Making mistakes

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I am making many mistakes this year, almost continuously. It’s a good thing. I am learning two new skills right now that I am bad at. And keep in mind, I am doing these things at age 62. First off, my family received the gift of a 100-year old grand piano from a family friend. … Continued

I have one hope for 2021

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It is that our health officials and our government can accomplish enough to allow each of us to achieve our creative goals. When you are worried every day about your job, your loved ones, your relatives, and the state of the nation and the world, it’s difficult to do anything more than cope. Consider for … Continued

Merry crisis

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Stop reading this. If you’re home, give your family a hug. If you’re not near family, give whoever you’re living with a hug. (Ask permission first.) If you’re alone, give a friend or family member a call. If you know someone who is alone, give them a call. Even if things are difficult between you, … Continued

How not to be a jerk when you post blog comments

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If the comment you made didn’t appear on my blog (or for that matter, on any blog), chances are you were being a jerk. Honestly, the rules are pretty much the same as they were 12 years ago when Charlene Li and I wrote about this stuff. And they’re pretty good rules for any conversation … Continued

A goal worthy of thanks

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I am thankful for many things in my life, but in the context of this blog, one thing stands out. I get to do work I love every day and get paid for it. What I love is writing, editing, coaching writers, and helping people in companies to write better. This year I worked with … Continued

The power of calm writing in a frantic world

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I chose to spend five weeks writing about politics leading up the election, in a collection of posts I called “The Rationalist Papers.” The posts succeeded in their goals. Now that the stress and excitement of the election is (mostly) behind us, I’ll take you inside what happened and why it worked — and what … Continued

Good work if you can get it

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I’m trapped in my home just like the rest of you. I haven’t worked for a company for five years. Here’s my cure for depression: helping people. And as a freelancer, I can do that any way I want to. These are things I’m doing (or have done) this week. I took a whole day … Continued

Test your ethics: 11 real-world ethical challenges

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I’ve faced many ethics quandaries in my long career. You will, too. Everyone believes they are ethical. But when it’s time to decide, what will you actually do? Real-life ethics test Here’s a list of ethical situations, most of which I actually faced. Put yourself in my shoes. What would you do? In the interest … Continued