The survival of this place is important- don’t ruin it

My home page is overrun with stories about money and I hate it. When you publish this stuff you are contributing to the dilution of quality that could close this place down. The team here is struggling to make the site a viable business and as writers we need it.

I understand that money is very important in our society. I’m very happy when it comes in. But it should not be the primary topic in articles here. When you write this stuff you not only hurt yourself, you risk killing a platform. …

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Tapping into the universal mind

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

Warning, I’m going to get into some mumbo jumbo here.

I have something to admit as a writer, specifically as a fiction writer, though when I think about it, this probably can be applied to any writing. Except possibly technical writing- we don’t want product manuals and safety warnings to come from our deep subconscious.

When I write well I’m tapping into something undefinable, and I let things follow their own path. It is not completely random. …

An observation about the luminous world

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“…he stretched out his arms toward the water in a curious way, and, far as I was from him, I could have sworn he was trembling. Involuntarily I glanced seaward- and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away, that might have been the end of a dock. When I looked once more for Gatsby he had vanished, and I was alone in the unquiet darkness.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

In those few sentences Fitzgerald sums up Gatsby’s longing, the longing that has driven him to create an entire life out of false cloth. All…

I learned something last night which reset mine

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Life is really good at throwing curveballs. They go down, then go up, and we rarely have time to react when they go either way. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about serendipity and boredom. And about my impatience with normalcy. Writing, right now, is not enough.

I’ve been struggling with time. Too much of it.

Last night I ran into a friend, a cardiologist. He works with heart transplants. I asked him how things were going and he said he was having a really good day. When I asked why, he said he had gotten a $75000 raise. Yes…

In a word, don’t.

Photo by Xiaolong Wong on Unsplash

It does not translate into income, followers, or satisfaction. My most popular article by far did not make me much money for a good reason: views from social media don’t count as reads. The piece went viral on Reddit and other places, generating a lot of traffic from non-paying Medium readers who likely used it as one of their freebies.

I try to avoid writing about my own experience with the Payment Program as I think most of the ‘I Made $XXX in Three Hours’ articles are complete baloney. I could once say I made ten grand for eight hours…

When I realized that one of the superpowers of being a writer is the ability to fix nearly anything, my writing got a lot better. Those precious words are just binary bits that are eraseable if you choose. But they can also be saved if erasing your work scares you. I had quite a few versions of my first novel by the time I called it finished. I have never looked at them, nor do I plan to. They are just the scraps of something I was building.

But here's the interesting thing: I had a lot less scraps (waste) leftover after finishing the second one. I either got better or more efficient or both.

As creators we are not taking enough chances

Photo by Jash Chhabria on Unsplash

This is a shout out to everyone writing here and anywhere. We just went through the craziest year most of us will experience. And we are writing crap. A year like the last one will create an explosion of new ways to do things. We all need to aspire to more.

I’m as guilty as anyone in setting my sights too low. But when everything was both muted, in our personal lives, and over the top in politics and social justice, lying low was probably a survival mechanism.

But things are opening up. Not just society but the possibilities ahead…

You’ll look like you know what you’re doing

Photo by Dilyara Garifullina on Unsplash

Puff pastry is proof positive that when it comes to baked goods the French are off the charts. I’ve made it from scratch, wrapping a block of cold butter in dough and rolling and folding it to create hundreds of alternating layers of butter and very thin sheets of dough. It’s an amazing invention that can be used so many ways, but it is a lot of work and a little tricky.

Fortunately, you can buy it in frozen sheets that cut out all those steps and yield basically the same results. However there is something to watch out for…

This is one gift the last year gave me

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Yesterday I wrote over 2000 words in two articles and then complained to a friend that I had done nothing that day. And I realized something. The writing was no longer work. In fact I am super happy when the idea flows and I lose myself tapping away at my iPad. This is after thirty years of writing for a living.

Why following your passion doesn’t work, and then it does

If you didn’t learn at least one significant life lesson in the past year you might want to reevaluate. …

I respect the work but there is only one way to know if it is worth it

Photo by Vlad Kutepov on Unsplash

Titles should never define us. And don’t get me wrong, my best friend has a doctorate, teaches future STEM teachers, and is a dept chair at her college. And my last girlfriend is also a professor and has a hard-earned PhD. She has over fifty peer-reviewed publications. Both got their doctorates after long careers in their respective fields (teaching and social work, respectively).

Due to lifestyle choices I did not pursue graduate school. Instead I wrote nine non-fiction books on business, all with advances and distribution from national publishers. And I learned something. …


Former software marketer. Former musician. Writer, nine non-fiction books, two novels, Buddhist, train lover. Amateur cook, lover of life most of the time!

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