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How different generations living with SMA can teach one another

Meet Regina and Al. Their friendship and respect for one another all started at a fundraiser before a Phillies baseball game in 2019. “I watched Regina give a beautiful speech at the event about her recently diagnosed son, Shane,” recalled Al. “I thought to myself, ‘My friends at Cure SMA need to meet this amazing mom and get her involved.’”


This topic has 21 replies, 6 voices, and was last updated 1 year, 4 months ago by Halsey Blocher.

  • Author
    Posts
    • #17598
      Kevin Schaefer
      Keymaster

      Employment for people with disabilities is something I talk about a lot, and it’s important. Jobs aren’t easy for us to come by, and a lot of times we have to think outside the box in order to determine the right career path.

      For me, I’ve been a freelancer since college. I wrote for some websites and nonprofits during and after college, and I eventually got the job here at BioNews Services as a regular contractor. I was able to utilize my writing, communication and multimedia skills to help grow the company, and I can do it all by working from home. I’m also able to do other writing and speaking jobs on the side, and I do focus a lot on my comic book writing when I’m not doing things for BioNews.

      Freelancing is great for me. I make enough to pay rent, cover caregiving expenses, have plenty of spending money, and I can still retain my Medicaid benefits.

      I know plenty of others in the SMA community who are self-employed freelancers and entrepreneurs, and I do recommend it for a lot of people with disabilities. It requires a lot of creativity and a willingness to work odd hours, but it can also provide flexibility. I often work nights and weekends, whether it’s writing or sending emails, but it’s well worth it.

      If you are someone who’s looking into freelance writing, graphic design, video-making, etc., I encourage you to go for it. It’s a competitive market when you’re trying to market yourself on the Internet, but it’s also more accessible than ever to start your own business. I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve heard of people with disabilities who have had their blogs or Instagram pages go viral, and these have lead to paid work. If you’re stuck in a rut and can’t find work, think about what you can create and put out on the Internet. I believe everyone has some kind of skill that they can market through hard work and dedication.

      What questions do you have about freelancing or starting your own business? I’d love to get some other people with experience in this to contribute to this conversation.

    • #17648
      Halsey Blocher
      Participant

      I’ve also been looking into writing lately. Ryan has been helping me figure out what steps I need to take. Writing is something I have wanted to do for a very long time, and lately I’ve just felt like it’s time to start making it a reality. My biggest stuggle has always been deciding specifically what to write about, so I’d appreciate any tips on how you come up with specific topics.

      • #17655
        DeAnn R
        Keymaster

        What kind of things are you interested in Halsey?  Usually if you write about stuff you’re interested in, others will be too.  Maybe something in connection with your volunteer work?

      • #17660
        Kevin Schaefer
        Keymaster

        The cliche saying is “write what you know.” It’s something every writer hears, but it holds up. Like DeAnn said, blogging about your volunteer work could be a great place to start. Are there other interests you have that you may want to write about?

        • #17661
          Halsey Blocher
          Participant

          I like that idea. I honestly never thought of that for some reason. I know I want to write about my life with SMA, but there are so many ideas swirling around in my head that it is hard to get them to hold still long enough to choose one.

        • #17681
          Kevin Schaefer
          Keymaster

          That’s the nice thing about blogging though. You don’t have to limit yourself to one topic, and you can write out all your ideas. Just start with a semi-general theme for your blog, and go from there. We’d be happy to help along the way. Good luck!

        • #17689
          Halsey Blocher
          Participant

          I really appreciate the advice from both of you! Thank you!

        • #17707
          Kevin Schaefer
          Keymaster

          Absolutely!

      • #17868
        Ryan Berhar
        Member

        I think Kevin might have told me this, but it helps a lot to start by thinking about writing topics from a general perspective. It can be tough to just come up with a really specific topic. Start more general and it’ll kind of just take form as you go.

        • #17872
          Halsey Blocher
          Participant

          I’ll definitely try to keep that in mind! Thanks!

    • #17730
      Adnan Hafizovic
      Participant

      When you already live in a country where is Hollywood, why does not one try to write a good script for a movie, of course,in wich main character woud be person with SMA.I have a lot of themes about that but I’m not so good writer,lol.

      • #17738
        Kevin Schaefer
        Keymaster

        My creative writing is mainly focused on comics, but I do write stories about characters with disabilities.

    • #17750
      Adnan Hafizovic
      Participant

      When I mentioned Hollywood reallity is that movie companies look of course on own profit,and realistic and true stories are not too much profitable.And I finally watched movie ˝The Upside˝and its not bad movie.

    • #17836
      Pamela Muhammad
      Participant

      Hi Kevin! Thank you so much for writing such great articles that are very helpful in the SMA community!( I really enjoy your writings!!) I do enjoy  writing too,band I have been looking to make extra 💰 now I love to learn more about freelance writing in general! Could you please share some ideas of how to get started and also what do you use to write? I cannot use my hand very much I am not speaking give me the phone and it writes what I say. So any information that you are others can share on it getting started of being a freelance writer would be greatly appreciate it. Have a great day! Smile

      • #17838
        Kevin Schaefer
        Keymaster

        Thanks Pamela! I appreciate the feedback.

        As far as getting started, starting your own blog is a good way to get noticed and to practice writing. Sites like WordPress are free and easy to use. This is a good way to get your work out there. Also, publications like “The Mighty” and the MDA Quest magazine are always looking for submissions.

        As far as how I write, I do most of my typing on my phone or iPad. It’s just easier for me to do than to use a computer. Alyssa Silva did a column on this topic a while ago: https://smanewstoday.com/2018/10/26/sma-work-around-type-columns-technology/?amp.

        Good luck! Let me know if you have any other questions.

    • #17837
      Pamela Muhammad
      Participant

      Hi it’s me again I made some errors on my first post! And I didn’t see a place to correct it  I am rewriting tocorrect some of my arrows. I meant I cannot use my hand well so I am speaking into my phone.  Are there any devices or technology that can help me to write more distinctively and faster? And also any information that you can give about freelance writing will be greatly appreciated! Have a great day!

    • #17839
      Pamela Muhammad
      Participant

      Wow that was a fast response! LOL. Thank you Kevin I appreciate the feedback. I will look into possibly blogging Etc. Do you have your comic books published?

      • #17840
        Kevin Schaefer
        Keymaster

        Heh, that’s another topic. Comics take a lot longer to get made, but I have one short story in an anthology.

    • #17841
      Pamela Muhammad
      Participant

      That’s so cool! How long have you been working on your comics and when do you expect it to be finished?

      • #17842
        Kevin Schaefer
        Keymaster

        I’ve been writing for a while and I have multiple projects going on, but it’s hard to say when any of those will make it to print. But I definitely have goals to get more of my work out there.

    • #17847
      Pamela Muhammad
      Participant

      Thank you for sharing! Much success! Do have Facebook messenger!?

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