A Short Prayer for Freelance Writers - Make a Living Writing

A Short Prayer for Freelance Writers

Carol Tice | 93 Comments

A freelance writer exults in prayerI’m just back from a religious retreat where we were encouraged to compose our own prayers.

Reading all the inspiring and uplifting thoughts our group came up with made me think there should be a prayer for freelance writers.

Shouldn’t there be? I’ve never seen one!

Of course, it’s easier to do this sort of thing while you’re still at a relaxing camp with others in a group to help you.

Doing this on my own, I found it was hard to keep it short! There are so many aspects to the freelance writing life in which we might ask for divine help.

Here’s what I came up with:

Just for today, let me be compassionate with myself.

I forgive myself for not writing enough, or well enough, or fast enough.

I am thankful today for my unique creative gifts. Instead of dwelling on regrets about what I haven’t accomplished yet, I will focus on what I can do now to develop my craft.

Let me take at least one, small step today to put my writing out there.

When my query letters go unanswered, I will remain serene and remember that it’s often not about me or my writing.

I will listen and learn from people whose feedback I value, but trust that my most important guiding voice and source of confidence as a writer lies within.

When opportunities arise, let me evaluate them with clear eyes and have the wisdom to pass if the gig isn’t right for me. I will not let feelings of panic or desperation lead me to make bad choices, but trust that if I do my marketing, the right gigs will come to me.

Because the people who matter to me are important, I will strive to set aside device-free time today in which I am fully present for them.

I will make time to move my body, stay healthy, and take in the beauty that surrounds me. I know it will fuel more creativity.

Grant that I lie down in peace tonight, grateful for the chance I’ve had today to write, to grow, and to send my message out into the world.

What is your prayer for freelance writers? Add yours in the comments.

93 comments on “A Short Prayer for Freelance Writers

  1. Katherine Swarts on

    Cindy: I also touched on the Williams topic in a recent post, http://strengthfortheweary.wordpress.com/2014/09/05/sick-of-living-when-christians-are-tempted-by-suicide/, and while I won’t say the response was fantastic, it was the first post to draw a more insightful comment than “Good job!” The same thing happened with the next post following. Another is going up tomorrow: now I’ll see if this is a possible trend.

    Carol: speaking of blog participation, and remembering your recent comments in Self Publishing 101 on the value of a good mailing list: have you got any posts coming up on building and using that list?

  2. Cindy on

    Thanks so much for the prayer. I needed it yesterday when I sent off my first emails to editors to try and get my past parenting articles published as reprints. By the time I ended the day and settled into a meditation time I was pretty discouraged–okay, I felt really awful about myself. Then I had the thought, “I am beautiful. I am smart. I will persevere.” and I smiled. My spirits immediately lifted. We need to remember that we are all beautiful spiritual beings and not allow our identities to be shaped by whether editors return our queries!
    I write a blog about meditation through wordpress (www.memindful.com). I get discouraged when there isn’t much traffic. I had one post about depression after Robin Williams died that generated a lot of interest. I thought, “Wow, I’m on my way!” but the next post (that I really loved) on sacred spaces just sat there. I will be exploring ways to improve traffic to my blog. i’d love for you to check out my blog! I think we may have similar spiritual leanings.
    FYI: I would like to canonize you as Patron Saint of Freelance Writers! Truly you are a blessing to all of us!

    • Carol Tice on

      Cindy…to learn more about how to grow your blog, I can recommend A-List’s Kickstart Your Blog course — check it out on the Products I Love tab up top. A-List is where I learned to grow this blog.

      They would help you learn about how to figure out your audience, focus your blog to serve readers, and get it growing.

      And…I’m not a saint. I promise. πŸ˜‰ But glad so many people found this prayer useful!

  3. Ariel on

    Hello Carol,
    Perhaps I have missed it on your blog, but I am wondering do you have any golden tips on how to write a query letter. What things should I put in there and what things should I leave out? I know absolutely nothing at all about to how to write a strong query letter. Would you please direct me to the resources you have already created pertaining to this topic and I would be glad to hear any advice you can offer me.

