 06/19/2018
Nancy Chadwick on Routine, Making Time for Marketing & Hearing Your Voice
Contributor
Written by
She Writes
June 2018
Contributor
Written by
She Writes
June 2018

From journalism, to banking and back to writing, Nancy Chadwick has had an interesting career trajectory. With her memoir, Under the Birch Tree, available now, she is sharing some of her journey and her wisdom with She Writes. 

SW: Share your writing routine.

NC: My writing routine is disciplined where my goal is to stay balanced.

First thing in the morning after a round of head-clearing yoga, a run or walk and when I'm fresh, I review all I wrote the day before - essays and pending blog posts.  Usually a new writing topic comes to mind at that time so I make sure to jot down notes to not forget. Then on to social media where I give myself one hour to review  FB, IG, LinkedIn and to also dip into Amazon and GR.  Whatever I can get done - posting news, sharing others' posts, tweaking my author pages, my website - I do in one hour. The afternoon is reserved for writing only. I generally write for three to four hours in the afternoon, taking a couple fifteen or twenty minute breaks to do something manual - pulling weeds, making bread dough, cleaning . . . something. It gets my focus away from writing and on something entirely different while fulfilling the need for my hands to stay busy. 

SW: Describe your writing style in three words.

NC: My writing style is exploratory, sensory, and emotional.

SW: What is the first thing you can remember writing?

NC: The first thing I remember is a poem I wrote when I was maybe twelve or thirteen. I included "To A Tree" in the beginning of my memoir as there was always something about trees. I remember writing about how they were a symbol to me about life, God, and my place in this world.

SW: When did you start to feel like a writer?

NC: I started to feel like a writer when my mother gave me my first book - a pink journal - when I was fifteen. When I went back to read my journals in preparing to write my memoir, I heard my developing voice becoming stronger with each new journal book. I felt like a writer when I heard my voice. 

SW: Was there something about the publishing experience that surprised you?

NC: What surprised me about my publishing experience was how it influenced my inner dialogue and how I found myself measuring and comparing myself to other writers. I had a preconceived notion that publishing was something I needed to merge alongside, to keep up with other published authors. I didn't understand that I just needed to keep focused on publishing, for me, and to stay in my own lane. 

SW: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

NC: I'd tell writers Never. Stop. Writing. Write something everyday.

Keep a journal, too. I know sometimes journal-keeping gets a bad rap, but what is written on those journal pages is a treasure-trove of themes and stories to draw from. It's all about storytelling and everyone has them. It's an author's job to tell them.

SW: What do you do to help develop your craft?

NC: I listen and read everything I can get my hands on about memoir and the personal essay - blogs, books, podcasts. But in the end, it's about my writing and the more I write, the more I can develop my craft.

SW: What methods are you using to market your book?

I use people! Not in THAT way, but I use people to connect. There's nothing like talking with others, face to face, to have others experience you as a person and as an author. Word of mouth is a powerful thing and if I can physically engage with others, be it sitting next to someone on a bus, sitting in front of a book club group, or chatting with fellow yoga students after class, engaging with others is a great marketing tool. Connecting through engagement on social media is another tool in support of marketing my book, but does not necessarily have equal importance as does physical interaction with people. 

I also focus on my book's audience. Because I write about themes of finding a good place to be, home and belonging, I seek those who might not be in a good place, not at home or feel as if they belong. For example, this could imply those who are not originally from this country, but who have left the place they called home in search of a place to belong.

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