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When I worked as a proposal manager at CH2M HILL, one of my biggest challenges was getting the project managers to just sit down and start writing. Writing doesn't come easily to most engineers. That's why they majored in engineering rather than English! 

It's not only engineers who struggle to put words on the page (or computer screen). According to the Washington Post, only 24 percent of students in 8th and 12th grades are proficient in writing, and just 3 percent are advanced.

And then there's industry/health care/legal jargon to contend with! Glenn Leibowitz writes in

"You could argue that business has developed its own entirely unique dialect of English. People are exposed to an alphabet soup of terms and acronyms at business school, which they then put into use in their day-to-day interactions once they enter the working world."

In the meantime, 44 percent of hiring managers say writing is the hard skill new grads lack most of all, followed by public speaking and data analysis skills.

It doesn't have to be this way. I've written two articles that will help you create killer content without losing sleep or causing you any extra gray hairs:


Let me know if these strategies help you in easing your writer's block and powering up your content.

Please share this newsletter with anyone who might find it useful! Drop me a line to let me know what you think or if you have suggested topics.

I've been going gangbusters on my podcast, collecting these incredible stories of grit, resilience, and connection. In the last month I finished my "Three Men of Color, Redefining Fatherhood" series and then featured "Four Badass Black Women." You can listen to my podcast wherever you get your podcasts, or you can listen online. These are the most recent episodes:
Ken Harge, a Black man from Connecticut
who is here for something great.
In my final "Three Men of Color, Reinventing Fatherhood" series, I interviewed Ken Harge, who says writing saved his life. Although his childhood lacked love and nurturing, he has transformed himself into becoming a highly creative, grounded, and self-aware person who believes his difficult childhood had a reason. Ken knows he is here for something great. He dropped some profound thoughts about #BlackLivesMatter and policing, men and self-esteem, writing, and other topics during our conversation. 
Read about Ken here.

Badass Lotus Flower Libra Forde, executive, activist, speaker, former pro basketball player, and single mom. ​
Libra grew up in Harlem as an only child, but now she loves rural living with her three superpower daughters. She's the chief operations officer at 
Self-Enhancement, Inc. and the chair of the North Clackamas School District. Libra and I spoke about her work and family, leaving her heart in Hawaii, the death of racism, basketball, and losing her voice and finding it again. Read about my discussion with Libra here.

​Jewels Pedersen, a Badass Black queer writer/performer and mom of three daughters. 
Until she reached the age of 30, Jewels always felt something was a little off with her life. Finally, a friend said to her, "You know, you're gay!" She asked her mom to watch her daughters so she could travel from Georgia to Portland to figure out her life and sexuality. Jewels is my second Badass Black Woman in my four-episode series. In addition to her life, love, and career, we talked about Little House on the PrairieThe Color Purple, anti-racism book groups, sundown towns, and living as a Black queer woman in Vancouver. 
Read about Jewels here.

​Jackie-Capers Brown, a leadership coach who has risen up from unimaginable griefs and challenges. 
​I met Jackie in June when she interviewed me for her “Level Up Your Life” podcast (
you can listen to her interview with me here). When she asked me about my theme song, I answered without pausing, “Rise Up” by Andra Day. Jackie excitedly told me it was her theme song too.If anyone has risen up “in spite of the ache” to “move mountains,” it’s Jackie Capers-Brown. Learning of Jackie’s incredible story of grit and resilience and discussing this song with her planted the seed in me to start the Finding Fertile Ground podcast. Read about Jackie here.

​Raina Casey, death doula and survivor. 
​Raina has an extensive grit story, but we were barely able to scratch the surface because I wanted to learn about her experience as a death doula. Raina shares an amusing story of how she first got interested in death and dying, along with why she's passionate about her work and her son (who is on the autism spectrum), and how cannabis can be used to treat a wide variety of ailments. 
Read about Raina here.

On September 12, from 7-8:30 p.m. PST, five storytellers from Mexico and Guatemala, all who entered the country undocumented, will share slices of their lives. 

Back in January before the world shut down, I started working with The Immigrant Story nonprofit to prepare for a live storytelling event called "DREAMs Deferred, Live!," which would showcase Moth-style stories from people who entered the United States with an undocumented status. We've had to regroup to a virtual event, but the stories are still amazing! Best of all, you don't have to be in Portland to hear their stories...and the event is free!

The five stories told by immigrants from Guatemala and Mexico will be broadcast on YouTube on Saturday, September 12 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. RSVP and share the Facebook event page. Read more about the storytellers in this blog post I wrote, and learn about the second night of music as well.
Fertile Ground Communications in the News!
The same week I featured my episode with Level Up Your Life coach Jackie Capers-Brown, she shared her interview with me. Listen to our conversation about "Unpacking White Privilege and Racism" and resilience here. This conversation, recorded in June, was what prompted me to start my own podcast!

My friend, writer and podcaster Asha Dornfest has started a new video series to get people to vote: Vote+1! She is sharing positive, productive, concrete, and nonpartisan ways you can help more voters cast their ballots in the 2020 election. Sign up here to get on her mailing list and share her fun videos!
Fertile Ground Communications LLC is a certified women-owned business enterprise, disadvantaged business enterprise, and emerging small business. With over 30 years of experience in the environmental consulting industry, I am passionate about sustainability and corporate citizenship, equity & inclusion, businesses that use their power for good, and doing everything I can to create a kinder, more sustainable, and just world.
Copyright © 2020, Fertile Ground Communications, All rights reserved.

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