This webinar will teach you how to write about your life. It includes four days of of video sessions and email-based course materials. You can purchase this workshop for anytime, on-demand access. The cost is $195.

Get access now.

I’ve been writing about myself for as long as I can remember. I’ve lectured on writing at places like Boston University, Brown University, and the University of Paris. My first book was a memoir that Publisher’s Weekly said was “quick, punchy prose that keeps the reader riveted.”

(A really big rule about selling something is that you don’t offer something cheaper first, but whatever. Here I go.) That first book, the memoir, is a little like Fifty Shades of Grey but with more vomit and more beach volleyball. The print version of my book is $500 on Amazon, but you can buy the electronic version here. And, if you’re wondering why the author on the book is not Penelope Trunk, here’s the post about my many names.

But back to the webinar.  For $195 you get access to all the videos and course materials.  It’s significantly more expensive than the ebook, but really, which will be more fulfilling to you, reading about my life or writing about yours? If you can’t be there for the live version, you can download the video to watch whenever you want.

Sign up now.

The secret sauce to all good blog posts is writing about yourself. Successful blogs infuse the personality of blogger into whatever the blog topic is. And successful professional sites do this as well. In fact, as early as 2008, the Harvard Business Review was warning executives that social media won’t work for them if they don’t do it themselves with no ghost writers—because they need to use their personality.

The trick is to know how to reveal your personality and tell stories about yourself in a way that helps you reach your goals.

I’m going to teach you how to make your writing so interesting that people can’t stop reading. And once you have that, you have so many choices about what you do with your writing—a blog, a book, a business. Good writing can launch all of these. I know—I’ve done it myself.

So here’s what you will learn: Read more

In therapy lately I am learning to identify my feelings. Maybe you're thinking this is elementary, but did you know that envy is about wanting something you don't have, but jealousy is the fear of losing something you already have?

I am thinking about those two things. I am almost never envious, but I am often jealous. Most of my emotions, in fact, are rooted in fear.

I am thinking a lot lately about where my joy comes from, and one thing I love is writing well. When I have a blog post that people love I am happy for weeks. And the excitement of doing good creative work gives me energy to do more. Read more

When we were at LegoLand I was struck by the high emotional intelligence of the employees. Their job is to make everyone feel like their Lego project is great. (You’d be surprised how many parents are there, swiping the white blocks from little kids at the Lego snowman contest.)

High emotional-intelligence jobs are very hard, and I would rather sweep floors. But I force myself to try to improve my emotional intelligence because people who don’t try to improve it generally suck at it. And people with high emotional intelligence are fascinated by how to get even better at reading people.

So I’m always seeking out new data points for emotional intelligence so I can get that social skills boost I most definitely need.

Here’s what I’ve learned about the social skills secrets of successful people:

Read more

I’m doing a series of webinars about how to blog.

I will teach you how to set goals for blogging and meet them, continuously. I’ll also show you how to develop an approach to blogging that will get you noticed by people you care about very quickly. The bootcamp takes place November 14-18. You can sign up here.

Here’s more about what we’ll cover:

1. Use blogging to jumpstart your career and your earnings.
Blogging will transform your work life. Here are things you can do with a blog:

  • Double your earning potential
  • Switch careers with flair
  • Win a more flexible work schedule
  • Create a reliable revenue stream
  • Build a large, useful network very quickly

Blogging is something you should do to meet a specific goal. I’ll show you how you can meet almost any goal with a smart approach to blogging. Read more

I am not good at launching stuff. It stresses me out. I am not good at focusing on multiple things. Ryan Healy used to hate working with me because of this, and, frankly, I hate working with me because of this too.

I need to divide everything into very little projects in order to ensure that one project does not ruin everything else around me. This is why, in the past, blog posts have been the perfect length for me, and having a startup has derailed my whole life.

The first thing I'm launching today is a homeschooling section. To be clear, I don't homeschool. But I definitely think it's a huge trend that will shake up all of our lives, because homschoolers will take over the workplace in the next ten years. I am worried that I'm making the wrong decision by keeping my kids in school. So this is the spot where I will worry about it discuss it. Here is the post where I explain in more detail why I’m adding the homeschool section.

The other section that I'm launching is Mailbag.

I answer all my email. People are often shocked by this, which, in turn, shocks me. I mean, what am I writing a blog for if I don't want to communicate with people? But I decided I should publish the questions and answers since many people ask the same type of questions. (Don’t worry, I’m changing details to conceal the writer’s identity.)

When I met my Ex he was working for Sony. He was in charge of online properties for Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. The marketing people always said that people watch Jeopardy to say “He's so smart!” and people watch Wheel of Fortune to say “He's so stupid!”

I think that marketing approach may be applicable to the questions in Mailbag. Hopefully you will think my answers are smart. But if you don't, there’s room for you to give your own answers.

On Sundays my Ex comes to our house to hang out with the kids, which made today a great day for my launch.

Also, do you ever wonder what my Ex looks like? Here he is — well, about one-third of him — with my son.

Here’s a question I get a lot: Does your Ex mind being on your blog?

Here’s the answer: He’s probably really happy being on with just one-third.

 

Father’s Day is a big deal in our house because we have two dads. We have the boys’ biological dad – my Ex – and we have the Farmer. On Sundays, including Father’s Day, we all spend the day together, on the farm, in mostly harmony.

It is not perfect. A few weeks ago, my Ex left early because I’m so annoying to him. And just this morning, the Farmer and I had a fight that scared the kids so much they cried. But I think we are doing okay. And on Father’s Day I feel particularly grateful for both men, because they work really hard to make sure the kids feel like they have an integrated, stable family.

The New York Times says that women go into politics to change something, and men go into politics to be someone. I think this is true for all work, not just politics. I think women are more likely to feel important because they are home with kids, which is why more women than men leave the workforce to be with kids.

Men are changing how they parent, but not too much, because there’s still this survey from ERE that shows men prefer work to being home with kids. I do not believe we can change things completely. We are who we are. Men and women are different. The more I write about these differences in the workplace, the more I appreciate the differences at home.

We all know that if a mom is at the playground with three kids, no one notices, but if a dad is there, people say, “He’s such a great dad.” Read more

First of all, here is a photo of rhubarb cobbler.

And this is my food blog post for all of yeterday’s commenters who think I would not be a good food blogger. You will love this post: it's about what to do if you think you're about to be fired.

1. Be really interesting. And fun. It's a lethal combination.
This photo looks disgusting, because that is the truth about food. Most of it looks disgusting. Even stuff that tastes good looks disgusting in a photo. It's like sex. If you have a cinematographer and three lighting guys and a foley artist who comes in at the end, then the sex looks great. But if you take a picture of yourself having sex, forget it. You look like gross, retarded animals.

So even good food looks disgusting. But this photo is not actually an example of that, because this rhubarb cobbler tasted disgusting as well. Too much flour, I think. Although Melissa kept saying it had too much butter. Maybe too much flour and butter and it needed more rhubarb. Read more

The most common criticism of my blog (which has 60,000 subscribers) is that I write controversial headlines just to get traffic. I usually ignore this criticism because it’s so ignorant. But today I’m going to tell you why writing controversial headlines just to be controversial is totally stupid.

There is no formula for a wildly popular post.

Look, if I knew how to write a controversial headline that would get a ton of traffic then I’d be writing them every day. But really I’d be retired, living in Bermuda, not even writing headlines.

The most successful posts are posts that people email to their friends. Every day, whatever number of subscribers a blog has, that’s how many people read the blog post. The only way you get more readers is if people start telling their friends about the post. Read more