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Because of a litany of medical conditions and age, I have not been feeling well and unable to get to my office that is located in a walkout basement.

Me and two dogs. A 35-pound Puggles (Beagle-Pug Mix), and a 70-pound Pit Bull Mix for company and distractions just like many writers.

It is hard to work on things when you can’t trust your own body not to betray you. I will not go into the conditions or the battery of tests. Suffice it to say that for the past two months have been interesting and restrictive.

With a semi-diagnoses, changes in medications, old-school control of Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 it has been a somewhat challenging time for me and my wife.

I have only been back in my office for about a week. There are still appointments with a neurologist, the ones with a PA and a cardiologist are done for now.

I have been researching for information for organizing my workload.

As I learn more software, there will be more time broken into projects to be scheduled to practice time management.

As a freelancer for hire, it is time to organize the administrative part of my solo-entrepreneurship and gain better control of the projects contracted and where they stand.

With a bit of luck and my taking better care of myself, I will be around for a while longer and posting on a more consistent schedule.

As always, if readers have questions or wish to discuss anything posted here, feel free to contact me.

Always be polite. I take constructive criticism to heart, however, I do not take vitriol and will not accept it.

Author

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer,  Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer Learning Marketing

©All rights reserved Robert Medak September 3, 2018

 

 

 

Lessons learned in twenty-seventeen

As a septuagenarian, here is an overabundance of noise on the Internet and Social Media put forth by people whose aim it seems is to separate you from your money offering advice and high-priced packages that offer no guarantee of even a modicum of success.

Let’s face it, how hard is any individual going to submerse themselves into a book, video or audio package when life and overdue bills are staring them in the face while wondering if tomorrow they will become unemployed as corporations and laying employees off.

One can see that corporations are only interested in one thing, their shareholders, and CEOs, and not employees. Immigrants are not the cause of the loss of jobs as many government officials espouse. Automation and corporate greed have done more to decimate the middle-class working family than Immigrants over the course of the past several decades.

Politicians claim there is no war on the poor and middle class.

Starting in the 1970s, look at Social Security. People pay for Social Security through payroll taxes to safeguard form retirement since many companies didn’t have retirement packages or lost them through Wall Street Investments. The government when to the Supreme Court loaded with conservative justices and won the right to call Social Security an entitlement and could use the money for funding government.

Now the Conservatives want to eliminate both Medicare and Social Security which are funded through payroll taxes and squander money in areas that accomplish only lessen the quality of life and living standard while seeking in creative a class of slaves for the rich by people who have been in Congress longer than many of their constituents have been alive and completely out of touch with reality. While the working class lives on a budget to keep from living in utter poverty the Government is running such massive deficits that our great-great-grandchildren’s great-great-grandchildren will be lucky to pay off if there is any world left for them with the pollution and atmospheric changes the current corporate and government is willing to leave for them.

We have already seen the death of the Great Barrier Reef, the extinction of many species of animals, destruction of rain forests, pollution of rivers and lakes, fish in the oceans that are inedible because of mercury and radiation. Why some in Congress care? They’re rich and their children don’t need to worry because they will never have to work a day in their life like the other eighty to ninety percent of the people wondering how to pay for health care, prescriptions, and generalized living expenses as most Americans do.

What many fail to realize is that America is the only country without a designated language and the highest prescriptions and medical cost of any modern industrial nation on Planet Earth.

America is slowly slipping from the ranks of most educated and well-read amongst many nations.

Looking Forward to Twenty-Eighteen

Contrary to the noise, the only person responsible for the success or failure of my second career is ME! 

Amidst a litany of medical conditions one of which I have some lingering side effects today preclude me from working anywhere else but from home.

As individuals, we are the only ones responsible for our lives past, present, and future. If there were ever a time to put on the adult pants, that time is now for we can rely only on ourselves for our own lives.

Partnerships are only good for each person taking one-hundred percent responsibility for making the relationship work.

I chose as my second career one that is singularly individual, frustrating with steep learning curve because learning only comes from doing and practicing to ever improve; each day is a new beginning to strive for being better than the day before. Perfection is never the end game but only to be better than the day before. The career I chose is one that my it nature is a solitary existence and one that is good for a person due to certain physical limitations must be a partial recluse.

My second career seemed the first choice as someone who is an avid reader of all genres from the classics to contemporary but must state a preference for some long dead composition.

I choose to peddle my wares, as some have suggested lower than I should that hurts their rates, I choose to work with newer authors to help them create the best composition possible on a meeting of the minds.

Editing is somewhat subjective while following given grammatical, punctuational, spelling, and typographical rules. One must also consider sentence structure and linguistic norms.

