I am curious if you are writing some of the questions in the mailbag?  For example the most recent one Which Careers Give you Work/Life Balance and I’m 30 and I’m worried I’ll never have a career?  The word choice and writing style in both of those questions sound very much like you.  I don’t see it an the other questions so I’m really curious if you wrote the mail bag questions that I referred to.

Hi Penelope,
How are you? I’m an author and executive recruiter (currently at [big impressive company]), and have a book coming out next month. I’ve been told it’s bad form to request a review from a big-name blogger without first building a relationship, but that seems a bit backwards to me (or perhaps just disingenuous). I’d love to get a book review from you and am wondering if you’d be willing. Please let me know if you have any questions or what I can do to be of help.

What business models are open to journalists? I know you exemplify one model but you must have thought of others?

My background is as a journalist but I am currently home with my twin babies and trying to come up with a goal and plan for my return to work.

I have worked at newspapers like The Guardian and, since going freelance five years ago, I have written for a wide variety of newspapers, magazines and websites. The essence of things is that I need to choose between trying to get better paying journalism work (doing more magazine work), doing more self publishing or leveraging my skills into more lucrative but less fun work ( such as corporate writing).

What would you recommend?

So, you’re the queen of writing posts and tweets that say things that some people love and some people think are crazy or offensive. I’m on the love side, of course.

I’m an INFJ, which means I’m a good writer, I’m (deep down) very sensitive, and I’m very judgmental (I always have opinions). After two and a half years of not being able to find a job, freelance, or start a business without getting pissed off by the people I’ve met, the severe disappointment has caused me to become a bit loopy. All of a sudden I want to start a blog (or something that has to do with writing) where I get to say whatever I want about personal acquaintances, bloggers I read, celebrities, whatever, no matter how offensive people might think my opinions are. Is this something I should embrace (a gift from the marketing gods) or is this blog idea a bad idea?

I’m writing a white paper about how bloggers become authors. Since you have done this yourself, could you answer a few questions for me?

1. What’s the biggest difference between writing a blog or blog posts and writing a book?

2. Many bloggers think writing a book makes them rich and famous. Certainly that can happen, but what is the reality of what a book can or will do for your career and/or finances?

3. If you could share three things a blogger should do to get ready to write a book — even if just level setting expectations — what would those things be?

I went to school for journalism. I’ve gotten a few jobs at newspapers, but they are never full time and the pay is terrible. Now I’m working at an Apple Store, trying to figure out what to do. Where are all the journalism jobs?

How do you deal with negative comments and critics about your blog? I thought I had a thick skin but some blog commenters can really push my buttons.

Right now I’m scrapping myself off the floor after a heated discussion with a reader ended with her writing, “Bye. never coming back here again.”

How do you do it? How do you not let this get to you?

Do you ever get in trouble for writing what you write? Does your family call you on the phone to yell? Do your friends ever tell you they will stop talking to you because of something you wrote?

Can you take a look at my blog [link redacted] and maybe give it a mention on your site?  I am desperate for my blog to take off, so I can write for a living, which has always been my ambition. I am focussed on writing. I write every day. I am trying to tie the blog posts together, give it a narrative and make it more novel-ish. I have no idea if this will work. Any advice on that front would be welcomed…

I have always had a praised writing style and much career guidance towards writing. But what to write about has eluded me. I do know however that when I speak about growing up with [semi-famous person] people are so interested and wish to know more. People seem to respond strongly to anything related to Mario.

I was given a verbal blessing by [famous person’s] mom to write a book and use our pictures. I also have a small amount of rare rehearsal footage of us as a children dancing in the studio where he learned to be a performer.

My question to you is what should I do now to move forward. How can I parent this concept for a book into reality?