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Eliminate Friction to Keep Your Readers’

Friction is a useful tool in the right settings—I mean, it’s nice when your car brakes work, right?—but when friction gets in the way of completing an action (like reading a book), it’s time to eliminate it. A classic example of friction is poor website design. You try to buy a product on someone’s website […]

Writing in Small Steps to Reach Big Mile...

Writing in Small Steps to Reach Big Milestones

As I started working on this article, I realized it would be my 100th blog post. I’ve been writing for my business blog for over four years, so 100 posts may not seem like a huge number to you. I know some people who blog weekly, producing 100 blog posts in two years; Seth Godin […]

On Reflection: The Joy of Creating Books

On Reflection: The Joy of Creating Books

I don’t need to tell you 2020 has been a tough year. We’ve all experienced something unusual; some of us have struggled; some of us have experienced loss. One of the things that has kept me focused and grateful is work. Not only is writing and editing possible to do at a distance from clients, […]

The Prick of New Growth: On Writing and ...

The Prick of New Growth: On Writing and Chickens

My chickens are molting. In the fall, they lose old tattered feathers so new ones can come in. (Hang in there—this will come around to book writing eventually.) Molting is not a fun process for the chickens. “Pin feathers” poke through their skin. Being a live pin cushion is clearly uncomfortable for them—they don’t want […]

When the writing process feels hard, can...

When the writing process feels hard, can readers tell?

After I offered a client some critical feedback that meant he needed to do some rewriting, he complained, “This feels too hard. I like to write when I’m inspired. How can it be any good if I don’t feel inspired?” I gave my client the same answer I always give: It doesn’t matter what the […]

One Word Conversation: “Discover”

One Word Conversation: “Discover”

My friend William Brown ( does a regular series on disConnect to Connect called “One Word Conversations,” in which he spends 45 minutes talking with a friend or colleague about—as you might imagine—one word. Check out the lineup below for a sampling. When I got the word “discover,” my brain leaped into action. Yes! I […]

On the Problem of Overwork: Protect Your...

On the Problem of Overwork: Protect Your Creativity

After several weeks in stay-at-home coronavirus isolation, I am starting to hear a new pattern from colleagues: “I’m being so productive!” “I am working all the time…” “I am getting burnt out.” This work may be paid or unpaid. Some of us are lucky enough to be able to work at home and business is […]

Coronavirus Isolation Getting You Down? ...

Coronavirus Isolation Getting You Down? My Apocalypse Go-To’s

After working at home for two weeks, my husband said, “If this goes on much longer, I’m gonna need more pajamas.” And last night he woke up from a dream where we had stolen an Amazon Prime delivery truck so that he could get to work. (He felt bad for the driver but apparently didn’t […]

Unexpected Accomplishments: How to Achie...

Unexpected Accomplishments: How to Achieve Them

It’s January, that time of year when many of us put on our Janus faces: we look back at the past year to review our progress and forward to the coming year to see what’s next. This year my friend Brian suggested that, in honor of stepping into the 2020s, instead of looking at individual […]

Fly Me to the Moon: Reigniting Inspirati...

Fly Me to the Moon: Reigniting Inspiration

A few months ago my husband and I watched the National Geographic series Mars. It’s an odd mash-up of sci-fi and documentary: the story of a future crew that explores and settles Mars is punctuated with present-day experts and enthusiasts discussing space exploration. At the end of the series, one person laments that we are about […]

In Praise of Deadlines: To Get Your Book...

In Praise of Deadlines: To Get Your Book Done, Raise the Stakes

For the past month, my husband and I have been preparing for the Tour D’Coop, an annual tour of backyard chicken coops in Raleigh that’s a fundraiser for a local nonprofit. We’ve taken the tour in the past but had always hesitated to offer up our coop. “We don’t have anything special to show people.” […]

Are distractions keeping you from writin...

Are distractions keeping you from writing your book? Try these remedies

This is the year: You are writing a book. Excellent. Congratulations! But you’re already feeling under the gun because it’s the end of January and you haven’t started yet. Or maybe you started writing diligently the first couple weeks of January, then petered out as life swung back into post-holiday gear. Aargh! So frustrating. You’re […]