Recorded meetings interfere with creative collaboration
“Hold on ... let me start recording.” In the past few weeks, I’ve heard this phrase even more than the dreaded: “You’re on mute.” As someone who loves to work from the comfort of home and stretchy pants, I’m a huge fan of virtual meetings. [...]
Should you be creative at work?
Creative arguments It is a fact widely known that I like to argue. Debate might be a better word because a good debater must understand both sides of the argument. I’d like to think I open my mind enough to consider opinions that are not [...]
Looking for creative inspiration? Try some oatmeal.
To know me is to understand that I procrastinate. Procrastination is part of my process. Especially my writing process. When I was in high school, this irritated my mother to no end. Seeing blank pages instead of a book report, she assumed I was wasting [...]
It’s getting started, not crossing the finish line
Why would you write something if there wasn’t a need for it? If you write mostly for work, it’s a fair question. Yet, we do all kinds of things for which there isn’t a “need.” Some of you bake bread even though you can buy [...]
Swedish Death Cleaning will make you a better communicator
Several years ago, people were raving about the KonMari method of decluttering and organizing. Attempting to jump on the bandwagon, I bought The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and started reading. A few pages in, I bailed. Marie Kondo wanted me to touch every possession [...]
To Listen, or Not To Listen
Podcasts are all the rage and they feel like one of those those pop culture things that I just don’t get. I’m not trying to be contrary; in fact I keep trying over and over again to find a podcast conversation that I really want [...]
22 for 2022: all the C.R.A.P. to cut this year
A few months ago, Jill noticed a shift in my writing style. “It’s very in-your-face,” she said. “You sound a little angry. But in a good way.” She was probably responding to my article about all the C.R.A.P. that makes its way into business statements [...]
It’s the Commas That Terrify Me
Semicolons aren’t so bad. But that whole don’t end a sentence with a preposition really gets me, sort of. And what exactly is a run-on sentence if I have a lot to say and it all comes pouring out and I throw a few commas [...]
Tiny vocabulary = giant creative opportunity
My nephew texted me a few weeks ago: “Can I get your address? I’m getting you guys a game.” This young man really gets me, my husband, and our six kids. We are an irreverent bunch, sharp of wit and often foul of mouth. At [...]
Can You Meal Prep Your Blog Posts?
I’d rather just skip a meal if I can’t think of what to make or I don’t have something easy already prepared. Hmm, sounds a bit like my writing habit at times. If I don’t have an idea, a first line, an image...something to get [...]
Psst! These pointers will perk up your presentations!
‘Tis the season for high-stakes presentations. Nearing year-end, many of us are preparing to report on results, launch new programs, and invite colleagues and clients to embrace the new. ‘Tis also the season for distracted audiences. (In truth, this season is eternal.) That means your [...]
Unspoken Loudspeakers are drowning out your message
“What you do speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you are saying.” Ralph Waldo Emerson Shhhh! I’m trying to hear you. I really am. I know you’ve put serious thought into those words you’re trying to share right now. Whether your message is written [...]
Productivity vs Workflow; Why do I feel like a failure?
“Some words have a meaning to them that we don’t often think about but yet still affects us, which has applications to persuasion, social influence and bias in our judgments and decisions,” said David J Hauser, social psychologist. The power of words is undeniable. Choose [...]
Persuasion: the teeter-totter of business communication
As a kid on the playground, one of my favorite attractions was the teeter-totter. Maybe you called it a seesaw. A teeter-totter is a dangerous apparatus, not to be shared with anyone but a friend you can trust to keep the thing in balance. I [...]
Productive Time Wasting. Oxymoron or the Stuff of Brilliant Ideas?
HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU WASTE? Tons, I feel like I never get anything done None, my mind is always focused and I’m always getting sh!t done I want to be the person who answers #2, but in reality, I make myself feel bad because [...]
7 Rut Rescues: a collection of wonderful, workable wisdom
I love to streak. Not the running-naked-across-a-field type. The kind where you build positive habits by doing things consistently. Habit streaking is how I’ve stayed fit and sane during the pandemic, working out 457 days in a row. Habit streaking is why you’ll find hundreds [...]
Crisis on the road: how kindness and creativity salvaged my vacation
“Something isn’t right.” I look to my left and know my husband Jim agrees. He’s always alert and a little white-knuckled when towing our 30-foot travel trailer. But right now, his body language is way beyond, “Don’t bother me, I’m driving.” It’s a silent scream [...]
Are you a Planner or a Pantser? Which is the Right Approach for Writers?
This is an age-old difference of opinion in the world of creative writing: To outline before writing or to just start writing and trust the process. Many people say it’s a waste of time to start writing without knowing where you’re going. These folks are [...]
Convergent thinking? Divergent thinking? Creativity calls for both.
When it comes to creative thinking, I identify as divergent. I can practice convergent thinking, which is to say that I am capable of analyzing practical alternatives and choosing one that seems best. If I lacked this skill, I’d never know what to eat for [...]
Do You Write Out Loud?
I’m not the type who mutters to herself. There is already so much conversation in my head that I have no need to actually verbalize any of it out loud. And yet, I do work out problems or challenges in my mind before I take [...]
Recipe for a business statement: equal parts focus and motivation
Statements seem to be in high demand. Vision statements. Mission statements. Purpose statements. Positioning statements. So. Many. Statements. Before writing anything—a statement, a one-pager, a video script, whatever—one of the most important questions to answer is: “Who is the audience?” Who needs this message? Why [...]
Is It Stealing If……?
We once worked with a real estate agent who said to us, "buyers are liars." She explained that we’ll tell her we absolutely need to have a two-story front porch, a finished basement, and a separate laundry room in our next house when in fact, [...]
Mashups aren’t just for Mondays
If my self-imposed job title weren’t already so long, I’d add the words “Daily Practice Junkie.” Since last month’s article on consistency and surprise, I passed the one-year mark for workouts. Yep. I’ve exercised for at least 30 minutes a day, every damn day, for [...]
Once Around the Block: How Walking Can Boost Creativity
“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” ― John Muir Who is feeling exhausted? A year ago, we were using every ounce of our creativity just to get [...]