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Do your spelling and grammar let you down?

Need assistance with your marketing?

Can’t think of the right words?

With 20 years’ experience in writing, proofreading and editing for a wide range of organisations, I can help. I offer the following services:

  • copywriting
  • news releases
  • editorials
  • proofreading and editing.

Let me help make your communications crystal clear. For a professional service, competitive rates and a quick turnaround, call 01202 826567/07772 559903 or email: carol.waterkeyn@btinternet.com.

 

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That children’s novel

magicattic2In my last post on this blog in January, I set out a few of my plans. One of them was to self publish my children’s novel. Frankly it had got embarrassing. I worked out that I’d been writing this novel for around 18 years. It has had a couple of long spells in a cupboard and then more recently, it has sat on the top of a filing cabinet.

If I am honest, I think the thing that was preventing me from trying to publish it was fear. It was a fear that people would read it and think it was rubbish. I though that might reflect badly on my day job. But, I decided to grasp the nettle and I finally published it as an e-book on Amazon about 10 days ago.

My daughter Fran, who is a brilliant illustrator in her spare time, did the cover for me.

So far, the response to my book has been great. And guess what? I have already started the sequel.  I once read a book  called Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway, so I’ve recently taken that on board and decided that it is my new mantra. Onwards and upwards!

One year on …

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It’s a new year, and it’s happy anniversary to me. As I write this I am sitting in a café in Wimborne, Dorset at something called a Business Jelly. This is where my business started really.

In January 2016, while just embarking on self-employment, I knew that I would have to get out and network – to find out more about running a business, and to make new contacts. I had read something in a local magazine about the new Jelly being started up by Christchurch and East Dorset Council’s Enterprise team. So, not only is today my own 1st anniversary, but it is also the Wimborne Jelly’s 1st anniversary.

At that first meeting I not only found out about possible grants and routes to potential business courses, but I also met some lovely people; there were a core of us who attended that first gathering, who are still turning up each week when time allows. It was through this that I found two clients and a potential one; acquired my computer supplier and fixer; discovered a baker who can make gluten-free bread; and met up with someone else in the same industry who understands the joys and frustrations of writing and editing. We’re a small group, but we support each other with advice, laughter and commiserations when things don’t go according to plan. It is not networking as such but, we are on this self-employment journey together. Since then, others have joined us and brought new skills; bookkeeping, voiceovers, design, videos, telephone engineering, wedding planning – we’ve even had a singer.

The Jelly is a concept thought up by two Americans who were eating jelly beans at the time – hence the rather bizarre name. There are now lots of Jellys or Jellies around the globe. The premise is for the self-employed or homeworkers to get together, bring their work with them and have a chance to interact with others. It could be quite lonely working from home on your own all the time, so this offers the chance to have a chat and swap notes about running your business over a coffee.

As well as the Jelly, I have been attending other networking opportunities that seem to be a good way to attract business. You do have to get up early, though, as many are 7am breakfast meetings.

I started 2016 with zero clients. I now have 12; a good half of them give me regular work, bless them. I have also collaborated with others on projects where someone else does the design work, social media and marketing and I have supplied the words. It’s a perfect arrangement and I hope more will come out of this in the future.

So what’s in store for 2017? In this new year, my aims are to double the turnover of my business, attend more social media training and, to finally publish my children’s book that has been 15 years in the writing.

My grateful thanks to those who have been sharing this journey with me. If you are reading this and have bothered to stay to the end of this diatribe, thank you, and I wish you a happy and successful 2017!

 

We remember them

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I’m very proud to have been associated with this book produced by the Royal British Legion of Ferndown and written by Ian Dale. I was the editor. The paperback has just come off the presses and was launched on Saturday 29 October.

It is very timely, considering we will be remembering the fallen from the two World Wars on 11 November.

Ian Dale looked at the war memorials in the town of Ferndown in Dorset and wondered about the names of the men that made the ultimate sacrifice. Who exactly were they? Where did they live? What about their families? What services or regiments did they serve in and where were they actually laid to rest? Little did Ian know the amount of work that would be involved but it was a labour of love and a tribute to those brave souls.

Thanks to Ian, they will be remembered; not just as names on a memorial but as real people who had families, homes, professions and lives that they gave up to serve their country. We should never forget what they did.

The freelance life

Sometimes I feel so lucky to be working for myself. There’s no one to answer to, just my own internal voice saying: “you’d better press on with that job,” or, “you’d better get networking and find some new clients,” or, “time to do your paperwork or the taxman will be after you”.

I’ve had some really interesting jobs recently. That’s one of the great things about freelancing as assignments can be so varied. I’ve edited a non-fiction book about the two World Wars, I’ve written a crisis plan and some news releases, I’ve edited a book of fiction, I’ve proofread part of a thesis, I’ve written copy for a website and also created a bit of editorial for a magazine.

And, if I want to give myself the day off, I can. If I want to go on holiday, I don’t have to fit in with an office full of other people. As long as I can juggle the work around my break then I can suit myself. On the other hand, without colleagues, it could be a lonely sort of existence but I meet up for coffee with friends when I can and catch up with other self-employed people I know. We help each other out with advice and knowledge.

There is a downside – waiting for people to pay you. When you are employed, the money you earn should regularly drop into your bank account. When you are self-employed, you have to invoice clients and hope they remember to pay you. And, paid holidays? What are those? I don’t think I’m ever going to get rich freelancing but just right now I feel very fortunate. Just as long as those assignments keep rolling in …

 

 

Tricky words

CW_with_bookIn these fast-paced times of blogging and social media, rushing off emails and creating your own websites and more, it’s easy to get words confused when you are doing a quick communication.

If it’s just for your friends, then I’m sure they will forgive you if you get the odd word wrong. But, if you are running a business, or representing an organisation and you make a simple error, then you can lose a lot of credibility and affect (not effect!) the way your company is perceived.

“But I use my spellchecker,” I hear you say proudly. Sorry to disappoint you but that’s not enough.

Here are some words to consider. I wish I’d had a pound for every one of these I’ve spotted that’s been used in the wrong context. I’d be a really wealthy woman by now:

Compliment/complement

Council/counsel

Definitely/defiantly

Its/it’s

Practice/practise

Stationary/stationery

If you have time, look them up in the dictionary or on Google. If not, then why not engage a proofreader/editor like me to check things over for you? It could save not only your embarrassment but also a lot of money in the long run.

In ‘The Business’

Received my emailed copy of The Business (Dorset) magazine today and was proud to see I feature in the May/June issue in the Start Ups feature on page 29.

I wrote my own press release. I find it hard to write my own publicity. Give me another service, product or organisation to write about and I am well away. Tell me to write about myself and my mind goes blank. Who am I? What is it I do?

Now I can just point people at the article and it says it all for me! Here’s the link: http://www.bizmag.co.uk/OnlineEditions/MayJune2016/Default.html

However, if you would like your own press release, that’s no problem. Just get in touch.

A poem

I am a wordsmith

Words are my thing,

I can help you

With writing and proofreading.

Need words for your site?

A leaflet maybe?

Don’t be lost for words

Leave it to me.

Carol Waterkeyn’s the name

It’s a mouthful I know

Just call me Carol

And give me a go.

Carol Waterkeyn Writing & Editing Services