Do you think writing obituaries can affect the way we think about lives and success positively? If this is true, we might have to dig into it and learn how.
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What comes first into your mind when you think about writing obituaries? Is it the fear of death or your instinct tells you to prepare before it arrives?
Death comes swiftly like a thief in the midnight. When everyone is asleep or enjoying their late night book reading, it comes without precaution. Like the cold air, it caresses your skin, not for comfort but to take your soul and you die.
The “Prince of Egypt” portrayed death as one of God’s planned plagues and killed all the firstborns. May I ask you this question?
Did Moses know about the plague? No.
Have you heard someone who knows when he’s exactly going to die in the next 5 minutes by a specific method? No.
You can’t say, “That person will pass away in half an hour in a car accident.” Unless if you possess the psychic abilities or talent of precognition, you can’t determine the method of dying and what exact time death comes.
As much as we want to know by any means, we can’t do it and it will remain as an unresolved mystery.
It’s granted that every person, including you, wants to be alive as much as we could, regardless if we have suicidal tendencies or major depression as I do.
Even when you come face to face with the Grim Reaper, you would beg and beg and beg to extend your life. Why?
You’re convinced you haven’t achieved anything while you’re alive. You have a lot of things to do before that happens. You don’t want your loved ones to be sad because they lost you young. I bet so.
At 26, I tell you I haven’t done anything significant. Yet. How about you?
Now, our goal for today is to determine how writing obituaries change our mindset towards living and success…as a writer.
You’re a writer, I’m a writer, this is the point of view we’re going to deal with. Thus, we’ll delve into the specific lens a writer holds towards death.
In the discussion, we’re going to go through the details of writing an obituary and how it influences our thoughts and identity as a living individual and how we’re going to live our life as a loser or a winning writer.
Further, we could delve into how we can write about death in our works and how it influences our writing.
Not only the perception of death in our writing skills, but I will also show you the different perspectives of writers who have lived their lives as a loser and a winner.
So, you get to see what it’s like if you choose either of the options I have for you.
Prepare yourself today because this will be emotional. Gear up as we enter the tough tunnel towards the hellish, ice-cold surroundings of the Grim Reaper and come face to face with death.
Are you ready? Let’s go.
What Is An Obituary?
An obituary is simply an article printed on newspapers to report the death of someone containing the person’s life and information about the upcoming funeral.
Often, persons with influence benefit because it’s a big way to showcase their contributions to a certain town or city they have served.
If you aren’t someone who has done something big in the town where you live, you can’t have an obituary unless if you’re that special among your family members you survived. Otherwise, an obituary isn’t needed.
Here are the keypoints:
- An obituary is for someone with influence within the town or locality, as well as within the clan or family.
- An obituary isn’t for all who died unless if you have done something big for a certain place where you hold your funeral, including your family.
How To Write An Obituary?
According to RemembranceProcess.Com, there are 6 important things in writing an obituary. You have to have the following elements to include:
- 1. Announcement of death
- 2. Biographical sketch
- 3. Family
- 4. Service times
- 5. Special messages
- 6. Photos
What is vital in writing an obituary is that the content must contain the necessary biographical description of the deceased aside from the facts.
Nowadays, the essence of writing is misinterpreted as most pieces only revolve around the facts about the person, not the significant attributes of the deceased whom you’re offering an obituary for.
“In the obituary, we also want to present the significant events and attributes of the deceased, to note that person’s impact on their family and the world around them, acknowledge the family members they held dear,” the source, The Remembrance Process, wrote.
So, if we take into the step-by-step process, it will look like this:
1. Announce the details of the death.
“On Tuesday, July 30, 2019, Ronaldo Montes, loving son, passed shy away from his birthday at the age of 30.”
2. Add biographical information.
“Ronaldo was born on August 6, 1988, in Cagayan de Oro, Philippines to Crisostomo and Emilia Montes. He received his criminology degree from Cagayan de Oro College in 2009 joined the Philippine Military Academy in 2010. He never married and remained a loyal soldier until his untimely death.”
