The Trouble with Sitting


Rae Francoeur

Writers, I learned recently, need to train like athletes. We don’t get a free pass on the Pilates just because we use our brains more than our brawn to make our living.

I, like the rest of us, have been reading about the premature mortality rates for people who sit at desks all day. Not only are we at greater risk for heart problems, obesity and diabetes, we are far more likely to suffer non-traumatic back injuries that can make life difficult.

I paid a visit to Dr. Wayne Stokes, director of sports medicine at the NYU Langone Medical Center, hoping to get some advice on how to counteract what was clearly an occupational hazard. I’d heard him on WNYC-FM’s Leonard Lopate show and I liked his pragmatic approach. He is board certified in both physical medicine and rehabilitation, which means, in part, that he uses a combination of medicine and exercise to improve people’s lives.

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It’s Not the Words, It’s the Mileage


Tara Lynne Groth

When a writer wants to break into a new market or squeeze another article into the work schedule, what are the simple ways to get more mileage out of pieces without exhausting oneself? There are low-effort article angles writers and bloggers can employ without sacrificing quality and value.

For time-strapped writers, getting a clip in a new industry could pay off down the road when their schedules open up and they are free to pitch more in-depth pieces. Here are three simple ways writers can enjoy a high return—both in print and online markets:

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Two Writers. No Waiting.


Susan Shafer

When I’m stuck on a writing project, I don’t need to go far for help. All I do is walk into the kitchen or den and ask my partner Ron for fifteen minutes of his time. A writer, too, Ron is often available to discuss any project I’m working on. So, whether I’m drafting a profile of an illustrator or a play about a blind date, I can always turn to the other writer in the house for feedback.

Throughout time, there have been many author couples—from Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gelhorn to Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes—and perhaps they might have disagreed with me. But I find that living with another writer has many advantages.

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Faces in the Crowd — Live Readings Sharpen Your Prose


Gerry SouterEver tell a joke and misplace one word? The punch line comes and lays there. Listening faces stare back at you, baffled.  You are branded a lousy joke teller and the parade moves away. How many editors have doggedly pursued your story arc, reached your thundering epiphany and found themselves searching back through the forest of text to see where they missed the turnoff?

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Why I Write for Zero Cents Per Word


Sally Wendkos Olds

Soon after I moved to Chicago in the mid-1960s, those heady days of civil rights activism, I became the volunteer public relations director for the North Shore Summer Project, an effort sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee to integrate the northern lakeside suburbs. All that summer I wrote news releases, gave interviews, got hate mail, and, as my high point, helped coordinate a Chicago visit by Coretta Scott King.

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