freelance (2)

10916226281?profile=originalSince starting Thayer Literary Services, a book editing business, in 1997 and after reading what seems like a gazillion first novels, I have seen the same mistakes over and over again. After a while I started calling them “the usual suspects.” I have considered collecting them into a book, but I thought that seeing so many of them all in one place would drive me to drink.

So I decided to create this blog as a way to discuss grammar and punctuation problems one at a time, along with many other writing issues, all of which I think will be helpful to budding writers. Follow this blog, and I’m sure you will find some information that will help you become a better writer.

Welcome aboard!

Paul Thayer
Thayer Literary Services


Paul Thayer is a full-time professional book editor with more than 35 years of experience. During that time he worked in the trenches of the real world of writers, editors, and publishers. He uses his extensive knowledge to help writers who still have a lot to learn, offering them critiques and line editing of their work.

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Helpful Tools for Freelance Writers

If you work  as a freelance writer,  there are several websites and software programs that are very helpful.  These tools  allow you to collect information you find when you're researching your articles, check your writing to make sure it's not plagiarized, and make sure your writing is clear and understandable.  The tools I'll discuss in this article are Evernote, Hemingway, and Copyscape.

Evernote - This is my favorite software program for keeping track of information I find while doing research, as well as making text notes to myself.  Evernote allows you to create notes that can have text, photos, and even voice notes in them.  In addition, you can save webpages to Evernote using add-ons for Google Chrome and Internet Explorer.  You can also organize your notes into notebooks, and these notebooks can be private , or you can share them with others .  Another thing I like about Evernote is that you can not only use it on any computer, you can also download Evernote apps to your phone and tablet devices.  

To start using Evernote, go to the Evernote website and create an account.  Then choose whether you want to use the free version of Evernote or upgrade to a paid account.  I use the free version - I find that it provides more than enough space for all the information I collect and the notes I create.  However if you want more space, as well as access to additional features, you may want to take advantage of one of the paid options. 

Hemingway App - Hemingway is a website that helps improve the readability of your text.  You can copy and paste anything you're working on into Hemingway, and it will highlight sentences in different colors based on how  hard they are to read.  It also highlights words that can be replaced with simpler words, and phrases that use the passive voice.  It also shows you the word count, how many sentences, paragraphs, and characters are in your document.  It assigns a grade to your document based on how difficult it is to read. To use Hemingway, just go to the  website, delete the text that's there, and copy and paste your own text into the editor.   They are checking to see if there's a demand for a desktop version, so if you're interested in seeing a desktop version, don't forget to put in your email so you can be notified when it's ready!

Copyscape - If you write for a living,  it's important to make sure your content is 100% unique, especially if you write for the web.  Copyscape can help you do that.  Copyscape is one website that you will have to pay a small amount to use.  To check your work for plagiarism,  sign up for a Copyscape Premium account.  Go to this website and click "sign up," and go through the process.  Then you'll have to purchase credits.  The credits are good for a year - the minimum number of credits you can purchase if you're using a credit card is 100, which costs $5. However if you want to use Paypal, the minimum number you'll have to purchase is 200 credits.  After you've set up your Copyscape account and purchased credits, all you have to do is copy and paste up to 2000 words into the text box on the Copyscape website.  Copyscape will come back and show you any websites that contain any of the content you copied and pasted.  If Copyscape does find duplicate content, you can then make changes so that your writing expresses the same ideas in different words. 

These are a few tools that I feel are essential for freelance writers.  If you're interested in finding out more about working from home as a freelance writer, be sure to check out my book "Your Work at Home Journey - Three Paths You Can Take and What You Need to Know Before You Go," which is available on Amazon. 

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