If you’re near or past the half century mark, you understand how quickly things change – sometimes for the good and well, others that present challenges. It could be the kids heading to college or leaving home making the nest look ever so empty. Retirement is coming but the economy hasn’t helped your investments. In fact, your company’s been talking layoffs and your job might be on the line. Then, there’s the responsibility of your aging parents. And did I mention that some things have shifted when you look in the mirror? But, let’s end on a positive note – Grandchildren. They’re the best!
Many people work hard all of their lives and hit the 50 milestone and realize they’d much rather be doing something else. So they give up the corner office, the 9 to 5 and launch out on their own to follow their dreams. Some of these have had to reinvent themselves as well.
These winds of change may blow, yet they’re not the signals of the end of the world. But where do you find help and encouragement about your health, finances and relationships? Most of today’s periodicals – online or print – feature the 20 to 40 crowd. It’s like people fall off the end of the world at 50. Not true. But sometimes we have to make some alterations. In fact, many people adjust and often readjust in these situations, and I’m one of them.
My next venture is to compile these stories and share them and their tips for success with others via an ezine. If you have a story to share or know someone who does, let’s talk. Who knows where it will lead?
You’ve heard the old adage, “Leaders are readers,” well, so are writers. In fact, I would venture to say writers who are avid readers, are also likely to be leaders.
One of the best ways to hone your writing skills is to read what other people write. Your goal is not to plagiarize their work or mimic their style. You want to be authentic and legal. You can learn a lot from applying journalism’s 5 W’s and an H – who, what, where, when, why and how – to whatever you read, both fiction and non-fiction. This sounds easy enough, and it is, unless you are engaged and forget your mission. Try using these questions for starters.
Who wrote it?
Is this person renowned or unknown?
Is s/he credible, i.e., a subject matter expert in the field?
What biographical information do you know about the author that might help you to identify with their circumstances, situation or style?
What type of piece is it?
Is it fiction or non-fiction?
Would you classify it as romance, science fiction, trade article, etc.?
Who is the target audience and is it being hit?
Wheredoes the author publish?
Does s/he use print or electric (e-book, online, etc.)
Does s/he self publish?
Does s/he publish through an agent and publishing house?
What period (fiction) does the author write about? Is the work true to the era?
Is it current (non-fiction)?
Why does the author write?
Does s/he tell a story, have a point to make or an agenda?
Is s/he trying to provide instructions?
How well does s/he accomplish the mission?
How does the author achieve results?
How engaging is the work?
What techniques does s/he employ? Are they successful?
Want to curl up with a good book? You can. It will make you a better writer.