Never Work for Free

As a writer, I’m approached quite a bit by people that seem to think I’m looking for opportunities to give my work and talent away pro bono (for free).

Their argument usually goes something like this – if I give them my time, energy, and talent I will gain value down the road by showcasing what I have done for them for nothing. It will give me business and attract future paying commissions for my work.

It could not be further from the truth, and here’s why.

Unless I can point to a real, tangible payoff to giving away my labor and efforts there is absolutely no reason or point to my doing so. Furthermore, that whole “showcasing what I have done for them” stuff that’s supposed to attract business for me as a freelancer will most assuredly work for me – in a negative fashion.

It will bring out additional leeches who will want me to continue to offer blood, toil, tears, and sweat totally free because I will gain even more exposure of my talents through them for future business in the sweet by-and-by. After all, haven’t I already set a precedent by giving away my work to that prior “client”?

So, if you are a writer, painter, or similar professional in your field – beware the lure of the silver tongued client who wants you to work for free.

It costs them nothing, but may cost you a great deal down the road.

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John Lewis is a freelance writer and editor for hire. Reach him at jlewisauthor@outlook.com . He writes for the site Crowdfunding Hell. To see his write-ups on LinkedIn, join the group Products In Search of A Market. On Facebook, join Products in Search of a Market (Facebook).

Image: Creative commons https://goo.gl/images/Dp4zNw

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Everything New Is Old Again

You’ve probably seen the image above in your LinkedIn, Facebook, or email inbox.

It’s a feel-good graphic designed to show us how far we’ve come (or how far we need to go) in order to achieve Utopia in our professional lives. Every single one of the topics covered under the New Thinking heading is an ideal that we have reached or are reaching for in order to achieve balance and happiness in our work.

The Old Thinking side supposedly represents the past – the way things wereand isn’t it great that we’re leaving all of this behind?

Too bad reality is something entirely different.

Those of us of a “certain age” have heard every one of the topics covered here multiple times. We’ve heard it, in some cases, for several decades. During those decades, virtually nothing has been done beyond lip service to achieve most of the goals listed here as “New Thinking”. In fact, if we’re honest with ourselves and our observations of our workplaces we have to admit that the “Old Thinking” side of the equation more closely reflects how our workplace actually operates.

It’s easy to see why that is. Old Thinking continues to work as it always has; New Thinking, while it may be adopted in some aspects, never quite seems to gain traction. Why is that?

The answer here, as in so many other places, boils down to money. It costs money for businesses to implement the kinds of New Thinking reforms they have been giving lip service to for years…and businesses, bosses, and shareholders simply hate to give up money if they aren’t required to do so.

So I think it’s safe to say that we are going to be seeing this graphic again in another few years. When we do, the new group of workers will also remark “Isn’t it wonderful how much things have changed from the Bad Old Ways of thinking?”

The more things change…

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Copyright 2016/2017 John Lewis

All rights reserved. Anyone wishing to republish this content, in whole or in part, contact info@aqualifeadventures.com for permission.

John Lewis is a freelance writer and editor for hire. Reach him at jlewis@aqualifeadventures.com . He also writes for the site Crowdfunding Hell.

A BOOK? WHAT THE HEY???

Okay, here’s the deal.

I’ve had people tell me that I should write a book. Any book at all, because they think my writing ability is up to the task. Not sure if I agree with them, but the idea has been percolating in my head for a while now, dancing about like the Sugar Plum Fairy around the holidays.
Like many writers before me, there’s a certain amount of hesitation, causing what I call the paralysis of analysis. What if it’s no good? What if I flop?

What if–?

The what if? questioning keeps us from moving a project forward. It’s a bundle of unspecified fears that stops many in their tracks, and those dreams they had unfulfilled.
I think it’s caused by the fact that when it’s all said, we don’t actually hold ourselves accountable for any dreams or desires…plus, there’s all that work involved that looks pretty daunting at times.
So things never move onward, and die.
You never find out what may have been; because you never started.
The key would seem to be to take the plunge, leap off the edge. Start something, and see where you end up.

