Explode Your Freelance Writing Income: An Essay Contest and Celebration

Freelance Writers Den - Fifth Anniversary!Five years ago, I took a crazy risk and opened a community for freelance writers, hoping I could get 100 people to sign up.

What happened? It turned out people were starved for freelance writing help.

Today, the Den turns 5 years old — and it has over 1,200 members. When I say I couldn’t have done it without you, my great readers, I’m really not kidding.

Great community can’t be created by my answering every forum question. It’s created by everyone in the community coming together to pool their knowledge and share best practices. The Denizens are what make the Den the truly awesome resource it has become today.

I’m grateful for everyone who’s come together to make Freelance Writers Den great — so grateful that I’ve got five different goodies for you as part of our Den 5th anniversary celebration:

1. Essay contest with prizes

Want a month free in the Den and a bunch of other goodies? I’m going to name FIVE winners and give out five different prize packages.

Here’s the essay question:

“What would your life look like, if you had all the resources you needed to grow your freelance writing business right now?”

Answer in the comments to be considered! One entry per customer, please.

What can you win in this contest? Here are the prize packages:

UPDATE: Here are the winners, listed below under their prizes! (We will email you about how to claim your prizes, winners.)

Grand prize winner: Abby

  • 1 half-hour mini-mentor coaching session with me
  • 1 year in the Den
  • All 8 of my e-books shown here

Deluxe winner: Danny

  • 1 half hour mini-mentor coaching session with me
  • 1 month in the Den
  • All 8 of my ebooks

1st Place winner: Liberty

  • 1 month in the Den
  • All 8 of my ebooks

Runner-up: Priya

  • 1 month in the Den free
  • All 4 Freelance Writers Den ebooks (That’s Freelance Business Bootcamp, The Step by Step Guide to Freelance Writing Success, How to Get Great Freelance Clients, and How to Be a Well-Paid Freelance Blogger)

Special mention: Kim

  • All 4 Den ebooks

I’ll announce the essay contest winner early Friday morning in an email…subscribe to make sure you’re in the loop of that and all the other goodies listed below. (If you’re a current Den member, you can’t win Den passes, but can participate and win the other goodies listed above.)

2. The Den is open

Possibly the best thing about this week — Freelance Writers Den is open for new members, now through Friday. It’s one of our longest open periods in many years, so if you need a couple days to get the cash together to join, this is your chance.

If you don’t know, the Den is like the Lynda.com of freelance writing. For just $25 a month (no obligation, leave anytime, 7-day trial/refund guarantee), you can access everything we’ve got. And what we’ve got is:

  • 300+ hours of trainings, including 16 multi-hour bootcamps
  • Templates, samples & examples of contracts, pitches that sold, etc.
  • Nearly 75,000 forum comments
  • An exclusive Junk-Free Job Board where we cull better gigs and I send my referrals
  • 3 live events a month
  • Writer accountability buddies
  • Complimentary writer website and query reviews

We’re only open a few times each year, and often, I only tell the waiting list (because crazily, there are over 6,000 people on it). We usually also limit the number of writers who can sign up in any given open.

But not this time! We’re wide open for 5 whole days, so if you need this resource, you can join all week.

3. Free podcast

If you visit the home page of Freelance Writers Den over the next few days, you’ll find a series of free goodies, starting with a Den “Success Stories” podcast. Give that a listen and you’ll learn how writers are moving up and earning more from their work — and how the Den helps them do it.

4. Free handout

On Wednesday, stop by that Den home page for one of our most popular handouts ever — grab yourself a free copy of ‘7 Ways To Get Editor’s Emails.’

5. Free live Q&A on freelance writing + replay

freelancewritersden-live-qa-facebookHave you got questions about whether freelance writing is for you, or how to earn more from your writing? Got questions about how the Den helps you grow your income?

Well, come get a taste of the Den at a 1-hour live Q&A and I’ll answer them, with my trusty wing woman Angie Mansfield, our Den moderator-in-chief.

We’re going to give a secret tour behind the scenes of the Den (which I have NEVER done before!) on Thursday at 10 Pacific — you can register here.

And yes, there will be a replay for you, viewable on Friday only, so sign up even if you can’t make it at the appointed hour. (Watch your confirm email for a link to a survey where you can leave your top question.)

I’m hoping this 5th anniversary celebration will help a lot more writers find the resources they need to build their writing income. Look forward to seeing your essay entries in the comments below!

Freelance writing - freelance writers Den

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111 comments on “Explode Your Freelance Writing Income: An Essay Contest and Celebration
  1. Brandon says:

    Hi Carol,

    I’ve been reading this website on and off for about a year now. I think it’s a fantastic resource for freelance writers, and just writers in general really. Although I’m probably in a bit of a different position than most on your visitors.

    I currently work a day job at a logistics company, and am more or less content with it. But I also do enjoy writing, and would love to earn some extra side income from it (somewhere in the range of $500-$1000/month would be plenty for me). I had one client last year that I wrote SEO articles for, but his company went belly up, so I’m basically back to square one. So my question is, would the Den still be a useful resource for someone like myself? Someone that’s basically only interested in doing part-time freelancing? Or is it only welcoming to those looking to make this a full-time career?

    Also, before you suggest the content mills, I’ve already tried that route, and had no luck. Most of them require you to be a US citizen (I’m in Canada), and the few others that don’t never accepted my application. Apparently writing mediocre articles for $5 a pop still requires a high amount of credentials.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Brandon, count yourself lucky! My husband is a UCLA film school grad who Demand Media wouldn’t take as a videographer. Let’s say the acceptance process is…mystifying.

      And certainly, we have MANY Den members who still have day jobs, Brandon.

  2. Ohita Afeisume says:

    Big, big Con-gra-tu-la-tions to you: Abby, Danny, Liberty, Priya and Kim, award-winning writers! This is a sign of more good things to come.

  3. Angela says:

    Dear Carol,

    This is a fabulous question.

    In essence, my life would look much the same. As a home educating mother of three (one of whom has special needs), family commitments would continue to be my main preoccupation.

    What would alter beyond measure, is the snatched moments of time I currently use to write.

    If I had all the resources I needed to grow my freelance writing business right now, those moments would become laser-focused. I would be a writer with clear direction and purpose.

    The words I write move, soothe and inspire people. They help them to think less and feel more, offering respite from this often crazy world. But my words bring me no money.

    I want to ease the financial load for my husband and wish for my children to see me contribute to the family coffers doing something that I love and have a talent for.

    Thank you for all that you do here. This site is one of my favourite resources.

    Much love ,

    Angela xo

  4. Heidi Mull says:

    What would my life look like, if I had all the resources I needed to grow my freelance writing business right now?

    Life would be so much more doable. Not necessarily easy, but more like a driving down a paved road with guardrails and a few potholes instead of a dirt road with deep ruts through the middle and ditches lining the sides. I will traverse either in order to get where I’m going, but I would reach my destination faster and in far better shape with the right resources.

    These resources would kick off my first real opportunity to support myself with a bang of confidence and clarity. To put it in context, at age 16 I was struck by a severe neurological illness that left me unable to think straight or care for myself for the next 8.5 years. In the last 3 years I’ve made hard won progress towards recovery. Tackling one issue at a time, I’m proud to say that I’m mostly independent on a physical level, and now it’s time to see about becoming financially independent of government handouts that prevent me from saving money or living as I please.

    After 27 years of dependency on others, I’m breaking free to contribute back to society. Writing has always been my gift to the world; now it’s going to become my income, too. When I tell friends and family that I’m starting a career as a freelance writer, every single one gets a huge grin on their face and goes, “Oh yes, you were TOTALLY born to write. Go for it!” There’s no doubt this is my path. The only question is how quickly and smoothly it’s going to happen.

    I envision waking up in a tranquil forest where I’ve camped out with my antenna equipment set up for internet access while I work. I’ve found I write best away from the hustle and bustle of the city where I can focus without distraction. There I would throw myself headlong into writing, researching, and networking. Since my home/office is completely mobile, I’d gladly agree to meet with a client on short notice without skipping a beat. I could always spend the night nearby if too exhausted to safely drive back, and work from wherever I land if needed.

    I smile at the way I’ve outsmarted my limitations, again. To satisfy clients with professional work and receive livable income in return is the feeling that I’ve finally made it in life.

  5. Ohita Afeisume says:

    What would my life look like if I had all the resources I need to grow my the resources to grow my freelance writing business right now?

