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26 Quotes That Can Actually Change Your Life!

26 Quotes That Can Actually Change Your Life!

There can be little doubt that when words are expressed properly, they can virtually move mountains.  Words have the ability to move, inspire and ultimately change lives. From the common person on the street to noted and famous influencers, humans have the unique ability to inspire one another.  Included below are 26 top quotes that can actually change your life!

  1. “I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn’t learn something from him.”    -Galileo

  2.  “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” -Churchill

  3. “Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor.”

  4. “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”  -A.A. Milne

    26 inspirational quotes that can change your life!

  5. “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.”

    -Mary Anne Radmacher

  6. “The surest way to corrupt a youth is to tell him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently”

    -Nietzche

  7. “I have found that if you love life, life will love you back.” – Arthur Rubinstein

  8. “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller.

  9. “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!” -Hunter S. Thompson

    26 quotes that can actually change your life!

  10. “A man cannot build a reputation on what he is going to do.” -Henry Ford

  11. “Never believe that a few caring people cannot change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.” – Margaret Mead

  12. “I am the master of my fate:  I am the captain of my soul.”  —William Ernest Henley

  13. “A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are made for.” -John Shedd

  14. “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” -Steven Furtick

  15. “Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist.” – George Carlin

    26 that can actually change your life!

  16. “Change is inevitable. Progress is optional.”  – Tony Robbins

  17. “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.”  -Oscar Wilde

  18. “Understand that forgiveness does not exonerate the perpetrator, forgiveness liberates the victim. It’s a gift you give yourself.”

    T.D. Jakes

  19. “The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” – Henry David Thoreau

  20. “The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.” – Oliver W Holmes

  21. “Your future hasn’t been written yet. No one’s has. Your future is whatever you make it. So make it a good one…” – Dr. Emmett L. Brown

  22. “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”-Oscar Wilde

    Inspirational Quotes.

  23. “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” -Benjamin Franklin

  24. “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” -Mother Teresa

  25. “Resistance at all cost is the most senseless act there is.” -Friedrich Durrenmatt

  26. “The Pessimist Sees Difficulty In Every Opportunity. The Optimist Sees The Opportunity In Every Difficulty.” -Winston Churchill

     

26 quotes that can change your life!

 

Freelance Writing And Learning To Just Write!

Today is officially the 11th day of my 365-day journey to becoming a freelance writer.  I have discovered many things in this very short period of time.  So far, however, my most valuable piece of learning has to do with maintaining focus and prioritization.  More specifically, how do I manage to avoid the multitude of distractions and excuses…and just write???  What I have found is liberating, and has provided me with a great deal of insight into the field.  I have discovered that if you truly want to be a freelance writer, then you have to WRITE!

Let me back up a little bit as I am sure that statement sounds a little bit flippant and simplistic.  The reality is that as I began this new adventure I have been very preoccupied with learning about every detail in regards to becoming a freelance writer.  I have researched and read reams of material, engaged in daily social media activities, created a new blog, and even constructed a perfect little “writer’s nook” in my home.  What I have not been doing, however, is actually writing.  I have been completing all the tasks associated with freelance writing, but not actually putting the pen to paper so to speak.

We shall now refer to this as my first major lesson on my journey to becoming a freelance writer.  In life, if we are provided with an obvious lesson then we certainly need to learn from it.  I believe that is exactly what I have done.  While a number of valuable time management skills such as scheduling, avoiding distractions and creating prioritized lists were discovered in the process, they were not my greatest discovery.  No, my most significant revelation is that I cannot become a freelance writer without actually writing on a regular and consistent basis.

As silly as that may sound, it was something I figured out by making mistakes.  I was so caught up in everything else that I did not have any time leftover to actually write.  Now what I am doing first thing every morning is writing a 500-1000 word piece.  I had to make a hard-set rule that I am not allowed to do anything else until this is completed.  Since this rule has been adopted I have a renewed feeling of hopefulness and excitement.  I have typically been publishing these articles on hubpages as they do not really belong to any “one” niche, and it is part of my passive income strategy.  While this has been working great the last few days, it will be significantly tested as I am scheduled to go back to work starting tomorrow.  The challenge of following this journey on my off-hours while juggling a full-time job is about to begin.  I tend to work about 12 hours a day at my full-time job so I will need to find time to write somewhere in the other 12 hours (plus eat and sleep in there somewhere as well).  Wish me luck!

Why Writing For Content Mills Is NOT Always A Waste Of Time!

