No Job in Your Field of Study…Create it Yourself

I know how difficult it is to accept that the degree you worked for, went into the debt for, isn’t a quick return of investment. Some of you have put in the work, though. The job came right out of college. That’s a great feeling, and those left out of that promise we’ve shown for years are sort of happy for you.

The reality is that not all of us acquire the job we want. Or sometimes, we don’t acquire a job at all. The hard truth is some professionals see a liberal arts degree as useless. They don’t say the word useless. They’ll phrase it as “not practical.” In some way, the professionals and employers are right. Some of the liberal art degrees don’t fit in the day to day in the workplace.

You have the degree. You have a part-time job to go along with it or maybe a side hustle. The asterisk putting more pressure on you are rejection e-mails, no-call backs, and money.

When you feel that pressure, start putting your energy into special interest. If you’re a novelist, start writing. Transform yourself into a mill of fiction or nonfiction. Create a vault of pages whether they be ideas or stories you wrote just for you. Consider publishing those stories after they’ve fleshed out. The idea is to create something, you may be creating something impactful and lucrative.

Although it’s an expensive hobby, photography is a great skill to add to your arsenal if you haven’t done so already. Learn the basics, watch some YouTube tutorials, and post your best work on a stock image site.

But why do this? Surely, I don’t want you to give up on your aspirations in the pursuit of a great career. Nothing is useless, especially not years of hard work to get a degree. Some of us went into debt to get educated. We went full speed ahead to achieve that goal. While you’re waiting, create the career you want.

For English majors and aspiring writers, I can tell you that freelance writing and editing is the way to go. There’s enough work for everyone. I’ll say to anyone out there stuck in limbo, keep creating and keep trying. It’s not over. The storm of failure and uncertainty won’t last. We will have our time. Press on and be faithful. We will succeed.

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Big Bad Flash Stories is finally here!!!

Hello fellow bloggers and readers. After a long absence, I have finished my first self-published title.

Big Bad Flash Stories is live on Amazon.

This 55-page flash fiction collection details several accounts from our favorite folktale villain, the Big Bad Wolf.

There are several other stories within the collection that serves as an intermission to the wolf’s overall story.

Big Bad Flash Stories covers a multitude of genres with indulgence as a central theme.

This book will be served as an appetizer for what’s to come. Big Bad Flash Stories is just the beginning.

Get your copy here!

Top 5 Distractions for Writers

Brainstorming the infinite possibilities of a writer’s creativity is fun to talk about, but talking about writing doesn’t put words on the page.

Once the writing process starts, consistency becomes a constant struggle.

These days, technology soaks up most of our time. If our cellphones aren’t in our hands, we’re likely invested into television or a computer screen. Regardless of what it is, technology can be a distraction when we’re trying to get our writing done. But technology isn’t the only detractor that affects our writing.

Consider these factors listed below as known distractors to writers.

1. Internet

The World Wide Web is an essential to research, social marketing, and entertainment. Because of the infinite possibilities, most of us find ourselves shopping or reacting to cute puppy videos.

As fun as creativity is, writing is forced to compete with the ever tempting after thought that just won’t go away until we take a small peek, which can last for hours.

2. Gaming

Those of us who grew up in the era of games understand how captivating video games can be. They are just as fun as any book, comic, or film. Actually, most of these games are derived from these items.

Video games take up as much time as the internet. In combination with story and graphics, games present challenges that frustrate and reward players for long hours of play time. This means more inspiring time but less writing.

There has to be limit. Writers can be both creator and gamer, however, time must be managed effectively to get writing done.

3. Career / Work

The rule of thumb for all writers, fiction and nonfiction, is to never quit a day job.

The reality of a writer is like the reality of a singer. Many are talented, few get through the passage to noteriety. Therefore, it’s important for writers to have a career to ensure they earn a living.

Sometimes, the job chokes our inspiration. Sometimes, writers trade a few hundred words for sleep.

