Managing Writing Inspiration

If you're an article writer who has the option of choosing your own topics to write on, there are a few tips that can help you collect inspiration:

  1. Typically, a writer's mind is always writing in the same way an artist's mind is always seeing art in nature.  When you have idle time and an idea pops into your head, scribble it down. 
  2. When you read something online that inspires you, cut and paste it and save it into a Word file in coloured print so you know it is copied the next time you look at it.

  3. I have several half-written pieces and sections cut from online sources saved in my document file which provide instant article prompts. 

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?

Blogging Is Great for Developing Your Writing

If you want to be a writer and don't have a blog, start one.  Blogging is free and it is something that will help to develop your writing skills.  Actually, blogging accomplishes several very important tasks for writers:

1.  Whether you gain an audience or not, you will feel accountable to update your blog.  That will push you to write often.  You should blog weekly.
2.  Needing fresh content for your blog will stretch your mind.  You will think of new angles and approaches to tackling subjects so that you don't just repeat yourself.
3.  Knowing that outsiders may see your blog, you will be more careful about sentence structure and grammar.
4.  Blogging is a little forgiving as far as errors go, and editing is easy.  Even professionals have spelling mistakes in their blogs.  They don't want to use up extra time or money by hiring a proofreader or editor to check their blog.  They like the natural flow of blog writing and they are able to publish their blog as soon as it is complete.  So if you slip up on your writing once in awhile, relax.
5.  You will feel a sense of validation and personal reward by getting the art of your writing out into public view.
6.  If you gain followers that make comments, you can enter into some great two-way conversations.
7.  Blogging can help get you noticed as a writer.  You might even be contacted by a buyer who'd like to buy one of your blog posts for re-publishing.
8.  Your blog can become your personal portfolio of writing style examples.
9.  Blogging keeps everything nicely typed and organized in an archive.  It is virtual and should stay safe for a long time.
10.  Blogging becomes a type of diary.  It's fun to go back and see your development over time.

So if you're starting out as a writer or are a writer who wants to develop their skills, try blogging on one of the free online formats.  Doing so will help you become an even better writer and you never know where that may lead.

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.

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. 

A Tip for Article Writing

Article Writing:  Why write articles?  There is a market for articles, today like never before.  For one, website owners need articles to keep readers coming back and to keep their sites optimized.  

People read articles every day.  Articles are usually informational or inspirational.    They often give a reader a new perspective.  Simply reading an article can enlighten a person.  It can change their focus!

Do you want to be an article writer? 

On one of the sites I sell articles as a ghost writer is  One of the rules is to show at least a third of our article to potential buyers prior to purchase.  Some writers have gone even further, showing the full article to potential buyers. 

A hesitant print writer I know, asked me if I was not afraid of article theft.  By putting it available for sight, it could easily be snatched.  Of course, that chance is always there.  And, yes, I have had articles stolen, unfortunately.

My answer to her, however, was that I have so many new articles in me and ways to re-write an existing article that I don't fear.  I take the chance.  I regret time spent only to have either the article not sell or become stolen, but this is a risk I'm willing to take.

Once you're an up-to-speed writer you too can re-write the same article and potentially sell it more than once.   Now, I'm not talking about cheap article spinning methods where you flip things around for the sake of flipping them around--sometimes with a spinning program.  What I mean is, re-writing it from a different angle.

Here is an example:

Sample article on writing fiction:

Want to write a novel?  Need new ideas?  Put yourself in the story.  Picture where you'd like to go, what you'd like to see.  How might you see things differently than another person?

Same article re-written:

Are you in the midst of writing a novel and find yourself stuck?  Why not use this trick.  Dress yourself in the era of your novel and walk its streets or corridors.  That's right, put yourself right in there.  Smell, hear, taste and see the environment.  Write about your experience.

Same article re-written:

Fiction writers have various ways of developing their work.  Many writers like to put themselves right into the story.  Once they've got an idea of the era and surroundings, they find it helpful to think about what they might see, where they'd want to go, what they'd like to do.