Sunday, November 6, 2011

Let it Simmer

Sometimes when we begin selling our writing we think we've conquered it and can write fast and put it out there just as quickly.  Also, knowing how long it takes to research, write and edit makes it tempting to try and do quick jobs in order to increase our dollars per hour earnings. 

Yes, writing and editing can be time consuming.  If you are writing on consignment, with no promise of pay, it can be challenging to earn a living.

Still, it is really best to let your piece simmer at least over night, if not over a few days, before publishing it or sending it to your client.  Usually, when re-reading your work with fresh eyes you will see glaring errors and discover changes to make that would make it read better. 

Why waste rejection when you could wait a day or two and send in a stellar piece?

Friday, September 16, 2011

EAL ESL Proofreading and Editing


Is English your second or additional language?  

There is a writing, proofreading and editing market for this sector.

Many people need help with written work here in Canada and the USA.  The work can range from a newcomer needing to fill out government forms to an engineer writing a report. It might include a university professor or a student. 

Some people I've helped with their written work have included:

  • A scholar submitting scientific journals  
  • An executive needing his CV tweaked
  • A BSc student applying to med school
  • High school students needing essays proofread
  • An MBA student's multiple submission of documents 
  • A recent immigrant's government documentation 
  • A Professional Engineer submitting a report
I offer my services virtually.  I don't ever have to meet a client face-to-face!

If you are a writer and want to help out this market try these methods:
  • Put ads in online directories such as;;
  • See if you can post an ad in your local school or college.
  • Use word of mouth.
  • Spend time in the ESL/EAL communities getting to know people who may need your help.
  • Do quality work and don't get pushed around.
If you will do this work, set boundaries. For instance, it won't help a student if you significantly change their writing. Their professor or potential employer needs to see a true representation of them. 

Be careful to ask if there is a specific guideline/format you're to follow eg. APA, ALA, CMOS or other. Scientific writing is much different than writing for the arts. 

Decide how you will do this work. When I started, I worked in person with one client and another author brought a thumb drive to my house and picked up the changes that way. Then I began email exchanges with clients. I always edit in MS Word with track changes on. I send back a marked up and a final copy. I allow one revision in the price quotation.

I have found I need to charge more for most ESL/EAL writing when the grammar is extremely choppy. It takes time for me to gain understanding of what is being communicated. That is more than simple editing. It is making the writing make sense. 

I used to send back the work and then forward an invoice to be paid through paypal. I had one student who wanted to ignore the invoice and when did pay it complained about having to pay the Paypal service fee. In the future I may only return half a document until it is fully paid. 

If you have an idea of how to do this more effectively, perhaps with a document download prevention program until payment arrives, that would be ideal. 

My Help for the ESL/EAL Student

I live in Southern Ontario Canada but I can edit your ESL/EAL, in most cases, no matter where you live!

If you need proofreading or editing of your project, let me know how I can help, or visit my website at for further information.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Want Website Feedback?

Many people today are making their own websites.  Why not?  It's easy to do and it gives them the freedom to make changes as often as needed.

It's easy, however, to make the error of making the website about you, not about how you will help the customer

Now, that being said, there are situations when a website acts like a CV and that's okay for certain situations.  But in most cases, a website owner wants to make sure there is a call for action.  A web surfer should be able to know what you do and offer once they leave your website.  Most surfers scan pages.  It's important that your key information is quickly comprehensible!

If you would like your blog or website previewed or analyzed for feedback,  please see this page

Let's work together to make your website better target your audience!  Contact me at

Special Offer: 

The first 3 customers to try out this new service - website feedback - will get it absolutely free! 
The only string attached is that you give me feedback on my feedback! 

That's right, I will peruse your website and communicate back to you with compliments and suggestions for FREE!  First 3 customers to respond. 

Finding Words for Your Story

I usually write non-fiction. In non-fiction, especially articles for web content, we need to write concisely. That means, we don'...