Ever wonder “How to get my book reviewed”?

Woman Reading Book
Woman Reading Book/Image Source: ABC News

So you’ve completed your book. Its been edited and published, and now you’re trying to figure out how to get to your potential readers. While beginning your marketing campaign usually happens well before your book is completed, getting your first reviews can’t happen until your book is done or in a final draft status.

Many stores won’t carry a small press or self-published book that doesn’t have reviews from a recognizable publication. So how do you get someone to pay attention to your book among all of the hundreds, if not thousands, of submissions they see every month?

City Book Review, publishers of the San Francisco Book Review, Manhattan Book Review and Kids’ BookBuzz all have programs to help you. Kids BookBuzz is only for kids, tweens and young adult books, but the other two will take almost any book you have (including children’s books).

So how do you get your book reviewed by the San Francisco Book Review?

If your book is within 90 days of the publications date, you can submit it for general review (at no cost). The closer you are to the 90 days, the less of a chance it will have to be reviewed, but you can still start there. The SFBR gets more than 1000 submissions a month, and only reviews 300 or less, so your likelihood of getting your book reviewed in this way is less than 33%. But you can give it a try and see if it gets reviewed.

General Submission Guidelineshttp://www.sanfranciscobookreview.com/submission-guidelines/general-submission/

If your book is more than 90 days past its publishing date, or you really want to have it reviewed and don’t want to just hope it’ll get picked up through the general review, you can go through the Sponsored Review program. While there is some controversy about paying for a review, SFBR is a respected publication like Kirkus or Foreward Reviews and doesn’t offer vanity reviews for payment. You can expect the same level of professionalism from their standard reviews. And they don’t mark sponsored reviews any different than the other reviews.

Get My Book Reviewed from the San Francisco Book Reviewhttp://sanfranciscobookreview.com/submission-guidelines/sponsored-review/

Get My Book Reviewed from the San Francisco Book Review

There are a lot of different options for getting your book reviewed, mostly around how long it takes to get your review back, and if you want more than one or an interview as well.

  • Standard Reviews Take 8-10 weeks for turnaround from the time they receive your book Start at
  • Expedited Reviews Take 3-5 weeks for turnaround from the time they receive your book Start at
  • Get more than one review for the same book you’ll get a discount on the normal cost of 2 or 3 reviews. Reviews range in price from $150 to $299.
  • Getting a podcast interview for Audible Authors to promote yourself and your book, and you can add an interview to a review package at a discount.

And if you really like your review, you can have it posted on the other publication’s website for $99, or get a new review from a different reviewer. Both can help with your marketing and search engine optimization.

So how do you get your book reviewed by the Manhattan Book Review?

The Manhattan Book Review uses the same format for the San Francisco Book Review. Different audience, so if you’re an East Coast author, you might be more interested in having the credit from MBR over SFBR. Personal taste is the only difference between the two for reviews. If you are a local SF or Manhattan author, they will also flag that in your review.

General Review Submission Guidelines for the Manhattan Book Reviewhttp://manhattanbookreview.com/get-my-book-reviewed/general-submission/

Sponsored Review Submission Guidelines for the Manhattan Book Reviewhttp://manhattanbookreview.com/get-my-book-reviewed/sponsored-reviews/

So how do you get your book reviewed by Kids’ BookBuzz?

First thing, all of the reviews for Kids’ BookBuzz are done by kids. They are select age appropriate books, but the kids read them and write the reviews themselves. The younger kids have some help from their parents, but the words are all theirs. Don’t expect any easy reviews either. These kids see a lot of stories, so they know good books when they read them.

General Submission Guidelines for Kids’ BookBuzzhttp://kidsbookbuzz.com/get-my-book-reviewed-by-a-kid/general-submission/

Sponsored Review Submission Guidelines for Kids’ BookBuzzhttp://kidsbookbuzz.com/get-my-book-reviewed-by-a-kid/sponsored-reviews/

25 Uncomfortable Changes You Need To Make In Your 20s If You Want To Live A Life Without Regret


1. Start doing more things alone, even if you don’t want to. Most people go a majority of their life without even knowing who they are or what they want. Spending time with yourself and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone will immensely help your growth. It will help you figure out your likes and dislikes.

2. Start admitting when you’re wrong. It’s not easy, but it’s important. You don’t want to turn into one of those people everyone complains about for never being able to apologize because you can’t swallow your pride. Admit when you’re wrong. We all make mistakes, there’s no shame in that. Owning up to it instead of trying to cover it up is a much better look.

3. Ask hard questions. Even questions you don’t necessarily want to know the answer too. Asking hard questions is tough but the answers can teach you a lot and be vital to your growth.

4. Stop wasting your time over petty things. Life is already stressful enough, the last thing you need to do is let yourself get worked up over petty little things that bring nothing but unnecessary drama to your life. It’s time to let that stuff go and focus on more important things in life.

5. Accept that road rage isn’t going to help you get anywhere any faster. Again, all it’s doing is stressing you out for no reason. You can allow that to ruin your whole morning or day if you don’t take control of your emotions now. Channel that emotion and energy into something positive and work on changing your overall mindset every time you find yourself starting to get worked up.

6. Start taking big risks. Your 20s are the time in your life to take risks and try all the things you might fail at. Start a business, travel, try different jobs fields, move across the country. You are young enough now that you will bounce back from whatever failure or setback you might encounter. Do as much as you can while you still have minimal responsibilities compared to your future self.

