Jan 072014

Boxing glovesThis month, everyone’s thinking about New Year’s resolutions. Let’s try something less traditional than dieting and juice fasts. Let’s try challenging negative self-talk as writers and communicators.

I’ll start. I have beliefs that hold me back. I bet you have them too. I say these things subconsciously, and I believe them far more often than I should. I fear if I hear them often enough, they will become true. That’s a good motivator to do something about it.

The trick is to hear what the inner critic says and then reframe the self-talk to become more positive and accepting. That’s my Continue reading »

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Dec 202011

If you can get a sentence down, then a paragraph, then an essay, and maybe an entire manuscript, this is the season to be grateful. While 81 percent of the public says they want to write a book, most of them never get to that point. Because it’s hard.

At a workshop I conducted recently, one of the students said she hasn’t been able to write a blog post for the last four months. I have wrestled with my critic for more than 30 years of being published, and it is still a struggle. I can relate.

So this holiday season, I’m grateful I can produce the words. Being grateful, it turns out, is a mood changer. The other day I heard Continue reading »

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Oct 182011

I’m still mourning the death of Steve Jobs, a brilliant man who changed my life with beautifully-designed, practical products. But I’ve also been reading about the type of boss he was: bullying. Just like my own critical voice.

In the late 1980’s, I was working on a cover story for the NeXT machine, one of Job’s rare flops. The magazine’s editor-in-chief, main feature writer, and I (the executive editor) spent an afternoon interviewing Jobs about his new machine and his strategy.

I found it nerve-wracking to be around the guy. He had piercing eyes that bore into me, unblinking. He seemed to be thinking, “You are an idiot” whenever I spoke. I was simultaneously thrilled to be in his presence but couldn’t wait to get away.

Towards the end of our meeting, I suggested he appear on the cover. He scoffed and Continue reading »

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