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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





Learning Marketing and Branding

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


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.


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.


Robert Medak

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

You can search for “book reviewers” on Google and Bing, and inundated with subgenres, jobs, and myriad pages to peruse looking for reviewers to read your self-published or indie published book.

Good luck with this route. You are likely to spend hours contacting reviewers without any knowledge of if they are professional, honest, their turnaround time, and if they read your genre. Although this sounds daunting, a better way to find reviewers is to use social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to ask for recommendations from others.

There are many ways to find book reviewers but word of mouth is still the best way to find reviewers for your book.

There are questions you need to ask potential reviewers.

1. Do they read your genre?

2. Are they willing to review your book?

3. Will they post the review where you wish?

4. How long will it take to receive the review?

As an author, you should receive clear answers to these questions.

You should expect an honest review from whomever you have review your book.

There should be no charge for reviewing your book, although there is some contention between authors and reviewers about whether or not reviewers should receive monetary compensation for their time reading and writing reviews.



Robert Medak

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

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