A few weeks ago, the New York Times released an article entitled Vaccines Need Effective Messengers. Here’s journalist Shira Ovide:
“Getting the science right is only one element of having coronavirus vaccines be successful. People must also trust them, and that requires an effective communications mobilization.”
The word to focus on in that paragraph is not “science,” “vaccine” or even “communications.”
“I have no training in epidemiology.
You should definitely not trust me.”
Pueyo echos the feeling any ethical writer has when faced with sudden, unexpected success in a new topic. It’s the hair-raising thrill of mass influence immediately followed by the vomit-inducing worry that you may have gotten your facts wrong. …
The brain is designed to answer questions.
For most of the year, the question I asked was: “How could it get any worse??” I found answers to that. Then, I asked “what made this year good?” I also found answers to that.
My guess is that you could make a list just like this. You can steal some from my personal list of 50 things that improved my life in 2020.
After 18 months of watching off Best Picture-winning films, Kate and I have turn to a steady diet of Rom Coms this year. We even watched Emily in Paris, awful as it was. Why? …
There is no magical switch you can flip, course you can purchase, stock you can buy, or trade you can learn to unlock a stream of money that flows endlessly, forever. As Megan Holstein puts it, there is no “big green Go button that frees you from the indignity of labor.”
All of it takes effort, even if that effort takes the form of oversight.
Can you invest? Sure. But show me the man who does not regularly monitor the market to see where he is going, and I’ll show you a man ripe for a fall.
Can you own a business? Yeah. So long as you can reinvest enough in R&D to remain relevant while assuming your leadership never gets bored. …
Most writers turned off the inauguration thinking about Amanda Gorman’s stunning poem. I was still thinking about Biden’s speech.
Quite frankly, my greatest wish for yesterday was that Biden would quietly and calmly take office as the 46th president in the most boring inauguration of all time. The less news about the event, the better.
Since one of the biggest talking points about yesterday’s event was Bernie Sanders’ mittens, I wasn’t disappointed.
Although the lack of news left me relieved, the incredible craftmanship of Joe Biden’s speech left me thrilled. The message was great. The techniques were even better. …
Amardeep Parmar wedged this nugget in my brain a couple weeks ago:
“It doesn’t make any sense to assume working even harder will get you ahead because everyone else is…
If you aren’t in love with the craft of writing, your readers won’t be in love with you.
In addition to the Nouns and Verbs exercise, here’s a word game I like to play to flex my writing muscles. The idea is to use every part of speech* in order to change the complexity of an idea.
First, I start with a noun and a verb:
Then, I build add an adjective:
“Blue snow fell.”
Woah. That’s weird. What’s happening here? I add an adverb to find out:
“Blue snow fell gently.”
Then, a prepositional phrase:
“Blue snow fell gently on the frozen dog.” …
Alex Trebek’s body started to fall apart in 2019. Cancer ripped through his cells, making it harder to walk, talk, and breathe. These would be problems working at a desk. Imagine the impact on a game show host.
He put on a brave face for so long that it was easy to believe America’s grandfather would skate by the disease, much like he’d avoided the scandals that destroyed so many of his peers in recent years.
But finally, inevitably, the axe fell.
Although families like mine who spent every evening with Trebek felt a sense of loss, no individual was affected more deeply than Alex’s closest co-worker: Johnny Gilbert. You know Johnny even if you don’t know him. His voice kicked off every broadcast. …
When you invest money, you’re not giving it away.
You’re just putting it somewhere else.
A $10,000 down payment on your home is not lost. It’s still yours, but it’s in the real estate market. The bricks are your bank. You will get the money back, although your return may be higher or lower than the initial investment.
Time and energy work on the same principle.
Whenever you give your time or energy, you aren’t really losing it. You’re transferring it to someone else. Later, that investment comes back to you. …