Each word, image, and video we share online has a ripple effect

Since the election, I’ve been at a loss as to what to share online. It feels like the collective is either screaming with rage, weighed down in despair, or checked out. I stare at my screen and wonder, “What should I share? What is truly needed?”

I can’t tell you the number of people I’ve talked to recently who have said, “I don’t go on Facebook anymore,” or “I’m spending as little time online as possible.” If I didn’t do most of my work online, I’d probably log off too. The collective roar of virtual anger, sadness and despair can feel overwhelming.

I think we’re going to see a rise in live events to counter online fatigue, but the web isn’t going anywhere. Whether you share your thoughts online personally, or professionally, I think it’s important for all of us to think about how each word, image, and video we share online has a ripple effect.

In my opinion, there are four qualities we need to cultivate in our online communication during these stressful times:

Forest lake in Maine

1. Truth. The web has made communication and sharing so easy that many of the rules of good journalism have been thrown out the window (e.g. fact-checking, researching the validity of sources, giving credit to work that is not your own). As we enter into a time when the term “alternative facts” has become part of our lexicon, it’s more important than ever to share the truth online. That means everything from making sure quotes are attributed to the right person (even inspiring ones), to not assuming everything you read online is true, to researching and crediting sources, to not painting our lives as being full of unicorns and rainbows.


2. Grounded. Information overload + emotional overload = overwhelm and shut down. People need concrete, relevant, accessible, timely information right now (e.g how to cook dinner for your family after working all day, how to manage post-election anxiety, how to start journaling, how to contact your Congressperson, how to cultivate a daily exercise routine, how to be an intersectional activist). So many people are asking, “What can I do?” Help them channel their fear and anxiety into practical actions that will help them feel calm and empowered.

Bright Pink Flower

3. Uplifting. Just like when you’re carrying a heavy box for a long time, you have to stop and rest once in a while, we need to have breaks from the unrelenting bad news, or we’ll shut down. Reading something funny, hopeful, inspiring, or entertaining can re-energize us. There’s a reason that comedic takes on the news (e.g. The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Full Frontal with Sam Bee, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, SNL’s Weekend Update) are so popular. They allow us to laugh at horrible things. Give your people a reason to feel hope and joy again.

cozy cat

4. Safety. There’s sooooooooo much that we need to talk about right now, but we can’t do it if we feel like we’re going to be virtually screamed at when we share our opinion. One of the beauties of social media is that it is social. It can facilitate conversation and sharing. Unfortunately, it can also encourage trolling and verbal abuse. In order to foster online discussions, we need to create safe spaces where people feel comfortable voicing their opinion and sharing their story. One way to do that is to create very clear commenting and discussion guidelines, and to jump in quickly if they aren’t being followed.

What do you think of the state of our online conversation at the moment?

How has it changed what, or how you communicate online?

Photos by me.

12 Saturday Shares: Work Life Balance, Our Lives Online, Practical Skills, Publishing and Communications in a Busy World

After posting 20 Ways to Be a Generous Blogger last week, I realized that I haven’t done #13, “practices link love weekly” in a long time, so below are links to 12 blog posts and articles that caught my attention this week. I’ve organized them into four buckets:

  • Reflections about Work Life Balance and Our Lives Online
  • Practical Skills for Work and Life
  • Communications Strategies for a Busy World
  • Reflections on Publishing

I hope you find some nuggets here that interest you.

Heart of LeavesReflections about Work Life Balance and Our Lives Online

Why the Nonprofit Work Ethic Is Outdated and Needs to Change by Beth Kanter on Beth’s Blog

“To be an effective change maker you need to take care of yourself.”

My Distraction Sickness – and Yours by Andrew Sullivan for New York Magazine

I’d begun to fear that this new way of living was actually becoming a way of not-living.”

Three Warning Signs That Your Personal Branding Has Gone Too Far by Susan Bond on Fast Company

“You don’t have to follow someone else’s path or the expectations social media tends to set for us.”

fall leavesPractical Skills for Work and Life

7 Tips to Make You A Stronger Facilitator by Cody Sigel and Tracy Wright on Beth’s Blog

“Get to know your participants, and go beyond just assessing their skill and knowledge level.”

Being Heard in Community: Reform Your Listening Skills by Pixie Lighthorse

“Put away media and remember that eye contact counts when listening.”

4 Ways to Run Status Meetings with Your Remote Team that Actually Work by Elise Keith on the Lucid Meetings blog

This silent reading moment ensures everyone read the updates and helps focus the group.

10 Ways to Discern if Your Idea is Worth Sticking With by Jennifer Louden

” What kind of support would make this more fun?”

