ABUELITA'S Start Up, 1 Long Road, No Shortcuts > Comments on What Talented People should do with their Valuable Time.

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Studebaker made wheelbarrows.

A lot of periodical stuff with a how-to slant (gardening, travel, cooking) either has to go into the Twilight Zone (novelle cuisine, outdoor living for people living in hot humid zones) or recycle old material with a new twist, or just plain lie, to keep stuff coming out, well, periodically. I agree with the old saw that those who can't, teach, (sometimes)...or at least those who need benefits, teach.

Ha, listen to me, never sold a word yet. (I have written for and on company time). However, as someone once told me, you don't need to be a chef to know the toast's burnt.

posted by majroj on September 29, 2006 at 9:35 PM | link to this | reply


You're right. There's so much to be made spreading the how-to stuff.  I just hope it is done by those who know what they are doing. (The people you mentioned do, to be sure.)  I saw a woman on Myspace, all of age 21, who is touting a how-to newsletter.  I had about six years experience (some in professional venues) by that age, so I know it can happen.  Just from the way she writes, I can't believe she has a clue.  She's read books and is regurgitating. Most often, I see these sites as marketing things by people who have no business doing it.  But you're right---they'll make money.

That sounds harsh.  The problem is, the newbie will take stuff from a person who sounds like he knows what he's talking about.  And I've seen lots of them. 

A guy in my writing group terrorized everyone.  I never saw anything he had written himself in all the time he was with us.  He just tore apart the others.  In the group, only two or three were making a living writing.  Still, it was this guy who ended up teaching a course. Who the heck hired him!  It makes me nuts. I found out later he had sold something finally, a fantasy piece for something like 1 cent a word. 

In an online group, a guy who just last year was talking about getting a degree in something, suddenly  has three degrees (not) and has a Web site for writers. He now speaks about his students.  The problem is, it's not good. He has the poem that's okay, but he can't spell, doesn't get grammar, etc. But he has students. The site showcases their work, to be sure, but anyone who would pay money for articles/books will recognize his stuff is crap, by and large.  I wouldn't want my stuff associated with his page.  It marks someone as a beginner. A new person wants to be recognized and break in so much he often jumps at the chance.

Maj is absolutely right about those offshoot services.  My daughter works accounting for a homebuilder.   The homebuilder has problems and successes, depending on so many outside forces.  My daughter wants to get into a field like Heating/Air or Plumbing or Electricity contracting.  In good times, new services sell, and in bad times, the stuff still has to be fixed or maintained.  People in the goldrush had to eat, had to have a place to sleep, clean up...needed that extra sifter. :)

I've had some ideas for marketing writing-related resources.  I know it will make money, but more importantly, I know it will be helpful.  I only know that from the decades of experience in using the systems, however. 

Finally, as interesting as I thought your post/ideas were, it worries me for you in terms of marketing that you detailed so many aspects of how you'd set a business up.  You want to help others, and that's great, but if you're looking to start your own thing, you have to get it off the ground first and establish it. Someone else will see your ideas and may just act a bit faster than you do and get the upper hand. There will always be someone who is better at marketing, but you don't have to give him all your ideas on how-to do it.

I've written people here offline, thinking out loud about combining skills. I wouldn't post it, however. 

posted by terpgirl30 on September 29, 2006 at 6:12 PM | link to this | reply

Wonderfully sharing and caring ideas Benzinha
And savvy ones too!

posted by Katray2 on September 22, 2006 at 11:22 PM | link to this | reply

And about that monkey thing...lay off the datura!!

posted by majroj on September 22, 2006 at 11:13 PM | link to this | reply

Benzinha, it seems foolish top let hours of blogging sit here unsold

...except a sow's ear is still a sow's ear even if you bar code it as a silk purse.

Right now I'm finishing up a natinal conference they happened to have here about Disaster Preparedness and reaction, international speakers, a big exercise tomorrow, and a golf tourney last Thursday PM!

posted by majroj on September 22, 2006 at 11:12 PM | link to this | reply

majroj, now every time I write that I see the Monkey ME saying it....

majroj, yes, the money is in teaching, brain spreading, on the internet....How To Make a Gazillion Dollars While Sipping White Tea in the Harbor, on your own boat in Roatan.

I even told my postal clerk, who is about to retire and didn't know what to do with herself...."you are a walking talking book on how to get a job at the post office, what to expect, how to handle it, etc, etc...An INSIDER'S tips" and that if only 100,000 people bought it, copyrighted on a cd rom at $3.00 (and The Sale is in the exciting and descriptive copy on her eBay selling page) well, then, muchos bucks...

So, I'll wait until you retire to bug you more about this....