    Thank you again so much for your time and for helping all of those looking to build a career in this industry. You blog and resources are SO helpful πŸ™‚

  4. Lindsey on

    Thanks for posting this – I’m not a prayer person, but some of the lines in here really hit home. I’m working on the second draft of my novel, and it can be easy to beat myself up about not writing enough – after a long day of freelancing. I just wrote a freelancer’s manifesto for myself that I hope will help me get through the more challenging days, but I’m pinning this for inspiration too!

  5. Luana Spinetti on


    I read this post quickly on Sunday just before I went to church for the Mass. It lifted my spirits, because I was full of self-doubt and I have been working weekends in a while now, in the effort to catch up the 3 weeks of non-working computer(s) between July and August.

    Actually, your prayers moved me to tears, but they were tears that helped me get rid of a burden in my chest. I’m thankful for those tears.

    I’m also thankful to God for the talents He gave me, and the opportunities He places before me, so that these Gifts are never wasted and I can find new energy from them.

    And I’m thankful for having met people like you in my life. πŸ™‚ Thank you, Carol.

    ~ Luana

      • David Haywood on

        I am new to the biz of writing and would like to make it my spare time hobby. The prayer was very uplifting and I will try to live up to its contents.


  6. Terri Forehand on

    This comes at the perfect time as I am working on a devotional for nurses, another for writers, and one for quilters… my three passions. Thanks for sharing. Very inspiring and encouraging in the midst of rejections.

  7. Heidi Hill on

    Carol, Thank you for sharing your freelance prayer. You and other writers may seek out a book I have been revisiting, which is “Meditation” by Eknath Easwaran. The author was an English professor in India before moving to Berkeley. His writing is wonderful and full of practical analogies. I’m finding it helpful for daily life and for guidance in rediscovering my writing voice. Makes me want to get back into essay writing.
    (*The Meditation book was printed in 1996 so may require a search for those interested. The cover with Monet’s Morning on the Seine was an immediate draw for me.)

  8. Shernette on

    Great news. The client really liked what I wrote and is looking for more! πŸ™‚

    Let this be what I say everyday:

    Just for today, let me be compassionate with myself.

    I forgive myself for not writing enough, or well enough, or fast enough.

    I am thankful today for my unique creative gifts. Instead of dwelling on regrets about what I haven’t accomplished yet, I will focus on what I can do now to develop my craft.

    Thanks Carol.

  9. Katharine Paljug on

    Carol, this is really wonderful! I love the message of treating yourself with compassion and being grateful for the opportunities and talents you’ve been given, rather than wishing for something different.

    We’re really blessed to be able to pursue this career, and it’s important to remember that!

  10. Kate F Eaton on


    Just found this in my Inbox, didn’t want to miss a chance to say “Absolutely on target!”

    I find that balance is hard to achieve as a writer, so stopping to acknowledge my need for it is essential. And I know without a doubt that my creativity wasn’t formed in a vacuum; expressing gratitude for the One who gifted me with it keeps me in the right place.

    Thanks so much for condensing what we all experience into this lovely prayer.


  11. Simple on

    Hi Carol! I’ve only recently discovered your site and wanted to tell you that the wisdom and optimism in your words is most inspiring. I agree that as writers we are our own worst critic and need to be kinder to ourselves.

    My contribution:

    Today is a blank page, but not one that intimidates me, derides me, or mocks my inability to fill it – it is instead a page that I have the might and will to fill front and back with as much joy and purpose as my writing brings me and others.

    • Carol Tice on

      Hi “Simple” —

      Thanks for your contribution…and just a note that I usually only allow comments from people with human names. I’m leaving this one on since there clearly *is* a human in there…but please ‘come out’ and tell us who you are with future comments, or I’ll need to remove them.

  12. Barbara Alvarez on

    This hit a chord with me – I’ve had my ups and downs ever since launching my writing business. At times, I feared it would go under.

