100712 interviews created 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Writing skills



What is your stance as a marketing professional? What are you good at? What differentiates you from others?

I believe that marketing, particularly web advertising and SEO (search engine optimization) marketing, can make or break a business. The Internet is a driving force in America's economy and what some people may not realize is Google is behind the wheel. I have extensive knowledge in Google Analytics and SEO marketing techniques. What makes me different from others who apply is that I don't simply excel in Internet research or content writing or web design, I have mastered them all. This doesn't mean that I have nothing left to learn, the internet is constantly evolving and so I am. The plethora of skills I currently posses and my willingness to learn are two of my traits that separate me from the rest.



What do you recommend I do with all those things I wrote years ago but have never been able to bring myself to show anyone?

I would recommend that you sit with yourself and ask yourself why you havent showed any of your writings to other people? Fear, fear of judgment, self conscious, doubtful of your skills,....etc? Then eliminate the reasons if possible.

Then share some or all of your writings with people ( sometimes you feel like some writings should remain private, nothing is wrong with that).

God gave you a voice, you decide whether you wanna share that voice or keep it unheard.




If you weren't a designer, what would you be doing?

What I do when I'm not designing, and what I would do as different career is writing. Design was the Visual portion of my problem solving skills and mentality. I could easily enjoy writing for a living as I am an avid blogger even now and also write some ebook series. If I were not a designer I would definitely be a fulltime writer.



If you weren't a designer, what would you be doing?

Working with mariginalized and Disenfranchised Youth and Young Adults to foster Life Skills...like writing Resumes, cover letters, buying food...etc



Do you think programming should be taught at the basic education level?

I think its one of the ONLY things that should be taught to school kids. Reading, writing, math, art and code. By high school, kids should all have an intermediate level of programming skills.



How would you describe your professional strengths and weaknesses?

I will describe my professional strength in engineering fundamentals of designing with software like CATIA , PRO-E , AutoCad and together with fundamentals of MS-office , Windows and basic C++ . As well I am looking for training which can boost my skills as a supervisor or engineer . I can deal with people and proceed with documents and technical writing as well I can handle telephone calls , e-mails and letter writings . I can deal with Banking proceedings as well legal proceedings . If you are talking about my weakness I would like to listen it from you and definitely like to improve myself for better future.



What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?

I believe the first book I read was a Dr. Suess book. My mother could probably tell you, because I certainly can't. Let's say "Green Eggs and Ham" when I was two years old. That sounds about right.

I started writing in elementary school, when everyone learns basic written skills. The idea of make-believe and storytelling always fascinated me and I just wanted to keep doing it. Teachers were the first people to actually read what I wrote and give me constructive criticism for it, as opposed to just a grade.




What did you study and why did you choose to study that field?

My undergraduate degree is actually in education -- from a program with a heavy emphasis on organizational theory, sociology and psychology. I taught high school English for a couple of years and then sort of morphed into a historic preservation specialist -- research and writing skills were helpful.

After a few years, I started feeling that, although I loved preservation and local history, I was getting stuck into a very small corner of the world. So I went back to school and did a masters degree in urban planning. So it's a bit of a weird career route.

I think the reason why I was drawn to planning is that I wanted to deal with the most complex and most important systems I could think of -- the places where people live and work and play and all that. Having grown up in the Rust Belt, I had a pretty strong sense of how economic issues impact people's lives -- impacts that run through everything. I wanted to be part of figuring out how to make places work better for the people who need and want to love them.




How has 'having a blog' contributed to your life?

It has make my novel "MY BAD TEQUILA" much more successful than perhaps it would have ever been. Blogging keeps up my skills of writing with a purpose and having fun with my readers.



In which tasks are you good at, and in which could you better yourself?

I'm good at writing, for the most part, but that comes with tons of practice. I'm good at understanding various perspectives. I've got really sharp research skills. I'm good at deciding which tools will work best for a particular task. I've got strong analytical skills. I'm a good listener. I'm fairly good at multitasking.

I'm trying to improve my organizational skills, to make things run more smoothly overall. I'm also working on improving my verbal communication skills, since I tend to ramble.