3. For family, keep it in a personal tone.
“Ronaldo had a passion for playing guitar and singing, which made him the highly-requested performer in the town fiesta whenever he’s off from any military duties. He’s an avid John Denver fan and had kept original pieces of vinyl in his own house. He’s also known for his gentleness, infectious smile, and passion to serve the country.”
4. Add the family members.
“Ronaldo is survived by his father and mother, Crisostomo and Emilia, siblings, Juan, Alejandro, and Damian.”
5. Add the funeral information.
“A funeral service will be held on Friday, August 2nd, 2019 at the Aglipay Church on Bulua National Highway at 1 o’clock. Flowers or donations may be sent to Zone 4, Bulua, Cagayan de Oro, Philippines.”
When we put it together, it will look like this:
“On Tuesday, July 30, 2019, Ronaldo Montes, loving son, passed shy away from his birthday at the age of 30.
Ronaldo was born on August 6, 1988, in Cagayan de Oro, Philippines to Crisostomo and Emilia Montes. He received his criminology degree from Cagayan de Oro College in 2009 joined the Philippine Military Academy in 2010. He never married and remained a loyal soldier until his untimely death.
Ronaldo had a passion for playing guitar and singing, which made him the highly-requested performer in the town’s activities whenever he’s off from any military duties. He’s an avid John Denver fan and had kept original pieces of vinyl in his own house. He’s also known for his gentleness, infectious smile, and passion to serve the country.
Ronaldo is survived by his father and mother, Crisostomo and Emilia, siblings, Juan, Alejandro, and Damian.
A funeral service will be held on Friday, August 2nd, 2019 at the Aglipay Church on Bulua National Highway at 1 o’clock. Flowers or donations may be sent to Zone 4, Bulua, Cagayan de Oro, Philippines.”
How Writing An Obituary Change Our Mindset Towards Living & Success?
If you take a look at the process of writing the content as well as the elements involved, you see the people are the ones who will write the obituary for you. Not you, because you’re dead.
So, how you lived your life represents the biographical sketch people you survived will describe you.
If you lived as a loser all your life, why would they make an obituary for you? It would be nonsense for them as you haven’t done very important in their lives. Why would they bother?
Are you someone they look up to deserve such space in the printed media?
Did you do something or possess the quality people to admire about you when you were alive?
These are among the questions you think of, which I admit makes me rethink how I valued my own life and my dream to do something for others.
How do I want to be remembered?
Do you want to be remembered as someone who’s defeated with life, stuck in a rut, or do you want people to remember you otherwise? You know, as someone inspiring and worth emulating?
As a writer, how do you want your readers to remember you? A loser or a winner. A writer, a blogger, or an author who touches people’s hearts? It’s all up to you.
If you want to win the game instead, click the image below to get started. Change your life and use your writing prowess to make an impact on the world.
How To Win The Game As A Writer?
If you choose to test your writing prowess and make something out of it, there are a lot of opportunities the internet provides you.
You can be a freelance writer, a blogger, an affiliate marketer, or an author. These 4 industries, though different, revolves around writing. Fortunately, I belong to all of the spectrum.
- I’m a blogger since I own this blog and make money;
- I’m an affiliate marketer for months now and earned my first $225 through ShareASale, my favorite affiliate marketing program;0
- I’m also a freelance writer for 7 months now and have been making money from writing business articles for someone else’s website; and
- I am an author of 3 books, actively writing on Wattpad.
Granted, I can share with you different opportunities for you to test your writing skills and improve on areas in accord with the standards of the company or the private individual you’re working with.
If you want to dig into this more, you can sign up on my email list.
1. As A Freelance Writer
In freelance writing, there are various sites offering writing jobs for you. The thing is you have to have something to present such as a portfolio. It’s like hunting a job you think is best for you.
You have to be the best applicant among hundreds of you fighting for the job. So, you have to stand out.
Your portfolio serves as a basis for employment because website owners or companies review your content as samples before they decide to hire you or not.
