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.

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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.

 

 

Marketing: How does one “sell” oneself?

I guess I can say the only thing in my life I sold was candy, particularly in grade school. Do you remember the selling contest schools had to raise money? I remember signing up to raise money, and I filled out this form to sell M&Ms and Reese Cups to raise funds for a field trip. It never worked because I eventually ate the candy they gave me.

Candy is sweet, it’s the guilty pleasure of the healthy and a regular meal for those with a meticulous sweet tooth. It sells better than sex…Maybe not that much.

In the career world, selling yourself is tough, to say the least. Persuasion is your best weapon, but some edges of persuasion are like dusty gemstones every person has to polish in order to land a job.

Even with a glimmer, you have to appeal to the employer and know how to stunt your glow. That’s the issue I’m having today. I know I have the luminous aura of a professional but something is eclipsing it.

It could be a unclear resume, a mediocre cover letter, or perhaps experience. Lately, I’ve been getting hit with the inexperience song and dance.

I’m good with first impressions, though, so I’ve been told. Dialogue is my bread and butter for sure. I just have to implement that into the resume and cover letter.

Career FAQs say:

“Offering solutions to these problems is a great way to overcome a lack of directly applicable experience. Be prepared to back up your claims about your skills or characteristics with relevant and specific stories. Avoid complaining about a former employer or laying blame at a former manager’s feet — doing so will likely make you seem difficult to work with (or disloyal).”

-Monster.com’s Career Advice

Sure it’s good advice; however, it’s up to the individual to perform it effectively. But there’s no harm in giving it a shot. The worst answer is “no”.

I should be handle that.

Elijah B.

Oscars: The Giraffe in the Room

I wanted to ignore this, but the news of the Oscars lack of diversity is everywhere! I initially wanted to keep things like this away from my blog. I guess news and news, right?

As many of you know, or may not know, the Oscars is an annual event where the entertainment industry shows their appreciation for the actors, filmmakers, writers, etc. For the second consecutive year, the Oscars has yet to nominate a non-Caucasian person. Despite one of the owners of the Oscars being a black woman, social media has taken a critical eye to the tradition.

It’s caused quite a stir. Celebrities like Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee are calling for African Americans to boycott the show.

What can you do? Pick a side…? Maybe?

I think the problem isn’t America or the filmmakers or anyone else in entertainment. The problem is tradition.

See we’ve leaned on tradition so long that it feels right. Now that we’re aware and sensitive to just about anything, and the things in our traditions are starting to raise questions. Why?

Why are all the nominees white? Why do people care so much?

To me, the Oscars is a prestigious tradition selecting the most authentic and most talented in film. But the ones with the real power here are the viewers. Without the viewers, these films and TV shows would crumble.

Do I think African Americans should boycott? Be like Bobby Brown, it’s your prerogative. If it offends you that the Oscars didn’t nominate any ethnic individuals then don’t watch. Take it a step further, don’t even talk about the Oscars. Turn off your TV.

Will I watch the Oscars? No. That’s because I find my Playstation 4 more entertaining than controversy, dresses, and corny jokes.

You want to change the Oscars. Don’t watch, don’t tweet, and don’t post. When the ratings take a hit then you’ll see change.

Resume Hell!

Have you ever read FAQs regarding resumes? No matter how many times I read it, I’m still trying to unravel the secret behind a good resume. How can I illustrate a technical document as exciting. It’s like soup, it can’t be too cold, too hot, or overly seasoned. It has to be just right. And every employer has their own preference.

So I have to cook up an appetizer that suits everyone’s palette.

But where do I start? I have the ingredients, but it’s a struggle together. What do you write when you can do just about anything. I’ve tried concentrating it into a specific Writer/Editor resume, but that first attempt was too specific.

I guess I’ll return to the FAQs and trendy skills that relate to my field of study.

 

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.