Paid Well for Writing Well: What’s the Problem?


I am able to convince just about anyone of just about anything through my writing.  Image by Dave Stone, “Coins & Notes, fixed.”

Yesterday, my philosophical career collided with my fundraising/marketing career and my professional writing career.

I am able to convince just about anyone of just about anything through my writing. This scares the crap out of me.

I began to worry that I was a sophist. Sophists are the bad boys of philosophy. They not only write and speak persuasively but model this for others. No matter if persuasion is justified. No matter if the truth is served.  No matter if they actually believe their own words. And as this article adds, sophists are also people who don’t walk their talk, go cheap for power, and produce fantasies:

The sophists are thus characterised by Plato as subordinating the pursuit of truth to worldly success, in a way that perhaps calls to mind the activities of contemporary advertising executives or management consultants.

This may not concern anyone but a really good writer. I’m a really good writer, and it definitely scares me: I am able to convince anyone of just about anything. I could write persuasively that it makes sense to pollute the oceans, that some human lives are worth more than others (this has been done), or that wrong is, generally speaking, right.

In a visually dependent society, I am only one rung away from the top of power. More powerful than writers are people who can speak compellingly. Watch a video of Hitler. Then watch a video you agree with on Youtube.  You begin to understand the  importance of critical thinking.

We humans are easily persuaded.

I don’t think we should go about in fear but I do think we should go about holding firmly to our own values and assessing whatever we see, think, do, hear, and watch by those values.

As for me, I am very proud of a piece of writing I did yesterday. It’s d-mned compelling. It’s also for a cause I am proud to support. It builds a strong case for an outcome I think is worth having. In short, it helps organize the Beloved Community.

In all I say and do, let me be a Beloved Community organizer. Being compelling is a power I wield with awareness.


I’m Available in February!

I like being this useful. I’ve a fantastic book I’m copyediting for SDP Publishing this month. It’s a novel about a fast-paced professional milieu, very funny and experience-based–the author is a professional in that milieu who moonlights as a writer.

The novel copyediting is due by the end of January. That gives me one month until my March through May job: interviewing, synthesizing, and report-writing on the topic of exclusion in the workplace, using the example of one specific workplace.

So if you’re looking for writing, ghostwriting, book-coaching/developmental editing, or copyedited in February or this Summer, I’d love to hear from you! (I’m so proud to be a professional writer, editor, and coach, can you tell?)


I’ve Gone Pro


Cover of The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams, art by William Nicholson.

My post for this Fall quarter is about how proud I am–shockingly–that I’m a “real” professional developmental editor as well as copyeditor now. It makes all the difference that someone else has decided I am. I guess that’s what counts as “real” for me. It’s also what’s so shocking: I’ve been writing, translating, editing and proofreading all my adult life! And suddenly, one woman at the head of her own smallish publishing house hires me and I feel “real,” like the Velveteen Rabbit.

Some of this is internalized oppression and just plain silly: I always was a book coach (read: developmental editor) and language artist. I don’t really need anyone else to tell me I was a special snowflake.

But I like someone else telling me I am! There is something insecurity-producing about being a special snowflake to people who love you–yourself, your mom, your friends, even your clients whom you recruited through your own efforts.

There is concomitantly security-producing about being a special snowflake to someone who–well, isn’t your mom. Although she is much easier to work for than my mom would have been, rest her soul.

Suffice to say in closing I am very happy and have the best of both worlds. I can recruit this way, through my own website and I can work for Lisa Akoury-Ross of SDP Publishing. I can meet new friends to help + old friends to  help in in new ways through my own outreach but I am also “real” to a whole bunch of new folks now because Lisa has faith in my efforts–and she gives me really interesting books to work on! PS: If you are a writer and want the hands-on, personal support of a superb small house, you should check out SDP Publishing. Just sayin’.

Thanks for reading, and visiting me here!



Spring Published Writings: Braggadocio


Photo by Ken Ratcliff on Flikr, found via Creative Commons Search (copyright-free).

So, I’m lucky: I get to write for (part of) my living! Each season, I gather up all the examples I can of what I’ve produced professionally and share it with you, my readers and clients and potential clients.

