Today is a very exciting day. My brainchild, The Lesson Plan: Conversations with Accomplished Women, is going live with the first interview featuring Linne Marsh, award-winning author, killer copywriter, and incredible mentor and friend.
What is The Lesson Plan?
Since this is the first in what will be a long running column featuring inspiring boss babes, I want to give a little background on what this is, why I am doing it and what you can expect.
After a year of blogging, I started feeling like I wanted to expand the subjects covered on I Spy Fabulous. I’ve been a freelance copywriter for years prior to the blog and I taught English for 8 years before that. I wanted to bring more passion and soul to the blog and cover topics that also speak to the blog’s mission – to be the modern woman’s guide to her best life.
Our best lives are more than just beauty products.
So, I decided to create an interview series, inspired by my years as a teacher, to glean wisdom, advice, tips and best practices from accomplished women who embody all the qualities of the modern woman.
This interview series is not looking for answers to questions covered in their resume.
No. The purpose of The Lesson Plan is to dig deeper, to go to the heart of their motivation, how they stay productive, their hacks for balancing all the things, and, of course, a few of their guilty pleasures (or just pleasures – sans guilt).
I want to round out these incredible women so that we all walk away from these interviews with useful nuggets, some solid inspiration we can put into practice, and a feeling of empowerment.
Meet Award-Winning Author – Linne Marsh:
Linne is an award-winning author who specializes in content writing and whiteboard animation video scripts for clients. Her work has been published in a recent anthology and another piece has just been accepted into the Salt City Genre Writers 2020 Anthology “By Virtue Fall”, with a tentative release date of March 2020. Also, she has another story that has been picked up by SOOPs Publishing that is coming out next year as well.
With all her writing, I was thrilled that she agreed to be interviewed for The Lesson Plan.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with Linne for many years – first as a new freelance writer working for her and on her writing team for Ydraw, a whiteboard animation company, and then, years later, as a peer writing with her for other projects.
I learned so much from her constructive feedback, suggestions, extreme talent, and just sheer passion for writing – and I know you will, too.
She approaches writing from a collaborative place – where brainstorming should be fun and ideas should run wild a little bit before you try to reign them in and give a piece structure.
But, I won’t go too in-depth on what she has to say, because she kindly answered some questions for me and her responses are as brilliantly written and full of golden nuggets as I expected.
Let’s get to know Linne:
Linne Marsh – The Lesson Plan Interview:
ISF: What do you do professionally?
LM: Professionally I am a freelance content writer who specializes in writing explainer video scripts and website content. Oh, and award-winning author. 😊
*Linne also does speaking engagements on writing and freelancing and she is an excellent and compelling public speaker!
ISF: What inspired you to become a writer?
LM: I can’t classify it as inspiration. It was more of a passion that turned into a career. When I grew up, I wanted to be a doctor. By the time I got to college, I wanted to do sports medicine. Then I took a chemistry class, and it was miserable. (My husband can attest to this. One of our early date nights was me crying over an F on a Chem test.) At the time, I was also in an upper-level English class and slaying it. Not only that, but I loved it. I changed my major to English after that semester. I’ve never looked back. Even when people told me my degree would be worthless.
Writing is what I love. Now I get paid to do it. I fell into the career as a freelancer. It came down to keeping a soul sucking job as a personal assistant (no offense to people who love that career, it just wasn’t for me) or taking the leap into managing my own business. It was scary. My desire for freedom to be a mom and use the education I worked hard for won out. I leapt into freelancing with full force. Freelance writing, well, writing in general, wasn’t even on my radar, but I’ve loved every second of it. I’ve achieved freedom to be at home with my kids, while still using my education to earn some cash flow. Living the dream. (Serious side note: I love it, but it is also a challenge. I don’t want anyone to think everything is coming up roses all the time.)
ISF: What was your biggest professional mistake and how did you use it to grow?
Not hiring childcare when I needed it. Over the summer, I hired a nanny for a couple days a week. I wouldn’t be able to get anything done if I didn’t have dedicated child-free time to work. It helps me grow by increasing my output in a time when I would need to scale back.
ISF: What motivates you when you need to get to work?