No matter how good I am at a task, I feel there's always room to improve. I always try to be aware of where my weaknesses lie, and I constantly research ways that I can increase and sharpen my skills.




In which tasks are you good at, and in which could you better yourself?

Publishing, running a small corporation, writing and computer skills, interacting with people from around the world.



What are you working on now?

Write now I'm working on more journalistic writing, with a panache for the creative. Nothing too sterile, but not wholly fiction, or creative writing either. It's helping me work on my skills in observation and creating atmosphere for the reader.



What is your creative process?

That has recently changed a bit since I moved to Los Angeles. We've just finished writing the next album and Mr Drew and I did it by exchanging ideas over the internet recorded in Sonar as he and Al are based in London, where the band was originally formed. It was a very interesting process, I think its brought something fresh into the mix and it forced me to learn some new skills which is brilliant.



What did you study and why did you choose to study that field?

In college I designed my own degree through an interdisciplinary program at Western Washington University. I called it "Feminist Activism" and it was a combination of theory with an emphasis on praxis (theory into action, i.e., actively applying the concepts I was learning in the classroom in the field), as well as writing and film. My thought was that in today's world, understanding how to successfully disseminate information to the masses would be essential to any social change movement. I choose to study "Feminist Activism" because I had the great luck of having a random conversation with a girl in her last year of school during my first week at Western. She said, "Don't worry about what you want to be when you grow up. That's going to change every week. Just study what you learn about right now." At that time, feminist activism and women's issues was what riled me up and got me going, so I went for the degree. I decided a few quarters before graduation that it wasn't the career path that I wanted to take, but I draw on the skills and knowledge I acquired during my time in school every single day.



How has 'having a blog' contributed to your life?

How to Slay a Cliche has given me a creative outlet and a way to exercise my mind.

Penman has been a bridge to new colleagues and given me a way to express ideas professionally.

Both have provided an outlet to show my writing and editing talents.

Writing blogs for clients has provided a new income producing outlet plus allowed me a new way to show others skills and talents they might tap. It's been great!




How did you discover your creative territory? How would you describe it?

Actually it has been there ever since.

Unfortunately it has not been fostered the way I would do it today. But I have to be honest. It depends on the ability to foster. And obviously it has not been in the focus of education of my parents too much.

Furthermore, I have to say, that the more I worked in a "normal company" the more I found back to my inherent creative roots. Some companies care for creativity, others don't. The more I was surrounded by colleagues with other skills and of other main areas, the more I realize how valuable is the gift of being creative.

And also, starting out as a pure musician, I realized and recognized my ability of writing. I never thought about it before, but kind of like it now.




What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?

When I started writing it took sometimes an hour to get "in the zone"; I had to clear my thought space. But now I need only read the last paragraph and skim back over a few chapters. I have been attending a monthly creative writing class for the last couple years and practice a variety of skills that I have learned, mostly character development.



What subjects do you teach? What types of students do you have?

I teach infants and toddlers right now. I teach the children three languages; sign language, English, and Spanish. I also teach them art appreciation, music appreciation, colors, cutting, beginning writing skills, and a love of reading and books. I have mostly typical European-American children but have had some Latinos and one African-American for a short time. I don't discriminate but do get most of my clients from the UW Madison.



What is your professional background? What did you do before?

My career started as an analytical chemist working at a pharmaceutical company and I have a degree in biomedical sciences and research. It sounds completely useless for working in IT but I use the skills I learned in analysis, testing and technical writing every day.
My IT career began with a technical graduate program at a financial services company in the UK. I worked on everything from massive data networks, to supporting news and journalists and developing foreign exchange trading systems. I moved on to a large investment bank developing a credit trading system.
After a few years off with my family I have been working with WebShopApps and Magento since 2010.




Up till now, what has been your professional career path?

Working in a marketing department at a university, seeing things that need to be done and doing them, honing my writing and design skills, and educating myself about social media and technology.



How do you sell yourself? What has been your experience with record companies and representatives?

I sell myself based on my writing skills- and the quality of music I release.



How has 'having a blog' contributed to your life?

It's forced me to figure out what I really care about. It's improved my writing and communication skills. It forces me to get out into the world and pay attention to what's going on.