Understanding Feedback by Tara Mohr

“The Power Practice I share here is a powerful one for recovering from difficult feedback of any kind, whether you got that feedback last week or ten years ago (and it still haunts you).”

red fall leavesCommunications Strategies for a Busy World

5 Ways to Connect Despite Election Frenzy by Nancy Schwartz on Getting Attention

“Show your people they can count on your organization to build the kind of country and community in which they want to live.”

Want People to Share Your Story? Stop Making It So Hard! Do This Instead by Kerri Karvetski via Kivi’s Nonprofit Communications blog

“Create a dedicated page on your website for shareable graphics and quotes.”

red fall leafReflections on Publishing

10 Awful Truths about Book Publishing by Steven Piersanti, President, Berrett-Koehler Publishers

“Most book marketing today is done by authors, not by publishers.”

15 Lessons from 15 Years of Blogging by Anil Dash

“Always write for the moment you’re in.”


What have you read recently that piqued your curiosity?

juicy-blogging-long-logoThe next session of the Juicy Blogging E-Course: The Art & Play of Blogging is October 3-31, 2016.

Photos by me.

What is your #1 burning question about blogging?


Each time I teach the Juicy Blogging E-Course, I update the material because blogging trends and tools are always changing. I also look through questions posted by students in past classes to make sure the course addresses the most common issues. For example, past students have asked:

  • How do I know my content is unique and interesting when there are a lot of people blogging in my field?
  • I don’t consider myself a writer, but I know I have great ideas to share that will help people. How can I get more excited about actually sitting down to write my blog?
  • How do I find my authentic voice, even if I am speaking from my professional self?
  • How can I promote my blog in a way that feels genuine to me and not self-congratulatory?
  • How important is it to interact with other bloggers, respond to/comment on their posts, etc?
  • How do I cultivate more readers?
  • How do I continue to generate content that is interesting and engaging?

What is *your* #1 burning question about blogging?

I’ll answer it in the comments below, or in a separate blog post. If you have a blog, please share the URL along with your question.


juicy-blogging-long-logoThe next session of the Juicy Blogging E-Course: The Art & Play of Blogging is October 3-31, 2016. Earlybird pricing ends September 22nd.

Photo by me and image by the hubs.


Juicy Blogging E-Course October 3-31, 2016

Juicy Blogging E-Course

If you would like to start a blog, or if you started, but got stuck around what to write, how to make the time, or how to build community and readership, come join us. It’s packed with practical tips, resources, and exercises.

You can learn more about the course here.

Navigating Creativity’s “Prickles”


As I’ve been working my way through 20 days of prompts from Writing: Finding Everyday Inspiration, a WordPress Blogging U e-course, and getting my blogging groove back, I’m reminded of all the things I need to do to get my fingers on the keyboard each day. Some days are easy, but most days there are any number of obstacles to overcome:

  • Time
  • Lack of inspiration
  • My inner critic, who has any number of lovely things to say ( :

Whether you blog, or write, or create in some other way, you’ve probably encountered one, or all of these challenges. Creating can be like that cactus flower, incredibly beautiful and inspiring, but you have to watch out for the prickles!

Some things I do to work with the “prickles” and not let them stop me from writing and creating are:


We all keep commitments for different reasons. For some of us, it’s enough to make a commitment to ourselves. For others, being accountable to a friend, colleague, or coach keeps us on track. For others, a financial investment in a class, space, or supplies makes us show up. For others, making a game out of it, or having some kind of goal or structure, like challenging yourself to take a photo every day for 30 days does the trick. Only you know what will make you commit to create. Sometimes you have to try a variety of things to figure it out.

Tap into what gives you joy

A wise friend once said, “If you’re tired all the time, you’re probably bored and need to do something fun.” If I’m not feeling inspired, or everything I create feels flat, it probably means I’m bored, trying to force a piece of writing or image to look like an idea in my mind that it doesn’t want to be, or am creating something in the way I always have rather than taking a risk and trying something new. One way I remedy this is to tap back into what gives me joy. For example, I love taking photos and editing them with Instagram. Sometimes when I feel stuck writing a blog post, I’ll pick the image for the post before I write it, or go out and take a photo, or create a post with more images than words.

Use your creativity to be of service

I’ve always liked this quote by Rabindranath Tagore:

“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”

Creating for the benefit of someone else whether it’s to give what you made as a gift, or just reminding yourself that what you’re making will most likely entertain, inspire, inform, or help at least one person in some way can help you move through the perfectionism prickles. If you wait till what you are making is perfect before you share it, or don’t make it at all because it might not turn out exactly how you envisioned, you are potentially withholding something valuable, or healing from someone who needs it.

Your turn: How do you navigate creativity’s prickles?

To hear about upcoming blogging e-courses and coaching specials, subscribe to my blog and/or mailing list.

Photo by me ( :