Ask Me Anything. Sort Of.

I’m not famous enough for a Wired Autocomplete Interview or even a casual AMA (Ask Me Anything), but I do get a lot of the same questions on social media, via email and when I give public talks. Here are answers to some of the most frequent questions… and a few random ones I’ve enjoyed in the past:

1. How did you build your brand as a copywriter? Slowly, with about 10 hours of writing a day for about eight years. Now, I spend four hours a day writing, and the rest researching, planning, managing and marketing.

2. How did you get into professional speaking? Very deliberately – and with a metric shit-ton of unpaid talks at first.

3. What gives you a compelling presence when you’re speaking on stage? Authenticity, even if it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Zero f**ks given. Plus I’m told I’m funny.

4. You’re weirdly confident. How? I have no idea. But I had good parenting under tough circumstances, I have good people skills and I genuinely like myself. Also, once again, zero f**ks given. This helps.

5. How come it seems like you’re ALL OVER SOCIAL MEDIA, EVERY DAY? To be honest, I don’t really enjoy being on social media, so I pre-schedule all of my work-related posts once a week, on a Sunday.

6. What does it mean to ‘write well’? Writing well happens when what you mean is what the audience understands and they know what to do and they want to do it.

7. What is your #1 tip for clean copy? Read your text out loud.

8. Dream holiday? Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin, Texas, hosts the largest urban batcolony in the world, estimated at 1.5 million I’ve gotta go there some day, at sunset. Also: Mexico. Also: Brighton. Also: Croatia.

9. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? I bribe my 11-year-old to make me coffee and bring it to my bedside table, not her bedside table.

10. What’s a habit you’re working on improving? Social media doom-scrolling while applying Jewish mother guilt to my daughter to bring the coffee… I’m also reading a book called “How To Break Up With Your Phone”, written by Catherine Price.

11. What do you wish people knew about women? Women can negotiate. Women can be extremely good at money stuff. Working mothers tend to be more efficient than any other professional on earth.

12. What’s irritating you at the moment? I’m deeply annoyed by the myth that fairytales have happy endings. I mean, they all end with “and they lived happily ever after”, but we have no clarifying details. What the f**k is “ever after”?

Got a question for me? I’ll try to answer it honestly, even if it’s something personal like What was your top purchase of 2022? (Answer: boob tape)