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'A Pathway to Profit'

Who would pass up a chance to review a book-length manuscript with the working title of “A Pathway to Profit”?

I certainly wouldn’t.

I recall sitting at the dining room table in the home of one of the authors. They all attended: Anita Pugh, Chris Matthies, Caroline Hipple and Dixon Bartlett. Eight eyes riveted on me, ears tuned to my words, minds taking in the critique. Then they peppered me with questions to wring out nuance and deeper understanding.

Communicating a strong message through engaging storytelling is challenge enough. Involving four co-authors raises that challenge to a feat.

Opening that opus to review or critique can be formidable to authors. But at its crux lies the reason for all the hard work: Does the message resonate to a reader?

They revised elements of the manuscript. After another draft or two, they arrived at their best effort.

And this year, the authors published “A Pathway to Profit,” about nurturing their culture of caring to improve financial results in the workplace.

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