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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.

 

 

 

 

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I also turn down work because of my stand on honesty, integrity, and quality.

Authenticity and originality are my primary goals in everything I do.

To do less is to diminish me as a person, and brand. ”

—- Robert Medak

There are many job boards and opportunities for academic writers. I have chosen to never write academic articles.

You would probably ask me why?

For me, it is about a moral code I developed decades ago. I believe strongly in honesty, integrity, and quality.

  1. If I were to write an academic paper and a student were to turn it in as an assignment: He/She has plagiarized. It isn’t his work.

  2. He/She hasn’t learned anything. This is the purpose of an academic paper. Research and fact finding thus gaining experience and knowledge.

  3. He/She has not learned how to rely on themselves.

  4. He/She is taking the easy way out by cutting corners.

Even the possibility of academic articles being used for this purpose is enough for me to have no desire to write academic articles.

Example:

A number of years ago while in college, I wrote a paper on Microwave Vaccum Tubes. I designed an electronic schematic showing all formulas concerning the parts list and how I derived the values for the components.

There were reasons that this work was assigned. What would I have learned if I had ordered an academic paper?

I also did a review of a book for a political science course taken for my major.

These were for separate courses that showcased my work, not someone else, the grades received were earned my me.

By doing the work I proved that I am not part of the almost 50 percent of today’s freshmen applying to community college must be remediated because they are unable to perform college-level work.

Businesses are spending 3.1 billion dollars a year remediating employees because colleges students do not have adequate communication and math skills for today’s businesses.

Being an old-school grammarian, there are times when visiting websites, readers should be appalled by the grammar and punctuation errors, verb-subject agreement, and poor writing.

Granted, that typos are impossible to catch everyone. The point is, that before anything is posted to the internet or any media it should be thoroughly edited and proofread.

Read and you will find words being used that show a lack of the basic understanding of English.

Where have native English speakers learned that it is okay to use learnt when they mean learned?

Just because a word has been added to a lexicon doesn’t mean it should be used instead of the proper word.

Social media and texting is the downfall of proper English, I can’t speak for other languages since I don’t speak any.

How are your communication and math skills?

Do you read?

Do you practice your communication and math skills?

Do you spend time expanding your vocabulary?

Through the use of judicious use of proper English for verbal and written communication will help in clear and concise communication to establish what the communicator is trying to say and have it understood whoever hears or reads it.

© 10/24/2016 All Rights Reserved

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader,and Reviewer

Where do you start once you make the decision to become a Freelance Writer?

First, double check your reason why you want to be a freelance writer.

There are many writers trying to make a living writing, unfortunately, there are also many writers who must have a second source of income to cover bills, mortgage, living expenses, and cover medical and business insurance.

The jobs do not come to you; you need to hustle for jobs, price the project, administrate the entrepreneurship, build a portfolio of work, obtain testimonials, create a brand, build a reputation, and obtain referrals from clients at the minimum.

You should know your way around a website, how to update your site, and how to promote it via multichannel marketing.

Not what you were thinking is it.

Working as a full-time freelance writer and editor since February of 2006, and having published a Christmas short story, written over 300 web articles, worked as a web copyeditor, manuscript editor, PR writer, book reviewer with over 120 reviews, and earning a degree from the University of Hard Knocks.

Any type of freelancing is not something where you can hang out a shingle which states you are a freelancer, and expect clients to beat a path to your door with fists full of money for you.

Many job boards are not free and you will be competing for low paying writing jobs while posting a bid and competing with people from around the world and willing to work for peanuts.

Second, as a freelance writer, what type of writing projects you wish to do.

Choose whether you are a generalist, or a specialist. You can find so-called gurus that prefer one type to another. Personally, it is up to the individual writer as to the type of writing projects they choose to write.

It is up to every freelancer to find their own path determined by their personality, moral fiber, hard work, and how they choose the assignments.

Third, freelance writing is about constantly writing and making each piece better than your last.

Never compare yourself to another writer, be the best writer you can and always try to improve your writing by reading other authors to gain insights about what works and what does not work for the reader.

Author

Robert Medak

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

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

If you need help making your writing better or have any questions about how to improve your writing, please use the contact me, and work together making your writing better.

Is Writer’s Block Real? In my opinion, no. A lack of preparation is a more likely culprit of what people call writer’s block.

I am a published freelance writer, blogger, editor, and reviewer learning marketing. I have written technical, How To, a fiction short story, nonfiction articles, and SEO Web content. I’ve reviewed in just about every genre there is. As a writer, I believe you also must be an avid reader.

As Mark Twain says, “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.” This quote is for all writing, not just articles.

Preparation for writing is “…. to clearly and logically perceive what it is that you really want to say.” The other part of this to be sure the reader gets your meaning. This is how to avoid writer’s block.

If for some reason you do become blocked, look back at your research, and focus on what you are trying to say. Focus should always be primary when writing a project, albeit article, story, or even a blog post. Writing blog posts is a good way to work on your focus and writing for clear meaning.

I have four blogs, I write Hubs at Hub Pages, contribute on two blogs about writing, and have guest blogged on other subjects.

Writing is what writers do, by writing blogs, contributing to blogs, and practicing your writing on sites like twitter that allows you little space for wordiness, you learn to make yourself clear and write tight.

The next time you are ready to begin a new project, create a checklist to make sure you are prepared to write and banish writer’s block forever.

 

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Why am I calling this post Writing 101?

I am about to tell you, but first I want to add my favorite quote by Mark Twain, “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.” Working as a freelance writer, Twain’s quote speaks to me as no other quote does.

English: Signatures of Mark Twain

Think about what the quote says. It tells me that I need to get the words down, then edit later to make the copy (Matter for printing, exclusive of graphics) that I post, ghostwrite, or article I write. I also follow three rules when I edit,

  1. Is it cohesive
  2. Is it coherent
  3. Is it readable

This may sound simplistic, but try writing this way. You will find that it isn’t as easy as it sounds. Readable copy is something written that will engage the reader, not just something to kill time, but truly engage the reader.

How do you engage the reader?

You engage the reader by delivering on the promise of the headline and subtitle. There must be relevant information that engages and informs the read about what the headline says if you are writing and article, and the premise of a book is to deliver according to the title.

If you’re writing an article or blog post, it should be the best work you can do. Any information you offer to your reader is something they have searched for, give it to them from an objective standpoint unless there is a reason to offer an opinion, like a review. When writing a product review, you have to give both the pros and cons. If doing a book review there are other standards, never give the story away, but do give an honest objective review of the style, story, and characters.

I am asked, “How do you prepare for writing?” This has been my answer.

  1. Be prepared
  2. Get the words down
  3. Have someone you trust read it and offer suggestions
  4. Edit it, or have an editor do it
  5. Always strive to improve your writing
  6. Never settle for less than your best

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer/Editor/Reviewer/Marketer

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Stephen Page

Author: The Timbre of Sand, Still Dandelions, A Ranch Bordering the Salty River. Alum: Palomar College, Columbia University, Bennington College. Follow on twitter @SmpageSteve on Instagram @smpagemoria on Facebook @steven.page.1481

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