In which tasks are you good at, and in which could you better yourself?

I am definitely great at customer service, writing, public speaking, organizing, and creating working documents.

I am in the process of developing stronger marketing and selling skills.




How do creativity and methodology combine to resolve technological problems?

In Education, you have to know your content. It's all about the content. Then you can use technology creatively. For example I wanted my students to reflect about a field trip that they had been on to visit an old Dutch Museum. Instead of just writing about it, we created 3D virtual museums in Sketchup with the photos that the kids had taken on the field trip posted inside those museums on the walls. Was this too hard for Grade 5? - no! I came up with the idea and the kids helped me how to teach the skills to make it happen. BTW none of us had used Sketchup before this project.



Is writing a form of personal therapy? Are internal conflicts a creative force?

All writing is autobiography. If you couldn't empathize with your characters' situations, you couldn't make them seem believable to the reader, no matter how much research you do. Some part of their psyche must resonate with you, or you won't be able to write them convincingly.

Conflict and conflict-resolution are the basic building blocks of adaptation. If we didn't have those skills, we couldn't evolve as people. So, in that respect, conflict is a creative force, so long as it doesn't overwhelm the mind and shut out reason.




How did you begin making music? Who introduced you?

My father bought an upright Petroff piano back in 1988 when i was only 6 yeras old. i started taking the classical piano lessons two years later and it was love forever ever since.
I started making my own little classical music compositions when i was 12 - i grew up listening mainly to classical music, the beatles and yugoslavian rock music, as my father was a professional musician back in the late '60 to mid '70.

..in those years i was a total school geek and spent my lunch breaks reading books and writing silly poems.. so when i was 15 both these "skills" kinda blended together, i picked up my dad's acoustic guitar and started composing pop-rock songs. Nothing to say: they were dreadful. I still have them somewhere on some tapes, it's one of those funny-embarracing childhood memories i will always recall with a smile.
and yes, although they sounded dreadful and i knew it, i was optimist enough to just keep doing it until i started writing the music i actually loved to listen to afterwards!




What made you interested in design?

I have always been involved in the creative space from writing to art and design. However, it was my study of psychology and business during university and my self taught web development skills that allowed me to start to see the opportunity. In many ways, it was haphazard or maybe fate that allowed me to bring my passion for solving problems and funnel it through user-centered design, first in the web and digital space, then across many types of design mediums.



Do you believe you have already found "your voice" or is that something one is always searching for?

As far as my writing style, I have found it. I know the pace in which I like to tell a story and how to get the tone right, but I am always reading anything I can get my hands on to improve on my skills. I believe writers should never stop learning and growing.



What is your philosophy on homework and grading?

Homework, both in terms of assignments and individual work, is very important. I never use it to teach new materials, instead it is a means to revise materials covered in class. In addition, I always start the homework assignment at the end of the class. This way, everybody is clear what to do.
Since I teach writing, grading and feedback are inseparable. The purpose of grades and marginal comments is to show students what they are doing well so that they can continue doing it and to show students the areas in which they need to improve their skills and to suggest ways in which they may improve.




Do you have a website or blog? How was the process in making it? Does it accomplish the purpose for which it was created?

I have both a website and a blog. Though they serve two very different purposes, the creation process was similar:


What is my intended audience?
In which language(s) do I best address this audience?
Which parts of me and my life does my audience likely want to know about, and which parts of me and my life am I willing to expose to this particular audience?
How do I want to project myself, and which design choices serve best to reinforce this image?
Where can I get ‘sufficiently free’ (e.g. copylefted or Creative Commons) artwork that fits my design choices? (I’m good at writing, but rather less good at drawing, and I have strong views about copyright and other creators’-rights issues.)


And then I got myself some webspace and started creating.

As far as I can tell, both the website and the blog accomplish their respective purposes. My website serves as my ‘public face’, as a point where people who know me can find me (or rather, find up-to-date contact information), and where people who don’t know me can find out more about me – and where potential clients/employers can get an impression of my writing and typesetting skills and, of course, read my CV. My blog, on the other hand, serves as my ‘personal face’, where both old friends and complete strangers can read about whatever occupies my thoughts at the moment, and possibly be entertained in the process.

