Today we catch up with three of the women we’ve featured in the past few years, who update us on their continuing ventures and adventures…
Sharon Danzger: Continuing to Reinvent
Since the August 2016 Next Act for Women interview chronicling my move from residential organizing to corporate training, I have re-focused even further.
As a productivity consultant, a big part of my job is reading and learning to better understand how people can get more done with less stress. Since 2007, I have been sharing this information through my bi-weekly blog posts. For years, each time I sent out a post, my Aunt Joyce would respond with “this is great – when are you writing a book?”
Last spring, I was reading yet another book on productivity when it hit me: I have loads of useful information that I want to share. I felt that I could write a book in a way that would be concise, easy to read, and would empower readers to make small changes so they could be more productive and feel less overwhelmed. I thought to myself, if I could come up with a list of 100 productivity tips, that would be a good start to a book. In no time, I had well over 100 strategies and I began writing. It was really fun and very rewarding. My book, Super-Productive: 120 Strategies to Do More and Stress Less, was released in March 2017.
Over the past few years, I noticed a theme in the articles and books I was reading on productivity. The trend was the direct connection between positivity and productivity. This sparked an interest (now passion), in the growing field of positive psychology. I am currently attending the University of Pennsylvania, working towards a Masters in Applied Positive Psychology program. For those interested in positive psychology, there is a great certification course offered by the University of Pennsylvania on Coursera. I recently completed it and found it very worthwhile.
Many people have asked me what I will do with the degree. In addition to enjoying the aspect that relates to personal growth and development, I will continue teaching positive psychology as a tool for improving productivity and performance. But I am also open to the many opportunities the program may present in terms of what I learn and the people I meet.
Connect with Sharon Danzger
Website: Control Chaos
Book: Super-Productive: 120 Strategies to Do More and Stress Less
Patti Sherry-Crews: More Publishing Success
So, last you heard from me (back in my July 2015 interview on Next Act for Women) I’d embarked on a career as a writer at 50. Over this past summer, I learned that when your book hits #1 on Amazon they put an orange banner proclaiming “Bestseller” by your title. Yup, a contemporary western romance anthology I’m in, A Cowboy To Keep, hit #1 on Amazon for weeks and has stayed in the top 100 since its release in June. Around the same time, Desert Heat hit #3 on Amazon. It also won third prize in the category Short Contemporary, 2017 International Digital Awards (Oklahoma Romance Writers of America). I’ve gotten to a point with my writing that I don’t crave outside validation, but oh, this feels good!
I’m what is known as a hybrid author, meaning I write for a publisher along with self-publishing some of my work. For my publisher, Prairie Rose, I write historical western and medieval romances. I self-publish my own contemporary romances, and in addition, I’ve been asked to be part of three Indie boxed sets, all of which have been Amazon Bestsellers.
Since seeing friends at a party recently, I’ve been doing some reflecting. When I first appeared in this blog, I was in a circle of friends who’d taken our children through school together, and when the time came when the kids were old enough, we were all wondering, what’s next for us? Those friendships remain even though we went off on our own trajectories. Writing was a solitary pursuit to begin with. But as of this update, I’ve developed a new virtual community of women authors and have made some new friends for life. Already, we’ve seen each other through many important life events such as children’s weddings and graduations. I even published a book with my new writer friend, Andrea Downing, called From the Files of Nat Tremayne. Yes, I have one more update: My youngest graduated high school.
I also got my computer out of the kitchen and have my own office.
Margaret Rutherford: Launching a Podcast—and a Book
I’m so delighted to be back on Next Act For Women with a 2017 update! Since being interviewed last fall, I’ve chosen to go through a huge learning curve and I’ve launched my own podcast – SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. !’ve learned how to record and edit, and am thrilled to say that SelfWork had over 10,000 downloads just in the month of July! My purpose is to reach as many people as I can, to educate them about mental illness or simply to guide someone through problems we all have as human beings. Each recording appears on my website weekly and is a welcome addition – hard work but welcome.
I’m also now in print, with the publishing of my new book Marriage Is Not For Chickens (and isn’t that the truth!). When my words originally appeared as a blog post on The Huffington Post and earned over 200,000 likes and 53,000 shares, I decided to make it into a gift book with evocative photos accompanying each of twenty-four simple, poignant, and pragmatic statements about what marriage is, and what it definitely is not. I’ve received feedback that brides and grooms-to-be love it, as do those celebrating an important anniversary. It’s a slim but powerful reminder of what marriage can bring those who work hard on their partnership.
I’m very excited to see what’s up for this year. We’re planning a relaunch of my website. On a personal note, my son is out of college and living and working in Los Angeles, a far cry from Arkansas. The distance brings another transition, but we’re all adjusting and making the best of “long distance love.”
Thanks so much for having me back! My only advice? Keep opening yourself to new opportunities, stay curious and relish the risk!