Maggie Frank-Hsu

Writing & Editing Tips

It’s not that you suck at writing

When quarantine lifted slightly in April and May 2020, I saw a lot of people outdoors who decided now was the time to get in shape. ‘Member that?​I’m not in great shape myself, but I ride my bike most Saturdays. Around that time, I’d be out riding and I’d see someone running 7 or 8 mph UP A HILL. Keeping up with my bike!​Then, they’d conk out before they reached the top. And I, at my tortoise pace, would just keep climbing, passing a sweaty face tilted toward the heavens, hands pressing on the small of their back.​​Why do we approach hard stuff this way? Years where we do nothing. Then a one-time burst of all the energy we can muster. Then, a realization that we have bitten off more than we can chew? ​ And, finally… RETREAT!! By September,

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A good idea + a good story does not = a good book

I’m speeding through the book Profit First by Mike Michalowicz after I had avoided coming anywhere near this book for the past three years. Despite the fact that no less than 12 small business owners recommended it to me over that time. All kinds of blocks stopped me from taking their advice. “I’m just a freelancer,” I would tell myself. “That sounds like a thing you need if you have employees.” Well finally, I started it. And as soon as I saw the title for chapter 1, I saw the answer to the question, “Why have a dozen entrepreneurs recommended this book to me in three years? Why is it so popular?” I’m talking about the real answer here. You might answer the book is clear or useful or that the method works, and that’s why it’s got such great word of mouth. Those things—clear, useful, effective—are probably

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Find the time to write.

A couple of posts ago, I wrote: I’m always going on about the things you need for a book project—mindset, good ideas, structure—but I’m realizing I never mention the elephant in the room: You need time. You need time to think and time to write and time to procrastinate because you’re not a writing robot. *** Then I promised I’d share “tips” for finding the time. Shoulda known better. ?‍♀️ Because, today I wrote a long, prescriptive thing telling you to do less. You only have so many hours. It’s MATH, (bro). Simple! Except once I wrote it, it sounded kind of condescending and boring, and so I decided I’m not sending you that one.​ *** Instead, I’ll tell you two *super-scientific* ways of thinking about time that have helped me. 1. Big chunks 2. Tiny slivers I started writing consistently with tiny

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The One Thing You Need to Write Your Book On Your Own

Why do people decide to work with a ghostwriter instead of writing their book on their own? I gave a talk last week where I answered this question. I get it a lot and I’ve answered it in print before, too. There’s one glaringly obvious reason I didn’t explore in that article: People hire us because they don’t have time to write their book.

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Is my book idea any good?

A book is the telling of a sequence of events that together describe a meaningful transformation. An idea doesn’t have to do any of that. So that’s the gap you need to bridge.

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