7. Start saving your money. Put part of every paycheck away into your Roth or at least put it in a savings account you won’t touch unless you are in dire need of it. Spending money on eating out, clothing, travel, etc., are all fun but if something goes wrong or a big expense you weren’t expecting comes up you’ll be pissed you spent $50 on shopping when you could have stashed that away into a savings account.

8. Start reading more. Reading is so vital to your growth. It expands your mind and helps you think about things from a new perspective, even fiction books. Challenge yourself to read one book a month, even one book every two months but read. Not to mention reading is a workout for your brain and is great exercise for your memory.

9. Master the art of listening. Everyone is so caught up in their own lives and what they’re doing that we tend to make all our conversations about ourselves. Stop talking about what you did and start listening to someone else. Listen, like put your phone down and really listen, to someone when they’re talking to you. It feels great when you have someone listen to you and you know they’re paying attention so practice doing that for other people. No one likes the person who constantly puts their input or opinion in and is always butting in the conversation when it’s not their turn to talk.

10. Gain more experiences. Worry less about collecting “things” in your 20s and worry more about gaining experiences. Spend more money on experiences and less money on material items. Memories and sharing moments with people will fill you a lot more than having a souvenir of a place you went.

11. Create a schedule or routine. Nothing throws your life and productivity out of whack like not being in a routine. Prioritizing your time and your to-do list becomes immensely harder when you don’t. Get a planner or bullet journal or whatever you may need to organize your life better, but utilize that to the fullest extent.

12. Realize being hungover is not a good way to spend every weekend. I don’t know about you but when I’m hungover I’m a useless piece of shit and accomplish next to nothing. Drinking is fun, but wasting an entire day being hungover is not. Like my mom says to me, you don’t have to black out every time you go out. You can still have fun without drinking so much you want to die the next day.

13. Start setting long and short-term goals with deadlines. Setting goals you can accomplish with a time frame is super important. Use Asana or your choice of organizational calendar but write down goals you can measure that you’ll actually be able to accomplish. Maybe it’s ‘write X number of articles by the end of the month’ or ‘go to the gym 3 times this week’. It’s important to write them down so you can hold yourself accountable.

14. Wake up early and start your morning off by being productive. Waking up early isn’t for everyone, I get that. Some people are night owls by nature but getting into a morning routine where you’re not always rushing out the door is so important for starting your day off on the right foot. I have a morning routine every day which helps me know what I’m doing so I’m not frantically running around before work. Know what you’re eating for breakfast, know when you’re going to shower, know what time you have to walk out the door so you’re not late. Make your morning routine a habit so it becomes easier as you go.

15. Tell the truth even when it’s hard. Honesty is incredibly important in life and will get you so much further than lying, even when it’s hard. Growing up you’re taught that consequences are always worse when you lie at first and it’s true. Making mistakes and messing up is inevitable and lying to cover it up will cause more of a negative repercussion than if you were just up front at the start.

16. Remove the toxic people from your life. This can be one of the most challenging things you do in your 20s but it’s important to realize that not everyone has your best interest at heart and some people, even if they seem close to you, would rather see you fail than succeed because they’re petty. It’s important to notice who lets you down, who holds you back, who is only around when they need something and who is truly there for you. Letting go of people you love or want to keep in your life can be extremely hard but removing yourself from those relationships can be incredibly impactful to your life.

17. Learn how to accept other people’s views that are different than your own. There are some opinions that make absolutely no sense to me but I am also aware that some people will disagree with me on my views. There are also some people who will disagree just for the sake of disagreeing. It is impossible to change everyone’s opinions. It doesn’t work. It’s important to accept that sometimes the best thing you can do is smile and nod, then walk away knowing no matter what way you tried to explain your views it wouldn’t make a difference to that person.

18. Learn how to empathize. Empathy is vital to all relationships. It’s important to understand that not everyone is in a similar situation than you. Some people have it easier and some have it much harder. It’s important to look outside the world you live in every day and look at things from a different viewpoint to react appropriately to the situations at hand.

19. Take the uncomfortable measures to learn who you are. Your 20s are when you finally start to figure out who you are and what you like. It’s so important that you stop worrying about what others may think of your decisions and do what you feel is right and necessary. You’re the only one who gets to live your life and at the end of the day, you have to do what’s best for you. I started life coaching and it made a tremendous impact in my life. It allowed me to figure out who I am and what I want.

20. Stand up for what you believe in. Stand up for what you believe in even if it isn’t what the majority believes in. You have a voice and you should use it. My only request is that you’re not an asshole about it.

21. Learn how to say no. When you don’t want to do something make sure you make that clear. Majority of people tiptoe around other people and their feelings, in turn putting themselves in situations they don’t necessarily want to be in. No is a complete sentence and you should feel comfortable using it.

22. Travel! Travel is the best way to emerge yourself in different cultures and ways of life. Travel will open your eyes to the diversity of the world and help you grasp a better understanding of others. If you can do anything in your 20s, I urge you to travel to a foreign country. It’s the most incredible, eye-opening experience and will help you put a lot in perspective and maybe even challenge your thoughts.

23. Understand and accept that not everyone has the same heart as you. This is a really hard pill to swallow, especially when you put your best intentions first and you trust others to do the same. Sometimes you will get burned, don’t let it make you hard and change your heart though. Keep being the best version of yourself you can be.

