I’m excited to be here today with Lydia Fenet. She is the Managing Director, Global Head of Strategic Partnerships at Christie’s. As lead benefit auctioneer of the firm, she has led auctions for more than six hundred organizations. She’s been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Vanity Fair, Vogue, Town & Country, and many other publications. A graduate of Sewanee University and originally from Louisiana, Lydia currently lives in New York City with her husband and three children. The Most Powerful Woman in the Room is You: Command an Audience and Sell Your Way to Success is her first book.

Welcome, Lydia. Thanks so much for coming on “Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books.”

Lydia Fenet: Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to be here.

Zibby: Can you please tell listeners what your new book, The Most Powerful Woman in the Room is You is about?

Lydia: Absolutely.The Most Powerful Woman in the Room is You is a story about my twenty-year career at Christie’s Auction House. It’s more than a story. It’s really a lot of stories about life lessons learned through being on stage for almost sixteen years as an auctioneer. As I realized as I was writing this book, a lot of the stories really apply to things that I’ve learned over the course of my career. They were things that I wish someone had told me very early on in my career. That’s really what the book ended up being, which is not actually what I thought it was going to be when I started. More than anything, it’s a fun read about a twenty-year career with a lot of life lessons woven in.

Zibby: It’s so neat for me to be interviewing you because so much of the time in the book you’re referencing your career, especially your on-stage portion of the career when you go to different events and raise money for charities as an auctioneer. I’ve been in the crowds and seen you over the years many times. You always wonder, what’s her story? Now I actually have your story right here next to me. That’s pretty cool. Your book has really great advice, and not just the generalized advice you might get from some business-y books or even self-help-y type books, but specific actionable tips. I was underlining as I went the whole time. Some of them sound general, but you build them up with specific examples afterwards. It makes it very user-friendly, like “telling anyone and everyone your life goals. Sell as yourself. Hard work and practice will get you what you want in life. Negotiate what you deserve, or you won’t be compensated adequately. Ask others who have achieved what you want how they got there.” This is a good one. “Turn your computer to face the wall when you’re on an important call so you don’t get distracted. Write thank-you notes,” which I used to be so good at. I’ve really gotten bad lately, which is terrible.

I was interested stylistically when I read it. Did you consider — maybe this is what you were just referencing — did you consider making it just about having bold tips with little paragraphs under? The way you have it, it’s all woven in like you said, like a story. You have to kind of find them, find the nuggets.

Lydia: I grew up in the South. I grew up in Louisiana. Storytelling is so much a way that people relate. My dad is a trial lawyer. As a result, everything he tells, he tells in the form of a story. It’s up to you as to how you digest it or how you take it and then run with it over life. That’s the way I wanted people to see this as well because as you said, a lot of these tips, people have heard before. I’m not the first person who will tell you that you’re going to learn through rejection or failure. It’s written on every poster board that you can see. I wrote the story, the fourth chapter, where I talk about rejection in the form of a story. I started off small. I was rejected early on in an acapella singing group. Everybody’s been there. Everybody has been through something that seemed really heartbreaking and heart-wrenching at the time. Then you get over it. You realize that wasn’t so bad. It’s still painful. It’s still embarrassing, but it wasn’t so bad.

Then the next time it happens, you draw from that and remember it. I remember I was rejected from Hydrox the first two times and then ultimately made it into the singing group. Then I got rejected from my first-choice college, which seemed like it was going to be a slam dunk. I was at boarding school. You are processing this without your parents in front of you. They’re a phone call away. I remember sitting outside and crying and thinking, I’ve been through this before. I’ve been actually on this wall. I’ve been seated here crying. It was for Hydrox first time. I lived through that. It was okay. That was really why I wanted the story to start out small because at the end, I’m on stage with Bruce Springsteen getting rejected in front of six thousand people. What does that feel like? It feels pretty painful at the time. At the same time, having been through smaller rejections, it’s actually not that painful because you realize you come back stronger every time.

Zibby: That’s awesome. Some of these formative moments, especially for my kids when I watch it, I’m like, “This is going to help you later.”

Lydia: It’s so true.

Zibby: “You can cry all you want.”

Lydia: I had a friend who is one of four children. She was fired from a job. She has an incredible resilience about her. She’s like, “If I call my parents right now, they would say, ‘Too bad for them. They’re missing out on a real amazing woman,’” or something like that. I remember thinking, how amazing to be able to turn that around so quickly and make it about somebody else’s loss and your gain because you’re getting this next adventure in your life and they’re losing out on you. What a great way to live life.

