Does Twitter Make Sense for Most Writers?

Does Twitter Make Sense for Most Writers?

Is social media a waste of time for writers? Is it possible, in the end, to just focus on writing?
Writer's Digest & HOW Books team photo

Love Letter to Cincinnati (#4)

It will be hard to think back on Cincinnati without thinking about F+W, the whole reason I moved to the
Love Letter to Cincinnati (#3)

Love Letter to Cincinnati (#3)

Note: Read the earlier installments in this series, #1 and #2. My favorite places in Cincinnati are mostly tied to
Art vs Commerce by Tom Giebel / Flickr

Starving Artist Vs. Slimy Marketer: How to Strike a Balance

Today's guest post is from one of my UC students, Jarrod Welling-Cann. He is facing the issue—as we all do
Aurelio Asiain / Flickr

What Can Stop Your Career From Ever Starting

Today's guest post is by Emily Latham. Emily has been one of my students this past academic year at the
Red Maple by Bruce / Flickr

Placing Too Much Importance on Passion

Passion has become a cheap word. I'm starting to roll my eyes when I hear it. But it hasn't always
Joe Vastano

Why Creative People Are Walking Paradoxes

In the latest Glimmer Train bulletin, Joe Vastano has a lovely essay on how writers have to acknowledge the duality
Grunge Social Media Art

How Social Media Can Change Your Life

Sometimes I find myself defending social media to the experienced user and beginner alike. It can be easily accused—and rightly
Glacier National Park

3 Questions Every Creative Person Must Ask

I'm starting to find that the same dilemmas come up again and again when I talk with a group about
The Memoir Project

Don’t Write a Memoir to Get Revenge

The following is excerpted from The Memoir Project: A Thoroughly Non-Standardized Text for Writing & Life by Marion Roach Smith. It
Melanie Rae Thon (photo by Andi Olsen)

7 Reasons to Tell a Story in 2011

In the latest Glimmer Train bulletin, there's an amazing piece by Melanie Rae Thon, "The Heart Breaks, and Breaks Open:
Reading Notebook #33: Enlightenment (and Love) Taste of Freedom

Reading Notebook #33: Enlightenment (and Love) Taste of Freedom

From "How to Know It's Real Love" by Martha Beck, in Oprah magazine. Buddha once said that just as we
Alan Watts

I Am Always Sincere, But Never Serious

I am always sincere, but never serious. —Alan Watts When I started my first professional blog, I struggled to give
Chiang Mai wat and yellow buddha

Don’t Feel Guilty About “Playing Around” Online

"The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his
One of my Post-It lists

List Making & The Creative Process

I love making lists. Big-picture lists, daily lists, grocery lists, checklists … you name it, I list it. I even
When You Have Anxieties About Change

When You Have Anxieties About Change

Yesterday, I was a guest over at Writer Unboxed, discussing the anxieties that surrounded my move from "Writer's Digest blogger"
Simon Sinek: If You Don't Understand People, You Don't Understand Business

Look for People Who Believe What You Believe

[Update: The discussion in the comments—on this site and on some of my other profiles—has made me realize that my
Reading Notebook #33: Marriage Is About Solitude

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,
Reading Notebook #32: Happiness Is About How We Intertwine

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
Reading Notebook #30: Existential Reasons for Procrastination

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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
I Heart Social Media

The Pure Heart and Pure Superficiality of Social Media

One of the classes I'm teaching at CCM requires me to study up on the history and practice of public
Reading Notebook #22: Love, Grief, & Letting Go

Reading Notebook #22: Love, Grief, & Letting Go

From "A Cruel Country" [excerpts from Roland Barthes' journals after his mother's death] in The New Yorker (September 13, 2010):
My Most Valuable & Destructive Physical Possession

My Most Valuable & Destructive Physical Possession

I've been keeping a journal off and on ever since I was about 12 years old. The earliest journals, written
The Way of Zen

Reading Notebook #20: Humanness Is Superior to Righteousness

From The Way of Zen by Alan Watts: It was a basic Confucian principle that "it is man who makes truth
Reading Notebook #19: Death As Liberation

Reading Notebook #19: Death As Liberation

From "Letting Go" by Atul Gawande in The New Yorker (August 2, 2010): Almost all these patients had known, for
Svejk at 515 N Madison

I Distrust Too-Happy People

I may get myself into trouble with this one. But I've always been suspicious of happy people. I do NOT
Reading Notebook #16: Life Interferes With Work & Vice Versa

Reading Notebook #16: Life Interferes With Work & Vice Versa

From Bill Murray interview in Entertainment Weekly (via TerryStarbucker.com): “I just really want to work when I want to work.
B&W and Red All Over

Do Pain and Struggle Constitute a Fundamental Part of Love?

Artwork by Tonia Davenport—from her wonderful series "B&W and Red All Over" A while back, I read this relationship break-up anecdote
Steve Jobs' 2005 Stanford Commencement Address

Have the Courage to Follow Your Heart & Intuition

A wonderful commencement address from Steve Jobs. I love that he mentions life can only be lived forward, and understood
Six Feet Under

Reading Notebook #13: What Makes You Happy Comes From the Inside

This is taken from a Salon interview with Alan Ball, creator of Six Feet Under—my most favorite TV series, with
Wonder Woman at Work

Can Excellent Advice Make You Unhappy?

There are a few people I read religiously for insight and perspective on work/business life. Probably on the top of
Reading Notebook #12: Existential Angst at Work

Reading Notebook #12: Existential Angst at Work

From Kenny Moore's blog post, "Losing Your Job? Psychological, Spiritual & Practical Advice." This is the most meaningful discussion I
Reading Notebook #11: The Source of (My) Anxiety

Reading Notebook #11: The Source of (My) Anxiety

Transcribed from Examined Life (Zeitgeist Films), the words of Avital Ronnell. If we're not anxious, if we're okay with things,
The Story of Your Life IS Your Life

The Story of Your Life IS Your Life

On my Facebook profile, I state my religious beliefs as "The story of your life becomes your life." After my
Jane - 1997 in Cambridge - maudlin and idealistic youth

You Are Bad at Making Yourself Happy

My job as Writer's Digest publisher often leads people to remark what a great life I have. So young, so
Jane Friedman (1994)

The Art of Losing Things Isn’t Hard to Master

I am very careless with my belongings. This past week, when I flew to NYC for Digital Book World, I
12 Actions and 12 Diversions

12 Self-Creating Actions and 12 Preoccupational Diversions

[Click here for full-size image.] On the last page of my 2009 Museum of Lost Wonder calendar, I found the