    “Your mother is a writer simply because she’s well-off!”said Ogie, the English teacher of my youngest son.

    If only she knew the truth.I was amused when my son related to me this remark made by her teacher as I write because I enjoy doing it.Sharing my ideas with others is a passion. In fact, when I submitted my first article to the “Nigerian Observer”newspapers some three decades ago, I was pleasantly surprised when they paid me for my contribution. Till date, writing gives me pleasure and I want to make a career of it. Writing for profit is desirable to me now as writing is work,real hard work.

    However, I have an abundance mindset, which means I count my assets on the way to becoming… Already I am blessed with a strong determination and self confidence to succeed in growing a freelance writing business. Plus the loving support of my husband who sees great potentials in me and above all, faith in God. In the words of Scott Epp,”Abundance is completely believing that you are more than enough. That You have more than enough and more than enough is coming your way.”

    What I need now right now is to harness the discipline to utilize well the 24 hours that make each day coupled with receiving training in the craft in the form of incredible resources provided by the Freelance Writers’Den.Then I would bid good bye to a 9 to 5 work grind.

    Besides, I would be able to grow my freelance writing business to include my adult children who themselves are talented in writing too. T explosion in my business would bring me a lot of satisfaction.

    This means freedom to live the life of my dream.I would be able to train and practice as a copywriter, a niche that I have always wanted to break into. Of course, to indulge my passion for writing fiction and poetry too.

    I cherish the independence to do the things I love. As a mother of six children, I would spend more time with my brood. This is the lifestyle I crave.

    As a person enchanted by books,I would have the means to build a well- stocked, state- of- the- art library and also a bookshop , my legacy; give both online and offline training to budding writers. Having gained immensely from the wealth of the knowledge and experience of others, it would be sheer pleasure for me to give back by way of the mentoring of other writers. How fulfilling this would make me.

    Of course, a lot of my earnings would go into charity work. Making a decent life, one worth living especially for the people in the village from which I hail is my earnest desire. There is so much for me to do to affect my generation.

    All said and done, I do not believe I must wait for all the cards to line up before I go for my dream. As they say, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a step.” So I am taking it in my stride. After all, there is no excuse good enough for failure. God helping me, I will get there.

  6. Hey Carol,
    You are killing it here. Thumbs up for you. I’m glad i stumbled on your blog and i’ve ever since learnt a lot of great stuff.
    I hope to join your writers Den, I need a lotta improvement. Thanks for the tips

  7. Priya says:

    What would your life look like if you had all the resources you need to grow your freelance writing business right now?

    If I had all the resources to grow my freelance writing business, my life would look a lot different. First I would be able to build a website and get clients. This means that I would be able to prove to myself that I can do it. As a writer, I am often crippled with self-doubt and even self-loathing.

    Second, I would become a better writer. This is extremely important to me. Improving my craft would result in better clients and improved service to the clients. This would make me happier.

    Third, I would be able to prove the haters wrong. I currently seek work on Upwork. There have been several people who have prohibited me from bidding because I am an Indian. Even though my writing can help them accomplish the task, they don’t want me to write for them because I come from a developing country. I WANT TO BREAK STEREOTYPES AND PROVE TO THE WORLD THAT INDIANS CAN BE AS GOOD AS OTHERS.

    The resources would give me a shot at the freelance writing business, the community will make me believe it’s possible and the resultant success will help me break stereotypes and help people massively.

    • Heidi Mull says:

      Congrats, Priya! Go break those stereotypes!

    • Liberty says:

      Congratulations, Priya! Take your shot and prove those haters wrong, but then again, don’t waste your writing energy on them. Just keep taking your shots.

    • Ravi says:

      Hi Priya

      Congrats for the victory in the contest. Have you opened the Den and tried for any new website?

      I asked the Den mother, Carol, about how they had selected. She replied me that she felt about your writing that your zeal of freelance writing was inspiring. Kudos!

      As soon as the Den reopens the doors, I will join with you all. And before that I have to focus on the terms which are killing my success in my writing.

      Don’t hesitate to share your website if you’ve a one already.

      Best wishes,
      Ravi

      • Priya says:

        Hi Ravi,

        Yes, I have opened the den. My website is up but barely so. It still needs a lot of work and then, I am sure re-work. I will definitely share it with you once it’s done.

        I am so glad to hear that Carol liked my zeal for freelance writing.

        I think they will open the doors again in a couple of months or so. Look forward to seeing you inside. All the best for your endeavor.

        Cheers,
        Priya

  8. Kat says:

    Basically, learning and getting an earlier start to assuming responsibility for the rest of my life.

    I’d be learning how to write not merely articles but good articles, the best I can do for now as a beginner, on a deadline–and to do that repeatedly. Also, getting rid of that nagging thought that exercising five days a week now, instead of prioritizing the writing, to deal with my tightening pants isn’t time wasted in the short term.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Well, exercising to me is never a waste of time and can unleash a lot of creativity. It’s not really lost time for writing.

      • Kat says:

        Oh, that’s because I’ve been juggling rather a lot these days, and so (though I know I have to) when exercising I have that “Am I actually managing my time well?” thought. (Also, “How can I multitask?”) And yes, there’s bias. I’m, ah, what you call a recovering health slob. 🙂 Reaping what I sowed now.

  9. Liberty says:

    What would your life look like if you had all the resources you need to grow your freelance writing business right now?

    I would wake up well rested because I woke up in my own bed in a place of my own. I would write relatively quickly like I used to write before I got sick. I would not get irritated with the librarian pushing me out the door close to closing time because I would have my own internet access in that place of my own.
    I would not feel so alone in my work because I’d spend fewer hours dealing with survival and more time networking with other writers. I’d find at least two good writer friends. We’d meet once a month at local cafes and libraries to go over our work, talk shop, talk love, talk life. Perhaps I’d find love and that love would propel me forward faster and better than anything else in this earth.
    I suppose I could write about what various technologies and tools could do for me and my freelance writing business. But I know all too well that the best resources in the world are a home, good health, support and love. Those four are the best and the hardest to get if you don’t already have them. And although I do not yet have those resources in my life, every day I continue to work with what I have in order to become the successful freelance writer I wish to become.

    • Heidi Mull says:

      Congrats, Liberty! I’m so glad you now have one more resource to move you forward. 🙂

    • Priya says:

      Congratulations Liberty. I am so glad you won and would be able to support yourself using the resources. Wish you luck.

      And if you want a writer buddy, I am there. We can connect.

      • Liberty says:

        Thank you, Priya! And congratulations again to you, too. And yes, we can connect. I’ll look for you once my Den account is set up.

    • Liberty,
      Your name says it all. You’ll be free to follow that dream, and we “den newbies” will follow along with you.
      Congrats,
      Danny

  10. Bamidele Ojo says:

    What would your life look like, if you had all the resources you needed to grow your freelance writing business right now?

    I learnt of this essay contest through Bamidele Oni’s twitter handle. I like your spirit. I got your eBook ‘Small Blog, Big Income’ when Bamidele recommended it in one of his newsletters. I am a silent fan of yours. You are not just a writer but a coach. That is exactly my long-term dream.

    What would my life look like, if I had all the resources I needed to grow my freelance writing business right now? I would develop my potentials to the fullest, which in turn, would help me to fulfill my long term dream of impacting youths and upcoming freelance writers. Life most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’

    If I have all the resources I need to be a successful freelance writer, then I would have the proof and resources to guide and convince youths that they can work smarter, not just harder.

    There are so many challenges where I hail from, but any of these does not discourage me. I presently work and depend on few writing gigs that come my way occasionally, but I am not discouraged. I put in my best even when those jobs pay only peanuts. I am building my muscles for the great days ahead. I dream even in the face of impossibilities. That is why Bamidele, who is my namesake, would always be my hero.

    And I am about to develop another bond with a remarkable woman like Carol Tice. With every resource needed at my disposal, I would be on my way to making a global impact, but I long to start in my immediate environment. Many youths are taking to crime because they do not know a better way exists. Our world would be a better place there are more people like Carol and Oni.

    I believe we are all blessed to be a blessing. Hence, I would develop myself to a freelance writing coach like Carol Tice and Bamidele Oni and leave a legacy in the sands of time.

    Thanks, Carol, for giving the opportunity to people like me to speak my mind. Your spirit is contagious, and I believe this is the beginning of greater things that you would continue to be known for in the nearest future.

