Stephanie Roberts and I hung out at the BlogHer conference, and she recently posted a recording of our conversation on her blog. She asks things people are scared to ask me in person, like how can I keep blogging about my husband? She asks me things no one ever asks, like how do I write a blog post? She also asks stuff people ask all the time that I never have a good answer for, like, how do I manage kids and a career? But this time I have a good answer.

Here’s the link to the interview.

14 replies
  1. Kathryn
    Kathryn says:

    My first thought when I heard you start speaking was that you sound nothing like what I imagined. Then I realized that I’ve always used my own head-voice when I read your blog.

    I’m really excited that you posted this link because now I can hear your voice when I’m reading. And I think that will help me to think more critically (see: analytically, not negatively) about what you have to say.

  2. Yvette (in Boston)
    Yvette (in Boston) says:

    Nice interview segment. Really. I could have listened to you go on and on, about more topics, or more in depth. A couple of things: I realized at one point (talking about experts) that you were saying what you’ve written. Funny thing though, it seems more powerful a message spoken. Must be something about the listening to another’s voice, instead (as the first commenter said) listening to your words with my voice in my head. Second thing, you have a terrific voice. I just wished, like, that you, like, said “like” less. Must be a Gen X thing. (I’m working on getting my 9 year old daughter to do less of that as well.) Anyway, cool format, thanks for posting the link. Cheers.

  3. Shefaly
    Shefaly says:

    You sound like I think you would.

    And I am glad you said a good post is like a poem. I am constantly asked how I come up with posts. And it is hard to explain.

    Well for me, one blog is easy as it is ‘technical’, but the writing blog is purely serendipity (the poem) combined with a lot of editing and pruning (the painful bit). Some posts flow in 10 minutes, others take an hour or more to craft.

    Thanks for the link.

  4. Emily DeVoto
    Emily DeVoto says:

    Great interview, Penelope. I love how open and brave you are, and how your you-ness shines through in everything you do. Your attitude and experiences are very helpful to me as I’m trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up. In particular, your insight that people who give advice need to demonstrate that they, too, are real people who need advice is really profound.

  5. Carol
    Carol says:

    Haven’t commented before, but I’ve been reading for a while and I really enjoyed that. Nice to hear your voice!

  6. Alice Bachini-Smith
    Alice Bachini-Smith says:

    Really enjoyed listening to you, Penelope, it was so interesting to hear your thoughts in a different format.

    Your comments on combining work and family reminded me of a full-time mother of four I once knew, who also ran childbirth classes and a post-natal support group. When an overwhelmed new mom asked how she coped, the answer was “It’s easy, you just lower your standards!”

    I took this to be about focussing on what really matters, and letting go of the lesser stuff. Delegating is a bit different obviously, but I think they are related. Letting go, having faith, things will be OK and there’s no such thing as a perfect score in parenting because you’re on a whole other CEO plane of just doing the most important stuff, with no-one “above” you.

    I would include breadwinning and living authentically under “most important stuff”- some people are not cut out to be home parents. (I wasn’t even cut out to stay married to my kids’ dad- so we compromise, we manage, we try to make things up other ways, and in the end hopefully everyone can still get to the same place. That’s life, etc.)

    So, family first, with family including both parents; not parental self-sacrifice to the point of self-harm, which is bad for kids. I think people still don’t get that.

    (apologies for the lengthly not-so-on-topic comment)

  7. Joselle
    Joselle says:

    This was great. I second the podcast series idea. I would love to actually HEAR more on Brazen Careerist.
    You mentioned doing more speaking. Any engagements coming up?

    * * * * * *
    Thanks for asking about the speaking. I have three or four lined up each month, but they are almost always private — for the members of a given organization. I’ll let everyone know when there is something public.

    -Penelope

  8. Sam
    Sam says:

    Excellent podcast. I enjoyed listening to your work process and your journey along the career path. I wish more people discussed this so that its not such a mystery to me on how people wind up where they wind up.

    I may be mistaken, but I think you might have mentioned at one point that you were an introvert and that you worked very hard to become who you are today. I wouldn’t mind reading more ideas on the same topic as I am very introverted. Thank you.

  9. matchmaker
    matchmaker says:

    Jessica – Great idea to use the George Foreman. I imagine that you could grill up slices of bread pudding, which would be a great way to serve this in summer, topped with some fresh berries.

  10. Kate Stefani
    Kate Stefani says:

    It’s a very inspiring story for any freelance writer. Great sense of humor :)

    I’m a freelance writer also, but of a smaller scale yet. Someday I may write a book :)

    Good luck!

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