Note: Much of my work is ghostwriting, meaning I’m the “ghost” and can’t name who I’m serving or what I’m doing precisely. That’s why some of the descriptions below are a bit vague. On the other hand, where I give a shout out to a client, it’s with their explicit permission.)

Great gratitude to each and all of you for making this possible!

  1. Fundraising appeal: I crafted an appeal letter inviting former donors to Prison Radio back into the fold of current givers. (This is called a “lapsed-donor appeal” in fundraising lingo.) I hope it works in spades! I love Prison Radio’s work and am an active petition-signer and semi-active donor myself. Here is an article I advised that was published by the two staffers at Prison Radio I work with. And here is some Facebook content I created to share with others what Prison Radio knows: lapsed-donor mailings are well worth it!
  2. Minority-culture book rewrite: I helped the psychologist author of a book on a minority US culture not just rewrite his book but  reconceive for his desired  market: a non-academic, majority-culture audience. This is a deep, rich, and useful book. I hope to tell you more once it’s published. Shout out here to Upwork, the freelancers’ website, where I’ve met and worked with so many interesting people!
  3. Sufi poetry: I’ve begun work on 40 quatrains (= 4-line poems) by the head of a Sufi spiritual lineage, peace be upon him. It will be a while before I can report to you that they are complete! I am working with a team of two people with years of experience in the lineage. We are bringing these poems from Urdu all the way into American English free verse. It’s a journey with many meanders. The journey itself is a joy I call sohbet, which in the Sufi lineage I am part of, means “spiritual discourse.
  4. TV Docu-Series: I ghostwrote from start to finish the genius pitch for a ten-part television series featuring millennials going through challenges I can’t name–or you might recognize it the next time you watch TV! I didn’t invent the pitch, premise, or find the awesome cast for this series; I just wrote the most compelling pitch I could create. One thing that empowered me was my knowledge of how to write fundraising appeals! (See #2 🙂
  5. Crowdfunding Campaign Reframe: I helped the venerable intentional community Twin Oaks with their 50th Anniversary Crowdfunding Campaign! I was honored to be asked, and bowled over when Capital Campaign Manager Paxus Calta wrote me this endorsement of my work unsolicited:

I have worked with dozens of fundraisers. The really good ones use their experience and insights to help guide you to your goals. Beth goes beyond this and metaphorically stands on your shoulders to see the imaginative approach that you can’t quite visualize without her. She is neither a magician or a miracle worker, but often it is hard to tell why not. She is does more in a billed hour than any consultant I have ever worked with.

I also wrote up a piece for my fundraising Facebook feed  sharing wisdom from this campaign.

Winter’s Published Writings!


Gateways, Diptford. Image by Derek Harper uploaded to Wikimedia Commons. Accessed via Creative Commons Search.

So much of my work is done for others. I can’t ethically share that. But in February  I wrote and published three pieces under my own name. I can share those with you!

A fourth “publication” related to my work as a fundraiser, creative person, and thinker is this audio interview published with and by Kimberly Maska in her Spiritual Biz Magazine.



Writer for Hire!

Metzger_2016_0611_Beth_Raps_0930(1)Wow! It’s almost the end of my first year as a writer for hire. I’ve been blessed to be paid to work on a huge variety of “stuff,” including:

  • a coordinated sequence of Winter holiday fundraising emails (called “e-blasts”) for a national human rights organization
  • book-coaching an author transitioning from blogging + coaching to writing her first book in a way that integrates both
  • ghost-editing an economic paper to make it more accessible to a general audience
  • tweaking a science website that gets zillions of page views but (til recently!) didn’t get donations
  • editing the one-woman-show of an actor-writer whose first language isn’t English
  • co-writing and editing the “satisfied client” books whose testimonials you’ll find on this page.

I feel trusted, appreciated, and very very proud! I’m actively seeking new work, although not just any work, and not just for anyone. If you feel we might be a match, please contact me!

PS: You’ll find my fundraising & abundance-coaching tools, stories, and tips here.