How to negotiate without budging on price


Once I quote a job, I fiercely resist changing the price. But that doesn’t mean I won’t negotiate. If you ask me for help with idea development, editing, coaching, or ghostwriting, I’ll get you a quote. Same for a corporate writing workshop. Like any other freelancer, my quotes are based on two things: How many … Continued

The Smartass Manifesto


I’m a smartass. That’s my brand. I might as well admit it. What does that mean? It means that in any given situation — meeting, client interaction, blog post, reaction to news, Facebook post, romantic date — my mind immediately tries to find a unique, snarky, counterintuitive take. The ultimate smartass remark, intended to get … Continued

Doing well by doing good


I’m on track for a very good year in a very bad year. How did I get here? By helping people that need help — and saying “yes” as much as possible. This is a terrible year for many of us. Some of our friends are sick, and many of us have lost our jobs. … Continued

A moment of peace


I care. Honestly I do. But every once in a while I need a moment of peace. My wife and I have found the best way for us to do this. Nature sanctuaries have been closed for a while, but are now starting to open up. The open ones nearest to us are about an … Continued

In which I declare war on link building


I get dozens of emails every week from people who want to post shit on my site — despite the fact that I have never posted an unsolicited article. They don’t benefit my readers and they annoy me, so I’ve declared war on them. Here are some samples: Hi there, I know you’re swamped, so … Continued

It was 30 years ago today . . .

Today’s my 30th wedding anniversary, friends. I’m taking the day off. Love is a wonderful thing. If you can find it, hold on tight. Be well.

Join me Monday 13 April 5pm ET for another author checkin

This week’s reading is from the awesome book The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan. Our discussion topic is “How to use this current fraught moment to improve your trajectory as a writer.” Use this link. Password is IronImper

Join me Monday 6 April, 5pm ET, for another author checkin


Your warmth sustained me in our last checkin. I want to return the favor. I’ll start with a comforting reading from the greatest nonfiction book I’ve ever read, Hegarty on Creativity, by John Hegarty. Then warmth, support, and answers for any of your questions about books, writing, and life. Mark your calendar for 5pm ET … Continued