Zibby: Totally. Love that. Speaking of role models, you have a lot of quotes and passages written by other high-power women throughout from an Olympic athlete to Martha Stewart, a lot of CEOs from various businesses, Barbara Corcoran from Shark Tank, magazine editors. Were there any tips that they gave you that you found surprising or you weren’t expecting? Anything you’ve really taken out of what they added to your book that’s helped you?

Lydia: With the case studies, there certainly are people who are at the top of their game, like a Martha Stewart or a Nina Garcia. There were also a lot of people that I just knew in my life. I reached out to friends and said, “Do you know somebody who’s killing it in their job, not necessarily somebody that everyone has heard of, but someone you just think is a powerful woman in their own industry?” I wanted people to relate. That was the whole book. It’s about relatability. You may not be able to be Martha Stewart, but you could be the CEO of a small business that you start. You could be killing it in your home. You could be doing a podcast in your home. You can choose your path.

The piece of advice that I loved the most was a woman named Gemma Burgess who’s a screenwriter. She’s an amazing woman. I asked her about the negotiation chapter, “Have you ever been through anything that you want to talk about?” The interesting thing about the case studies, I didn’t send them the chapters. I just sent them the chapter heading and asked them to relate a story that they had been through, something that they had seen in their own life. Gemma said, “When I was in my twenties, I used to ask any woman in her thirties to go out for lunch or coffee. Everybody likes to talk about themselves. I was so desperate for information at the time.” She said that one woman gave her the best advice ever, which was whenever you go into negotiation, make them wince. I thought it was the most genius thing. If you think about it, you go in fearful of what you’re going to say. “I’m going to negotiate. I’m scared.” Make them wince. Go big.

The funny thing throughout this entire book — I have an older brother and a younger brother and a ton of guy friends. I told them this. They were all like, “Yeah. Duh.” I told women and they were like, “This is literally the nugget I’ve been waiting for my whole life.” I realized half the population already makes them wince when they go in for a negotiation. Even in my own office I see it. Women never come in and ask for double their salary. I had a guy once who came in. I hadn’t even offered him the job. By the way, I had no intention of offering him the job. He sent me a preemptive email to tell me what he would require, and by the way, the title wasn’t enough. I remember being like, good lord, but then also, wow. What a different way to come at this. All of a sudden now I’m thinking, if I did this, I would have to get him more money because he made me think about it. I had not, up until that point, thought about it. Make them wince.

Zibby: I remember my very first job out of college. I remember where I was. I was sitting on my bed, my old-fashioned — had my white Berrie stuffed animal. This is so long ago. That room has been redone. It’s in my mom’s house. I remember talking to my first boss on the phone and asking for something that I thought was a lot of money, which was not even industry standard for my entry-level job. It just sounded like a lot. I don’t even know where I got this number. They gave me something even lower than that. I was like, “Okay. It was close.” I remember calling my dad. I was like, “I asked for X.” He’s like, “Oh, god.” Literally, I’ll never forget the disappointment in his voice. “No, you can’t start there!”

Lydia: He’s like, “Make them wince.”

Zibby: Oh, my gosh. They were like, “This is the cheapest hire ever.” That was all super useful. For public speakers, you also have a lot of really great advice. Not everyone is going to be talking in front of thousands of people trying to raise money. Even something simple, even speaking to your class as a class mom or speaking to your whole team at work or whatever, you have a lot of really great tips. One of the tips I liked the most was to make the audience part of your performance and talk to them like they’re your friends. You can tell a little more about that please.

Lydia: I think it all comes from this belief that when you get on stage, everybody sitting in the audience is against you. I teach all the charity auctioneers for Christie’s. When I train them or when I’m trying them out to see whether or not they’ll become charity auctioneers, one of the first things that I do is ask them to tell a story. You should see how quickly people that I know and have known for ten, fifteen years fall apart in front of me, not me, but ten people. They start shaking. Their voice is shaking. They’re flipping their hair back and forth. What I always say to them is, “Just remember that the audience wants you to succeed. We are here to support you. We are not here to make you scared. If you are nervous, message that to us. Tell us that you’re a nervous speaker.” Think about it from the audience’s perspective. Does anybody want to sit there listening to somebody who’s stumbling through a speech? Of course not. They want you to be articulate. They want you to be enjoying what you’re doing. That’s the first tip that I talk about when I’m discussing that.