Checklist. I’m a huge nerd. I love putting checkmarks next to items on a to do list. Fun fact, I occasionally write things down that I’ve already done just so I can check them off. I’m very goal-oriented, so I crave that sense of completion.
ISF: I love checklists, too. Do you have any routines or rituals that you use before getting to work that help you focus?
Hmmm. Does chaos count? Organized chaos. That’s what I’ll call it. I am writing All.Day. Long. in my head. Sounds weird, but it’s the outlining in the shower or while watching my kids play at the park that makes it to paper or screen. Driving and showers are the best, though. TMI? Don’t picture me naked (you just did, didn’t you?), but really, the shower is one of the best places to get in a creative space. I can puzzle out scripts and stories. So, I guess my routine is to jump in a shower before I really sit at a computer.
ISF: Great idea, lol. How do you stay organized?
Google Assistant! Oh, my word. I would be lost without her. I can shout things from all over the house, and she adds them right to my calendar, or answers my kids’ questions when I don’t know the answer. I can even set alarms and reminders, so I don’t miss appointments or forget to pick up milk. Revolutionary.
Also, my Google calendar. If it’s not on there – it’s not happening. Or, at least I’m not doing it. I’m also crossing my fingers and praying that a Roomba is in my future. Man, that would be a blessing. I know there are probably a million other apps I could use to organize my life. I’m open to submissions. Email me! Lmarsh1203@gmail.com.
ISF: I love my Roomba. Fully support that decision, lol. I wrote about some life-changing apps that I love, but let’s see if some readers email you, too! Let’s talk about how you balance professional and personal responsibilities? The elusive “life balance” question!
I treat everything like it’s an appointment: It helps me keep everything straight. So, my time at the gym is an appointment; going to the park, appointment; taking a conference call, appointment.
I rely on a tribe of people: my husband, my mother-in-law, and other incredibly helpful friends. I wouldn’t be able to operate my life the way I want to without their help.
Outsourcing: Things that take time away from writing or my family, I outsource. So, I pick up groceries, get my house cleaned, hire handymen, etc. Oh, and Amazon Prime is my other best friend.
A dedicated workspace: This gets my mind in work mode. Once I’m sitting at my desk, I do not allow myself to think about my personal life. I lock in and write!
ISF: Great advice! Let’s lighten things up – are you an early bird or night owl? How have you used this to help you win professionally?
Both. I find the early bird gets the worm, but creativity is at a peak late at night. Being an early bird and night owl has helped me with international clients. Since I can work a flexible schedule, I am open to phone calls early or late. It also helps me meet rigorous deadlines. If I meet with a client during the day, I can work late and turn around copy faster than they anticipate. There’s something to be said for unconventional hours.
ISF: True. I feel most creatives have alternate schedules. I certainly do. As a writer, you probably have a lot of favorite quotes. Care to share one?
Tons. Right now my favorite inspirational work quote is: “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” Anton Chekhov
That “show, don’t tell” advice is a tough to implement. Chekhov describes it poetically. It’s brilliant.
ISF: I love Chekhov. What do you do when you’re struggling to get motivated or be productive?
Walk around. It’s probably the endorphins that help. Either that or jump in a shower. I can tell you, I rarely smell.
ISF: That’s a good thing! Do you have a process for reflecting on what you’ve accomplished in order to plan for the future?
Excellent question. I don’t have a formal process, but I’m slowly taking steps to expand my business. I have one more baby at home, but I want to flesh things out with my business, so that when he starts school, I’m prepped to take on more.
ISF: I know you will! Let’s have some fun with the final questions: what TV show are you currently binging?
The Handmaid’s Tale and The Good Place. (I must balance out the drama with some comedy.)
ISF: Excellent choices! I’m a huge fan of both.
How fun to hear about motivation, balance, creative process tips and more from an award-winning author.
Linne’s work can be found in the new anthology, “A Little Wrong: The Salt City Genre Writers 2019 Chapter Anthology” available on Amazon here.
Big thanks to Linne for showing up bigtime in this interview and helping me kick-off what is going to be a super inspiring, girl power loaded interview series.
Do you know a fabulous woman I should interview? Send me an email or comment below!
Have a fabulous day,