As authors, we turn written words into images in reader’s minds, but we can also use images in our book research and marketing. In today’s show, I discuss these topics and more with Nancy Hendrickson.
In the intro, I mention Waterstones UK leaving the ebook business and sending its customers to Kobo (excellent move!), and also Pronoun self-publishing service selling to Macmillan.
Nancy Hendrickson is a non-fiction author of nearly 30 books, ranging from genealogy and history to books and courses for writers and creative entrepreneurs. Today we’re talking about her book, The Visual Writer: How to use images to spark creativity.
- Nancy’s path to writing via archeology.
- Why images matter to writers.
- Why Nancy doesn’t believe in writer’s block and how images can be used to get unstuck when writing.
- How an effective Google search can bring up the specific type of images an author is searching for.
- Pinterest as a tool for authors who want to save research images, and the way Joanna uses it for her fiction titles.
- Using image tags in HTML so the image is searchable and tools to help authors remember to do this.
- Following one’s curiosity, including during travel, and why that matters for writers.
- The different elements and streams of income that make up Nancy’s writing business.
Transcription of interview with Nancy Hendrickson
Joanna: Hi everyone. I’m Joanna Penn from thecreativepenn.com and today I’m here with Nancy Hendrickson. Hi Nancy.
Nancy: Hi Joanna, how are you?
Joanna: I’m good and it’s lovely to finally meet you. Just a little introduction for everyone listening.
Nancy is a non-fiction author of nearly 30 books ranging from genealogy and history to books and courses for writers and creative entrepreneurs and today we are talking about her book “The Visual Writer: How to Use Images to Spark Creativity.”
Nancy, let’s start by you telling us a little bit more about you and your writing background.
Nancy: I would love to. You know, I’ve heard so many authors interviewed who say, “I’ve written stories since I was a little kid. I always wanted to be a writer. If I can’t write, I would be miserable.” That has never been me.
Joanna: I’m so glad you said that.
Nancy: It has never been me. When I was a little kid, I wanted to be an archeologist. That was my absolute passion and when I got into college what I realized was being an archeologist means digging into things and finding out stuff and that is a perfect background for a non-fiction author because I love knowing about stuff. I love asking questions.
What I found in college was I’m a really good researcher and I had good basic writing skills. So it seemed a better career path for me. This was kind of how I came into writing was through my love of archeology.
Back in the day, my prime goal was to be a magazine writer. I hammered on that industry for years and wrote for a variety of magazines and I’ve always enjoyed that, but again, this is kind of where I fall out of the norm, I’ve always liked the business end of writing. I love selling an idea.
I love writing queries. When I hear the writers talk I always feel I’m like the oddball but it’s just who I am. So I did write for magazines and at the same time, I know that I’m going to sound like a schizophrenic person, but I have interest of almost everything on the planet. I was a volunteer for the American Association of Variable Star Observers which means I got out my telescope and I counted sun spots. the guy who ran that program said, “Do you want to write a book with me on solar astronomy for amateurs?” “Yeah, sure I do.” I got on the phone called the acquisitions editor at an astronomy publishing house. “Yeah, we would like to do that book.” That’s how I got started writing books and less of magazines.
Then I did the technical book thing. Wrote for technical magazines. Started getting into web content way back, learned some HTML, I messed around with CSS, I got into WordPress, I built WordPress sites, so you know, my writing is all over the board. And it always has been and I suspect but always will be.
Today I primarily write for in-person clients here is San Diego or I write books both Indie published and traditionally published. As a hybrid author I think it’s really important that I don’t just say, “I’m going to do this one Indie and not one traditional.” There is also a game plan for me of why I would go one route or the other. So that’s kind of in a thumbnail my writing background.
Joanna: I don’t think that’s very oddball. I think that probably is more typical for a business minded non-fiction author which you are. But also, I said to you in my email that I feel like we have a lot in common because I grew up wanting to be an archeologist as well. And I have that visual side which we are talking about and you know. That’s why my fiction, you know, I write kind of, I say Lara Croft meets Dan Brown, but it could also be Lara Croft and Indiana Jones, that kind of archeology side of things.
