Author: Lily Herman
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I found an adorable video of my kids this weekend that I posted on Instagram and have watched about 10,000 times. It’s a simple moment that I’m so happy I captured, because I never would have remembered it as perfect as it is.
My kids are sitting at my kitchen table having dinner and watching a movie. I guess they had just finished dinner because Evie is sucking on a huge lollipop.
Just that scene was evocative for me. Having kids 18 months apart while building a very, very unforgiving investigative journalism startup and having been recently divorced with the bulk of the custody for those years…it was not easy. I am always stunned when I look back on what I endured, even if it led to chronic back pain for a time and hospitalization from pneumonia because it was so hard. It makes me proud, because it’s also what bonded us so thoroughly. Eli gets upset when I talk about it because she says, “You shouldn’t have had to do that much.”
Newsletter editor Lily here.
Do you have random things in your everyday life that you could just never figure out and then suddenly — poof! — you get it?
That was me with lunch food.
I’ve never been someone who put too much stock in what I ate for lunch. I ate whatever my mom packed me for school until I got to an age when I ate whatever was in the cafeteria. In college, there were dining halls and plenty of other options that laid out what you could generally eat. It wasn’t until post-grad adulthood that I realized that I had no idea what to eat for lunch when left to my own devices.
We are all busy. We are all overstressed. At any given minute, we have stress at work, a loved one in turmoil, our own emotional weight of life, pressures of elderly parents, kids, sick loved ones, fear over the state of the world. Things that feel immediately existential.
So it is natural that we only have so much capacity to care deeply for others as we would for ourselves. At some point, we have to triage.
I am so devastated at what is happening to women and girls in Afghanistan. But I also have so much happening so close to home. Other than feeling devastated, maybe sending money somewhere, reading about and amplifying the issue, there comes a point at which…I emotionally move on.
What would your life look like if you did a better job promoting yourself?
What are you incredible at that has a clear value on it and that you are not getting paid or not getting paid enough to do?
What if you had a hype man running around telling everyone that?
I hate making broad statements about genders. But I am still gonna say this: WOMEN ARE TERRIBLE AT SELF-PROMOTION.
It is not your fault. We’ve been conditioned into it. But you will not — WILL NOT! — live your best life until you get past this. And you CAN get past this.
I am writing this from my home (#2) in Palm Springs. My kids are finally getting acclimated to school. (In case you didn’t hear, Evie even won her student council election last week!) Paul and I have come through one of those periods in relationships where stuff just needed to get sorted out and it finally did and now we can just enjoy being together.
I’d be lying if I said that the company was in the exact place I want it to be in. Things are always stressful with startups. You break through one level, and well, now you’ve got a whole new level you have to struggle to break through. There is no “now we’ve made it!” stasis.
Newsletter editor Lily here.
After an incredibly rough summer, I’m having a much more grounded fall. I’ve started focusing on my self-care again and doing the things I need to be happy and healthy. Work has been a little chaotic due to some factors outside of my control, but I’m not panicked. Everything’s very normal at home, and I just got back from spending almost a month with my mom.
I’ve also started doing what I always do as we head into the fourth quarter of the year: I’m beginning to make plans for 2022.
My kids and I joke that everyone in our house has a Lizzo theme song.
Barracuda’s is “Juice.”
Mine is “Truth Hurts.” (Or “Fitness.” Or “Where the Hell’s My Phone.”)
Eli’s is “Good as Hell.” (Her hair toss is legendary.)
I can’t remember what we said Apple’s was.
It’s not an exact science, but Evie’s is so easy.
“Woke up feeling like I just might run for president/Even if there is no precedent.”
Admittedly, the lines in that song “I’m about to add a little estrogen…” and “If you feel like a girl then you real like a girl/do your thing run the whole damn world” are also pretty Eli. But it’s Evie that we have always acknowledged would be the president in the family. (Although Eli thinks she should make a pit stop as governor of Texas first.)
OH MY GOSH.
Last night, we finished our final Zoom promoting Paul’s course on book publishing, and the course is on fire. We’ve got about eight slots left, and he’s got about 30 people in his inbox asking various follow-up questions about the course.
It has been so exciting to watch over the last two weeks as he’s given hundreds (literally!) of authors the confidence that they CAN ABSOLUTELY publish their book, even if they feel like they’re hitting a wall on it right now. I truly think this course is going to net dozens of books winding up in readers’ hands that may not have otherwise.
Last Sunday, we had our first Zoom get-to-know-you event for our new cohort of the Sisterhood course. We rapidly veered off course once Adimika introduced herself, as happens a lot.
Why? Because she’s an epidemiologist who is on the weekly calls with the White House about COVID, and we are all deep in our second year of living with a pandemic. We’ve all got all the questions and fears ALL THE TIME. We may have learned how to move along with our day, but it’s there and the variants are always changing things just enough to continually panic us.
Today’s intro is from Paul Bradley Carr, author and co-founder of Chairman Mom.
What’s that phrase? If you want something done, ask a busy person.
This week, I am that busy person.
In addition to preparing for my looming book launch, I’ve also spent hours in front of the camera, like some kind of well-treated hostage, recording material for my upcoming course on How To Get Published.
It was Sarah’s idea: To put together an eight-week virtual course (live and on-demand) to teach everything I’ve learned over 20 years as a published author and occasional publisher.