Writing and Editorial Services

My goal is to make your project read as clearly and concisely as possible so that your audience can readily grasp its essence — whether it’s a book manuscript, a grant proposal, a doctoral thesis,  an internal company report or a web marketing piece.

I’d be delighted to work with you on a writing or editing project of any length or complexity, from conception to outline to rough draft to final product. Or I can come in at the end and help you polish what you’ve already created.  I offer substantive and copyediting services, and use standard style guides such as Chicago, AMA, and AP.

I look forward to working with you. Below, a few fun, useful notions that might spur you on if you’re having trouble getting started with a  writing project– they’ve certainly helped me.

Jumpstarting your project

I know this sounds old-fashioned, but it works: mentally carve your writing project up into little pieces as themes and thoughts and bullet points occur to you, and then put all the pieces down on 3×5 index cards. Spread the cards all over the floor in whatever order seems appropriate at the time.  Muck around in the cards for awhile.  Do you see your project taking a bit of shape?  Some order happening here? Yes!!

Next, put the contents of just one card down on your draft– start with any card  to get going. Then start a column on the floor headed by that card.  Next, take another card whose contents look as if they might belong close to that of the first and put the second card’s contents down on your draft.  Make that card second in the column, and so on.  If you can’t find one that seems related, start another column, following the procedure above. Just keep going. Entire sections of your project will appear. (You’ll need a lot of floor space.)

  • Keep the room cold – helps you to stay awake.
  • Fancy yourself part of the glorious, eccentric writer-ly tradition – keeps the interest up (yours.)
  • The only things you want on are your word processing program and the lights. Disconnect  from the internet, from your e-mail. Stash any devices that might distract you, like your iPhone.  You need to get in the zone.
  • Remember: like new babies, new writing is ugly and formless and gooey – both do improve!   Don’t get hung up on wanting gorgeous right away.
  • If you need a quote, fabricate one to keep you flowing – you can verify or get someone to say something close to it later.
  • It’s never over – like the last dance, it can go on and on. Stop it somewhere –an unresolved issue or question, a direction for the future, a pithy quote. Ending where you began is a good idea, too. And vice-versa, for that matter – if you know how it’s going to end, your concluding ideas can work to get you started.
  • This is hard: that beautiful, baroque sentence you so lovingly crafted and that you’re so maddeningly fond of probably should be cut.