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How to Increase Integrity in Your Writing

When it comes to business, having integrity is critical. If clients don’t believe you’re true to your word, your business suffers. 

But how does integrity play a role in your writing? 

Here’s my take: If you wouldn’t say a particular word when speaking, you shouldn’t use it in your writing, either. 

Just as it does in business, a lack of integrity in writing can come back to bite you. 

When I was still teaching at the college, I once participated in a plagiarism case. I’ll never forget the student whose work was examined. 

After reading her essay, our committee was unanimous that it couldn’t have been her own work (her regular teacher was very familiar with her in-class writing, and this wasn’t it). Still, we gave her the benefit of the doubt. 

As the student sat across the table from us, we each asked a question about the essay. When it was my turn, I said, “In this sentence, you write: ‘the...

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No Noise

I checked my phone for the third time.

No new emails. No texts. Not even any new posts on Instagram?

That’s when I knew something was seriously wrong.

Turns out, our internet provider (one of the biggest in Canada) was completely down—in fact, down all over the country.

At first, it didn’t seem all that different from any other Friday, since my morning routine doesn’t involve very much internet use. As usual, I walked the dogs, I did some Qi Gong, I showered, I ate a good breakfast.

So far, so good.

By 9:30 AM, hubby was checking the TV (the non-cable channels were still working) to see if there was any news. “Country-wide outages. . . no end-time given for repairs. Teams are working on the problem and it will be fixed as soon as possible.”

And so, I got to work.

And you know what? It was an incredibly productive, enjoyable day.

I created some text for a new program I’ll be introducing in the fall (can't wait to share...

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I Don't Regret It

There we were, at the art opening of a friend of a friend: abstract oil and acrylic on canvas, plus some random photographs, at a bona fide art gallery in downtown Toronto.

(Please don’t ask me the name of the gallery. . . I was in university at the time, way too young to pay attention to such things. But I do remember that it was in Yorkville, down the street from the Cotton Ginny store where I bought my favorite overalls). 

While I meandered around the space gawking at the canvases, my friend helped herself to the free wine and cheese. Then I saw it: bold, wide strokes of orange and fuschia, sprinkles of red and blue, a cross between Willem DeKooning and Jackson Pollock. I peered down at the tiny price tag: $275. A fortune for a grad student! 

I decided to think on it for a while. I circulated the room again, stopping at the cheese station to pick at some olives and Asiago. I sipped wine from a plastic wine glass. Then I moseyed back toward the painting.


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You Absolutely Can Do This

I remember the first time I was asked to speak at a conference. My immediate thought was, “But I’m a writer, not a speaker! Who will want to listen to me? I've got nothing worthwhile to say. . .”

Far too many of us fall into this trap of “I’m not good enough” when we consider what we’ll write, too. The problem is, we’re comparing ourselves to the A-listers out there, the famous writers--and we see ourselves falling short.

For instance, I thought about all the great TEDx talks I’d watched on YouTube and how wonderful those speakers were. Or the keynote speakers I’d observed online, where I listened to big names like Tony Robbins, Brene Brown or Simon Sinek. 

Well, compare yourself to those guys, and no wonder it's hard to measure up.  

But here’s a different perspective. I learned this from my mentor in university, and have found it really useful over the years.

When I started sending...

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