The Most Important Tool In Your Arsenal

Say thank you

As in, on a card.

No cold, white, computer paper.

In your own handwriting.

With a pen that isn’t running out of ink.

Sharpies are nice. I like thin and medium tipped.

It’s a good way to connect. They’ll remember you.

Of the thousands of books Black Irish gives away every year? I remember the ones who say thank you. The e-mails are in the dozens. The hand-written notes? Count them on my hands.

When I work with clients? There’s a long list of moving pieces. The never-cut, most-often repeated one? The thank you.

I served up Mama and her trolls two weeks ago. The positive force canceling her crazy clan’s negative? The thank you.

Two short, powerful words.

If you’re at a loss on how to make a new connection… Start with a thank you. But…

Mean it.

Don’t do it because you want something in return, even though you do kind of hope something will come in return.

Be gracious.

Be genuine.

Be real.

Kindness is appreciated. When you send it out. It will return.

Posted in


Steve shows you the predictable Resistance points that every writer hits in a work-in-progress and then shows you how to deal with each one of these sticking points. This book shows you how to keep going with your work.

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A short book about the writing of a first novel: for Steve, The Legend of Bagger Vance. Having failed with three earlier attempts at novels, here's how Steve finally succeeded.



Steve shares his "lessons learned" from the trenches of the five different writing careers—advertising, screenwriting, fiction, nonfiction, and self-help. This is tradecraft. An MFA in Writing in 197 pages.



Amateurs have amateur habits. Pros have pro habits. When we turn pro, we give up the comfortable life but we find our power. Steve answers the question, "How do we overcome Resistance?"



  1. Mary Doyle on October 23, 2015 at 6:24 am

    A resounding thank you for this Callie! My mother fostered this habit in me as soon as I learned to print in first grade. I wonder how many moms still do that in this age of email?

  2. Stephanie on October 23, 2015 at 6:24 am

    A thank you is also a tolkien given to the universe. Gratitude is a powerful force for good!

  3. Beth Treadway on October 23, 2015 at 7:42 am

    Forget Sharpies. Find a nice, broad-nibbed fountain pen with pretty ink and nice paper. You’ll end up using it for those times you’re not writing at your computer. Check out the Fountain Pen Network if you think fountain pens are outdated, antiques. There’s a global community using them to save their hands. As well as a host of big name writers.

    You’re welcome. (wink)

    • Helen on October 23, 2015 at 9:35 am

      Beth, where to start (again) with fountain pens and journaling (actually anything)? Just looked at FPN and like it. Am trying to return to constant writing with FP but get blocked with them dragging on various papers, so the thought train immediately vanishes…any thoughts, please?

  4. Robin Young on October 23, 2015 at 8:55 am

    Thank you for this Callie. I tell my daughters (Okay – and anyone who will listen) to always send a hand written Thank-you card whenever they have a job interview, whether they get the job or not. Right away. People took time to talk to you, acknowledge it.

    Thank-you to you, Callie, for always saying “Thanks” for comments and for always being a shining example of good manners.

  5. Sonja on October 23, 2015 at 9:38 am

    I think this is even more true now in the age of e-communications.

  6. Chris Duel on October 23, 2015 at 9:40 am


    The subject heading of the e-mail piqued my interest: “The Most Important Tool In Your Arsenal.”

    How could I not read on?

    Sometimes the simplest advice is the most profound.

    Much appreciated.

  7. Sonja on October 23, 2015 at 9:50 am

    Oh, and a big thank you shout out, Miss Callie!

  8. David Kaufmann on October 23, 2015 at 9:53 am

    Well, then, thank you. As always. With a sharpie. 🙂

  9. Erika Viktor on October 23, 2015 at 11:50 am

    I regularly send thank you cards to my college professors after grades are posted. I really should get into the habit of doing it more. Thanks for this simple but highly usable tip today.

  10. Dennis bendickson on October 23, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    I want to thank you for the books you have made available for free.Thank you very much they have been are and will be a great help and encouragement to me.I will have to buy some Sharpies so I can send you a written Thank You.I am blessed to have found you and all your assistance.Thank you for being so generous.

  11. Sean Crawford on October 23, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    At a seminar I once asked a panel of job-hirers if it was true that it was OK to send a thank you note after a job interview (because I was skeptical) They looked at each other and answered me that yes, it’s OK.

    On a broader note, besides having an attitude of gratitude for life (and don’t you just love how your fellow writers are awake to the world?) we can also have an attitude of appreciation for others. I once thanked a person for the extra work on one of his blog post and he commented, “Thanks. Glad somebody noticed.”

    Which meant he was going unnoticed by us for that post. We can do better than that.

  12. AM Gray on October 23, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    I started writing in fanfiction and if someone left me a review, I took the time to thank them for it. It felt like the least I could do. Other people argued with me: ‘you wrote the story, you don’t need to thank them for reading it.’
    I disagreed and I ignored them. And I kind of stumbled onto the way to make die-hard fans. They read everything I posted. They voted for me in competitions. They joined other sites when I told them about it.
    And as an extra bonus, *they made my day*. They made my stories better when they made suggestions or pointed out a mistake, or something I had forgotten about.
    And when I finally publish my own stuff, it will be those fans who will buy it.
    Why wouldn’t I thank them for that?

  13. Laura Meryl Herring on October 24, 2015 at 11:53 am

    Namiki makes the coolest retractable fountain pen. I gifted myself a few years ago. “Namaki vanishing point”

  14. Waqar Ahmed on October 28, 2015 at 12:39 am

    Thank You ! 🙂

  15. GA on October 28, 2015 at 6:16 am

    This is wonderful, Callie, and so true.

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