What I learned from 10 days of observant traveling

Ten days ago I departed from Boston Logan airport. Today I’m returning. In between were speeches, workshops, vacation, and a little bit of insight into what I do and why I do it. On this trip I spent time in Cleveland; New York; the glorious airport in Newark; Provo and Salt Lake City, Utah; and Burlington, Stowe, … Continued

How this guy actually got a job by writing without bullshit

Authors don’t hear from readers that much. It’s usually “there’s a typo on page 116.” But every once in a while, we get something that reveals that our work actually matters. Here’s what Alex from Amsterdam sent me in an email: Mr. Bernoff, I want to send a letter and give my sincere thanks for the insights … Continued

Everything United Airlines did wrong in the Denver Leggings Incident

When several teenage girls wearing leggings attempted to board a United Airlines flight in Denver, the airline blocked them for “inappropriate dress.” As the airline explained on Twitter, the girls were “pass riders” — dependents of employees using free standby tickets — subject to a more stringent dress code. United’s policy is wrong, and it … Continued

An Unthinkable podcast — clarity in audio storytelling

I’ve done lots of podcasts. Jay Acunzo’s “Unthinkable” stands out. It’s a good example of how structure and some extra work make stories better, whether that’s in words or in recorded sound. The typical podcast I do is an interview. I get on the phone or Skype with somebody, they ask questions, and I respond. They … Continued

Harper’s magazine says I’m a bullshitter. Judge for yourself.

In the March 2017 issue of Harper’s Magazine, Nat Segnit calls me a hypocrite. Now that I’ve studied truth, lies, and bullshit, it’s clear to me that everybody is a hypocrite. So let’s see if he’s got a point. In an article called “Good Plain English: The Problem with Writing Manuals,” Segnit reviews six writing books, including Soul at … Continued

Everything you need to know to write and publish a book

Disruption in the publishing industry is confusing for authors. Getting published in the traditional way is harder now, but there are a lot more ways to get a book done — and a lot more people who can help you. I’ve collected all my book wisdom into this post, with links to more detail. Potential authors … Continued