In Gratitude: Meet My Team Behind the Scenes

Over the last year, I’ve been super privileged and grateful to work with some really amazing creatives, professionals, storytellers and entrepreneurs who have supported my business, improved my words, and done most of the heavy lifting behind all that you see.

Today, I’m thrilled to introduce you to them: the unofficial team of stellar souls behind my work.

You simply gotta meet them, because they are awesome.

To Faren, Lauren, Christy, Laura and Emma: not only have your superpowers and expert talents kept me going (and prevented so much of my work from looking terrible), your kindness, support and creative companionship has lit up many months that would otherwise have been far more lonesome, less fun, and far less creative. So, many, many thanks to you.

To you, the reader, please enjoy meeting the real stars behind my little writing show.

Faren Peterson, Studio Faren
@studiofaren / studiofaren.com

Dave says: “I met Faren when she was working at my favorite coffee shop. In typical Rhode Island fashion, we discovered that she is sister-in-law to one of my local yoga friends and students. I enlisted Faren to create all of the art you have seen in my writing course, Unavoidable Writing. I also have some of her artwork on my wall at home. She absolutely rocks!”

Hi! I’m Faren Peterson. I work in a variety of art media, creating customized images through acrylic, oil, and watercolor paint. I primarily work with themes of yoga, healing, peace, universal oneness, environmental awareness and spiritual visions, yet I am completely open to working with people of all backgrounds and welcome the diversity.

One such variation has recently been creating custom portraits of beloved animals that are deceased. A few friends asked me if I’d be interested and I truly enjoyed connecting with the souls as I painted their portrait and helped to honor their memory.

When I am not painting, I am also working with teens and children as an art therapist within a counseling agency.

Based in: Colorado

Streaming binges: The most recent Netflix binge session was The Crown, a phenomenal show that made me want to research England’s history.

Outside of work: I can be found walking my dog in the gorgeous Colorado sunshine, hiking a new mountain trail, or enjoying a Sunday stroll to one of Fort Collin’s numerous micro-breweries (a budding micro-brew enthusiast). Wait, should I not tell people I like beer? ;)

Little-known fact: I am one of the official “taste-testers” of a plant-based food project called Burnt Lentils.

Lauren Simonis, Scratchpad Consulting
scratchpadconsulting.com

Dave says: “Lauren was connected to me from a mutual friend after I made a Facebook post asking for referrals for copywriting and research help. Lauren is a total joy whose helped me research a variety of data from studies on the impact of writing and creativity on personal wellness. She also helps me develop prompts and exercises for Unavoidable Writing in support of various learning modalities. Did I mention she also helps me write occasional blog posts? That too!”

Hi there! I’m Lauren. I occupy the writing/evaluation/social impact space. I love working with creatives who are passionate about the content they produce. Working with them to pull together the right messages helps build their followings. This can involve anything from blog posts and website content, to creative projects like curricula and social impact stories.

I’m looking for clients who want to find a more personal way to share their vision for their business, particularly when it involves telling the story of the social or environmental impact they have on their community.

Based in: Portugal

Recent books: I’m nearly done with my third read of MOTHERs, by Rachel Zucker. I highly recommend it to anyone who has had a mother before, is one now, or expects to become one in the future.

Streaming binges: On a lighter note, I am proud/embarrassed to say that I most recently binge-watched Jane the Virgin on Netflix.

Outside of work: Is it lame to list more “work”? I teach aerial yoga classes here in Porto, Portugal. I love teaching so my friend and I have launched ourselves into the retreat-sphere. We held our first green living and aerial yoga retreat in May with a weekend in the Douro Valley wine region. We’re in the midst of planning for retreat #2 at the end of September. I am also slowly and meticulously killing a lot of plants in my journey to learn how to be a decent gardener. All well-wishes and advice is welcome :)

Little-known fact: Most of the art on my walls has been handmade by my husband and I. We started this project when we moved to Portugal with absolutely no art experience, but it’s been fun to explore. Even when it doesn’t always turn out like we planned.

Christy Morgan
Writer, Editor, Transcriber, Entrepreneurial Enthusiast

Dave says: “Oh, Christy! She has been the editorial savior of my writing for nearly 6(!) years! Christy and I met through an online referral, and ever since she has remained an absolute institution: always reliable, dedicated, and completely fail-proof in fixing my misuse of words and occasionally-awful grammar. Christy, you’re the best, and the last 6 years of my life, work and writing have so much to thank you for!”

