Category: Writing

Finishing ahead of schedule

Distance running and long form writing can both be painful. They can also be fun. So I’m grateful, going into Thanksgiving week, that my two November projects in these categories were more in the latter category than the former. Both also took less time than I thought they would! I’d signed up for the Philadelphia Half-Marathon, which was Sunday, but aft… read more »

The Norwegian secret to getting an article shared 300,000 times

I fancy myself a student of what gets attention on the internet. Beyond the obvious reasons (sex, violence, and cute animals doing adorable things), why do people choose to click on things and share them? I’ve been pondering that this week as the Fast Company post I referred to the other day (“The Norwegian Secret To Enjoying A Long Winter”) took on a lif… read more »

“That was my own little MFA” — novelist Camille Pagán on frustration and success

I got to know Camille Pagán years ago when we were both young writers in NYC. I profiled her for a City Journal article on the taxonomy of self-employment (she was the quintessential “soloist”). We started having dinner together on occasion, and she started a writer’s strategy group, based on something she read in The Happiness Project. Our group met… read more »

Notes on NaNoWriMo and pacing

I’m having fun with my NaNoWriMo novel. I started a fresh file and am writing from the beginning. While the characters are the same as the novel I wrote during NaNoWriMo last year, I feel like this year I have a better sense of what should happen, and I know who the characters are. So it’s coming together better than it did in the prior version. I’m sure there… read more »

Platform, explained and semi-embraced

Every industry has its buzzwords. “Platform” is a big one in the book publishing business. It’s easy to loathe but I think it’s also misunderstood. Viewed in a different light, it’s helpful to all sorts of authors, famous or not. Platform is defined as the built-in audience an author brings to a book. If you are a much-loved TV star who can yak about y… read more »