If you need a writer / editor for a magazine, book or online project, get somebody who can give QUALITY writing / editing, suggest profitable concepts and other world-class ideas. Don’t just settle for anybody.
You need to protect your investments, too. Sloppy writing and editing can unmake a good book, magazine, website, project proposal, etc.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GOOD AND BAD WRITING
I just attended a writers' conference where one speaker said that writers should not bother explain to their clients that they are good writers because most clients do not know the difference between good and bad writing. At first, I was incredulous. How could anyone not know good from bad writing?
And then I remember. I have just been commissioned by a US-based publishing firm to edit two coffee table books.They were supposed to be "ready for printing" and I was just supposed to improve on them a bit by editing or adding a thing or two. To my shock, both books needed thorough editing. It appears that the publishers couldn't tell the difference between good and bad writing.
A few years ago, I was offered, on two occasions, to edit a magazine. But the publishers, on both occasions, had the idea that writers come a dime a dozen and that nobody cared about good writing or even good grammar. They wanted to pay peanuts to the writers. Well, if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. So, I turned down both offers. Needless to say, both projects failed.
A friend just told me that a new foreign-financed magazine is coming out. The funny thing is, the editor-in-chief and the managing editor don't know much about writing or journalism. When the owners launched the magazine, they did not give away copies as they realized that the magazine was terrible - sloppy editing, sophomoric layout, grammatically incorrect articles, etc.
As a rule, people who read know, even instinctively, if what they are reading is well-written or not. And most importantly; people, who know the difference between good and bad writing, will immediately drop anything that smacks of bad writing.
PLAGIARISM ON THE RISE
The Internet has a created a "copy-and-paste" generation who copy ideas and content from everywhere. In the academe, plagiarism is a major "crime". Public officials have recently been caught guilty of this "crime" like the Hungarian President and German Minister who both resigned from their posts because of plagiarism.
In the Philippines, a Supreme Court justice, a business tycoon and a senator have been accused of plagiarism. The Supreme Court justice blamed his researchers, the business tycoon meekly admitted the plagiarism while the Senator vehemently denied the accusation and was therefore pilloried in the Internet. It turned out that his ghostwriters copied from some five US-based bloggers and even plagiarized from a speech by the late Senator Robert Kennedy.
In the Age of the Internet, one must be wary of plagiarism. Hiring intelligent and experienced writers and editors is the surest way of preventing it.
So many people proclaim themselves to be good writers. I believe that good writers are born, not made. Working as journalists or or copywriters for 20 years does not necessarily make them good writers. Moreover, to write coherently and intelligently, one needs to be intelligent and with a wide range of knowledge and experience.
I am Jamal Ashley Abbas, a freelance writer since 1998, former columnist and Managing Editor of Mr. & Ms. Magazine, awardee of the Manila Rotary Club Journalism Awards 2001, Media Studies specialist, former lecturer at the University of the Philippines’ College of Mass Communication (Communication Studies and Film Studies) and Kalayaan College (Communication and Journalism).Until last year, I taught Communication, Media and Film Studies at the Far Eastern University's Dept. of Communication. Currently, I teach at FEATI University's Dept. of Communication and Arts, teaching Communication and Media Studies and English.
I'm an Execom member of the Freelance Writers' Guild of the Philippines (FWGP), head of the Website committee, and I manage its blog. I am also the Editor-n-Chief of the blog of the Astrology Friends of the Philippines. I own several blogs and FB pages, including jamalashley.com. I was one of the winners of Manila Rotary Club's Gawad Kalinangan Journalism Awards 2001. I have been writing for various publications, including maintaining a magazine column, since 1999. I have been a "netizen", with my own websites since 1996 and my own blogs since 2005.
I have a degree in Petroleum Engineering (B.Sc.) from the top engineering school in the Middle East, the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (UPM) in Dhaharan, Saudi Arabia. I am the first Filipino petroleum engineer.
I did graduate studies in Business Economics — the top-level Strategic Business Economics Program (SBEP) of the University of Asia and the Pacific, a top Catholic institution known for its economic researches / studies.
I finished my M.A. in Media Studies (Film major, Journalism minor) from the country’s “national university”, University of the Philippines (U.P.). I graduated top of my class (GPA of 1.0 = equivalent to 4.0 in the US) and won the Best M.A. Thesis of the College. I was also President of the College of Mass Communication's Graduate Students Association.I am the first Filipino graduate of the M.A. Media Studies degree program of U.P.
I also have a Diplome in French Language from Alliance Francaise. I attended classes in Paris and Manila.
I was born in 01 Dec. in Davao City, Philippines. Dickens, Kafka, Hesse and Dostoievsky rank among his favorite writers. Among contemporary authors, I prefer Mailer, Capote, Vidal and Irving. I also dabble in short-story writing as well as play-writing. I am also a film buff. Truffaut, Buñuel, Resnais, Bergman, Kubrick , Kurosawa, Bertolucci, Figgis, Greenaway, and Almodovar are among my favorite film directors. I have been a “’netizen” since 1996. I develop and maintain several websites and newsgroups in the World Wide Web. And I like traveling. I have been to Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Pakistan, India, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Algeria, U.S.A. and Mexico.
I write for various publications and do editorial consultancy, writing, editing, ghostwriting, script-writing, directing, speech-writing, and developing educational modules. I also give seminars on Writing, English Language Proficiency, Energy, Climate Change, Film Studies, Media Studies, etc.
In short, I have a wide range of academic background and work experience - engineering, economics, energy, journalism, film, media studies, communication, etc. I write academic papers, technical reports and journalistic articles, both news and feature stories. If you need top-notch world-class writer, I'm your man!
Check out my blog!