I’ve always wanted to be a writer…
When I was at Livejournal, I had a friend who is a professional writer. She writes technical stuff for a company and working in the convenient of her own home. I asked her, “What does it take to be a writer?” She said, “Just start writing.” During the time time I was writing in Livejournal between the year 2000-2008, I have some articles there that I put “for my eyes only” and I thought one day I was going to publish my writing. Edit it and publish it. But I never have the gutts to do it.
I’m a non fiction writer and sometimes when you write something based from the truth, it’s very hard to encounter what is…specially when you’re going through depression. It just immobilize you. And that’s probably what made me not to write further. Do I really want to read this again and reminisce the painful memory?
Some people are brave writing their experience. Some of the writers have sold their piece on a movie and made millions. I’m asking myself, why can’t I do the same thing? I have some pretty interesting stories but I don’t know what am I afraid of. Could be I’m afraid to expose my identity. My family. My life. I haven’t found the courage to expose such things to public yet. Maybe someone can find my diary and publish it. But over my dead body.
So what me made start writing really?
But before I answer that question, let me share this with you for a moment.
Again on the discussion in Linkedin “Graphic Designer & Art Director” continued. I just couldn’t stop from saying something because it is mind intriguing. And I can really relate to this discussion because I too, have suffered from the changes in our technology. I too were scared to confront reality. But reality hits me bad when I quit Respiratory Therapy program! You know this post is a continuation of: Graphic Designer vs. Coder.
Now the original 70 comments increased to over 100 comments. I won’t be surprised. And so it goes without saying our discussion continues…
Anastacia made a comment:
“OH Doug! You mentioned the ONE THING I forgot to mention! The degeneration of Graphic Artists by those yahoos that will work for $10/hr. NOW. JEEZ, I was making around $30/hr. back in the late 70’s, because back then, it was an “art”, and now, it’s tough just to make a living even as a freelancer in Graphic Arts OR photography, when everyone goes down to Wally World and can get portrait pkgs. for $10.00!!!!! I can’t even afford the ink for my printers OR the photo paper for that . . . LOL sooooo, I’m focusing on my writing instead, putting the skills I’ve spent over 40 yrs. developing to good use in marketing and publicizing my OWN stuff :)”
…and this is what I said back:
“@Anastacia…this is so funny!!
Yeah. Right. There are also places like Elance, PeoplePerHour, Fiverr…who pays designs for peanuts! Now this ruin things for us. My graphic designer friend in UK who is very successful doing his design & marketing online said to me, “NEVER work for these type of places. They are only good TO HIRE someone but NOT to work for.”
I was one of these designers who started back 1989 and I used to get paid $40-250/hr. Depends on the project. I worked for Apple Computer as a full time contractor (40-hours/week) for 2 years and also moonlighted at NASA & other advertising agencies in the Bay Area too who paid me $100-250/hour.
Anyway…I too started writing articles.
In fact, when recession/depression strike I was one of these people that got laid off because our big supermarket contract got terminated. They didn’t wanna do advertising with us. And so, I got really discouraged. I tried to change my career path into Nursing. Went back to school, took all the prerequisites in Nursing, but instead I got into the Respiratory Therapy program. To make the long story short…after working for a hospital THIS is really not my cup of tea.
My real forte is in graphic design and social media. I’ve been in social media since AOL first started. I was already there. And when Apple Computer was just beginning to shine in their graphic design expertise, I was one of these people who learned how to use QuarkXPress, Pagemaker, Illustrator, and Photoshop.
Then Livejournal came along…then Facebook…I am accustomed to “socialize” so well. And since this is so much a part of my life…why not just CONTINUE doing this. So I went back to my Graphic Design career.
I am convinced that this is my REAL calling. Working on my computer & doing social media.
Only to find out later…they have introduced WordPress while I was out of social network. I just learned WordPress 4 months ago and the coding, CSS, PHP are really not my forte. That’s what they have the Dreamweaver for, right? Eliminate these codes and numbers for Designers like us who LOVES working on “what we see is what we get.”
In WordPress…you don’t have to have Dreamweaver because you CAN manipulate your designs on whichever plugin you have in there. Perhaps a little tweak on the PHP and CSS to make it more customize. That’s about it. NO PROGRAMMING involve. Just the “know how” to use certain plugin that gives your site a unique look.
We are VISUAL designer. Not mathematician.
That’s why we are the RIGHT brain people who worked on brush and palette to paint our canvas. We want to have that same approach via digital. Photoshop have done a great job for mimicking the artist approach (i.e. black & white drawing). And so as Illustrator. You can actually scanned your original art from paper, transferred that on Illustrator and Illustrator can do a great job TRACING these paths.