24. Understand sometimes things just aren’t mean to work out. You can love a person but it doesn’t mean it will work out or they won’t hurt you. You can love a job and still lose it. You can love a lot of different things in life but some things aren’t meant to work out no matter how much you want them too. It hurts and it sucks, but that’s life and it’s not fair. Recognizing that now will help you be prepared in the future for when things don’t go as you hope. It won’t make the pain any less but it’s important to understand.

25. Continue to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Don’t let yourself get stagnant. There is only so much happiness you can feel when things are easy and simple. It’s when you start to be challenged and things are scary that you start to feel real happiness and success. When things are easy there is no way to gain anything from it. You need new experiences, challenges, and lessons to come your way to improve and grow. Conquering challenges outside of your comfort zone, no matter how big or small, will make you highs feel so much higher, and it will feel worth it. 

Read more: https://thoughtcatalog.com/becca-martin/2018/01/25-uncomfortable-changes-you-need-to-make-in-your-20s-if-you-want-to-live-a-life-without-regret/

Please Stop Calling Me Beautiful

I shifted in my seat at the women’s ministry event; the speaker said it again.

“You are a beautiful, chosen, special woman of God. There is no one in the world like you!”

I’d heard this message dozens of times—on the radio, in books, at conferences—even emblazoned on coffee mugs and shirts at every LifeWay Store in America. It’s the same message directed at Christian women in every corner of western culture. And it’s a message that—while well-intentioned—remains deficient no matter how many times it’s preached.

You see, I’m not actually that special—and neither are you. An honest look at our humanness reveals this truth. Any woman who’s done a degree of self-reflection knows that her struggles, insecurities, and sins aren’t unique to her. They’re part of being human in a fallen world. Further, any woman who knows the depth of her own inadequacy will find these Christianized platitudes of beauty and “chosen-ness” entirely insufficient for daily victory.

I’m not saying these encouragements are false. We are God’s handiwork (Eph. 2:10). We are chosen (1 Pet. 2:9). We are unique (Matt. 10:29-31). The question is not whether or not these things are true, but whether or not this is the most important message women need to hear.

Personally, I don’t think it is (and I’m not alone).

If I judged Christianity by its women’s conferences, I’d be led to believe that the Bible is no more than a series of compliments from God to man. Instead, the real story is far less complimentary and far more humiliating. Jesus didn’t come to earth because we were beautiful, special, or great. He came because we were too grossly sinful to bridge the gap between ourselves and God.

That’s not a message we want to hear from the stage of Extraordinary Women, is it? But it’s the one we need because women who think they’re pretty awesome don’t need a Savior.

Women wonder if we’re enough. Looking at the titles of the books we read, I deduce we’re entangled with insecurity, fear, and identity crises. We’re in this constant state of “struggle” with very little victory, never really living as “conquerors in Christ” (Rom. 8:37). These are real spiritual issues, but you know what? I’ve yet to see one woman set free from insecurity by being told—however repetitively—that she is beautiful. It doesn’t work, and it’s not the answer.

The truth is that, apart from the transforming power of Christ, I’m not beautiful, special, or all that unique. I’m born into sin and bent to rebellion. My insecurities and fears pulse through Adam’s blood in my veins. These can’t be rooted out with shallow “encouragements”. What I need—what every woman needs—is a soul-deep solution to the problem of sin. Insecurity is not the problem. Fear, poor self-image, marriage problems—these are just symptoms of the real disease. The disease is sin, and we all have it.

We need freedom, not compliments.

Again, it’s not a bad message. But it’s theologically deficient, and if the goal of a women’s ministry is to encourage and equip female Christians, the message has to change. The gospel is good news only to those who recognize their need for Jesus. When you create a culture that uses Jesus for little more than a spiritual feel-good, it’s no wonder the women it produces can’t get victory over anxiety, anger, insecurity, or fear. They leave our churches knowing all about themselves and knowing little about Christ.

The solution is simple. Stop preaching the easy message, and start preaching the right one. Stop exalting us as women and start exalting Christ. And here’s the amazing thing about a gospel-centric women’s ministry: when all women do is worship Jesus, the insecurities, fears, and anxieties pale in comparison to His everlasting glory.

When our eyes turn to His beauty instead of pandering to ours, insecurities die.

When our ears listen for His voice instead of listening for more about us, fear has no place.

When our minds think about who He is instead of who we are, we find an identity wrapped in eternal purpose.

That’s the crazy thing about the gospel: our pre-Jesus ugliness magnifies the beauty of God’s love. Only by understanding who we are apart from Christ can we live in daily recognition of our beauty within Him. We need to be reminded of who He is to better understand who we are.

So please, stop telling us we’re special.

Tell us about Jesus.

Read more: https://faithit.com/stop-calling-beautiful-phylicia-delta/

The New Book Exposing Donald Trump Is WAY Up There With These 13 Other Juicy Tell-Alls!

Donald Trump

really doesn’t want you to read Michael Wolff‘s new book, and there’s good reason!

Titled Fire And Fury: Inside The Trump White House, it’s spilling all the tea about the 71-year-old entrepreneur-turned-reality TV star-turned-POTUS!

With excerpts coming out about how Trump honestly didn’t think he’d win the 2016 election to staff being worried about his memory problems, there’s a lot to uncover!

Of course, this isn’t the first tell-all to give readers a real look into the lives of celebrities!

