Paths not taken

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I lost an easy chance to make three quarters of a million dollars. I’ll never forget that. But I don’t regret it. Early in my career, I was working for a software startup company. I was the first employee the two founders hired. I was young and inexperienced, but I poured my heart into the … Continued

What? Me, biased?

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My post Friday on Donald Trump’s new site and sort-of social network struck some nerves. One commenter said “As a social commentator, you cover for tyranny.” That seemed a little nasty. Two things are true. First, I am anti-Trump. I did a whole series of posts about it before the election. I’m not trying to … Continued

The asshole rate

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What is the cost of being a pain in the ass? When I started my freelance business six years ago, I took whatever clients I could get. After a year or so, as my reputation grew, there was a steady stream of people asking for my help. I charged them three different rates. Some people … Continued

Freelance rules

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If you’re fast, I’m fast. If you’re slow, I’m slow. If you’re nice, I do extra work for free. If you’re a pain, I’m expensive. Your project is the most important thing I’m working on right now. Until I start working on something else, that is. If you’re trying to save the world, I’m delighted … Continued

No place like home (office)

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I was featured in an article in The New York Times today. The point was that some people have actually felt more comfortable during the pandemic than with their lives before — a sentiment that applies, at least partially, to me. My ability to control my environment and be close to my immediate family is … Continued

“You really should charge for this,” said the tech bro

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So, I’m lined up to do a consultation with this guy from Silicon Valley. He’s very well connected there, so he tells me. This is a pretty typical session for me — a 30-minute discussion of needs and publishing alternatives with an aspiring author. I typically do three of these a week. And they’re free … Continued

The politically incorrect editor

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I get complaints about how my advice is insensitive to certain types of humans and living things. I will not turn my advice into mush. I like it crunchy. Most of you do, too. If you don’t like it, read somebody else. Here are my responses to the complaints people have made or may be … Continued

Misfit

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Here is a story that will tell you something about me. I am in my first month at a new job. I am surrounded by a few colleagues who are the smartest people I ever worked with. The conversation turns to people’s history. We come to realize that all of us have felt like a … Continued