Getting Over the Hump by Jeffrey Gifford

Expect Resistance With New Technology

This phenomenon comes up a lot when I talk about Twitter (or—really—any new media tool). People don’t use it. They haven’t tried to use it. And they decide not to use it often because it’s too much trouble. This reason, in and of itself, is fine. I understand when people have other priorities, especially when […]

Look for People Who Believe What You Believe

[Update: The discussion in the comments—on this site as well as my Google Plus profile, among others—has made me realize that my post title, “Look for People Who Believe What You Believe,” is misleading and unintentionally provocative. It isn’t meant to be a blanket statement about how to live life. Rather, it’s about how we […]

Conversation Prism

Build Diversity Into Your Online Presence

Back in 2008, a smart guy named Brian Solis created the Conversation Prism (above), and wrote a blog post titled State of Social Media 2008. 2008 is eons ago in new media terms—but the post is worth revisiting, especially for writers just now learning how to integrate online media into their everyday life. While not […]

Jane speaking at the 2011 Writer's Digest Conference

Jane’s Writing Advice Archive

I’ve been offering writing and publishing advice for a long time. So I thought it might be time to create a handy archive of what’s available online, especially for those who haven’t been following me since the very beginning. Click here to browse. If you know of something wonderful I’ve written that isn’t included here—or […]

There Are No Rules

The End of an Era: Goodbye to There Are No Rules

On the last day of April 2008, I launched my first professional blog, There Are No Rules. Every day since then, I’ve thought about what to tell writers that would be helpful, insightful, and a little bit provocative. While I will no longer be posting my perspective at No Rules (though the archives will remain […]

Pam Brown (1984 & 2010)

When Mom Was My Age (#40)

“When Mom Was My Age” is an interview series between daughters and mothers. New interviews appear every Monday. If you would like to participate, contact Jane. The following interview is with Pam Brown (age 61), reflecting on her life at age 34, interviewed by daughter Sarah Brown.   When you were my age (34), where did you […]

Twitter logo

Best Tweets for Writers (week ending 7/22/11)

I watch Twitter, so you don’t have to. Visit each Sunday for the week’s best tweets. If I missed a great Tweet, leave it in the comments. Looking for more online content I love and recommend? Subscribe to my e-newsletter. Best of the Best Author Blogging: You’re Doing it Wrong, but John Locke’s Figured it Out […]

Mary Carla Ligon (1987 & 2011)

When Mom Was My Age (#39)

“When Mom Was My Age” is an interview series between daughters and mothers. New interviews appear every Monday. If you would like to participate, contact Jane. The following interview is with Carla Ligon (age 56), reflecting on her life at age 32, interviewed by daughter Michaella Hammond. When you were 32, the year was 1987. Where did you […]

Reading Notebook #33: Marriage Is About Solitude

I have my friend Nath to thank for this, who sent me a book in the mail with no note, only passages highlighted. From Rilke On Love and Other Difficulties: I hold this to be the highest task of a bond between two people: that each should stand guard over the solitude of the other. […]

Chico McCormac

When Mom Was My Age (#38)

“When Mom Was My Age” is an interview series between daughters and mothers. New interviews appear every Monday. If you would like to participate, contact Jane. The following interview is with Chiko McCormac (age 77), reflecting on her life at age 42, interviewed by daughter Susan Hamaker. From Susan I was hesitant to ask my mom, […]

Naomi Dawn Heinemann

When Mom Was My Age (#37)

“When Mom Was My Age” is an interview series between daughters and mothers. New interviews appear every Monday. If you would like to participate, contact Jane. The following interview is with Naomi Dawn Heinemann (age 76), reflecting on her life at age 53, interviewed by daughter Judy Croome. From Judy I live and write in […]

Reading Notebook #32: Happiness Is About How We Intertwine

From “Social Animal” by David Brooks (The New Yorker, January 17, 2011) I guess I used to think of myself as a lone agent, who made certain choices and established certain alliances with colleagues and friends. Now, though, I see things differently. I believe we inherit a great river of knowledge, a flow of patterns […]

Laura Greene

When Mom Was My Age (#36)

“When Mom Was My Age” is an interview series between daughters and mothers. New interviews appear every Monday. If you would like to participate, contact Jane. The following interview is with Laura Greene (age 75), reflecting on her life at age 47, interviewed by daughter Jessica Greene (47). From Jessica Mom was about to turn 29 […]

