Becoming a writer, Sherri Matthews

Becoming a Writer: Introducing Sherri Matthews

Want to know what it takes to become a writer? Ask a writer.

Everything I know about writing, I learned from writers. Everything.
During the next few months, I’m going to introduce you to four writers who blog about their writing life and share their journey toward becoming a writer.

Today I’m introducing Sherry Mathews.

Sherri has worked in both the legal and medical fields and as a full-time mum to her three children (who are now adults). Widowed young, remarried, divorced and remarried again, Sherri has faced many challenges both in her home country, England, and in California, where she lived for almost 20 years.
In 2011, when Sherri lost her job at the same time that her daughter was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, she made the life-changing decision to begin a writing career. She has had articles and a prize-winning short story published in Prima and Your Cat magazines (UK) and guest blogs for a number of web sites.
Sherri is currently working on her memoir about her chance-meeting with an American G. I., when both were eighteen years old, and the cataclysmic events which profoundly altered the course their lives. She also blogs about her life, her travels and her writing journey at ‘A View From My Summerhouse’. She lives in Somerset in the West Country of England, happily with her husband, daughter, two cats and a corn-snake called Charlie.
She explains that she prefers working in nonfiction, especially memoir, because it helps her “come to terms with the past while bringing those memories into the present and so giving hope and strength for the future.” Her goal is to offer encouragement and entertainment to her readers.

Here’s how Sherri Matthews spends her days:

“I start on my memoir first thing, resisting with all my might the temptation to look at any emails and my blog until after I’ve bashed out what usually equates to between 2 – 3,000 words.  This I am gettingslightly better at,” (she says optimistically).
“I start on my memoir first thing, resisting with all my might the temptation to look at any emails and my blog until after I’ve bashed out what usually equates to between 2 – 3,000 words.  This I am gettingslightly better at (she says optimistically!). I become completely immersed and lost in my memoir writing but when I come up for air, it is with a strong sense of  ‘fait accompli’, as in job done for today. Phew! Then I know I can put it aside, otherwise I could write all day. Maybe I should, maybe it will come to that if I am ever to get this book written, or at least the first draft. For now, I do need to take a breather and I do this by turning to other writing projects (articles and poetry for submission) but mostly blogging (my life-saver) which changes my focus, brings me back to the land of the living and prepares me for the next day’s purge writing.”
You can connect with Sherri through her blog, and follow her on Facebook, and find her on LinkedIn.

How do you spend your writing days?


34 thoughts on “Becoming a Writer: Introducing Sherri Matthews”

  1. 2-3,000 words is immense. I felt so pleased with myself because I had a day off and did 1,000 today. But I know I couldn’t do that every day.
    What is even more immense is not looking at emails or blog while doing your 3000 words. That’s true commitment.

    1. I agree, Denise, that 2-3000 words is a huge commitment. For some people, the words flow like that. I know other writers who could never do that (I’m one of them… sometimes I crank out that many words, but usually, it’s between 500-2000 on writing days).

      1. I wish I could do this every day guys!! I start off with the best will in the world but unless I can be very disciplined and not check my blog or emails first I’m lost and the day is gone. My ideal day would see me writing on my book every day but I do struggle with getting the balance right 😉

    1. I was a cheerleader in high school, Marylin, back in the days (just shortly before) they let girls into real athletics. I took my job so seriously, that I read books about how to be a GREAT cheerleader. There is a ton of scientific evidence about the power of cheerleaders in victory.
      I’m 100% in favor of equal opportunity; but I’m waiting for the pendulum to swing back to the recognition of how valuable cheerleaders are.
      You are seriously a GREAT cheerleader and deserve an award for it! Thank you!

      1. …and I would say that you, Marylin, and you, Tracy are both amazing cheerleaders to so many and you both deserve an award…so THANK YOU 🙂

  2. Sherri is a very special blogger and I’m constantly amazed by the writing she finds the time to do – yet she is also very modest! Thanks for sharing this Tracy and spreading the word a little more.

