Real Stories about Real People to Entertain, Inspire and Challenge You.
Get inspired to step out of your box and into a world full of potential. From the corporate world, to the arts, to working with the disenfranchised – the message is clear. There is no such thing as a normal way to live your life and no one right solution to any problem. Selected from amongst over 100 interviews, the stories shared here open a window on the journeys of seven women and three men who have charted their own path, including Ruthie Davis – top U.S. luxury shoe designer and the winner of the 2014 AAFA Footwear Designer of the Year award – and Geir Ness whose perfume is a staple in Nordstrom, Disney World and on Disney Cruise Lines. Enjoy a glimpse behind the scenes into the unique ways these individuals chose to deal with life’s challenges and how they define success in their careers.
Marilyn R. Wilson is a freelance writer and editor with a passion for interviewing. It all began in 2006 when the she answered a Craigslist ad from a NY magazine asking for story submissions. Two were accepted. The first live interview was life changing and Wilson has never looked back. With over 150 interviews now behind her, the love of interviewing is still as strong as ever. Whether through a random encounter on the New York subway or via a “one-on-one” interview with an internationally recognized artist, the goal is the same—to share the unique journeys of inspiring individuals.
In 2007, this goal led the author to co-launch a successful, innovative magazine focused on professionals working in the fashion industry, paired with photography and illustrations by local artists. Now on staff at Raine Magazine (NY/Miami/LA), as well as freelancing for other publications, Wilson has taken her passion to a new audience with the release of her first book.
Guest Article for My Devotional Thoughts –
The Challenges of a Writer’s Journey
by Marilyn R. Wilson
I have shared my journey to become a writer often as it is definitely unique. Psychology and Counseling were my original path, but I walked away from it all when I realized how negative working in this field would be. Leaving the emotional baggage at the office was a skill I didn’t possess.
There followed years of working “regular” jobs, then marriage at the age of 29 with three kids arriving in fairly rapid succession. I didn’t come up for air until my late 40’s. Suddenly I had free time and was ready to embrace a new challenge. This is where it gets really interesting! I decided to look through Craigslist and, on a whim, answered an ad from a NYC magazine. Two of my story ideas were accepted. I was blown away while conducting my first interview. This was a hidden passion just waiting to be discovered.
Learning to be a strong writer would take a lot more effort. There were tears of frustration when my best wasn’t good enough and I had no idea how to fix it. I had no training period – no teacher to give me advice. My skills were honed in a very public trial by fire. One aspect that was and still is difficult for me is that of developing a writing rhythm. Distractions abound.
When you interview people, it can be difficult to keep a set schedule. Time must be spent meeting a wide variety of people as you never know where that next great article will come from. I met Geir Ness – featured in Life Outside The Box – through mutual friends. They called to see if I would like to come over and interview him. Yes! I had to drop everything immediately and drive over as he was leaving town the next day.
Assignments from magazine can open doors, but it takes serious effort to build those relationships. Then there is Social Media. Today’s entrepreneurs need to maintain a real presence to aid in marketing. If you’re not careful, that 30 minute slot can turn into a half day wasted. Coffee/lunch dates to make new connections, events to attend, family obligations – all can upset one’s carefully laid plans.
When writing Life Outside the Box, I had to take a firm grip on my schedule and learn to say no often and emphatically. No more magazine submissions, no more events, no more lunches with friends and time on Social Media was cut way back. I don’t enjoy saying no and people were not used to hearing it from me. There were uncomfortable moments, but I had to shut out all distractions.
Monday-Wednesday-Friday were to be set aside for writing on my manuscript. Tuesday-Thursday would be for writing on my blog, meetings and other business matters. This worked until my final deadline quietly slipped by. Then the pressure really hit. There were nothing but eight hour days working feverishly at the computer until it was finished.
Although things are finally calming down, the challenge continues. I suspect everyone who works from home has the same struggle. Setting your own schedule, deciding on deadlines and policing yourself are tough skills for most of us to master. We are used to the outside world providing the framework. And the amount of time needed for marketing/promotion is always more than one would expect.
While I would love to stick to a regular writing schedule, I suspect mine will always be a feast and famine journey. There will be stretches of turning turtle while I write non-stop, followed by stretches of dealing with business. Cie la vie! Each writer has to find a rhythm that works for us alone – there is no right answer. I embrace my writer’s life just as it’s meant to be.
Where to buy the book:
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When it comes to reviewing books that are inspirational but cover the lives of many different people, these can be very tricky to review. More than likely, some of the stories will resonate with the reader while others will potentially be a turn-off and of not interested. And as I began reading this book, I wasn’t certain where on the spectrum this book may lie.
First of all, there is only minimally objective content. In fact, any profanity in the book is a direct quote from the people involved in the story. There is nothing else objectionable, and truly I wasn’t offended when these couple of works popped up.
Secondly, the author herself certainly has a gift for telling the story of these individuals. Even when I wasn’t overly interested in the story, the way in which she told it generally grabbed my attention at least to a degree.
I struggled for a while as to how to review this book, but by the time I was more than halfway through it, I was captivated with the idea that these people are like I am. They all thought outside of the box to get where they are today. I have always been the oddball out, and this gave me hope that maybe my unusual way of looking at things is more of an asset than even I realized. Actually, this book was a validation of what I have come to believe over the past year or so. And I somehow don’t think my journey is over.
On a side note, two other small items stuck out to me. The author didn’t begin her writing career until she was 49! Okay, I love that as I am in my 40’s. This caused me to have an instant interest in her writing.
One other thing. In recent times, I have become incredibly interested in Vancouver, Canada, and as I read this book–what were the odds? These people all seem to have made their successes in Vancouver! I didn’t know that before I began reading, but it certainly made me enjoy the book even more.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.
Follow the entire book tour here.
Win one of two print books of Life Outside the Box (open to USA & Canada) and win one of two Amazon $25.00 gift cards (open internationally)