Projects and Prices
Most of us write every single day. In fact, most of us are usually required to do some writing every single day. E-mails, business letters, school assignments, Facebook pages, tweets, texts, greeting cards that have to go out, online ads we create--the world is more high-tech than ever, and formats for written expression are evolving constantly, but writing is still a vital and necessary component of our daily lives.
Even with all the writing practice we all get, I'm constantly amazed at how skeptical most people are about their own writing abilities. The proof is in how often I'm asked to look over someone's written work before they send it, how often I'm invited to give something the "once-over" to identify any punctuation errors. Unconfident people write all the time, often under stress.
Even worse, untrained people are always submitting or turning in seriously flawed and grammatically incorrect written work to their bosses, teachers, or clients. What's especially appalling is to see professional agencies sending out ads and marketing materials with conspicuous misspellings and casual errors; don't these agencies know that they lose customers when they write so carelessly?
Anyone with something to write could benefit from the input of a writing coach or tutor. In fact, most people find the process enjoyable--teamed with an experienced writer, they find that ideas get generated, stalled work gets jump-started, assignments get completed, and stress disappears.
At writerguider.com, there are wide-ranging services that can meet the needs of students (and their parents), business professionals, and creative writers. As far as pricing, each job is evaluated individually, since each job will have unique requirements and contingencies. However, here are some possibilities based on my work with previous clients:
Tutoring and Coaching
Working one-on-one (often at a library), I will tutor a student and use his or her specific assignment as a springboard for writing lessons. Students emerge with a completed assignment and new knowledge imparted by an experienced, credentialed English teacher.
Coaching is a little more fluid, since it's usually not tied to a specific lesson (or even a specific deadline--it's rarely homework that we're talking about here). I'll go over your project with you, discuss ways to tackle it, help you get inspired and organized, and then guide you through the writing process to the end. Along the way I'll offer constant suggestions and tips, and I'll edit, revise, and proofread the finished product with you until you're satisfied.
Throughout this tutoring or coaching process, we'll be using a time-tested three-step method for creating a finished work:
prewriting (exercises, discussions, and notes that generate ideas and plans, some of this can even be done over the phone)
drafting (speedy composotion of the rough text)
revising (editing, reading aloud, revising).
You'll learn writing techniques and terms, you won't get paralyzed with writer's block, and you'll emerge with a clear, well-written, polished product free of grammatical errors.
Rates for tutoring and coaching are usually hourly and vary depending on distance and duration of the commitment (the more hours you schedule, the lower the rate).
Transcribing and Revising
Are you someone with a memoir to write, but you're not confident in your writing ability? Or do you know someone (a relative, a neighbor, a friend) with a great life story to tell but no practical way to tell it?
I'm lucky to live near a beautiful retirement community where the residents are eager to write their life stories (but are often lacking skills to get those stories onto paper or into a computer). Here's the kind of work I do there:
I transcribe their notes and rewrite the material with them
Occasionally I take dictation and revise the spontaneous monologue into a clear memoir
When necessary I set up voice-recognition software so that the client can dictate directly into a computer, generating text that I then format and revise.
In all cases, my exemplary computer skills (which include Photoshop expertise and sometimes involve purchasing and setting up a laptop for a client) have helped produce wonderful, meaningful memoirs that were proudly printed out and bound for friends and relatives (with personal photographs and art as supplements to the text).
Rates for transcribing and revising vary with the depth of work needed.
Editing and Proofreading
How gratifying would it be to have a professional set of eyes look over your work objectively? You'll find out if you've gone off topic, mixed your metaphors, or forgotten the hyphen in a compound adjective.
Need your bibliography to be correctly formatted? Not sure when to italicize or when to use a semicolon? You'll get solutions to grammatical errors you didn't even know you were making.
These steps can often be done via e-mail correspondence. Rates are usually by the job, not by the hour, and so they are negotiated based on the length, complexity, and deadline of the project.
I assist with the researching and do much (or most, or all) of the actual writing, making sure I'm on target with your goals. It'll be your byline, your experiences, probably your research materials (or others I find according to your direction), but it'll be my task to generate the text.
We'll work out a timetable, and I'll then start presenting you with drafts to evaluate for tone and accuracy. I'll revise according to your feedback, or I'll help you modify the text yourself to make sure that the piece has your "voice."
Rates are highest for this work, but they're also negotiable. Factors include the length of the project, the amount of research needed, and the number of drafts necessary until the client is completely satisfied.
Consultations are complimentary. Please contact me by e-mail to set up a time when we can discuss how I can help solve your writing problems and can help meet your writing needs. We can talk about your project, goals, price estimates, schedules, and anything else you want to discuss.
My mission is to support you and your writing--please tell me how we can make that happen.