Friday, August 17, 2007


Robin and speaker

Author Robin Jay stopped by the WOW! blog while traveling the blog-0-sphere on her blog tour. We had a nice chat. And, I just love her advice for writers. Thanks for stopping by Robin.

How about telling us a little bit about yourself.

I was in advertising sales for more than 18 years. I used to take clients to lunch nearly every day and I was extremely successful. I believe how you treat people will determine your level of success. People prefer to do business with people they like, and there is no better way to get to know someone than by sharing a meal with them and asking them questions about themselves and what makes them tick. I wrote The Art of the Business Lunch ~ Building Relationships Between 12 and 2, (Career Press, 2006) as a way to share my experience with other professionals who want to make a difference in other people’s lives as well as their own. It’s been a great experience.

How long have you been a writer? What made you put that first story/poem down on paper?

I simply decided to write a book. I saw myself as a writer and naively began to write my book. I knew I had information worth sharing. That was in 2001. It took me about five years from inception to having a publisher release my book. In 2003 I resigned from my job and by early 2004 I released my self-published book. I got an agent that fall and worked on a proposal and by early 2005, I’d sold my book. That gave me such a tremendous sense of validation. Today, I would not need to sell a book to a publisher to have that validation. It now comes in the form of readers who thank me directly for helping them with an aspect of their business that they found challenging. I know that what I am sharing is information that is necessary to succeed in business.

And with my contribution to The POWER of Mentorship series of books and the soon-to-be-released movie, I am able to help people in more ways. These books help readers to believe in themselves and to inspire them to achieve their own dreams.

What do your family/friends think about you leaving your job and your decision to pursue writing as a career? Are they supportive?

I have some friends who don’t care to hear about my writing or speaking career. They could not understand how I could walk away from a six-figure income to pursue my dream. I was done with advertising sales and wanted a new challenge. At 48, I knew it was now or never. It was an expensive hobby for the first three years, but it is now finally paying off. I earn my full speaking fee, ($7500) for a one-hour keynote. Even though those friends can now see that there was a “method to my madness,” they still don’t quite “get it.” It doesn’t matter, as they never will. I’m not doing this for them.

The rest of my friends and family do care and are genuinely happy to see me excel in my chosen field. I advise writers to surround themselves with like-minded individuals who understand what they are going through and who can relate. I have reestablished a 30-year friendship with a woman for whom I used to work. She is a writer and professional speaker now (and has been for 15 years.) I have many other friends now who are also in the industry, whether they are speakers or writers. It’s a real community.

And it’s so important for writers to spend quality time with other writers. You should join a writer’s group. I do not belong to one right now because I have managed to establish strong friendships with people all over the country who do what I do. It’s tremendous and supportive. We share our thoughts and ideas – on blogging, writing articles or press releases, marketing, web design….it’s all-encompassing.

For you, what is most frustrating about writing? Most rewarding?

Without a doubt, it’s grammar! I can use a dictionary and a thesaurus, I wish there was a QUICK reference for grammatical questions. Sometimes I get so frustrated because I’m not sure about the exact way to phrase a sentence! Isn’t that ridiculous? It’s been a long time since I went to school and the English language is so full of exceptions. Sometimes I have to reword a sentence just to make sure it’s correct grammatically. This has to be the most frustrating and it’s a deep, dark secret that I am sharing here for the first time! I don’t have time to take a refresher class, and it doesn’t happen that often. I guess I just wish I had an English professor whom I could call – for that quick reference.

This is interesting, though – and I’ve heard this from other writers as well; the more you write, the better you become. Even without classes or studying. It’s bizarre. I can go back and read something I wrote a year ago and wonder what in the heck I was trying to say! Today, my writing is much more concise and comprehensive.

As for the most rewarding aspect of writing, it has to be when I go back and read something and am so happy with what I wrote. When I was able to completely express something honestly and my message is clear, it’s incredibly rewarding. One of my friends always tells me what a great writer I am….and hearing that means the world to me. It’s not just my “approval-seeking behavior,’ either. It’s coming from a sincere source and a fellow writer. I love to write something that is on target and makes people feel what I feel.

Do you read much? What kinds of books inspire you to write – if any? Favorite authors?

Oh – this is embarrassing! I am an audio book girl! I LOVE audio books. I’m so busy writing that I don’t have time to read. One of these days….

In my former life as an account executive, I spent hours in my car and managed to get through a book a week. I mostly ready non-fiction, business. The last novel I read (listened to?) was The DaVinci Code. As for non-fiction, I am up on everything. I like to read the books written by the writers/speakers who are listed in my speakers bureau and anything else on metaphysics, vibrational medicine and healing, and motivational, positive books. I am rereading Raymond Holliwell’s Working With the Law right now. It was given to me personally by Bob Proctor, who is in The Secret and is also going to be in The POWER of Mentorship movie with me.

Do you take most of your ideas from life? Or your imagination? A mix? (Do you hate when people ask this?)

No, there is NEVER a bad question! My ideas come from life and work. I get frustrated when I hear people complain that they can’t get ahead or they don’t know what to do with their lives. I’m afraid I’m a little impatient when it comes to whining! My attitude is “FIX IT!” There are so many fabulous books out there that can help you. We need only to be motivated and have the courage to pursue our dreams.

In The POWER of Mentorship: For the Woman Entrepreneur, I wrote the foreword at the request of the publisher, Don Boyer. He then invited me to contribute a chapter as well. In that chapter, I ask the readers, “What is the worst case scenario if you try to reach your dreams and fail?” I really don’t think we ever fail. Sometimes we just get some lessons we didn’t expect! But we have to be willing to share our ideas with the universe. If we conform, (and it’s obvious that our society encourages conformity), we contribute nothing new. Imagine if Edison or Einstein accepted everything at face value and didn’t try new ideas? I’d be writing this with a pencil! We only regret the things in life that we DON’T try.

Do you have days when the words won't flow? What do you do?

Absolutely! That is when I make sales calls, work on my marketing materials, maybe even bake a cake or get creative with dinner. But I have to confess…the more I write, the less I have days where the words don’t come. There is always something to write about. And if it’s an absolute train wreck, I do something else. A writer’s life is never just about writing. There are so many other things that are involved, so there is always something else I can do.

Do you have a "golden rule" of writing that almost always works for you?

Yes….just write! I don’t mean to sound flip, but write. Some days, the words are brilliant. I have read articles I’ve written and I swear, I wonder where the heck it came from! Other times I read what I’ve written and think, “HUH?” Just write.

What is the best piece of advice you've been given as a writer? What's the worst?

I am not a fan of a writing PROCESS. I don’t like to hear, “Do it this way…then add this…then rewrite it…then…and so on. I believe an outline is great. But if your story takes you down a different path, go there. And don’t give a toss as to what anyone else thinks, unless they are paying you for your work. Writing is deeply personal. Write what is in your heart or in your head. Remember interesting conversations and include them. We are constantly hearing “material,” if we will recognize it. Even comedians will tell you that they get their material from YOU! We say and do the most interesting things. Just open your eyes and your ears and remember those unique moments. Put them in a story later.

Did we forget anything? What would you like to add? Any upcoming publications or links for our readers? Current projects we should watch for?

Oh YES! The first movie trailer has been posted on youtube for “The POWER of Mentorship: The Movie.” You can view it at:

Also, my speaking demo DVD is also available on YouTube at: It’s such an amazing era we live in, and I’m thrilled to be able to share with so many via such an exciting medium. I hope you will remember to watch the movie when it is released. It’s going to be very important.

Thank you.

Thanks for stopping by Robin. Good luck with all your projects:--)

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