The Secret Behind Every Successful Writer - Make a Living Writing

The Secret Behind Every Successful Writer

Carol Tice | 32 Comments

Freelance writer and her teamWhen I first got into writing, I imagined I’d be living alone in some tiny apartment above a little boutique in some rundown alley, scribbling and starving.

My life didn’t work out remotely like that. Instead, I’m a mom of three and married 30+ years! (Yes, thanks, I was a child bride.) And instead of writing alone in a garret somewhere, I wrote for editors at a string of publications, and later for businesses.

My point is, every successful writer I know has many people standing behind them — family members, personal friends, writer friends, editors, mentors, and more. If you’re a blogger, most of us need tech helpers these days, too.

As we wind to the end of the year, I want to take a moment to recognize all the people who stand behind me, and who’ve helped me be a successful freelance writer and online entrepreneur.

The home team

I’ll kick it off by mentioning that my husband has been an enthusiastic supporter of every single idea I’ve ever had for my writing business — even the ones that involved a decent amount of risk and the outlay of thousands of dollars. I know not every spouse is like that, and feel very fortunate. Thanks, honey.

He’s also a super brainstormer — Larry helped develop the name for Freelance Writers Den, for just one example.

All three of my kids have helped out here on the blog at some point, too, killing spam and doing other menial tasks.

I’ve been lucky to have terrific mentors both as a blogger and a writer — Jon Morrow, Mary Jaksch, Danny Iny, Ed Gandia, and my departing Forbes editor Tom Post among them. I’m still learning so much from each of you.

My pro team

If I rattled off everyone who helps behind the scenes in my business today, this would be a very long post. Let’s just say I sent out more than ten holiday gifts to my team this year.

Without this group below, I wouldn’t really be able to freelance myself anymore. Instead, I’d spend all my time trying to figure out how to make some widget work, probably while crying a lot.

Just a few of the essential people who truly are the secret behind my success:

Linda-LawnColorLinda Formichelli — One of the best things that ever happened to me was winning Top 10 Blogs for Writers the first time, at the end of 2010 — mainly because that’s how I met Linda. She’s been a busy Other Den Mother the past couple years, and we also teach Useful Writing Courses together, including the upcoming Article Writing Masterclass. Linda is whip-smart and super-funny.

Keira-LinkedInKeira Dooley — Keira created everything you’re looking at on this blog and on the Den site, on my Twitter. Especially, all the pro-looking sales pages, site logos, Facebook ads, and e-book covers. To sum up, she makes me look like I know what I’m doing. She’s like a magical design fairy who waves her mouse and suddenly, I’ve got a sparkly gown and I’m ready to go to the ball.

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 3.54.58 PMGerard Greenidge — When I need some fancy plug-in or program to talk to PayPal, WordPress, or about six other things, Gerard is the man for this job. Massaging databases, helping Den affiliate sellers, fixing broken stuff, creating pay buttons for classes, discounts, and special offers, reworking, upgrading, sanding, buffing, helping me deliver free goodies I want to hand out…it’s Gerard doing all the heavy lifting.

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 3.54.20 PMJennifer Roland — It was a good day when Jenn replied to my ad for a Den admin a couple years back. Since then, her role has grown to include about a bazillion behind-the-curtain tasks for the Den, including fielding our ‘troubleshooter’ problems. She is also my trusty guest-post editor for this blog.

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 3.56.36 PMAngie Mansfield — It takes a lot of moderators to keep the Den forums going… and Angie is the person who wrangles all those moderators. As moderator-in-chief, she’s my eyes in the forums, watching for time-critical questions and technical problems…and she handles umpteen website reviews, with more patience and tact than I could possibly deliver. She also spells Jenn on the weekends as our troubleshooter.

Thanks to everyone who’s ever lent me a hand or given me a nudge in the right direction.

A final thanks to every reader who has ever emailed me to let me know how my tips have helped them earn more. You make my day, and you’re why I do it.

Who’s the secret behind your writing success? Leave a comment and tell us who’s got your back.




32 comments on “The Secret Behind Every Successful Writer

  1. Stacey on

    I can’t say I’m surprised that you’ve built up a great support network. All successful people cannot and do not do it on their own. Everything’s a team effort. I think it’s so great that you’ve shared that with your readers too!

  2. Gertrude O. on

    Wow, I have stumbled upon your blog and I am thinking of staying here until I read most of the posts. Thank you for the encouragement for writers. My greatest support is my partner who keeps saying, ”you can do this. Believe in yourself”. I know the importance of self-belief, standing up and doing it. Finding information on here about writers, what could be more great? Thank you Carol.

    • Carol Tice on

      Glad you found me, Gertrude! There are 700+ posts on here, so that might be pretty time-consuming. πŸ˜‰

      I recommend starting with the popular posts and categories listed in the sidebar — help you get to topics you’re interested in faster.

  3. Steph Weber on

    Love this post, Carol!

    Even though a support system is absolutely crucial for freelancers (love and thanks to my family and friends, BTW!), I think this also translates over to any profession.

    Can’t remember where I read it, but there was some data about millionaires’ success being attributed to having a greater amount of emotional support from family and friends.

    Never know….maybe 2015 you should aim for 7-figures πŸ™‚

  4. Sharilee Swaity on

    Thank you for reminding us that we are all owe our success to those that support us. It sounds like you have an amazing team.

