Vanessa Van Edwards

Portland, Oregon, United States


Science of People

My career in writing gives me three reasons to jump out of bed in the morning: total autonomy, creativity and great work/life balance. I am able to write about the topics I want to write about. I can choose when and where I write. I can barely tell the difference between work and pleasure.

Science of People has 30 active paid interns and five contractors to help write and manage our websites. At the Science of People, we take the most interesting research about people, relationships and human behavior and put it into easy to understand articles and workshops. We call this “bite-sized science.” When someone asks the question “Is there a study to back this up?” We often have the answer.

In our PivotPlanet discussions, we’ll talk about:
• The difference between self-publishing and traditional publishing and which might work best for you.
• Why blogging is a great platform for writing and how to get started.
• How to market your book and your brand. Do you do it yourself or hire someone? I can discuss the pros and cons of each.
• How there is a huge amount of freedom and creativity as a writer/author/blogger, but with that freedom comes risk. I can help you figure out how to best minimize the risk in your particular situation.
• Doing research about your customer’s needs is not always the most pleasant task, but its necessary. I can help you set up steps for accomplishing this.


I started writing when I was 16, but then went to school for international business. I studied Chinese and political science and had internships abroad, but I quickly learned because of the amount of travel and long hours, that career didn’t offer the work-life balance that I wanted.

I wrote my first book You’re Grounded in 2002 and self-published it in 2007. I launched by blog and started writing columns at the same time. I self-published two more books: The Radical Family Workbook and Activity Journal is for Parents, Kids and Teens and Dirt-E Secrets of an Internet Kid. Finally in 2011, I published Do I Get My Allowance Before or After I’m Grounded? with Penguin books.

I am a two-time winner of the Moms Choice Award for two of my books. My writing has been featured on CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Business Week, Teen Vogue and many other outlets. I also do regular television appearances on CNN, AM Northwest and have been on the Today Show, CBS News, KCal, The Doctors and The Real Housewives of Orange County.

Leaving the traditional path was scary, but embracing writing was the best decision because it freed me to be myself and enjoy life. One of the best things about being a writer is that I am constantly learning something new. I become a mini expert in lots of interesting topics. I don’t think any other career choice would give me that.

There are many different ways to be a writer. You can be an author, blogger, columnist, editor, or work-for-hire. I have tried all of these and am happy to discuss how teach one works so you can figure out where you would best fit in.

I am happy to share the ins and outs of writing, publishing, self-publishing and marketing/PR with you. Being an author is 50% writing and 50% marketing and public relations.