    I often find myself saying a prayer or two when I’m starting work with a new client or on a new assignment. When I start working in a writing form that’s new to me, I whisper a prayer that I’ll be able to do the work and that my client will like it.

    Carol, this is timely, because I have several writing colleagues scattered around the world, going through challenging times (personal and professional).

    Thank you!

  13. andih94 on

    Hi Carol, thanks for this. Very brave of you to put it out there and very powerful. I have lost focus on my writing and have got stuck in a cycle of negativity about my prospects of ever making a living from writing – you know that thing of not writing because you feel bad about yourself and then feeling bad about yourself because you’re not writing… and this prayer has reminded me of what I already knew but had forgotten. I will be using it regularly. Thanks for all the great work you do. You are appreciated by so many. God Bless you.

    • Carol Tice on

      I hate that cycle! And it’s so true…action leads to confidence and more action. It’s the only way out of that cycle.

      I’ve been blown away by the reception to this…I really didn’t know how people would react. I guess we all need to work on staying in touch with our own divine spark…and prayer helps, in whatever framework of beliefs you have.

  14. Vera on

    I agree with you, Dara. Our words should honour the One whose Words spoke the world into existence. He is the source of our gifts and should receive our gratitude as well as faithful stewardship of them. Be blessed as you write!

  15. Nick Usborne on

    My contribution:

    β€œI remind myself that no business can thrive without good writing and copywriting. They need me as much as I need them. Actually, they need me more, even when they don’t know it.”

  16. Julie J. Severson on

    Carol, thank you. You have motivated and helped in more ways than I can describe. The inspiring, practical advice I’ve received since joining The Den a few months ago is second to none. And it’s doubly wonderful to know you come from a place of such integrity.

  17. Caroline Oceana Ryan on

    “A New Earth” is an amazing, life-changing book — I recommend it to anyone, especially to writers. We are so easily driven and overcome by a cluttered mind throughout the day. Journaling, to spill out what’s on our mind (instead of only work we intend to publish) helps empty that over-full bucket.

  18. Rose on

    Just back from an inspiring retreat myself (so exhausted I had to get out a calculator to figure your security question–6×9!)
    Carol, this is perfect. I was dreading waking up back in civilization. Your prayer reminded me the He is here too. Thank you!

  19. Hurera Hameed on

    Carol, you never fail to inspire me your amazing posts.

    I’ve been following your blog for a long time, but just recently happened to create my own blog. Your work has encouraged me since the very day I started reading your blog but unfortunately, I never followed these advises practically, and now I realize that I’ve wasted a considerable amount of time bidding on oDesk and Elance. Still, I am glad to be on the right track now.

    I wanna thank you for putting in your time and energy to come up with such enlightening and helpful posts. I hope your advises will help me climb up the ladder of success fast.

    Wish you a life full of health, wisdom and wit. πŸ™‚

  20. Katherine Swarts on

    (and all others struggling to realize their true dreams)

    Lord, grant me the patience to wait for the opportunities that cannot be rushed,
    the courage to make my own opportunities when the time is right,
    and the wisdom to know which is which.

    Let me work one day at a time,
    concentrating on one task at a time,
    accepting struggle and uncertainty as a pathway to greater things,
    keeping my eye on the goal without demanding a map of every step from here to there.

    Let me not rush to blame myself for everything that goes “wrong,”
    nor to rail at the world for being “unfair,”
    but let me take reality as it is without demanding it conform to my preferences,
    trusting that You will show me the right way
    if I hold my integrity and dreams tightly
    and everything else loosely,
    placing my calling above my comfort
    and trusting that fulfillment comes not from the easy way,
    nor from getting everything “right” every time,
    but from being true to what I was made for.


    • Carol Tice on

      Katherine, I love your idea of basing it off the Serenity prayer. We all really need to strive for inner peace as we deal with being freelancers, where there’s so much uncertainty and negativity you can pick up on out in the marketplace.

