Q. Is this a website or a blog, or what is it?
A. I like to think it’s both a blog and a website – let’s invent a neologism and call it a blite. The menu across the top is the business end, where you can view my CV, testimonials, professional qualifications and examples of published work. That’s the bit where I unashamedly tout for business.
The rest is the entertainment division, where those with an idle moment on their hands can discover my views on a diverse range of topics, from greengrocers’ apostrophes to handbags and what I had for my tea. It’s my opportunity to release my inner writer, the one who otherwise no-one would take any notice of.
Q. Why am I reading this?
A. * You could be here because you are one of my “followers” – those tolerant and inquisitive people who have, of their own free will, signed up to receive my blog posts by email.
* You could be here because a search engine has suggested, rightly or wrongly, that my site might be able to provide you with useful information about any of the random things I blog about – previous searches that have brought people here include “vulgar T shirts”, “fantasy dog breeding”, “piglet castration” and “Julian Assange”. If your interests are as eclectic as mine, we’ll get along just fine.
* You might have found me in a professional capacity, visiting via LinkedIn to see who this bird is who keeps spouting off in the various writers’ forums. Or you might be searching for a freelance journalist, copywriter, sub-editor, editor, internal communications writer, or a freelance journalist in Surrey, freelance journalist in London, freelance copywriter in Surrey, freelance copywriter in London, freelance sub-editor in Surrey, freelance sub-editor in London, freelance editor in Surrey, freelance internal communications writer in Surrey, freelance internal communications writer in London or freelance editor in London.
Q. Were you deviously trying to search engine optimise your site by including all those phrases in the answer to the previous question?
A. Yes. I’m a bad person. Sue me.
Q. What can you do for me?
A. Well, that depends on why you’re here. From a professional perspective I can:
Write and edit news stories, feature articles, press releases, blog posts, corporate literature, internal communications publications and marketing material on a wide variety of subjects.
If you’re a newspaper or magazine editor seeking freelance contributors or subs, I can help.
If you’re recruiting for an internal comms writing/editing contract, I can help.
If you’re a business seeking someone to write, edit or proofread your marketing material, I can help. See my Services page for more details. http://fwords.co.uk/what-i-can-do/
From a personal perspective, I can aim to entertain you with my blog posts, to give you something to do while your dinner is cooking and it’s raining outside.
I don’t do crappy, underpaid content mill article “spinning” – I have an annoying habit of liking to eat several times a day and pay a mortgage, and I don’t approve of plagiarism.
Q. Are you qualified?
A. As a journalist? I’ve got the NCTJ certificate, the standard UK journalism qualification. I’ve also got the BAIE diploma, which is the same sort of thing only related to internal comms. Both have got me work in the past. I’ve got an Open University degree as well – which never has, though it was fun at the time and I learned how to translate runes into modern English and how to tell a Doric from a Corinthian column – please don’t ask me to do it now, though.
(I’m also a long-time member of the National Union of Journalists, because I believe in professional development, peer-to-peer networking and the trade union movement generally. Apart from anything else, this makes me an affiliate of the Federation of Entertainment Unions (this includes Equity, the Musicians’ Union and the broadcasting union Bectu), which runs some great training courses for creative freelancers, all of which I attend coz I like free biscuits, learning new skills and mingling with actor and musician types.)
As a blogger? What qualifies anyone to be a blogger? Lots of opinions about stuff, which they don’t mind sharing, and which they enjoy putting into written form. I always think, if you like getting into heated debates with strangers in pubs and know how to type, you should be blogging.
See my Qualifications page. http://fwords.co.uk/qualifications/
Q. Why are you called F Words?
A. Fast, fluent, flexible and fabulous – or frivolous, forthright, foolish folderol, depending on whether I’m writing in a professional or personal capacity. Oh, and it’s the initial of my surname, and it sounds a bit risqué. Take your pick.
Q. Is there anything you don’t have an opinion about?
A. Um, I don’t know. Maybe this question.
Q. I found this site by mistake, I don’t really want to be here – what should I do?
A. I’m sorry to hear that. I’d suggest you make the best of a bad situation by making a nice cup of tea, putting your feet up and browsing around my site to see if anything inadvertently appeals to you.
Q. What is your comment policy?
A. I like comments v. much, preferably nice ones. I do moderate them though, just to check you’re not spamming me before I publish them. If you are spamming me, your comment might go into my spam folder, to be extracted at some later stage and used as the basis for a sarcastic, piss-taking blog post. Or I might just publish it anyway, because it’s so hilariously inappropriate and might give my followers a laugh. So nothing goes to waste.
Q. How much do you cost?
A. Here’s the thing. My blog posts excepted (since they are clearly written in a hurried stream of consciousness under the influence of a full moon), I plan my writing work methodically, research the subject matter appropriately, write carefully and with attention to the particular audience, check, proofread and tweak assiduously to ensure conformity to the brief, and then rewrite, improve and fine-tune to produce something I’d be happy to commission myself.
All that takes time, and time is money. So I don’t work for free – or even for cheap (unless you are a personal friend or possibly a registered charity). I will consider “swapsies” though, if you have something I need. For instance, I once did some proofreading in return for having my business stationery designed, I wrote a music teacher’s web copy in return for music lessons and I have arranged to write a meeting report in return for some portrait photography.
Chances are, though, that you won’t have anything I want – unless you’re a pop star who’s prepared to perform one of my songs, or a personal trainer who reckons they can make me a svelte size 12 without me having to try too hard. So I do expect to get an amount that’s fair and reasonable, given the work involved. I’m hesitant to put a figure on without knowing details of a particular job – you might think it’s either unaffordably high or laughably low, depending on your perspective and the size of your budget. So ask me for a quote – if I’m particularly desperate or good-humoured that week I might be open to offers.
Q. How can I get involved in the future success of F Words?
A. If you guest-blog one of mine, I’ll guest-blog one of yours. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. Oooh, I’m feeling itchy just thinking about it.
If you can refer or recommend me for genuine, paid writing/editing work (not the content mill or unethical “academic writing” opportunities that populate the idiots’ internet), I’ll pay you a 10% referral fee when the money is safely in my bank account. You can’t say fairer than that, can you?