Month: January 2017

Personal Branding Tips for Writers

Chances are you hate to hear the words, “You need to build your brand.” Thinking of yourself as a brand may feel gross or even wrong. But it’s not. Building a personal brand simply means defining and clearly conveying what you’re all about — who you are, what you do, and why you do it. 


The Virtues Project

I call it The Virtues Project.

Every year in the Early American Literature class that I teach, I assign my students a project for which they emulate Benjamin Franklin’s renowned self-improvement project. In his Autobiography, which we study in my class, Franklin details his attempt to “arrive at moral perfection.” Franklin made a list of 13 virtues and a book of charts to track his efforts to maintain these virtues perfectly.

Franklin’s project went on for many months, but I challenge my students to pick 7 “virtues” that they will track for 7 days. They usually pick bad habits they want to break like biting their nails or cursing or good habits they want to adopt like exercising and eating vegetables. It’s so fun to read about their results!

But I recently realized that I could use a revised version of Franklin’s project to keep myself on track for 2017.


Hello 2017

This will be the year I believe in magic.

This will be the year I dream my wildest dreams and wholeheartedly believe that each one of them will come true.

Believing in magic doesn’t mean I will work less. This will be the year I hustle harder than I ever have before. But this year I will accept that sometimes hustle isn’t enough. Sometimes you need magic.

And magic is that place where gumption meets grace.