  21. Brian Kenyon on

    Hi Carol,
    Inspirational and practical…one of your best! The only prayer I would add: “Grant that I may keep my sense of humor handy and well-oiled.” For example, just today I was leafing through the print 2014 Writers Market, generally not an activity rife with humor. However, in the Bar and Beverage section on page 715, I found the American Bar Association Journal!! I chuckled and showed a librarian, and she laughed out loud. As our laughter died down, I suggested perhaps the WM editor (named Mr. Brewer!) had, the day he edited that section, just gotten back from the….bar! Guffaw. Humorous moments transpire so occasionally in this business, I find they are the better for the wait.
    Keep on rockin’ in the free world, Carol,
    Brian Kenyon

    • Carol Tice on

      That’s funny — I’d assume that’s a different sort of “Bar” association than the one we usually think of! Or just got misfiled.

      I love your addition — a sense of humor is definitely key for our career.

  22. Emelia on

    Are you a prophet, Carol? I woke up this morning with the intention to write prayers for my business. Yesterday I had to make a difficult decision concerning my writing business and realised that I had to pray for the days ahead.My prayer has three key points which are; POWER, WISDOM and GOODNESS. I came online to research Biblical scriptures related to business so that I could base my prayers on. Then I was “tempted” to check my mails. Wow! I’m so impressed and encourage! You never cease to amaze me!

    • Carol Tice on

      Not a prophet — just struggling to get through the day and do my best, like everybody else.

      That’s interesting that those were the tenets of your prayer. In my tradition, we actually rarely pray for ourselves personally. We more tend to pray for a group of people we’re in — to send help to all parents who struggle with defiant children, or who are dealing with infertility, or all writers who are trying to earn a living. But I did make this one personal.

  23. Eva on

    Carol, this is such a wonderful prayer. I hope you know what a blessing you are to writers like me. I have been going through a really hard time with my writing and this prayer really encouraged me. I will do my best and let the Lord do the rest. God bless you and your family.

    P.s: I’m going to print this so I can remember not to beat myself up whenever things don’t go my way.

    Much Respect!

  24. Shernette on

    I just completede my first e-book for a client today. I was so excited. On submitting the book, I glanced at the instructions she gave, only to realise that she wanted a female lead for the story. I wrote the book with a male lead. I’m feeling a little low because of all the hard work I put in. I’m afraid it won’t be accepted.

    I’m praying that I’ll calm down and read my clients requests carefully next time and learn to forgive myself.


    • Carol Tice on

      That’s a good goal, Shernette — I’m no longer surprised at how often I reread assignment letters as I sit down to write and discover there’s something in there that I’ve forgotten!

  25. Anne on

    Love your poem Carol. You’ve hit the nail on the head with all the things we worry about as writers. Mine would be similar – perhaps with the addition of “Let me not beat myself up for not winning all the time, or even any of the time (so long as I tried)”.

  26. Nate on

    Carol, wow! I might print this off and keep it by my desk. I love the courage that flows through the prayer, especially putting myself out there on a daily basis. Thanks for putting this together.

  27. Rebecca Klempner on

    I just loved the original prayer and so many of the comments, especially those about finding the right words for the client and about helping our close ones support and understand us.

    My contribution: That I remember that the work I’m doing right now was sent to me not just by the client, but by the Holy One in order to for me to fulfill my role in this world today. If it’s on my plate, I can handle it. And that the Holy One should help me find the best words and prioritize my time in order to do so.

    • Carol Tice on

      So many times I’ve thought, “I’ll never get this done in time…” and yet, somehow, it always does. We have to trust that spark of holiness within is there for us, and we’re where we’re supposed to be, and will be able to fulfill on our writing commitments. It took me years to feel serene about that, though! I used to be a complete nervous wreck with every deadline.

  28. R.S. HELMS on

    This is a sincere and well spoken prayer, it is inspiring to many of us who struggle along, trying to simply get to the point to have an income. The prayer is great for those who practice their religion, what ever that may be, nonetheless, it is just as inspiring to those who don’t. The prayer fits nicely into what ever motivates. Thank you for sharing it.