One way to make yourself feel very comfortable if you’re a nervous public speaker is immediately point out something that you see in front of you in the audience. It helps your nerves because you feel like you’re talking to someone. I was doing a talk at the Charleston Library Society last week. This gentleman in the back row — it was 7:45 at night — yawned halfway through. I said, “Sir, I’m so sorry that I’m not entertaining enough for you. I will try to really ramp it up for the second part of this speech.” Again, it was just acknowledging it. He laughed. The audience laughed. It woke them all back up. I think it made them a little fearful that maybe I would say something about them, which kept them on their toes, which is always a good thing. Giving yourself the ability to step over that line, make people feel comfortable in your space, it’s what makes public speaking fun. It doesn’t have to be this formal presentation. Frankly, you will see the audience really engage more if they feel like there’s a chance they may be called out while you’re up there.

Zibby: One of the most helpful parts for me, also as a busy mom in New York City running around, not that this is New York City-specific, was how you structure your time each day to help you accomplish your goals. You do it so thoughtfully. You create a daily schedule you called your road map. You really think it through. I try to do this occasionally, even just to plot out how are we going to get everybody picked up from school at the same time tomorrow? Sometimes at night, I’m too wiped out to think it through. You do it at the beginning of the week sometimes?

Lydia: I do.

Zibby: Tell me how you do it and what we should do to follow your great example.

Lydia: I start Sunday. People always say to me, “Oh, the Sunday night scaries, the kids have to go back to school. It’s all this stuff.” A lot of times I think to myself, it’s because you really haven’t thought through your week. It seems overwhelming because you haven’t been proactive about it, which is like anything in life. It seems scarier when it’s being thrown at you versus you taking the first step. Sunday night, I sit down with a calendar. By the way, this is a paper calendar. This is not my iPhone. This is nothing technological. This is literally a paper calendar where I fill in the numbers just for the week. I write down exactly what’s taking place that day, every day for the entire week. My husband can see it. I can see it. Our nanny can see it, who watches our little one. There’s no ambiguity about who’s going where or what’s going to happen.

Then for myself, over the course of the day, I print out my calendar at work the minute I arrive. I make notes so that I know exactly what’s happening throughout the day. If something gets rearranged, then it’s very easy for me to put an arrow to something else and quickly email and say, “I’m not going to be there quite on time, but I could be there within this time period,” or frankly, “Just cancel the meeting.” More than anything, as a mom, because of those logistics — Zibby knows this, I have three children as well — for me, it’s the logistics and making sure that all of those things are down on a calendar well in advance of when I need be there.

Also, giving myself the flexibility to not be like, “I have to be there at 8:15. I’m going to arrive at 8:15,” because we all know with children — I still have one in diapers. Honestly, that’s the big outlier because you never know when you’re going to have to change a diaper. You’re walking out the door. All of a sudden, you have to run back in. In my case, a lot of times I’ll be out somewhere. Then I realize I don’t have a diaper. Then I have to recruit a random person who might have a diaper. Don’t ever be afraid to ask. I’ve done that many times. All of these things, giving yourself a time period within which you are hoping to achieve something — also, don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t happen. A lot of times things can be pivoted into a different day or even a different week. We all set ourselves up to have these strict schedules when in fact, it’s not feasible. Don’t beat yourself up. That’s actually my big time management skill.

Zibby: In your schedule, you always carve out uninterrupted time with your kids after work, before you go to an auction. No phone, you’re in it.

Lydia: No phone, no TV. That’s us, playing UNO on the floor. Especially as a working mom, that’s what keeps me from the guilt which is so pervasive. I say that as a working mom. Stay-at-home moms have it as well. Am I doing enough? You’re doing enough. You’ve had your children. You see them. They know you love them. You’re doing enough. I also feel like because I am not in my home during the day, especially with my little one, I do want them to understand that every single night when I am in town and not travelling, there will be time when I walk in the door where I do not have my phone out. I am not checking Instagram. I am not sending work emails. I am literally hanging out with them on the floor, helping my daughter do homework or playing UNO. That’s our thing right now. Then putting the baby next to us would be so that she doesn’t jump on top of the UNO pack, which she does almost every single night, which ends the game and signals that it’s time for bed.

Zibby: Do you also carve out time with your husband? I was wondering where the spouse fits into the road map of the week.

