The Writing Life

“Give yourself permission to write a sh...y first draft.” Seriously, that was one piece of advice we heard from the bestselling novelist, Lisa Scottoline, at the 2017 Writer's Digest Annual Conference. We’ve been making the trip to New York City to attend this conference for the past five years where we get to hear from successful authors who generously share ideas about their writing process. We learn about the business and craft of writing from people who’ve succeeded beyond our wildest dreams: 

  • “Writing is a playground. You have to know the toys you're playing with.” Hallie Ephron
  • “I write 2,000 words a day.” Lisa Scottoline
  • “I write in 17 minute bursts.” Jane Clellan
  • “The moment you finish a book, start the next. The tank is on empty, but once you start writing, it fills up.” Richard Russo

Writing is a journey, and no two authors share the same adventure or challenge--unless they write with someone as we do.  Our journey over the past year has been exhilarating, frustrating, exciting, and nonstop. 

Starting in late summer and through the fall of 2016, we began work on the second edition of The Big Book of HR. We convinced the publisher to do this given the changes taking place impacting the HR profession. Finding the information to update the book was easy. Making revisions directly on the old manuscript was the challenge. We couldn't have done it without guidance and help from Susan Devereaux, our wonderful assistant. It wasn't just writing the revisions that consumed our time. The book cover which the publisher designed had to be reviewed and approved. Catalogue copy had to be written for the publisher. And there were our day jobs. 

During this same time period, the publisher proposed, and we accepted the challenge to write The Conflict Resolution Phrase Book.  Contract signed in early November, no problem. We still had until mid-December to submit the manuscript to the publisher for The Big Book of HR, and Susan would need it sooner to edit. We could do some preliminary writing now and give it full attention in the new year.

Needless to say, our time during the late fall and through the winter of 2016 was consumed with writing. The manuscript for The Conflict Resolution Phrase Book was due in mid-March. Finish one, start the next. Of course, an author’s work isn't complete once the manuscript is submitted. We also had to be available to multiple editors for the levels of editorial review of The Big Book of HR, while we were writing the The Conflict Resolution Phrase Book.

Back to The Conflict Resolution Phrase Book, once again, book cover review and requests to write catalogue copy.  Granted, the process of writing this book was different, it always is, but the book still needed to be written. And there were our day jobs. Yes we’ve heard plenty of stories from other authors about how they manage writing and still keep their day jobs. 

Spring 2017 arrived. Manuscript for The Conflict Resolution Phrase Book was submitted and we were available once again for multiple stages of editorial review through the spring and summer. September 18, 2017 is the publication date. 

Did we mention that the publisher pitched, and we accepted another title?  Contract signed in August, 2017. Cover review, catalogue copy in progress. Writing has begun. End one, start the next. Stay tuned for the next portion of this journey and we hope you’ll check out our books that we work hard to make as useful as possible and thanks for your support.

Cornelia & Barbara

No comments ()


Managing people is the most challenging part of any leader's day. And that job certainly is not getting any easier. The Big Book of HR will provide any HR professional, manager, or business owner of any size organization the information they need to get the most from their talent. It is filled with information on everything from the most strategic HR-related issues to the smallest tactical detail of how to manage people.