The forging of Sword Word Creative

Hi there! We are John and Ashleigh van Vliet, the duo behind Sword Word Creative. Sword Word is our joint gig for providing English proofreading, editing, writing, and language learning. The site has undergone a major rebranding, so we wanted to take a moment to provide you with some background and reasoning for developing Sword Word Creative.

Developing a new name and brand

As reward to myself for spending money to pay off a student loan, I spent more money to upgrade my website. The motivation behind this was threefold:

  1. Revive and reinvigorate my blog.
  2. Promote my proofreading and writing freelance work.
  3. Promote Ash as an ESL teacher.

With this plan in place, it was clear that the name of the website had to change. “Oranjetaan” did not work on many levels: it was difficult to pronounce, it did not make sense unless I explained it (and when I did explain it, it often still held no significant meaning to the hearer), and it simply did not suit the rebranded objective that Ash and I were going for. If this is going to be a joint venture, the website needs a sensible name.

With Oranjetaan gently laid to rest, Ash and I began brainstorming ideas for a new name. We toyed with many ideas, eventually whittling them down to concepts on “pens”, “words”, and “voice”, and that each of these are powerful tools. The phrase “the pen is mightier than the sword” buzzed around our heads. One evening, we arrived at “Sword Word.” The words “sword” and “word” on their own encapsulate how we approach our writing, editing, and English-language teaching, and how value the Word of God.

Why “Sword Word”?

We grew attached to the concept of individual “words” beings “swords” in one’s language armory. Knowing words and their meanings and how they ought to be used—and deeply knowing as many words as possible—is like having an full armory ready to supply you for battle. In this case, choosing and using the right words is like supplying your writing and speech—your army of ideas—with the powerful weapons. Words are powerful when used correctly and appropriately!

Sharpening words and voices

Whilst spit-balling ideas and concepts for the website name, we settled on the play on “the pen is mightier than the sword”. (Although Ash was very fond of the “John can Delete” idea that was sillily thrown out.) For my aspect of our business, this made sense, seeing as I work extensively with the written word. We came up with the slogan “Sharpen your words”, which again played into our sword theme. As a proofreader and editor, this is fitting because I endeavour to “sharpen” written words in order to make the writer’s point pierce stronger.

For Ash, however, the written word only encapsulated half of her ESL teaching methods. Ash’s teaching focuses heavily on speaking and communicating confidently—using one’s voice. We then added “Sharpen your voice” to sloganeer her ESL side of the venture. We feel as though this truly captures what she strives to do as an ESL teacher.

Ash’s teaching method is defined as a “communicative approach”. She believes the whole purpose of language learning is to communicate and not just to pass a test or correctly complete in a gap-fill exercise. In her experience as an ESL teacher in Poland, Malta, and online, she often finds the biggest struggle for students is their confidence to find their voice and words. These are often lost in a sea of collocations, phrasal verbs and multiple meanings. Her primary aim is to arm students with confidence in their own voice, and to make them feel equipped to find and use their voice to the best of their ability in order to communicate confidently and freely.

The Word of God: sharper than any two-edged sword

There are additional elements at play in the creation of Sword Word. One being us as students of the Word of God—the Bible. Another element being followers of the “Word made flesh”—Jesus Christ. Our faith in Christ Jesus guides our lives and our marriage, how we work and play, and how we build relationships with others.

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12 KJV)

Overall, though, through Sword Word Creative, it is our hope that we can sharpen each other and let the Word of God pierce our souls through our deep dives into the Bible. You can find our blog posts that focus on the Bible here.

Looking for a proofreader, a copywriter, or an ESL teacher?

Sharpen your words with our proofreading, copy editing, or copy writing services. John has over 10 years of experience as a reporter, proofreader, and documentation specialist, and he is armed and ready to assist you in writing or editing your book, academic article, or website content.

Sharpen your voice with our ESL tutoring offerings. Get top-notch and comprehensive lessons and tutoring from a CELTA-certified instructor. Make your voice sharp for your everyday English, business English, or academic English needs!

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