Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Glenda Watson Hyatt, author of I’ll Do It Myself, to the Heartland of America on her 40-day Virtual Book Tour. Glenda and I met through the International Virtual Women’s Chamber of Commerce (IVWCC) and immediately noticed one another because we share the same name (come on now…you know it…there aren’t many “Glendas” out there!) Imagine our surprise when we discovered we have the same initials too…how funny!
In this interview, I will be referred to as GlendaLH and my guest will be referred to as GlendaLWH. Now, on with the interview…
GlendaLH: What inspired you to write your book? Have you always been interested in writing?
GlendaLWH: When I was about 10 years old, I read books like Ice Castles about a talented figure skater who became blind but continued competing by hiding her disability, The Other Side of the Mountain about an Olympic-bound skier who broke her neck during a qualifying competition, and Joni (pronounced Johnny) who also became a quadriplegic as a result of a diving accident. Since then, I have dreamt of writing my autobiography one day to share my story with others and hopefully inspire or motivate them in some way.
Yes, I have always enjoyed writing; that has always been my main means of communication with the outside world. When we, my family, went camping where there were electrical hook-ups, I packed my Smith Corona typewriter and an extension cord so that I could write letters to my friends. That was long before laptops and wireless internet connections!
GlendaLH: I know you won the Marketing Makeover Contest last summer. Tell me how that made a difference for you getting your book launched, etc.
GlendaLWH: Last summer, I began working my way through the prizes from the various contributors. However, in order to get my book out according to my schedule, I needed to put the Mega Marketing Makeover aside for a bit. Now that the book is done and printed, I can now get back to the makeover. Before heading out on my virtual book tour “40 Blogs in 40 (Business) Days,” I launched my new Do It Myself Blog, designed by contributor Sharilyn Horne, with the banner designed by contributor Nancy Cleary. I’m looking forward to working with the rest of the makeover contributors.
GlendaLH: What tips do you have for solopreneurs who have a dream and want to see it to fruition? How do you stay on track?
GlendaLWH: I would say keep at it. Even though the road may be long, with potholes, unexpected twists and turns, and the occasional detour thrown in, keep going. The journey is as rewarding as is reaching your dream.
Break your dreams into manageable steps. For me, that was writing one chapter at a time; sometimes that was one page, or even one paragraph, at a time.
Set aside time to work on your dream. I tried to set aside two or three writing sessions per week. It didn’t always happen, and I tried not to beat myself up (too much) if it didn’t happen. But I kept at it.
Set a deadline. Boy, when I announced on my blog that I wanted to launch my book on my 40th birthday, that sure got the ball rolling!
Share your dream with others. Some will be naysayers, but some will be amazing supporters in ways that you can’t imagine!
When your dream becomes reality, which it will if you are persistent and passionate, it is such an amazing feeling. When I opened the first box and saw my book for the first time – something I had dreamt of, planned for, prepared for, researched, and worked off my left thumb for, for 30 years – an emotional wave hit me and there were a few tears. I had done it! I had written my book!
Go for your dream! Make it happen. To quote Dr. Robert Schuller, “If you can dream it, you can do it!”
GlendaLH: I had the pleasure of “meeting” your husband Darrell at a Team 100 online networking event last summer. How did you two meet?
GlendaLWH: Back in 1996, I was taking a pre-employment program for people with disabilities. I wasn’t exactly thrilled with the program; it was amazing how many people had work because I, a person with a disability, was looking for a job. Strangely enough, when the program was over, I wasn’t ready to leave. I sensed I was on the verge of a personal growth spurt and, if I left, that growth wouldn’t be actualized. I volunteered to be the teaching assistant for the next group. The first day of class, in wheels Darrell and….you’ll need to read I’ll Do It Myself for the rest of the story! (wink)
GlendaLH: Do you have more books in the works? What’s your next step?
GlendaLWH: Funny you should ask! Darrell says he knows I will write five books, at least, but he doesn’t know the other topics. I don’t know either…at least, not yet! But I’m sure more books will come.
For now, I want to do all I can to promote this book. I still have six boxes of books sitting here, and I would love to do several more print runs before I consider the promotion completely done.
I also want to develop an e-course, “Accessibility in Action.” Over the years, I have found that people have fears when interacting with those with disabilities because they simply don’t know what to do and they are too embarrassed to ask. I want to address those fears by providing practical information and a safe place to ask questions. The e-course would include topics like what language to use when referring to people with disabilities, tips for communicating with people with disabilities, ideas for choosing a gift for a relative/friend/colleague with a disability, suggestions for how to include a classmate with a disability at your child’s birthday party, and many other topics. My goal is to include hands-on and practical information that people can use in everyday life.
And, amidst all that, Darrell strongly suggests that I take a break fairly soon before I burn myself out. I tend to agree.
GlendaLH: You’ll be so famous you’ll have to hire a team of Virtual Assistants to keep track of all your book signings, appearances, and such! (Or maybe you already have!) Congratulations, Glenda, on publishing your book and thanks for stopping by The TimeSaver on your Virtual Book Tour!
GlendaLWH: Glenda, thank you so much for inviting me to your blog today. It has been fun chatting with my virtual twin!