  11. “What would your life look like, if you had all the resources you needed to grow your freelance writing business right now?”

    I’m going to be optimistic and say it would give me confidence. Confidence to fight against the anxiety that comes from not knowing how I’m going to make money. Confidence to pursue what I love doing. And, confidence to stop letting unrelated factors (other people’s lack of belief in me, not knowing what I’m doing, etc) from halting my forward progress.

    Having the resources to build my freelance business would give me the freedom to travel when I want. The freedom to live the life I want would limit the amount of time I spend afraid of putting myself out there. It would give me guidance on how freelancing is really supposed to work (rather than the advice everyone else gives to just want it badly enough or to put yourself out there and things will happen).

    I’m not delusional in thinking that all my problems will be solved from being given these tools. I know I’ll have to continue to work very hard to get what I want, but having the resources to build my career will provide the single flashlight beam I need to help me out of the dark I’m currently struggling through. I’d be more confident in finding clients and know what to expect as a freelancer.

    Thank you for this opportunity.

  12. Janet Beatrice says:

    I thought I had all the resources I needed to make a living as a freelance writer – a great living, in fact! I’d spent thousands on good, solid copywriting courses. I had a beautiful website with engaging, persuasive copy. I’d chosen my niche – home pages for heart-based solopreneurs. There was just one resource missing: a steady stream of clients who understood the value of copywriting and who paid well.

    Don’t get me wrong. I loved my solopreneur clients. But I wanted to help them because they were struggling. I might as well have been running a non-profit. I finally gave up. Let the website lapse. Trained as a life coach. Ended up in the same boat – wanting to help the most needy people, the ones who didn’t have the resources to keep me afloat.

    I’m finally ready to attract that steady stream of well-paying clients, but I’ll admit it. I don’t know how. That’s why having all the resources I need to re-launch my freelance writing career will absolutely transform my life – not just my working days, but every aspect of my life.

    The first change will come when I receive the resources. I’ll study Carol Tice’s books to find out which niches are lucrative and settle on one I know I can learn inside and out. Ideally, I’ll shoot for one that could also be a great life coaching niche. I’ll set up my new website, ask a pro from the Freelance Writers Den to review it, and revise until it’s an compelling, persuasive client magnet.

    Then I’ll read Carol’s book on “How to Get Great Freelance Clients,” visit the Junk-Free Job Board, and start hustling! It’ll be scary – after all, every time we seek work, we face the possibility of rejection. So whenever my confidence flags, I’ll look through “Fear Not!” to bring back the chutzpah every freelancer needs. I’ll get an accountability buddy through the Den to help ensure that I’m taking consistent action. I’ll be a great accountability buddy; one of my best coaching skills is holding people accountable in a positive, supportive way. Soon I’ll be getting so much work that I’ll need to hurry up and read “13 Ways to Get the Writing Done Faster.”

    Throughout all of this, I’ll still be sure to hit some snags that aren’t covered in a book. Being able to post to the Den forum will make life so much easier as I post those unique challenges and hear how my fellow Denizens have handled similar situations. Because I’m already an experienced copywriter, I’ll do my share of contributing.

    Not until I’ve used all of those resources to create a strong plan will I take advantage of the most exciting resource: a half-hour of mentoring from Carol herself. I’ll do everything I can on my own to get as far as I can. If I’m still not attracting great clients, I’ll use that half-hour to figure out what’s getting in the way and how to fix it. Then again, I might find myself so busy that I need to find ways to create work-life balance. Or maybe I’ll need a little help building the confidence to charge what I’m worth. Whatever the challenge, one-on-one mentoring will be an amazing gift to help me put the finishing touches on the perfect freelancing life.

    With my newfound success, I’ll be waking up excited to start another productive day of helping good companies succeed and coaching good clients. I’ll be making healthier meals for my son and myself using organic whole foods because I won’t need to skimp on the groceries. And I’ll finally take that vacation I’ve been longing for, a trip to Kripalu, my favorite meditation and yoga retreat. A weekend there always leaves me feeling centered and peaceful. But this time, instead of a weekend, I’ll spend five nights in a private room with a private bath.

    I’ll come back refreshed and ready to go back to my new life, the fulfilling, abundant life that began the day I received all the resources I needed to launch a truly successful writing business.

  13. Kim says:

    Your life changes when you hear that a close family member has cancer. The blow is particularly hard when another family member has been fighting a serious illness for many years. You want to be there as much as you can but you are working full-time and trying to rebuild a freelance career. Even though your bosses are the best in the world and very accommodating, that work has to be done sometime and you feel like you are in a pressure cooker all the time.

    Adding to the frustrations is the knowledge you have the experience and talent to be a full-time freelancer. You have just squandered it on content mills and billing sites for several years and the good paying gigs only happen on occasion. That dream was never going to grow as long as you continue to undervalue yourself.

    Yes, I am talking about me.

    I know it may take some time to build up the financial resources to live out the dreams I have for my family, but I won’t give up no matter how long it takes. My heart’s desire is to be able to provide financially, physically, emotionally and spiritually for my family and close friends and if I had all the resources I needed, that is what my life would look like.

  14. Rachael says:

    Hello Carol and fellow hungry writers

    I have enjoyed reading all of your reasons for pursuing a freelance writing career.

    I have known since childhood that I wanted to pursue a career that involves writing. However, as all of you know, following your dreams is not easy.

    The biggest barrier to freelance writing success so far is finding my ideal clients. Once I delve into resources on finding good clients, my life would change as I would no longer have to take on jobs I hate. I would no longer drag myself out of bed during the week to go to a job where I feel bored, uninspired, bullied or underpaid. I would also no longer feel embarrassed about the direction of my career and I would have a successful freelance writing business that I could be proud of.

    The freedom of running a successful business would mean more time for the people I love. There would also be more time for charity work and maybe even some time and money for travelling overseas with my family and friends.

    Thank you Carol for creating these freelance writing sources. They are giving me hope that my dreams can finally become reality.

  15. Ohita Afeisume says:

    Hello Carol,
    I discovered this website only recently. Amazing resources for a writer! I am glad because I have learnt several things, the life-long learner that I am.

    However, what is not clear to me is this: Can I enter this contest when I am not yet a member of the Den? I am unable to join now for logistics reasons but I hope to do so as soon as I can. What do you say?

    • Carol Tice says:

      Yes, Ohita, you can enter whether you are a Den member or not. If you’re not yet a member, you’re eligible to win passes for Den access.

  16. Ravi M says:

    Carol Tice

    I am glad to find this post and the contest about how would our lives if we have all resources. Thank you for the opportunity. The winners are really lucky and they can win their goals in wriitng, because they will have real resource if they’re allowed to FreelanceWritersDen for a year.

    When my friend asked what was my goal at school days, I told him writing person. I am not hiding, I love writing fiction and non-fiction. I always wished to have business related to it.

    At that time, we had no internet or a computer. Though I have them now, I have many resource problem with electricity shut downs, less speed internet, less configuration for work heavy computer work etc. But I still feel better and have the spirit. Bamidele is one of the reasons to believe that. He has many other issues when compared to my location’s issues. But still he proved that we can win when we have strong spirit.

    Writing with true spirit will give success. And when it is profession. I can live happily. The ethics I love and follow are maintaining values and principles in work. In writing business, writing fiction or non-fiction should follow values, and the business shouldn’t against my values or law.

    I cannot express the feeling when I learned that my story was selected for 15 Smart Stories by an organization in 2014. That gave me a spirit to live a life.

    I have been writing fiction since 2014. Mostly in my regional language. But now I am serious to write both fiction and non-fiction in English to reach the life at writing.

    Regards

  17. “What would your life look like, if you had all the resources you needed to grow your freelance writing business right now?”

    My favorite flower is the daisy. I don’t know if that’s because I am a sixties girl, but I love their simplicity and beauty, and I love the fact that daisies remind me of sunny days. Daisies are happy flowers – they embrace the sunshine and the light.

    Without the sun, the daisy folds its’ petals, and is overlooked or undervalued.

    To grow we must all bask in the light. For the daisy, that light is the sun, but for a writer, that light is a combination of resources that allow talent to bloom – support, encouragement, a whole lot of knowledge, a little bit of street savvy, and a handful of clear directions that open doors we didn’t know about before.

