Friday, April 27, 2012


A couple of days ago, my boss informed me that I was going to be sent to Switzerland for a workshop. I've been trying to decide if I want to go or not.
I can almost hear the cries, “BUT WHY?” Why am I even thinking of not going?
Main reason: I'm fifty and by March next year, I'll have reached the “Rule-of-Seventy.” The Rule-of-Seventy is the number-of-years-of-service plus the age of the employee. In short, by March next year, I'll be eligible for early retirement.
Thank you, but staying young is exactly why I'm contemplating retirement. The pay's not bad and the benefits are nothing to laugh about. If all I cared about was money, I'd be happy to stay. The pressures of the job, however, keep building with no signs of letting up. Worse is when you know that there are solutions but the company is not willing or is unable to do anything for one reason or another.
So I think about retirement, and think about a future where I make my own decisions and work the way I want, doing what I want, doing what I do best.

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Urge to Write

When people learn that I've written a book, their eyes widen in amazement. Quite a few of them say, "I wish I could write a book too!"
A lot of people seem to have a dream to one day write a book. Note that this is different from dreaming to be a writer. They just want to write one book. So, if it's just one book, what's holding them back? Ask that question and the top two answers are: time and ability.
If you have a hankering to write one book, time is not a problem. You can take as much time as you want. Write a thousand or so words at a time, on weekends; 200-300 hundred words when you have time or when you feel like it; just keep at it until you finish. If it takes you five years to finish your book, that's fine. It's just one book. You're after the satisfaction of seeing your work in print or on the screen. Take the time to make it as perfect as you can make it. It's a one time thing so do it right.
To someone who really wants to write a book, ability would not be a problem either. Your spelling skills probably doesn't qualify you for the spelling bee or your writing style is something only your mother can understand but these shouldn't be a hindrance. You have two options to solve this:
  1. Hire someone to proofread or edit your book
    If someone is willing to do it for free then, good for you. If not then just be ready with your checkbook. There are lots of professionals out there so take the time to look and ask. Some authors hire beta-readers or people who give your book an initial read and comment about how it might be improved. Be careful about using family and close friends for this. Family members can be very supportive but tend to overlook your imperfections. Worst is when all the comment you get is, "nice book."
  2. Collaborate with someone
    You could ask someone to write the book for you. You could write and he would rewrite to improve. Eventually, when the book goes out, you include his name in the book or, at the very least, mention his valuable help in completing the book.
When the book is completed, you have a choice of going the traditional, print book, way or the eBook way. The decision is up to you. Having a printed book gives most people a really huge sense of achievement. Unfortunately, it is much more difficult to get a book printed and distributed than just uploading it to an internet-based eBook distributor. You might want to read my earlier posts about publishing (Publish in Print or on the Net? Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5).
Publishing an eBook is a fast and simple way to get your book out and, potentially, it'll reach more people than via the brick and mortar bookstores. If your intention is to just get the book out there and into people's hands with no thought of earning from it, you can give your book away for free. I don't know of a brick and mortar bookstore who would be willing to put your book on their shelves and tag it as "free."
'Got a book idea in your head? Let it out and share it. You won't regret it! (",)