Lab Notes #9: Write Makes Right: Pushing the Best Lever for Self-motivation

In a recent study on weight reduction (full text here), researchers found that dietary self‐monitoring correlates strongly with short‐ and long‐term weight loss.  When I first heard about the study, I figured: oh, the power of the written word strikes again. Whether your mission is your health or your business, words matter, and words motivate.… Read More

The economy of feedback

I’m kicking the tires–or maybe the table legs of my desk is a more apt metaphor–on another book. It’s a baseball project, and I am sending out queries to agents. Soon thereafter, I receive rejections akin to “Dear John” break-up letters, and some offer astonishing clarity: “it has been determined that Mr. X will not… Read More

Thinking into action–or vice versa

“The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ but ‘That’s funny…’ ” Isaac Asimov I found this delicious epigram in a book on entrepreneurship, but I’m thinking of it more as an adage for fostering self-awareness. We’re humans (so we’re already amazing), but we’re flawed, too, and… Read More

The ear of an editor

Smart piece here on copy editors and cultural difference. Does Jorge Luis Borges’s writing read so well in English and Spanish because of his interest in music? In all editing tasks, I trust my ear more than my eye. Also: I’m surprised the Chronicle editors let the author introduce Borges as “Borges,” rather than “Jorge… Read More

America’s Pied Piper for Classical Music (and Sgt. Pepper’s)

Just a brief note today, before I return to the work of my clients: Leonard Bernstein served our country well, bridging the chasm between Beethoven and The Beatles in a lifelong ecstasy dedicated to teaching and the performing arts. When his funeral procession made its way from Manhattan to Greenwood Cemetery,  construction workers doffed their… Read More

Favorite prose, v. 2–Helen Macdonald

Thanks for spending part of your Friday (or after) at my blog. It’s been a good week on the business side of things, with a new agreement with an old client, an agreement with a new client, and a confirmation of matching funds matched for another client. Business aside, I’m thinking about the written word,… Read More