How to Be a Freelance Writer: The Mindset Manifesto

Carol Tice

Mindset Manifesto: How to Be a Freelance Writer. Makealivingwriting.comMany would-be freelance writers ask me what the first step should be in their journey. Many struggling mid-career writers also wonder what they may be doing wrong. If you’ve wondered how to be a freelance writer who earns well at it, my answer is: It all begins with what’s between your ears.

The mindset of an independent, self-employed, home-based business owner — yes, that’s what you are! — is worlds apart from the mentality you need to survive a corporate job.

Freelance writing is a head game, no doubt. If you can’t psych yourself up to market your services, or if one rejection crushes you, you’re unlikely to have enough good-paying clients to sustain a nice freelance lifestyle.

What are the important attitudes to adopt, as a freelance writer? Here’s my 10-point mindset manifesto (check out the infographic version below, that you can download and save):

The Freelance Writer Mindset Manifesto

1. Ignore naysayers

Anytime you try to seek a better life, you’ll see someone around you who’ll try to tear you back down. It’s sort of mind-blowing, but your attempts to live your dream threaten a lot of other people’s self-esteem.

I learned this early on when I quit a job to enjoy myself for a few months, and threw a celebration party…and no one came.

Beware of ‘you think you’re better than us’ syndrome

A great read on this topic is reporter Pete Hamill’s memoir, A Drinking Life. He relates that once he sobered up and started pursuing journalism and getting bylines, rather than seeing praise or encouragement from his neighbors, many in his hardscrabble Boston-Irish neighborhood resented him for it.

“Oh, you think you’re better than us now, do you?” was the general consensus.

There’s a lot of this going around. You may find out who your real friends are.

Watch out for ‘that’s not a real job’ criticism

There’s also the challenge of explaining to Greatest Generation parents or grandparents that having many freelance clients rather than one big corporate employer who can fire you in a hot second is actually a more secure lifestyle these days.

They will never get their heads around that, because in their working life, a job meant security, so smile big, tell them it’s going great, refuse to answer any specific questions, and change the topic to the weather. When you start winning at freelancing, take them out and buy them a nice dinner. The light will begin to dawn (worked for me, anyway).

Action: Avoid people who don’t support your goals. Remember, naysayers don’t know your heart. They can’t see into your soul, to see all you have to say.

And remember, writing well is the best revenge on those who would tear down your dreams.

2. Set goals

The thing about freelance writing is that it’s what I call a bottomless-pit job. There’s always more you could be doing, learning, writing.

You’ve got to get a handle on it and set some attainable goals, to get you rolling.

Choose process goals you can measure and control

If you’re wondering, good goals for freelance writers are goals to do things that are within your power to accomplish. Not “I will have three clients by the end of the month.”

Remember that goals are aspirational. They push you in a direction. Getting all the way there is not absolutely necessary. Progress is what’s important.

Reward yourself for going hard at your goals, rather than beating yourself up if you said you’d send 20 pitch letters this month but only sent 18.

Action: Once you have goals, find an accountability buddy you can call weekly, to help break down bigger goals into doable chunks and keep you on track.

3. Take action

Are you wondering where to start in your freelance-writing career? The answer is: Somewhere.

Seriously. Take an action, any action. It doesn’t matter if it’s not the absolute best, most efficient one.

Because action is contagious. Action leads to more action. Actions also mean you get real-world feedback, and you can quickly learn what’s a waste of time and what really moves you forward.

Don’t get stuck in the world of reading stacks of books, taking classes for years on end, and never actually venturing out in the world to try to get hired. The more you study without taking action, the less likely this is going to be your line of work.

Action: At the risk of stating the obvious… take action. Stop worrying if you’ve chosen the ideal starting point, and just go ask someone if you could write a little something for them. Any action is better than none.

4. Write (almost) every day

If you are studying-studying-studying the idea of freelance writing, but you are not writing anything…stop kidding yourself.

Writers write. Writers who write for a living write all the time, or they starve.

We write because the challenge of crafting compelling sentences is our idea of fun. We write in a journal, on our blog, for the church newsletter — anytime someone asks us.

If you don’t have a daily writing habit, you’re not building the muscles you’ll need to meet deadlines. Regular readers may know I’m a big believer that we all need to take one day off a week.

So while I know many gurus say ‘Write every day!’ I say, write six days a week. Take one day to rest and refresh.

Action: Build a regular writing habit (six days a week, let’s say), Doesn’t have to be all day or anything. But create some writing projects for yourself and make writing a habit.

