Writers, money, and the 9-to-5 grind

As I turn 60, I look back and recall how different young writers were in the 70s when I started submitting my stories to magazines for publication — as compared with the new money-focused young wordsmiths today. Back then, there was some odd notion that many writers had about it being somehow romantic, cool, and even hip

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Remembrance of music past

There’s a weird thing about some songs, I have noticed. Let me explain…. Like so many people, I love music. I play 2 ½ instruments: clarinet, sax, a little piano. And I listen to music CDs a good part of the day while I write. One thing I have noticed is that there are certain

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Are we becoming a nation of know-nothings?

Is there a basic degree of knowledge one should possess as an (a) educated, literate human being and (b) to function competently in one’s chosen field? Well, it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what that level of knowledge is. But yes, I do think that there is some body of knowledge that people must possess to

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Should you ever work on spec?

Subscriber DC writes: “In my many years as a freelance copywriter, occasionally a potential client has asked me to write a free ‘test piece.’ “I’ve always refused but today the marketing director of a huge European logistics company contacted me with this request: “‘I am evaluating external support for various projects. One such project is

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The rise of the non-book

I call it “the rise of the non-book.” I’m talking about the increasing number of extremely short Kindle e-books being published and sold on Amazon. My FB friend TJ describes Kindle as a place “where anyone can string 10,000 words together, make a cover, call it a book, and present it to the world.” Back

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On color and readability in graphic design

Subscriber JA writes: “Bob, have you noticed how many websites use gray typeface on a white background? “It’s difficult to read. “How about taking a minute to address the importance of color schemes?” Entire books have been written about color in design. And I am no expert in color. Far from it. But the whole

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