Michelle's blog

A novel approach

Scales of JusticeThis month, I’ve been on Jury Service, which isn’t great financially for the self-employed, but it makes up for that by being such an interesting experience.

Surprisingly, it also provides an excellent exercise in fiction writing. Not that I intend to write about actual cases, it’s more the way the two sides of a story are unravelled, first by the prosecution, then by the defence.

That or which

That or whichThe simple answer? That defines while which gives extra information.

Still confused? It’s all in the clauses.

Restrictive clauses

Use that to introduce restrictive clauses that add crucial information to the sentence.

The bag that I left on the train contained important papers.

When you’re adding a clause that contains essential information about the noun that comes before it, you’re being specific.

Why go freelance?

Freelancer on the beachWe’ve looked at the benefits of outsourcing work to freelancers from a company perspective. But what’s in it for the freelancer?

In the UK, the Professional Contractors Group estimates the following:

78% of the UK public think that freelancing and flexible working help promote a good work/life balance

72% think freelancing has a positive effect on family life

Look at the upside

The primary benefit most freelancers would offer up first is ‘freedom’.

Why outsource to a freelancer?

Why outsource to a freelancer?Why opt to outsource? looked at why more businesses are choosing to outsource their labour requirements.

Aside from cost and time savings, and the technological advances already covered in that post, I’m now exploring other reasons why it makes good business sense for companies to employ freelancers.


Why opt to outsource?

Why opt to outsource?The number of people working from home has risen to its highest level since records began according to the Office for National Statistics.

Nowadays, the business model for outsourcing certain roles or even whole departments has become commonplace.

As a freelancer, I know what the benefits are for me but what about businesses – what’s in it for them?

Cost savings

Writing enticing product descriptions

Product DescriptionsA product description shouldn’t be a methodical list of practical features. Instead, try to encapsulate the main benefits of your item in the introduction.

How will this product make you feel? What problems or hassles will it remove from your life? Avoid clichéd adjectives that don’t add any value. However, don’t be afraid to use sensory language, especially when describing food. Think flavours, textures and smells, as these images will build a stronger connection with your reader.

You should be describing an experience rather than an inanimate object.

Merry Christmas

Dog poo

Desserted streets






Let's Eat Grandma

Style guides: consistency in written communications

Style GuideFollowing a recent meeting with Hampshire County Council, I was sent a copy of their style guide.

The Council describes this document as follows:

The style guide is designed to help all of us to work together to present a consistent, approachable and positive image of Hampshire County Council in our written communications.

A copy of the guide can be found here if you’d like some bedtime reading.

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

Tower of London poppiesUsually my volunteering activities involve sloshing around in mud at my local nature reserve. This month, I was lucky enough to take part in something quite different.

As a volunteer task, planting ceramic poppies in a moat made a change from pulling up invasive scrub from marshland. The venue was a little unusual too. I’m used to wading through the shallows of a lake. Walking through a sea of poppies at the Tower of London was quite surreal.

Tailor-made copy

Tailor-made copyI was recently asked if my copy is always original or if it has ever been used elsewhere. I assured the enquirer that I write entirely new copy for each and every project.

I will revisit earlier work if I’m trying to locate a nugget of information, but that’s the only time I look at old stuff. I’m only interested in starting a piece of writing from scratch otherwise it wouldn’t be any fun.


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