As Nathaniel Hawthorne said, “Easy reading is damn hard writing.”

That quote says it all. Authors write for themselves but also with a reader in mind. Anyone aspiring toward authorship must keep in mind that being an author is akin to an entrepreneur.

Authors need a platform, a website, marketing, a following, PR, social media, publishing, editing, proofreading, formatting, indexing, bookkeeping, and more. Sounds like an entrepreneur doesn’t it. Yes, writing is a business and deserves to be handled as one.

To this end, for twenty-eighteen, I will be removing distractions, taking some online courses and dive into reading the numerous books on style and others to improve over last year and allow more time in my day for many creative endeavors.

The biggest challenge is determining what is working or isn’t working when it comes to promotion and branding for what I loosely call a career with only a few one of clients.

I must be more proactive in finding clients willing to trust that I can deliver quality.

My second Career:

Freelance Writer

Blogger

Editor

Proofreader

Reviewer

Learning Marketing and Branding

Twenty-eighteen, a new beginning and a better year than twenty-seventeen!

Author

Robert Medak

Please feel free to comment or begin a discussion on this post or any post on this blog.

 

 

 

 

In 2003, I was in my thirty-seventh year with SBC (Originally Pacific Telephone & Telegraph that was a subsidiary of American Telephone & Telegraph known as ATT. In 1984 The Bell System was divested into Baby Bells. PT&P became Pacific Bell or PacBell. SBC bought out PacBell and later bought the name ATT. I offer this history as a side note to bring together what follows.)

While working for PacBell, I was diagnosed with Meniere’s Syndrome and some other medical conditions. The most important one is the Meniere’s.

There are four symptoms to Meniere’s.

  1. Hearing Loss
  2. Fullness in the Ear
  3. Tinnitus (Ringing in the ear.)
  4. Vertigo + Nausea (Spinning world and sometimes vomiting)

I was blessed with all four symptoms. This is something one just learns to live with like taking B12 Injections for pernicious anemia You get used to it because there is no viable alternative.

In 2003, thanks to the Meniere’s, and unseen and less understood condition was not doing my attendance was less than exemplary. Fortunately, the company was offering an early retirement package to employees with enough time and age. I was lucky enough to be offered such a package. With termination because of attendance issues, this was a no brainer, I took the package in December of 2003.

After three years of retirement, I wanted something to do that keeps my mind active. I did a lot of volunteering. Friends of the Library, Citizens on Patrol, Worked in the Senior Citizens Thrift Store, Treasurer of Serenity Haven Animal Rescue and Sanctuary, Parliamentarian of the Citizens Club, President of the Fire Safety Council, events coordinator, publicist, and PR person for Serenity Haven. While I kept busy, there was still something missing.

In 2006, I began reviewing books. Having been an avid reader for over half a century by that time I noticed that the books I was reviewing could do with some proofreading if not large-scale editing.

Later began my career as an online copywriter of various subjects and interning as an online copy editor. My reviews offered me the opportunity to edit manuscripts and do some PR for the author of a book.

Since I am on a fixed income with a scant budget I have had to wear many hats.

I am a CEO, CFO, CMO, COO, CCO, Editor at Large, Content Creator, Publicist, and PR Department, which means always something new to learn and practice on a DIY basis.

MY WHY

I have thought about this question from the first time I heard it.

For me, it is not about the money, but helping people, small businesses, entrepreneurs, authors, unpublished authors, or anyone who needs the services of a proofreader or editor with a limited budget and can’t afford the services that cost hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Because of a litany of medical conditions and medications that require a regulated schedule I work from home that requires little to no overhead and able to work inexpensively passing savings onto the client.

I have read Asimov to Zola, Classics, Romance, Business, Medical Texts, Fiction, Nonfiction, Sci-Fi, Horror, Fantasy, and just about any genre there is.

I have had discussions about various authors with people.

I was fortunate to meet and have two books autographed after a talk at Southwest Manuscriptors Torrance, CA by Ray Bradbury.

As Mr. Bradbury explained it, his writing teachers were the tomes he found in the library.

His advice was invaluable. By reading everything one can learn to write, but only if they write something every day. One’s first work may be horrendous but should improve as time goes along. Very few people are born writers without some work before.

It usually takes time and hard work to become an overnight success.

My main drive is to help writing become better by eliminating clichés, redundant words, spelling, punctuation, passive sentences, and any other items from a reader’s viewpoint.

As Nathaniel Hawthorne said, “Easy reading is damn hard writing.” Ask any author if they agree and most will.

It a form of paying it forward. It is all about the copy and making it the best possible for the reader.