Nancy: I love that.
Joanna: It comes out in a lot of stuff but I think it’s a very interesting background. Of course you do stuff in genealogy as well, and we’ll come back to all these things.
Let’s start off with “The Visual Writer” book. Writers use words obviously, so why write a book about images and why are images so important?
Nancy: I think it’s in our DNA to be visual. We are primarily a visual species and, I’m sure you do this, I do this, you read articles all the time about the level of engagement is so much higher on Twitter if you use an image versus text. So I think it’s just in our DNA that we are visual, but this is not new.
Even anthropologically, there is not a newspaper that tells me the weather report. I walked outside, I looked at the sky, the birds, the migration patterns of animals, you know, I use my eyes to give me the information I needed to survive. And even in more recent times this is kind of staying in the how we are visual people, I look at all the symbolisms and the symbols in our lives go into a cemetery. I’m a cemetery geek. Okay, you know, that weeping willow is about sadness. It’s not just because it was a pretty thing to carve into a tombstone. It had a meaning.
I call writers word painters because it’s our job as a writer whether fiction or non-fiction to paint a picture for the reader. And the better picture you paint, the more the reader is going to get out of your work. I love using images because it pushes my brain into a different direction, it pushes me deeper.
Let me give you a quick example. If I’m a writer and I want to write a scene in which a pot of spaghetti explodes, and I write, “This pot of spaghetti explodes.” Okay, you the reader are just going to see spaghetti on the walls but what if I showed you, the writer, a picture of this exploding kitchen? It pushes your brain to a different place. “Oh my God, how am I going to clean this up? How am I going to get the stains off the kid’s clothes? Is the landlord going it charge me a thousand dollars to clean up this mess?” It makes us ask questions that I think don’t immediately come to our mind. That’s the value of pictures for me anyway.
Joanna: And what’s interesting is, you know, you said up front you’re a non-fiction writer but the pot of spaghetti exploding, you know, would generally be more in a fiction novel.
Many authors talk about the idea of writer’s block. How can images help writers get over a sort of block?
Nancy: Well, you know what, number one, I actually don’t believe in writer’s block. As someone who has made their living for 20 plus years as a freelance writer, I don’t have the time or the luxury to have writer’s block. I sit down, I have an assignment, I do it, period.
I think this thing called writer’s block is more about not having clarity about where you want to go with your words. And I will tell you, even though I write non-fiction, I took a short story writing course a few months ago because I wanted to challenge my brain to think differently. And what I learned in that class was that I already, I’ve learned the craft over all this time and I’m very good at writing visually and I think that comes because I use pictures so often.
One of the examples in the book that you referenced that I wrote was I was doing the magazine article for astronomy magazine on, it’s called the very large array, it’s radio telescopes out in New Mexico, and I could not get the beginning of that article. I went back and looked at my photographs and there were wild flowers and cows and something clicked in my head and helped me start writing my introduction to that article. It ended up being probably one of the best introductions I have ever written in my life because I used pictures to get my brain out of the word stuff and into the visuals. And even as a non-fiction writer, I try my best to write as visually as I can.
Joanna: You mentioned the wild flowers and the cows, those are details that bring things to life whether you’re writing narrative non-fiction or fiction. I agree with that, too, and often if you can’t go there, you can find things on the internet around places, can’t you, for example?
If you had Googled the large array you would have maybe found different images, but often that’s the way to get more, sort of real life stuff into writing.
Nancy: Absolutely, and you know, I don’t think I put this in the book, but a woman who was there hears this, and you’re out in the middle of nowhere because they don’t want anything to interfere with these radio signals and there was this jack rabbit that I had taken a picture of. I thought, “Oh my God, here are these huge radio telescopes out listening for space and here is this big jack rabbit with his ears up listening to his world.” And it was such a wonderful juxtaposition. It gave me just a great way to work that kind of imagery into the article.
