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 012014
 
Confident-Businessman

Are you as confident as this guy? According to most surveys, probably not.

Well duh. Of course we do. Since it’s mostly women who read my blog, I feel we can talk amongst ourselves. So just between us, when I read this article about our lack of confidence, I felt a blush of familiarity.

“The Confidence Gap” posits that there’s another reason why women are not breaking the glass ceiling, besides the tug of motherhood and entrenched sexism. It’s our confidence level.

That’s so us.

As a speaker, teacher and coach, I see this “confidence gap” with women clients, female students, and at conference sessions full of Continue reading »

May 272014
 

Frusted-BloggerA well-known food blogger loves to forward outrageous requests from food companies to me. I’ve kept them them in a file, until now, when I got her permission to share them.

As you know from the countless emails you delete, food companies want product coverage from bloggers. Nothing wrong with that, of course. It’s just the way  Continue reading »

May 132014
 

EmptyTableI know restaurant bloggers still exist, but I can barely find them.

I’m not the only one. The annual Saveur Best Food Blog awards doesn’t even list “restaurant blogs” as a category.

Sure, there are people who write reviews for websites such as Tasting Table and urbanspoon.com. But it seems that there are Continue reading »

May 062014
 

James-Beard-Medallion-300x255What I like about The James Beard awards, called “the Oscars of food writing,” is that I can find most of the journalism award-winning pieces online.

I want to soak up their brilliance. I also know I will be a little envious. That’s okay. Reading them gives me ideas for my own writing.

These essays will make you laugh, amaze you, make you nod in recognition, make you outraged — all emotions generated by skilled writers (and their editors). They are worth my time, and yours.

Just so you know, judges can only judge the entries. We don’t go out and look for work that might win. So if you don’t enter, you can’t win. (I am a book judge and a Continue reading »