I have been chastised for the prices I charge causing others to not make as much for their work.

I don’t care. I charge what I do because I know that many authors can’t afford an expensive editor or proofreader when they self-publish.

I believe that there should be an editor for every author that the author can afford to work with without having to take out a home mortgage to pay for.

Does this “MY WHY” make sense?

Talk to me about it. I love discussions and helping people where and when I can.

I also deliver honest unbiased reviews and have been known to call out authors when there is something amiss for the reader. An Example is non-consistency of terms or in one case of a new writer the protagonist leaves in a truck to go to town and then gets into a car to come home but it is meant to be the same vehicle. If it starts a truck it stays a truck unless it is sold and a car is bought.

This sounds simple but can through the reader off and screams amateur.

Authors want to be taken seriously for their work and have readers. When a reader reads a book that hasn’t been properly edited they either stop reading or never read that author again. Readers who spend money for a book have an expectation of quality. An editor helps with the quality.

NOTE: I would appreciate comments you may have about this post.

Author

Robert Medak

Freelance writer, blogger, editor, proofreader, and reviewer learning marketing

One-third of a year gone as of April 27, 2015 bm-4

This year is the year of change. I have lived in two centuries, eight different decades, cease being a sexagenarian and become a septuagenarian.

I have been a reader, learner, and driver for over half a century.

After retiring in December 2013, I began writing reviews and web content in February 2006.

It is definitely time, to begin thinking about what I want to be when I grow up, and quit being my own worst enemy.

Why did I want to be a writer?

  • I have always thought different than other people
  • I feel as though I have something to impart to readers
  • I wrote How-Tos while working and edited notes written by one of my supervisors (Pacific Telephone and Telegraph, PacBell, SBC, which is now ATT)
  • While acting as Parliamentarian for Crestline Senior Citizens Club, rewrote the bylaws
  • Wrote the job description manuals for Serenity Haven Animal Rescue and Sanctuary
  • I have edited manuscripts
  • Written Poems and Prose while taking courses online at Writers’ Village University
  • Created a writing workshop at WVU
  • Facilitated courses at WVU
  • Created a course at WVU
  • Critiqued poems and prose
  • Read from Asimov to Zola
  • Worked as an Intern copy editor for Celebrity Café
  • Built an online presence for Allbook Reviews International
  • Written and edited press releases
  • While living in Osborne, Kansas, helped a High School writing prodigy with her stories after meeting her in an authors’ group and asked to help her.
  • Wrote a letter of recommendation for a young writer for a position at a local press
  • A local magazine, Osborne Joy contacted me for a short story to be included in an upcoming issue while living in Kansas.

The question remains, what have I accomplished.

  • I began earning money at the age of around nine and a half as a paperboy delivering the News Pilot.
  • Next was working at San Pedro Marine through High School into college
  • I spent from 1965 until 1971 as an ARMY Reservist working my way to E6 and acting First Sargent over two platoons of forty troops each in Psychological Warfare Company.
  • From September 1966 until December of 2003 worked from PacBell on everything from POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) to Fiber Optic equipment as the technology changed and updated.
  • Created a trouble shooting guide for M1C equipment

What have I accomplished or learned?

Over the years, I learned much, which a good deal is of no use since I retired from PacBell.

  • I have been blogging about writing and freelancing.
  • I share what I consider interesting items
  • I try to answer question that people online may have
  • I have been working on a manuscript “Taming the Freelance Market”.
  • I have stories and poems, written or started, and some still in my head.
  • I am a freelancer who because of finances must wear many hats while trying to learn marking and converting visitors to my blog and social media accounts despite a litany of medical conditions that require daily medications. I say this not for pity but as one ages things begin to happen from a medical perspective. For some, “the golden years” are more like trips to doctors, specialists, and the hospital.
  • I enjoy reading and love editing
  • When working DIY, getting clients is difficult when competing with others from around the world.

Following some of my own advice

It is time for me to change my daily routine and make more time for writing and devote less time to that which is a time waster like Email, social media, and complete some courses I have waiting for me.

It is finally time to inhibit the procrastination bug from invading my life and work on what makes me fulfilled. Back to learning, reading, and writing is the mantra I should be living.

It is time to cull things that are not as important as what I should be doing, writing because writers write. I do consider myself a writer, 2015 is the year I should prove it.

Since money for traditional publishing is nonexistent unless I win the LOTTO, I must work on getting my ducks in a row, dot all Is and cross all Ts to get my manuscript turned into a finished book.

If I want to write, I must prove that to myself by writing and finishing my first book while continuing to hone the craft into readable content for any potential readers.