Joanna: And actually, bringing that up, kind of the listening side which is almost a smaller version of the big listening. You mentioned that weeping willow with the graveyard before and that image is a metaphor.
Nancy: Yes, absolutely. And you know, not to linger into the graveyard thing but as a genealogy person, of course, it’s one of my favorite hangouts. If you want to write fiction and you want to know about a time period, go to a graveyard. That’s the place to go. You’re going to find the most incredible symbolism and some of it is incredibly sad like the lambs that are on children’s graves. I love those places. I won’t go down that road, I could talk about that forever.
Joanna: Oh, don’t worry, everyone on this show understands taphophiles and those of us who love graveyards. There ar quite a few listeners who send me pictures of graveyards from all around the world. I said we have a lot in common.
Getting more specific around images and one thing again with fiction, but also non-fiction, if you’re doing interview or something, people are really important. If you just tried to come up with in your heads what a person looks like, you know, I might have brown hair or whatever, blue eyes.
Pictures really help us can’t they to differentiate between different humans because they’re quite hard to describe.
Nancy: I have a very large image file as you can imagine. Even if I’m describing somebody in an interview because I used to write interviews for astronomy magazine, you have to use those images to pull something out that doesn’t just say, you know, she is a middle-aged brunette or, she wore a blue dress. That is so flat and it does not engage the reader and it doesn’t bring the reader into what you’re doing.
If I get stuck in places like that, and I guess that’s what I would call writer’s block, is that I simply am looking for a way into the story, because we’re both telling stories basically and we are both trying to engage readers, I will go find pictures. And I can either go into my own picture file as I referenced to the book, I have a cupboard full of oracle decks so I will just go pull out card and it’s just a symbol. It forces my brain to think differently.
Because we can get really lazy, and I think our brain can go to this very cliché place really quickly. But when you pull out something, I was working on a scene because I do dabble in fiction. Nobody knows that much about it because it’s my secret thing. I was writing something about a setting in New Mexico and I drew this card that was an ocean. And I thought, oh, what the hell does this have to do with my New Mexico thing? And I realized well what does an ocean mean to me? It can be terrifying, it can be exciting, it can be refreshing. So just what is that symbol mean me to personally, then I can take it into my story, whether fiction or non-fiction.
Joanna: You mentioned oracle decks there and in my head I thought you meant an Oracle database.
Nancy: No, like an oracle, like…
Joanna: Like a tarot card.
Nancy: It’s like a tarot card. They’re also called oracle decks or, I don’t really care what it is. If it’s imagery that makes me think differently, that’s all I care about.
Joanna: I have a load of photos, too, but I generally have it electronically and then the only physical books I buy these days are books of images. So I have one on the apocalypse which I love because I love writing about the apocalypse. I bought one recently called “The Atlas of Obscure Places” which I really love and lots of graveyards and skulls and things like that.
I find picture books are the thing that is almost necessary to have physically which sounds similar to your cards.
Nancy: Yes, it is, very much. My love of history is very American centric. It’s just where my interest goes, and sometimes I feel like I need something way out of my comfort level. I just ordered a limited edition tarot deck called, and it’s the Tarot of Prague, and it’s all Prague based imagery. And I thought, “That’s good because that’s going to really force me.” I am always looking for ways to force myself to think differently.
Joanna: And also, it’s a way of seeing. I was in Prague over New Year. It’s a place that I love and it’s been in my books, a great place and very eastern European type of thing. But, when I say eastern European a lot of people might not know what that means. But the pictures will help you get into that space.
Some people struggle with, if you’re walking around a graveyard, you’re not just taking a picture of everything, are you?How do you train your brain to pick out the stuff that’s interesting?
Nancy: This is a double edged sword in that I have so many interests, I’ll never be able to write about them all. I have to force myself to focus because I do love kind of everything. I love everything. I typically will go with a goal. Am I looking for symbols? Am I looking for epitaphs? Am I looking for family groups? I really do go with some idea of what I am looking for. And you know, for me it’s almost always symbols because…I have a friend who actually wrote a book about cemetery research and I love it because I can go look up all the symbols I’m photographing to see what’s the origin and it’s amazing to me.