      1. I can only say Andrea that to be able to share here on Tracy’s blog about my writing process is truly an honour and the kindness shown me here has touched me deeply. Thank you so much, as always, for your unfailing encouragement 🙂

  3. What a nice surprise to see Sherri’s smiling face in my WP Reader. As you know, Tracy, Sherri is a gift to us all. I’m constantly amazed by her ability to not only crank out the word count on her memoir, but to keep up with all of her blogging challenges and paying special attention to our blogs. She is truly amazing. I’m convinced her heart is made of gold. She’s one in a million and I’m so thankful that in this sea of blogger, we connected. Can you tell that I love her? 🙂

      1. Oh Jill…I’m speechless…the kindness in your words blesses me so much. I really don’t know what else to say other than you know how much this means to me…that, and I love you guys too <3 🙂

  4. It’s so nice to see Sherri profiled here. Not only is she a talented writer whose words have moved me many times, but I’m in awe of her discipline to turn out 2,000 to 3,000 words for her book on a daily basis and then move on to other writing projects! I think one of the biggest challenges for many of us who call ourselves writers is that we don’t spend anywhere near enough time actually writing. Sherri sets a fine example, one that I need to follow.

    1. Sherri, are you listening… you’re talent and your commitment are an inspiration to us all!!
      Thank you, Marlene, for adding weight to the encouragement I want to give Sherri. She’s wonderfully modest, perhaps too much so!

    2. Marlene, I know I have so much to learn and do feel very ‘green’ so I’m truly honoured by your kind words…thank you so much…

    1. You’re so very welcome, Deb. People were kind enough to share with me through the years, and I want to pass on what they’ve given me. We all need encouragement and inspiration, and we ought to work to give it, I think.
      Welcome to the writing club! It’s full of wonderful people.

  5. Yowzer Tracy!!! I got the shock of my life coming over here and seeing my mug on your blog, haha!!
    I hope not to have given the impression that I write this many words every day! I wish I were that disciplined!
    On an ideal day this is what I hope to accomplish and I always take the weekend off. I bash out the words but who knows what it will be like when it comes time for the edit…yikes! I think that will see me spending a great deal of time cutting and pasting!
    Thank you so much for this post…you’re a star <3

  6. Thank you for this post and introducing Sheri. She seems disciplined with her writing somewhat similar to Maya Angelou.
    My own routine is that I do my own writing at weekends and shut down all other connections. I write free-hand first and then edit / transpose on the computer.

    1. I, too, write most of my first drafts in pen, on paper. I find the computer distracting when I’m in the inspiration phase.
      I know of writers who have a computer that is only for word-processing (writing), not connected to the internet. I’m thinking that’s a good idea!

      1. Interestingly enough I am in the process of doing just that. I am setting up two project rooms (such is the luxury of being single). One room is my ‘writing’ room with no internet or other distractions. The other room has my ‘connections’ of internet, iPad, phone, scanner, TV.
        It is a great idea to separate writing from research or the interaction with the world or even production.
        I read Maya Angelou used to book into a hotel to draft her writing with just a writing pad, thesaurus and cards.
        The cards were to assist her in getting to her place of ‘enchantment’ which she had to get to before she could write. That would take her about an hour each day.

        1. Yes, there definitely are benefits to being single, especially for a writer. I read an interview of Donna Tart in which she says she cannot imagine writing and living with another person.
          I have to say, I get MUCH less done, living with someone who wants me to be social every day.

  7. Thanks for introducing us to Sherri Matthews. Love her commitment to her craft despite emails that beg to be read.
    I try to write for my blog early in the week. Then I fine tune and rewrite it during the week. Sherri is an inspiration. I will have to work harder to ignore the other social media when I should be devoting my time to writing. 😉

    1. My pleasure!
      I think we all have that problem with social media, Judy.
      I’m looking into a way to stop or hide notifications, or to write in a way that’s disconnected from the internet. Or something… I want social media to remain a pleasure, not become another obligatory task.

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