Dianne Frye

When Mom Was My Age (#35)

“When Mom Was My Age” is an interview series between daughters and mothers. New interviews appear every Monday. If you would like to participate, contact Jane. The following interview is with Dianne Frye (age 51), reflecting on her life at age 33, interviewed by daughter Lisa Bartelt. Where did you live? 1106 Fargo Avenue, Dixon, Illinois. You […]

Caroline Gerardo & daughter Blaire Barbeau (2011)

When Mom Was My Age (#34)

“When Mom Was My Age” is an interview series between daughters and mothers. New interviews appear every Monday. If you would like to participate, contact Jane. The following interview is with Caroline Gerardo (age 42), reflecting on her life at age 19, interviewed by daughter Blaire Barbeau (age 19). Where did you live? In June  1978, […]

Ginny Sue Gohmann & daughter Johanna Gohmann

When Mom Was My Age (#33)

“When Mom Was My Age” is an interview series between daughters and mothers. New interviews appear every Monday. If you would like to participate, contact Jane. The following interview is with Ginny Sue Gohmann, reflecting on her life at age 35, interviewed by daughter Johanna Gohmann. Where did you live? Where we live now. I lived […]

Deborah Owen & mother Ruth Crayton

When Mom Was My Age (#32)

“When Mom Was My Age” is an interview series between daughters and mothers. New interviews appear every Monday. If you would like to participate, contact Jane. The following interview is with Ruth Crayton (age 93), reflecting on her life at age 69, interviewed by daughter Deborah Owen. Where did you live at age 69? My husband […]

Gillian & Katy Lassetter

When Mom Was My Age (#31)

“When Mom Was My Age” is an interview series between daughters and mothers. New interviews appear every Monday. If you would like to participate, contact Jane. The following interview is with Gillian Lassetter (age 63), reflecting on her life at age 29, interviewed by daughter Katy Lassetter. Where did you live when you were 29? I […]

When Mom Was My Age (#30)

“When Mom Was My Age” is an interview series between daughters and mothers. New interviews appear every Monday. If you would like to participate, contact Jane. The following interview is with Ruth (age 68), reflecting on her life at age 48, interviewed by daughter Beth Moschetto. Where did you live? Your dad had just accepted a […]

Linda Jones (age 64)

When Mom Was My Age (#29)

“When Mom Was My Age” is an interview series between daughters and mothers. New interviews appear every Monday. If you would like to participate, contact Jane. The following interview is with Linda Jones (age 63), reflecting on her life at age 34, interviewed by daughter Rayne Devivo. Where did you live? Same place we do right […]

Kathy Thiel and daughter Krista Thiel

When Mom Was My Age (#28)

“When Mom Was My Age” is an interview series between daughters and mothers. New interviews appear every Monday. If you would like to participate, contact Jane. The following interview is with Kathy Thiel about her life at age 33, interviewed by daughter Kristin Thiel (age 33). Where did you live? I was living in a northwest […]

Gigi Amateau (age 17 & age 46)

When Mom Was My Age (#27)

“When Mom Was My Age” is an interview series between daughters and mothers. New interviews appear every Monday. If you would like to participate, contact Jane. The following interview is with Gigi Amateau (age 46), interviewed by daughter Judith Amateau (age 17). From Judith Throughout my life, my mom has been many different things to me—a […]

Christine Becraft & Sophie Becraft

When Mom Was My Age (#26)

We’re back after a brief hiatus! “When Mom Was My Age” is an interview series between daughters and mothers. New interviews appear every Monday. If you would like to participate, contact Jane. The following interview is with Christine Lisa Becraft (age 46), interviewed by daughter Sophie Kona Becraft (age 11). Where did you live when […]

Evelyn Schwartz, 1985 & 2010

When Mom Was My Age (#25)

“When Mom Was My Age” is an interview series between daughters and mothers. New interviews appear every Monday. If you would like to participate, contact Jane. The following interview is with Evelyn Schwartz, interviewed by daughter Laura Cerwinske (age 63). From Laura I am now 63, and in 1985, when my mother Evelyn was my age, […]

Jane Rusbridge & daughter Natalie Miller

When Mom Was My Age (#24)

“When Mom Was My Age” is an interview series between daughters and mothers. New interviews appear every Monday. If you would like to participate, contact Jane. The following interview is with Jane Rusbridge, interviewed by daughter Natalie Miller (age 22). After attempting to move out of the family home twice, I am now back again, trying […]

