Sir Michael Sims

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"Back in the Middle Ages, free lances were mercenaries not employed by or allegiant to any one individual--knights or soldiers who were free with their lance, so to speak.  Joust because they were professional killers, though, didn't mean they always made a killing.

     The same is true today."

-From Tim Lemire's I'm an English Major---Now What? Chapter 7 "Freelancing for a Living," page 138


I chose this comment partially because it shows the wit that Lemire uses to make this book a pleasant read, but mainly because it relates directly to the speaker we had in class.   Michael Sims, a knight (okay, he is a freelance writer, but I like Lemire's concept here) and author of books including Apollo's Fire and Adam's Naval, spoke about the importance of entrepreneurship to our Intro. to Literary Study class.  I really enjoyed all he had to say about his own experiences in freelance writing, as well as all of the advice he gave to us.  I really loved how he talked about the publishing process, agents, etc. I knew absolutely nothing about how to go about finding an agent, sending a manuscript and proposal to an editor, or really freelance writing in general.  Like most English majors, I do have hopes to one day publish a book; however my main goal right now is to become a teacher.  The more I learn about publishing a work though, the more I enjoy the idea of actually pursuing this as my profession.  Sims gave us great advice about pursuing our dreams.  He said, "A year from now, life will be considerably different."  I think this statement is great.  Our lives are going to change no matter if we pick up the keys ourselves or if we sit in the back seat and let fate drive us.  Like Sims, I would like to be the one driving (or steering my noble steed).  His knowledge of and experience in the literary world really helped me to redefine my career goals, as does reading other works that explain all that English has to offer, such as the Lemire book.   



Maddie Gillespie said:

You made a great connection between Michael Sims and the Lemire reading. This blog really emphasizes the power that can be wielded in order to tie together two similar aspects. I wholly agree with you. Mercenaries of earlier times (and I'm sure those of today too) were entirely dependent on someone paying them for their services, just like writers and other freelance workers. At the end of the day, they only get paid if someone likes what they've done. A hard thing to swallow sometimes, but Sims spoke about starting out by being a free, freelance writer. Great job on this blog!

Greta Carroll said:

I really like the quote you picked and the relation you made between class and the reading. I too really appreciated Michael Sims comment about things being different in a year. Looking back at my own life, I realize how different things were last year at this time. We need to remember that things are going to change no matter what; we can control the change, or just let it happen. You expressed that idea well and it is an important one to remember.

Michael Sims said:

Dear SHU bloggers,

I much appreciate Ms. Gearhart's kind words, as well as her insightful remarks about the topics we raised in class; my thanks also to those who replied. A friend, a former SHU student, sent me links to the blogs that discussed my visit to Dr. Jerz's class.

I've always found the etymology of "freelance" amusing, and I almost mentioned it in my talk. I'm glad to see it showing up here.

I thought the class (as well as lunch afterward) was fun. My thanks to the students, who I felt made me welcome. As usual, the questions raised in class made me think more clearly about the issues.

Michael Sims

Becky Campbell - Director of CareerWorks said:

It was enlightening to read the comments about Michael Sims enlightening class presentation during National Entrepreneurship Week. Sponsored in part by CareerWorks and your division, the week brought Michael and other entrepreneurial speakers to campus.

Those of us in career services who sit between you -- the students -- and the employers know how important it is to get career information to you early in your educational career. There is no substitute for this type of career exploration and reflection. You are all going into a world that is very different - it will be very much an entrepreneurial world and you will be a "free agent" whether you are a writer or an biologist.

Find your passion and feed it, teach it; ask questions that you want to know, do an internship or just DO something that moves your focus and goals forward. You can't sit back any longer and wait to graduate. It is an entrepreneurial world and you were able to hear from Michael how that may feel. It is exciting to manage your own career and not rely on a company or organization. You will be hearing more about entrepreneurial skills and entrepreneurship at Seton Hill through CareeWorks and other partners on campus.

Keep talking to others who are doing what you want to do and work to develop what the world needs. Great writing is a skill that all employers need and want.

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