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Learning to Love Feedback on Your Writin...

Learning to Love Feedback on Your Writing

Many newer writers bristle at feedback. In creative writing workshops, they defend their work against their classmates’ observations. When beta readers offer suggestions, they explain why the readers are wrong. When asking for feedback, they are disappointed at anything but praise. Well of course! Criticism hurts! It feels like you’re killing my little darlings! It’s […]

The Most Obvious “Secret” Writing Advice

The Most Obvious “Secret” Writing Advice I Ever Got

Before a presentation, I was asked: What’s the best piece of writing advice you ever received?  Now, this isn’t my favorite question, because (1) it seems too obvious and (2) the answer changes depending on my mood and recent writing experiences. But there’s one piece of advice I come back to again and again. Back […]

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 (iamwilliambrown.com) 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 […]