I was in Colorado, I love to travel as you can tell. I was in Colorado going down some back road somewhere and I saw this tombstone factory and I thought, “Oh my God, this is so cool.” I pulled in and I went into the office and I said, “I know you’re going to think this is nuts but could you give me a tour through this tombstone factory?” They were wonderful, they showed me how they did everything. You would have loved that place. But just the symbolism and today people will choose symbols because they like the picture and traditionally, you know, people do choose symbols because they actually had a meaning. I probably didn’t answer your question, sorry.
Joanna: My book that came out today, “Destroyer of Worlds,” is set in India. I’ve been to India a couple of times but, Mumbai, for example, where quite a bit of the book is set. I’ve never been to Mumbai. So I was looking on Flicker and on Pinterest and I guess just Googling in general and I find that obviously the quality of the images you get back on Google image search are based around the quality of your questions.
Because if you just put “Mumbai,” that’s just going to be ridiculous. So you have to go a bit deeper. For example, the towers of silence, the place name is one thing, but again, if you had put “Mumbai graveyard” that wouldn’t have been enough.
Do you image search online as well as physically and how do you search? And it’s a funny question but I do find that some people just don’t have that ability to find, you know, to kind of come in at an angle to find the right images.
Nancy: I use Google as well. And maybe this is just my research background. I like to create Google search strings by using quotes and pluses and minuses. So I’ve gotten very good at knowing how to create a search string on Google. And it can be very complex because Google is like a math operator. Google can handle a very long string, query string.
But I also, because a lot of my stuff is US history, I go to usa.gov and also everything that I find their imagery is copyright free because it is paid for by we the people. So I like going there. I also use Flicker with creative commons but I’ve also recently stumbled on Pixabay and they have very, very good images. Really high quality. But you’re right, you really have to ask for the right thing or you’re just going to get all these crazy stuff.
Joanna: Could you give us an example of one of your string searches?
Nancy: I’m just going to give you a genealogy one because it’s easier. “John Smith” +Ohio -Kentucky. That is kind of a search string is I’m saying, “I want you to find me John Smith’s stuff in Ohio but I don’t want you to bring me back anything from Kentucky.”
And sometimes I will also say, “And I only want you to pull it from ancestry.com. I only want you to pull it from this website.” Because you can set up all those operators in Google and it works very well. So if you want Prague, it’s just so easy depending on what you want to set up that string of search operators. And it’s just like junior algebra equation. It’s exactly what it looks like.
Joanna: Which some people, most people don’t find that easy.
Nancy: It’s very logical to me. And Google has, they have a very good help thing about their search operators.
Joanna: I think will become more and more important over time. My mom is a perfect example of someone who just is still afraid of computers. She is in her late 60s, she has never got into computers, so when she searches, she just doesn’t search in the way that we would.
So that’s why I was asking these questions because I know that some people haven’t really grasped that you have to get to this deeper level and that that deeper level can also bring serendipity. Someone said to me, it was a classic, they said, “But if you’re not going around physical libraries looking for these things, how will serendipity happen or synchronicity or whatever you want to call it?” And I’m like, seriously, have you been on the internet?
If I type in, whatever you type into Google and then click the image button, what’s going to come up, a whole lot of things that you weren’t expecting, right? Isn’t that just as serendipitous?
Nancy: It is wonderful. Plus Google has gotten very smart in understanding what you’re looking for and then also will use your past searches to have a sense of what you’re looking for. So because it knows now that I’m writing two genealogy books right now for a traditional publisher. It knows I look for genealogy a lot, so it tends to bring genealogy stuff up to the top because it knows my search history.
Joanna: What do you think about Pinterest for either research or for saving images?
