Monday, January 17, 2011

Writing About Books

One of the pleasures of being a writer is getting to review a book. Elaine Soloway, the PR guru, treated me to a copy of The Twenty Four Hour Mind by Rosalind D. Cartwright. Here is my review.

Although this book is more scientific than those of Oliver Sacks, or the essays of Atul Gawande, Rosalind D. Cartwright is every bit as good a story teller. And, her humane perspective positions her with those literary stars.

Cartwright's subject is the brain during sleep. Her researcher's curiosity and determination has taken her into the study of dreams and ultimately the phenomenon of sleepwalking. It's the chapters about sleepwalking that read like mysteries. The subject is bizarre behavior -- even murder -- during sleep. Cartwright draws us into these shocking stories without ever backing away from scientific integrity. I was so impressed with her courage in agreeing to bring her sleepwalking expertise to two murder trials in which the accused men were, in her opinion, sleepwalking when they committed murder. Others in the field shied away from putting themselves in the line of fire.

As a lay reader, I naturally found the sleepwalking stories and other studies to be most compelling. However, I appreciated the research detail as necessary to convince us that Cartwright based her conclusions on solid science. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys exploring the "ivory tower" to learn how research has real life application and consequences.

Joan Chandler
identity packages . resumes . web sites . blogs . press releases . brochures . memoirs . edit your materials

Friday, January 7, 2011

Is It An Activity or a Business?

A career counselor asked me this question and I think it is an important one. One time the activity/business ratio comes up is when you are networking and someone asks if you will "help out" with their project. I encourage you to participate in all kinds of activities that lend visibility to your business. But remember, you are networking to get customers. Always keep that focus in mind.

Joan Chandler
identity packages . resumes . web sites . blogs . press releases . brochures . memoirs . edit your materials

Monday, January 3, 2011

Here We Go . . .

Okay. You've put away the decorations, you've posted the family pix, and made your list of New Year's resolutions. Sounds like the first days of January, doesn't it? There's nothing like the start of a new year to stimulate new ideas, new desires, new determination.

For us entrepreneurs, this "new year" energy is just what we need to spark our efforts to build a business from the ground up. Here is what I am doing, just to give you a thought. I have a counseling session at the Womens' Business Development Center in Chicago. This is a wonderful support group, started many years ago by some very energetic women. They offer workshops and individual advice.

Taking advantage of support groups in your community is one of the most important things you can do. Here are other sources of free support:

Your local library. Go the the business section. Librarians are the friendliest and helpful people I have met. You can do research on your field of interest, find out what others are doing, look at sample business plans . . .

SCORE. This is an organization run by the Small Business Administration. It is staffed by retired business people who have experience in starting up and running successful businesses. They volunteer their services . . . you get the benefit!

You're not alone. There's a world of information out there. And, you don't have to dig into your bank account to take advantage of it.

Joan Chandler
identity packages . resumes . web sites . blogs . press releases . brochures . memoirs . edit your materials