The other day I wrote an article entitled, 3 Reasons Why Writing For Content Mills Is A Waste Of Time.  This piece actually generated a fair amount of buzz on my blog and various social media accounts.  Many writers seem to be quite passionate about the subject…they either love the content mills or they hate them.  I had very few comments or emails where people seemed to be undecided.  So, as promised, I am now countering my previous post and attempt to outline some positive benefits I have found while working with content mills.  In short, here are 3 reasons why writing for content mills is NOT always a waste of time!

  1. Networking:  Having worked in the field of education for the last 25 years, writing has been a daily and integral part of my job.  However, when it comes to the world of freelance writing, I consider myself to be a beginner.  As such, the content mills I belong to allow me to network with other writers.  We are able to bounce ideas off one another and also discuss various avenues for future work.  In fact, two of the companies I currently write for have active discussion forums which allow writers to network with one another.  As someone who is just breaking into the industry, I find this to be a fringe benefit!

 

  1. Flexibility: Part of what attracted me to freelance writing is the hope of “being my own boss” and achieving some degree of independence.  For decades I have been forced to consistently respond to the ever changing demands of others, and always on their timelines.  The great thing about the content mills is I can pick and choose the jobs I want.  While it is true that the jobs can be scarce at times, between the different companies I write for, there are always a few in the queue.  If I do not like the content or time restrictions of the job I can simply take a pass.  That is a level of flexibility which I have never experienced before.

 

  1. Diversify, Diversify, Diversify: Any sound financial planner will tell you that you need to diversify your investment portfolio.  If you don’t you are risking it all.  I believe the same is true for freelance writing.  While the pay of content mills may be substandard, they are only one part of a diversified network.  They can be used to compliment your other services and sources of income, such as selling books and articles, revenue sharing, blogging gigs, and passive sources of income such as ebooks.  Also, if jobs are scarce, the content mills are always there to turn to as part of your diversified freelance writer portfolio.

 

All in all, there are many great points which can be made in regards to the usefulness of content mills for freelance writers.  I seem to be in the minority and pretty much land in the undecided camp.  I would love to know your thoughts, however.  Please take a moment to complete this simple poll and let your opinion be known!

 

 

 

3 Reasons Why Writing For Content Mills Is A Waste Of Time!

Today I am tackling the controversial topic of content mills.  In truth, what I have discovered is that most writers either love them or hate them.  There seems to be very few people caught in the middle of this debate.  If you are in the former camp, I am sure the headline of this article started your blood boiling.  However, before you start composing that impassioned email to let me know how misguided I am, you should know that I will be composing an article tomorrow entitled, “ 3 Reasons Writing for Content Mills Doesn’t Suck!”  Nevertheless, today is about why writing for content mills is a waste of time which comes with very little reward.

In the interest of full disclosure, it should be known that I have signed up for 5 content mills.  This article is essentially based upon my work so far with these companies, and other research I have conducted on the subject.  The content mills I currently belong to are:  iWriter, Textbroker, Clickworker, Zerys, and Zemandi.  Each company came with a sign-up process which included writing tests and samples to “ensure my worth,” as it may.  Having passed all these initiation rituals, I was free to start writing for the content mills and pave my way to full-time freelance writing and independent financial freedom.  Forget 365-days…I will do it in 4!  Well…not so much.  What I did find however was that writing for content mills can actually be a complete waste of time in many ways.

Top 3 Reasons Why Writing For Content Mills Is A Waste Of Time:

  1. Lack of Quality Assignments:  I do understand that I am new to the world of freelance writing and content mills, but I have found there to be a woeful lack of decent assignments.  Maybe if I want to write an SEO keyword dense article designed around the subject of reducing breast size I will be fine.  However, I really do not want to do that!  Also, on a few of the content mills my writing assignment page was empty. I think I even saw some tumbleweed roll across my screen and heard a coyote howling in the background.  This was even after doing a ‘superb” job on the various tests.  Strike 1 for content mills.
  1. Measly Compensation: Once again, bear in mind that I am a beginning writer when it comes to writing for content mills.  As such, that means any writing jobs I complete are compensated at the lowest pay grade.  As an example, on one of the content mills,  I am typically offered $2. 43 for a 500-word article.  I am no mathematician, but I believe that is approximately half a cent per word!  While it is true that this is certainly on the low side, writers can still typically expect to only earn around $3 per 500 word article with that amount climbing to around $25 as you gain experience and credibility.  Even on the high side, this is not a pathway to riches!  Another point to remember is the fact that working for such a low rate can also drive down wages for other writers.  Strike 2!
  2. Impractical Time Deadlines:  When I am writing I try very hard to create the best possible piece I can.  This can be particularly difficult when I am given an hour or two in which to compose my masterpiece!  However, with many content mills this is exactly what happens.  Instead of spending time working on quality of writing, it becomes a battle against the clock designed primarily to pump out articles.  It is undoubtedly a quantity over quality scenario.  Strike 3…Yer out!