Nancy: I love it and I am the worst person on the planet. I got into photography as a teenager and have been there ever since. As somebody who is so visual, I am so vially bad at Pinterest and Instagram. I just, honestly I don’t know how to find more time in my day. That’s what it comes down to, and I think I need to stop building websites because I maintain a genealogy site, maintain a site that my sister and I do to kind of chronicle our historic travels and I just started this site about a month ago. I have become an avid iPhonographer, to put my iPhone imagery on. So maybe if I would stop building websites I’d have more time to put stuff out on Pinterest or Instagram. I think Pinterest is great. I go there primarily looking for good vegetarian recipes.
Joanna: Oh, that’s great. I do at Pinterest board for every fiction book I did.
Nancy: I know you do. How do you have time to do that?
Joanna: Primarily I do it as I write. So for example, one of the bad characters in “Destroyer of Worlds” is an aghori sadhu, you know, a kind of holy man, but they’re these crazy guys who live in graveyards and they cover themselves with ash and they drink blood from skulls and their just a brilliant bad guy that’s actually real.
When I went looking for some kind of crazy imagery of aghori and before I had even written the scenes. So for me, it’s actually a research process. My Pinterest boards are completed way before the book comes out. And often they’re called the wrong name because I call the Pinterest board the kind of working title of the book before I know what it is. I gather the images as I write and then when I’m writing the scene with the aghori, I’ll have the images up on Pinterest in front of me. Also it means it’s very easy to share socially for marketing.
Nancy: I have not found a way to crack the code of Pinterest for non-fiction. And I know that there probably is but I have not found my way through that. I just haven’t.
Joanna: I think a lot of that is quotes as well, isn’t it?
Let’s face it, we are talking about imagery and although quotes on images are great, there is quite a lot of work involved in creating those, isn’t there?
Nancy: My sister and I do two big history road trips a year and she started putting up pictures from our trips. But that’s probably where I would tend to go is travel further that generally have nothing to do with what I’m doing. I actually just started writing an Indie book on taking road trips. My sister and I, we calculated we have driven about 50,000 miles over the course of time and, oh my God, so we do have a lot to say about road trips.
Joanna: That’s awesome.
You mentioned about sharing your photos on websites. What about the importance of using image tags for those photos for SEO reasons?
Nancy: It’s really important and when I first started doing web content I really did get into the whole SEO thing. Today, if you have a WordPress site especially, there are plug-ins, SEO plug-ins, and if you forget to do the image tags, little dings come up to remind you. “You didn’t tag this image correctly or you didn’t tag it at all.” So I do that. I just use plug-ins on my WordPress site and it reminds me if I forget.
Joanna: And when we say that, if people don’t understand, it would literally be like the weeping willow, the image tag would be, “weeping willow graveyard.”
Nancy: Well, I always go beyond that. I would do “weeping willow graveyard cemetery sadness,” I would actually put in more words than just the few.
Joanna: Okay. That’s good to know.
I must say that I’m pretty basic but, I think you’re saying you don’t share them necessarily on Pinterest but you share your photos on websites. Just a different way of doing it.
Nancy: Yeah. I’ve started thinking about Instagram because I am so image driven. Again for me, it’s just a time issue and I don’t know what else to juggle or to remove from the list.
Joanna: Exactly, and as you said, you much prefer doing road trips and I’m the same. I’m a total research and travel junky.
Maybe you could give us a glimpse into this new book. How do you decide what trips to do because obviously you can’t do everything. And how do you follow your curiosity in that way? How do you decide what to do next?
Nancy: Right now, I’m doing two books for traditional publishing. So that’s driving me until mid-July when they’re both due and then I’ll do a trip after that just so to decompress because I’ve been on a really tight schedule.
For me on these road trips, it’s like, “Oh, okay, what do I feel like seeing now? Well, I feel like going to Montana and then maybe to Canada.” I’ll get out the maps and I use paper maps for this part. It’s like, “Oh, okay, what do I want to see along the way?” I will research every step of the way because I don’t want to miss anything.
