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Your partner in strategy

Powerful words speak volumes. Turn up the dial through methods that best transmit your communications internally and externally. Get valued input from an independent source. Our consulting focuses on:

  • Strategizing to achieve your goals,
  • Developing a new approach,
  • Improving a process

Embrace a better way of getting out the word — and the work.

Guest blogger

Took my first turn at guest blogging recently for my writer friend and editing client Tyler N. Scott.

She posed great questions about the freelance market today and how writers can improve their prose. Because I believe these are important topics, I readily agreed to take part.

If you are a freelance writer or an aspiring pro, please take a look at her blog post Ask The Editor. Thanks, Tyler, for promoting words that are Well Put!

Purell for words

It’s dead winter, the height of cold and flu season. I’d just signed in behind a patient who left the front desk of the doctor’s office, sniffled and went on a coughing jag. Why hadn’t I used my own pen? When the receptionist called me back up to get insurance information, I spied the hand sanitizer on her desk and requested a squirt in my palm.

That’s when I thought of hand antiseptic as an editor, eliminating the bad, and increasingly, with added skin moisturizers and conditioners, enhancing the good. The palms and fingers, nails and knuckles remain along with the bones and muscles on which the hands rely. Only the nasty germs are gone. The fungi are finished.

Successful editing leaves great structure alone. It eliminates elements that threaten the transmission of the message, recasts unclear or awkward phrases, and enriches the underlying work.

Used correctly, hand sanitizers can keep disease at bay, leaving your body healthy. Editing, when well applied, not only makes a document readable, clear and accurate, but enhances your reputation as someone who cares about the facts, the message and the best way to convey them.

Clean up the germs that make your writing feel sluggish and under the weather. The health and well-being of your enterprise may depend on it.

Yours in communicating clearly,
Marilyn J. Shaw, MBA
Well Put LLC


Free consulting

The launch of this redesigned website seems the perfect time to start a blog.

I’m not completely new to blogging. A couple years back, when I was an editor in the Business News department of the Richmond, Va., newspaper, I initiated a blog on surviving the economic downturn. As it turned out, that downturn afforded me the opportunity to re-create myself and start Well Put LLC.

In coming posts, I hope to inform and entertain you with my musings about communications. Some ideas immediately come to mind, such as providing the answers to frequently received questions about the writing art, self-editing tips, or providing the back story to some recent work (with the client’s permission, of course).

For this experience to be mutually beneficial, your feedback is essential. That goes for this blog as well as for this website as a whole. Tell me what you like and dislike, when you agree or disagree. Ask me what you always wanted to know about writing or editing to improve your internal or external communications, or how to navigate the roadblocks that keep you from starting – or completing — the Great American Novel. Think of it as free consulting.

That’s communications. The conversation starts now.

Yours in communicating clearly,
Marilyn J. Shaw, MBA
Well Put LLC

Aging: the last great adventure

Adult children who stay actively involved in their elders’ lives as relatives need more external assistance can feel like case workers, health-care providers and medical-library researchers all at once. But these advocates, by providing an extra set of eyes, ears and wheels for their relatives, add quality to the adventure that is aging.

Richmond magazine

Mysteries of lupus

Lupus, while treatable, has no cure. The cause is unknown. Women are nine times more likely to face the unexplainable, potentially debilitating flare-ups of this disease. Moderation is key. “A lot of lupus patients are real high achievers,” says Della Hunter, chair of the Lupus Foundation of Virginia. “Then they find themselves trying to do too much and wind up in bed for two or three days.” For Alison Reuse, the first symptom appeared 20 years ago. Sore muscles and joints made holding her infant daughter a challenge. The bigger trial came when Reuse entered her 40s. “Ooh,” she says, “that’s when things got bad.”

Richmond Magazine

Stroke rehab success

A stroke robbed Dave Thomas, not yet 40, of the ability to talk, swallow or even nod. During a two-month hospitalization, doctors told his wife that he might remain bedridden. “I went out looking at nursing homes,” Suzanne Thomas says. Through intensive rehabilitation and a lot of hard work, her husband not only regained the ability to speak but walked his daughter down the aisle on her wedding day. “I walked with a cane real slow,” he says, “but I got there.”

Richmond magazine

Priceless legal advice

Aspiring entrepreneurs with more ideas than legal funds find a means to protect their innovations and pursue their dreams for an unbelievable price: Free. The lifeline comes from the newest law student clinic at the University of Richmond, which contributed an estimated $219,000 in business, contracts and licensing services to the community in its first semester. Businesswoman Kelli Lieder launched a speaking tour for her company and its children’s musical project a week after third-year law student Jim Stubbs finished sorting out a complicated series of rights and royalties issues. The case involved 109 hours of work, valued at more than $17,000.

Richmond Law magazine

The Robins legacy

At the University of Richmond, “The Gift” means one thing: an extraordinary, unrestricted donation by businessman and alumnus E. Claiborne Robins Sr. Forty years ago, his contribution of $40 million accompanied by a $10 million challenge grant exceeded all other gifts from living benefactors to an American university. The result altered the school’s course.

Richmond: The Alumni Magazine

Dedicated to public service

As Virginia’s secretary of public safety, Marla Graff Decker oversees 14 departments with an estimated 22,000 employees. She and several other University  of Richmond Law School graduates in high-profile positions find state government roles are “pretty much as good as it gets” for lawyers with a driving desire to serve the public.

Richmond Law Magazine