Reading Notebook #31: A Writer’s Appetite for Fame

From “Writing and Winning” by Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker (October 18, 2010). Click here to read the full piece. Since the first strum on the oldest lyre, literature has been about competition and the possibility of recognition. Pindar, the father of lyric poetry, took as his chief subject the winning of games, and the […]

Reading Notebook #30: Existential Reasons for Procrastination

From “Later” by James Surowiecki, The New Yorker (October 11, 2010). Click here to read the full article online. But before we rush to overcome procrastination we should consider whether it is sometimes an impulse we should heed. The philosopher Mark Kingwell puts it in existential terms: “Procrastination most often arises from a sense that […]

Reading Notebook #29: When the Author Became More Important Than the Publisher

From “Talent Grab” by Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker (October 11, 2010) … a parallel revolution was taking place in the publishing world, as authors and their agents began to rewrite the terms of their relationship with publishers. One of the instigators of that revolution was Mort Janklow, a corporate lawyer who, in 1972, did […]

Dorothy & Peggy

When Mom Was My Age (#23)

“When Mom Was My Age” is an interview series between daughters and mothers. New interviews appear every Monday. If you would like to participate, contact Jane. The following interview is with a daughter, mother, and grandmother!  Daughter Teresa Coates interviews Peggy (her mom) and Dorothy (her grandmother), talking about their lives at age 40. Pictured above: […]

Jane at AWP 2011

3 Boring Elements of Success

I don’t think my age is a secret, but just to be clear: I’m 34. Sometimes when I speak at conferences, people say they expected someone older. I’ve been hearing this since 2002. I think there are a variety of reasons for this—not least among them that many decision makers in publishing are younger than […]

Sheila Van Noy

When Mom Was My Age (#22)

“When Mom Was My Age” is an interview series between daughters and mothers. New interviews appear every Monday. If you would like to participate, contact Jane. The following interview is with Sheila Van Noy, interviewed by daughter Nikki Van Noy (age 33). From daughter Nikki When mom was 33, there were no cell phones, computers, or […]

Mary Carolyn Steffen Carlson (age 46 & age 73)

When Mom Was My Age (#21)

“When Mom Was My Age” is an interview series between daughters and mothers. New interviews appear every Monday. If you would like to participate, contact Jane. The following interview is with Mary Carolyn Steffen Carlson (now age 73), interviewed by daughter Stephanie Carlson Curtis (age 46). Where did you live when you were my age (46)? […]

Andrea King Collier

When Mom Was My Age (#20)

“When Mom Was My Age” is an interview series between daughters and mothers. New interviews appear every Monday. If you would like to participate, contact Jane. The following interview is with Andrea King Collier (author of Still With Me: A Daughter’s Journey of Love and Loss), who is interviewed by her daughter, Nicole Collier, a broadcast […]

Solitude by Anthony Storr

Reading Notebook #28: Happiness Without Close Relationships

From Solitude by Anthony Storr: Many fortunate people do make intimate relationships which continue until death, and which constitute their major source of happiness. But even the closest relationship is bound to have flaws and disadvantages, and it is often because people do not accept this that they are more unhappy than they need to be, […]

Peggi Colleen Gibson Tattoli

When Mom Was My Age (#19)

“When Mom Was My Age” is an interview series between daughters and mothers. New interviews appear every Monday. If you would like to participate, contact Jane. The following interview is with Peggi Colleen Gibson Tattoli (now age 47), interviewed by daughter Chantel Tattoli (age 22). From Chantel When my mother and I catch sight of each other, […]

Margaret Malone & Mom

When Mom Was My Age (#18)

“When Mom Was My Age” is an interview series between daughters and mothers. New interviews appear every Monday. If you would like to participate, contact Jane. The following interview is with Sue Malone, by daughter Margaret Malone (age 36). Where did you live? I was living in Mill Valley, Calif., with my husband and you, our […]

Chief Culture Officer

Study Slow Culture, Not Just Fast

When I attended TEDxCincy in October 2010, there was one session where I was furiously taking notes: the session by Grant McCracken, author of Chief Culture Officer. Click here to find out more about the fascinating McCracken. [For more on my so-so experience of TEDxCincy, read “7 Lessons for Delivering a Powerful Message.”] So, here’s […]