4. Writing at Home

Like any other technological distraction, the humble of bode is just as distracting. We are most comfortable at home, and many of us find something around the house to mess with instead of writing.

Parents face the toughest challenge. Toddlers and pre-teens are awesome but can be more than an arm full. Considering children as a distraction is insensitive, however, it’s going to be a long day to get 200 hundred words on the page when the kids get curious.

5. Writer’s Block

Staring at a blank page is a symptom of writer’s block. It’s the undeniable condition that illustrates how the brain has worn itself out. The words don’t flow as good when they’re forced out, and the classic continuous backspacing leaves the writer just as empty as the blank page.

Writer’s block lock writers into a brainstorm and floods them with deluge of anxiety.

But there is a silver lining at edge of it. Writers should continue writing even if it sounds like they’re sloshing through muddy ideas. Write them down and save them until they’re dry enough to sculpt.

Dealing with Distractions

There’s no avoiding distractions. They will appear and loom over the writer’s shoulder. How writer’s deal with distractions is the true test.

Despite challenges, work load, and anxiety, writers should write on. Conditions are part of the journey that mold writers into excellent story tellers.

Upcoming Flash Fiction Collection…Should it be free?

Upcoming Flash Fiction Collection…Should it be free?

After much consideration, I’ve decided to give readers an appetizer of fiction through eBook hosting services such as Amazon and iBooks.

I’ve been sitting on 10,000 plus words of flash fiction the last few years. I posted them to Fiction Press before, but I was too indecisive on whether they should be on the site.

Update: I have decided to sit on this project. I want to focus on writing and editing more projects.

Writing for Professionals

Creativity is never a problem for the fiction writer. Earning a sustainable wage solely as a writer is a dream for fiction and nonfiction authors. That dream, however, takes time to establish. Therefore, it’s important to keep a job, part-time or full-time, while one pursues such an ambition.

In the past few years, I’ve targeted professional writing and editing opportunities through job boards like Indeed and Upwork (previously Elance).

Writing for clients, though not unfamiliar, is a different world. The principles of writing and editing remain consistent, but each industry has its own writing style, subtlties one might not notice if he or she is not familiar with a particular field of study or industry.

Freelance writers and editors outside those particular industries have to learn them as they acquire clients.

Like any business, there is a slow season. At the moment, I’m in a stand still. I apply. I wait. I try again. What can I expect? The market is full of professionals, and I can’t blame clients for choosing a freelancer who works more frequently than most.

Instead, I’ve been trying to create professional writing content such as technical guides and white papers to attract clients and illustrate my versatile writing skills.

It’s a great idea, but I keep hitting the wall of writer’s block. I miss the days of having a prompt to work with.

Day 7: Coffee of the Day

The blog of the day is…

…If we were having coffee, it would be the witching hour. Around 5 a.m., occasionally, I grab a small Styrofoam cup. I fill it one-fourth way with sugar and cream. The more exotic the cream flavor the better. As long as its not peppermint or double chocolate.

I seize the coffee urn, tipping it slowly. I hold it at a specific angle because the stream often runs down the side of the urn. I never succeed. I pretend the coffee doesn’t spill and blame the person who pours the next serving.

The dark blend morphs into a caramel-color. I inhale the steam. Decent. The taste: Sweet. Caffeine is buried by the sugar, weariness drains the will to remain awake. I’m tempted to get another cup. Time is winding down, so I wait for breakfast before I decide to put something else in my stomach.

The morning shift is done, and the coffee has left me with a bubbly stomach ache. The next day, a co-worker brings an exotic blend: Pumpkin Spice. I envision the routine from the previous day.

If we’re having coffee we’re directing the news.

Tonight the challenge ends. I’d like to thank the Write Tribe for challenging me and other bloggers to find the edge we needed to blog daily. Maybe I’ll take on another challenge to keep myself busy. Also, I’d like to thank those that like, share, and/or read my blog posts. I’ll be sure to do the same.