This is what this post is about. Today, I’m announcing and making a serious commitment to write a book, and you can come along for this wild ride too.

Here’s the agenda:
  • Beginning December 1, 2016, I will write a portion of my book daily .
  • I will share with you what my day’s goal is, the tools I will be using, and where things stand.
  • You’ll hear about what obstacles I run into, and the ways to overcome them.
  • The book will be finished and published by June 1, 2017.

That’s it. All that’s needed now is a last element. YOU.

You see, all this is going to appear on my site Write Now. It’s the only place you’ll be able to track my progress, ask questions, exchange ideas and experiences. That means that if you go to Write Now, you’ll be making the commitment to follow along from start to finish. You may even be writing your own project right alongside me, and we’ll go on the journey together.

There is one absolute requirement that I ask you to make: comment on Write Now as we go along, and share your thoughts, stories, and observations.

Tomorrow is Launch Day. I’m ready to start. Are you?

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Copyright 2016 John Lewis

All rights reserved. Anyone wishing to republish this content, in whole or in part, contact info@aqualifeadventures.com for permission.

John Lewis is a freelance writer and editor for hire. Reach him at jlewis@aqualifeadventures.com . To see more of his product write-ups on LinkedIn, join the group Products In Search of A Market . On Facebook, join Products in Search of a Market (Facebook). He also writes for the site Crowdfunding Hell.

photo credit: Leo Reynolds

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/49968232@N00/8416527856″>VOL XX</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Where To From Here?

Welcome to the end of the American experiment. The final stages start now.

Back a long time ago (or so it seems), I predicted that after the election was over, reams of paper and ink were going to be expended analyzing how this situation came to pass.

It looks like I was right–but not in the way I thought.

The effort will still be expended, the analysis done. Will we learn anything from it, though? ..and will those lessons learned come too late, at too high a cost?

Today, I can see the nation beginning a long, arduous descent into internecine violence. Of crudity, intolerance, and unspecified hatred of the other. Our new leader has actively promoted this thinking and these actions throughout his campaign.

 

Does anyone really think that it’s going to stop now?

Darn It, Not Going To DO This Any More!

This will probably hack off some of my medical friends.


 

One of the things that you deal with as a stroke survivor is the fact that you are at war.

For two years now, I’ve fought a battle with my body. First to move anything on the right side at all, then into a wheelchair where the fight to walk began in earnest. All through that struggle I’ve had as a constant companion my AFO, the brace that helped me with standing and walking movements, aided by a special cane.

It was helpful, it was needed, but over the last few months I have been realizing that it’s time to take this training wheel off. Foot drop now seems manageable, and quite frankly, I want to wear the same size shoe on both feet again. I’ve been getting around without the cane as I go about the house working on balancing on both legs properly.

At times, that has been without the AFO as well. Been increasing that time, too, since I started feeling more liberated and comfortable without it.

So, as I come up on two years after discharge from the hospital, I’ve decided the AFO will stay at home from now on unless absolutely needed. I’m not asking for permission from anyone to do this, and I know some will think me quite daft. It’s okay if you do.

The next battle is about to begin, so if you’ll excuse me…

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John Lewis is a freelance writer and editor for hire. Reach him at jlewis@aqualifeadventures.com . To see his product write-ups on LinkedIn, join the group Products In Search of A Market . On Facebook, join Products in Search of a Market (Facebook). He also writes for the site Crowdfunding Hell.

Things Move Fast When You Least Expect It

A lot has been happening over this weekend.

Suddenly thrust into a central role moderating two internet pages. Researching a project for publication (maybe). Sending off a completed project and billing it. Starting video test shoots using existing equipment with new modifications. Determining best methods to edit those tests for upload.

It goes on from there. All of this is just my way of saying that while I’ve been posting a new blog post on a daily basis for a while now, don’t be alarmed if I should miss a day.

Just busy, that’s all. Catch you up later!

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John Lewis is a freelance writer and editor for hire. Reach him at jlewis@aqualifeadventures.com . To see more of his product write-ups on LinkedIn, join the group Products In Search of A Market . On Facebook, join Products in Search of a Market (Facebook).