Based on my experience, I have signed up on various platforms and only a few of them satisfied me since 2014 onwards. Others pay me cents per work, which isn’t fair for the hard work.
Other websites tend to ask down payments in exchange for access to job listings. For beginner writer, it’s obvious you don’t have the money yet. So, it’s not feasible at all.
Other private individuals, especially bloggers and small online tabloid sites, tend to be too strict and demanding on the number of content to produce per day for $300 monthly payment.
I once worked for a company paying $350 per month for 6 months. Others paid me $250 or less. A big site offered writing opportunities paying $1 or less per 350 words. I don’t want to disclose the name, though.
I’ve had a lot of these (you can read more of these here), in which I have narrowed down my recommendations for you to try without risking so much as I did when I began my writing career. Here are the following:
- OnlineJobs.Ph (for Filipino online workers or for hiring Filipino virtual assistants)
2. As A Blogger
Gone are the days when a blogger treats her blog as a way to express her ideas and showcase her hobbies alone. Certainly, you still can do that, but you already have that “money-making opportunity” in your mind.
Which is why many bloggers tend to be too specific or playing too safe because of the fear of failing in the niche they chose.
Failing the niche is when you realize you’re stuck in the topic you’re never interested in, to begin with; or you haven’t earned an income in the niche you chose.
Your impatience sinks in and you just want to leave it and search for something else. These are just the 2 main reasons for people to quit blogging.
Further, there is a lot of information, I mean loads of them, to learn within a short time for the sake of building the platform alone.
From learning the basic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) methodologies, email marketing strategies, social media, effective content writing, repurposing content to a podcast and/or videos for YouTube, and more.
There are a lot more than you think.
I started blogging in mid-2015 when I saw someone earning an income from doing what she loves, fashion and beauty industry. So, I thought I could do the same…without planning.
As reckless as I am, I bought a domain and web hosting package from Namecheap for $10 (renewable for a year) and blog and blog and blog.
Later on, I began to notice the complexity of blogging when I had to know about affiliate marketing for the first time and other means of making money without proper guidance.
Because of the overwhelming pressure and my inability to continue writing the content, I quit and focused on working as a freelance writer. Yeah, I know I made a wrong decision.
Years forward, I returned to blogging (after my 4th try) and became serious with it. In the end, I earned my first $25 on ShareASale and another $200 after my first expensive sale. It’s only this year after 5 years of trying I made my first income in the blog I worked so hard.
Generally, you can make money by showing your writing prowess in blogging since it’s more flexible than working freelance. Why?
Because you own the blog; hence, you have 100% control of the content you’re producing as long as you generate traffic from it without compromising your passion.
In working freelance, someone has the direct control of the topic you’re going to write about or you depend on someone to approve the topics you suggested.
Unlike blogging, the content, the traffic, and the income of your blog rely on how frequent you produce blog posts and implement the effective SEO and social media.
Do you want to start making money by being a badass blogger? Read here.
3. As An Affiliate Marketer
I started with Clickbank and Amazon Associates in 2015 when I began my journey as a blogger. Yet, I failed. I see no avail to the guarantees they showed the naive and beginner blogger like me.
Eventually, my accounts on these platforms are deactivated and I focused on working for someone as a freelance writer.
In 2019, just a few months ago, I began to dig into the money-making opportunities I could gain when I return to being an affiliate marketer.
This time, I have the guidance and the right mindset to do the correct way of making money in affiliate marketing.
A few months of hard work, I earned my first $25 when I posted a review for Grammarly, my favorite proofreading tool online, and another $200 when I earned my first sale on WP Engine, my recommended web hosting and StudioPress Themes.
Just like that, the various income coming in as I applied for more merchants to get the unique tracking links to different products I promote on my blog and my social media accounts, including my email list.
When you want to make money as an affiliate marketer, I recommend you see my friend, Roope Kiuttu, a successful affiliate marketer from Finland who’s able to make $8,000 in 30 days. He’s also the founder of Your Online Revenue Ltd, where I worked as a writer.
