Have you ever woken up at night worrying about how you were going to pay?

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Most of us have experienced it, that sinking feeling that wakes you up in the deep of night, completely stressed and afraid because of a poor money decision. Maybe you blew your rent money on a big night out. Or maxed your cards and the interest is about to go through the roof. Maybe there was that thing you desperately wanted (car, boat, other toy) that almost immediately lost its cachet as the bills piled up and you stopped using it.

By now all of us have seen that recent research that showed a majority of Americans cannot get their…

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They are not defined by economics, they are defined by selfishness

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I am still floored when I see the crowds partying in some warm place, acting as though there is no pandemic and no reason to be careful. They include the Karens, female and male, who claim their rights are violated by a piece of cloth over their faces, or that they somehow have privilege because of their race.

This wave of unbridled selfishness, which leads to the sickness and death of others, including their friends and family members, is simply incomprehensible, yet it is rampant in our country. …

Are you waiting for something?

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Procrastination. Here is a blunt truth: We don’t have time. There is no guarantee that you will get to do all the things you want. If anyone didn’t learn that in the last year, they had a different experience than mine, and that of everyone I know.

There is an interesting thing about wars, catastrophes, and…pandemics. When they finally end there is an explosion of creativity. People feel a weight lifted off their shoulders, the weight of survival. After WWI and the Spanish Flu pandemic, we got the Roaring Twenties. …

Letting the story go where it wants to go

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When you start learning from the masters you find a lot of common ground. These five writers have won virtually every major prize for literature, including a Nobel and the Booker. Perhaps even more interesting is that they are not obscure. They have written major bestsellers that got there by simply being great storytelling.

“Write about what you know’ is the most stupid thing I’ve heard. It encourages people to write a dull autobiography. It’s the reverse of firing the imagination and potential of writers.”

Kazuo Ishiguro

Ishiguro is a Nobel Laureate and author of many novels including The Remains…

It means being in tune with life

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Discord is being out of tune. It has its place (listen to Gang of Four or Ornette Coleman). But resonance is harmony and the world has been out of tune with itself during the pandemic. We’re due for a major change, a sea change*. I feel like it is on the horizon. But how can we make it personal?

Last night I was grabbing a bite at my local, a steakhouse in a neighborhood boutique hotel. A woman sat next to me waiting for takeout. …

Hi Nik, good article. After having done nine books, seven published by national publishers (non-fiction) with advances, I have a bit of advice. Outline your book with a sentence for every page in the final version, then write the whole thing without doing any editing at all. By the time you get half way through you'll want to rewrite the first half anyway. Go right to the end without reading or messing with it. You can do it.

And thanks for publishing me when I first stsrted writing on Medium! M

That might be what you should be doing

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I have always loved art. Great paintings blow my mind. And I always told myself if I had any talent, I’d paint. I draw badly, to put it mildly. So I put that dream of painting away.

The interesting thing is how I became a musician. Like drawing, I had no real feel for playing music as a kid, though I always owned guitars growing up. Actually, I was a passionate music fan, everything from Jimi Hendrix to John Coltrane. But I was a lame guitar player.

Punk came along in the seventies. I was working in a record store…

And that makes all the difference

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It sounds simplistic, but it is essential. You can’t really learn anything if you set negative boundaries. Yes, there are countless terrible things done, all by humans, but in this place and this life we have endless possibility. When I read about hopelessness it seems a terrible thing, to be unable or unwilling to see the beauty of it.

I am a pragmatist. I do not believe in a deity. If anything, everything here is the body of a deity, including each and everyone of us, every rock, twig, scrap of plastic, creature, genius, saint, and criminal. …

Be understated, never boast, be gentle

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Real wealth never reveals itself. It never shows off. Because it is an attitude, not a bank balance. Anything else is nouveau riche and you do not want to be that. It is pitiful.

The last year took a lot out of a lot of people. That is an understatement. It introduced a kind of mass uncertainty that undermined our collective self-confidence. People whose life seemed secure and whose path forward looked golden, suddenly found themselves drifting.

I’ve always lived with a certain amount of uncertainty, because of a cavalier attitude towards materialism. I rode the ups and downs and…

Here’s why- and there is an important lesson about the value of time involved

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I have a threshold and it involves two things, time and money. Well, one more, quality of life. I was recently offered an assignment from a content service that occasionally sends me work. The project paid well on a per word basis but after reading the brief I turned it down. I simply could not make money doing it. Here’s why.

The hidden costs of freelance writing

The brief required a deep knowledge of a technical subject that I only have a passing knowledge of. It was sent to me because I have done a lot of tech marketing work. I knew I could do it…


Novelist, Tech Marketing Writer, Growth Consultant. I have been a professional writer for over 20 years- 8 non-fiction books and 1 novel, many articles, etc.

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