    As a writer, if I had access to those kind of resources? My life would look a whole lot brighter. For when talent is supported and guided, when a writer is given access to the correct tools, then they can truly utilize what they have, and grow their business in ways they never dreamed about before. That equals a better income and better job opportunities, but it also equals the ability to truly bloom as a person. And that’s truly the change I would like to see in my life. Waking up each morning with a smile on my face, knowing that fabulous new challenges await; learning, growing and feeling the satisfaction of accomplishment and true validation as a writer.

    Here’s to daisies, sunshine, and brave new worlds!

  18. Maddy Osman says:

    “What would your life look like, if you had all the resources you needed to grow your freelance writing business right now?”

    If I had the resources to grow my freelance writing business right now, my life wouldn’t be a whole lot different – I’d still be doing a lot of the same things and enjoying every minute of it – but the road to my bigger goals and the next iteration of my business would certainly be much shorter!

    I’ve been freelancing for many years now, always on the side of a full-time job. My background is in sales and my passion is for writing (specifically blogging). I think it’s safe to say that I have most of the skills necessary for a solid foundation in this line of work. When I finally did quit my full-time job, I made sure that I had enough clients lined up to make sure my bills were paid each month. All good so far.

    My life is what I’d personally consider to be a happy one. Freelancing full-time has given me the flexibility to live what I consider to be a more fulfilling life. I get to spend many days at home snuggling with my dog (between projects!), can take meetings or go to networking events without having to ask anyone’s permission, I get to take trips on a whim, and even work out at the gym around lunchtime when no one else is around.

    Many people ask me how to achieve this “dream” and I’ve been happy to mentor many friends and acquaintances looking to change their lives. It wasn’t easy to find this rhythm, but it has definitely been worth the effort.

    I’ve created a lot of processes to organize my life and make the most of my time. Recently, I hired a virtual assistant to help me with research and other tasks that slow down my writing, but that I don’t personally need to be doing. It’s important to me that the work I turn into my clients is 100% my own, but that doesn’t mean I need to be the one gathering stats and quotes for use within the articles I write (to name one example of work I’ve delegated!).

    Obviously, running a freelance writing business that only offers services has a natural income ceiling. There’s only so much time in a day and a finite amount of effort that can be expended before you start to underdeliver and miss deadlines. I never want to be the type of person who is a disappointment to my clients – especially since they’re such good referral sources!

    So the next iteration of my business is an online mastermind group of sorts (don’t want to give too much away until more of the details are hammered out!). Along with my business partner, there’s a lot of work to do, and we could definitely use some backup with regards to web development, graphic design, and other areas where we’re not personally experts. If there’s one thing I’ve learned so far in freelancing is that my time is too valuable to waste on things I don’t understand! I’d rather pay someone else to do it right the first time.

    Regarding resources, I’d love a full-time domestic staff member (instead of or in addition to my amazing virtual assistant) and some contractors for one-off projects. A little more time in the day wouldn’t hurt, too 🙂 But regardless of the length of the path to where I want to be, I’m grateful that my life is that of a freelancer – free to choose what happens next!

    Ok, and if I had all the resources I needed, I’d be happy to take a long vacation sometime soon. 😉

    P.S. I’m excited by the prospect of becoming a member of your Writer’s Den – I’ve heard so many great things.

    P.P.S. I recently won Sophie Lizard’s Pitchfest and my winning post was just published!

    Maybe I can go two for two on writing contests 🙂

  19. Heather says:

    What would my life look like if I had all the resources available to me to grow my freelance writing career right of now?

    A number of variables are holding me back from pursuing the higher hanging fruit in the business. I know to have a solid career in the industry I need to follow multiple pieces of advice Carol Tice shares with the rest of us.

    I don’t comment much on her blog posts, but peruse it frequently and absorb her words. In one short year of discovering her brand, she has profoundly impacted my view of freelance writing. I’ve been on a journey in writing the last seven years that must take a different direction. My eyes are wide open. I admit that all of the information I’ve come across has been tremendously overwhelming. Now is the time for me to narrow my focus and get the assistance I need to make it a reality. I’ve taken it on alone and need the right people to work beside me.

    If I had the resources required to achieve my goals, I’d have a vastly improved website, aim to work for clients who need email marketing campaigns, find some great partnerships with other writers, and form relationships with editors I can trust to critique my work. These are just a few of the many things that would make my freelance writing career better, insightful, and enriching.

    In closing, I’d like to say this is a great opportunity and good luck to everyone in this contest.

    Sincerely,
    Heather

    • Carol Tice says:

      Exciting to hear I’ve been able to help, Heather!

      One of the ways I think the Den helps cut the overwhelm (despite its large number of resources) is that you can stop subscribing to 100 other newsletters, and just focus on one bootcamp or live event or handout at a time. I think it becomes almost an addiction for a lot of writers, feeling like you have to read everything that’s being said everywhere — and much of it is from ‘experts’ who’re only about 2 steps ahead of you on the freelance journey. The Den gives you an arena you can focus on and systems you can use to build your business.

  20. Kelsey Glaze says:

    “What would your life look like, if you had all the resources you needed to grow your freelance writing business right now?
    June 12th
    I would wake up with a little bit of fear just like every other day. The usual questions: Am I good enough?, smart enough? blah blah blah….pretty boring stuff. Then I’d get over it.
    Later, I would start tickling away at my computer keys, then backspacing everything I typed, and then tickling away again. Luckily, I’m able to do this from the freedom of my home while working next to my trusty friends: Stumptown cold brew coffee and a sidecar of mint water.
    I try to stick to my daily game plan that moves me at least one step closer everyday to my weekly goal, monthly goal etc.. I just keep moving. I move forward, sideways, backwards, sachet, curtsies, and throw in a little chair dancing! Anything to keep the energy flowing.
    I do this with constant diligence and honesty. I ask for help often and help when I can. I mess up some. I hit some. I smile some. I keep working step by step knowing that I will “win some and loose some”
    I have a fare share of resources. I’m resourceful AND I’m highly caffeinated from my Stumptown. All is possible!
    Today, tomorrow, the next day, so on and so forth…

  21. Asking how life would be if I had all the resources I need puts the cart before the horse.

    It doesn’t matter whether the endeavor is freelance writing or basket weaving, you don’t start the journey that way. You start the journey between your ears, by seeing yourself as capable of completing it. Pop psychologists and self-help gurus would call this the “be” leg of the “be-do-have” cycle. See yourself as a freelance writer, do what a freelance writer does, and reap the rewards of success.

    I’m speaking as someone at the beginning of the journey, someone who is working on being comfortable saying “Damn I’m good!” in front of the mirror instead of recalling each and every shortcoming. For me, resources such as hardware, software, connectivity, and training materials are readily available. If I can’t afford them, there’s a library nearby with computers, Internet connections, and an extensive array of books on writing. I can find fellow writers for support through online forums and meet-ups.

    But certain things must come from me and me alone To have a prayer of success I need the knowledge that I’m good, a marketable self-definition, and the self-confidence to face rejection as I hunt for clients. No one can give these to me. They can mentor, teach, and support me but the ultimate responsibility for success is my own.

    If I can turn my lemons into lemonade my life will look a lot brighter no matter where my freelance writing career stands. I’ll learn to enjoy the process as much as the results and to see mistakes as opportunities to learn instead of as referendums on my competence. Such a change in perspective would do more to improve my quality of life than any material gain.

    Philip

    • Carol Tice says:

      It’s true, Philip — I can’t help anyone who doesn’t believe they have something unique and valuable to bring this world with their writing skills. We have a whole set of ‘overcoming fear’ resources in the Den, including a mini-bootcamp with homework assignments, and we start a lot of our new members there, if they need it.

      In Den 2X, we have a ‘Mindset Reset’ chart that some print out and refer to daily, to recast their attitudes about their worth as writers.

  22. Udunma says:

    First and foremost, I want to say thank you for this opportunity to participate in such a competition in this wonderful forum.

    Honestly, if I had all the resources I needed for my freelance writing business; my life would have been lit up with a great light by those materials hence giving me clarity in my career path,full of ideas on how to excel in my career with a minimal mistakes thereby producing an inevitable outstanding results so far. It has been in my plans to get Mr.Bamidele,my role model’s freelance writer’s guide and I felt so bad that I couldn’t get your ebooks at $10 last week but I’m working on that.

    Again, having the resources would have amplified my voice through writing by assisting me to discover,explore,refine and display my passion and skills thereby impacting my world.

