diannejacob

Aug 192014
 

Like the song from my teenage years says, “See you in September,” woo woo woo, when the summer’s through

And why are those guys singing in suits on the beach? 

Now, where was I? Oh yes. I’ll be traveling next month to two conferences, and then a third in October, talking about book proposals, career reinvention, and making your food writing sharper. Here’s what’s coming up:

Association-of-Food-JournalistsSeptember 8-11, 2014
Panelist and Workshop Leader
Association of Food Journalists Annual Conference
The Peabody Hotel
Memphis, TN

For the first time, I’m attending the Association of Food Journalists (AFJ) annual conference, where I will appear on a panel September 11 called Continue reading »

Aug 122014
 
pressure_cook_grains_faster_

Here’s the top of one of Laura’s pressure cooker infographics. She’s made three so far. Click on the image to see the entire infographic.

A guest post by Laura Pazzaglia

Infographics are taking the web by storm. They can be read and understood in a flash and shared, shared and shared. The best infographics tell a story (albeit very short) and convey useful information in a fun way.

I’d always wanted to make an infographic but didn’t think I had the tools or design skills to do so. Then I saw two posts from a marketing blog that promised Continue reading »

Aug 052014
 

It’s the dog days of summer, time for lounging by the pool with a novel, reading on a blanket near your cabin, or hanging in your hammock with a book.

The point is to be outside. My favorite place to read food writing is my sun deck’s lounge chair, perhaps followed by a nap. There’s something luxurious about dreaming on a summer day.

So what’s good to read right now? I’m not talking about summer cookbooks. There are lots of lists of those. Instead, here’s a mix of novels, memoir and non-fiction narratives, some old and new, that are worth your time when you’re prone in the sun or sitting in dappled shade:
Last-Chinese-Chef

1. The Last Chinese Chef, by Nicole Mones. It’s been out since 2007, but I resisted reading this book for years, even though friends kept telling me about it.

I finally read this novel and couldn’t put it down. It’s a love story about a food writer who goes to Beijing for a magazine assignment and meets a chef. I also learned about the Chinese culinary arts and ancient food culture and enjoyed every minute. The author was a freelancer for Gourmet magazine who travelled to China frequently, and she’s a powerful storyteller. Continue reading »

Jul 292014
 
Stressed.Writer

Do you keep up with your writing projects? Do you hand in your work on time? And how much drama do you like in your life?

Are you a drama queen? I was. I realized years ago that I liked excitement, and I created too much of it, especially when I procrastinated and then went crazy as deadlines loomed. Does this sound familiar?

You can learn good work habits, but doing so means giving up the adrenaline rush. Instead, you become a planner. It might sound boring, but these techniques have helped me avoid all-nighters.

1. Take Small Steps

Years ago I was driving to an appointment with my boss when I confessed, tearfully, that I felt overwhelmed by my workload. He gave me advice that was just right at the time: “Break it down into small steps. Otherwise you’re too overwhelmed to move forward. Just put one foot in front of the other and accomplish small things every day.”

It was good advice then, even though it sounded obvious. I needed a reminder. Continue reading »

Jul 222014
 

WriterWhile listening to a radio interview in the car about music and creativity, I heard something that resonated for me as a writer and coach.

The interviewee, neuroscientist Indre Viskontas, was talking about music, but she was really discussing creativity, and what makes great artists.

Success as an artist, she said, came down to three things:

1. Obsessiveness

2. Imperviousness to feedback

3. Uninhibited.

I found this list surprising, and wanted to think about each one of these traits. Since writers are artists, we can apply this Continue reading »

Jul 152014
 
Pies

Summer pies from my local farmer’s market in Oakland, CA.

Want to keep up with best practices for writing a food blog or cookbook,  freelancing, or working with companies? Need a link to something fun once in a while? Of course you do.

That’s why you need these links, taken from my quarterly newsletter filled with resources for food writers and bloggers. If you haven’t signed up yet, what are you waiting for? Here’s what you missed in my last one, sent at the end of June:

  1. Do you have a media kit so companies can contact you? If not, you might consider making one. Big companies expect it.
  2. I’m working with a cookbook editor right now, and these tips are good reminders. Top 10 Ways to Make Your Editor Love You.
  3. Do you aspire to give a TED talk? Even if you Continue reading »
Jul 082014
 

A Guest Post by Jill Nussinow

Jill-Nussinow

Culinary Educator Jill Nussinow sells print-on-demand cookbooks on her website, which lead to passive income.

Just last week, I made almost $100 in e-book sales with almost zero effort. The cost was a minute or two of my time to login to e-junkie.com, enter the buyers’ information and hit the Send button. The money showed up in my PayPal account like magic. Who wouldn’t love that?

I got the idea to sell a downloadable cookbook in March 2011, when I hired a designer to format my manuscript. Within a few weeks, I had something saleable but wasn’t sure how to sell it. A publisher mentioned Continue reading »