Hello there, I’m Christy! I’m currently accepting short and long term work. I love supporting clients who are involved in passion projects that create change through blogs, coaching programs, publishing, city planning, and so much more. I work primarily from referrals; please reach out to me at healthyrebellion@gmail.com if you would like to work together.

Based in: Colorado

Recent books: Sweat Your Prayers by Gabrielle Roth

Streaming binges: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend on Netflix

Outside of work: Writing! Planning road trips and exploring. Coming up with random band names. Helping a friend with her salon-style brunch offering, connecting folks over great food and conversation.

Little-known fact: I participated in Arctic Entries, a story-telling initiative in Alaska (my entry, Petty Theft and Low-grade Extortion: A Love Story, can be found here). I floated out of the theater on a public speaking-induced high and now seek to incorporate speaking into my fun/work life.

Laura Viviana, LauraViviana.com
Digital Marketing & Business Guide for Disruptive Visionaries (Also, my pups call me “The Best Cuddler Ever” behind my partner’s back – shhh, don’t tell her.)

Dave says: “Laura is a longtime digital connection in the overlapping world of personal development, writing and online entrepreneurship. We first spoke eons ago when she was living in Bali, and began to work together after she became a student of my course, Unavoidable Writing. Laura helped me re-develop the initial course beta into a fuller expression this year not only through the eyes of a student, but an extremely talented creative.”

Hi! I’m Laura. I am on sabbatical from copywriting projects but I’m currently: mentoring & teaching junior copywriters; consulting & creating strategic marketing plans small business owners; editing & sprucing up client’s online courses for outstanding UX.

Also, I write essays to help creative misfits live clear-hearted, powerful lives.

Based in: Florida

Recent books: I’m currently re-reading Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore. Murakami blows me away with his profound simplicity.

Streaming binges: The Honeymoon Stand-Up Special; I dig irreverent humor.

Outside of work: I’m recovering from 16 years of constant travel + being an expat.. which is to say that I’m enjoying slowing down a bit. I’m consumed with creating a magical backyard, swimming laps outdoors, writing fiction & essays, biking in my little village, learning names of local flora, and attempting to hula hoop.

Little-known fact: I’m an oneiromancer. (Yes, really.)

Emma Sedlak, PhD
Writer, Content Strategist and Author
@thebedsidepoet / EmmaSedlak.com

Dave says: “Emma and I met years ago when we were both consultants for a leading business storytelling company. Years later, we reconnected and I prompted enlisted Emma as an editorial maven who could help me develop and write some new thought pieces. Last year, she helped me develop the beta version of Unavoidable Writing, which was still only an idea at the time.”

Hello! I’m Emma Sedlak. Formerly Head of Content for an edutech startup company in Sydney, I’m starting to look for my next new projects. In my off-time, I loved working with Dave on Unavoidable Writing, which was my final project before heading into maternity leave earlier this year! I love consulting on Content Strategy, and I’ve built Content teams from scratch in just a few months (remotely, and on-site), before training someone in the company to take over the Lead position and then exiting gracefully!

I love teaching my skills and making myself obsolete because I think the best kind of Content Strategy is knowing how to direct and execute your own.

I’m open for editing jobs, content consulting, cover letter/CV overhauls (yes, really! Check out my favourite Unreasonable Cover Letter). I’d love to work with people who have a lot to say and need help shaping it, or anyone with big ideas who can’t seem to get them to stick on the page.

Based in: Australia

Recent books: “Slow” by Brooke McAlary and “And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready” by Meaghan O’Connell. “Slow” was a present for my mom (I have to read presents before I give them!), and “And Now We Have Everything” was a present for the part of me who feels unprepared to be a mom.

Streaming binges: Currently “New Girl,” and previously “The Great British Bake-Off.” I’ve also been watching the entire series of Battlestar Galactica (remake). Only two more episodes to go!

Outside of work: I’m a new first-time mom (since late February), a few months in, and learning on the job! We just took our son from Sydney to NY/PA/NJ for a two-week trip to meet the grandparents, which was the most complex international long-haul trip I’ve ever taken! We’re getting excited to start taking him hiking, since that’s one of our favourite activities. Meanwhile, we’re just cooking up food, taking care of ourselves, and teaching a little man how to human!

Little-known fact: I was the president of my high school Astronomy Club, and looking up at the stars makes me feel small and connected, which helps me retain perspective of my life and — oddly enough — feel safe and secure.

Many thanks, once again, for taking the time to meet my awesome team behind the scenes!

Until next time, I hope you’re having a lovely (and creative) summer,

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