I end up making a travel notebook that have all the places I want to stop, all the things I want to see, what hours they’re open, what days they’re closed. It’s like a big travel notebook I make for all my trips and that’s kind of what I do, it’s like what do I feel like seeing on this trip? And right now, honestly, I’m kind of thinking about I want to go to Sacramento because as long as I’ve lived in California I’ve never gone to gold rush country and I want to see the whole area of where the California gold rush took place. I think that’s probably going to be my next trip.
Joanna: And then along the way things might catch your eye that you weren’t expecting.
Nancy: Absolutely. Those are the best, you know. I was laughing because yesterday I was actually working on this book and I wrote about as much as I plan to. There have been many times I’ve sped by some road sign and turned around on a highway at miles out of my way because I missed an exit and I saw a sign, it’s like, “Oh wow, that looks interesting. I need to go back and see what that is.”
As writers, we have to be curious people. I mean, you have to have a huge level of curiosity. Don’t you see things and your brain says, “Oh, what happened here? Who are those people? Why are they doing that?” And I, you know, as I am an introvert and I have about a two hour max of being around people and then I have to go away and be by myself. But I am so curious when I go to places, I will ask those poor people every question I can think of. I have a deep curiosity to understand why are you here? What are you doing? What happened here? I’ll ask so many questions.
Joanna: And I think that trusting your curiosity is something that you have to do as a writer. It’s so important for fiction as well. I don’t think you can engineer that. We mentioned graveyards and again, I do quite often mention graveyards and some people love it and some people are not interested at all.
You have to lean into who you are and other people will be attracted to that. You just have to trust that other people are interested in that.
Nancy: I think you hit on something really important as an author, especially when you’re starting. I think you get into people who try and follow trends and will try to scam Google. I think as we age, maybe not chronologically but age as authors and writers, we learn that we have to let the story evolve and we follow where it takes us.
I do this in my non-fiction books. This one book I’m writing right now, the genealogy one, I wrote some stuff yesterday, it’s like I don’t know why I went that way. But I know it was right. And you just have to let it happen and not try and force it. Then I think you’ll get into a very stilted boring writing.
Joanna: And if you’re not still curious then kind of what’s the point, you know?
Nancy: Really what is the point? So you know, I just, I think you really do have to follow your instincts. San Diego is called the birthplace of California and you’ve been here, I think, haven’t you?
Joanna: Yeah, my mom lived in San Diego for years.
Nancy: It has a very large Hispanic population. I was in San Diego’s old town over the weekend working on another project and a young girl was down there doing a book signing. I hate book signings and so I see an author doing it, I always stop and talk to them because I just, they’re so miserable, I hate them.
I started talking to her and her family was actually in San Diego with Father Serra in the first mission in California. So her family goes back in California history 400 years. And it was so interesting, 300 years. Could you walk away without asking her a hundred questions? Of course I couldn’t. You know, “Tell me a little bit about your family. How did that happen?” And I think that just part of being a writer is you follow that curiosity.
Joanna: You also do multimedia courses and like you said, you do freelance writing, you do all different types of hybrid publishing. You just have so many things going on in your business, it’s very exciting.
I wonder if you could explain what are the various things that make up your author business so that people get a sense of that.
Nancy: Sure. I am a hybrid author and I like to just say this: there are times it’s very wise to go to a traditional route, other times it’s very wise to go the Indie way.
Several months ago I realized nobody has ever done a San Diego coloring book, and we are like the, you know, the tourist capital of the west. I started amassing photos and having them converted to coloring book images, and I was going to Indie publish it and then I realized there is a place here in San Diego that does book distribution all over Southern California and they have their foot in every tourist door in the city. And it would take me months to do that.
I met with them and signed a contract that they’re actually publishing the coloring book. This is one of those things I wanted to talk about. I could have done that independently. I would never have had the level of distribution that they have. So for me, it was much wiser to go the traditional route on that book.
But on the road trip, I’m definitely doing the Indie. I’m writing the book, right now, in my head, it’s called the art of the road trip. That’s going to definitely be an Indie book.