Lydia: Chris is my husband. Chris and I are very conscious about — our mornings are spent together. We both get up at the same time. We really make sure that whatever we’re doing for the kids, it’s in the kitchen at the same time. At night, any time that I’m home or he’s home, even after an auction, we sit and talk for a while. I know in the best-case scenario we’d have a date night every single night. That’s not realistic in the life that we live right now. We try to carve out that time in small pockets. If we feel like we’re not getting enough time together, that’s when we sit down and we’re like, “What are we going to do?” We’re going to a wedding together this weekend for three days instead of just two because I’ve been on a book tour. I’ve been insane with the book, having a great time, but at the same time, the relationship is also very important. It is the one thing, especially with young kids, that seems to get shoved aside very easily. You do have to make time for it.

Zibby: The other day I actually sent my husband a Paperless Post invitation, just for an hour. It wasn’t even a dinner. I was like, “I can do from 8:15 to 9:15 tonight.” From 8:15 to 9:15, there will be no phones. You bring the drinks and snacks or whatever. We can talk. Then we’ll go back to doing whatever we have to do.

Lydia: Sometimes too, a call during the day, instead of a text, is a really nice thing. If my husband calls, sometimes the immediate thought is, “Oh, my god. One of our children has fallen off a jungle gym,” which happened last week. He has a broken collar bone.

Zibby: Oh, no. I’m so sorry.

Lydia: It happens. He’s taking it in stride. I do think that just even having that point of connectivity where you pick up the phone, you’re like, “Hey, what’s going on?” “Nothing.” “Okay. Great. Bye,” at least you hear each other’s voice. It reconnects you. It is tough with so much going on. It is one thing that I think can easily be done.

Zibby: You also wrote in the book that you — this is a quote — you “truly believe that life places things in front of you at the right time, but it’s only when you’re open to these opportunities that things really start to happen for you.” What’s an example of this?

Lydia: Writing the book, for me, is the perfect example of this. I was waiting around for somebody else to write a book for me for many years because I wanted to do it, but I didn’t want to do the work. A New York Times reporter, years before, maybe ten years before, had written a small fluff piece for Crain’s Business about — at the time, I was head of events. She called me out of the blue, literally out of the blue. I still have the same number because I’ve been at the company for twenty years. She said, “Hi. This is Alix Strauss. I wrote an article about you ten years ago. Is there any chance that you would be willing to do an article that I just pitched for The New York Timesabout how you work during the day and take charity auctions at night? Do you still do that?” I was like, “I do still do that, but I actually am pregnant with my third child. I really have a limited window. I only have another month of this. I only have one more auction between now and your deadline.” She came to the auction. They shot photographs the whole day for the piece.

At the end of the day she asked me, as I’m exhausted after being in heels, which I probably would not have been if The New York Times had not been chronicling the piece, she asked me what I do at the end of the night. I said, “I don’t actually turn on any kind of screen because I’m so wired. I either read a book or I write this book that I’ve been writing.” The writing of the book was a little bit of a — it wasn’t entirely . I’d written a chapter. I’d been sending it my best friend’s agent who kept saying, “This is great. You have a book in you, just not this book.” I wasn’t really far along in my book-writing process. It was something about reading that in the transcript, to the point, life gives you these opportunities. Do you take them or not? I called my best friend. I said, “What do I do?” I actually already knew the answer. I just needed her to say it out loud. She said, “You’d be an idiot if you didn’t get your proposal done in time for this piece to run.” I said, “You’re right. I have to get it done.”

The piece, luckily, was bumped. I had the baby two weeks later. The piece was bumped until later that year. I completely forgot about it between that first moment and then when I was about to have the transcript printed. About six weeks before, I emailed her and said, “By the way, is this piece ever going to run?” She said, “Yeah, it’s running in six weeks.” It’s funny with timing. If it had gone out in April as it was supposed to, I would’ve had a baby. I would never have done anything about it. At that point, it was September. It didn’t seem quite as daunting. The baby was six months old, not a day old. I really poured myself into it. I had round trips to California, day trips to California one after another. I wrote nonstop on the plane. The funny thing was when I sent it back to my best friend’s agent, she said to me in all caps, “THIS IS IT.” I actually already knew it before I sent it because it felt like exactly what was supposed to be happening at that time. It was just that life had placed it in front of me. I had grabbed it and run with it. That’s why it worked.

Zibby: What was the first book that they didn’t think would be successful? What was the difference?

