Sarah Fox Discusses Prioritization, Not Wasting Time, & Writing Better Books In This Insightful Interview
Welcome to the next edition of my interview series where leaders I know share their insights about living better and working smarter.
In pursuit of publishing my first book, and becoming a better writer, I added several writing experts to my newsfeed. One of those was the Bookish Fox blog, by Sarah Fox who helps authors write their best book possible. I invited her to share her insights. She generously agreed and so here we go!
Briefly, tell us about yourself, your story, and what you do.
I am the CEO of an editorial agency, a book coach, and a writer. My first word was “book,” so I feel like I have been destined to spend my days with words and stories. ☺
To you, what does it mean to live better and work smarter? Is this something you strive for? Why? How do you go about it?
Living better and working smarter is about prioritization. It means actually working on the things that matter instead of what feels “urgent” (which is rarely true) but aren’t important.
It is something I strive for because we only have one life (cliché but true), and I don’t want to waste mine doing things that don’t get me closer to my meaningful goals.
You go about prioritizing what is most important by writing it down. First, you need to actually determine what goals you value, and then you need to break down the steps to achieve them. Then you put them in your calendar!
As a leader, what does it look like for you to help others live better and work smarter?
As a book coach, helping people finally write their books is definitely helping them live better! As part of that, I help them write their books “smarter” by creating an outline and writing schedule with them. Without a clear plan, it is easy for people to get “stuck” and give up on projects. For me, that is the saddest thing! The world always needs more stories, and it would be a tragedy not to have them just because the writers don’t know what or when to write.
What Is one of the many impactful stories you've experienced over the years? How did it resonate with you? How has it affected you?
This is a hard one. There are so many! This may be really nerdy, but one of the book series that have most affected me is Lord of the Rings. Whenever I get stressed or feel like the world is a dark place, that story has given me hope. I also love its message that mercy is ultimately what saves the day.
What do you think about systems? How do you apply it to your life and work? Which are the most helpful and worth sharing?
To be honest, when I hear the word “systems,” I cringe a bit. According to Kolbe, I am a systems maintainer, so I am great at keeping them up, but I can’t create them. That’s why I hire people to set up various systems in my business (i.e. contracts, invoicing, etc.), and I have my account manager use them to get the work done. While I personally am not too involved in them, I definitely think they are crucial. I don’t think my business would run smoothly without them. My biggest piece of advice is if you aren’t great at developing them, hire it out.
As people traverse through this journey we call life, what parting words of wisdom would you share with readers?
I would tell them to read books! For me, books are everything. They do so many things! They can help you escape when you are stressed out or sad. They can provide wisdom by learning from other people’s experiences and advice. Finally, they broaden your world view: you can experience other worlds, perspectives, and time periods!
Thank you for sharing your insights. How can people connect with you?
I love, love, love Twitter. You can find me at @BookishSarahFox. I also adore coaching people to create their books, and I enjoy editing their drafts. You can find out more about that (as well as get free writing advice) at thebookishfox.com.