In addition to the necessary skills needed to generate more money as an affiliate marketer, you need to keep your attention on your email list since you have more control on the content you share with your subscribers than the passersby on social media.
You see below is a statistics telling you which is more effective between email marketing and promoting on social media. I should say it’s the email list.
With that being said, I suggest you go to my recommended email marketing course and learn how you can effectively make money through your list.
4. As An Author
This refers to both fiction and nonfiction authors as I don’t specify the groups since we’re all writing books.
We all implement the same storytelling tactics on our readers to deliver the message we want to tell.
The only difference I see is that the fiction writers use literary devices to be as descriptive as they could in comparison to nonfiction writers using a personal tone in most of the chapters upon relaying the facts and other pieces of information regarding the subject.
Regardless, writing and publishing a book is one of the key industries most bloggers do to make money. Especially those who write nonfiction.
Famous people like Timothy Ferriss, author of “The 4-Hour Week,” is one of those persons who succeeded and built his empire through the first book release. Chandler Bolt, author of “Published,” Jeff Goins, author of “The Art of Work”, Michael Hyatt, author of “Free to Focus,” among others share the same experience.
On the other hand, fiction writers like Isabelle Ronin, author of “Chasing Red,” and Beth Reekles, author of “The Kissing Booth” started writing on Wattpad before they took off on Amazon. I’m working on this road, too, with my books. 🙂
It may sound daunting, but writing a book requires a lot. A lot of time, imagination, silence, planning, and soul from you.
If you want to get serious with writing a book, you may want to check out this post and learn how to get started with outlining your book idea towards writing the entire 40,000 to 100,000 words.
In addition to the struggle, you have to plan everything from the start. Every writing does require that regardless if it’s for freelance, blogging, affiliate marketing, or authoring a book.
For that, I recommend using Erin Condren Planners, which are so cute and effective to use to organize every single thing.
Since we’re dealing with the storytelling process in both genres, fiction and nonfiction, I also suggest having a look on Masterclass which is a hub of most world-renowned writers of best-selling and award-winning works.
Along with the course, I use my favorite notes to jot down every idea I have in mind. As a fiction writer, I have to note everything from the teeny-tiny description of the character to the plot twists and turns.
Every. Single. Thing.
Granted, I suggest you use Field Notes to keep your scribbles handy as well as pens. If you are fortunate enough to have a writing space at home, you can use the highly recommended typewriter just as Jeff Goins has. Almost every author has a typewriter at home, by the way.
Writing obituaries don’t sound pleasing to most people as if they’re afraid to talk about death in a casual conversation. It’s a sensitive topic if you will. However, if you are a writer, you have a different perspective and standpoint.
Others may think it’s a new beginning in the after world. Others seem to see it as a way to meet their loved ones again.
Writers think differently when they talk about death. Most best-selling and award-winning works include the subject in various ways.
“The Notebook” as written by Nicholas Sparks shows how beautiful death is when your body turns cold beside your loved on.
“Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger shows how a person develops from a passive and character in pain to someone with killing motive.
Not only in fiction writing does writing obituaries makes us realize something, but it also affects the way we see ourselves the creators of digital content.
Without freelance writers and bloggers, we don’t have sources in which it’s more personal.
I remember reading a lot of posts on the internet with plain and/or formal tone, which doesn’t touch or provoke someone’s emotions, unlike blogging and the new way of writing content these days.
The concept of storytelling is already injected in any areas. It doesn’t involve exclusivity in fiction anymore.
And so with writing obituaries. A need for personal tone and ability to provoke emotions play essential roles in describing the life of the deceased.
Now, it’s your turn.
As a writer, how do you want to present yourself? How do you want to be remembered?
Do you want someone to remember you as a loser or a winner? Your potential income and success as a writer rely on how you answer these questions.
If you like the post, feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below. Feel free to share this post with your family and friends on social media. I truly appreciate it.
Also, click here to start your serious money-making journey as a writer. Stay tuned for more posts. 🙂