El Paso, TX

Veteran writer and retired El Paso business owner suffering from Alzheimer’s provides inspiration to son

Euri Giles | Clareifi

Why commit to making a living as a business owner, writer, or creator?

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I started writing online more than nine years ago.

I believe that most writers write for the sake of writing. That is, even if they are paid to write, or make a living from being a writer… They write because it gives them a sense of fulfillment. They enjoy storytelling, they are natural educators and have a way of stating things in a way that people will understand clearly.

I write as an outlet. I write because I believe that I have my unique way to say the same thing that 9,999 other people just did. When I write, it feels good! It feels good to let out all that I have built up inside.

If you write online just to make a quick buck, you’ve got another thing coming.

“Quality and resonance with readers” is what will ultimately prove your mettle as an online writer.

During my research period of reading as much as I can about writing online, I’ve joined a Facebook group with the purpose of connecting with other “new to online writers” on the platform to visit one another's profiles with the intent of reading and engaging with their content. It was important to me to join a group that is more than just a place to drop links, but rather one that was invested in building a community of like-minded individuals.

One of the common themes both online, and in various Facebook groups is that writing online requires hard work if you want to make any kind of real income. Be ready for the commitment, to write and engage with readers as well as other writers.

I am committed to making a living as a business owner, writer, creator… There is no other choice!

I’ve been writing admittedly, inconsistently for the past seven years on a personal blog. I didn’t consider myself to be a writer. Not only that, but I never thought that I would turn to writing for anything other than an escape, much less consider it a means of supplementing or providing financial support for my family.

It wasn’t until I experienced a forced change in my life, that made me draw from what always led me to write.

Pain.

Pain is about as good a business plan, as hope is a strategy… It’s not… Whatever the source of your inspiration though, just remember to be genuine and true to your craft. Whenever I have written a blog post that performed really well in terms of readership, or comments and shares it has come from a place of stifled emotion for me. My writing voice usually comes from deep inside me. I write as if I were exhaling my pain. Sure there are exceptions to this, when I’m able to share something light and humorous, or even technical. But what fuels my writing soul is to write my tears away.

Can you profit from your pain?

I’ve got no other choice. For me, this is where it starts. Now, this is me at my best. Writing my way out of a hole. Writing for my life.

If I’m able to connect and resonate with at least one person who reads something that I write… It’s a step in the right direction.

Writing online offers a distinct platform that connects writers to readers with a broad reach around the world. However, it is a tool with a beginning and ultimately with an end.

Writing for a living means building a legacy.

Being known for your work by creating content that your readers value, crave, and come back time and again for more is the goal. Anyone who is serious about earning a living from their writing is going to treat their writing like a business. They will focus on quality. They will hone their craft. Furthermore, they will diversify their distribution by writing on multiple platforms. From freelance, to self-publishing and pitching major publications. They will become experts at marketing their work, as well as themselves. Promotion, and building an email list of engaged readers will become a part of the daily cadence.

My interest in entrepreneurship and business ownership, came from my dad, a talented writer and small business owner here in El Paso.

Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2012. Just as he was shifting his focus from an Industrial sales company that he started in the early 80s to expanding his freelance writing business. Alzheimer's would end up robbing him of not only his memories, but also keeping him from building his business around his true passion… Writing.

I draw the most inspiration from him. How I cope with the way his life has changed, how my entire family’s life has changed is by writing about him, and sharing his work. It makes me sad. It makes me angry. I feel pain.

I write because of him.

On my last visit to my parents home, my dad was at the kitchen table folding a sheet of paper with his easily recognizable (to me) handwriting into an old writing journal.

It was his response to a question in an application to become a member of the Veterans Business Association in El Paso.

It read:

Describe your interest in entrepreneurship and business ownership? Indicate if this interest is motivated by your disability, or if business ownership has been a long-standing goal?

Dad wrote:

Ironically, Entrepreneurship was thrust upon me by working for those seemingly less principled than I. It turns out, it was my good-fortune to experience unbounded greed and callousness for the sake of money, by others that made me want to make money and share its bounty. It was also not having to answer to those less principled than I.

His response to the question:

What two experiences would be most relevant in providing the application committee with a comprehensive understanding of who you are as a person and how you deal with new and novel situations?

My involvement as a member of the Veterans Business Association in El Paso, in part speaks to who I am as a person. I not only want to advance business practices and principles for myself, but for like-minded aspirants who envision business as an Archimedean lever hoisting the business community to prosperous heights. For new and novel: I identify elements; note their relationships to each other. Note their respective efficiency and efficacy. And finally, I repose and join them in the most workable relationships possible.

From my dad’s LinkedIn profile — I have twelve years freelance journalism experience spread over a 30-year period while operating my industrial sales company. My most recent journalism assignment was with the Fort Bliss Monitor, as staff reporter from 2010 to 2012; now the Fort Bliss Bugle.

I’ve written for newspapers and magazines, primarily on health and fitness. My extended writing interests include: science, medicine, natural history, business, personality profiles and military life.

UT El Paso is my former university. I graduated with a degree in English, a focus in Creative Writing and a minor in Philosophy. I worked as a general assignment reporter for the El Paso Times after graduating in 1974; also worked as journalist/editor for a community newspaper and a chamber of commerce newspaper.

Specialties: Investigative reporting, health, fitness, business, science, and proposal writing.

I am entrepreneurial because of him. I am a business owner because of him.

The extent of my dad’s conversations with us now, seven years after his diagnosis has been reduced to us instructing him to “please take a shower!” to which he responds…

A shower?! Why does everybody keep telling me that?”

Then he’ll continue humming rhythmically for hours at a time. To see this decline in man who I learned so much from both saddens and inspires me.

I am committed to making a living as a business owner, writer, creator… There is no other choice!

I move forward. I accomplish more every day. Furthermore, I create opportunities for myself to be successful… Because of him.

What is your interest in entrepreneurship and business ownership?

Are you committed to making a living as a business owner, writer, creator? Leave a comment in the response section below.

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Euri Giles covers lifestyle content and news in Texas ranging from parenting, and food to politics.

El Paso, TX
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