How to plan and write a useful memoir

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Have you had an interesting life? Could others benefit from your experiences? Then you might write a memoir. But how should you structure it? Let’s look at two ways to structure a memoir filled with valuable lessons. I’m working with several authors on memoirs right now, and I developed these approaches to help them. One … Continued

“Hide” and “ignore” are poor COVID-19 strategies. Let’s invest instead.

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I am frustrated with our national leaders who seem more interested in blaming each other than solving the coronavirus problem. It’s time to consider actual solutions and invest in them. Start with this: the virus is not going away. It’s now expanding exponentially in Arizona, Texas, Florida, and southern California; ICU beds are filling up. … Continued

Do you get paid a bounty for referrals? Do you disclose it?

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I may tell you to work with another professional for a service I don’t offer. Sometimes I get paid a bounty for this. Here’s why I always disclose those payments. When an author comes to me, sometimes I can help them, sometime I can’t. They might need a different kind of editor, an illustrator, a … Continued

Vague hand-wringing on cancel culture from J.K. Rowling and friends

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Is it time to back away from “cancel culture,” which calls for demonizing the voices of those whom others deem to be transgressors? This is an important question. Now 150 writers and other figures have published a letter addressing it in Harper’s — and done a terrible job of it. Analyzing the Harper’s letter The … Continued

What leaders do

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I’ve had the privilege of working for some amazing leaders — and having helped elect a few, too. Here are some personal observations about what leaders do. The best leader I ever worked for was George Colony, the founder and CEO of Forrester Research, where I worked for 20 years. He wasn’t perfect and I … Continued

What to do when your book agent ghosts, rejects, or dumps you

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You finally got a literary agent to engage about your book proposal. Now they’re no longer getting back to you and things are stalled. How can you move forward? The first thing you need to accept is that, as friendly as agents may seem, they are transactional by nature, because they only get paid if … Continued