5. Conquer rejection

Here’s one of the biggest fears new writers have, that keep you from moving forward: You’ll pitch a story, and it will be rejected. You’ll see that as — you have been rejected.

But problem: If you have to go lay in bed and cry for three weeks if an editor gives you a ‘no’ — or more likely, just never gets back to you — this isn’t going to be for you. This is a mental hump you need to get over.

Use the science-experiment approach to beat rejection

Try to reframe this… because rejection is a normal part of freelancing. Say it again: It’s. Normal. Challenge yourself to get rejected a lot, to build up your resilience for it.

Remember that every ‘no’ is good practice and helps you learn about the marketplace. Every ‘no’ gets you closer to yes.

Try thinking of it as a science experiment and adopt a dispassionate-scientist attitude: “I’m going to send this pitch, what will happen, mwahahaha! I will collect the data…”

Or make up your own mental script for dealing with rejection. But one way or the other, conquer your fears around this — this is Job One for becoming a successful freelance writer.

Action: Instead of fearing rejection, expect it. No working writer alive has had zero rejections in their career. Accept rejection as a normal part of the freelance life. Understand that most of the time, that ‘no’ is not about you.

6. Take yourself seriously

Are you serious about becoming a freelance writer? I ask because often, when people talk to me, I can’t tell. Things that make me think you’re just playing at this include asking questions phrased like this:

“Excuse me, um, but can you tell me how one would find clients?”

One? You mean YOU, don’t you? Are you in this, or not? Or are you asking for a friend? That’s what that sounds like.

Come on now.

Another “tell” is embarrassed smiles or apologetic soft laughter, when you describe what you’re doing, or who you’re pitching.

Say it loud and proud, please!

  • “I’m a freelance writer.”
  • “I’m launching a career as a freelance writer.”

Why are you acting like it’s some sort of minor crime, like you’re doing something wrong? Take a look in the mirror and think about what’s going on with your self-talk here.

Because if you don’t believe in you, you’re in trouble.

Action: Own that this is your chosen career. Don’t shuffle and look at your feet and cough, when people ask you what you do. Be proud of pursuing your own creative life! Take yourself seriously — and then, others will, too.

7. Keep learning

Freelance writing is a complex undertaking, and there’s a lot to know — about good niches, positioning your business, how to pitch, price, negotiate, manage client relationships and more. You can start with what you know now, but commit to continuous learning to keep moving forward.

Don’t get me wrong here — I don’t want you to get stuck in learn-learn-learn mode, where you never take action. (See #3).

Adopt a learn-execute-learn approach

For instance, I recently bought a sale-priced bundle of resources for coaches, with dozens of individual e-books, tools, templates, and courses. I started with a masterclass on how to level-up your coaching, because I’m always looking to improve my coaching program.

But… I’m stopped around module 5, because the trainer gave a tip on how to attract more of your ideal coaching clients… and I honestly don’t have that process well-organized. She gave a few tips that I would do well to implement, so I’ve stopped learning to take time to build that out. Once that’s in place, I’ll watch the next training.

Don’t overload your brain — it’s easy to do with freelance writing, because there’s so much to learn!

Stop and DO as you learn. That will anchor the learning in your brain and make it take hold. Then, learn some more.

Action: Identify a top learning priority, and find a good resource for it. Invest in your freelance career — it will pay off for you. Markets keep evolving, so learn-act-learn to keep growing your skills.

8. Advocate for yourself

I have a question (especially for Freelance Writers Den community members who’ve belonged for years, but never asked a single forum question):

Are you afraid to ask questions about freelance writing? If so, I have to ask:

“Whatcha scared of?”

New writers often worry that they’ll look dumb if they ask questions. What’s really dumb is staying silent and guessing at what to do.

In reality, pro writers ask tons of questions of their clients and of their network, all the time. My stock final question in a first client interview is, “What’s a good email to contact you at, once I realize what important question I’ve forgotten to ask you?”

Set the expectation that you will be asking questions. Then, ask until you have what you need to move forward.

Action: Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You may look dumb once, so what? Questions are good. Questions save you time and help you build the career you want.

9. Reject peanut pay

The Internet teems with offers to write articles and blog posts for $5 or $10. Understand that these gigs are for hobbyists looking to fund an occasional latte. Not for you, if you’re a serious freelance writer wanting to feed your family and pay your rent with your craft (see #6).

