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.

How Marketing affects the Indie Author

If you’re anything like me, marketing feels like learning another language like a mysterious code fluently understood by suits and intimidating to the average person.

There’s no question. Marketing is an essential to creating a successful title. For indie authors, it’s a lot tougher considering that we do everything ourselves.

Thanks to social media, the average can attempt marketing techniques through promotion through social media. But what else can indie authors do besides post to social media? Should we invest into a marketing firm or should we implore a college student looking to make a buck or two.

How we market our brands is very important. A lot of times the conditions of our careers and our lives is like a dam hindering our ambitions to publish or finish that project you desire to share with the world.

At the earliest opportunity, try and post whatever you can to WordPress, Twitter, FaceBook, and LinkedIn. Let’s encourage one another by sharing post, hitting like buttons, and funding campaigns.

Any action taken to market yourself is better than not taking action.

Update: Check out this list of resources. This describes what places give all authors a platform to market (promote) their literature. 
 

Letter to the Undergrad

Hello Undergrad Student(s),

Don’t take this the wrong way, but your career is going to suck if you don’t arm yourself with as many skills as possible.

The purpose of this letter is a warning. Be careful. Don’t take your college career for granted or you’ll be going a through loop trying to figure out what you should’ve done while you were in college.

I know this because I believed that one degree would opened all the doors for me. It’s not like that any more. Bachelor’s degrees are a dime a dozen. These days, a person must be a jack of all trades.

Use your resources. Professors are not just there to piss you off, they get you ready for the rugged edges of rejection and bluntness from employers. Unpaid internships does put a damper on finances, but they can help build experience, which is just as valuable as education. Hoard professional experience. The more you have the better your job search will be.

Let go of your entitlement issues. Take the stick out of your ass, you got student loans to pay. If rejection bothers you then bitterness will be your best friend. And its a crappy friend that throws blame at everyone. Misfortune and scarcity is life’s way of preparing you for the hurtful moments to come.

Appreciate these great times in college. Use them wisely. Use those expensive books that miraculously become cheap at the end of the semester. Actually, keep those books, they’re great references for the trials ahead.

Stay focused.

Cordially,

 

 

Elijah B.

 

 

Wait until You’re President

Y’know, political beliefs can be annoying. Everyone has an opinion, which they’re entitled to, on what government is supposed to do about everyone’s problems. But do we, the American public, really know how to solve the problem.

What problem(s)?

Let’s take a look. The problems our country, the United States, has is a long list. To make it specific, let’s review the issues the Presidential Runners have talked about:

  • Immigration – Republicans have pushed the issue that there are far too many illegal immigrant in the United States. According to Donald Trump, illegal immigrants should be deported and the U.S. should build a wall to prevent illegal immigration.
  • Foreign Policy – To some, the U.S. is not the front runner, so to speak, in the world. The Iran Deal and Benghazi has been debated since 2015.
  • Economy & Budget – The awareness is up on the Affordable Care Act and Planned Parenthood. Are they a big concern
  • Gun Control – Will more gun control prevent mass killings or is it step to take gun rights away from U.S. citizens?

I’m not convinced in these debates or tangents about how to solve America’s issues. All I see is a few well-spoken people who think they have it figured it out. They have no clue how to run a country.

What annoys me the most is this negative criticism toward the President Obama. And it’s not just Obama. Republican and Democrat officials criticized President George W. Bush as well. There was nothing wrong with the Bush Administration nor is it anything wrong with the Obama Administration. If it were truly a mess, they wouldn’t have been elected for two terms each.

Okay, there are several things they could’ve done better. But c’mon people! Don’t be swayed by figures who use sensational, tabloid-like speeches. These officials have an agenda that doesn’t include the general public.

It’s all “this and that” until they get into that executive seat.

 

 

Working People have Boring Lives

“Working people have boring lives.” That’s pretty bold statement to say the least!

But you have to admit, work keeps us busy most of the time. Work is the necessity to keep those utilities running and food on our plates. In addition, its the very thing that makes us tire and complain.

This is why entertainment is important to us. Honestly, it’s why we love controversy so much, so let’s take a moment and give celebrities and reality t.v. a round of applause.

Work. Home. Food and entertainment. Sleep, maybe. Pretty simple, right?

