18 July 2009

Blue Pencil India for plain language, crisp writing, and editing that’ll make text sparkle

I have previously written about my work-from-home/freelance writing ventures. Blue Pencil India now seems to me to be the logical step forward. Of course, this took much convincing and all the persuasive powers of my husband, Lincoln, who is now a co-founder of BPI.

You need to believe a lot in yourself and have an unflagging positive spirit to start off on your own. And, to some extent, the lack of professional growth opportunities in Kolkata for a writer/editor did affect my confidence levels.

But thanks to the wonderful clients I have worked with and the diverse projects I have worked on in the last year or so, I now feel ready to work on my own.

At Blue Pencil India, I hope to get interesting and challenging assignments in the domains of writing, editing, and SEO content.

As a writer, there are some projects I do want to work on and I’ll soon have a wish list ready – they’re one of those ‘things to do before you die’. But, generally speaking, I’d like to work for clients who are keen on quality. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t be able to do the article spinning kind of work. Just not made for that.

As an editor, there’s something I am raring to do: edit fiction. Till now, I have edited newspaper articles, tons of legalese and officialese, website copy, user manuals, and the like. But fiction is something I have not done yet and I look forward to it. It should be a welcome break after all the backbreaking editing I have had to do till date.

BPI will also be a space to campaign for plain language in India and continue the work of Jyoti Sanyal, my teacher and mentor. For now, it’s just me and Lincoln, but soon, we should be able to pull in more people and make ourselves heard to people in the administration and in industries like banking and insurance. They, more than anyone else, need to use plain language.

My years with Sir (Sanyal) have made me passionate about the use of clear, concise language in all communication. I will be using Sihikahi and Blue Pencil India to speak about this as much as possible.

Apart from the campaign part of plain English, I am interested in working with individuals or firms to translate their documents or website copy into plain language and help them communicate clearly and effectively.

Writing in plain language is really not rocket science, but it does require that you have a genuine wish to inform your reader.

I request all readers of Sihikahi to help spread the word about Blue Pencil India. What we have invested in BPI are our professional skills, time, a lot of hope, and positive attitude. My hunch is there’ll be a lot of takers for out-of-the-box writing and professional editing – something that’s not too common in the freelance world. Now, let's prove my hunch right, shall we?

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