How to find better-paying freelance jobs

If you’re seeing a lot of bitty offers, you’re probably looking for jobs in all the wrong places. Get out of the world of bidding against hundreds of other writers for one small job — that’s not a good place for you. Instead, start proactively targeting and pitching clients who seem right for you.

You may think you can’t make a difference in the marketplace by refusing to work for next to nothing, but every little bit helps.

Every writer who says, “My floor for that is $100, sorry” instead of accepting $5 or $10, hiring writers for nothing gets a little harder. And more companies consider that maybe, it’d be worth paying pro rates to stop getting garbage posts, and actually get results with their content.

Special tip: Don’t just say ‘no’ to low pay, commit to not wasting your precious time venting in social media or to friends about crap offers you see online.

Sitting around saying, “Can you believe that? OMG!” Well, yes, yes I can believe it. It exists. We all know it.

Your job is to set phasers to ignore, and look for clients who understand your value.

Action: Just say no to tiny money. You deserve better!

Do a pro bono sample here or there, if you need a new type of clip. Otherwise, know your value, identify better-quality clients who understand your value, and bid high.

10. Don’t compare

Many freelance-writing careers are derailed because writers spend a lot of time comparing their progress to that of others.

Recent comments I’ve heard include:

“My college friend is a bestselling author now – I don’t want to be on LinkedIn and be public, because I think they’d laugh if they saw the small-time magazine bylines I have.”

“I was going to pursue health writing, but the market seems to be so saturated with others who have far more experience than I do, so I pulled the plug on it.”

Having interacted with about 14,000 writers in the past decade, I can say I’ve never seen a saturated market. And your former colleagues and college buddies are not fixated on looking you up on LinkedIn.

Tune out all the information about how great everyone else is doing, and just challenge yourself to keep improving. Compete with yourself. That’s all I ever did.

Action: Kill the negative self-talk about your progress so far, and the toxic comparisons of your progress as a writer with that of others. Remember, your journey is unique. Just walk your road and try to get better as you go.

How to be a freelance writer

There you have it — the ideal mindset for freelance-writing success. If you have the right mindset, the initiatives you try to build your business are likely to succeed. Once you know to stop the comparisons, to ask questions, take actions, keep learning… the rest will take care of itself.

What do you think is the most important freelancer trait? Let’s discuss in the comments.

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  1. Whitney Foster

    Getting a thick skin. I’ve been a writer since I could write and you think I’d be used to it by now, but I also struggle with mental health issues. Because of this, I feel like rejection hits me harder. To be a successful freelancer it’s not if you get rejected it’s when.
    If you train your mind to expect and accept rejection, you’ll be more successful. Not to mention save time by not quitting for six months every time it happens.

    • Carol Tice

      Great addition to the list, Whitney — a close relative of ‘conquer rejection.’ And obviously, you can’t build a business if you need 6 months to get over the horror of getting one ‘no.’

  2. Ved Vineet Gautam

    Thnx For Sharing…..

  3. Sheila LyonHall

    Okay, so ya got me good at #8. Didn’t see that one coming! (“Whatcha scared of?”) I love how you embedded the question under the title “Advocate for yourself”. Asking questions is absolutely a form of Advocacy, plain and simple! But I hadn’t extended that thought to asking questions in the Forum. I’m relatively new to the Den but I’ve not “put myself out there” to ask questions, even though I have several.

    I’ve hop-scotched around the Den looking for the answer to this question. “Where can I find info on HOW to build a Writer’s Website?” The answer is probably in plain sight but I’ve had no luck nailing it down. Reading your post gave me the courage to “expose” my question and myself in the Forum … but I don’t know how to do that. The BotChat gave me a link to a fast-moving Orientation video WITHOUT sound. I could not follow it. I’ve contacted the Help Desk. As soon as I learn how to post in the Forum, I will.

    Thanks so much for this article, it’s Excellent! The Infographic will serve me well when I need a quick Mindset adjustment.

    • Carol Tice

      Check bootcamps – we have an in-depth training on writer websites, Sheila!

      Yes, some of the Orientation Guide videos don’t have sound, just show you things. Feel free to re-watch, or freeze-frame!

      See you on the forums —

    • Jennifer Roland

      Sheila, I sent you an email with instructions and screenshots for posting in the forums. If you don’t see it, please check your spam folder. Sometimes email providers think the help desk emails are spam.

  4. Billy

    Wonderful post. I’m going to share it with my artist daughter. Appreciate your compassion and expertise. Thank you.

    • Carol Tice

      Thanks for sharing, Billy!

