Writing is often perceived as one of our life’s secret realms entered by only a privileged few. Frequently we discover worthy writers who protect their interests by giving the impression that to be a first-class writer, you must analyze the mechanics of English for a good many years and only after painstaking study will one be able to master the art. The question which I present to you is whether this premise is actually true or a myth?

I personally was a mediocre student in school, however as adulthood approached, I came to appreciate rather quickly that writing represented one of the bare necessities of just about any occupation. Upon grasping this fact, I promptly honed up on the crucial tools necessary to keep my head above water. The more I made use of these writing skills the better I became equipped to deal with the various types of writing that I encountered. Starting my military career out in the electronic field, I found numerous examples of writing both from a technical view as well as upon a personal level. Naturally, practice will only serve to improve your writing.

Today, I practice writing for a living and enjoy every minute of it. No longer does the thought send endless chills down my spine or cause me to experience a panic attack, but rather it appears to me as a challenge well taken. One of the myths which I believe most people consider is that every sentence must be forcefully created in a mechanical manner. Not so! Although I believe that we cannot write continuously as we would speak much of our daily writing is actually accomplished in just such a manner.

Even writing for a living I still experience moments of anxiety as I prepare to write. Perhaps the feelings originate from my earlier years that festered with fear as a lack of the writing tools needed for effective communications. As humans, we are not robots where everything must be mechanically perfect, therefore we should not confuse our writing abilities as anything mechanical in nature.

Our mechanical structures of our language, such as punctuation and grammar are important, but there are other features that are just as valuable. We have word processors which assist us in these tasks and it never hurts to approach one’s significant other to obtain their opinions as well. Writers never lack readers who are willing to review your work and I might add they are quick to point out those little subtle mistakes that tend to creep into our work.

I will initially begin my writing process and merely type anything which comes to my mind on the topic at hand. To view one of my first drafts would cause you to literally roll on the floor laughing. You would find many words on my page spelled incorrectly, an abundant supply of grammatical mistakes and often times too much information. After completion of my first draft, I will check all my spelling with a spell checker and occasionally through the use of a physical dictionary. With the spelling complete, I next move on to arranging my ideas in a logical manner. I ask myself does this sentence fit here. Should this sentence go elsewhere? This is where I eliminate some of the garbage that I initially typed in. I finally read over my work and replace words that I feel do not portray my meaning properly. In my last reading, I will look for any errors or issues which I may have overlooked previously.

Am I done now? Heck no, now it’s time to set the work aside and allow it to cool down. I try to get it out of my mind so that when I come back to it, I am fresh and can readily notice some of the errors and mistakes that slipped by me the day or two before.

Don’t even think it finished yet! Next, I approach my wife, my adult children, and my friends to get them to review it for me. You would be surprised at the number of errors in spelling or meaning that materialize at this point. Ultimately, it is time to finalize and submit my work. As you can easily see time is certainly not at your disposal when writing properly. Is this a lot of work? Sure it is, however, the payoff comes back with interest. I have the proud feeling of accomplishing a quality writing job.

In conclusion, over the years I have found that writing is not only an asset in any occupation, but a means of relieving stress which at any time may strike. It doesn’t matter to me if I am writing about some Native American folktale or creating an article for a survival website, the calming effect is essentially the same. The next time you feel stressed out sit down at your keyboard and type out a few pages of anything. Tell about your life, your children and exceptionally valuable experience that you had or anything that comes to mind. This technique is similar to the “free writing” mentioned in many beginners’ textbooks. I am sure you will feel a bit better in no time at all.

Joseph Parish
My name is Joseph Parish. I am also known as "Word Writer", a freelance writer who specializes in a host of subjects from survival and emergency actions to gardening. Over the years, I have found that many people involved in the subject of survival claim an attraction towards the subject they practice. A few of them have really meant it. Fewer still have put their life into it and shown their true feelings about the subject. I attended the American Public University, specializing in Emergency Management and Terrorism. I have written one book on terrorism entitled “The Mind of a Terrorist”, and it is available on Amazon. I was brought up in southern New Jersey and attended school in the Millville area, graduating from the Millville Senor High school in 1966. By the time I graduated, I was hooked upon entering the United States Air Force. I was determined to enter the military and pursue a field of study in the area of electronics. I initially attended a course in Aircraft Radio Repair at Kessler Air Force Base in Mississippi. Later, I was trained as a Ground Radio Repairman. Little did I realize that this course of training would eventually lead him into the Forward Air Control Career field. I remained in the military for 21 years, at which time I visited many foreign countries as well as just about all 50 states in America. In 1987, I decided that it was time to get out of the military and retire from active duty. It was at this time that I made a quantum career leap; combining my, military electronics training with my love of Aircraft, I became employed by TRW Aerospace in Redondo Beach California. The company was involved in developing and manufacturing various space craft units and satellites for the government. I will readily admit that the company was one of the greatest places I had ever worked, and really hated to leave the company, but I decided to depart the area. I have developed many interesting and cherished friendships while learning survival techniques, particularly those that dealt with earthquakes. Unfortunately, the area was not the best place to bring up children in and upon the conclusion of my contract with TRW, I returned to the east coast. Upon my return to the New Jersey area, I began teaching school for several years. I generally taught Junior High subjects, such as science and math. After getting involved in the teaching of young minds, I was informed that a close relative in Florida was ill and required help. Without hesitation, I headed to the sunshine state to assist. While in Florida I was employed as an RF Amplifier Engineer. Eventually the crisis which had brought me to Florida was over, and I was once again heading back up north, only this time to the state of Delaware. Here I worked as a mainframe computer operator for a major chicken producer until I decided that it was time for me to permanently retire. I decided to take a slightly different route. I was attracted to the topic of survival because of my love for the military and my field of work while I was active duty. When 9-11 took place in America, there was a rise in the popularity of survival preparations which led to both government and private citizens being concerned about survival. These people and agencies had the freedom to select the various topics relating to the subject and the followers began to flock to them because of their knowledge and values. By the end of 2007, various internet websites began cropping up relating to survival. One such website was mine. Being a part-time newspaper reporter in New Jersey years ago, I would create my own form of written articles. My first exposure to "survival" came as an Air Force Forward Air Controller (ROMAD) during my 21 years in the military. I have served as a unit Safety NCO, Emergency Preparedness NCO and other related duties. Some of my safety related articles had been published in the Air Force Safety Manual. Over the years I have taken courses ranging from FEMA sponsor classes to “Aircraft aviation” courses in my efforts to become more informed on survival techniques and procedures. I am a firm believer that you must be ready for any sort of emergency and above all you simply cannot rely upon the government to help you during times of crisis. I am a follower of the philosophy that you should continue to learn as much as you possibly can and believe that when you stop learning you are simply dead. I am currently an active volunteer in the Delaware Medical Reserve Corp, participating in the Delaware Bat Monitoring Program and the Terrapin Rescue. I previously was a Red Cross volunteer working with the Emergency Management Section of the organization. My hobby is gardening and I have my own greenhouse. I love experimenting with the propagation of plants. Many of my articles center around the topic of gardening. I look forward to accepting assignments from potential clients. Feel free to contact me at (302) 404-5976.

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