Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Making A Difference As A Writer

-- Quote of the Day -- 

“You have to plan ahead. …Christmas in July is a real thing; you have to be writing Christmas articles in July. …I’ve also had it happen where the magazine would contact me and say we aren’t going to publish this piece until the next issue, or the next year. …You have to definitely keep a spreadsheet or calendar – you have to keep track of everything. It is not their job to keep track of that for you. …I know what my kill fees are, because sometimes the publisher decides they have too many or limited space or something and I got bumped. But that is fine because I still have the piece and I know the rights are mine. You need to keep track of your rights as well –if you sign away your First North American Rights then you can’t use that work for the time specified in your contract. And contracts are very important; you need to know what your contract says, what you can use and what you can’t use. If you use one article and you find another market for it then you can use that research and content and spin it another way or reprint it or write another article entirely.

~ Rosemary O’Brien

Today’s quote originates from the Conscious Discussions Talk Radio episode that aired back on April 2nd …titled: World of Writing

 (*Click on the title to access the full discussion)

Making A Difference As A Writer

Writing, for me, is a way to feel like my life had some kind of value, that the fact I existed meant something positive. Back in ‘99 I started with the Trash Talk column - talking about easy ways to go green and reduce waste around the home and office. That developed into a book about 4 years later, and is now in a revised edition with 2 volumes in the series. I wanted to focus on teaching people how to green their life and save money at the same time, helping readers helping lead a more proactive life and leave a positive legacy. Book One discusses the 4-R’s of waste management and the proper order for them. This series offers ways to reuse, repurpose waste, inspires through education about recycling, offers tips on reducing, refusing and rethinking "waste" issues. The second book discusses more advanced information from energy awareness to indoor/outdoor gardening alternatives, and water conservation.

Coming up with the title - TrashTalk - was easy... as I was talking about trash, although at the time I had no idea that within the US the term 'trash talk' is also used for saying bad things about someone... so maybe our book will end up putting a positive twist on the commonly used term. 

This genre came to me because they are what I have been living in my own life. I live and breathe this subject, and so it was easier for me to make the book projects happen. I'm passionate about making a difference and the easiest way for a person to make a difference is to look in their own office, their own cubical and their own home and yard - reducing waste, refusing to accept manufacturers standards and conscious shopping habits, composting and growing some of their own food... all of this means a great deal to me because of the amazing and powerful impact actions like these can have on the world.

North Americans account for less than 10% of the world's population, yet we produce 50% of the world's garbage and consume more than 33% of it's resources.!

How can we, as individuals, participate in waste management? Because some of us are so overwhelmed with Earth’s problems, we feel that our contributions have no real consequence in the end. For others, social barriers can be an issue. A lady we once knew confessed that she did not want to be seen buying used items or being concerned with power use. She was worried people would see her as cheap – a scrooge – when the family was so affluent. Yet, she was very careful to be seen with recycling bins out on the curb on pick-up day, because that was thought to be the thing to do socially. Now is a good time to put an end to these negative thoughts and feelings of false pride. Waste reduction is not about ego - it is about the health of the planet and of our nation.

Communities would be wise to look at Nova Scotia’s waste reduction success and try to emulate it in their area. With the highest waste reduction rates in Canada, Nova Scotia has reduced landfill contributions by 46% - saving about $31 million per year - simply by making the most of the organic and recyclable materials. Recycling, alone, has a huge impact on the environment. A study of a 100-unit apartment building in the US that had set up a system to take advantage of all the recycling programs available in their area found it would save 21.93 thirty-foot trees, 26.86 cubic yards of landfill space, 8,389 kilowatts of electricity, and 77.4 pounds of air pollution in just one year!

So you see, these seemingly small choices and efforts towards waste management really do make a difference.

The first thing we can all do is to take advantage of the recycling system available in our communities. By recycling alone each individual can reduce their waste by a minimum of 30%. They can reduce their contribution to the landfill by a further 30% simply through the act of composting. We need to rethink how we view waste, which is actually a resource, and reconsider the kind of impact that we can have for the environment and the local economy. Reducing consumption comes in the form of sharing, donating, buying used, and buying quality so that you don’t have to keep replacing the item. Reuse and repurposing items can not only save the home and office a lot of money but it can also have a huge impact on the waste management system.

The important thing is to start right where you are. With every decision and action think about the consequences and impact it can have and consider alternatives that would leave a lighter footprint on the Earth.

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!

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