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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!


Robert Medak

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

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

If you can afford the cost of mentorship, good for you, because you may get your business online and offline faster than someone who cannot afford a mentor to help them.

With or without a mentor, the Entrepreneur is required to work hard at learning, and applying the lessons to practical situations for their business model.

Education is useless without the ability to apply the concepts to the situations dictated when running a business.

For those without deep pockets, therefore unable to afford a mentor, it is DIY time.

The lessons learned with or without a mentor are the same for all Entrepreneurs,

• Accounting
• Blog
• Branding
• Business Insurance
• Business Plan
• Business Regulations for State, County, and Local
• Fully Optimized Website
• Inbound and Outbound Marketing
• Marketing Strategy
• Offline and Online Marketing
• Offline and Online Networking
• Promotion
• Record Keeping
• Running a Business
• Social Media
• Taxes, Federal, State, and local

When working with a mentor, is the mentor you are working with able to tailor the information to your business model.

Not all mentors are equal.

• Do they walk the talk?
• What is their background?
• What do they know about your business niche?
• What are they selling beside their time?
• Are they readily available for questions?
• How long have they been mentoring?
• Are they easy to work with?
• Are they teaching how to apply their knowledge?
• Do you understand what they are teaching?
• Do they teach customer service?

Working without a mentor is not as easy as working with a mentor, but the lessons are the same, and it takes time and hard work to make any business a success.

You can find a plethora of people that are ascribing that you should outsource much of the daily chores of a business, the problem is in the fact that they don’t tell you how to pay for outsourcing, in addition, not all outsources are of the caliber to perform with honesty, integrity, and quality.

Bad outsourcers are a reflection of your business, not the outsourcers since their name is not mentioned, your business, which is you, is the one whose reputation suffers.

A business is a reflection of the person running it. You are the brand, you are branding your morals and integrity; do it wrong and your business will suffer.

Robert Medak
Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning Marketing
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After pouring your heart out on your story comes editing.

Hiring a professional editor can be just what your story needs to make it the best possible story it can be.

How much does a professional editor cost?

“Common editorial rates —regardless of whether a project is flat rate or hourly— tend to fall within the ranges indicated below. These should be used only as a rough guideline; rates vary considerably depending on the nature of the work, the time frame of the assignment, the degree of special expertise required, and other factors. The industry standard for a manuscript page, however, is a firm 250 words.”

Type of Work Estimated Pace Range of Fees
Editing, basic copyediting 5-10 ms pgs/hr $30-40/hr
Editing, heavy copyediting 2–5 ms pgs/hr $40–50/hr
Editing, website copyediting $40-50/hr
Editing, developmental 1–5 pgs/hr $45–55/hr
Editing, substantive or line 1–6 ms pgs/hr $40–60/hr

View the rest of this rate schedule at the Editorial Freelancers Association.


Robert Medak

My Social Presence:

Creativity Graph

Creativity Graph (Photo credit: lightsoutfilms)

Many writers and others periodically suffer from procrastination, especially when beginning a new project.

It’s easy to over think about what you face beginning a new project or while working on a project by trying for perfection. Everyone wants their project work to be perfect. Forget about perfection; just get to work.

Striving for perfection in your work is admirable, but perfection can also stifle creativity. When you hamper creativity by not seeing perfection in your mind, it’s easy to shelve the project by finding something else to occupy your time.

Creativity, especially when writing is a singularly lonely time. You need alone time where there are no distractions. A time for you to sit with yourself, and do your best work possible.

Get your project completed to best of your ability that’s all you can do, your best is good enough.

This doesn’t mean you settle for less than your best. Each subsequent project should be an improvement over the completed one. Push yourself to learn and improve.

Striving for perfection is a goal, but not if it makes you procrastinate or drive you crazy.

When writing, the goal should be to finish, then take time to edit. You don’t have the time to worry about things like is it good enough, do I know what I’m doing, I’m not good enough, or some other excuse that makes you sit back and procrastinate instead of charging ahead with your writing.

