scott sonenshein

Scott Sonenshein answers questions

Awesome news book clubbers! I compiled the list of questions and sent them to Stretch author Scott Sonenshein. He graciously responded. Check this out:

Dear Mr. Sonenshein, (SS)

Here are some of the questions generated by our discussion around Stretch. Anything you’d be willing to share would be most appreciated. We valued your work and commitment to this book and what it brought to us in terms of discussions and ideas to implement in our personal lives. Most of us were thrilled with Ch 9 and its variety of suggestions on how to strengthen the stretch. Thank you!

So glad you found Stretch valuable! I wrote the book to help people find success and satisfaction in work and life, and nothing puts a bigger smile on my face than hearing from readers about the book’s impact.

Questions from participants:

As a fellow writer, I’d like to know about SS’s process. What is his writing life like? Is he willing to share tips or thoughts now that he’s completed a book and project of this magnitude?
Although the book involved lots of research beforehand, the writing took place in two phases. The book proposal (about 60 pages) took about 6 months and the book itself another 9 months. I like to write in bursts and rarely use outlines. Writing is an act of sensemaking for me, which means I need to write to see what I think. This obviously involved a lot of revisions, but I found that it allowed new ideas to flow constantly. And I actually delivered my finished manuscript two months before it was due, which is a rarity!

I'd like to know how SS found all the information on studies and interesting people that he used to explain his points. And did he meet any of them in person? 

Some of the people I met through my research. Other stories were collected over the phone I also had the benefit of great research assistants who used secondary sources, such as newspaper articles and magazines, to find examples. 

On a more specific note: Re: Chapter 6: I was confused by the fact that SS seems to use the word expectation and value interchangeably. It seems to me that living a life of purpose is more of a value, while you can expect to do so, they don’t seem like the same thing. Can he shed more light on that? 

Expectation is a belief about yourself. I did not intend to conflate expectation with value. Oh well, no one’s perfect!

What is SS’s preferred method of stretching? 

I’m a big user of outsiders (and like to embrace this role too)! So I definitely go explore. I’m also a big fan of taking a break. Indeed, my break is often a walk each evening. I also love working under constraints, and routinely set deadlines that are not needed which helps trigger better ideas. 

(On a side note and just fyi, we were charmed by the story of how you celebrate your anniversary with your wife!)

Yes, I still do fit into the tux and come this July the tradition will continue for our anniversary. 

Thank you being a part of this journey,

Thanks for engaging with my work


  1. Wow! This is awesome, Tracey. And how kind of SS to take the time to respond to the questions you compiled for him. : )

  2. This is GREAT! A huge thank you to SS for taking the time to answer our questions. What a perfect way to tie up the end of our book club.Thanks again Tracey!

  3. Tracey, thank you for inviting me to the online book club. It was a thrill and an honor to participate. I'm proud to be part of your tribe!

    SS, thank you for connecting with us, and for sharing your passion for the stretch! I saw so much of myself in the concepts you introduced. So many of the behaviors you described are inherent in me, and I didn't realize that these are foreign concepts for many people. That gives me the opportunity to help others learn to stretch (and to recommend your book)!

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