  5. betlw - Elizabeth

    I’ll post these ideas on my wall. I’ve been writing for years, first for the children’s magazine market and more recently trying my hand at Picture books. I’m not having much success, not as much as I had writing for magazines. Maybe I should go back to the magazines. I’m going to try these ten suggestions and see what happens.

    • Carol Tice

      Books are more of a moonshot, Elizabeth. Magazines are tough to get regular assignments from, but there are types such as trade magazines that will assign writers they like.

  6. Jeannie Michael

    Once more you have hit not one but several of those pesky nails smack on their pesky heads. Thank you, Carol.

  7. Elizabeth

    Very helpful and insightful

  8. Jeff Steele

    Thank you, Carol. The ten tips you’ve listed are a great inspiration. Two years ago, I started down the freelance path, and have been guilty of nearly every point you’ve made here. It’s time to change that.

    The essential freelancer trait in my thought is determination. If a person wants something, the strength of your determination will measure if you achieve it or not. Without having determination, a freelancer might as well start applying to the temp agencies.

    • Carol Tice

      Love it! Good addition to my list, Jeff. 😉

  9. Mike Edwards

    On the Rejection Thing….

    Years ago I worked briefly for an executive search firm. It was tough –commission against a $30 draw. All I had to do was convince plant managers and CEOs that I could hire employees better than they could; and it would only cost them a fee of up to twenty-five percent of the employee’s first year salary.

    Talk about rejection! My colleagues and I found many creative ways to avoid making those cold phone calls. Finally, the boss sat us all down for a pep talk. “You’re psyching yourselves out!” he said.

    He went on: “I’ll grant you that these CEOs are highly placed, successful people. Unless they’ve inherited the business from Daddy, they are likely smart and knowledgeable. But there is one area that they are neither as smart nor as knowledgeable as every one of you sitting here. That is, they don’t know how to hire as well as you. It’s not their main focus. You have to establish that when it comes to hiring, you’re the one with the expertise!”

    That talk was just what I needed! I taught me a lesson that I would never forget. It changed my approach to the world.

    Typically when I talked to a client and told him that, based on a quality job specification, I would find up to three quality candidates for him (or her)to interview, the response would be “Just send me their resume”. That was where I would lose control.

    But now, when they said this I remembered that I was the one with the expertise. I would listen politely, but we were going to do this my way! After listening, my response would go something like this:

    “No, wait a second, you don’t understand — that’s not the way that I work! I need you to interview these candidates. Remember, if I don’t find someone who is better qualified than anyone you can find, you don’t owe me a cent. So, please, just work with me on this one. If you don’t like who I find for you, you never have to work with me again. And, believe me, I want your repeat business, so I’m not going to let you down!”

    It was magical! I started making placements with major companies.

    So now, tonight, here I am. My day job is being discontinued. I’m not ready to retire, but guess what: Age discrimination is real! I believe I can write fairly well, but did not take writing courses outside of English Composition. I believe I can do this writing thing; but getting over that starting hump is going to be a challenge. I need to find the skill, and the attitude, and the mindset. I think what I need is a good critic!

    Thanks for listening…

    • Carol Tice

      Hi Mike —

      Well, you’ve got the sales thing handled, and that’s a big part of this! I’m a proud college dropout who’s written for Forbes. You go this!

      As with the ‘you have hiring expertise’ situation, companies do marketing, but writing may not be their expertise. That’s where we come in…

      The good news is that age disrimination is much less of a thing in freelancing vs corporate FT jobs, as I discuss here:

  10. Rhona Lewis

    Thanks Carol for keeping me motivated. And for shining the spotlight on the areas I need to work on.

    • Carol Tice

      Glad you found this useful, Rhona!

  11. Ffion Llwyd-Jones

    Pertinent list – thanks!
    And love the infographic as the visual reminder.

  12. Rick Jamison

    9 and 10 seem to contradict themselves. I know other writers might be getting $100 per post or more, but if I pick up enough of those smaller jobs, that can work too. Every path is different.

    I know that there’s no way I’m ever going to say my floor for anything is $100. I can’t even see myself asking for that much and being able to keep a straight face.

    • Carol Tice

      I’m always sad to meet writers who have this mentality, Rick. There are certainly many of you. Why don’t you think you’re even worth $100? What’s happened in your life, that you value what you produce so little?

      As someone who’s covered business for decades, and written $2,000 articles for magazines, I can tell you that what we do is of HUGE value to our clients — and there are plenty out there who are willing to pay a professional rate.

