Living the Writer's Life: Heather Robson
Heather Robson’s 4-Day Weekend Reset
When we last interviewed Heather Robson, it was 2012. She was writing white papers and case studies for clients and working hard to grow her business. Now, nine years later, Heather is a leading expert in UX copywriting and is the head of AWAI’s Wealthy Web Writer. But that’s not all! Did you know Heather’s also working on her fourth novel? You’ll love this insider’s look at one of our top instructors. Plus, don’t miss the end, when she shares her special four-day weekend reset technique!
Tell us about the three novels you’ve written. What was the process like to finish writing and get these published?
I’ve written and published three novels, and I’m about halfway through my fourth. It’s a labor of love. I don’t imagine I’ll ever make a lot of money from it, but I love the stories and the characters. I’d write them even if no one ever read them but me.
If I’m good and I write an hour every day, I can finish a draft in a year. (I haven’t been good the last three years!) Then I work with my husband on a robust editing process that takes about six months. Then proofing and formatting and publishing goes pretty quickly after that.
What is the most rewarding part of your work with AWAI and Wealthy Web Writer?
With AWAI, I absolutely love teaching UX copywriting. One of my favorite things to hear from students is that learning UX changes the way they see the world. In every situation they begin to see how they could improve the experience for everyone involved, which is really cool.
On Wealthy Web Writer, working with new writers to get them published and paid. I love that.
What’s the most challenging and valuable lesson you’ve learned over the last nine years?
Sometimes you set out with a vision of success, and then a completely different type of success finds you. It can be hard to let go of the plan you had and accept the direction life is taking you, even when you like that direction better. Somewhere in the back of your mind, it can still feeling like failing or giving up. So learning to be flexible, to jump on the opportunities life sends your way unexpectedly, and to be willing to let go of the things that no longer serve you even if they feel incomplete.
What would you do differently if given the chance? Why?
I’d have started building a list sooner, and I’d have started attending more live events sooner. Having a list opens up a lot of possibilities. (I still don’t have a list!) And attending live events is fun and educational, and you meet people who turn into friends, colleagues, clients. More than anything, live events have helped build my business.
What are some goals you have on the horizon?
I’m working on launching my UX copywriting site, I have an e-commerce idea that I want to launch, I have a blog that I’m noodling around in my mind, I’m working on a book, and I have visions of UX corporate trainings in my head.
Besides your work with Wealthy Web Writer, what other projects keep you busy?
I do content creation for a number of clients. Mostly blogs. I cover a variety of topics, which keeps my love of weird and interesting facts sated. And then creating courses around UX … the UX Copywriting Mastery and Certification program teaches the fundamentals of UX copywriting and then looks at how to apply those to a number of different projects. We have a ton of fun and learn a lot … myself included. Every time.
How to you relax and reset?
My husband and I regularly backpack in the Danskin Mountains about 45 minutes from our home. We also do longer vacations — two to four weeks — where we try to settle into an area and get to know it and the people a bit. We did that in Louisville, Kentucky, this year, and it was a blast.
I try every other month to take a four-day weekend, but the key is I plan something every day along a theme. So I might go for a hike every day, or I might do a puzzle every day, or I might bake something every day. I’ve found taking this approach gives me a huge reset in terms of relaxation.
Heather's Living The Writer's Life story was originally published in Barefoot Writer. To learn more about how you can start living your dream writer's life too, click here.
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