    Furthermore,having the resources would be investing seed of greatness into my life equipping me with confidence to dish out excellent contents,transform me from a beginner to a greater height in a short time,improved my earning from zero to thousand dollars richer,from a novice to mentor to many others and giving me fulfillment in my career and life.

    Finally, If I had all the resources I needed, it would have been tremendously easy to do a lot and achieve more in my career and life thus being fulfilled.

    Thank you .

  23. kelley madick says:

    Essay contest.

    With all the resources I needed I could do what I love most, write. Honestly, my mind never stops spinning ideas. I could write non-fiction, fiction, flash shorts, essays, my memoir I have been dying to write and anything else I could think of. Writing is passion and one that I have put off for a long time. The need for a steady paycheck and insurance scared me into a 9-5 job. All the while, I dreamed about story lines and pitches. If I could, I thought, I would write about how I trudged through my late husband’s suicide. I could help others with my experiences. I could write a steamy romance or a mystery or even a scifi. I could do interviews and news stories. If I had all the resources I needed, I may be able to write full time and live the life I really want to live. I could be just like the Den Mother. I just need the resources and a little push off the cliff. 🙂

    • Carol Tice says:

      Hi Kelley —

      I’m sorry to hear about your husband — I had a cousin that happened to.

      Just want to clarify that freelance writing for a living generally has nothing to do with writing fiction, flash shorts, essays, or memoirs. The bulk of the paid work is in reported nonfiction and writing for businesses. But the fiction side is stuff that the paid freelancing can certainly support and make you time for. 😉

  24. Brian Frasier says:

    Why is freelance writing so appealing? The answer lies within the question. The word free invokes powerful meanings and connotations. We strive to feel freely, to think freely, and to write freely. Exploring topics of interest that push discussions forward and invite those who read the works conducted to pause if only to consider a point or a perspective not thought of. That is an influence that bears a great responsibility to the power of words that a freelance writer must consider before submitting their work. Reaching those possible connections that will rarely ever find their way back to us but we know they exist, is all the reason needed.

  25. Hendrik (Henri) Langeveldt says:

    Had I taken the writer’s path years ago (as I was advised to do by many) together with all the resources I needed to develop my skills and grow my freelance writing career, my life would have been considerably different today. Having said that, hindsight is an exact science and telling myself “I told you so”, is not going to change anything. Rather, with my life experience, desire to make it happen, and ‘Freelance Writers Den’ membership, success is inevitable. Thank you Carol Tice!

  26. I am already blessed to be a Den Member! The resources inside feed the starving freelance writer. One of these days I will be able to pay myself back for this investment in my family’s future. Then this will ripple out to bless others. Resources bring hope!

    Every morning I put on my Game Face and sing my Fight Song. I’m on a serious mission to bring my family out of financial disaster and bless the lives of others. Somehow the Evil Resistance caught wind of this.

    Guerrilla warfare broke out. My family is bombarded with chronic illness, cancer, massive car issues, major house repairs, and more cancer.

    Adversity fuels resourcefulness. Especially when you are fighting the guerrillas. Always piggyback studies. Listen to podcasts in bed, on the road, as you chop veggies. Use free internet in the few hours the library is open and you are not at work to download those podcasts. Browse the websites of other successful freelance writers. Use that same free internet to download those free e-books, how-to guides, etc.., that they so generously offer.

    Borrow books on writing. Bribe a writer with coffee to share their best advice. Barter for your first writing samples. Read in the wee hours of the morning. Nod off over a book.

    Sometimes even the resourceful fighter wears thin. A fresh infusion of resources gives strength or direction to the weary fighter. Hope! Where and how to best focus those resources next. None of us is completely self-made. Mentoring is a golden resource. That’s why I would love 30 minutes of Carol’s valuable time.

  27. Lily A. says:

    Hi Carol, happy birthday to the Den! Here’s my answer to the essay question: “What would your life look like, if you had all the resources you needed to grow your freelance writing business right now?”

    I’m a full-time staff writer for a tech company in my small, underdeveloped country. Before my steady job, I was a freelance writer working for content mills, growing more and more disappointed in my career of choice and the ridiculously low pay. It wasn’t until I came across Make a Living Writing and similar blogs by professional writers that I realized excellent writers are in demand and CAN make a decent living writing. I’ve been gathering resources, reading and learning all I can about the business side of freelance writing for a year now – all I need is to take the leap 🙂
    If I had ALL the resources to grow my business, my life would change immensely for the better:
    – I would finally have the finances to leave my day job, leave my country and move elsewhere
    – I would build an awesome business and career with easy access to great opportunities, networking events and conferences
    – I would meet fellow writers and make new amazing friends
    – I would travel the world
    – I would start a new, more fulfilled life and could finally afford to have a home and family of my own

    That about sums up how incredibly liberating and fulfilling freelance writing is. All it takes is hard work and the belief that all of us here can and will do it 🙂

  28. Anna T. says:

    There are only three things that would change if I had all the resources I needed to grow my freelance writing business – right now!

    First, I would definitely be less stressed. All in all, my freelance writing business is already taking baby steps into the more relaxed future. The first, the most needed person on my to-hire list would be another proofreader. But, so far it’s a bunch of part-time freelancers and me, in charge – and right now, it looks like I am covering for the rest of their ‘parts’ all by myself.

    Second, I am pretty sure I would be more suntanned. With some free time on my hands, I’d definitely leave my rainy, gothic city for something drier and sunnier – and I’d do that pretty often. At the very least, I wouldn’t miss these two sunny hours a month we have here.

    Finally, I would be struggling with my obsessive perfectionism – right now! After all, I’d have more time to focus on my own creative projects rather than balance in between client-writer interests 16 hours a day.

    Ultimately, I don’t think my life would change that much. If it’s not the workload, it’s the endless struggle to find even a better way to string my sentences together – something would still keep me occupied day and night!

  29. Cheryl D. Ireland says:

    Because I finally had all the resources I needed to confidently grow my freelance writing business, I re-launched my stalled writing career. I had to start at the bottom, again, because I hadn’t had an assignment in years – but I did it!

    Yesterday, one of my clients asked me if I could write a White Paper, and I assured her that I could. I now have a very lucrative assignment to do just that, even though I have never written a White Paper before. Several years ago, I passed up a similar offer because I didn’t know where to go for help – and for that reason, I felt too insecure to accept the assignment.

    I don’t spend hours tweaking a tight budget every month, like I used to. And I am excited about my future, now that I know how I will support myself once my current full-time job ends in a few years. Even retirement looks promising, instead of scary.

    My grown children don’t worry about my future any more, either. Even better, I get to travel to visit them on a regular basis, and am able to help them through financial crunches. My grandkids love it when I mail them little surprises!

    The best part about freelance writing (other than the money, obviously!) is that I am constantly learning, and often pleasantly surprised by my creations. It is a very fulfilling career, and seldom boring.

    I used to write for content mills, and became bitter and frustrated by the low pay and high demands. I started to hate writing, so I just quit.

    I am so grateful that I was shown the way back to something that I have (almost) always loved.

  30. Maren says:

    I am one of the lucky ones, with good clients paying great rates, and yet I feel that I am standing at a crossroads in my freelance career, because what I need most right now to grow my business is clarity. With three kids growing up fast, I need to invest my time much more wisely, in much better paying clients so I can spend more time with my family, but that requires focus – more than I’ve employed so far.

    That’s why I had intended to work with a business mentor in the US later this summer, to fully explore my options, to determine where that focus should most profitably go and then follow through, of course. Recent developments in the UK have put my business development plans on hold for the moment, however. A magic wand could fix the weak Sterling, I’m sure, but until I find one, the unfavourable exchange rate means I’ll have to look for other options.

    So far, at least, I haven’t found any – local business consultants either want to teach me the kind of marketing skills I’ve long since put to good use for my clients or don’t understand freelance writing at all and online mentors are too often of the kind Carol warns of in “Avoid Bad Freelance Advice With These Simple-But-Important Questions”

    I could just carry on as before, but I hate standing still – I’ve managed to grow my business every year and have no intention of stopping now. Building my own website seems like a logical next step to take then, but which clients do I want to attract? Should I continue as a solo freelancer or build an agency? Trade under my own name or a company one? Emphasise my copywriting skills or my work as a proofreader and editor or my translation services?