      I personally have a meeting TOMORROW, as it happens, with someone who wanted a retail blogger. I quoted him $300 per post before bothering to schedule a meeting time. There’s a whole ‘nother world out there where being a freelance writer does NOT mean overwork and starvation. But first, you have to believe you deserve it.

      What would happen if you asked for $100? Would your head really explode? Or could you just earn what you’re earning now while doing a whole lot less work. Didn’t you get into freelancing for the work/life balance? Ask yourself how long you can write $10-$40 type posts before you burn out and have to get a day job. We have to operate sustainably!

      You’re making me glad I did this infographic. 😉

      • Rick Jamison

        No, I didn’t. I got into freelance writing because I had no other choice. My writing job had been eliminated in a merger and nobody was hiring because they were all scared about what might happen to the economy. I started freelance writing because I liked being able to pay rent. I knew that I would likely have no work/life balance whatsoever.

        What would happen if I asked for $100? Every client I worked with would say, “Thanks, but no thanks” and I’d be out on the street. And quite frankly, I wouldn’t be able to blame them.

        And that’s part of my point about 9 and 10 contradicting each other. I’m glad that you were able to get a meeting about doing a post for $300. I wouldn’t have quoted anywhere near that. But I’m not you and I don’t need to be. For you, $40 a post sounds horrible. For me, it sounds fantastic. Do five of those a day, and I’ve got at least $1,000 a week. That’s much better than anything I ever made in newspapers.

        • Carol Tice

          Well… I hope it keeps rolling for you. My sense is the mass-content quickie $40 posts are a vanishing breed. And how long can you write 5 of those A DAY before your brain melts?

          PS – I got back into freelance writing in ’05 after being fired (right after winning my publication its first national-level award for business journalism), so feel ya!

          • Rick Jamison

            I planned on doing exactly that every day when I first got into newspapers for 60 years, and that was 10 years ago, so I guess 50 more years now.

          • Carol Tice

            Well, you sound like an amazingly prolific guy! I personally love taking big, well-paid projects I can sink my teeth into, rather than many tiny gigs. I still have teens at home and am trying to work efficiently so I have more family time. I also come from the world of daily filing…but I just don’t want to do that anymore. Amazed you’re still going with that much content! I coach a lot of writers who burn out fast on that kind of schedule.

  13. Daniel Segun

    I had to save the infographics as a visual reminder. what a comprehensive post!

    • Carol Tice

      Glad you liked, Daniel! I had fun putting this together and boiling it down to the most IMPORTANT stuff. 😉

      • Daniel Segun

        Kudos to you! 🙂

  14. Jim

    I enjoyed reading your thoughts barriers to becoming a freelance writer.
    Can you respond to the following comments?
    Though I’m mentally and physically fit, I’m a senior citizen well past retirement age. Before retiring 3 years ago, I spent the previous 30 or so years as a newspaper writer and editor, marketing communications specialist, and community college writing instructor. I’m confident of my writing skills. I can tell a story.
    But I don’t have a specialty, I live in a remote Texas town, I’ve never written content for online, and I don’t know how to market myself.
    Still, I’d like to capitalize on my writing background to supplement my retirement income. Is that feasible?

    • Carol Tice

      Sure, absolutely! This is a global business these days, Jim — doesn’t matter where you are. I’m hopping on a client call tomorrow on WebEx to meet with someone who wants to hire me — I’m in Seattle, he’s in Florida, I think. Your newspaper chops and marcomm background are a real double-hit. Just have to learn to market yourself and let people know what you offer…

      And I’m sure you have SPECIALTIES…multiple areas you’ve written on over the years. Pull out 2-3 industries that have money that you like and focus on them. I’ve coached MANY retired/displaced journalists and our skills are highly transferable to the current marketplace.

  15. Angie Mansfield
    • Carol Tice

      LOVE! Think I’m guilty of several of these…especially snacks.

    • Elizabeth

      I’m guilty of napping and snacks. I sometimes fall asleep while writing on the computer. I guess I’ll have to find something more exciting to write about.

    • Rachele

      This is a great pic!

  16. Samagbeyi Afolasade

    Hi Carol, I love writing!, I love freelancing, but I’ve not found a niche. I need a platform I can write for.

    Please, should in case you need someone to write for you. Please contact me. I’m in dire need of a job. Plus, this blog is a really helpful one. Thank you.