    I am also blessed to have a wonderfully supportive husband who is patiently waiting for my writing dream to start paying more. And a sister who lets me bounce my writing off of her, and will (a little gleefully)point out any mistakes she finds in my blog.

    You, Carol, and the staff and members of the Freelance Writer’s Den have helped me tremendously with resources and advice on learning to operate as a freelance writer that gets paid. The Den has been truly life-changing for me.

    I have been also helped by Jeff Goins, with his advice on blogging, and Nathalie Lussier, with her advice on list building. And there have been many other writers on the path ahead of me, that have helped me by sharing their wisdom and advice in books and articles.

    I am also so grateful to the readers of my blogs and articles. To have readers is such a blessing!

  5. Bilal Ahmad on

    Ahh I am still struggling with my writing. Hope one day I will be able to say the secret behind my writing. Just gone through some of your posts and found it very informative.

  6. Martha on

    Hi Linda, this is very amazing for you to remember the people who have helped you this far.

    I am just starting and i know by following you i will be in the right direction. I will be contacting you in case I need your help.

    Have a wonderful and prosperous 2015.

    God bless you.


  7. Sudie Alexander on

    A heartfelt thank you to your team.

    This article dispels the myth that writing has to be a lonely, dreary existance. I’m delighted to hear that!

    Luckily, this has been my experience as well. My sweet and very handsome husband, Davey, along with my daughters are my support system. I could not do it without them. I am also grateful to Jon Morrow, who has been a wonderful mentor to me. I am also thankful to my editors Elsa, Todd, and Dr. Plunkett for their love and support. Naturally, I am grateful to have recently discovered another great support system, my denmates in the Freelance Writer’s Den.

    I am humbled and grateful by the support of my friends, collegues and family. I’m a lucky lady.

  8. Gina Horkey on

    I love that your husband is #1 on your list:-) My man is a big supporter of my writing biz too and I’m so glad! It’d be a deal breaker for otherwise – for my business, not my marriage!!

  9. Willi Morris on

    Yes! Your team rocks. Other than you and Linda, I’m happy to have met awesome peeps like my local magazine editor, my current trade magazine client and online peeps such as Erica “Ducky” Hayes, Lauren “Little Zotz” Tharp and the ever awesome Sophie Lizard.

    I have about 150 people on my mailing list, and a few are very active in supporting my endeavors.

    And of course my husband, who’s totally okay with us being poor because I love this so much. πŸ˜‰

  10. Debbie Kane on

    Carol — you and Linda are among the only freelance writers I follow online regularly. You’ve provided the most valuable advice since I started my business 8 years ago and I mention your name often to other writers. Thank you for everything!

  11. Nur Costa on

    That is a great post that not all bloggers write about.
    Thanks for what you’re doing Carol. You’re helping this 22-year-old Catalan girl form Barcelona πŸ™‚

    Much love to your way! And happy new year!

  12. Raspal Seni on

    Hi Carol,

    You were the first writer I learned from, that I could make more than what I was getting paid, writing for clients on oDesk! This was some time in early 2012. So a big thank you to you – for getting me out of oDesk.

    If you go and sneak into my Twitter account, you and Ali Luke are the first two people I added there, and then I added some of those whom you followed and talked about. πŸ˜›

    Gerard is a new face to me. I’ll probably connect with him too now.

    • Carol Tice on

      Glad to hear you’re out of oDesk, Raspal! Especially with what’s been going on since the merger.

      Gerard is awesome — I have no idea how to do the things he does in my business. πŸ˜‰

  13. Lori Ferguson on

    So lovely for you to give these shout-outs to your team, Carol. I have benefitted tremendously from all the wealth of knowledge that you and Linda share with readers through your blogs, webinars, books and the like, as well as from the many wonderful resources and people that I’ve been introduced to through the Freelance Writers Den. You truly are the Fairy Godmother of freelance writers. ???? I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of meeting Linda and sharing a cup of coffee–hope that I’ll have the opportunity to do the same with you one day. Thank you again for all your efforts!

  14. Penny Hawes on

    Carol, you and Linda are on the top of my list, well, right behind my husband, James. We’ve had a lot of setbacks this year, and he’s refrained from asking me (pointedly or otherwise) when I’m going to get a “real” job. He’s celebrated my successes and been more patient that he should have been with my sporadic income (which is a direct result of my sporadic marketing – my biggest change for 2015).

    Thanks to you and Linda, I’ve been published in national magazines, I’ve developed more of a “why not?” attitude when figuring out if I should pitch something. (I love to quote Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear – “What’s the worst that could happen?” and then hope my results don’t involve anything like the explosions, crashes, flames and traffic tickets that his exploits often garner ;-).

    The worst that could happen (so far), is … nothing. No reply to a query or a follow up. And then it’s on to the next. But by why notting my way into things, I entered the Serious Bloggers Only Best Post of 2014 competition and ended up with a 3rd place?

    Thank you and Linda both for being there and for encouraging, pushing and believing in me.

    Here’s to a seriously kick butt 2015 for all!

  15. Mark Lilly on

    It’s nice to give all these people the recognition they deserve. I’ve been learning so much in the past 6-12 months from you, Ed Gandia, and Demian Farnworth, just to name a few. I get a tremendous amount of support and encourage from my wife as well. She helps me to find the time to devote to my business outside of my regular full-time job and we’re even working together on our first e-book that will be out soon. Thanks, Carol!

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