A career role model

https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/2870953428/eccc98f42561a8929512e69a05bcea0a.jpegI’ve decided whom I want to be when I grow up. Or in my next career, as I’m clearly not going to get there in this one.

Lisa Collier Cool. She is. Here’s why.

• She writes what I like to write in magazines that I want to write for. Her byline may have been the first one I noticed regularly in magazines I actually read (“You can’t open a top women’s magazine without tripping over Lisa Collier Cool,” said The Writer). Then I became astonished at the jackpot of titles she’s appeared in: BabyTalk, Cosmopolitan, Essence, Family Circle, Fitness, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, Good Housekeeping, Harper’s, Ladies’ Home Journal, Marie Claire, O (Oprah), Parade, Parents, Penthouse, Prevention, Redbook, Self, Reader’s Digest, USA Weekend, the Wall Street Journal, Woman’s Day, and more.

• She’s written books worth every cent of their price: How to Write Irresistible Query Letters and How to Sell Every Magazine Article You Write. I may have read these as early as the late 1980s. When I started teaching in the mid-1990s, I put both on the syllabus and told students they would find something useful on every page. (No, I don’t get a cut.)

• She’s won a heap of awards, mainly for health writing, including a National Magazine Award for “The Preventable Cancer” in Good Housekeeping. It hasn’t occurred to me to submit my stuff for awards, generally, though I’ve won a few. Some of hers have come from the medical associations. Good idea.

• She’s branched into new media – as, among other things, lead health blogger/editor at Healthymagination.com, then writer on Yahoo’s Day in Health blog. Recent topics: “Grapefruit and medication may be a deadly mix” and “Flu: When are you contagious?”

• Like me, she’s also branched into editing, website writing, ghostwriting, and corporate materials. A well-rounded career is a healthy career – or at least has a better shot at being one.

• She’s generous with her expertise and time. A former president of the American Society of Journalists and Authors – a consuming gig, I’m sure – she has also spent the past seven years on the board of the Writers Emergency Assistance Fund.

• She and Ralph Sarchie sold the film rights for Beware the Night: A New York City Cop Investigates the Supernatural, and word is that Jerry Bruckheimer is producing and Eric Bana is starring. How awesome is that?

• We share 13 direct connections on LinkedIn – that is, 13 people I know and respect are connected to her directly.

We all need people to inspire us. Lisa’s been at the top of my list for a very long time. Thanks, Lisa!

Copyright 2013 Ellen M. Ryan. All rights reserved.

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