    Rev. R.S. Helms

  29. Barry Desautels on

    Thoughtful words Carol. Thank you.
    Our family has always been in transportation,so pray started early in my life. He has always kept us safe and I am grateful.
    I know He’s watching my writing efforts. I don’t ask too often, but once
    in awhile I do need His strength. “One small step today” can be a wonderful achievement.
    Thank you again.

  30. Ben Murray - VirtualPioneer.com on

    I don’t know of any prayers for freelance writers specifically, but if coming up with your own will help ease/eliminate your limiting beliefs (especially those about writing and growing your freelance business) than I am all for it!

    I think as a writer all of us have doubts about our abilities and how successful our business will be. That is if it is something we take seriously.

  31. Joyce Murphy on

    I opened JSM Tailors on the corner of Winslow and Madison in 1982 and sold the shop in 1998. Now I live in Michigan, teach tailoring, write about it and invent systems to help sewing and design enthusiasts find their way in this world (myself included). I’m now JSM Tailoring Tools. I love that you have used tailoring services!

  32. Robelias Miller on

    * My website is not available yet. It won’t be until I finish some writing related, online courses I’m taking. When I’m ready to load my website wagon and start prospecting on the road, it will likely be named “Robelias’s Web Suite”.

  33. Robelias Miller on

    Amen, Carol.

    Allow me to be the first male to respond to your prayer, today I appreciate the opportunity to co-contribute with diligent and thoughtful ladies.

    Judging by the rate of comments received for one day, your prayer will probably go viral by the middle of next week. Your prayer is a thoughtful kindness that is expressed in your interesting website and inspiring blogs.

    If there’s any group that needs spiritual guidance, it’s certainly freelance writers. To achieve our aspirations, it takes tons of tenacity and pounds of positive thinking to remain focused.

    God bless you — if that’s allowed online.

    • Carol Tice on

      You go, guy! Thrilled to have you.

      And well, that’s why I decided to take a risk and put this up, even though it’s a bit off the beaten trail of what I’d normally post.

      I spend so much time here and in my Freelance Writers Den community trying to heal the troubled psyches of writers who are wracked with anxiety and self-doubt. We’ve got to get centered and believe in ourselves to write our best, and to put it out there.

      And I’ll take all the blessings I can get. πŸ˜‰

  34. Greta Boris on

    Very timely. I’m trying to listen with spiritual ears to hone my blog message. It used to be all fitness but I have morphed. I wrote a post last week which did great on Twiiter, but I got 6 unsubscribes from my list:(

    We can’t please everyone as writers, but through patience, perserverance and lovely prayers like yours, we can be led to our tribe and they can be led to us.

    Thanks for being an encourager when I needed to be encouraged.

    • Carol Tice on

      Greta, Jon Morrow taught me that if you’re not getting *some* unsubscribes, you’re doing something wrong. You should write from a point of view — and not everyone will agree with it.

      As you focus your topic your audience will shift, so you should expect that. But in the end, you’ll do better with a sharper focus.

      Glad I could help!

  35. Mary on


    This is perfect! By reciting this each morning, it’s a wonderful way to stay focused, calm and encourage the perfect clients and writing assignments to enter our lives.

    Thank you for sharing…I love it!

  36. Sabita on

    Certainly, it’s allowing me to sharpen my way forward and honestly I’ve started taking action. Writing more and I’m really anxious about grammar and punctuation. I hope so, I attain a real good grasp before I pitch for guest posting.

    Thanks πŸ™‚

  37. Linda H on

    This is great Carol and I, too, needed to hear this today. I’m often praying that the Lord will guide my words for my clients so they can present a great resume presentation and find work in this volatile economy. Realizing that they’ve put their livelihoods and careers in my heads is sometimes daunting, especially when the personal fears about writing step in.

    I’m going to copy this and put it on my wall to remind me daily of my focus. Thanks for sharing.

  38. Sabita on

    Thanks Carol πŸ™‚ It’s lovely to have your advice.

    I left a content mill client, altogether, after reading your blog and now I’m spending my time to learn about writing ( inclusive of grammar since English is not my first language) and creating my own portfolio in a far better way.

