About Me

Hi! Good to see you here.

My name is Maartje (pronounced like the month March with a soft ‘ah’ sound at the end, if you were wondering), and I’d like to officially welcome you to Play Your Words Right, the place where I make your texts shine and your ideas stand out.

Whatever kind of text you are writing, and no matter the level of confidence in your writing skill, you have biology to contend with.

The human brain, that wondrous network of interlinked circuits that enabled you to write in the first place, has a couple of talents that are extremely useful in some situations and extremely detrimental when you are writing.

Biggest culprit: We humans adapt.

We get used to things.

We get used to living situations, to the weather, to changes in our family situation. And to misspellings of its as it’s, subject-verb disagreements, and that one sentence we meant to re-write but never got around to.

We get used to knowing things, so that we can’t imagine that other people don’t know them.

In short, you – as a writer – can never read your own writings the way your readers will.

That’s where an editor comes in.

An editor is a neutral party.

I’m not the person you have to convince.

I am not the person with the hiring power, the grant money, or the executive decision. I’m not the person who is looking for a book for her grandchildren, for a good garage in the neighbourhood, or simply to learn more about you.

I’m not the person who is going to discredit your ideas (or worse, your character and intelligence) because your fingers or eyes were tired at 1 am.

I’m in your corner, with the crucial advantage that I’m not you. I will read your text with a fresh brain, find the spots where readers can get into trouble, knowing all the while that your ideas are up to snuff.

Whether you want the quick polish and extra professionalism a typo-free report provides or a sparring partner who sees structure in the quicksand of a very challenging project, I’m your woman.

Why me?

I’m a language nut. It was evident before I ever learned to read, and it only grew from there. I was already reading adult books in both Dutch and English when I was 11 years old, and native English speakers thought I was a native speaker myself when I was 16.

But where a lot of people love simply using a language, I’ve always loved trying to analyse it as well – I took linguistics classes in university and did courses in communication and writing whenever I could. One of my guilty pleasures on a rainy Sunday afternoon is reading etymological dictionaries.

I didn´t always see my interest in language as anything worth paying attention to, though. During my time at university, I studied science. Veterinary medicine, Biology, and then Developmental Genetics. I was pretty good at it, too, but I had the most fun in the margins – helping fellow students write their essays, editing work for courses, and practicing with the specific demands of the different types of text I encountered.

After graduation, I was asked to join a well-known lab for a PhD in Developmental Genetics. Most of it was awesome – I adore scientists, and working with them was amazing. But it wasn’t me, and I couldn’t shave enough off my square-peg mind to comfortably fit into the star-shaped hole of science. Science is wonderful, but while I am usually driven from within to do my job well, I had to force myself to do this work every single day. Halfway into my PhD programme, I quit. It was an awful day, but it’s the best decision I ever made.

I decided to go with what I’m good at, and what motivates me. So why hire me? Because you need someone who can say this when asked why she does her job:

Because it’s That Thing I Have To Do

I had a blast as a scientist, but in retrospect it is so clear that I am much more passionate about communicating ideas – no matter the subject – than I ever was about generating them.

And that I’m much more passionate about helping other people shine than about working in obscurity on something very few others will ever know about.

That’s what my business is all about. We all get dealt a handful of passions and ideas and skills in life, and it’s important to get the most out of them, both in terms of success and enjoyment.

Let’s figure out the rules of the game you want to play, and let me help you Play Your Words Right.