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About Writing Right: The Blog


"When I complete the volcanic seven summits. If I wrote a book about my experience climbing all of these peaks. Would you be interested to read it?" That was the fairly straight-forward question someone asked on Quora the other day. Here's how I responded.

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I think Joseph came closest to the truth when he said you need a hook for your "travelogue." I wouldn't call it that as much as a memoir, but still, he's right.


I'll take his response a couple steps further, though. I've never heard of you; so, why would I want to read about yet another Volcanic Seven Peaker? If you were going to be the first, you'd have a little stronger hook that could snag the interest of a major publisher. In reality, though, you'd be the twenty-fourth. I don't see how that would be a big plus for attracting very many publishers or readers. If any.


Coincidentally, the honor of being the first climber to conquer the non-Volcanic Seven Summits (the highest mountains in each of the seven continents of the world) goes to Texan Richard Daniel "Dick" Bass, an American businessman, oilman, rancher, and mountaineer, who was born in Tulsa in 1929 before moving to the Lone Star State to help his family run their businesses. He co-wrote a book about his climbing adventures entitled Seven Summits. He also owned Snowbird Ski Resort in Utah for forty-three years. In fact, that's where I met him and accepted his dinner invitation to my son and me. I later wrote an article about him for the Milwaukee Journal or someone. Read More 

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When a writer wants some tips on starting a new book without having any idea of where it's going and what it will be about, you have to wonder: Is this guy serious? Here's how I responded to just such a query.

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I've read the responses to your question from two other people so far and found them, uhh, really interesting. Also, really wrong and patently ridiculous. Why do so many people insist on answering question to which they have no logical response and obviously no knowledge? Beats me. So, let's get down to brass tacks with a question right back at you.


Question: What are some ways to fail at life?


Answer: 1.) Don't plan ahead. 2.) Don't anticipate anything but instead play everything "by ear." 3.) Don't learn anything more than you pick up in your daily activities. 4.) Don't, by any means, put yourself out or stress over anything.


Those are the only ways to proceed if you want to guarantee you're going to fail at life. On the other hand, if you want to succeed either at life or at starting a new book without knowing what the hell you're getting into, I suggest you turn out the lights, crawl into bed, and go to sleep. Read More 

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