There are actually some other disadvantages to writing for content mills, such as damaging your reputation as a writer and the inability to add a byline to your work thus limiting the development of a solid portfolio.  However, I believe the top 3 which were provided essentially encompass all the main deficiencies.  Nevertheless, tomorrow we will take a look at some advantages as we investigate  3 Reasons why writing for Content Mills does not always suck!

 

 

 

 

 

Writing Contests and Conferences: Day 2

Without a doubt, I am currently spending considerably more time reading and researching than I am actually writing!  I honestly don’t know if that is typical or a good thing, but I really see no other alternative.  There is so much information to take in and I am trying my best to cover all angles.  While I have enjoyed a 25-year career in education where writing has been a daily part of the job, this new direction is quite unique for me.  For instance, other than upgrading and interacting on my new various Social Media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Google +, I have spent the second day of my 365-day journey to becoming a freelance writer simply researching writing contests and conferences.

I actually decided to spend a good portion of the day researching writing contests and conferences as a result of watching Carol Tice on a YouTube interview.  During the conversation, she mentioned that a great place for beginning freelance writers to start would be to check out writing contests and places to network in person with other writers and editors.  So, despite being unquestionably anxious to actually begin writing, I delved into the land of writing contests and conferences instead.

As I researched the subject, I once again found there to be no shortage of information.  Google may be our friend, but it also brings back a vast amount of information which is often conflicting and difficult to filter.  Nevertheless, as I began to sift through the overwhelming reams of information, I soon narrowed it down to a more manageable collection.  I essentially wanted to have two questions which were preying upon my mind answered:

  1. Why bother with writing contests and conferences at all?
  2. Which contests should I enter and what conferences would be the best to attend?

I must admit, even though writing contests and conferences were suggested by some very reputable people, I still had my doubts.  By their very nature contests are difficult to win.  Could spending considerable time entering contests and creating written submissions actually be worth it?  Despite the obvious time investment, I discovered that they actually are quite valuable.  As Suzannah Windsor Freeman points out in her article, Pros and Cons of Entering Writing Contests, the advantages clearly outweigh the negatives.  Not only is there a potential to earn money with contests, but they are a great way to build a portfolio, meet influential people in the industry, and push oneself to meet pressing deadlines.  There is no room for procrastination if you are planning on entering writing contests.  In truth, as long as no entry fees exist, there is little to lose by entering writing contests and a considerable amount to be gained.

As for writing conferences, meeting and networking with other writers, editors and influencers in person has obvious and clear benefits.  People will always remember personal contacts and prefer to put a face to a name.  With a natural introvert like myself, this is a huge learning curve but as the saying goes, “nothing ventured, nothing gained!”

In regards to actually finding decent writing contests and conferences, a little more work and filtering was required.  The following are the best sources of information I was able to obtain (bear in mind however that I am Canadian and as such am particularly interested in those which are somewhat local).

By the end of the day, I signed up for 3 writing contests and have already begun working on my submissions.  I am also planning on attending the Ontario Writers’ Conference later this year and must admit I am quite excited about the opportunity.  Tune in tomorrow as I will be discussing the controversial topic of Content Mills and what I have discovered at this very early stage.

Becoming A Freelance Writer: Day 1

Becoming A Freelance Writer: Day 1

becoming a freelance writer

This officially marks the first day of my 365- day journey to becoming a freelance writer!  I am quite nervous and apprehensive, yet very excited about this campaign.  The end goal of becoming a full-time freelance writer seems onerous and a tad far-fetched I fear.  Nevertheless, I am quite determined to follow this through and give it my absolute best.  My intention is to help fellow writers along the way as well.  I am hopeful that by following my progress, mistakes (and there will be a multitude of them), and occasional success, I can help others in their own unique path to freelance writing.  All my steps will be recorded during this process from today, all the way up to Day 365.  There will also be a finance tracking device and a daily “mood meter” set up on my blog so others can follow along and “get inside my head” so to speak.  Lastly, the blog will also produce a number of other articles in my main niches (education, writing, blogging, business, content marketing, social media and mental health), which will serve to enhance this journey.  Please join me on this quest and hopefully we can learn some things together along the way.