    If I had clarity, right now, today, I’d be writing my own web copy. And enjoy doing so. Then I’d phone up that talented graphic designer who lives in the next town over and finally get my logo and business cards done. And start prospecting with a much clearer focus, cold calling, networking, whatever I needed to do to win the clients that would allow me to spend more time with my kids and still pay the bills.

  31. As I was thinking of my answer to your question, I kept convincing myself that it isn’t just about the money. But, who am I kidding, it will be about the money until we are able to set our finances right.

    In August 2015, I quit my three-year job as a software engineer and made the leap into freelance writing. Okay, I didn’t start freelancing during that first month because I was too scared of the inconsistent income. I’ve been writing online since my college years and I was finally able to do it at home (wanting to spend more time with my daughter and partner was among the biggest reasons why I finally made a career change).

    Fast forward 10 months later and here we are. My partner is a stay-at-home dad and we all rely on my freelance income. It has somehow gotten more consistent but not at a comfortable level yet.

    If I had all the resources, I can take lesser work at higher rates and focus more on building an online empire.

    We’d finally be able to live our nomadic lifestyle dreams and visit all the wonderful beaches here in our country — and have more time spent together as a family (we have the time; just not the extra money). Or we could at least continue camping and hiking around our area (without feeling guilty about the money we spent).

    And I guess that means I won’t have to worry so much about where to get the money the monthly mortgage. We’re a pretty young couple so we’re still building our family life, house and all.

    I lurk around the Internet nearly all day and read through various resources but sometimes it gets overwhelming. It’s hard to motivate yourself sometimes (I badly need a coach) and your morale and confidence often goes down when you have to compete with native speakers/writers.

    My ideal setup would be something that would allow me to focus on building something that will sustain us in the future without having to worry about where to get the money to get us through the present. I guess it has always been that that has kept me from being able to move forward with my plans.

  32. Barb Johnson says:

    This is an amazing challenge for me. As I read this email today and checked out the contest (I love contests by the way) I realized what I must face.

    I have all the resources I need. And I have had them for at least six years.

    Then why do I believe I must have one more report, one more course, one more book?

    I’m in the Den and have enjoyed the regular emails and the courses.

    I joined the Forum. Checked in a few times and then didn’t go back.

    Today as I look in the mirror I realize the reason I’m not a success at freelance writing is me. I must stop looking for the next product that will change my life. All that I need is available to me NOW!

    So today I made a new vow. I will use what I have. I will go to the courses I’ve started and work through them.

    I will go to the forum, find some writing buddies who will help keep me on track.

    I will get my website finished by the end of July. I have a domain, hosting, and nothing else.

    My first niche is to be a help in the arena of healthy aging. Things I am learning about keeping your brain sharp–like taking piano lessons!

    And writing about your life. Start with writing your own obituary! While it might sound like a downer it’s actually quite interesting. One of my friends did it, and what a comfort it was to family and friends.

    I love e-books and have ideas for four of them using inspirational articles I’ve already written.

    Thank you for this wake-up call. I’ll stay in the Den which will satisfy my need for new stuff.

    I am definitely on the way! And all it took was one sentence about a contest.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Barb, I’m glad you bring this up — because there are so many Den members I never see ask a question on the forums. We’re here to help!

  33. Sola says:

    At the moment, my freelance writing business is at the very early stage and it’s part time because i have a full time day job.

    Even though i don’t have all the resources needed yet, I have been doing the best that i can with what i have.

    For some months now, i have just been reading and learning about freelance writing but i finally took action last week by crafting my very first pitch and submitting to a pitching contest.

    The encouraging feedback received gave me enough confidence to submit this.

    So, having all the resources that i need to grow my freelance writing business right now,i believe my life will look like this ………

    I will be a full time freelance writer writing blog posts, guest posts, magazine articles, email newsletters, eBook content, white papers, case studies, guides, product descriptions, fiction, etc.

    As a full time freelance writer, my writing will be aimed at touching individual lives positively and helping businesses succeed.

    Earnings from my freelance writing business will be more than enough to meet all my financial obligations.

    I will be a member of the Freelance Writers Den.

    I will be a potential New York Times Bestselling Author.

    I will do something about educating the teeming population of unemployed youths in my country on the benefits of a freelance career instead of their endless search for scarce paid employment.

    In conclusion, a wonderful and satisfying freelance life indeed…

  34. Amber J Bannor says:

    My life would look, to me, like I would imagine adventure to feel to someone else. Plunge headlong into the the rush of inspiration from the certainty that I was finally accomplishing being able to live out loud through written words. I am not a person of many spoken words, my tongue often times failing to flop in the proper direction necessary to coherently express my intention. Writing has always been important to me. The power in the creation of how words sound and how they feel. How they can be used to guide and control the way that others perceive my vision of the world.

    I would be ecstatic to walk away from a job that I on most days truly enjoy for the opportunity to provide all that I need financially by doing something that I truly love. To know that it was time to flip the energy I expend daily in trying to focus my mind away from my next written creation into actually being able to create. What a rush that would be! In a somewhat close second to this would be the pride in being a living example to my family that it is never too late to decide what to be when you grow up.

    My life, with the right resources, would look like growth and learning. It would look like opportunity. It would look like I fit.

  35. You ask “What would my life look like if I had all the resources I needed to grow my freelance writing business right now?”

    First, I probably would not know which resource to start with. I’m finding out there are soooo many that you can literally get confused really easy-at least I can.

    I would definitely be diving into one of these resources daily just to learn a little bit each day. I’ve only been into the very basic beginnings of a blog. I really have not developed a theme, which is a HUGE problem for me right now.

    This feeling is really debilitating for me because when I am posed questions-like on a discussion board-I can usually spit out a good sized and interesting answer. I did the “discussion boards” for four years when I was in college getting my Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice.

    Secondly, I would have a completely set up basic blog with no broken links, slow loading pages, etc. (learned all of these things can happen through some self-disciplined research), which I believe is why I feel stuck. I am also discovering that most every resource I come across focuses on the “self-hosted” blogs, or websites through WordPress.

    Thirdly, by no means am I saying that I should have a completely setup blog after only having started approximately five weeks ago. But, for me anyway, there is a “strong learning curve” that I still have to overcome even after looking at the “teach yourself visually” series for WordPress and other such resources.

    Finally, I would have all the confidence in the world and probably be writing up a storm if I had all the resources I needed to grow my freelance writing business right now! I am following many different blogs, of which each is concentrated on a slightly different theme. I get this, but just cannot seem to pinpoint what direction I want to go.

    I think for the time being, I am going to just right out some “so called-blog posts” in a Word document just to get something on paper and then tweak them from there. I am hoping this might lead me to the door that is waiting for me to open!

    • Carol Tice says:

      Christine, it sounds like you’re more interested in building your blog than in getting freelance gigs — you might want to check out my Small Blog, Big Income ebook instead of the Den. 😉

      Also…you don’t really have to learn a lot about WordPress or design! You can hire someone for setup as it’s not something writers really need to learn (how many sites do you plan to set up?), and then take it from there. Personally, I like free W3Schools online for learning whatever areas you want to do yourself.

  36. Nichole Richardson says:

    If I had all the resources I needed then I would be forced to finally GET OFF MY ASS and use them!! I have been freelancing for a couple years and have a degree in mass comm/journalism but I have a million excuses not to get better clients. The highest I have been paid is $50 an article and my clips are not bad. I have many sources from very prestigious universities, businesses, and hospitals. I have so many questions and concerns that they keep me frozen in a state of stagnancy. With the resources, my questions would be cleared up once and for all and I would actually shit or get off the pot, so to speak. And there you have it.

  37. Amy Tufano-Moran says:

    Laying in bed waiting for the alarm clock to go off, I remind myself how I used to hit the snooze button multiple times and then drag myself out of bed and into the shower. I remember what it used to be like when I would contemplate if it was really worth it to take a sick day. Funny, I’m neither sick nor “sick” much anymore.

    As I sip my favorite herbal tea, because I no longer need caffeine to get me going, I enjoy the peace of the quiet house as the rest of my family sleeps. I spend the first hour catching up on emails and professional reading.

    When my daughter walks into my office, five minutes before I needed to get her out of bed, I marvel at the fact that I didn’t have to fight with her this morning to get up and get ready for school. Together we creep in on my son and laugh as we wake him up for school.

    I make a healthy breakfast that the kids can take their time to enjoy instead of having to eat dry cereal and drink a juice box in the car. When I drop them off, they wave and smile, happy to start their day.

