Tim McCready, Creative for Hire

Writer, editor, and musician Tim McCready wants to help you.

Whether you need a good first reader, copy editor, transcriber, creative collaborator, music teacher, or song writer, he’s your creative for hire.

Contact him with questions and for rates at takethefirstleft@gmail.com.


First Reader. Are you looking for a well-informed reader with lots of opinions to read your manuscript and then talk about it with you? Someone who can empathize with the the difficulty of producing your work while simultaneously providing unsparing feedback? Let me read it and help you figure out how it needs to be tweaked before you move on to a conceptual editor.

Nobody likes copyediting. I mean, I don’t like it. But unfortunately I’m good at it because of my naggingly obsessive inner critic. You might as well put him to work. If your manuscript needs a once-over for help with grammar, punctuation, and consistency, I’m reluctantly here for you. By the way, I realize that the phrase in the preceding paragraph beginning with the word “someone” is not a complete sentence, so don’t worry, I won’t miss that kind of thing.

Do you have a pile of handwritten notebooks you need entered into a digital format? Let me transcribe your pages for you, saving you the tedium and time. The digital file I return to you will be copyedited.

Your Creative Collaborator. People with whom I collaborate go on to great things. One has been called “The Andy Warhol of the Information Age” by the New York Times. Another has been on NPR’s Fresh Air. Twice. I may be languishing in middling obscurity, but maybe you won’t be after we’ve worked together on a project. Basically, I have a point of view for hire.

Custom songs.
After you’ve given every gift imaginable to the ones you love, it’s time to get personal. Tell me about the objects of your affection and I’ll write a song exquisitely tailored to them and your connection with them.

Songwriting One-on-One
. Why do human beings seem to have a need for combining poetry, melody, and harmony? What are the essential components of a song? How does one start writing songs? How do experienced songwriters feel their way through periods of stagnation? Why do some songs feel true while others ring false? If these questions—and others like them—intrigue you, I’d love to help you get started or keep going with your songwriting. I’ve been writing songs and thinking about them for more than 30 years.

Guitar One-on-One.
I think of learning the guitar (or any other instrument) as a path into deeper music appreciation. While it’s necessary to learn a variety of technical aspects of an instrument, playing one is ultimately a means of making art. I like to help my guitar students keep that in mind from the beginning while helping them reach whatever musical goals they have.

Tim McCready is a writer, editor, and musician living in the Richmond area. He has been writing and performing songs for 30 years and is the proud leader of a band of middle aged men for whom the rock n’ roll dream has never died. He has worked as a magazine copy editor, a guitar teacher, a participant liaison for twins involved in genetics research, a furniture maker, and a server at Po’ Folks. He has written with Life in 10 Minutes for many years and was an editor for Nine Lives: a Life in 10 Minutes Anthology and Surrender Your Weapons: Writing to Heal.