    • Carol Tice on

      Well, I’m betting that investment of time will really pay off for you, vs just continuing to write for a mill that will never give you a raise or offer a better opportunity.

  39. Sabita on

    That’s really lovely. I agree, when our words fulfill what God wants, that’s the best thing ever because in doing so, God’s favor rest on us.

  40. Sabita on

    Hi Carol

    That’s really nice. I pray everyday that I get the right clients and they should respect and appreciate my work. I say that God help me so that I don’t sign up with those who are not worth my time and effort.. and many other things. πŸ™‚

    I strongly believe that getting in touch with writing mentors is a blessing indeed and I pay my heartfelt gratitude to God; particularly for those who are guiding me.

    That’s awesome.

    • Carol Tice on

      You’ll see I included a section about discerning clients…it was longer but I cut it back to keep it shorter!

      I love the idea of including something honoring our mentors…great suggestion!

  41. Rita Mailheau on

    Lovely, Carol.

    I really needed to hear this today. I’m a strong believer but I hadn’t drawn a line between my believing and a clear, specific prayer for myself and for other freelancers.

    God is able to bless each of us abundantly. He is also the one who gives us the power to get wealth.

    There is more than enough work out there, and work it’s that uniquely suits each one of us. As we do our best, He’ll do the rest.

    I’ve grown so much since finding you. Thanks and blessings to you and your family.

    • Carol Tice on

      I believe that so much, Rita — that there is a place for you in the freelance writing world, if you’re willing to do the marketing and the work of improving your craft, and find it.

  42. Dara Holland on

    My prayer would include, “Please fuel my words so that they come from a place that honors and serves you, Lord. Speak through me in any work I do so that others may be drawn to You, and know that you are God.”

    I have Colossians 3:23 taped to my computer, so that’s the inspiration. God bless, everyone! And yes, be thankful for your gifts. πŸ™‚

  43. Willi Morris on

    Carol, this is awesome!

    I also pray for our loved ones, who may not always understand why we do what we do. I hope they find comfort and strength during our leaner times and that they’d continue to support our crazy endeavor.

    I pray that we would wake up each morning with a new attitude of expectancy and we’d be refreshed and ready to come up with new ideas for pitches and marketing.


    • Carol Tice on

      Thanks for that great addition about the others in our lives, Willi.

      I love your prayer for the morning. In my tradition, when you wake up you thank G-d for putting your soul back in your body to live another day, and conclude, “You have great faith in me!” And we should have that faith in ourselves, too.

  44. Joyce Murphy on

    Carol, you continue to amaze me with your wisdom and humility! I want to turn the clock back to Bainbridge Island days and reopen my shop so I can invite you in for tailoring services. We would most certainly have a joyous animated conversation or two in the fitting room! (I don’t know if you have ever had your clothes altered or even if you would want to, but I do suspect you have your hair styled or nails done and the opportunity for chit-chat is similar.)

    • Carol Tice on

      I didn’t know you lived on BI, Joyce!

      But sorry to say, I don’t get my hair or nails done. No one can do curly hair anyway! And I gotta keep my nails short with the amount of typing I do. πŸ˜‰

      I have used the occasional tailor, though.

  45. Lois Harris on

    Oh, my. I’m not a religious person, but this really hits home with me. Thanks for the inspiring prose! I love the fact that you hit the nail on the head about the nagging doubts we all get when things are slow – going through one of those now. I think it’s especially hard because I’m a newbie, and haven’t been through a ‘peak’ time yet. But I know my time will come, if I keep working at it -sticking with my LOIs, queries, trade shows, contacts, and always, always writing the best I can. The good people at the Freelance Writers Den and stuff like this helps – a lot. Thanks again, Carol.

    • Carol Tice on

      Thanks Lois!

      I’ve been reading things like Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth lately, about how we create our realities with our thoughts. And I just think writers spend so much time beating themselves up, and let negative thoughts take up too much space. Just think what we could do if we let go of that and just *wrote* each day. πŸ˜‰

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