    I head to my coworking space where I am able to focus on my upcoming contracts, away from the laundry and other distractions in my house. I enjoy a lunch catered from a local shop with some of the other people who share my coworking space. A fellow coworker tells me that she is ready to hire me for an on-going writing project. We schedule a time later in the week to work out our contract.

    After school I when I pick up the kids, my son comments about how happy he is that he doesn’t have to go to the after school program anymore. My daughter helps me make dinner and my husband is home in time to drive my son to practice.

    I have the patience to help my daughter with her homework, give her a bath, and read with both kids before they go to bed. I even have time to have a glass of wine with my husband and talk about which new restaurant we want to try for our regular date night. Money for this small luxury is no longer a problem.

    When my husband announces that he is ready for bed, I realize that I’m not that tired yet. I’m really excited to get going on my latest assignment. I spend another hour reading and researching for this project. When I look up at the clock, I think I really should get to bed so I am rested for tomorrow. As I lay in bed, once again I am thankful that I had the courage to become a freelance writer.

  38. Sophia says:

    Identical.

    Because all the resources aren’t enough. You can have access to the best information in the world, written by the most prolific writers and collated by the brightest minds.

    But, if it’s not put to practice it’s just decoration.

    It took me longer than I’m proud of to realize, on a practical level, that I’ve already got all I need to grow my freelance business.

    I’ve got a computer that works, an internet connection and access to so much quality information it makes my head spin. This really is the stuff of dreams.

    What I lacked was the drive to make it happen. I kept making excuses. Oh, if only I had access to this material or knew that person then things would be better. If I’d started earlier. If I was more talented. If. If. If.

    I was armed with a bunch of crappy excuses that all the resources in the world couldn’t help me through.

    It was a self inflicted mental block. But now that I’ve began to work with it, I am ridiculously grateful of all the information I do have at my fingertips.

  39. I suspect a chain of events would change in my life. Access to knowledge is empowering, perhaps even enough to overcome a tendency to be an introvert in an extrovert’s world. Confidence comes with knowledge and can tip the scales, changing impossible to possible, difficult to everyday, and some of the time to all the time.
    I would relish the ability to choose instead of chase writing topics, to not be a word slave for pennies when I can command dollars, and to move in the direction of writing my passions and interests instead of writing what I can find.
    What would my life look like? The life of a confident freelancer. What does it look like now? An outsider peeking inside by lifting up the tent flap to see what’s inside. A front row seat would change everything.

  40. Rachel Hansen says:

    “What would your life look like, if you had all the resources you needed to grow your freelance writing business right now?”
    If I had all the resources I needed to grow my freelance career, I would be a writer chameleon. I’d write for magazines, for e-courses, blogs and for business clients who need content. I’m an ex-newspaper reporter who left the business in search a new creative frontier with flexible hours to accommodate my growing family. My default is news reporting style, but I’m branching out and rediscovering my voice. A voice that sells. A voice that sings. A voice that commands attention. I’m building a portfolio with local and regional lifestyle magazines, but it doesn’t cover the cost of day care. I see the Writer’s Den as the fast-track to a writing career that’s financially viable and personally satisfying.

  41. Pinar Tarhan says:

    If I had all the resources: (To be fair, I have a lot of decent resources, but I still lack some mentoring/coaching to take things to the next level.)

    – I’m in the south of Turkey, Antalya. I spend a good two-three hours in the pool swimming. After this exercise, my brain is kicking with new ideas. I first write in batches. Then I do at least five pitches because I know my markets and potential clients so well. I read a few great blog posts and several book pages. I exercise in the pool again. I drink my coffee and do my research in the afternoon. Then I go to bed, and I follow the next day with similar variations according to that day’s plan.

    It’s my ideal summer working environment. I am healthy, full of ideas and can’t wait to work more. Work and play become one, and I love it that way.

    In the winter, I’m in abroad, traveling and writing. Because I make enough money from my writing to support this.

  42. First of all, I would like to thank you for this opportunity. I am happy to have a chance to join the Freelance Writers Den.

    If this World Was Mine

    If I had all the resources I needed to grow my freelance business, or if this (freelance writing) world was mine, and I could learn apply all the things I learned to become a better freelance writer, I would help people like Paul from Nigeria on his home turf to have a better life.

    I’m not just saying that because of this contest. Before I started to pursue a career as a freelance writer, I was volunteering in Central America. For just over two years, my husband and I had the unique privilege to live among the native and indigenous people in Guatemala and Nicaragua. We helped them by rebuilding dilapidated housing, procuring sources of safe water, and donating time and money to improve the lives of those around us. The only reason I returned to the United States was because my husband’s chronic health conditions were becoming worse in the tropical heat and humidity.

    When my freelance writing business grows, I will pick up where I left off, by visiting Central America at least twice each year to continue to help those in need.

    Part of a Privileged Community

    Freelance writing is one of the few professions that can be accomplished from any location with a reliable source of electricity and Internet connection and can be adapted to any schedule.

    Freelance writers are generous, caring people, who willing share valuable information and resources with fellow writers. There are enough assignments to be spread to many writers, so competition is seldom a problem.

    I feel privileged to be part of this community.

  43. As a writer I feel like a perpetual student. There is so much to learn and so many skills to grow. If I possessed all the things I needed to grow my business as a freelance writer then I imagine my life would be full of days at my desk. Cultivating ideas might become easier, as well as getting noticed by large publications, building a personal brand/following, and developing a larger income.
    I write. I want to make a living doing it. There is a path between one and the other, I have no idea how to clearly see the path and I wonder if I am brave enough to navigate it once I do.

  44. Fiona Tapp says:

    I moved to Canada from England a decade ago, as a Teacher. When I had my son, I was laid off, so I decided to start a home daycare. This year, I have returned to my first passion, writing. I’ve had some early success, which means I have been able to reduce the number of children I care for, but ideally I would like to write full time and not have any daycare children at all.
    If I had all the resources I need to pursue my freelancing career right now, I would close the daycare and work for long periods of time from England, I would have the freedom to work from anywhere with an internet connection and I would probably have another baby!

  45. I started my path down freelance writing as a career when I was laid off a few months ago. I realized then that I had a vision of what I wanted my life to look like, and I believed – and still do – that doing this thing I love will get me there.

    But where is “there” for me?

    “There” is being able to put in several hours of client writing, and still get in time to write fiction, in the time that I used to commute.
    “There” means dropping off my son, the one with Asperger’s, at school every day, and being available for him on his rough days.
    “There” means having the time to spend with my daughter, who just started her first blog.
    “There” means getting to take a vacation this year.
    “There” means having the freedom to set my own hours, so I can go to the gym when there is actually a machine open.
    “There” means sitting outside on a beautiful day with my laptop, working or brainstorming or planning.

    But most of all, “there” means having confidence in my business and control of my career.

    • Donna Lee Hellmann says:

      Wow. This is almost exactly what I was going to write. It looks like we have a lot of the same goals.

  46. Penny Fox says:

    Dear Carol:

    I love reading all the reasons why people want to write and how having the resources they needed to do that would enable them to do that better.

    I believe everyone has a story to tell, but some of us have the ability to help people tell their stories. I also believe that some people don’t have a voice or think their story isn’t important.

    My life would look similar to what it does now if I had all the resources I needed to grow my writing business the way I would like it, except that I would have a larger audience for sharing information, knowledge, and experience. My hope is that other people’s lives would look different because of my writing. We all need to know that we’re not alone in our lives, whether we’re going through wonderful and amazing times, or we’re deep in despair because of hard circumstances. I want to be part of that and the satisfaction that comes from that would be very gratifying.

  47. Joan says:

    “What would your life look like, if you had all the resources you needed to grow your freelance writing business right now?”

    Life would be great, I would be passing by to tell you how good business is going for me. Only that isn’t happening even with all the resources I have, something is missing. This doesn’t mean the resources aren’t any good, they’re the finest you can get.

    The missing ingredient to having my freelance business move forward is having a mentor show me.

    In the professional ballet world you watch the Principal Ballerina in the role of Odette/Odile in Swan Lake. If you didn’t learn the style and the poise, you didn’t make the grade.

    Once you know the style and poise of how a business is run, then you can move it forward.

