Former litigator, Shari Leid currently operates An Imperfectly Perfect Life, LLC, a professional mindset coaching business primarily serving clients who are in those tricky middle age years, helping them create the life of their dreams. She is a national speaker and author of The 50/50 Friendship Flow: Life Lessons From and For My Girlfriends and Make Your Mess Your Message: More Life Lessons From and For My Girlfriends. Her third and final book in The
Friendship series, Ask Yourself This: Ultimate Life Lessons From and For My Girlfriends, was published Fall 2022.
This is her interview…
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
As a child, I loved to write. Throughout grade school and middle school, I often entered and won creative writing and essay contests. Entering college, I viewed myself as a skilled writer, especially in creative writing. However, upon receiving my first college creative writing paper back from a professor that I admired, I was devastated. I saw a big red C on the front of my paper with large handwritten angry looking scribbled words that destroyed my confidence. This was 1988. That experience changed my love of writing for many years. Fortunately, through the renewed practice of writing, which resulted in my first published book at age 50, my love of writing returned. Falling back in love with writing in my fabulous middle age years has brought me such joy being able to live out my childhood dream as a writer.
What is your book about?
It is a book that is meant to guide women to find connection, confidence, and happiness with 60 powerful questions. It is for women who may not have a professional life coach but has her girlfriends—her ride-or-die friends, her new acquaintances, her colleagues—and now through this book they also have my friends. Ask Yourself This takes readers on a journey of self- discovery as they reflect and journal through its pages.
In this final book of the Friendship series, I ask simple life questions that lead to thought- provoking answers, prompting conversations the reader probably never had before.
My hope is that the reader will discover:
Gratitude for the life experiences that brought her here
An understanding of why experiences were placed in her life
Recognition that she possesses all she needs to manifest her desires
New and renewed self-confidence
Deeper connections to her girlfriends and community
This book reveals the power of friendship as never before!
Why did you want to write this book?
I wanted to write this series of books because I believe everyone, we meet is both our teacher and our student. I am a strong advocate for sharing life experiences to learn from one another because through this process we can find that despite our perceived differences, we have common experiences that we can collectively learn and grow from. I am passionate about writing books that will spark desired change and growth for my readers.
What was the most difficult part about writing the book?
Selecting the women to interview because I’ve found that once I started this journey 3 years ago, setting these one-on-one dates to talk to women and learn about their lives was so transformational for myself and the women I met with, it was hard to stop – I wanted to talk to everyone I met! At the same time, finding the time to meet one-on-one was also a challenge, but well worth the investment of time.
The most rewarding?
Hearing from readers who are journaling through the book and have let me know how much they are enjoying the self-discovery process!
What do you hope other people will take away from reading your book?
The book challenges the reader to commit to 60 days of journaling, #60dayjournalchallenge. My hope is that the reader will find connection with my girlfriends who are the stars of the book and in doing so, will gain a better understanding of her life journey. I strongly believe that journaling is the best self-coaching tool there is. It is both effective and affordable! It is a tool that we all have access to. I hope this book changes the reader’s life, providing her with a better understanding of who she is, what she can do, and where her passion lies.
If you could tell your younger writing self-anything, what would it be?
Don’t be afraid to use your voice and communicate in a way that feels authentic to you simply because someone doesn’t like it. You can’t be everyone’s cup of tea and that is OK.
How long did it take to write your book?
It took me approximately one year to write this latest book. I wrote about the unique conversations I had with each of the 51 women who star in the book immediately after each date, editing as I went along.
What was the biggest challenge in writing your book?
Embarking on a project that involves so many subjects such as this, 51 women, communication and coordination throughout the process was the biggest challenge.
Who are your favorite authors (and why)?
I enjoy Ryan Holiday’s books. The Obstacle Is The Way is my favorite book of his because it embodies my belief that obstacles are simply detour signs to something greater than originally planned.
What does literary success look like to you?
Literary success for me is knowing that the reader understands the purpose of my books and my books are positively impacting the way the reader views her life and by journaling through them, she learns to build stronger, more fulfilling friendships. When I wrote these books, I wrote them with the idea that I am writing to “my ideal reader” – the middle-aged woman who will be inspired by the conversations shared between me and my girlfriends.
What’s the best writing advice you ever received?
Do not worry about social media popularity or collecting reviews, instead focus on your message and putting the best product you can out there and trust that your writing is making an impact on the lives of the people you wrote the book for.
What do you do when you are not writing?
I love to plan parties and gather with friends, travel with my husband, text regularly with my college-aged children who are attending school out of state, and play with my two very active Labrador retrievers. Outside of family and friends, I enjoy serving as a board member for WWIN, a non-profit that
provides college grants for women who have financial need, and I spend a fair amount of time volunteering in several other local non-profits that focus on education, housing, health research, and animal care.
What’s next for you?
In 2023, I’m traveling to all 50 states, sitting down for a meal with a woman I either have never met in person or only briefly met years prior. I’m interested in simply getting to know her with the belief that despite our perceived differences we can always find connection. The women I will meet with are diverse in age, race, economic levels, education levels, political beliefs, and religious beliefs—just to name a few of the many things that make us unique and will make this journey interesting.
How can our readers get a copy of your book?
It is available on Amazon in Kindle, Paperback, and Hardback.
What is the best way for our readers to connect with you?
My website is www.animperfectlyperfectlife.com