Writing is how I make life, but it’s also how I make a living. When I started this site, it was primarily to promote my books
and connect with readers, but as it’s evolved, other bits of my personal and professional life have migrated here as well. The work I do for hire as writer and editor is the most obvious example of this; a blatant push to use this platform to attract clients. That’s my hustle; writers have to make a living too and I’m happy even with the ups and downs that I can make it doing what I love. As with my own writing, I do my best for my clients. So, if you’re in the market for a writer, editor, or writing coach, here’s some inspiration via client reviews and personal notes related to some past assignments:
1. “I am pleased with the work you did on the manuscript. I have made good progress with my review…I appreciate your suggestions, ideas, and advice… The quality of your work and your professionalism deserves recommendation.” – My note: Editing books can be a tedious process; slow going and hell on the eyes. I try to be as honest as possible, as specific as possible, and as helpful as possible – letting the writer know what works and what doesn’t in my opinion. As a writer myself, I also try to be extremely sensitive; I don’t want to cause the pen to permanently drop from any writer’s hand because of a careless word. But I’m also not being paid to just tell them what they want to hear. It’s a fine line and I try to walk it well.
2. “Joanne’s coaching has been practical, resourceful and supportive. The feedback she gives is amazing in the way that she makes strong suggestions while allowing me to maintain my voice. As a writing newbie, working with Joanne has been a great boost to my confidence and she challenges me to explore styles and perspectives that I would never have tackled on my own. She is also very flexible with my schedule to keep me on track.” – My note: This client works in awareness/education and wanted to make her writing stronger. We worked a lot of the themes of her actual work into our exercises, and pushed beyond the boundaries of what her work might traditionally require while allowing her to flex new writing muscles. I offered this one on one coaching service as a jump-off from the writing workshops I offered from time to time as a way of giving more focused and flexible support to other writers.
3. “During the editing process Joanne handled my writing with respect not only to personal style but that the voice be authentic. It was always about what is right for me. She was also meticulous with checking historical dates, adding facts to clarify a reference.” – Note: This client was one of my first book editing assignments, a new path for me at the time. I appreciate her for that and for presenting me with a manuscript that had been prepared with care, making it a joy to edit. This review, like some others, mentioned me respecting the author’s personal style, something I’m always careful to do even as I review cover to cover for consistency with respect to everything from character to grammar, plot to, yes, style.
4. “I appreciated that my ‘tutor’ made it clear to me that she had observed the way I did things when we were given certain exercises, and she paid attention to not only what I wrote but how she picked up on how I came about writing it. She observed my process, what I spent too much focus on, and not enough focus on. …the fact that she referenced things she had seen me do or say and not say throughout the workshop made me feel like I was a speaking to a person who, not only knew her craft, but genuinely cared or was interested about mine.” – Note: This is from a participant in a writers’ workshop at which I was one of the mentors. To be honest, it’s a bit unsettling being on that side of the relationship. I don’t have the letters behind my name nor significant critical notice (even within my Caribbean space). But I don’t pretend to know what I don’t and, though I’ve been doing this for a good long while, I remain ever a student of this craft. What she described is pretty much what I try to do and it seems to work.
5. “Joanne came up with an amazing concept…she was very professional when it came to making any amendments to the script, she was great at hitting deadlines; and she was an overall joy to work with.” – This review refers to an ad campaign I worked on. I had to come up with the tag line, jingle copy, and TV ad – later even script a documentary. It was fun to work on because it required me to be creative, because the subject was something I cared about (love when that happens), because the client was open, and because the production company was very talented and collaborative. Communication was good; always a plus. It wasn’t smooth sailing the entire time few projects are; but, in the end, for the reasons given, I feel we got it right.
That’s all I want to do, really, get it right. What I like about freelancing, among other things, is the variety of projects I get to work on and the fact that when it works, it’s about the work; not personalities and office politics. I’ve been there and done that, and I prefer this.
As a writer, I tackle projects big and small. I’ve written and/or edited articles, letters, press releases, brochures, blogs, biographies, histories, ad copy, newsletters, newspaper supplements, magazines, special editions, web content, public service announcements, TV shows, infomercials, advertorials, and more for clients ranging from media houses, to individuals and artistes, to non profits and associations, small to big business. I’ve coached writers one on one; I’ve taught writing and communications; I’ve run and/or co-facilitated writing workshops. And if there’s a type of project not listed, as long as it’s writing related, I’m interested in hearing about it.
See the following links for more about the other side of my writing life, the hustle: