I “met” Lorraince Ladish in 2007. She’s an author and editor with an incredible can do spirit and a sense of generosity and grace. I immediately liked her and have been honored, over the years, to continue our friendship and professional relationship. Lorraine is a prolific author which is such an inspiration to me, a great talent in the business, but, more than that, she’s a kind, thoughtful person who works hard to give her gifts to the world. Her latest book was recently published and so I asked her for an interview. I am honored to introduce you to her today.
Diario del Éxito was born from a turning point. Can you talk about how the book came into being and what it offers readers?
Diario del Éxito translates into Success Diaries. It’s a book based on a blog I wrote for around three years. I started it when the economy tanked, my marriage ended and I had little or no work as a writer or translator. I found myself the broke single mom of two very young children, then 4 and 7. That was in 2008. I wrote short blog entries in English and Spanish, which would help me find the positive side of a crisis, and – I hoped – perhaps motivate others who may be undergoing similar circumstances. Eventually, I pitched it to one of my publishers, as a book, and they took it on. I really needed the advance to pay the bills. By the time the book was published, I was already back on my feet – editing and writing and making money doing it – and my personal life was in order too.
That you don´t need to have made it big by society´s standards in order to empower yourself and others. I focused on small everyday successes when writing the blog and the book. It helped me stay on track, not sell out, and keep my spirits up while striving to put food on the table. I wrote the book really fast. I was paid an advance based on an outline, but I knew that if I put off writing the book, life would get in the way and I wouldn´t do it. That taught me that the best motivator and inspiration is need, literally.
You are a prolific author. Could you talk some about your creative process, production schedule, and how you plan and execute your book writing?
That depends on the book, and what´s going on in my life at any given moment. I´ve published 17 books in the last 20 years, and I also have unpublished work and unfinished projects waiting to get done. I usually write the books I´d like to read. If they are fiction, I run with an idea and see where it takes me. If non-fiction, I do an outline and then flesh it out. I tend to write in spurts, in pockets of time here and there, since I usually have a lot going on. Most writers dream of having long periods of uninterrupted time to devote to writing books. In real life, if I had waited to have that, I would not have written anything!
Some issues we discuss on a regular basis on this blog are self-awareness and community engagement. Given that, what do you most appreciate about yourself?
My resilience. The ability to bounce back from tough and challenging situations. Also my willingness to look at myself and change thoughts, habits and traits that don´t serve me or others well. It´s not easy to recognize and admit to feeling jealous, being angry or resentful, or simply in the wrong. Even when I may react badly to something momentarily, I can step back and see how and why that was not a good thing to do. I will go back and apologize or make amends.
What is a community issue that you care about and why does it matter to you? How do you involve yourself in affecting change in that area?
There are quite a few, but I will mention two. One of them is self-image. I suffered from a long and hard eating disorder in my youth. It´s the subject of my first book. I was very active in promoting awareness of bulimia and anorexia for a time. I then found I needed to move on in my own life and my writing, but I still write about self-esteem, self-confidence and motivation.
Another issue is the well-being of children after divorce. I lived my parents divorce as a traumatic life event, and after my own split, I make sure my children feel loved by both their parents. I feel very strongly about this, and I write about how far I am willing to go in having a good relationship with my ex so that my girls will be strong and secure women when they grow up. I believe many women mistakenly use their children as a means to get back at their exes – and the big losers are the children. Whereas others may see me as a wimp – because I don´t demand much, if anything, from my ex and I am wildly flexible – I see myself as a mother willing to set aside my resentments in order for my girls to be happy.
What do you wish all women knew?
That we are more beautiful than we believe, wiser than we seem and stronger than we think.