In Illustrator, you can actually design an architectural blue print on this.
Anyway…I don’t want to go back working for someone. Companies in the valley are very tedious and very picky on Designers they hire. They want designers who can DO ALL THINGS: program, design a layout, write & edit, do marketing & advertising. Someone who can be a “Jack of all trades and master of none!”
So let them have it.
However, I have step beyond this. And I’m not going to worry so much about this. Before I majored Commercial Art, I wanted to be a Journalist or someone in Communication. I’ve always wanted to write. Not science fiction. But something I can express my emotions. And I’m good at that. I can articulate very well so long as I can describe my emotions. And so like you, I have gone that path. I don’t only design stuff anymore but also write.
The good thing about today’s technology evolution is we have this thing we called BLOGGING. I have done blogging since 2000 when Livejournal first came out. I stopped 2008 because I went back to school.
Why am I online blogging? Because someday I want to create my own product. And I know as I evolve in writing I will become better. If big opportunity comes along, say Sports Illustrator hired me to design their online magazine….so be it. But for now, I’m not going to stress this upon myself.
The world is changing. Am I still a Designer at heart? I always am.
As I ponder upon this I asked myself, “If Picasso and Van Gogh are still alive today, will they keep painting on their canvas or will they adapt to Photoshop & Illustrator or will they become coders & programmers?”
So, my answer to this is NO. Designers need not required to code.”
So what made me start writing back online?
Like I said numerous times before, it was Paid Social Media Jobs that made me started blogging. At first, I was attracted to the Social Media Manager jobs but when I watched their webinars, I’ve learned that I could make money on blogging. And since that’s what I have done before anyway, I thought why not.
When I was writing in Livejournal, someone complimented me and said, “Wow…you should see this woman, she writes like she talks!” Isn’t that’s blogging is all about? Speak your own voice. Write as you experience it.
I may not be writing my every day mundane life. But I am now writing tips and hints that could help others. This is very different from Livejournal. I think I can handle this one very well. I can say my own opinion and feeling coupled with some thorough research on some topics. I should be fine doing this.
Blogging on WordPress allows me to grow. There is room for mistakes and I won’t be petrified. After all life is full of trials, right? Trial and error. I love what I’m doing. Not only do I expand myself in learning more about the CSS but also expanding myself as a writer.
So what about you? Why did you start writing or blogging?
I know some of you are already freelance writer. But for those of us who’s writing is not the number one career we chose when we were in college, somehow this is a big deal. I know there’s a difference between a writer and a blogger. A writer is the one who writes science fiction or fiction books or someone who writes for the newspapers and magazines. They worry about the English grammar and spelling. However…a blogger is someone who speaks from his experience through his voice. Or like they say, “You write as you speak.”
If you can speak, you can write. Right?
Some of my friends asked me, “But what do I say?” “Who will read me anyway!” Well…don’t understimate yourself too quick. You just never know who’s going to read you. That’s why social network relationship is so important when you start blogging. Coz when you read other people’s blog, they are more likely to read yours back. It’s very seldom a few won’t visit your blog but most of the ones who really clicks with you will see how you’re doing in your blog.
What motivates me into blogging…
I know that social media is its infancy. I know that there is opportunity online. I’ve seen some others became successful. It just takes patience, consistency, dedication, and determination. I never want to go back “working for hire” for someone ever again. I’ve always dream of working in my own home, working with a client in a distance. So my dream back in 1990 when Apple Computer was just starting to shoot their star…is to work with a client in a distance.
So what is that got to do with writing?
My blog is like a journey to me. I know as I write I will evolve. Before, I didn’t know what to write about. You can see my first post here: Thrift Store. I really didn’t know how to start my blog then. But now I have a better grip of what to write and what not to include and what to include. I have a better grip on my niche. Brainstorming works for me when I’m relax and doing something irrelevant to tweaking a website, writing on my computer, and/or surfing on the Internet per se.
The lightning bolt usually hits when I’m cooking dinner and washing dishes or I just woke up in the morning. When this happens, I always have a pad with me and I will start writing whatever goes in my mind. Doesn’t care how it flows or the grammars and spellings. Then I’ll put it away and read again.
Sometimes a couple of what I wrote I will reject but many times I always hit the target what I really want to convey with my audience. And even if only one person I will constantly keep the engagement on such matter, to me this is success! I feel the reward that I wrote something that touch someone. So what made you start writing?