CLICK HERE to view “14 Juiciest Celebrity Tell-All Books Of All Time!”

CLICK HERE to view “14 Juiciest Celebrity Tell-All Books Of All Time!”

CLICK HERE to view “14 Juiciest Celebrity Tell-All Books Of All Time!”

CLICK HERE to view “14 Juiciest Celebrity Tell-All Books Of All Time!”

CLICK HERE to view “14 Juiciest Celebrity Tell-All Books Of All Time!”

[Image via Macmillan & [Image via Media Punch.]

Read more: http://perezhilton.com/2018-01-05-donald-trump-fire-and-fury-tell-all-michael-wolff-book

Superheroes! Dinosaurs! Oprah! 18 Movies To Look Forward To In 2018!

This year is going to be a BIG year at the box office!

Some of the biggest blockbusters of all time have HUGE sequels coming, including Avengers, Jurassic World, The Incredibles, and Deadpool.

And two of the most exciting new voices in cinema — Ava DuVernay and Ryan Coogler — are bringing beloved books to the big screen with A Wrinkle In Time and Black Panther, respectively.

See what else is on its way and when…

CLICK HERE to view “18 Most Anticipated Movies Of 2018!”

CLICK HERE to view “18 Most Anticipated Movies Of 2018!”

CLICK HERE to view “18 Most Anticipated Movies Of 2018!”

CLICK HERE to view “18 Most Anticipated Movies Of 2018!”

CLICK HERE to view “18 Most Anticipated Movies Of 2018!”

[Image via Disney/Universal Pictures.]

Read more: http://perezhilton.com/2018-01-01-movies-2018-release-dates-most-anticipated

Last Song and Dance by Christopher Woods

Last Song and Dance by Christopher Woods

Story Summary

LAST SONG AND DANCE is an illustrated novel which tells the grim story of Cy Sullivan, failed alcoholic author who has returned to his hometown after years of scandal and disgrace, not in triumph but simply to die. He has but a week to compose his great American novella, Curse of the Blue Nun which he structures in relation to the seven days of creation in the Book of Genesis. A surrealist bible of sorts–but unlike the original, this one does not purport to be true.

Stylistic influences/parodies run the gamut from biblical parables, Shakespeare to various 20th century modernists—Joyce, Faulkner, Samuel Beckett, William Burroughs etc as well as film noir, supernatural horror and even Fellini. I employed a number of voices ranging from erudite to jail house slang to hillbilly (my Kentucky voice) so it’s a veritable literary collage. The artist at Bookfuel did a great job with my visual designs which were primarily inspired from Gustave Dore although it concludes with a pastiche of Grant Wood’s American Gothic which is quite nice. While this all sounds rather heavy and artistically over the top, Last Song and Dance is very much a black comedy which takes nothing seriously including itself or its failed author. The LSD initials of the title are appropriate given the hallucinatory quality of much of the writing. I believe there is a potential cult audience but as of today, it’s only sold three copies and there is no browsing on these sales sites nor is it visually displayed on Bookfuel’s site which is primarily genre or non fiction/ self help that sort of thing so it’s a bit of an orphan as such…

Amazon Link – http://amzn.to/2BBqONP

San Francisco Book Review – 5 Stars

Christopher Woods has penned a curious yarn in the Last Song and Dance. The book is written in a unique style unlike any other. It addresses a chaotic set of contentious characters who dare to be noticed, each with an eagerness for confrontation. With wonderful black ink drawings that capture the mood of the characters of the story, the author paints an ominous narrative. Last Song can be compared to Sanctuary by Paul Monette for its imagery and imaginative style. Many of the illustrations feature symbolic references to the plot that add intrigue to the story, forcing you to reflect on the meaning of certain passages. Much of the narrative reads like dialogue, but conveys a meaning of reaching into the mind of the character. The storyline is complex, with a variety of characters who seem to share certain traits.

The storyline focuses on tested confrontations. Although these keep the reader busy, they add depth to the plot. It’s a little misdirected in places, giving the reader a chance to compare that part with other parts. This tends to function like a red herring in a mystery. You cannot tell if it’s a blooper or a ploy until you finish it. Sorry—no spoilers!

Christopher Woods does a fine job at depicting the characters with verbiage, the illustrations bringing them to life. The intricacy with which the characters are woven into the plot shows us only glimpses of what’s to come, kind of like a foreshadowing of events. The reader must do a lot of work to put the story together in his or her mind as he or she reads. This provides an overall aura of mystery, motivating the reader to keep turning the pages. And the text flows along fast, making it easy reading.

If you want to sit down and read something to contemplate and capture your attention, then you’ve come to the right work. Last Song kind of reads like a fairy tale or fable, yet some of the characters are using profanity that would not be appropriate for children under 18, and the characters appear to engage in behavior that would also not suit young readers.

Reviewed By: D. Wayne Dworsky

Last Song and Dance

Author Bio:

Christopher Woods is aging gracelessly in Louisville, KY, USA. He lives in a box with his failing typewriter, Clarabelle and albino blind/deaf creature, Spot who is over fifty years old and rumored to be the world’s oldest living dog, if that is indeed its species. This is the first novel by Mr. Woods and assistants Clarabelle and Spot but, in all likelihood, is their last song and dance

How My Daughters See Me

I recently attended a sophisticated party. Beautifully adorned women, smartly dressed men. I sat and observed the wonder of human interaction. How we dip and pirouette in and out of conversations with sighs, laughs, and head curtsies.

