My column, for years, ran in more than 100 papers across the U.S. and Canada, and in the military paper the Stars & Stripes. It is “applied science,” meaning I read and vet scientific studies; translate them from the professor-ese into clear, understandable language; and then use them as springboards to help people re-frame their thinking and change their behavior.
Sadly, the newspaper industry is dying, and during COVID, long-profitable and successful papers that had run my column for over 20 years went out of business. Others suffered huge declines in ad revenues and were forced cut their page count to the bone.
I love writing this column, which won many first-place awards in the Southern California Journalism Awards (via LA Press Club) – along with an honorable mention for me for “Journalist of the Year”: an honor simply unheard of for an advice column.
I’m so, so grateful to all the papers that run me and ran me – but especially those whose editors picked it up first, and gave me a chance before anybody else believed in me. (Hi, Bob Downes of Northern Express and Linda Xiques of the Pacific Sun!)
I am especially grateful for all the readers who trusted me with their problems and gave me the material to put out the science and reasoning that were an integral part of this column. And thank you, all of you, who wrote me to tell me I made a difference for you. It means the world to me.
It was really hard for me to come to this: to finally call it a day. I was writing the column at a serious financial loss for longer than I’d like to admit, hoping to find a way to subsidize it. (I’ve trained to become an ace speaker – as I hope you’ll see in my TED talk on conflict resolution that should be out soon – but COVID dried up any hope of my doing applied-science speaking events, and that has yet to change.)
I’m now completing two vitally important books for awesome BenBella Books that I hope will change medical-practice standards in two areas of our healthcare to be more evidence-based. (Will disclose the exact subject matter when we’re a bit closer to publication.)
I will continue to do private sessions for individuals: both mediations and advice sessions. (AdviceGoddess.com/private_sessions/if you're interested.) I’ve also been hired by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office to do behavioral science-based video training sessions for new and continuing mediators.
Thank you all for reading me, fighting with me, and telling me when I made a difference for you with my work.
Read the Reader's 2021 cover-story interview with Amy Alkon at "Wired Science: A Conversation with Advice Goddess Amy Alkon."