If you've written an email today, you're a designer

Blog Photos

This past December, I had the pleasure of facilitating my first design-thinking session for a group of about a dozen project stakeholders. When I first took on this task, I felt intimidated. Who did I think I was to mess with this trendy design-thinking stuff? I don’t have a black belt in user-centered design or any kind of credentials in journey mapping. So what had I let myself in for?

But, to my great delight, as soon as I dove into the facilitation methodology, I found myself able to swim…

Read more…

How to write better in 5

Blog Photos (1)

How can anyone resist a book on healthy living that’s based on the premise of snacking?

Dr. Rangan Chatterjee’s new title, Feel Better in 5: Your Daily Plan to Feel Great for Life, takes a brilliant approach to making positive lifestyle changes, one bite-sized habit at a time.

Forget trying to commit to virtual Pilates classes or promising yourself you’ll attempt a 21-day sugar detox… again! Instead, integrate five-minute health breaks, or “snacks,” into your daily routine.

Chatterjee presc…

Read more…

The Grand Delusion of Time Management and Writing

Blog Photos (4)

Imagine a new kind of material so elastic that you can use it to create a container with infinite capacity. No matter the original size of the container, its sides can stretch and stretch to fit whatever you put in it. And here’s the really amazing part: as it stretches, the container takes up no more space than it did in its original shape.

Now, I know there’s some incredible work going on right now in the world of materials engineering, some of it right here in Atlantic Canada. But I also k…

Read more…

True confession: I will do almost anything to avoid writing.

Blog Photos (9)

Today is a typical day. Before sitting down to write this short post, I managed to procrastinate by achieving the following tasks, which suddenly pressed themselves upon me as undeniably urgent: hung up a load of wet laundry, paid a Fiverr invoice, inflated an exercise ball I ordered from Amazon three weeks ago, made a pot of tea, listened to a Marie Forleo podcast, ordered a desk lamp from Ikea (because if my writing desk were better lit, I would be more productive), made a note to buy a birthd…

Read more…

Is your writing running on empty?

Blog Photos (3)

My husband recently gave me one of the most beautiful gifts I’ve ever received, a Waterman fountain pen with a body satin-finished in two shades of jade green.

Just holding this gorgeous instrument elevates my daily journaling. I may just be scribbling in my pj’s, but the pen makes the activity feel special. 

Each morning now begins with a micro ritual: I slide the pen from its case (where it rests like a sacred object), smoothly open a page in my journal, and take a slow sip of water.  Then I…

Read more…

Five Writing Rules that Deserve to Be Broken

Blog Photos (6)

Being a parent teaches you a few things about psychology. One of them is this: telling a child NOT to do something is the surest way to get the behavior you don’t want. When my children were toddlers, I learned early on that saying “Don’t run!” would send my son darting off and that saying “Don’t yell!” would instantly turn up the volume.

I guess I never outgrew my terrible twos because I want to scream whenever someone tells me about a writing rule they think they must follow. By the same toke…

Read more…

Do you hate writing as much as I hate exercising?

Blog Photos (9)

A young engineer recently confessed to me, “I hate writing. I’d rather get my fingernails pulled out.”

I get it because I feel the same way about exercising. But I’m five-foot-two with a chocolate habit and an underactive thyroid, so I don’t really have a choice. I have to get off my duff for a brisk walk at least five days a week or pay the pudge penalty.

A couple of days ago, however, I dragged myself out for my usual afternoon walk and unexpectedly found myself jogging along, just for the j…

Read more…