Then I observed one elegant woman sit upon the out-of-the-way leather couch, off to herself, pull out her iPhone, and flip through, whatever.

Astounding, I thought. We, the sophisticated, turning from the real, to the virtual. Then I thought how most of these beautiful men and women will return home, check their children (if they have them), dress for bed, and sit up looking back on the evening via news feeds from the social.

I marveled at how we can transition from the delights of fellowship, into the gorging of narcissism. This thought sent me reeling. I wondered how looked within the grand context of human interaction. Was I checking my phone when e’re I could? Did I return home simply to hop in bed and hop online?

Then I thought, How do my daughters see me? They pop into our room during the pre-sleep I need-a-snack time. What’s daddy doing? Flipping through the social? Binge watching? On the laptop? What legacy am I creating each morning, noon, and night? What am I etching into their hearts via my actions and inaction? Do they see me rush to the virtual world, when the physical world demands my attention?

Certainly digital/social media serves some purpose in our lives. But what struck me was how it has moved from simple augmentation of the real, to a weird kind of co-inherence with one another.

So, I scribbled down my manifesto, a declaration of my organic humanity and its relationship to the most important discipleship project I’m a part of: fathering my daughters.

My Manifesto

I want my girls to see dirt under my fingernails. Grease in my fingerprints. Grass stains on my jeans.

I want them to see me build a fire. Cook them s’mores. Pitch a tent.

I want them to see me work, hard. And then play, hard.

I want them to be overwhelmed with the wonder and beauty of books. To be humbled, intrigued, and inspired by human thought, because I, myself, respect all humans and their unique and varied thought.

I want them to read poetry, love poetry, write poetry, because I, myself, value poetry and its place in human discourse.

I want them to see me participate in hard conversations, through thoughtful interaction, through rigorous scholarship, and hard thinking on subjects that demand more than bumper-sticker-theology, sound-byte-moralism, or blog-deep-advocacy.

I want them to see me hold my ground, when the whole world shifts toward the popular trends and too-cool-ideology sparked by a postmodern narcissism that threatens to reduce sacramental and sacrificial living into a cesspool of self, tagged with the your-best-story-now mantra.

I want them to see me take on adventures. Travels, hikes, bike-hikes, day-hikes, back-yard-capades.

I want them to see me fail. I want them to see me get back up. And try again.

I want them to see me give mercy. I want them to see me accept grace. I want them to see me talking with their mom, in the quiet of the mornings on the porch.

I want them to find me playing my guitar when no one is looking or listening. I want them to know how beauty roots in solitude and blooms as an afront to chaos.

I want them to find me talking to God as if he hears, and wants to talk back, because he does.

I want them to discover the overwhelming wonder of music, from Bach to Led Zepplin. I want them to see me drink it in. I want them to see me singing with it, dancing to it, unafraid of the neighbor’s surprise visit or what our sophisticated society may think.

I want them to hear my laughter shake the rafters.

I want them to hear my sobs resound in the quietness of my closet.

I want them to find me napping, under a tree, in a hammock.

I want them to find me by the fire just looking at stars, way past midnight when they should be in bed but can’t sleep.

I want them to see me heading out on my mountain bike. Cleaning my mountain bike, fixing my mountain bike. I want them to ask me if they can come along.

I want them to see me bleed.

I want them to hear me tell stories.

I want them to feel free to crawl up into my lap, even while I’m working.

I want them never to have to wait until I post something to hear their inquiry.

I want them to be in the world, rather than spending time curating a virtual one.

I want to binge-watch THEM.


As a culture, our attentiveness has succumb to the glam of immediacy. I want my daughters to see me attentive, to them, to our life together, to the moment. I don’t want them to see me rushing it off to the internet.

I didn’t post any pictures from the party. I wanted to keep the images in my memory, private, and special. And the same goes for this Saturday when I planted pansies with my daughters. Life events don’t have to be posted to be special. In fact, hiddenness enriches our lives with the value of intimacy.

Read more: https://faithit.com/how-my-daughters-see-me-timothy-willard/

14 Ways To Make Journaling One Of The Best Things You Do In 2018


The list of successful and wise and brilliant people who made time to journal is almost unbelievable: Oscar Wilde, Susan Sontag, Marcus Aurelius, John Quincy Adams, Anne Frank, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Virginia Woolf, Henry David Thoreau, Joan Didion. And those are just the people we know about, who talked about it, who didn’t ask that their journals be burned upon their death. Why were they so dedicated to this daily exercise? It was because, to paraphrase Susan Sontag, in a journal they were able not simply to express themselves openly, but in those pages, they were able to create themselves. I like Kafka’s observation about his own practice:

“In the diary you find proof that in situations which today would seem unbearable, you lived, looked around and wrote down observations, that this right hand moved then as it does today, when we may be wiser because we are able to look back upon our former condition, and for that very reason have got to admit the courage of our earlier striving in which we persisted even in sheer ignorance.”

But of course, there is often a big difference between doing something and doing something well. If you’ve struggled to journal, or had trouble seeing much in the way of results, don’t despair. It’s a habit that many have trouble getting to stick. The following tips and best practices should help. They certainly have for me.