Lydia: One of the things that my agent said to me the entire time throughout the writing process was, “Remember that you work for Christie’s. That’s going to be so highbrow that most people won’t even know how to relate. You grew up in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Talk to us about how you got to this job. Were your parents art collectors? No. Did you know anything about auction? No. Talk to us about how you got there. Make this book for every woman.” My original introduction was about a lemonade stand. I’m sure you’re all glad that’s not what it ended up being, but talking about selling and how I loved to sell even as child and how I used to put out this lemonade stand and recruit all of my neighbors. I realized sitting in front of a lemonade stand gets you nothing, but you have your friend with a broken arm out there, you can really garner some extra change. That was originally the chapter that I’d sent her that she was like, “This is good.”

Zibby: Now you’re going to have your son with the broken collar bone out on the auction stage with you.

Lydia: Get ready. It’s coming, New York. If only I can keep him in that cast for long enough. When I wrote the first chapter, I was thinking to myself, the question I always get is, “Do you get nervous before you get on stage?” What if I brought the reader in through the first ten seconds leading onto the auction stage? What does that look like? What do I see? How do I get from the person who’s seated at dinner and then five minutes later is on stage in front a thousand people? What is that transition? What does look like? Once I started writing through that, it felt like a completely different story, the story that I was meant to tell. It was different than a lemonade stand that everybody had been to throughout their life. People were walking into this room. Then I could back into the story about how I got there. That’s how it happened.

Zibby: Throughout the book, you’re incredibly driven. You know what you want. You set your sights on something. You accomplish it. Somehow, you’ve managed to this with this great book. You tell the story of how diligent you are about getting — not even diligent. What’s the word? I’m sorry.

Lydia: Tenacious?

Zibby: — tenacious about even getting the job at Christie’s to begin with, all of it, every step of the way. With writing, people are like, “Well, let’s see what happens.” Sometimes, it’s a process. Your approach to everything is very targeted. Does that ever get you in trouble in any way?

Lydia: Daily. I say this too about Instagram, I have a lot of friends who are like, “Then you did this on Instagram.” I’m like, “Remember, high-gloss. This is a very beautiful curated image of what’s taking place day to day.” I say too, about the auctions — people see that I take auctions at Madison Square Garden with Bruce Springsteen because I started posting on Instagram two years ago — I also was an auctioneer for fourteen years before that. If I could show you, real-time, the number of auctions that I went to that were so painfully hilarious where I would slink off stage and go out the back exit because I didn’t want to see anyone. Nobody paid attention. We didn’t reach the goal. All of these things were what taught me how to be in a place where I feel confident on any stage no matter what the size. I try to message that too.

It’s the same thing with the book. I had sent Meg that chapter, but I’d also sent her other things over the years, Meg being my agent, who I got through my best friend, by the way. This is not some agent who picked me out of a crowd. Literally, my best friend handed me her agent’s information and I kind of stalked her. There were many things that I sent her that she was like, “Oh.” Sometimes she just didn’t email back. Yes, I do have drive. There’s no question about it, but there’s so many missteps that go into everything and every success. Ultimately, much like Hydrox, that’s why it feels so good. When a good auction takes place and I walk off stage, I think to myself sometimes, “That would’ve been a disaster if I had taken it ten years ago.” The crowd was loud. I would not have been confident enough to pull that room. I would’ve been fearful of them feeling like I was being bossy or too sharp or something like that. I’ve learned how to really control a room through practice.

Zibby: Now you’ve had the practice of writing this book, which you did at night, right?

Lydia: I did this at night. This was probably the most intense period of my life. The book sold in October in a week. Remember what I said. At this point, I had two chapters, which were good chapters, unlike the one lemonade stand chapter that nobody wanted to buy, but the two chapters, that was it. They wanted the book by April 1st. We finished the contract in December of 2017. They wanted it by April 1st of 2018. I think if you are truly a writer and this is what you do, you have a method. I had no method. I had nothing. I really didn’t know what I was doing. It was like the chapters. I’ll just start writing and see where this ends up. I had a picture that I showed my friends right after I finished and handed in the proposal. I’d taken Post-it Notes where I’d put the chapter titles and stuck them on the wall because I didn’t know how to story arc. I was like, “I started this when I was twenty-one, so clearly this needs to be further along because this is present day.” It was just making up things as I went along.

