All posts tagged observation

The Problem with the Spotlight

Some people find the writing life faintly glamorous, which can spark well-meaning curiosity. But for me, the attention can be crippling. Steve Dubner, co-author of Freakonomics—which spawned a sequel, movie, radio show, and a full calendar of speaking engagements—also sees a downside. According to an interview with Dubner in “‘It’s not like I’m even […]

Getting Lucky

How’s your writing going? Have you achieved any of your goals? Published what you wanted? Able to define yourself as an author, as a writer?  Not much luck these days? Then let’s get you some. Here are three things that will help. First, if you’re inclined to believe you’re lucky, you are. Consider this, from […]

The Most Important Skill for a Writer

For a writer, the most important skill is observation. Something has caught your eye, demanded attention. And when you return to your work, so begins the labor—sometimes arduous—to process the fruits of your observations. It isn’t easy to just observe, simple as it may seem. A good observer sees things that others fail to notice. […]


At Thanksgiving, once, I joined family at a rustic-styled hotel which played host, as well, to a sprinkling of celebrities. At dinner in the clatter-filled, capacious dining hall, I happened to be seated close to the dessert buffet. Chocolate, in all its glorious preparations, was in ample display. The cakes, the cookies, the puddings, the […]

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