[*] Set a Time — The Stoics believed that the two best times for reflection were in the morning and evening: Prepare for the day ahead; Review the day that just passed. Marcus Aurelius likely wrote his famous Meditations in the morning, while Seneca seems to have preferred the evening. As he put it, “When the light has been removed and my wife has fallen silent…I examine my entire day and go back over what I’ve done and said, hiding nothing from myself, passing nothing by.” The lesson there is not that one or the other is better but that you need to set a time and make a practice of it. If you just do it whenever you feel like it, too often you will find that you don’t feel like it and it will not become a habit.

[*] Make Time — Tony Robbins once said, describing his morning routine, that there was no excuse for him not to find ten minutes each morning to meditate and prepare himself for the day ahead. “If you don’t have 10 minutes, you don’t have a life,” was how he put it. The issue is not whether you have time or not to journal, it’s whether you are willing to make time for journaling. Is there anything more important than taking time each day to clearly define what you want to accomplish, how you want to act, clear your mind and prepare yourself for the day ahead? Maybe you don’t have 10 minutes today. But surely you have five. Or one minute. Can you start with journaling for one minute tomorrow morning?

[*] No Pressure. Just Write. — The great General George C. Marshall refused to keep a diary during World War II despite the requests of historians and friends. He worried that it would turn his quiet, reflective time into a sort of performance and self-deception. That he might second-guess difficult decisions out of concern for his reputation and future readers and warp his thinking based on how they would look. This was admirable, but most of us are not George Marshall. Don’t put the burden of history on yourself—safely assume that nobody will ever read what you are writing. Not even you. It’s about getting your thoughts on pages. As Tim Ferriss has described it, journaling is really about trapping your worries and fears on a page so you can get on with your day. To see things clearly and so that your worries don’t “bounce around all day like a bullet ricocheting inside your skull.”

[*] Have Easy Things You Put In Each Entry — Another way to make journaling more fun is to jot down little things each day which are easy to do. I would write down each morning how far I walked, how far I swam or ran, one thing I am grateful for as well as how many hours of deep work I have done the previous day. There are like little throat clearers. It helps get me started. I never look at the blank page and think, “What should I say?” because I have a bunch of go-tos that I start almost without thinking. For instance, writer James Clear records his pushups and reading habits, Nobel Prize winner Danny Kahneman suggests keeping track of the decisions you’ve made in your journal, and the Quantified Self community uses all sorts of gizmos and gadgets to keep track of different metrics in their everyday life.

[*] Keep a Logbook — Bestselling author and artist Austin Kleon has talked about keeping a logbook—writing down each day a simple list of things that have occured. Who did he meet, what did he do, etc. Why? For the same reason many of us struggle with keeping a journal: “For one thing, I’m lazy. It’s easier to just list the events of the day than to craft them into a prose narrative. Any time I’ve tried to keep a journal, I ran out of steam pretty quick.” But this still has the effect of recording what he has done and paint a portrait of each day that he can flip back years later and see what his days were like. It’s easy enough to combine this strategy with the one above. If you’re having trouble starting a journal, don’t. Start with a logbook.

[*] Start Your Private Idea Book — Thomas Edison would keep a notebook titled “Private Idea Book” in which he kept different ideas that popped into his head, such as ‘artificial silk’ or ‘ink for the blind.’ This is similar to what bestselling author James Altucher does to exercise his “idea muscle.” He carries with him a waiter’s pad and forces himself to come up with at least ten ideas per day. Personally, I keep a separate journal I call a “commonplace book” that is a collection of quotes, ideas, stories and facts that I want to keep for later. I’m not the only one who does this. You can even look at the commonplace books of people like Lewis Carroll, Walt Whitman, and Thomas Jefferson.  

[*] Don’t Break The Chain — “I’ve tried journaling before but after a couple days I just stopped doing it.” The comedian Jerry Seinfeld once gave a young comic named Brad Isaac some advice about how to write and create material. Keep a calendar, he told him, and each day that you write jokes, put an X. Soon enough, you get a chain going— and then your job is to simply not break the chain. Success becomes a matter of momentum. Once you get a little, it’s easier to keep it going. Start journaling every day, build a chain and then work not to break it. Don’t ruin your streak.

[*] Be Grateful—For The Good and The Bad — One common journaling practice is to write down the things you are grateful for. And the candidates are usually pretty obvious: We should be grateful for our families, for our health, that we live in a time of peace. But what I’ve come to do is that now in the mornings, when I journal, I try to find ways to express gratitude not for the things that are easy to be grateful for, but for what is hard. The Stoics saw gratitude as a kind of medicine, that saying “Thank you” for every experience was the key to mental health. “Convince yourself that everything is the gift of the gods,” Marcus Aurelius said, “that things are good and always will be.” No matter how poorly a situation went, or how a person treated you, find the good within them and what you can be grateful for.

[*] Develop a Shorthand — One trick that I’ve come to adopt is using little acronyms that only I know what they mean and that makes the practice more fun and efficient. For example, I’d write TAF (tired as fuck) when I am running myself ragged. This is something I saw bestselling author Robert Greene do—whenever he would encounter in a book an example that illustrates the Stoic concept of amor fati, he would write AF in the margins. I’ve come to use this both in my notecard system and now in my journaling practice. It helps speed the process up. Depending on how elaborate your shorthand becomes, you might accidentally end up like author Charles Wesley whose diary took nine years to be cracked by scholars because of its elaborate shorthand script.

