5 years of 1TP3Women's work: "The pink was not my idea!"

Regula Bührer Fecker published her book #Women's Work five years ago. On the occasion of the anniversary, the advertiser writes about how it came about.

FrauenarbeitIn retrospect, you don't really know what something was like.

And how quickly time flies. At least that's how I felt recently when I realized it had been five years since I wrote the book #Women's Work. Many people have asked me a) why I wrote the book and b) how do you actually write a book. On the occasion of the 5-year anniversary of #Frauenarbeit, I'm happy to share this in a personal and somewhat longer text. 

So... 2017 my two children were 1 and 2 years old. The days were correspondingly cheerful, full and turbulent, and the nights correspondingly short. Our agency Rod Kommunikation had established itself well in the market after 10 years, of course with the usual ups and downs, sprints and marathons. 

While I was on vacation with my family in February 2017, I kept having conversations with my husband about how I would like to write a book. Only what? I didn't have the idea for a crime novel, I didn't have the expertise for a cookbook, and I didn't have the academic background for a book about advertising strategy. But I wanted to write. Because writing has always given me peace, it is "my place of strength" and with two small children it is - from my experience - relatively important to know one's place of strength. 

After all, when you write, you have to feel comfortable with your material. And the material I felt comfortable with was what it's like to be a young, ambitious woman in a professional life. How to get by, how to assert yourself, how to get through difficult situations. I had something to say about that because of my biography, which included "youngest female board member" or "youngest female strategist." So that was going to be the core idea for my book. To record personal experiences so that others could learn from them. 

Back from vacation, I approached two or three book publishers in March. Urs Hofmann, the then publishing director of NZZ Libro, spontaneously invited me for an interview. He liked my pitch. So well, in fact, that he asked me if I could have the manuscript written by the end of May. Because he would like to publish the book (not yet written, mind you) in the fall of the same year. 

I went home, slightly overwhelmed, and talked to my husband. Because without his support and relief at home, I wouldn't be able to do it. Likewise, I talked to my two business partners to see if I could curb my commitment for two months in order to write. All of them supported me in this endeavor. So I agreed to NZZ Libro. Once the author contract was signed, I got started. 

In a first, wild Post-It action I held my thought scraps unstructured on green Post-Its - likewise on red Post-Its the experiences and experiences, about which I did not want to write. Then I started to build a structure and chapters out of it. There were to be 10 chapters with 10 tips each. Including foreword, introduction, the background and the in-between. Once the structure was in place, I "only" had to fill it. And that's exactly what I did in the following weeks: When the children were asleep: writing. When I took the train to Bern to visit a client: write. Lunch break: write. 

Two additional time-outs in the mountains were necessary to write down the content. And at some point, at some point, it was done: the manuscript was written. In retrospect, I really don't know how I managed to do it in such a short time. I'm usually more of a short-and-short writer. (An author friend once said to me, "Obviously, the material was ripe." And she was probably right.)

My husband and father-in-law were the first to read the manuscript and give me feedback. An intensive round of revisions, a few sleepless nights... and the manuscript went to NZZ Libro. Just in time. By now it was June and the work was now with the publisher: the text was revised, proofread, and submitted, the book and cover were designed (PS: the pink was not my idea!). 

But I wanted #Women's Work to become more than a book. But that it would become a platform or initiative to bring together young women who are in a similar situation today as I was in the past. That the platform would become open to get experienced women leaders in Switzerland to share and pass on their experiences, lessons learned and tips. Like a business club, but on social media, without obligation, free of charge and open to all. 

For this reason, the lawyer Judith Weber and the social media professional Maude Federspiel, together with me, developed the concept of a movement called #Women's Work, which is funded by a foundation of the same name. And at some point, it was summer, the book was in print, the foundation was laid, the website was designed, the Instagram account was set up. 

I was 39, had written down and recorded an important chapter of my life. At the same time, it became clear that my mother was seriously ill and would not live much longer. To this day I am glad that she was able to experience the creation of the book, the whole process around it and the launch. That she was able to hold my book in her hands. 

I can't believe myself that five years have passed since then. We now reach more than 15,000 women with our content and newsletters, Lunchdates and events. The many feedbacks give us impetus. 

I would like to thank here and now all those who are committed to #Women's work. Without the support and cooperation of strong, committed women, #Women's work would never have been possible. And without the support and relief of strong, committed men, #Women's work would never have been possible: Thank you. 

If you have bought and read the book, I thank you here. Because, as I said, it finances our foundation to a large extent and thus our activities. If you now feel like buying it, reading it yourself or giving it to someone else as a gift, then you can download the here like to do.

Thanks a lot
* Regula Bührer Fecker
1TP3Women's work 

In spring 2021, Regula Bührer Fecker was a guest at our Podcast Off The Record.

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