If people leave their job ventures behind, retirement is usually what follows. He or she feels they’ve earned enough money in whatever industry they decided to stick with, so now it feels right for them to relax; both mentally and physically. In the end, it’s a must-do for everyone.
However, my circumstances are slightly different. Ever since I started searching for administration work, which is very difficult to find with a disability, the jobs gathered never really seemed right for me. Getting to work was a chore, with tiredness causing extra issues, and I always knew I was somewhat faking my commitment.
After graduating from university, I immediately needed to find employment. Working as an administrator seemed possible, and eventually I found a few years of work in the finance industry. However, I’ve also voluntarily written a blog supporting epileptic and disabled people. It wasn’t the first blog I’ve worked on either; since graduating I’ve written articles about popular music and the city of Manchester too. I’ve always been a writer and have had plans to find work aside from administration when the opportunity arrived.
Looking back, I believe the reasons I’ve avoided freelance writing relate to English grammar. In 2012, my dissertation scored me 69 in my final year of university. If you’re unaware of the score system at university, this is a good score, and my lecturer and examiners praised my writing too. However, to score 70 points or more, it needed professional standards. Despite receiving critical acclaim for my innovative work, professionals don’t make grammatical mistakes. Unfortunately, examiners told me grammatical errors were found in the work I submitted.
Practice and Proofreading Makes Perfect
Time has passed by, however, and a new journey is taking place. To begin with, freelancers may struggle, sometimes becoming paranoid their work isn’t good enough when sent off. Did one minor error lead to immediate rejection? Strict rules apply regarding work submitted to newspapers or magazines: mistakes will not be tolerated.
So, in recent weeks, I’ve been studying grammar, punctuation and vocabulary. One useful book recommended to me is entitled The Elements of Style. With excellent reviews, it was originally published in the late 1950s by E.B. White, who obtained the advice offered from a former lecturer named William Strunk in the early 1900s. Today, it seems almost like a writer’s bible and was ranked no. 23 in The Guardian’s 100 best nonfiction books. It’s a book most writers own and keep nearby for safeguarding.
I’ve read the book in depth and copied out details. Memory loss means it’s difficult to memorise information and copying text word-for-word has been my best option. I’ve studied other books too, such as the more modern and popular textbook Advanced Grammar in Use. I don’t need to complete every exercise in there, but sometimes it has been useful.
What do I Want to Write About?
After gathering first-hand experience from difficulties and dislikes, I’ve learnt some things about life other people aged 30 or younger haven’t. I have endless points to make clearer to people about disability. Disabled people aren’t receiving the rights they deserve, and I long to do something about it.
Aside from disability, I’ve studied popular music in depth, and used to play guitar in a rock band. Music journalism was part of a course I enjoyed studying at university (BA Popular Musicology), which generally involved writing about the history and culture of popular music.
I love my home city of Manchester and will be happy to write about it. I support equality, so backing it up with written work is important to me too. These are big topics to talk about, which potentially lead to many subtopics. I think plenty of possibilities lie ahead with my writing.
I’m Ready to Go
Today, it feels like justice has finally arrived. I can give birth to a career that I will always love. I’ve just got to work hard and believe I have enough power to continue.
I need to make more social comments, and via writing I can clearly do it. My blog offering information about epilepsy and disability has been appreciated: after publishing over 80 articles, I’ve made some great allies. Right now, it’s time for a change, but these individuals and organisations will not be forgotten.
So, with a new professional career starting, The Epileptic Man blog ends. My new website’s URL is joestevenson.uk, and my Twitter username is @TheJoeStevenson. If you still want to read what I write, it will be found elsewhere soon enough. I’ll work hard to speak well for both epileptic and disabled people in the future.
Although my grammar hasn’t been perfect, I’ve received compliments for my writing from others. Some of my skills need to improve, but today I also believe that I can contribute the time and work needed to become a successful freelance writer in the UK.