[*] Unleash Your Creativity With Morning Pages — Back to the timing thing: Author Julia Cameron has become known in creative circles for her practice of Morning Pages. That is, writing three longhand stream-of-consciousness A4 pages early in the morning. Writer and producer Brian Koppelman (Billions, Rounders) has been one of the most vocal proponents of this practice and swears by it, saying he does it each morning, to get himself going creatively, “priming the pump, …getting the creative juices flowing in a very free way.” Other proponents include bestselling authors Oliver Burkeman and Tim Ferriss.

[*] Give Your Thoughts Room to Marinate — But evening pages work just as good. For instance, the founder of Linkedin, Reid Hoffman, jots down in his notebook things that he likes his mind to work on overnight. Similarly, chess prodigy and martial arts phenom Josh Waitzkin, has a similar process: “My journaling system is based around studying complexity. Reducing the complexity down to what is the most important question. Sleeping on it, and then waking up in the morning first thing and pre-input brainstorming on it. So I’m feeding my unconscious material to work on, releasing it completely, and then opening my mind and riffing on it.” By journaling questions and problems during the day, you can let your unconscious do the work and then you revisit first thing in the morning.

[*] Practice The Art of The Unsent Angry Letter — Whenever Abraham Lincoln felt a pang of anger towards someone, he would write them a letter…which he would then never send. He would “put it aside until his emotions cooled down,” as one historian explained. Your journal can similarly become an outlet for your emotions and feelings towards someone so you can then approach them in person in a calm and rational manner. Say the things, process the things that you would love to be able to say out loud but can’t or won’t. You’ll feel better—and you’ll always have something to say.

[*] Ask Yourself the Tough Questions — Journaling isn’t just about patting yourself on the back and listing all your accomplishments. I also think it’s important to wrestle with big questions and to hold yourself to account. When we created The Daily Stoic Journal, we added for each day a helpful prompt to provide guidance for the day’s reflection. These can sometimes be the tough but necessary questions you need to reflect and meditate upon. Some helpful examples: Where am I standing in my own way? What’s the smallest step I can take toward a big thing today? What blessings can I count right now? Why do I care so much about impressing people? What is the harder choice I’m avoiding? Do I rule my fears, or do they rule me? How will today’s difficulties show my character?  


The last tip is the most obvious one:

[*] Just Do It. — People tend to intimidate themselves about it: What’s the best way to do it? What’s the best journal? What time? How much? Forget all that. There’s no right way to do it. Just do it. You can use The Daily Stoic Journal or The 5 Minute Journal or The Bullet Journal or Austin Kleon’s Steal Like an Artist Journal. Or the One Line A Day Journal. Or a blank notebook or an Evernote file or an email on your iPhone. Or use a combination of these things. It doesn’t matter. Just start. Refine and improve as you go. You’ll get into a rhythm and find what works best for you. You can only optimize if you actually start.

I remember visiting the filmmaker Casey Neistat’s studio and seeing shelves and shelves of notebooks on one wall. They dated back to the very beginning of his career. I felt an instant pang of regret—why hadn’t I been doing this?—and then reminded myself that although the best time to start journaling would have been years ago, the second best time would be right then. So I did. If you want to get a chain going, start to day.

Good luck and happy journaling!

And if you want to try The Daily Stoic Journal (which is built around these principles), it’s available on Amazon in the US and the UK.

Read more: https://thoughtcatalog.com/ryan-holiday/2017/12/14-ways-to-make-journaling-one-of-the-best-things-you-do-in-2018/

The Prize by Geoffrey M. Cooper

the prize cover

The Prize by Geoffrey M. Cooper

Book Summary

What does it take to win a Nobel Prize? Deceit, fraud, even murder? Set in the competitive world of cutting-edge medical research, The Prize is a science thriller in which jealousy over the discovery of a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease leads to fraud, betrayal and violence.

Pam Weller makes the discovery of a lifetime when she finds a drug with the potential for treating Alzheimer’s. But her success threatens the supremacy of Eric Prescott, a leading figure in Alzheimer’s research. Lusting relentlessly for the Nobel Prize, Prescott fears that Pam’s work will derail his ambitions. He seduces one of Pam’s research fellows and enlists her in a plot to brand Pam a fraud and steal her discovery. But when an investigation threatens to uncover their plot, Prescott kills his co-conspirator and fakes a suicide that places the blame squarely on Pam. Leading Pam into a world where nothing is real, except threats to her career, her freedom and even her life.

In a novel of intrigue and suspense, The Prize explores the human side of science and drug discovery, exposing the pressures and ambitions that can drive the betrayal of scientific ethics and lead to fraud in medical research.

Amazon Link – http://amzn.to/2DJmePo

Colorado Book Review – 4.5 stars

Scientists are often thought of as being hardworking and disciplined and the kind of people whose reason and intellect usually prevails over the baser human traits of envy, hubris, and greed. The Prize’s Pam Weller sure fits that description. As a matter of fact, her years of perseverance have led her and her team to one of the most monumental scientific discoveries of our time – a potential cure for Alzheimer’s. It’s the kind of work that could easily garner her a Nobel Prize. While her research is quite promising and there is much cause for celebration, not everyone is so thrilled with Pam’s findings. Eric Prescott, a renowned scientist and Alzheimer’s researcher in his own right, is watching his own chances at the prestigious award slip away as Pam appears to have had the scientific breakthrough he had long been hoping for. He decides he can’t let that happen, no matter what the cost.