But anyway to get back to your question, I almost always have a local client of some kind. I have a business client, in fact I had dinner with him last night. I’m actually writing his biography and I have done ghostwriting projects. I don’t like ghostwriting and I don’t think I’ll do another one but I like working with this particular local client, so I do try and do that.
I write my Indie books, my traditional books. I’ve done courses on writing and on Evernote and I’ve developed seven courses for Family Tree University on genealogy stuff and I also license books in different languages.
The biggest mistake an author can make is to rely on one income source. That is the kiss of death. I learned that very early in my career. I had one client and it supported me and one day it was gone. And my income was gone. So never again would I ever do that. And that’s why people want to quit their day job and I had a regular job and I balanced, it was like a see-saw. When the time came that I couldn’t keep up with the freelance work without working 24/7, I knew it was time to quit.
But then after that one incident, I knew that I had to broaden my base as a freelancer. Especially doing non-fiction. For me, the good thing is that I can also do speaking. I’ve done speaking on genealogy. I get invitations to travel to do genealogy talks because that’s the field I’m most known in.
There are so many opportunities for authors and I think that we get really tunneled into books and we forget, there are so many other ways to go. I really love curation and sharing what I’ve learned. So I have a flip board magazine called “Writer’s Life” and I have another one called “History of Travel Photography.” It is my, I call it my trifecta of happiness. I’m busy all the time and it makes me happy to be busy all the time.
Joanna: I think the only people who need balance, like work/life balance, people who are unhappy with their work and therefore they need that balance because they’re unhappy on one side. But I’m like you, I enjoy all of that stuff. So it’s all fun.
Nancy: Well, plus, you know, for me relaxation is either going out with my camera on the iPhone and doing shots around town because I live in a very beautiful place, or sitting with the iPad and editing photos, I love doing that, too. The things I love happily merge with the things I make money with. And I would say that I feel very blessed in that because I do love all the things I do.
Joanna: You’ve created that life, haven’t you? That’s the point. You’ve zeroed in on what you love and leaned into those things and then you’ve learned how to make money still doing things you love.
Nancy: I do, and you know, I still build WordPress sites for clients. And honestly, people, I think you have to love technology and people don’t believe this but I promise you, this is the truth. In May of this year I would have been online for 30 years. I got on CompuServe in May of 1986 and so, you know, technology is in my blood. I love doing it and people don’t understand that when I say, “I’m going to work on a WordPress site,” and they’ll say, “Oh, that sounds horrible,” and I’ll say, “You know, it is so relaxing for me to sit and work on a website. If it’s one of mine, it’s like down time. It’s so easy and I like it.” So yeah, I’m happy with what I do and I’m happy with the life I’ve created.
Joanna: That’s fantastic. Where can people find you and all your books and courses and everything online?
Nancy: Well, I’m on Amazon and like you, I got very smart several months ago, you beat me by years, and I stopped being primarily on Amazon. I’m pretty much everywhere and I use Draft2Digital to get my books out into other places. But nancyhendrickson.com is my primary website. Frontier Traveler is the site that my sister and I have and we are very lazy about it but, you know, time, time, time. And The Reconnected Life is just my photo site just for me but now, oh my gosh, it’s not just for me, is it. I said thereconnectedlife.com is where I put up some of my iPhone stuff and it’s just because I want to.
Joanna: Fantastic. Well thanks so much for your time, Nancy. That was great.
Nancy: Oh, it’s been so much fun talking to you. I love your podcast. You know when you talk about people where they’re listening to your podcast, I love that little segment because I’ve been going to this place, it’s a cardiac rehab place actually, and I’m sitting there on the damn treadmill and I’m listening to your podcast and I’m kind of laughing, I think, I’ll take a picture of the treadmill thing and shoot it off to you.
Joanna: Yeah, you should do. We get lots of pictures of treadmills.
Nancy: You are responsible for our health.
Joanna: I clearly am. It’s crazy.