It dawned on me today that The Absolute Word is rapidly approaching its first 'half-birthday' already. Incredibly, nearly six months have come and gone since I began the business, which is bizarre as it doesn't seem nearly that long, and I was under the impression that the wintry months usually elongated the passing of time. And what a six months they have been! We've developed at a much quicker rate than any other infant, moving past crawling, pulling ourselves up, and progressing to walking at a reasonable pace with a view to a rather jaunty toddle in the coming months. Since beginning the business last October, I've found myself involved in various different projects, and enjoying the breadth of information and clientele a great deal.
Our first piece of copywriting was for a company called Desk Union, an Edinburgh-based coworking space, with whom we have now become involved in a different capacity, but that's the subject of another blog entirely. We've been very pleased to connect with a fellow copywriting company, DocEditor, also based in Edinburgh, which specialises predominantly in medical literature and academic submissions. Another company we've begun to work for is intelligentpos®, which uses iPad technology to transform cash registers into a much more up-to-date and accessible till system. We've also been approached to copyedit for a couple of academic journals, which have submissions coming in from all over the world, so we're really excited about the wealth of interesting intellectual texts we'll be reading in the coming months.
Alongside the corporate and academic work, we have also had a great number of academic clients on a smaller scale. In the last six months, we've been proofreading essays for university students, and meeting with several for exam preparation and essay-writing tuition, as well as providing tuition via Skype for those further afield. We took on a group of A Level English Literature students from Northumberland for exam preparation. Because of the nature of the two-hour sessions in a small group, we were able to charge each student a lot less than individual tuition normally costs, and yet still cover our overheads, so it was an arrangement that suited all parties. This led to a GCSE group being formed, as The Absolute Word had spread, and younger students got in touch. By booking a meeting room at their local YHA, we could run the two sessions one after another, thereby splitting our travel costs and again saving our customers money. From there, we're now in talks with AS English Literature students from the same area, and will hopefully be beginning group tuition with them in the next few weeks. It's been incredibly refreshing and rewarding working with all of these young minds, hearing their interpretations of various texts and how they connect them to issues and themes in today's world.
One of my favourite experiences of the last six months was delivering three eight-hour workshops to some of my former GCSE students, providing intensive Controlled Assessment preparation for their GCSE English Language and English Literature courses. (See the Gallery page for images). As wonderfully liberating as going into consultancy and re-entering the world of academia is, it was lovely to see old faces and be reminded of how rewarding classroom teaching can be. The students worked tirelessly, avid listeners and learners over the three days, and they produced work of a very strong standard: I was extremely proud of their determination and effort.
Most recently, admittedly technically outside the realms of The Absolute Word, a real highlight of the last six months was attending a conference yesterday at the University of Glasgow to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Comparative Literature undergraduate course it delivers, and the launching last September of its Master's in Comparative Literature, as well as delivering my own fifteen-minute presentation on the subject. Again, that story remains to be told in another soon-to-be-posted blog, but needless to say, it was a thoroughly inspiring and thought-provoking day. Thus, it seems right to post this blog to celebrate our 'half-birthday' on the back of yesterday; the positivity gained from being in the company of some of the most interesting minds, discussing the breadth and diversity of global literature, considering literature's place in the world, in society and in education is a very pleasant feeling to round off the last six months, and a great propeller towards the ones to come.
Thank you to everyone who has spread The Absolute Word thus far!