Writing About, Editing, and Reading: July 27, 2015 Edition


For your enjoyment, an aspirational/inspirational image of the space shuttle Endeavour.  Copyright Keisuke Hoashi.

Things I’m Writing About, Editing, and Reading This Week

Here’s what’s on deck and in progress:

Writing about . . . My writing goals. Later today I’ll be applying for an opportunity with a deadline of tomorrow.  I’m also basking in the glow of a “we hope you submit again” poetry rejection from a dream publication. I’ll endeavour (see above photo) to send them more material soon.

Editing. . . Professional essays. A nonprofit leader is being recruited by an executive search firm looking to fill a high-level programmatic/administrative position. I’m helping him refine his three essay responses (total: 800 words) so they better reflect what he can bring to the job. Making experts shine using as few words as possible — that’s what I love to do.

(During my vacation, I helped a family member revise similar essay questions and a résumé for a position at an Ivy League university. He ended up #4 on a list of 8 potential interviewees, selected from a pool of over 200 applicants. Professional editing and coaching can get you closer to your goals.)

Reading. . .  The Confidence Code , a stack of The New Yorker magazines that piled up when I was out of town (I loved this Louise Erdrich story), and so much Entertainment Weekly that my ears are steaming with FOMO (too much good TV these days!).

Executives, subject matter experts, and others in leadership positions: do you have professional or personal statements, executive bios, or other writing that needs critique or editing? Let’s work together to help you cut the fluff, get to the point, and kill your competition. . . in 300 words or less.

Until then,

Happy writing, editing, reading, and endeavouring to you.

– Kristen

Things I’m Writing About, Editing, and Reading This Week: June 8, 2015 Edition

 Image courtesy of KellyLink.net 

Things I’m Writing About, Editing, and Reading This Week

Can you believe it’s June?

Last week I pushed hard to meet a Monday deadline and didn’t post. I did read a few items of note: Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill (unique, fractured structure) and this anonymous op-ed about higher education and social justice (as in, is there room for real discourse in an era of hyper-sensitivity?).

Here’s what’s on deck and in progress this week:

Writing about . . . Old houses, insects, and breakups (a return to revising a 30-page short story I let breathe for a month. . . now the post-it notes and hand-scribblings look like the rantings of a mad woman)

Editing. . . Professional statements for a friend who’s in the running for a high-level, high-profile position in a city administration (wish him luck!)

Reading. . . Stranger Things Happen by Kelly Link (link)  and this Paris Review interview with Elena Ferrante

And your project. I have room in June for a critique, edit, or short-term writing job. Contact me to check on availability.

Until then,

Happy writing, editing, and reading to you.

– Kristen

Client Praise: “I will be a medical student in the fall.”

Last summer, a new client contacted me through my website. His need: an exceptional personal statement for his medical school applications. For nearly a decade he’d been trying to fulfill his dream of becoming a doctor, but health and financial setbacks had made him a nontraditional candidate, easy to overlook.

A career mentor suggested he hire a professional editor. He Googled and he found me. We worked together over a two-week period, passing drafts and notes back and forth. I read through a small but promising mountain of raw material and picked the most compelling parts of his personal story: anecdotes that emphasized his perseverance, compassion, real world work experience, and commitment to medicine. The results, as of this winter:

I gained an acceptance at ____ NYC. This was a school you helped me with! Thank you very much! I have gotten 4 interview requests. I turned down one, and have one planned in March. Overall, I cannot thank you enough! I am so lucky to have found you. I will be a medical student in the fall. If not in NYC then somewhere else.

What a rush, knowing that a simple edit can have such a huge impact on someone’s life.

Do you need help finding a common thread or a compelling story in your career experiences? I’m available to critique, edit, and coach your professional narrative, personal statement, executive summary, or LinkedIn profile. To see Testimonials on how I’ve helped others clarify their career stories, click here.