Changes in professional writing 2016

Online, I have managed to gather some writer friends.  I am not always the greatest person about learning every aspect of the job but interacting with some other writers sometimes helps.

About that: I have been particularly bad about learning every gory detail about the industry.  For over 20 years I was just one of the writers who is an artist about writing and was looking elsewhere for a day job.  I had not forgotten that my mother advised that I either try to become a technical writer or else make sure to have a day job.

Harsh reality: there was a reason for that advice.

There have been many changes in the industry during the past ten years.  In truth, the situation has continued to improve and to become worse right along with the improvements.

The reality for those who were getting some income by writing online is just one area where changes made by a relatively small number of powerful business people caused a lot of people to lose their income as writers.  Part of it seems to have been a side effect of ‘affiliate marketing’ and ‘content mills’ but not all of the changes are clear.  In some cases it is just that the environment became much more competitive.

Freelancing websites abound but more people are participating.  Job openings for full time staff writers have been growing in many nations including the USA and UK for those using English.  Even so, many of the writing jobs that women working from home were doing, suddenly disappeared and many pro writers were suddenly told they would no longer be paid for their work.  Elsewhere online, some freelancing sites told people they could work at beginner rates their entire lives or be blackballed.

Meanwhile, more affluent writers balked at the horrors some of their counterparts were going through and urged those others to either switch to way better paying clients or to switch jobs entirely.  The underworld of writers has made it so that some people who want to get paid to write actually can, but like much in life it has both a bright side and a dark side.

In 2016, this situation has not come to an end.  There is some writing work available serving affiliate marketers and there are still plenty of jobs – full time and freelance positions, for professional writers in the English language.  Landing and keeping clients is just one of the many aspects of the job aside from the writing itself that writers may learn at any time in the process.

Most writers are known under the nomiker ‘journalists’ and many others work ‘at magazines’ or other types of ‘staff writers’.  Such people often manage to earn a living which often impresses other writers but literary authors and artistic writers are often left with a bitter or sour feeling about it.  Journalists themselves, including quite successful ones I have personally met, have themselves felt beaten into submission and found themselves proud to have earned a living for decades as professional writers but still wondering if anyone would ever pay them for anything they wrote because they wanted to write it.

During the past ten years, as most readers may already know, there has been drama about how much the world of publishing has been changing and about how much electronic publishing formats were becoming powerful and whether or not they were a threat to print media.

Some readers may recall that one of the big thrills of the computer revolution was supposed to be reduction in consumption of forests for use as paper.  That might not be great news for the paper industry.  However, in actual practice, the dynamics and the drama between that kind of ecologically friendly motive and also the reality of where the money in the industry is and how people honestly feel about using electronic and print formats.  The more recent introduction of e readers created another great opportunity for people to look into electronic books versus print books.  Consumer trends, pricing, what will really work for whom and why or why not.

There were hopes and fears that ebooks would overtake print books but after a few years it now looks as if print books are still more popular but that e readers and ebooks now have a nice healthy niche within the book industry.

As it happens, and as referred to earlier, the majority of professional writers are not book writers, but some are.  The most famous of writers are quite often the book writers and a few journalists.  Every once in a while a play write or a poet becomes ‘famous’.  In the meantime, the TV and film writers pull in good livings and end up in situations that are reminiscent of corporate executives or university Deans – they are not really treated as stars, but they really do well for themselves and have good reputations.  Studio musicians with good reputations have a similar kind of experience.

Print and online article writers and blog writers are most likely to be the most numerous kind of writers – especially when ‘ordinary, real journalists’ are included in the count.  It also includes hordes of writers working from home, sometimes as parts of groups and other times as individual freelancers.

The industry continues to change.  The biggest mystery of the world of professional writing is that for those in this vast and broad ranging industry, the paths to success are somewhat diverse and what counts as success is to.  As in acting and so many other professions, the majority are not the most successful and many suffer from shattered dreams.  Many professional writers do best early on and when young whereas there are large corps of others who become successful after age 50 or even after age 65.  Of those, some just try it as a new thing later in life but here and there are success stories from people who really tried hard for 47 years to become successful writers before they finally ‘made it’.  In that respect, some writers give each other a lot of advice and some say only that people should really get a job in a different field if one wishes to earn a living.

Structured Blogging

(Failed attempt to insert images of pretty horses that live in the North German countryside)

The Past

In the past I tried blogging.  In fact, I think that I have done some personal blogging for more than 6 years, including 2 old Uranian Fiction websites, this blog and also Wealthy Affiliate websites that use my name miriampia.org and .com rather than using Uranian Fiction.

