Today’s post comes to us from Nikolas Baron, part of the Grammarly marketing team. Find more about him on Facebook or Twitter or Check out Grammarly (billed as “an automated proofreader and your personal grammar coach”)
There are some practices that not all professionals share. Some writers have the luxury of working at home. If so, they might spend the day in pajamas. Why get dressed if no one is going to see? What about the days that they have a conference call with an editor? They might keep on the pajama bottoms, simply putting on a nice shirt for the camera. Anyone who would criticize this practice is probably jealous. Professional attire is not as important for telecommuters as it is for other professionals. Nonetheless, there are some things telecommuters can learn from their colleagues in other industries. Let us examine a few to see what we can apply to the writing field.
Years before a mission, astronauts begin preparations. They learn special procedures to perform important tasks in space. Because of the lack of gravity, they learn to swallow special toothpaste instead of spitting it out. They practice what to do in case of an emergency. They rehearse hundreds of times before a launch. To produce a high-quality product, writers also prepare. They take writing classes to learn procedures that will aid them in the writing process. They learn to use computers. They might perform hundreds of writing exercises before they ever begin a novel, but this time is not lost. Practice does make perfect.
- Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs)
EMTs have one of the most challenging professions of all because life and death depends on whether they perform well under pressure. Timing is essential. Writers often have deadlines, but focusing on them can cause writer’s block. Rather than panic, writers can draw from emergency response advice: Decide what needs to be done, and then do it! Try not to obsess over deadlines. Grab a drink, find a comfortable place, and write. Once you relax, the words will begin to flow.
Jockeys are great at staying on a moving horse. You, too, can ride your work to victory again and again. Many writers do not realize that they can resell their articles. Imagine you wrote a short story and sold it to the imaginary Amazing Tales magazine. You could develop the same characters and themes into a novel. Or vice versa; you could use one of your novels as the basis for a series of short stories. What happened to your characters before or after the novel? Think of these stories as deleted scenes from a movie. Many of your fans would love to read something like that. It is also a great idea for a blog! Other journals, such as Reader’s Digest, welcome reprints. Remember, though, that you must own the rights to any article that you sell.
- Zoo Keepers
Zoo keepers have fun, dangerous work. These professional caretakers must learn the habits of the animals that they keep; otherwise, they could get hurt. Writers hurt themselves if they fail to use the tools of the trade. If they do not take advantage of free proofreading online, they could lose time and money. If they do not attend writer’s groups, they miss out on encouraging association and valuable feedback. There’s no need to spend a fortune on education. Local colleges often offer writing and computer classes to the community. Learn what is out there and take advantage of it.
Lemonade stand workers set a great example. Their business may consist of only a sign, a table, and a pitcher of lemonade. The venture may be small, but the young entrepreneurs create a great product. They offer it to the community in attractive packaging. Simple though their business may be, they know the importance of creating a great product and treating customers well. Whether you identify with jockeys, jewelers, or janitors, you will be successful if you take a look at other professionals. No matter what kind of professional you look at, there is always a lesson to be learned.
Nikolas Baron discovered his love for the written word in Elementary School, where he started spending his afternoons sprawled across the living room floor devouring one Marc Brown children’s novel after the other and writing short stories about daring pirate adventures. After acquiring some experience in various marketing, business development, and hiring roles at internet startups in a few different countries, he decided to re-unite his professional life with his childhood passions by joining Grammarly’s marketing team in San Francisco. He has the pleasure of being tasked with talking to writers, bloggers, teachers, and others about how they use Grammarly’s online proofreading application to improve their writing. His free time is spent biking, travelling, and reading.