How do you work through self-doubts and fear?
One week after my daughter died I turned to my occupation, writing, to recover from multiple losses. In fact, I made a promise to myself: “I will write my way through grief.” I’m a health and wellness writer and his promise changed the focus of my writing to grief recovery. Eight grief resources have come from this promise. More important, I’ve met national grief experts and many other parents who have suffered the death of a child. No doubt about it, my life is richer because of these people.
Why do you write?
I write to learn new things and figure life out. As a non-fiction writer, I’m always researching and reporting on topics. In other words, I’m learning constantly and I love it.
Location and life experiences can really influence writing. Tell us where you grew up and where you now live.
I grew up in Great Neck, Long Island, the location of the United Nations before it moved into New York City. Some UN delegates sent their children t the high school I attended and I enjoyed meeting them. I attended Wheelock College in Boston, MA and took my graduate training at the University of Minnesota. Rochester, MN is my current home and I love it. Patients come to Mayo Clinic, Rochester from all over the world.
What is hardest, getting published, writing, or marketing?
Outlining a book, researching it and writing it are the easy parts. Marketing is, by far, the most difficult part of book writing. In this dicey economy many publishers and agents aren’t accepting new work. This means authors, whether they’re royalty, indie, or POD (print-on-demand) authors, have to get “out there” and sell their work. Marketing is a daily challenge.
What other jobs have you had in your life?
I’ve worked on community playgrounds, been a school secretary, taught preschool, kindergarten, and teacher certification workshops. After a dozen years in the classroom I changed careers and turned to freelance writing, a decision I never regretted.
How much sleep do you need to be your best?
I need seven hours of sleep in order to function. Because I’m an early morning person, I go to bed early, and hit the sack at 10 p.m. At five in the morning I’m often at the computer, writing copy at whirlwind speed. I write for an hour, have breakfast, and return to writing.
If you were accidentally locked into a store, what store would it be and what department?
Since I love to cook, I would like to be locked into a major department store, such as Macy’s, and be in the cookware department. That department would include kitchen tools, mixing bowls, tableware, linens, and cookbooks. I read cookbooks like some people read novels. The cookware department would have a hot pot of coffee on the counter, with a large mug just for me.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been a freelancer for 36+ years, am the author of hundreds of print and Internet articles, and 33 published books, some of them short and some of them long.
When you’re not writing how to you relax?
I relax with cooking, decorating, and reading. There’s nothing like a good mystery to get me relaxed and eager for the next page.
Sometimes it’s hard to keep at it. How do you keep going?
I’m a disciplined writer and write every day. Not writing would feel strange to me, so I don’t have to force myself to sit down at the computer. Other writers and would-be writers ask me about “writer’s block.” To be honest, I don’t have time for “writer’s block,” I have to keep practicing my craft and producing good work.
“Will I survive? Will I ever be happy again? Questions that Harriet Hodgson asked herself after she was left to raise her twin grandchildren, while grieving for four family members, including her daughter. Harriet reminds us that we are not alone in our grief and, though losses may define our lives, they will not destroy them. This book tugged at my heartstrings. Harriet’s account of a journey from despair to hope is filled with practical suggestions on how to once again have a meaningful life.
“Happy Again! inspired me and I think it will inspire you.” ~ Heidi Horsley, PsyD, LMSW, Executive Director, Open to Hope Foundation and Adjunct Professor, Columbia University
“Harriet Hodgson speaks wisely and compassionately from the very depths of her soul. Engagingly written with personal experiences, psychological insights, and practical wisdom, she transforms crushing tragedy to growth and a positive affirmation of life.” ~ Rabbi Earl Grollman, DHL, DD, author of Living When a Loved One has Died
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Genre – Non-fiction
Rating – G
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