Do you have a writing challenge or a knowledge translation challenge?

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Many client conversations start with a complaint about some aspect of the writing process. I hear statements like these:

“I just can’t seem to find the right words.”

“My grammar is terrible.”

“I want to know how to express myself more concisely.”

On the surface, such statements can seem to point to mechanical issues:

  • Fumbling for the right words could indicate a usage issue (problem with accurately using vocabulary).
  • Feeling ashamed about “grammar” could indicate an issue with structurin…

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Three Techniques Anyone Can Use to Think Like a Graphic Designer

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To borrow a theme from the eighteenth-century poet Alexander Pope, a little Canva is a dangerous thing.1

Canva and other web-based applications provide small businesses with affordable tools that are easy to manipulate. But ease of use doesn’t guarantee quality of results. It wasn’t the chisel or the paintbrush that enabled Michelangelo to carve his Slaves or paint the Sistine Chapel. It was his art.

“Art” has become a rather old-fashioned word these days, relegated to museums and galleries co…

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The Number One Thing You Can Do to Improve Your Business Writing is Completely Painless

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Many of the clients I work with struggle with writing because they buy into a common limiting belief: “No pain, no gain.”

That old saying may be true about body building. A muscle grows when it works so hard that it tears. Then it heals in a way that makes is stronger than it was before.

But the proverb doesn’t apply to the writing muscle. Writing abilities develop best when we turn off the notion that hard work must hurt and instead find gentle ways to build confidence in our own writing voic…

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Six lies your brain tells you about your writing

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We’ve all had times when we’ve felt like the cartoon character with the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other. That was my predicament the day after I baked the most recent batch of birthday cupcakes.

In the one ear: “Go ahead, have one more. Vanilla icing doesn’t really count.”

And from the other shoulder: “Don’t give in. Self-control is the queen of virtues and the virtue of queens."

Sadly, my guardian angel lost that day (to the scale’s gain). But, in her defence, I think she …

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

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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…

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For people and organizations struggling to find their writing voice

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In the business world, the primary purpose of writing is seldom to impart information or even to convey a point of view. It’s to connect with your audience so that they come to know, like, and trust you. Because they won’t buy from you otherwise.

But how can someone get to know you if you don’t let your personality shine? So much business writing, particularly that created in scientific and technical domains, works so hard to sound “professional” that it comes across as devoid of any personal…

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How to write better in 5

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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…

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Four Risks of Writing Documents for Non-expert Decision-Makers

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This past week, we witnessed an appalling demonstration of what happens when a non-expert makes a decision without understanding or respecting expert opinion. Donald Trump’s arrogance hit a dangerously new high when he stood on the White House Balcony, fresh out of hospital and still infected with COVID-19, and ripped his mask off,

In the perfect world, the people holding power would make decisions based on sound advice from well-informed, well-meaning experts. But in the real world, decision…

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The Grand Delusion of Time Management and Writing

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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…

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What Is It Like to Work With a Clarity Coach?

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I happily rent my home now, but in a past life, I was both a homeowner and landlord. In those roles, my motto used to be, “If it’s broken, get a professional to fix it.”

I’m a writer and a teacher by trade, not a dry-waller or a plumber, and I don’t enjoy any task you might put into the category of “home repair.” So I don’t see why I should spend my precious time learning skills others have already developed and are delighted to put to lucrative use.

As an entrepreneur, I try to apply this sam…

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