Parenting Is Not a Zero Sum Game!

From Evelyn Tsitas, an exceptionally useful blog post about what it took for her to write her thesis: Admit it, if you are a mother, there is always that nagging voice somewhere – yours or some critic – that says ‘intense focus and study at the expense of much of everything else in your life […]

Fall Coaching, Classes, and the State of the Books!

Hi Everyone, Please see last week’s newsletter in which I described my new newsletter approach. Thanks to the many good people who wrote in with comments and/or in support of my new plan. I always welcome, and thrive on, your input. Below are my coaching, teaching, and writing plans for the fall. Some good opportunities […]

Fan Mail From Novosibirsk

I was thrilled to get some fan mail from Novosibirsk today: Hello, miss Rettig! My name is Alexander, I’m writer from Russia. Couple weeks ago I found your book – and it was like a revelation for me. I always want to be a writer. I was started to write seriously three or four times […]

Productivity Tips from Alex the Parrot

I just finished reading Irene Pepperberg’s wonderful book Alex & Me, about her work and relationship with Alex, the African Grey parrot who became internationally renowned for his cognitive and communications skills, including being able to hold simple conversations, spell simple words, and do simple math. Turns out he could procrastinate, too. One problem Pepperberg […]

“Wise and kind and supportive.”

Kari Sperring – I’ve just been reading Hillary Rettig on writing (recommended to me by Stephanie Burgess and I am very grateful to her for that, for it is excellent). One of the things she writes about is how invested writers become in our work and its reception. It can sometimes become all tangled up […]

7 Secrets of the Prolific Gets 150th 5-Star Amazon Review

Read it here – and thanks everyone! (If you haven’t yet reviewed it please do so–that’s the single best way to support my work.)

Meet Compassionate Objectivity, The Antidote to Guilt

“I should succeed at this job despite the fact that we’re severely under-resourced and my boss is chronically disorganized. If I don’t, I’m a loser.” “If I don’t sacrifice everything to my kids, I’m a terrible parent.” “If I don’t get my hour of exercise in every single day, I’m just a lazy slob.” “If my book doesn’t […]

Why Amazon is This Writer’s Best Friend

Right now, there’s a contract dispute going on between Amazon and the publisher Hachette Book Group, with the result that Amazon is delaying shipment of some Hachette books and removing “pre-order” buttons from listings of others. Read some news stories and you might think all authors are pro-Hachette and anti-Amazon. But that is not at […]

What Muhammad Ali Can Teach You About Getting More Work Done

“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” That famous quote from Muhammad Ali really does captures the spirit and essence of productive, joyful work. Let’s break it down: 1) “Float like a butterfly.” You move lightly and freely around and through your work until you see an aspect of it that inspires you. (Inspiration […]

John Scalzi on Why You Should Never Let Your Reviewers Get You Down

The Inimitable One offers a list of one-star reviews of books that later went on to win science fiction’s celebrated Hugo award. My favorite is this review of Scalzi’s own novel Red Shirts, which actually uses the word “onanistic”: This is an onanistic shallow and very disappointing book. Little or no character development. What should […]

“Essential Guide to a Better Authorship”

A fantastic review of The 7 Secrets of the Prolific from The Metapsychology Online Reviews: The book constantly reminds the reader that moralistic labels are useless and poisonous. Lightened up by the witty illustrations by Barry Deutsch (just to quote one: the monolith a la 2001: A Space Odyssey vs. a spaghetti snarl) it is […]