Gardiner Writer Thrives At Home
By Laurie Willow
From Issue 17: Winter 2013
Betty Marton has been a professional writer and editor for most of her adult life, and she works from home. In her home office, or at the kitchen table or on the couch in the living room, she changes views, but not her focus. Betty knows how to find the kernel of the story, and then develop it into a full-bodied sharing of information about a particular person, event or topic.
Betty didn’t always work from home. When she and her husband, Jerry Teters, lived in New York City, Betty was the Communications Directors for the New York City Parks Council. When, at 35, she became pregnant with their first child, she knew that she wanted to work from home. Her employer tried to accommodate this, but since it really hadn’t been invented yet, and the infrastructure wasn’t in place to support telecommuting, it didn’t work out. Betty left that job to begin freelancing.
In 1990, she contracted with her first corporate client, American Express. Working from home, she conducting interviews by phone and relied on fax and mail. So followed other corporations, like NYNEX, Andersen Consulting and Baxter Healthcare, while helping to invent the concept and policies necessary to telecommute. In 1995, Betty and Jerry, with two small children, left the city for Gardiner. “The beauty of this business,” Betty says, “is that you can do it almost anywhere, especially with Skype and email!”
After working for a decade as a corporate freelance writer Betty began to work for foundations and nonprofit organizations. She was reporting for the Carnegie Corporation on a roundtable discussion by a group Muslim business, education and civic leaders that was to be published just after 9/11, but the conversation changed and it never saw the light of day.
“To write about what other people know never gets boring,” said Betty, whose work for such clients as the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Casey Family programs allows her to write about such diverse subjects as children in foster care and reconciliation programs in the Western Balkans. She also writes about best practices in the changing health care system for several healthcare organizations and publications. As an editor, she worked with SUNY New Paltz professor, Nancy Schniedewind, on her recently published book, Educational Courage, and Scattered, a memoir by Justine Blau.
Following the 2008 recession Betty realized that all of her income eggs were in one basket, so she diversified and became the marketing agent for her husband’s artwork (www.JerryTeters.com).
She also launched a new segment of her business called “In Your Own Words.” The idea is this: everyone has a story to tell; each life is unique. Betty interviews a person, recording his or her stories on a CD, and produces a book, with photos, if that is desired. This attention to someone’s life, including your own, is a great gift to future generations. You can find out more about what Betty does at IYOWpublishing.com or martoneditorial.com.