Tonight I was on a panel of four authors. One question from the audience was, “How many of you blog?” Authors who were also English majors and English teachers know that “blog” is a noun, not a verb. Nevertheless, this lawyer-English major-English teacher raised her hand. But then I realized I haven’t “blogged” this week!
Each author on the author panel spoke about the passion that drove them to write, the process of writing and the publishing process. The passion part was easy for me. I lived the life of a woman in the corporate world. I made it pretty far – to the “C-suite.” Not knowing that (the required) shifting from feminine to masculine style had exhausted me, I stepped off the ladder.
My passion emerged. I wanted to change the shape of corporate America – more women at the top, leading alongside men. I wanted to help men and women see why the needle has moved so slowly in getting more women to the top – and show them what it will take to achieve true gender diversity. I wanted to make the path easier for women.
I was about half way through my corporate/lawyer career when I began to study what my gender had to do with how far I got — and how far I didn’t. I thought, “Why didn’t somebody tell me this 20 years ago?” So I’ve been telling women and men what I wish I had known.
The writing part was easy. I had worked with my colleague Steffie Allen to evolve an instrument she and her sister Carolyn Zeiger had developed – a continuum of “gender” differences. The content we developed in our workshops was so good it had to be shared in a book. I changed it to a continuum of masculine-feminine differences, refined a few of the dimensions, then added my personal stories to demonstrate each dimension. The words flowed – though I stopped to study, study, study and correctly cite resources.
Publishing was the scary part. Who would help me edit, design the content, choose a book cover and market? The publishing world was and is in flux. I found a guide and latched on. It was a true birthing process.
Now my book is three years old. It has been my “calling card,” giving me credibility and opening the door to speaking engagements. It has helped me make a difference. But there is so far to go. Do I want another baby? Do I update it? Publish a workbook? Or just keep “blogging” and doing workshops?