After 3 or 4 years of effort, I just started to write a blog with a structured weekly schedule but then suddenly, something else happened which undermined that whole effort.  I don’t even remember what it was now.

The Present

Now, this is also blogging.  I did a little professional blogging in the past – mostly for a Atlanta Real Estate, about a decade ago, but I think I have blogged professionally elsewhere.  I realize that sounds whacky, but if you meet enough professional writers it will seem less crazy.  It is a volume & mind set issue as it relates to memory.

I do believe that structured blogging can make sense.  In my own case, I may have to start all over again.

Topics

The truth is that I like the idea of being able to blog to readers on various topics and even in multiple ways.  Some days I want to produce professional copy as I do write professionally but other times I just want to share my personality with readers.  Not only that but there are also days which are more like ‘wow’ days – to share spontaneously, whether about some new facet of German culture or another travel location or something else.  Maybe it would be about hair and fashion rather than culture or delves deeply into my mood one day – out of nowhere: what some people would describe as ‘random’.

PsychoBunnyBoozePhilosophyW

Followers

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The System

According to the system, 138 of you are following my blog.  According to the same system, on some days no one even notices the post, and there was a record best day a few years ago when over 400 people looked at one of my blog posts on the same day.

The truth is, I don’t recall exactly what I did differently that one day when hundreds of people rather than only a few people noticed the blog post.  If any of you do read this post today, I would deeply appreciate it if you drop a comment and let me know how you solved this problem – if you know.

The system does enable a lot that I feel is helpful and useful but I am sure I am not the only one to feel sometimes ‘depersonalized’ and ‘confused’.  For instance – if I click on my own blog page will it show in the stats as someone having looked at it?  I feel that should only happen when someone else actually sees it.  Don’t you?  I have no idea how complicated that would be to do – do you?

These are not intended to be hypothetical questions.  If you actually know I’d love to read your actual reply.

 

Brief Chat about Chakras

What are chakras?

These are the names for some locations along the trunk and head of the human body associated with particularly large or intense amount of energy.  In some cases, they are associated with nerve channels or internal organs or bodily functions.  They are often referred to as ‘wheels’ or as ‘lotus’ or ‘energy centers’.

Why do they matter?

Depending on your social circles sometimes they turn up as a kind of jargon.  Metaphysical or spiritual people may often seem to refer to chakras, to auras, astrology, past lives, deities, yoga – jargon of this nature.

Those who practice hands on healing of most kinds, and acupuncture or acupressure consider chakras in relation to the body’s ‘meridians’ (which generally means nerve channels) and they are therefore relevant to health care.

People who practice yogas and other types of fitness training intended to balance the energies in the body often refer to chakras in relation to those.

Super powers?!

Depending on your own life, you may first hear of chakras in relation to what seem like some kinds of super powers.  Spiritual people and occultists seem to both advertise and protectively guard knowledge and insight about the super powers associated with ‘open chakras’.

What every one of the so-called super powers are, is heightened awareness that makes perception transpersonal to a degree considered to be far beyond ‘normal’.  These are often interpreted as or believed to be ‘psychic’ – genuinely transpersonal awareness.

In detail, the whole matter is more complicated but if you had no idea this is a good, clear intro to the subject.

German Yous

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In most respects I strongly prefer English to German but as I have been learning German I am happy to report that it does have a few charms.

One of German’s charms are the new opportunities for personal expression that the multiple forms of ‘you’ allow.  Some of the dissimilarity is misleading but despite that having ‘sie’ and ‘du’ – both of which translate as ‘you’, creates new options.  In simple and general terms the formal you and the plural you are both ‘sie’.  In simple terms, the informal familiar you is ‘du’.

On a personal level this has allowed me to review various levels of meaning and also nuances.  In some cases ‘du’ really means ‘friends and family’ but in other cases it means ‘you who are younger than I am’ .  In a radically different appearance ‘du’ is used more like ‘comrade’ was used as part of socialist and communist workers revolutions.  Often enough people who think they are helping improve life urge others to just use ‘du’ in speaking but mainly they mean ‘if we are on the same hierarchical level at work’ or ‘so that I don’t get confused about how to conjugate my verbs every time we have a conversation at work’.

Most Germans born before 1960 and many born before 1970 tend to call anyone older ‘sie’ and anyone younger ‘sie’ and really – general politeness in Germany dictates that everyone is ‘sie’ until there is a decision – a social choice, of allowing others to call one ‘du’ instead.  In practice it is a lot like whether or not one calls someone else Sir or Madam or Mr. or Ms. Such-n-Such, or by their first name.