    • Carol Tice

      I think there’s a lot of confusion out there about what I do, Samagbeyi — I am not an agency or content mill. I help writers learn to go FIND their own clients. I don’t have any writer jobs in my own business.

      If you’re in dire need of a job, I recommend getting one and THEN pursuing freelancing on the side. Don’t starve while you learn about freelance writing!

  17. Deb Corso

    I heart you, Carole. Your emails and posts provide me with endless positive goals to reach for. I aspire to sign up for your coaching program and writers den when I have enough money to keep myself indoors with electricity. For now, I am ever so grateful to have your voice in the metaphorical darkness!
    Cheers and gratitude!

    • Deb Corso

      sorry – that’s for Carol sans the “e”

      • Carol Tice

        Thanks, Deb! I hope things improve for you soon.

  18. Olivier Loose

    Thank you so much Carol for this inspiring post. I decided recently to fully dedicate my time to writing. It feels liberating to truly accept this new path and that is why your post strongly resonates with me. I am in the process of building up my strategy and already wrote a couple of articles to get a feel of what kind of writing (and which topics) suits me most.

    I have a question for you: do you see any disadvantages of running a blog in multiple languages? Once I have my blog up and running, I am thinking of publishing my posts both in English and Dutch (I am Belgian, Flemish-speaking) in order to broaden my future reader platform. Thank you in advance for any thoughts you wish to share on this!

  19. Muhammad Abdullah

    I have already written a Novel on it by the name of “Heaven in Fire”. Presently I am writing a book about the scenic beauty of the valley. Moreover, I have written many articles on the environment of the valley. I want to raise my income, so that I may be able to meet my expenses. Therefore, I want to become a freelance writer. I have already written some articles published in varies English dailies like Frontier Post and Express Tribune. My field of interest is environment. I need a help in finding a magazine, where I could put my articles.

    • Carol Tice

      Google is your friend there, Muhammad — search for environmental magazines and see what you find!

      You might also consider collaborating with an editor if you’re writing in English — seeing some small grammar errors in what you’ve written above that might make getting into bigger, better-paying magazines difficult without a bit of help.

  20. Jerome

    “Adopt a learn-execute-learn approach”
    My favourite.

  21. Veronica Gamble

    How do to create a tagline

    • Carol Tice

      For what, Veronia — your blog? My tip would be to get your READER into the tagline. Check out my own blog tagline for an example!

  22. Judi Shimel

    Rejection is a giant fear that makes me start and stop when it comes to pursuing better clients. It’s hard to move past the thought that I’ll never be good enough, and if I am good once or twice, sooner or later things will go wrong.
    Last year I took a FWD class on pitching. It felt like I was really applying myself to the work with the time I had to complete the class. It got done one week late and not one of those pitches was approved by the instructor.
    That hurt. I can’t see how it will get better. And yes, I feel sorry for myself.
    So I stopped trying. Again.

    • Carol Tice

      Judi, I’ve known you quite a long time now. As a longstanding, working full-time journalist, how can rejection be a ‘GIANT’ fear for you? Who cares if you get one ‘no’? How can you not be good enough, when I’ve coached writers who’ve only ever written their own blog to success?

      The issues around why you think you don’t deserve this are for you and a therapist to work out. I don’t like hearing the hopelessness and the ‘I don’t see how it will ever get better.’ That’s not a mentally strong place from which to try to level-up your business.

      That you were busy with work and didn’t have more time for a class I think is a referendum on nothing except you were busy. Pitching is hard and does take some time to get the hang of, for many students.

      If I had to take a stab based on what I know of you, I think there’s a bottom line that you feel comfortable doing what you’ve always done. It doesn’t pay enough and you know that one day it may disappear, because print journalism is an endangered species… but you seem like you won’t take that threat seriously until they pink-slip you.

      I had another coaching student like you at one point, same boat, career staff journalist. I warned her to take action immediately to avoid ending up unemployed and with no freelance clients. Her hours had already been cut, they were doing mandatory furlough weeks and such. The writing was on the wall.

      And much the same… she didn’t really move forward. Then got laid off. Last I checked, she was in pretty dire financial straits, and still struggling to empower herself to pitch freelance gigs. Let’s take action now and not let this be you!

      I’ve worked with many journalists who seem to find it hard to accept the changes to the industry and that it simply can’t pay bills anymore. The good news is if you realize the strong skills you have, you’ll see they are highly transferable to working freelance, both for businesses and publications.

  23. Linda Temienor

    Thank you. These words weigh more than gold.


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