This is especially true when copywriting. If you plan on writing for a living, or for businesses, procrastination is the creativity death nil for you. It’s up to you if you let it happen. Are you going to let procrastination via your internal editor, or ego get in your way? Not if you want to call yourself a writer.

I may not be as subtle as other writers, but I try to impart some knowledge from years as a freelance writer. I don’t sugarcoat things. I try to work with honesty, integrity, and quality.

To this end, all of my content is 100-percent original, and my opinion only.

About the Author:

Robert Medak is a retired Communications Technician turned freelance writer, blogger, editor, proofreader, and reviewer learning marketing.

He was born in southern California, and lived in Kansas until moving to southern West Virginia with his wife and their cats and dogs. While in California, he and his wife Connie ran an animal rescue where Robert wrote job descriptions, flyers, and was treasurer.

When beginning writers ask for advice about what to write about, the stock answer is to write what you know.

I look at it differently; writing about what you know may be comfortable for beginners, but how many readers are there that want to read a book about what you know, what about fantasy, thrillers, mainstream romance, and science fiction?

Writers should write about their passion. If a writer likes mysteries, than they should read many of them, and then write one.

Good writers need to be avid readers. If a writer doesn’t like to read, they probably won’t be a good writer. The reason for this is simple; writers must have a passion for words and language to be a good writer.

Many writers worry about something called voice, a writer’s voice will develop over time as the writer writes. Voice can also change over time as the writer hones their writing by writing.

Only ghostwriters worry about the ability of writing in someone else’s voice. This takes special skill and is not something that beginners should attempt. Ghostwriting is for seasoned writers, and those who specialize in it.

Back to the subject

First, writing is a business not a hobby. Writers whose dream is to write and publish are entrepreneurs and must have this mindset. Think about this, what are you willing to do for your book?

Unless you self-publish, it could cost a minimum of $1,500 to $2,000 for you to work through an agent, or to work with various publishers you can find by searching the Internet to get your book published. Bear in mind that publishing houses are reluctant to work with unknown and unpublished writers.

Second, writers must have a passion for what they write, because if they don’t, the story will not engage the reader properly. The reader may become bored, set the book down, and not pick it up again. Now the writer has possibly lost a reader forever.

Who is your audience?

This is another point that is continually brought up; don’t try to jump on the latest bandwagon. By the time your book comes out, the bandwagon could have changed. Trying to write the latest fad is never a good idea.

Think about movies for a moment, how many times have you seen a movie with a big box office, and then everyone makes a similar movie. Are those movies as good? Usually not, and neither are many sequels.

Writing is the loneliest and time-consuming vocation one can chose. Writers sit for hours in solitary with only their thoughts and blank pages to fill with words that create something new for readers.

Robert Medak

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

Mark Twain photo portrait.

Image via Wikipedia

Editing your own writing can be a huge mistake. You know what you meant to say; but did you say what you mean?

As Mark Twain said, “The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction. By that time you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is that you really want to say.”

Think about this quote for a few minutes or longer until it sinks in.

This is a quote I have on my outgoing e-mails. To me it means that I must let my writing percolate for a period before submitting it. If possible, have a second person read it also, someone I trust to make sure that my meaning is clear and they get the message.

If you don’t have anybody, find someone you trust to be honest and tell you what is wrong with your article, essay, story, or whatever you’ve written. I ask my wife to read my writing to see if she can get the point, I’m trying to make. I know she will be honest with me.

Never take criticism personally, look at it as an opportunity to improve your craft. Always look for opportunities for improving what you do no matter what it is. The old adage, practice makes perfect is true. The more you write the better writer you become; the same holds true for editing. The more you edit, the best editor you will become.

As with anything you do, the more you do it the more proficient you should become. All it takes is work, desire, and due diligence to improve your skills. I can attest to this from personal experience.

If or when, courses online or offline come along that meet with your schedule and pocketbook related to writing, editing, or some other part of being an entrepreneur, take it.

All it takes is to put your butt in the chair and keep it there.

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer/Editor/Reviewer

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