Has Nathaniel Hawthorne said, “Easy reading is damn hard writing.” I believe it.

It will take me months to whittle down the stealers of time so that I can devote more time to education and putting words on my computer’s monitor.

Be well!

Author

Robert Medak

  • Freelance writer
  • Blogger
  • Editor
  • Proofreader
  • Reviewer learning marketing, and much more

“Every day is an opportunity to learn something new”. ©RJM

An overview of online marketing. A simple grap...

An overview of online marketing. A simple graph that represents the major components of online marketing, including, Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Search Engine Optimization (SEO), including RSS and Atom feeds, Affiliate Marketing, Email Marketing, Viral Networking/Blogs and Social Netowrking. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the beginning, blogs were nothing more than online diaries. Many people had one where they rambled on about their life, parties, or whatever they felt writing about.

Over time, blogs usage changed to causes by people, and groups. You can still find these types of blogs.

Today, businesses have blogs where they write to explain who they are, what they’re about, and how they’re different for other businesses.

Business blogs are a part of an overall SEO strategy to market goods and services businesses have to offer.

Any site where people congregate is social; the media platform may be different, but where there are people is social media. Blogs are a place for businesses to tell their story. To add humanity to their business, automatons don’t work as well as a human who can interact with potential customers, answer customer questions, and customer service on a social media platform.

Do not listen to the naysayers, who say blogs are dead, mainly because many want to sell you something you don’t need. Try using your humanity in an authentic way and good things will happen when you least expect it.

When blogging, never be negative, or condescending in tone. Be engaging, and helpful to your readers. Be authentic, and transparent. Blogs should be educational and informative first. The sales will come in time. Blogs should not always be about purchasing this product, or that product.

Blogs can be a way to create loyal customers for the life of your business by building relationships. Customers would rather purchase from someone they consider a friend, than some stranger.

Use your blog as a social platform to inform visitors what you are about and what you have to offer them, while also building relationships.

Author

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning Marketing

Follow the author: http://xeeme.com/RobertMedak

Are college and university graduates learning how to write or are they plagiarizing prior works to get through their courses? There is some thought by instructors that students don’t understand what plagiarism is (Taken from a dictionary program WordPro™. A piece of writing that has been copied from someone else and is presented as being your own work.) Never Plagiarize.

As a sexagenarian, the term computer meant a large room filled with wires, tubes, and air conditioning to keep the room habitable for people. The idea of something sitting on a desk or portable was only a thought of the future; a period, when students of higher math, and engineers used slide rules, to make needed calculations.

The first handheld calculator didn’t arrive on the scene until 1967; Texas Instruments was first because an engineer was able to invent the printed circuit board, which ushered in small devices.

Before 1967, a calculator would need desk space. In 2012, a personal computer can do more than the earliest computer.

In 2012, there is software to help write, correct grammar, even software that converts speech into written words. Is this the way to do it? Who says the software is correct for other than academic writing? There is also ethics.

An article states that as high as 60 percent of college freshmen are not ready for college-level writing, Students are ill-prepared for college-level writing.

These students are the future of businesses, and government. They are possibly future authors.

Readers would not want to read something written by a semi-literate person who is incapable of writing a simple sentence without gross errors.

It’s obvious that the educational system is not working, as it should. One study online by OCED in Figures 2009 the United States ranks 33rd when tested against other countries.

If people aren’t able to read at the proper level, their ability to write clearly and correctly will suffer. As an avid reader, writer, and book reviewer, Readers don’t wish subjection to books, articles, and other copy with errors in grammar. People should spend their time and check resources to ensure that what they write is clear, concise, and as error free as possible.

Plagiarism is for lazy, unethical writers. There are sites online where both writers and students can find academic papers. The question is what is ethical for each individual.

If the writer is unsure of something, there are resources both on and offline available. For working offline, a good dictionary and thesaurus should be within reach. For one online source, try the Guide to Grammar & Writing , also try Copyscape® to test web content against the Internet for any duplication. Web content should be free of anything on another web site. If something does come up using Copyscape®, correct the copy you’re working on.

Parents need to work with their children on reading and writing skills to insure their ability for future tasks and higher education. Not reading at the proper level to understanding requirements for erection of equipment and safety requirements at work could be dangerous.

Part of life is communication; communication comes in two flavors, written and oral. If a person is incapable of communicating well, the chance for upward mobility or of finding readers is diminished.

It’s time for children and parents to read to each other to improve literacy.

We need to speak to Boards of Education and ask them to make reading and writing a priority.

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer/Blogger/Editor/Proofreader/Reviewer/Marketer

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