It makes more sense than you might think.

My, what a delicious idea. Netflix.

“This author finds herself compelled to share the most curious of news.” So states Lady Whistledown, in her sing-songy soprano voiceover, in the first episode of Netflix’s runaway Regency romp, Bridgerton.

The non de plume-protected author is reading from her own astoundingly popular Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers, a self-published gossip rag that’s feared and revered in equal measure by the aristocratic set as they undergo mating season, or social season, or whatever it is they call it. …


But here’s how to make it work for you if Facebook and other companies get their way in setting the ‘new normal’

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On May 21, Facebook became the first of the big tech companies to announce it would allow many of its employees to work from home permanently. Yes, permanently. Bye, bye Menlo Park enclave.

“It’s clear that Covid has changed a lot about our lives, and that certainly includes the way that most of us work,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told employees at a live streamed meeting. “Coming out of this period, I expect that remote work is going to be a growing trend as well.”

In what feels like a reverse call to arms, dozens of other white-collar companies are…


Lesson 1: I will never write morning pages

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If the breathless admiration of productivity enthusiasts everywhere is the worm, then the early bird definitely gets it. As someone who exists firmly on the night-owl end of the spectrum, I’ve been internalizing this message for a long time.

Even as a kid, I would prefer to spend Saturday mornings dozing in my twin bed like a human Garfield while my sister watched the actual cartoon Garfield. In the evenings, I delighted in uttering my catch-phase, which was, “I’m neeeeever tired.” See: Parental nightmares, what they’re made of.

Night owls understand that societal norms are stacked against us from the…


Book clubs kind of suck. But we can reclaim them

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I (almost) hate to admit it, but I hate book clubs.

I don’t want to hate them; I don’t want to be the grumpy-cat-of-a-human who stomps all over a beloved (by Oprah!) cultural tradition. But sometimes the truth is unavoidable. Because when you do avoid it, you end up joining a book club.

When I think back over my life so far, it’s hard for me to recall all the book clubs I’ve been a part of, or what they indicated about my life at the time. It’s not unlike someone asking you to recall your sexual partners.

There were…


Does that mean I should change how I live my life?

Photo: Mike Dorner/Unsplash

Most days, you can find me sitting at my desk in my house in front of a laptop. Piled on a back corner of the desk, you’ll see a stack of books towering at odd angles like a Jenga game in its early stages. Some of the books may have been tilted to steady my phone for a video call, others to remind myself to reread a passage or consider them for a review.

You might see partially filled water glasses around if I haven’t brought them to the kitchen yet, and maybe a stray chapstick or two. And you’ll…


And no, it doesn’t involve giving your email to a dubious ‘expert’

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Hi. I’m a former editor who now spends most of her time freelance writing. I would like to humbly offer a suggestion for becoming a better writer and getting more work. It is alarmingly simple, but not to be discounted: Re-read your own work.

I’m not talking about proofreading a piece before posting it or sending it to a publication—that’s a given. I’m talking about looking up articles you have previously published and re-reading them. I would go so far as to suggest you do this every two months, especially if you write and publish frequently. …


Photo by Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis on Unsplash

Sometime in the past few weeks, my Instagram feed became a veritable who’s who of home chefs and artisanal ingredients and tasteful lighting and Millennial pink tableware and perfectly crumpled linen napkins and expert plating.

I’ve witnessed people’s triumphs hand-cutting pasta for the first time, removing a perfect loaf of sourdough from the oven, and sprinkling freshly chopped herbs over various artfully arranged tostadas or seared cuts of meat or bowlfuls of beautifully grilled market veggies.

At first, my mouth watered looking at these creations, and I felt warmed at the idea of people hunkering down with their loved ones…


Photo by Joe Caione on Unsplash

Some people are built for full-time jobs. They thrive on a corporate structure, enjoy the validation of career advancement through title changes and raises, prefer to have their benefits arranged for them, and feel most comfortable with stability.

Others grow itchy in that same scenario. They feel stymied by the structure, find little reward executing projects that they don’t create themselves, yearn for the freedom to create their own schedule, and, though they may not like paying for them, prefer to handle their own benefits if it means they can work how and when they want.

Then there’s a third…


Photo by visuals on Unsplash

Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Are you sure?

If I told any number of acquaintances or family members that I was an introvert, I have a feeling many of them would laugh. Sometimes, I laugh off the idea, too.

While we have various ideas of what the personality types mean, especially since Myers Briggs seemingly took over the pop-psych world, Susan Cain, author of the bestseller Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, says it comes down to how you practice self-care. “Introverts recharge their batteries by being alone,” she writes. …


They’re just as important, they add up to the same number of pages—and you’ll definitely have more fun doing it

Photo by Robert Anasch on Unsplash

Not too many years ago on a warm spring day, I got hit with an inspirational burst that led me to send a very important text message to friends: “You guys. I just thought of the best Halloween costume.” I wasn’t even going to tell them what the costume was yet because it was that good. But then I worried I would die in a freak accident before October and go to my grave with no one ever knowing how clever I was. So I texted again.

“Sexy David Foster Wallace!” I wrote.

To be clear, I’m not the sort…

Kelly Marages

Magazine Publishing Veteran | Bylines with WaPo, WSJ, Marie Claire, Us Weekly | Founder of Shirley Books https://shirleybooks.substack.com/subscribe

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