Friday Friends: Dana Leipold and POWW School

Happy Friday, Friends!  I am delighted to interview my friend, author and writing coach Dana Leipold.   I’ve certainly benefited from her spot-on coaching and I’m totally diggin’ her Power of Writing Well online course. It’s like she’s right here talking to me as I watch the videos, which are clear, insightful, and fun. And now, she’s right here talking to us for this interview. Hi, Dana!

1. How do you balance your writing work and family life?
I don’t! It’s really hard sometimes but I try to set schedules and deadlines that I stick to as if it were my job. I have a very supportive husband who gives me extra time whenever possible and my kids know that writing is like mommy’s job.

I haven’t quite made it to the level where I can support my family with my writing so I do have a part-time job, which is much easier than balancing writing with a full-time job. But it’s still challenging. Sometimes the laundry doesn’t get done or we eat grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner because I’m working on something. My health is important to me so I don’t ever pull all-nighters or skip exercise—being in good health is what makes it possible for me to be creative. I tell writers this all the time: take care of yourself so you can write what needs to be written. You can’t write when you are sick!

2. How did you decide to create POWW school?

I wanted to make it fun, easy, and inexpensive for aspiring writers to take their writing destiny into their own hands. The advent of self-publishing has opened the virtual door to writers who want to be in control of their work and their careers. It is absolutely possible to make a living writing and publishing books but if you have no idea where to start, the learning curve is steep.

I want to share what I’ve learned (sometimes the hard way) and help people share the stories within their hearts. I believe stories told from the heart change us in ways that make us better and its important to get those stories out to the people who need to read them. A story could change someone’s life. POWW School is all about helping writers free their stories and get them out into the world.

3. What are you reading right now?

I’m almost finished with The Affinities by Robert Charles Wilson. It’s the story of a not too distant future where people can take a test to see what social group they fit into and they essentially leave family and friends to become part of that group. Members of this group represent the people you are likely to cooperate best with in all areas of life—creative, interpersonal, even financial. But then human nature sets in and these groups form political alliances influencing global issues like economics, environmental problems, and war. What happens when these groups become too myopic? It’s a very interesting story based on our ever-changing world of social media. It’s a really good book.

4. How hard is the Crow? (That yoga position?)

It’s really hard! It took me eight years of practice to finally be able to do it. Not only do you need some strength in your upper arms but you also need balance and a strong core or you fall on your face (which I did often). I find that if I don’t keep practicing it, I have a hard time holding it for more than a few seconds. My idol is Tao Porchon-Lynch who is 96 year-old yoga teacher who can do some poses I cannot even dream of holding. She’s been practicing yoga since she was eight years old! That’s amazing!

5. What is your favorite indulgence?

To me, there is nothing more indulgent than a spa day. I’m talking where you wear nothing but a fuzzy robe, get a massage, drink cucumber water, sit in a sauna, and lounge around. That’s heaven!

6. What is your least favorite food?

If it’s well prepared, I’ll eat almost anything but I’m not a fan of plain cooked beets. They taste like sour dirt by themselves.
7. Ranch or blue cheese? (Or something else?)

Blue cheese!


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