Of course, every writer has strengths and weaknesses. Even I, loth as I am to admit it, have some of the latter, though I like to think they are far-outweighed by the former. Here, though, just so you know what you’re dealing with, is my own assessment of my strengths. All scores are out of 10.
Oh, golly. How many ads have I written down the years? Too many to mention. And I’m not half bad at it, if I say so myself. I don’t think I’m straying too far into the world of hubris if I give myself a clean 9. Possibly 10. Check 'em out
Yep. Been there, done that. And a LOT of it, too, from lifestyle pieces for the Sunday rags, through ghosted opinion pieces for CEOs of leading organisations, to positioning statements for political bodies. Many of these were done as part of the various public relations positions I’ve held, but others were in a freelancing role. Gotta be another 9. At least. Check 'em out
If I put another 9+, the third in as many categories, you’ll think I’m, well, exaggerating, to put it euphemistically. But I’ll have to take that risk. Because, it’s true, I’ve done ‘em all, every kind, from corporate brochures for global concerns, to product material for local enterprises. So, yes. 9. Minimum. Check 'em out
Blogs and social media
Rather like websites, this is an area which, these days, writers ignore at their peril. And I haven’t. Ignored it, I mean. I’ve helped many individuals and organisations develop successful and popular blogs and Facebook pages. So, 9. Again. Check 'em out
Since the mid-80s, I’ve since worked on, and even been entirely responsible for, B2B and B2C catalogues of almost every kind. Another 9. Sorry. I’m blushing here. Check 'em out
Well, it’s a kind of writing, isn’t it? I won’t claim to be an expert, but I’ve done quite a bit of it, working with Me mates and others. For some Big Names, too. I’d say I deserve a 7 or 8 for it. Certainly, it’s worth trying me if you don’t want to stump up for a 15-strong West-End team of creative types to sit around for 6 months looking like Rodin’s thinker, only to finally present you with a nonsense word that sounds like a treatment for gout. Check 'em out
Errr…how can I put this? In short, pretty much the same as Advertising, above. Check 'em out
Having spent 15 years working with, and for, various PR companies, the press release is second nature to me, really. A reflex action. These days, I don’t deal directly with the press, as I used to, but I can still advise if you want me to. Score? Oh, what the hell, let’s go for 10. Check 'em out
Many people want to write a book. And the growth of the self-publishing industry makes it easier than ever. But that’s easier, not easy. There are still several hurdles to overcome before you have your shiny new book in your hands. I obviously can’t actually write your book for you – otherwise it would be a book by me – but I can edit it, help you structure and shape it, bring it into reality. I know the self-publishing route well, and can help you with all aspects – even design, layout and print. 9. Check 'em out
Unless you count Scottish as a separate tongue, which some would, I only speak one language, I’m afraid. So, 0.
These days, I suppose, this is pretty much a must-have skill for a writer. And, yes, I’ve done a lot of them. I know a fair amount about that famous style-murderer, SEO, and how to work with it, and I’d say my competence in this area is at least as good as most. Don’t worry, I won’t write your site like I’ve written this one – I’ll give yours at least some semblance of sanity. I’d give myself 8 here. 9 on a good day. Check 'em out
I haven’t done as many of these as some, maybe a couple of dozen over the years. And frankly, I’m not sorry. They’re just so, well, long. Still, those I have done were well-received and – if you want one – I’m happy to look at it for you. 7/8. Check 'em out
As well as the categories above, I also work in poetry and fiction. Check 'em out