The website can be found at http://www.iki.fi/julia.simon.

The blog is, as mentioned, my ‘private face’ and that’s why I usually don’t give out its URL on professional networking sites. Sorry.




List any credits, publications, competitions, etc.

I hold a Business Writing Skills Certificate from Expert Rating



What type of reading inspires you to write?

Regardless of the genre, ANY piece, long or short, that is written, edited and proofed in a professional manner, and holds my interest from beginning to end, is an inspiration. I admire writers who have honed their skills by writing, writing, and writing. Writers who still believe a story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Writers who know how to use the English language. Sensuality is essential, but to me, crudeness and an overabundance of four-letter words, is distracting and downright boring. A little imagination can go a along way toward painting a truly sensual and meaningful relationship. English is such a rich language, capable of painting such vivid, touching, and expansive images. Why settle for the same dozen words that you can hear at any street corner, gas station, bar, or checkout line when there are so many thousands of words that are so much more effective, accurate, sensual, descriptive, and visual? Yes, I guess that makes me a bit out of date, but so be it. I am who I am. Take it or leave it.



How has your sport helped your personal growth?

My research skills, report writing and vocabulary have improved exponentially.



What other types of businesses are you frequently tempted by?

I really wish I could invent something that I could sell in a box! A bit easier sometimes when you've got something brand new.

Writing a book would be great - i've got the facts and stories but lack the skills to write.




What subjects do you teach? What types of students do you have?

I am a primary school teacher so i am able to teach kids from Prep to grade 6 (ie first year of primary school to their last year of primary school - age range 5 years to 12 years of age)
Currently i am teaching grade 2 students who are 8 years of age. I have to teach reading, handwriting, writing, listening and spreaking, spelling, maths, library skills, computer skills, Inquiry units (social studies), science. Specialist teachers for art, music and physical education work at our school also.
The students are generally well motivated, variety of ethnic groups, single and 2 parent families and parent occupations range from unemployed to middle management workers.




What is the most challenging aspect of teaching for you?

When I teach them some skills about writing a research article



What is your specialty? Production, direction, something else?

Film criticism and analysis. I would also like to learn more about screenwriting and develop some more creative skills.



Do you think programming should be taught at the basic education level?

Passionately yes. I talk about this issue constantly with my peers. I feel that not only programming, but foreign languages and music should be core curriculum in elementary schools. The arts are always the first to be cut when the budget gets tight; yet learning to read music increases the minds ability to process math. The USA just received their worst ranking in elementary math test scores this past year. I don't think it is a coincidence that it coincides with the largest art program cuts in the nation’s history. Learning a foreign language at a young age increases that child’s ability to understand language in general, including their native language. I am fluent in reading, writing, and speaking Portuguese, and after I learned that language at the age of 19, I found that my understanding of the English language had increase almost as much as my understanding of the Portuguese language. The same goes for computer programming. By learning how to program, the mind develops the ability to think logically and creatively discover solutions to very hard problems. Gaining these skills at a young age benefits that person for the rest of their life.



Do you have innate qualities, or is it something that you learned?

Coaches come from every walk of life. I am a journalist with over 25 years of experience communicating and writing in two mayor newspapers in Puerto Rico in the music industry. I have qualities such as writing, selling, investigating and researching fields. Now, in order to become a coach I have develop skills such as public speaking, listening, human behavior
and coaching skills.




What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?

My dad always tells me how I loved to be read to as a youngster, even when I was too young to really understand what was being said, and while at primary school I was bestowed the rare honour of being able to use the Junior library instead of the Infants one on account of my rapid reading skills - so probably my 'first' reads were whatever was big in kids books circa 1983!

I began to write thanks to some enterprising English teachers who got us all doing short story exercises at various points in my education - between the ages of 11 and 15 I was writing roughly one big story a year. I never really understood the concept of 'short' - the bigger and more epic, the better. I bashed out my first script on a wonky old electronic typewriter in 1995, and that was it...

The first to read my work - outside of English teachers and the odd classmate - would have been the members of various online writing communities like Fanfiction.net and Simply Scripts, from about 2000 onwards when I started publishing them.




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