Finding myself: 3 reasons why we can all learn to draw

betty ming liu Art, Inspiration 12 Comments

I just took a drawing workshop that changed my life. Oh sure, I’ve sketched before. But sitting very, very quietly with pencil and paper was a new level of intimacy with myself and the world. If you’ve ever fantasized about being more art-y, read on, because we are all capable of drawing — and accessing the confidence and creativity it …

Five ways to build my brand as the journalARTist™

betty ming liu Art, Money, Writing how-to's 10 Comments

Was that really me the other night? Me, lugging a big drawing pad to a packed lecture hall at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism! I was there for an advanced, sold-out social media training workshop — but not as the typical attendee. With my graphite pencils and pastels arranged on a side table, my mission was to make the …

I just quit my job in a bad economy. Yes, really.

betty ming liu Inspiration, Money, Writing how-to's 62 Comments

After 16 months of full-time journalism, I am now officially unemployed. Never ever before have I quit a job without lining up a new gig. And so begins the next adventure, of reinventing myself — yet again — while living off my savings. This is incredibly scary for me. As a single mom with a kid going off to college, …

The best advice I’ve ever given my students

betty ming liu Inspiration, Writing how-to's 17 Comments

I’m about to share with you my secret for teaching students how to write. Once they get this lesson into their heads, tangled sentences straighten out. Wordiness disappears. Blathering becomes conversational writing. But first, a warning. This secret involves profanity because shock value is also a powerful tool. Ready? Okay, then. Let us proceed. I usually unleash this tool on …

Do you think it’s possible to unplug?

betty ming liu Food, Relationships, Writing how-to's 11 Comments

The other night when my daughter Gabi and I were out to dinner, she scolded me for taking pictures of our food and instantly sharing them on social media. “This is the most anti-social meal I’ve ever had,” complained my 17-year-old. Since that moment, I’ve been rethinking the insanity of my life. After all, she had a good point. We …