What  $3.00 book can any of us write about our own area of expertise?

posted by benzinha on September 18, 2006 at 7:18 PM | link to this | reply

azur, yes, editing others is too much, but subscribed to newletters, well,
you could get publicity for that in your contacts, have someone write about it....but, get the website pumped up first.... and offer that sign up window for the newletter, etc. 

posted by benzinha on September 18, 2006 at 7:06 PM | link to this | reply

star4you, thanks for stopping and leaving a star for me.....

posted by benzinha on September 18, 2006 at 7:04 PM | link to this | reply

nonconformist, thanks for the About Me compliments....

As for grandchildren, well, you just kidnap them one at a time and keep them as long as possible and teach them all about Quirky Wonderful You and then let them go with lots of calls and email and hand written letters, so that they must focus on reading and writing to keep up...


I had an uncle that I wrote to constantly and he would send me little cartoons from the papers in Michigan, or funny fliers out of his mail, or pictures out of Life Magazine....I was a child in Arizona, and when I would mention something in particular, well, he would inundate me with that thing.

I mentioned missing American licorice while living in Brasil and he sent a two foot by two foot box of every kind of licorice known to American Michigan man. I loved that man....

posted by benzinha on September 18, 2006 at 6:56 PM | link to this | reply

The seminar circuit? Did I mention my vestigial head...

Thanks for the terrific vote of confidence by spending your time writing to/about me (among others) with an invite to "jump in, the water's fine". Even a no-pressure venue like Blogit is too much for me, however, as evidenced by my lackadaisical posting (in abeyance to my cardinal rule: post regularly and often). Maybe when I finally retire...

Remember, however, as I've said to Gomedome a few times, the guys who made the money off the gold rush in 1849 here in California (Studebaker, Levi Straus, and others) didn't dig holes, they sold services to the miners. If you know how and can attract those swarming to the area (Internet), you can make much more than as an online entrepeneur.(E.G., Google....).

posted by majroj on September 15, 2006 at 12:10 AM | link to this | reply

posted by star4sky5 on September 14, 2006 at 3:52 PM | link to this | reply

You are such a wonderful friend and grandmother.  I enjoyed reading your website which I did after you sent the link the other day. I plan to send you a few comments and was on the verge of it when the phone rang and the browser crashed because I was doing too too much.
Blogit is the wrong place to share too much of one's work as there is not  difference in recognition or recompense between a bit of gossip and a carefully crafted piece but the main advantage is to meet and interact with like minds  whose paths we would not cross in real life.
I have a shop window kind of website and I have thought about putting articles, e-books, feedback services for writing (although that is probably too labor-intensive)  and a blog on it. Of course some of my views would put some people off but do I want to work for people whose views are disagreeable? Hell, no.
You have got me thinking about it. In the past I was secretive because I was working for a newspaper and it  was on my contract not to write elsewhere. No of course that doesn't apply.
Thank you for this wonderful post. The ideas are running through my head. It is something I will just have to do quietly for myself to start and wait for my partner to see the benefits. He is a tormented, glass half-empty creative.  Me, I can see all sorts of possibilities only lost for not trying.

posted by Azur on September 13, 2006 at 4:52 PM | link to this | reply

This is very interesting. I wish I was more computer literate!
I was looking at your About Me page and I found it so beautiful in sentiment. If everyone had a Grandma like you the world would be a very different place! Unfortunately though, the way things work out these days in the West a lot of us do not see our grandchildren as frequenntly as we would like because - they live far away, also their parents are so busy working to keep a roof over their heads and all the other essentials. I have seven grandchildren aged between one and twenty one, they are doing fine but sometimes I do wish we all had a more simple life. Hey I've put two wishes in this comment!   

posted by nonconformist on September 13, 2006 at 1:35 PM | link to this | reply

azur, you make it Writing Central on the Net. Tell them to bookmark

This Valuable Resource Site and to come back often to learn more and more and more....the place to go, the place to learn, the place to link to other fabulous writing, thesaurus, query letter, etc. sites on the net.

Your links pages should be so useful that everyone comes to your  site as their portal for hitting the writer's web surfing waves. It should be the most comprehensive gathering of true writers' gold ever gathered onto a few pages.

Then you do exclusive little interviews which you publish YOURSELF in your own  (Insiders') newsletter and publicize the heck out of that coup. See??!?!?

"CNN, here is my newsletter with an exclusive interview with so and so, and go hit my site to see my interview with so and so, the fellow who never talks to anyone. " Like that...make them (dramatic pause) come to YOU.


Delusions of Grandeur and Success and Super Egos are a good jumping off place, and diving on, into the proverbial money pool.

be quiet, benzinha

posted by benzinha on September 13, 2006 at 12:06 PM | link to this | reply

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