I have already noticed that I don’t agree with everyone else about how to use each, but m personal expression disagreement covers only 10 – 20% of social cases.  It is not from suffering from a lack of grammatical knowledge at this point.

In truth I think I had an entirely different idea for today’s blog post and it had nothing to do with Germany or my transcultural experience, but it flitted away with a change in the song I was listening to or something.  I have no idea whether or not it will come again.

 

Woman supporting the German football team - stock photo

A European Destination – Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle

Good places to go in Europe – Germany

I’m in Germany.  Some of you know that.  You can see in the image above a magnificent castle in the mountains.  That’s actually in Bavaria, way down in the South of Germany.

It is not like that in the village where I have been living for the past few years.

Wappen Dörverden © Gemeinde Dörverden

The thing is, the symbol is accurate.

Sorry for not conforming to expectations

Logo des Ehmken Hoff e.V.

 

 

The Woman and The Mother

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Emotions of Motherhood

There are many emotions associated with motherhood, in all stages. However, this is directed towards those women just getting started at being a mother. There is the baby, or the twins of course and there is you.

Where did everybody go?

What happens to you? Due to the lifestyle changes mentioned elsewhere in related articles, for some mothers, the biggest difficulties are going without work and feeling as if their friends vanish – or worse, like the new mother is now treated as if she does not exist. It can be very emotionally painful despite great joy over being a mother and even with the loving support of relatives – including a husband.

This problem is not insurmountable, but it can be a hum dinger when not psychologically prepared. If you go without work, then all the social relationships that went with it, vanish. You, the new mother, won’t miss any of the people who you didn’t like very much but will notice the difference. Without your own pay, learning to share money with your husband – if you hadn’t done it already, becomes vitally important to your and your baby’s survival. Kudos to you if you have wisely and sensibly married well and have an awesome personal life and are not running into this problem.

The truth is that a lot of women do, and the fact is, that it happened to me as well. I had not predicted it and did not know how to handle it. It was not that bad, but if I can help you as you adjust to being a mother, then I will be glad I wrote this.

Other Mothers

A lot of people drop out of your life once you become a mother. It may feel and be unfair. It might not trouble you half the time but then when you have a free afternoon and discover that you can’t afford to go anywhere unless your husband pays for you – you may feel stuck. Maybe you used to have money from your job. Maybe you do have money because you worked that out with your husband but then none of your former friends are available.

It is true, that for most new mothers, you have to find at least some other new mothers to socialize with.

Getting Out of the House

It is possible that you might work out a way to have a part time job that gets you out of the house while you spend most of the time with your baby. Mother and baby and mother and toddler groups abound – especially if you have the good fortune of living in the city, or in the residential part of the city or have a car and gas money.

Your New Life

Despite the challenge, most likely with time, you will adjust to being a mother. Some women find this to be so easy they don’t need to read this article. Others really need to read this article to know they are not alone in how they really feel even if and when overjoyed rather than sad about being a new mother.

For many women, it does involve just accepting that a lot of people won’t include you much for some years. You will probably be socially pressured to befriend women with a baby the same age as yours. It can be disturbing but often it works very well because you can talk about everything that matters while that is really how it is. I had one good friend who had a baby my age when I did and it helped a lot. Obviously, most women don’t automatically feel like best friends just because another woman has a baby the same age, but it can really work.

You and the baby can have a wonderful and rewarding relationship. The reality may not always live up to your own ideals about babies and mothers. A good family life can become a wonderful bastion of support and love. Feelings of being overwhelmed, as long as they do not occur too often are also normal.

You may feel very much like you are still you. For me, personally, retaining my sense of identity with my prematernal self was a big deal. I have met other women who told me their identity changed but they were happy with it that way. So, maybe you will feel like a whole new person – the flower blossoms on the bush and there is little resemblance to the previous stage of life.

You can learn to find ways to socialize, but that is easier if you live where there are people and it may help a lot if you have money, but there are ways to do it even when you don’t.

Motherhood is a ‘rest of life’ relationship, at least in most cases. Your baby will only be a baby for a year. You can remind yourself to enjoy what you love about it and fear not, your baby will outgrow whatever you don’t like about it. In all my life I have heard of only 1 exception to that; there was one girl who lived in the baby stage of development for 21 years. Don’t worry, that won’t happen to you.

Take heart, once you get the hang of being a mother, you probably wouldn’t want it any other way ever again, and you will be able to work and have friends and get your way at least some of the time even as you raise your baby. Be responsible and don’t give up.