As I was promoting my book, I approached lots of writers I admired. Sometimes I wanted them to think of me as the expert on slash careers. Sometimes I was looking for advice about how to make that move from journalist to author. In other cases I hoped the writer would say some kind words about about my book in the form of a review, a blog entry, a blurb. Because I limited myself to writers I admired, I was sincere every time I wrote which made this process enjoyable rather than daunting.
Penelope Trunk was one of those writers I approached. I had heard of her, and read her Climb column in the Boston Globe; but after a reference in the Wall Street Journal to her blog, The Brazen Careerist, I started reading the blog, which developed into a daily habit. When I ultimately choose to write to her, I didn’t really know what I wanted to happen. I just wanted to meet her. I wrote on a day when something she posted on her blog had pretty much flattened me. I couldn’t get any work done after reading the post, and I was affected by how she took took a horribly difficult moment in her life as a parent and turned it into a brilliant piece of advice. Penelope immediately wrote back and we struck up both a friendship and a professional relationship that was one of the gifts of writing my book. (In the end, she did say some kind words about my book, and that was a bonus.)
Well, now Penelope’s book The Brazen Careerist is out and it is as smart, unpredictable and bold as she is. Perhaps the best praise I can give her book is that it has completely raised the bar for the rest of us who write about careers. Every time I think about my next article, column or blog post, I now think, “Penelope has probably already said something original, brilliant, and smart on this.” Then I run to her blog and realize that she has. So I have to try harder. And she’s the first person who will tell me this.
Thanks for the kick in the butt Penelope! And since we all need a kick in the butt, I encourage you to buy the book.
Since you’ll all ask me, here is the post that made me write to Penelope.