chronic back pain

How I Recovered From 3 Years of Chronic Back Pain

As some of you may recall, I’ve been seeking solutions to my chronic back pain, which I assume is partly related to my writing-and-sitting-at-the-computer lifestyle since the mid-1990s. You can read the first installment here. I’m very grateful to say that I’ve been pain-free for six months and have returned to long-distance running. (I can […]

Jane Runs

Chronic Back Pain and The Writing Life: A Few Remedies

Update (9/15/14): I’ve written a new post explaining what eventually resolved all of my back pain problems. Like most writers, I spend a great deal of time sitting in front of a computer. Every job I’ve held post-college has been a desk job, and my non-work looks exactly like my “real” work—seated, with a laptop. […]

Ted Weinstein tweet on magazine publishing

The State of Online Journalism Today: Controversial

On Tuesday, March 5, I found (via Twitter) the following piece by freelance journalist Nate Thayer: A Day in the Life of a Freelance Journalist—2013 The post consists of an e-mail exchange between Thayer and an Atlantic editor, where Thayer is asked if he would repurpose a previously published piece for the Atlantic’s website. He […]

Virginia Quarterly Review

A Little Bit About My Work at VQR

Yesterday, over at Neal Abbott’s blog, I answered a few questions about my new job at the Virginia Quarterly Review, what VQR does (plus when and what to submit if you want to be published there), and my latest favorite things related to social media. The last question Neal asked: 3 things that most people […]

VQR logo

My New Job at the Virginia Quarterly Review

It’s hard to a remember a happier day than when I was offered a position at the University of Cincinnati as an assistant professor. I was looking forward to many years (decades, I thought) focused on teaching. After two years at UC, I can say the job is everything I had hoped for—and more. I […]

Red Maple by Bruce / Flickr

Placing Too Much Importance on Passion

Passion has become a cheap word. I’m starting to roll my eyes when I hear it. But it hasn’t always been this way. It all started when I read a 2010 post by Siddhartha Herdegen, “Why You Don’t Need Passion to Be Successful.” It was the first time I questioned one of my dearly held personal […]

by Emilie Ogez / Flickr

My Secret for Battling Procrastination

To some, I may appear productive. But like many, I’m a horrible procrastinator. I try to think about my weakness in positive terms, e.g., “I work better under pressure.” That is true—I believe there’s nothing like a deadline to force you to be creative (one reason why I love blogging!). However, for some projects, I […]

Look for People Who Believe What You Believe

[Update: The discussion in the comments—on this site as well as my Google Plus profile, among others—has made me realize that my post title, “Look for People Who Believe What You Believe,” is misleading and unintentionally provocative. It isn’t meant to be a blanket statement about how to live life. Rather, it’s about how we […]

There Are No Rules

The End of an Era: Goodbye to There Are No Rules

On the last day of April 2008, I launched my first professional blog, There Are No Rules. Every day since then, I’ve thought about what to tell writers that would be helpful, insightful, and a little bit provocative. While I will no longer be posting my perspective at No Rules (though the archives will remain […]

Jane at AWP 2011

3 Boring Elements of Success

I don’t think my age is a secret, but just to be clear: I’m 34. Sometimes when I speak at conferences, people say they expected someone older. I’ve been hearing this since 2002. I think there are a variety of reasons for this—not least among them that many decision makers in publishing are younger than […]

Chief Culture Officer

Study Slow Culture, Not Just Fast

When I attended TEDxCincy in October 2010, there was one session where I was furiously taking notes: the session by Grant McCracken, author of Chief Culture Officer. Click here to find out more about the fascinating McCracken. [For more on my so-so experience of TEDxCincy, read “7 Lessons for Delivering a Powerful Message.”] So, here’s […]

Solitude by Anthony Storr

Reading Notebook #24: Our Life at the Office Is (In Fact) Important

From Solitude by Anthony Storr: Human beings need a sense of being part of a larger community than that constituted by the family. The modern assumption that intimate relationships are essential to personal fulfillment tends to make us neglect the significance of relationships which are not so intimate. … The fact that a man is […]

I Heart Social Media

The Pure Heart and Pure Superficiality of Social Media

One of the classes I’m teaching at CCM requires me to study up on the history and practice of public relations. I’m not exactly a stranger to the profession. I worked for a major media company that has always employed publicists. I’ve written press releases. I count publicists and PR folks among my friends, right? […]

Reading Notebook #16: Life Interferes With Work & Vice Versa

From Bill Murray interview in Entertainment Weekly (via TerryStarbucker.com): “I just really want to work when I want to work. Life interferes, you know. When you’re young and all you have is your career, some of your life can be in second place. And then you want your life to take first place, and other […]

Have the Courage to Follow Your Heart & Intuition

A wonderful commencement address from Steve Jobs. I love that he mentions life can only be lived forward, and understood backward (yeah! see my bio), and that, ultimately, we have nothing to lose. It sounds deceptively simple; most people don’t live by the advice he’s giving here.

Wonder Woman at Work

Can Excellent Advice Make You Unhappy?

There are a few people I read religiously for insight and perspective on work/business life. Probably on the top of the list: Seth Godin Mark Hurst (Good Experience) Jason Fried (37 Signals), read this Inc. article I’ve just had a sudden epiphany about this reading I do. Maybe you can tell me if it’s really […]

Reading Notebook #12: Existential Angst at Work

From Kenny Moore’s blog post, “Losing Your Job? Psychological, Spiritual & Practical Advice.” This is the most meaningful discussion I have ever read about what causes angst/anxiety at work. Must-read. (All of Kenny Moore’s posts are valuable and thought-provoking; he’s a former monk who now counsels corporates.) In corporate life, if you’re good at solving […]

Jane - 1997 in Cambridge - maudlin and idealistic youth

You Are Bad at Making Yourself Happy

My job as Writer’s Digest publisher often leads people to remark what a great life I have. So young, so accomplished, so happy! Well, you know the old cliche about people who appear to be living the perfect, enviable life? Right—well, I am thankful and lucky for what I have. I won’t go into the […]

Reading Notebook #8: Another Secret to Success Is Confidence

From “Beyond the Elevator Speech” by Michael Carroll, Shambhala Sun (March 2010) My survey indicates that most of us think we want to be happy, successful, and stress-free at work, but we also know that such aspirations are wishful thinking. We all know that work offers both success and failure; happiness and angst. We know that work, […]

Reading Notebook #7: The Secret of Successful People (at Work)

From “We Can Measure the Power of Charisma”, Q&A with Alex Pentland, Harvard Business Review (Jan-Feb 2010); read full article at HBR site. The more successful people are more energetic. They talk more, but they also listen more. They spend more face-to-face time with others. They pick up cues from others, draw people out, and get […]

Downtown Cincinnati Demolition

Why People Stay at (or Leave) Their Jobs

No talented person stays at a company for a paycheck or a sense of security. Talented people stay because they feel happy, challenged, and—most importantly—valued by their superiors. The #1 important factor for any employee is a belief that senior management is interested in his/her well-being. The basic human need to feel part of something […]

Jane at AWP 2009

What Does a Brand Manager (or Community Leader) Do?

I’m often asked what my job at Writer’s Digest encompasses, or what my typical day is like. My official title is Publisher & Editorial Director of the Writing Community. Internally, I’m referred to as a Community Leader, or CL for short. Sometimes I call myself a brand manager, like on LinkedIn. But none of these […]