While today is “technically” my first day, I must confess I did some behind the scenes setup work last week.  However, today is really the first day of applying these efforts.  In particular, the following was integral to achieving a running start:

  1. Long hours of research on freelance writing.
  2. Setting up a variety of social media accounts.
  3. Designing a new blog called My Writer’s Nook

Research on Freelance Writing:  One of the first things which struck me as I began this new campaign, is the sheer volume of research which surrounds the subject.  It appears in books/ebooks, on blogs/websites, magazines, YouTube, and a variety of instructional videos.  It can be quite difficult to amass and filter a solid compilation of research as the material not only conflicts with others on the same topic but ultimately becomes outdated rather quickly.  In addition to the reams of information which I scoured through, I also purchased a few ebooks on the subject of freelance writing.  I find the following to be helpful in regards to pointing me in the right direction:

Carol Tice also operates a website called Make a Living Writing  which I find to be very useful and packed with valuable information.  All this being said, I certainly do not limit myself to the preceding titles.  I am constantly looking for information on writing daily as I strive to perfect the craft.

Writing and Social Media:

I have always found it to be quite natural to write.  The words seem to fly from my pencil and jump onto the page (yes…I still write everything down manually with a pencil first).  As a natural introvert, however, marketing my own work is no easy task.  I can describe the work of others quite effortlessly, but when it comes to my own it can be a bit of a struggle.  Nevertheless, my past decade of blogging has taught me to utilize Social Media to accomplish this critical piece.

On my first day of my freelance writing journey,  I spent a considerable portion of it creating social media accounts and beginning to connect with like-minded users.  I have now created accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Google+.  I will be adding some others shortly, but these are the beginning.  Everyone has their own favorite social media platform and my advice is to use which ones work for you the best.  If you try to constantly interact and engage on all the different platforms, however, you will have zero time left available for actually writing!  Personally, my favorite is Twitter as I have always found a wonderful community to learn from and with.

Blog Creation:

I suppose if you are quite “technically inclined”, creating a blog is most likely not that difficult.  Really, all you need is a good web hosting company and WordPress.  I have personally found however that it has taken me a considerable amount of time to actually learn how to create a blog and ensure it has a professional appearance.  Once again I had to conduct a lot of research and make an investment to accomplish this task.  There is certainly no shortage of information in regards to how to start your own blog, but I found Sarah McHarry’s  WordPress To Go-How To Build A WordPress Website On Your Domain, From Scratch, Even If You Are A Complete Beginner to be quite useful.  I also decided to sign up with Site Ground as my Web Host Provider and make an additional investment in the professional Author theme from Compete Themes which I am quite happy with.

Day 1 Results:

In addition to writing this blog post, the aforementioned is essentially how I spent Day #1  of my 365-Day Journey to Become a Freelance Writer.  I put in at least 12 straight hours of work and made the following monetary investments:

TOTAL Earned =  0

Total Spent = $160

While I may be starting in the hole…I think the investments were well worth it and have kickstarted my campaign.  However…I need to start some writing jobs soon!  Join me tomorrow as I see if I can start putting these investments to use.

 

365-day Journey to Becoming a Freelance Writer!

Since childhood, I always had an insatiable desire to write.  It burned deeply within me constantly looking for an escape. I saw it as my destiny and one true calling.  However, as so often happens with many writers, my career as a writer never burst into the forefront in the way in which I imagined.  In fact, writing was often pushed off into the shadows while I pursued more “pressing matters” such as securing full-time employment and raising my family.   I now sit here in my 50th year of life.  I have a very successful career in education and a happy family.  My children are now adults and making their own way in the world while my wife continues to pursue her own interests and passions.  Rather than be satisfied with this, however, I also have a huge hole in my soul.  Something is amiss.  No, it is not a midlife crisis…it is unfinished business.

I have decided that in this, my fiftieth year, I will truly try to “make it” as a freelance writer.  While I have been blogging part-time for over a decade on a variety of blogs, I have never pursued this as a full-time career.  This is what I would now like to do and hopefully ride this wave right into retirement and begin a second full-time career.  While I do possess a lot of experience writing in a vast number of forms and environments, I do realize this will be a very different direction and challenge for me.

You are invited to join me on this journey.  Starting on January 1, 2017, I will be composing regular entries on my blog which will attempt to describe the progress of my journey.  It will not only include monetary goals and tracking, but also a careful analysis of the industry, research, personal feelings, and tips to help others to overcome the obstacles I am most certainly going to face.  I am giving myself 365 days to achieve my goal of becoming a successful freelance writer and see if this truly is my destiny.  The definition of success is certainly different for everyone, but for me, it is all about plugging that hole which exists in in my soul.

Please join me on my 365-day journey to becoming a freelance writer!

Should Mental Health be Taught in School?