While author Geoffrey M. Cooper is no stranger to writing (he has several non-fiction books under his belt), this is his debut novel. You wouldn’t know that from the way he writes. His sentences are smooth and lean. The dialogue feels natural; the means and motives of his antagonists are solid. He does a brilliant job of simplifying the testing involved in medical research for us non-scientists while still maintaining the integrity of the processes. Cooper effortlessly changes the point of view between characters, allowing the reader to know who did what before those in the story do. Hence, the real thrill in this thriller comes from seeing if the good guys will put all of the pieces together before it’s too late, or if Eric Prescott will get away with his crimes. The Prize is a clever, suspenseful page-turner for seasoned lab-coat wearers and novice geeks alike. The real question here is not whodunit, but what took Geoffrey M. Cooper so long to start writing fiction. If he ever gets tired of test tubes and academic politics in real life, The Prize proves that he has the imagination and literary chops to have a robust second career as a writer.


Author Bio

Geoffrey M. Cooper is an experienced cancer researcher and scientific administrator, having held positions at Harvard Medical School and Boston University. He is the author of the cell biology text, The Cell, as well as several books on cancer. The Prize is his first novel. He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Donald Trump Just Pulled Off the Greatest Long Con in History

Bernie Madoff must be sitting in prison thinking to himself, Schmuck, thats how it is done!

Thats because the con just pulled off by Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and very nearly every Republican on Capitol Hill would have every great fraudster in American history from Ponzi to that tubby guy behind the Backstreet Boys marveling at its scope, boldness, and brazen criminality.

But before we give these scoundrels too much credit, we need to recognize just how much of their con was, as they say in show biz, sampled from other scammers. These have included everything from the bait-and-switch (promise a middle-class tax cut on the campaign trail and deliver one for the rich and powerful) to the long con (play on the weaknesses of the sucker, take him through the twists and turns of meaningless distractions that go nowhere, then grab his cash). Another Madoff favorite that was regularly used was cooking the books. Estimates of benefits to the middle class were overstated, while the impact on the deficit was understated dramatically.

In fact, someone really ought to investigate what kind of financial skullduggery was used to keep the potential deficit impact just low enough to allow Senate rules to let the bill be passed into law with a simple majority. The limit is $1.5 trillion. The bill was scored at more than $1.4 trillion. And virtually all independent analysis suggests that is far too rosy. Convenient, no?

Trump and Co. have also turned to the dark arts of the political past to work their scheme. These included stirring up a base with racism and fear of the other to get them to support you enough for you to have their way with them. Here they use a technique well encapsulated by former President Lyndon Johnson, who described it saying, If you can convince the lowest white man hes better than the best colored man, he wont notice youre picking his pocket. Hell, give him someone to look down on, hell empty his pockets for you.

There is a bitter irony in all this, course. While Trump was on the campaign trail stirring up the fears and anger of a white male base against brown people, black people, immigrants, and women, he was colluding yes, colluding with the richest and most powerful white men to hurt these guys like no other could. With McConnell and Ryan and their merry band of thieves they engineered a massive wealth transfer with their tax heist that will shift billions to the richest Americans and pay for it with cutting programs and limiting comparable benefits to the poor. Trump, who railed against Wall Street, protected their carried interest. Trump, who said the bill will hurt him, gave a billion-dollar gift to his kids through the estate tax and millions more to them by inserting a special package of benefits for real estate firms like his.

As is well-known, 83 percent of the benefits of the current tax bill go to the 1 percent, but that is just the start of this pernicious plans pain for everyone else. While there are modest savings for average families, they go away within a decade, while the benefits for corporations and the richest Americans were made permanent. Furthermore, the $1.5 to 2 trillion that non-partisan experts suggest will be added to the deficit will have to be paid for somehow. Ryan has already said the next priority will be cutting entitlements to help pay for it. But investment in everything from infrastructure to military spending will have to be restrained or reduced or cut heavily as a consequence of this bill. That will hurt both the poor and growth. And inequality, the greatest threat to national cohesion and stability, the trigger that Trump and his Wall Street and corporate fat cat buddies used to get him elected, will grow.

Thats key here. The meme among political journalists was that the key to Trumps victory was tapping into the alienation of the middle class. But the real secret was that the GOP establishment got behind him when they realized Trump could play the suckers in the middle class in order to advance their personal and corporate enrichment agenda. In other words, they used Trumps appeal with those who were struggling to feather their own nests.

And of course, they used Trump too. In this, they were just like another big winner from this nationwide grand theft, Vladimir Putin. Putin of course is one of the biggest thieves of our time who, while earning low six figures for his day job, has managed according to some estimates to squirrel away perhaps $200 billion. But he is more than that. And right now what he is most set on stealing away with is the prestige, standing, and strength of the United States on the world stage.

Weve all seen his election handiwork. And now we are seeing its hugely costly consequences. Big victory for oligarchs from Russia and the United States, and a big loss not just from those who can afford it least but for the entire United States of America and all those countries that have depended on U.S. leadership for so long.

In fact, among the Americans who wont pay a big price for this weeks tax travesty are guys like Bernie Madoff who are sitting in the slammer admiring a master con in which the criminals add to their obscene wealth and the suckers who supported them are the ones who are penalized.

Read more: https://www.thedailybeast.com/donald-trump-just-pulled-off-the-greatest-long-con-in-history