The one consistent part that I did that if I ever write a book again I will say was very helpful was instead of looking at it as a book or writing these broad chapters, I figured I had to write six thousand words because I only had ten thousand words written by January 15. If I have sixty days and I write a thousand words a day religiously, a thousand words every single day come hell or high water, I will hit my target. I will get there by that time. If I don’t, then I won’t. Let’s see if we can make that happen. Before you know it, day one happens. I start on the subway in the morning. I start on my iPhone after I drop the kids off at school, anything that came to mind. I would forward it to work. If I had any spare time at work, anything came to mind, I would jot it down on that, send it back to myself on the subway. Then I would write when I got home.

I put the kids down at seven. They bounce back up and down a couple of times. Really, I would go into my room around 7:45. I would say to my husband, “Do not come in here. I don’t need anything. I will be out as soon as I’m finished with my thousand words.” It would take about an hour to an hour and a half depending on how I was feeling. If I got into a groove and wrote more, then it meant that the next day I had to write less, which was exciting. If I made twelve hundred, I only had to write eight hundred words the next day. It really was amazing to chip away at it. I had all these chapter titles with the number of words that I’d written in each chapter where I’d mark off. Maybe three weeks before the book was due, I started using a calculator to figure out how many words I had. I realized I was actually getting close. It was this unbelievable feeling. When I finally finished the book, I was on a round trip to San Diego for twenty hours. I cried solidly for fifteen minutes after I finished because I was so stressed. The woman next to me was like, “Are you okay?” I was like, “I’m not okay. I am really stressed out,” but then it’s done. That really feels like my fourth child.

Zibby: Wow. That’s really impressive.

Lydia: It was exciting. It’s not something that anybody couldn’t do. You just have to set something that seems attainable as opposed to looking at it as, “I have to write a book.”

Zibby: This is your whole thing in life. This is how everything seems achievable to you. I’m so inspired by the way you look at everything. If you just break things down and figure out how to get there, you will get there. There was no part of you that was like, “Maybe it’ll be late.”

Lydia: No. Actually, when I handed it in, the editor said to me, “I can’t believe you turned this in on time.” I didn’t know I had an option. It was also so good because I didn’t want it hanging over my head anymore. I wanted it to be done. I was so excited to give it to her because I was so excited to not have to work on it anymore. I didn’t want to write a thousand words anymore, a day. I wanted to have my days back. The funny thing is — this is true to my parents — I said to my mom, “I finished the book. I did it all.” She goes, “You’re going to have all this extra time. You should start writing the next one.” Oh, my god. Can I just have a break, please, just a short break?

Zibby: Do you want to write another book, or not really?

Lydia: Now I know how to do it. It feels less daunting. I wouldn’t mind having a small break before writing another one. We’ve been talking about a young girl adaptation, The Most Powerful Girl in the Room is You, which is fun.

Zibby: I love that.

Lydia: Actually, a friend of mine was in Nashville with her daughter. Her daughter’s in third grade. They’d been listening to it, the Audible, in her car. Her daughter was about to do her first guitar performance. She said, “Hand to god, she said to me, ‘Mommy, can we listen to Lydia’s chapter on public speaking again?’” I started to cry when I read the text. Can you imagine that this little girl felt like she’d heard something that was going to inspire her and make her less nervous on stage? It brings me to tears now. It’s amazing to see how people take a book and use it to make themselves feel inspired and powerful, which is what I wanted.

Zibby: I love that. Now I’m going to play that chapter for my older daughter. You’ve already given me a lot of advice for aspiring writers. Do you have anything else that you would tell someone starting out or who’s always had a lofty goal of writing a book?

Lydia: Just do it. Do it. Find your angle. That’s what Meg, my agent, said to me many times. Find your angle. Once you find your angle, the words will come out of you. A lot of people spin their wheels about “What could I write about?” You have to find the place to enter. Once you get in it, then it helps inform the entire book. Don’t be scared of it. It seems scary to write a book. Look around you. There are books everywhere. People do it all the time. If you have it in you and you want to try, then try it. Again, set yourself an attainable goal. Get it done by the summer. Write a hundred words a day. Write two hundred words a day. Make it not as daunting. That way, it’s easier to achieve everything. It’s like running a marathon. Don’t run 26.2 miles your first day out. Run one mile. Then see if you can do two.

Zibby: A hundred words a day might be more my speed at this point.

Lydia: A hundred words a day would get a book in a year, year and a half, hundred words a day.

Zibby: Hundred words a day, I like it. Thanks so much for coming on “Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books.”

Lydia: Thank you so much for having me. It’s been so fun.

Zibby: Of course.