Monthly Archives: July 2012

Pro bono charity copywriting in Shetland

I was up in Shetland recently, enjoying a week of great weather, delicious food and good company with family. As one of the busy copywriters in Gloucestershire, I really needed a break. Mrs H and I have visited Shetland before, and it’s always been a rewarding experience. This time was no exception – in more ways than one.

Trondra, Shetland

Another pro bono copywriting client

As well as getting roped in to do a guest blog entry for a local organic lamb and beef farm at Uradale, above Scalloway, I also added another animal welfare charity to my select portfolio of pro bono copywriting causes.

 

Gloucestershire copywriter and otters crossing sign in Shetland

I like to help worthwhile causes

As I’ve said before, one of the founding principles of my freelance copywriter business was to use my skills to help worthwhile causes. Sometimes, this means pro bono work; for others, it means a discounted copywriting rate. And of course, I’ve got to relate to the cause. Otherwise, it’s impossible to write with passion and conviction. Since 2007, I’ve written regularly for the North Devon Animal Ambulance (NDAA). I’ve learned that behind most animal welfare stories there’s a human benefit too. I like that.

Seal pup at Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary, Shetland

Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary, Shetland

While up in Shetland, a chance meeting with Jan Bevington, founder of the Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary, led to me offering my copywriting services for newsletter, website and brochure writing. Her response was positive, so I’m looking forward to promoting Hillswick’s otter and seal rescue work over the months ahead.

You can read more here…

is an experienced Gloucestershire based copywriter specialising in Marketing, Web/SEO, technical and PR copywriting.

Word macros for copywriters

I discovered Word macros relatively recently. Before that, I’d always thought of them as a rather arcane, hard-to-master aspect of Microsoft’s word-processor. Having had the confidence to experiment, I’ve discovered that a few carefully selected macros make copywriting and editing easier and faster for at least one of the copywriters in Gloucestershire!

Word macros that copywriters will use every day

Between the macros I’ve tracked down online and those I’ve recorded myself, I now have a nice suite of keyboard-accessible tools. Suddenly, a whole bunch of keystrokes or mouse clicks are reduced to a simple shortcut. Applications include toggling through different highlight colours, faster Paste Special, speeding up resetting Word’s Recheck Document function and my latest acquisition, a macro that highlights sentences longer than a set number of characters in a Word document. As a complement to the built-in Readability statistics this is a boon for any copywriter where writing-time is precious and certain repetitive tasks have to be repeated again and again.

A great free resource if you need Word macros

If you need a ready source of handy Word macros, I can’t recommend Paul Beverley’s free e-book, Macros for Writers and Editors too highly. It’s a veritable goldmine of ready to use macros that Paul has painstakingly written and generously made available to the writing and editing fraternity.

Having had some dealings with Paul online (he kindly helped me with a macro application that wasn’t in his book), I can confirm that he’s an extremely clever, really decent bloke, and ever so helpful. Read more here…

Troubleshooting devolo dLAN 200 AVSmart+ powerline networking problem

As a busy Gloucestershire copywriter, inspiration and creativity can come anywhere. Sometimes a change of writing scene can help, which is why, like last year, I’ve moved up from my basement office to our conservatory for the summer. Unfortunately, the dining room table is at the furthest end of the room – the one part of the house that isn’t reached by wireless…

Last year, to get around this,  I bought the devolo dLAN 200 AVSmart+ powerline networking starter kit. It worked beautifully out of the box. But this year, after a week of operation, the two Homeplugs refused to synch. With a deadline approaching, I was tearing my hair out. In the end I contacted devolo in Aachen, Germany. Fortunately, they were able to help me out with a solution that I hadn’t been able to discover in the user guide or online. If you’ve experienced problems getting two devolo Homeplugs to synch, this might help you too.

Here’s what they told me to do and why I’m a happy. conservatory-based Gloucestershire copywriter again. Read more here…