Of course, there’s some in between but not much. Not to say that simple, straight-forward days are bad, they’re just not that exciting. First responders are the exception. Adrenaline has to be set to holy hell with those people.

For those at the desk, in security, or something like this, life can be uneventful unless you’re a drug dealer (Was it a good joke? No…Sorry). Perhaps, it’s up to the individual to insert excitement into their lives.

Me personally, I like random searches on YouTube. I can be in the middle of something and stop just to watch a two minute segment of Dragon Ball Z. Lame to some, awesome to many.

Again “boring” is not bad at all. It’s routine. It’s Fate on vacation as you live out your life.

As the cliche goes, no news is good news.

Elance: The Battle Royal of the Self-Employed

The other day, I was so frustrated with the lack of writing and editing jobs in my area. I searched through job board advanced searches and got nothing. I should be accustomed to the disappointment by now.

I did something I didn’t think I would ever have to do. Actually, it’s something I didn’t want to do.

I joined Elance. I’ll admit that I had the wrong idea about Elance–I really should have joined sooner.

As soon as I entered, I saw the intimidating list of names competing for jobs I knew I could do. The problem is that Elance clients don’t know my skills, so I have to present my expertise in a fashion that screams “I am that guy!” And the competitor is doing the same. After a while you get a barrage of service sellers, wrestling over the job ad with words, prices, and experience.

The newcomers are thrown over the ropes, while the veterans tackle the client in the ratings and number of jobs completed. Unfortunately, I’m in the newcomer group. I have the motivation and skill; however, clients tend to favor the all-stars.

I won’t give up! I’ll keep submitting proposals!

A Scribe’s Worst Enemies

1) Putting hobbies over reading.  This applies directly to writers who are also gamers. Instead of picking up a book to read, gamers pick up a controller. I know it’s tough especially when the new map packs are available the week we’re supposed to bring something groundbreaking to the page.

2) The tongue lash of Nay Sayers.  There are plenty of these. Like my previous post said, some writers and non-writers see unpublished authors as people wasting their time on a dream that’s not likely to happen. If a writer listens to this poison, it can break his or her spirit.

3) Life Conditions.  Published or not, bills can choke inspiration right out of writer’s heart. Depression. Sadness. Break-ups. Anything in life that stops the fingers from moving to produce content.

4) Over confidence.  Oh yes! Arrogance does three things: it makes a writer look stupid, lazy and unskilled. How? When pride rests on the page, the vain writer may not edit or proofread their work. “I don’t need to edit.” Edit and proofread! Entertain the reader, don’t run them off.

I wanted this list to be longer, but it’s all I could come up with on short notice. Bottom line: A writer’s work is hard. Writing is only half of the work. Editing and proofreading is equally important.

Keeping it short

For the past few days I’ve experienced a burst of inspiration. What can I say–it’s been a long time coming. I found some time during this Mother’s Day to let everyone know what I was doing, which is pursuing my short story collection(s) getting published. My initial plan, if you’ve not read my previous blog posts, is to publish through Create Space; however, some advice came my way, and I’ll try a publisher first.

In the meantime, I have written several flash fiction stories for my Facebook friends. Sorry Word Press users, some of the content posted is strictly for those who are on my FaceBook friends list.

In case a publisher rejects my book, I’ll sell the books on Amazon. I don’t have definite release date, but I hope to have something by the end of the year. If Santa doesn’t deliver, I’ll have to punch him.

Happy Mother’s Day!!

 

 

Elijah

The question that needs to be answered…

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Creative writers, fiction or non-fiction, have to hear this question a lot. If a writer isn’t prepared for this question, it’s possible that writer will be offended. That’s good. Hurt feelings equal ammo for progress and success. At times, a writer will ask their inner self this. I know I do. Currently, I have six short stories completed. I want these six stories to be my debut book; however, I need to develop these stories into near-perfection. After doing my edits, I’m faced with the question, “Why should the reader care?”

I read a few help pages to brush up on what I learned in college but nothing. The only answer to this is reading other short stories and asking myself why I care about the story in question. In other words, I must read so I know what my story needs; in addition, I plan on showing others the draft’s I’ve created. Someone with hard reader and writer sense would be most helpful.

I tried asking myself: “Why should I care about this story?” It’s different. I’m going to care because I produced the content. I need to be fair to the story and let someone criticize my talent. If I’m truly writing for my reader, I have to take criticism, which I am prepared for.