How to learn from great writers

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We all have authors we admire. But that’s no reason to act the way they do. Which nonfiction authors do you think are awesome? My list includes Malcolm Gladwell, Mary Roach, Daniel Pink, Jay Baer, Michael Lewis, Bill Bryson, and Isaac Asimov. And I have no desire to emulate their writing habits. Isaac Asimov wrote … Continued

Famous or useful?

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If you’re famous you don’t have to be useful. A while ago, I had an assignment to present to a small group: the CMOs of a massive media company. Since this company had a dozen major media brands, there were about twelve people in the room. They had tapped me after having me speak to … Continued

Why do authors get paid to give speeches?

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Any author will tell you: the money’s in the speeches. A slightly successful author gets occasional gigs and small fees. A moderately successful author gets regular bookings and decent fees. A monster bestselling author is getting rich off royalties — which is very rare — but she’s also getting paid an awful lot to speak. … Continued

Talent, skills, and coaching

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I am now a writer and a writing coach. I wanted to reflect on the relationship between those two activities. Is writing unconscious? Does deconstructing it for coaching purposes make you self-conscious? Or does coaching help, not just the person coached, but the person doing the coaching? When people are good at something — standup comedy, tennis, … Continued