I have received a number of requests for me to write a piece about this issue.  I actually completed an article not too long ago so I have included it here to get my new blog off to a rolling start!

Should Mental Health be Taught in School?

There can be little doubt that mental health stigma clearly exists in society.  While we have certainly made positive strides in addressing such negative perceptions and discrimination…there is still a long way to go.  One may ask, how can we continue to build upon this anti-stigma movement and take it to the next level?  I believe education is the answer to this question.  Education should be a constantly evolving field.  It is essentially designed to respond to the continually changing needs of a developing and dynamic society.  As society changes, the education system should as well so it can meet the new needs.  While mental health is certainly not “new”, the growing awareness of it,  and the inherent dangers which the stigma surrounding it presents, certainly is.  I would go as far to say that awareness is really in the infant stage.  In other words…it is a change from the entrenched beliefs of society.  Education systems therefore have a duty to address this change.  In fact, I have listed below a number of reasons why I believe we should be teaching mental health in schools.

 

  1.  Stigma Reduction Instruction:  People experiencing mental health conditions have been alienated and ostracized throughout history.  Society has been very slow to change their attitudes and perceptions of those experiencing mental health concerns.  Schools are in a perfect position to address this head on with anti-stigma activities and curriculum.  Events can be held which can teach children, parents and community members about the injustice of mental health stigma.  More importantly however, anti-stigma should be entrenched right into the curriculum.  Just like physical health, mental health and the accompanying dangers of stigmatization can be part of the daily educational curriculum.
Teacher relationships and Mental Health
Teacher relationships and Mental Health

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.  Unique Teacher Relationships:  Teachers are in the unique role of being able to build and foster relationships with children.  They are with their students for a very significant portion of the day in a safe environment which also includes many peers.  As such, many students will often open up about conditions or issues they are having.  This is of vital importance as many of these students will not discuss these issues anywhere else.  We can never dismiss the power of positive relationships.

3.  Identification and Intervention: Considering the last point, it then becomes critical for a teacher to act on information.  We all know that teachers are not mental health professionals, but they can have instruction and support through training programs which will help them to identify and intervene in a timely way when a student is having mental health concerns.  Even just knowing where to go to receive further support can make a huge difference.

4.  Decrease Marginalization and Barriers to Learning:  For individuals to have equal access to education, marginalization and barriers must be removed.  Such barriers could be due to race, gender or socioeconomic factors.  However, what has been traditionally overlooked is the barrier which mental health presents.  In Canada, approximately 1 in 5 students suffers from some form of mental disorder. (http://www.ctf-fce.ca/Research-Library/Issue8_Article1_EN.pdf).  This is huge and represents a significant issue in regards to these students truly being able to have equal and full access to the curriculum.  By focusing on well-being in schools as part of the curriculum, schools can intervene to remove such barriers and reduce the marginalization of students with mental health conditions.  This will in turn give full access to learning for all students (and increase test scores at the same time!).

Costs to society of Mental Health
Pay Now or Pay later

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.  Costs to Society If We Don’t:  I would argue that society in general is frequently not very forward thinking about certain issues.  By not adequately addressing mental health in schools we will only exacerbate the issue.  This will in turn have a huge social and economic impact on society.  For instance, according to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, the economic burden of mental health in Canada is 51 billion per year!  This includes health care costs, lost productivity and reductions in health related quality of life. (CAMH)  Considering such a statistic, how could we not address mental health?  Pay now or pay later.

6.  Mental Health Conditions Usually Start Early:  If you talk to the majority of individuals who experience a mental health condition, they will tell you it started early in life.  That is a fact.  By addressing mental health in schools, and reducing the stigma attached to it, identification and timely interventions can happen much earlier.  This is vital in terms of treatment success and can also identify or halt potentially life threatening situations.

There are still many individuals who argue forcefully against including mental health as part of the school curriculum.  They point out that it is too complicated a subject for untrained teachers, too dark a subject for children and opens up the possibility of a biased perspective and presentation.  In response to these concerns, I would say 1) provide more training for teachers. 2) You cannot find light unless you go through the darkness. 3) there is potential for biased perspectives in any subject which is taught.  Mental health has been pushed into the shadows for too long, and it is time for all of society to step up and be part of the solution…and it starts in school!

Sources:

Mental Health in Schools:  How teachers have the power to make a difference.  By Leigh Meldrum, David Venn and Stan Kutcher.

Mental Health For All Children and Youth.  Hincks-Dellecrest-ABC Teacher Resource.

CAMH: Mental Illness and Addictions: Facts and Statistics.

Center for Mental Health in Schools: An Overview