Solitude by Anthony Storr

Reading Notebook #27: What to Do When Your Existence May Need to Be Reappraised

From Solitude by Anthony Storr: The capacity to be alone is a valuable resource when changes of mental attitude are required. After major alterations in circumstances, fundamental reappraisal of the significance and meaning of existence may be needed. … Changes of attitude take time because our ways of thinking about life and ourselves so easily become […]

Gaby Levine (at age 48 & in 2010)

When Mom Was My Age (#17)

“When Mom Was My Age” is an interview series between daughters and mothers. New interviews appear every Monday. If you would like to participate, contact Jane. The following interview is with Gaby Levine, interviewed by daughter Becky Levine (age 48). From daughter Becky My mother started writing her memoirs a few years ago, so when I […]

C.G. Jung

Reading Notebook #26: Difficulties Are Necessary for Health

From C.G. Jung’s The Transcendant Function: Collected Works: The new attitude gained in the course of analysis tends sooner or later to become inadequate in one way or another, and necessarily so, because the flow of life again and again demands fresh adaptation. Adaptation is never achieved once and for all. … In the last […]

C.G. Jung

Reading Notebook #25: Accepting the Positive and the Negative

From an essay by C.G. Jung, where he quotes a patient: Out of evil, much good has come to me. By keeping quiet, repressing nothing, remaining attentive, and by accepting reality—taking things as they are, and not as I wanted them to be—by doing all this, unusual knowledge has come to me, and unusual powers […]

Solitude by Anthony Storr

Reading Notebook #24: Our Life at the Office Is (In Fact) Important

From Solitude by Anthony Storr: Human beings need a sense of being part of a larger community than that constituted by the family. The modern assumption that intimate relationships are essential to personal fulfillment tends to make us neglect the significance of relationships which are not so intimate. … The fact that a man is […]

Mary with daughter Meg (age 35 & age 62)

When Mom Was My Age (#16)

“When Mom Was My Age” is an interview series between daughters and mothers. New interviews appear every Monday. If you would like to participate, contact Jane. The following interview is with Mary Gerritsen, interviewed by daughter Meg Canada (age 35). From daughter Meg My mom is 62 and she’s been married to my dad for 42 […]

The Man Without Qualities

Reading Notebook #23: Why Things Are the Way They Are

From The Man Without Qualities by Robert Musil: “At this moment he wished to be a man without qualities. But this is probably not so different from what other people sometimes feel too. After all, by the time they have reached the middle of their life’s journey few people remember how they have managed to […]

Amelia B's mother

When Mom Was My Age (#15)

“When Mom Was My Age” is an interview series between daughters and mothers. New interviews appear every Monday. If you would like to participate, contact Jane. The following interview is with the mother of Amelia B. (age 43).               From daughter Amelia I am 43 and my mother is 72. I […]

Ilie Ruby's mother

When Mom Was My Age (#14)

“When Mom Was My Age” is an interview series between daughters and mothers. New interviews appear every Monday. If you would like to participate, contact Jane. The following interview is with the mother of Ilie Ruby (age 44). Where did you live? I lived in a condominium in a complex in Rochester, NY. What did you […]

Katie Urbani

When Mom Was My Age (#13)

“When Mom Was My Age” is an interview series between daughters and mothers. New interviews appear every Monday. If you would like to participate, contact Jane. The following interview is with Katie Urbani, interviewed by her daughter Ellen Urbani (mid-40s). Introduction from Ellen (daughter) When my mother was my age, she lost her left breast to […]

Joanne Shimotakahara

When Mom Was My Age (#12)

“When Mom Was My Age” is an interview series between daughters and mothers. New interviews appear every Monday (usually!). If you would like to participate, contact Jane. The following interview is with Joanne Shimotakahara, interviewed by her daughter Leslie Shimotakahara (age 32). 1. Tell me about where we lived when you were my age (32). We lived […]

Mimm Patterson

When Mom Was My Age (#11)

“When Mom Was My Age” is an interview series between daughters and mothers. New interviews appear every Monday. If you would like to participate, contact Jane. The following interview is with Bobbie, interviewed by her daughter Mimm Patterson (age 51). [From the daughter, Mimm] It’s funny how two people’s memories of a certain place and time […]

Jerlyn Kay Priest

When Mom Was My Age (#10)

“When Mom Was My Age” is an interview series between daughters and mothers. New interviews appear every Monday. If you would like to participate, contact Jane. The following interview is with Jerlyn Kay Priest, interviewed by her daughter Dayla Corcoran(age 36). Where did you live when you were 36 years old? Your Dad and I had […]