An interview with Rohit Bhargava, author turned publisher

Rohit Bhargava had an idea. After writing a few great books, he decided to become a publisher-partner for authors. Rohit’s Ideapress Publishing venture is closer to self-publishing, with some costs for authors, but with great upside and the benefits of partnership. His company has now published seven books, including his own bestseller Non-Obvious. Rohit’s got great insights … Continued

My podcast with Mitch Joel of Six Pixels of Separation

In November, I had an enjoyable conversation with Mitch Joel of Six Pixels of Separation. If you’re interested in how I shifted my perspective from Forrester analyst to author to bullshit fighter and what I’m after here, listen in our conversation.      

Josh Friedman: requiem for a nerd with a heart of gold

My friend Josh died this weekend. I’d like to tell you a little bit about who he was, which is also a little bit about who I am, since we were friends for nearly 50 years. I met Josh when the teacher introduced him as the new student to our third-grade class. I was fascinated, because … Continued

Why and how I homeschool my children

My wife Kimberley and I decided to homeschool our children. There’s only one reason: we think they learn better this way. Since people are curious about homeschooling, I’d like tell you how it works. Homeschooling is a personal preference. My intention here is not to change anyone’s mind or win anyone over, but simply to explain myself. I am … Continued

Thanks

I’m 57. I’m happy. I’m doing what I love. This didn’t happen by accident. Thanks to my writing teachers, and to those who really taught me to write: Dena, Jon, Bill Blue, and all my editors at Forrester. Thanks to those who supported me, believed in me, and boosted my confidence: Kimberley, Ray, Isaac, Mom … Continued

What to tell an editor

You’ve completed a draft and you’d like a review. This is your chance to tell the editor clearly what you need. Or, you could start with excuses. It’s your choice. When you turn over a draft for editing, there’s always stuff that you worry is weak or wrong. Resist the urge to hide your weaknesses. This is … Continued

Your outlines are useless. You need a fat outline.

When you’re planning to write, but before you’re actually writing, you create an outline. Unfortunately, most outlines are worthless. You need a better outline: a fat outline. Outlines are helpful for mapping out the structure of a long piece of writing — anything more than 1,000 words (a couple of pages). An outline ought to help the … Continued

The enduring wisdom of William Zinsser

When William Zinsser died in May, his obituaries praised his his book On Writing Well, originally published in 1976. It sold 1.5 million copies and, according to the back cover, was “[c]ited by critics as the natural companion of Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style” (of course). So I read the copy I found for a … Continued