  48. Dawn Engler says:

    What would my life look like with all the resources I need to grow my freelance business?
    I would spend way more time writing and less time looking for said resources.
    I would have more time for my family. It is said that entrepreneurs are the only people that will work for themselves 80 hours a week to avoid working for someone else for 40 hours.
    I see more play in that life. I see less worry about finances and the future.
    I see more time to enjoy the friendships I have made while on the journey growing my freelance business.

  49. M.D.Finley says:

    “What would your life look like, if you had all the resources you needed to grow your freelance writing business right now?”

    If I had all the resources I needed, I would dedicate my mind and energy full-time to the work of changing the world and the way it thinks.

    You see, we all work so hard to provide for life, because unless we are blessed Trump-style, we have to find a way to (hopefully) work at what we love, while at the same time taking care of our familial responsibilities. My effort and my energy is consumed trying to strike a balance between these two necessary poles.

    If however, I had all the resources I could need to grow, then I would in fact be growing. I would be working on the commish projects that I wanted to, when I wanted to, because the work and the requests would be coming in as I needed them to. I could spend less time marketing and more time writing. Like established actors that can pick and choose what films they want to work on, because they have the leverage and popularity to do so.

    There are so many important words that need to be written and spoken in this generation, and so many important people that need to be saying and speaking those words. If I had the resources I needed, my journal, The Chicago Thinkers Journal, would be the haven for those writers and thinkers.

    As Trump’s children will inherit the empire, so would my descendants inherit the rich legacy of an organization that was a resounding gong in the conscious of America and beyond.

    Thank you

  50. Jay Stempin says:

    Creative writing has wired me, electronically, to the world. Isn’t that what global connectivity does to us all? It brings our tribe of writers closer. So close we can feel the jungle drums beating in our collective hearts.

    I consider writing everyone’s gift. It’s a matter of being true and sharing our inherent knowledge with the world. Publication, for me, has come in small doses. But even the small stuff counts! All my publications have been non-fiction pieces. Guest editorials and press releases being the mainstay. More recently however, for the past ten years–I am a determined soul, just like you–I’ve been working on a young-adult fantasy fiction manuscript about a young man who suffers from a seizure disorder. His disorder is actually a gift, one that catapults him into an electrifyingly beautiful forest….the world awaits. Take my hand and walk with me into the light cast by the written word.

    Jay

  51. Abby says:

    The scene opens on young Abby, freshly awakened by the weak screaming of the morning cat.

    “Hush now,” Abby says, pouring food into her bowl. She turns to start the coffee, then — BONNNNNNG — boots up her computer. She quietly relishes her three-second commute as she snuggles into her fuzzy robe.

    It’s Friday morning, which means Abby must draw up invoices for clients of her successful freelance writing business. Today (as usual) they all contain commas. She shoots them off – one, two, three, four, and more! – and waits for the checks to trickle in. Well, she can’t /just/ wait. Abby is becoming a hot commodity in the writing world, and nearly every waking moment is spent growing her craft and business.

    First on the docket, several hours of work for existing clients, writing everything from grants to tweets. Then, she has a meeting with a publisher of travel guides in the nearest major city. The publisher is looking for reliable, research-focused writers who can update his existing lineup of guides, starting with the one for Abby’s hometown, and luckily she brought her business cards to the industry conference they both attended.

    Even in the evening, Abby still works – but not too hard. She hits a handful of local events, which she covers for a client, with her friends and boyfriend, taking copious notes and connecting with the organizers and venue owners while she’s at it. She pays for her boyfriend and keeps all the receipts – yay for tax write-offs!

    She gets back home late at night, exhausted but fulfilled, once again met by the panicked mews of the cat.

    “Good girl,” Abby says, as she lays down the bowl of overpriced wet food in front of the cat. “Tonight, you eat Fancy Feast.”

  52. Exactly the same.

    If I had all the resources I need to grow my freelance writing business right now, my life would look exactly the same.

    Change will come only when I start USING the resources I already have, step by step. We always have something that enables us to take a next step, and then another, and another…

    Must go now… I’ve got so many steos to take!

    If we could vote for a winner of this contest, my vote goes to Paul in Nigeria. He’s clearly trying and remains determined, despite seemingly impossible conditions. Resoucefulness beats resources – every time.

    • Paul says:

      Thank you for your kind words i agree with You Resourcefulness beat resources everytime…You either find a way or breakdown walls and buildings to make a new way..The important thing is let your will to succeed be stronger than the circumstances threatening to stop you and you might just build a castle for yourself in the stars.

  53. Bonnie Platti says:

    Dear Carol,

    I always believed in myself and that I can do anything I set my mind too. However for the past several years after many setbacks trying to start an online business, figuring out what was the perfect fit, I came across affiliate marketing and article writing. For the past two years, I have put it off and really wanted to start something. With the changes of writing articles online, I want to learn more about having my own business and writing for companies, local and far away. I wanted to be a virtual assistant with a background in property management.

    I took some courses and I feel very confident that this will be the year. I read your blog and I would love to read all your books. This contest is a great opportunity for me to shine.

  54. Carol Gillaspy says:

    If I had all the resources made available to me to help get my freelance writing career off the ground, I feel it would open so many doors for me. I have always loved writing and have been told that I am good at it. But even more, I love sharing what I write with others.

    Every day I pray that God would show me additional ways to earn extra income. Like most people, I would really like to get our family out of debt. This extra income would enable us to pay off a lot of people that we owe and help prepare us for our second dream.

    My husband and I are full-time foster parents. Right now, where we live, we are limited space wise and financially on how many children we can foster at any one given time. Having this extra income could enable or help us to purchase a much bigger piece of property, preferably an old farmhouse to restore with some land, and then we would be able to take in even more foster children and hopefully, someday start adopting. We have always wanted a big family but just never had the means to get started.

    And, it’s not only about the income. I would also be doing something that I love to do and just become better at it over time.

  55. I retired as a step of faith to pursue writing and currently my only income is a rather meager check from Social Security each month.If I had all the resources, I need to become a freelance writer it would allow me to earn an income doing what I love, writing full time. It would empower me to pursue my dream to write quality blogs and books that will inspire and encourage others to be all they were created to be.

    Your blog and books have inspired and encouraged me so much adding the Writes Den would just take it to the next level. For me, it is not just about making money. It is about adding value, and I believe that is what you teach.

  56. Ever opened your email inbox and read “Your article just went live”?

    If I had all that I needed to grow my freelancing business, I’d see that day in and day out with fat columns of accepted pitches too.

    For me, it’s not really about the income. It’s about spreading the good news about the area I work in: memory techniques.

    Right or wrong … It’s a full-time job just trying to give the information away!

    But I know that if I could get more freelance writing gigs in my field, the world would look much more peaceful. In fact, there’s good evidence to suggest more people who learn to use their imagination to rapidly acquire new knowledge, the better the planet becomes. (See The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker fir compelling support of my conjecture.)

    The world would look more civil too, because it’s hard to go on fighting when you’re busy learning. Conflicts dissolve when more people can speak different languages and understand different cultures, and that’s just for starters. Art, music, literature, history … all become common ground for more people simply by using the gift of memory.

    The best part: for so many people who struggle with their memory, life will simply become a lot more fun.

    That’s what life would look like, and if I could just crack that nut of figuring out what editors and publishers want in writing about memory, I can create it for them. And I’m confident that with even just a few higher profile clips in my pocket, I would have an agent in a heartbeat to help burden the load of finding publishing opportunities.

    And that would be a very memorable moment indeed. 🙂

    • Carol Tice says:

      I’m glad you wrote this, Anthony, because it points up some of the confusion I think is out there about what freelance writing IS.

      I gather you are an expert in and creator of the memory method you advocate…and it sounds like your real goal is to get a book deal to write about it. You imagine securing an agent will be the magic wand that makes this happen. And that freelance writing will help you find that agent.

      Here are the problems with that idea: First off, freelance writing is a career pursued for pay. What you want is not freelance writing — you want to be an authority blogger or essayist for free, to promote your point of view and your expertise.

      Most of the freelance writing work available is not personal essay or first-person, opinion or advocacy writing on a single point of view — it’s balanced, reported nonfiction by an unbiased observer (or writing for businesses, about what they do). You might want to hire a PR person and seek to get quoted in pieces like these rather than striving to write your own, as few outlets are looking for someone who’s got their mind made up and wants to write about their point of view, in the absence of other input…unless their name is Guy Kawasaki or Richard Branson, or someone like that. I’m hard-pressed to think of a large-audience blog or a publication that would want a columnist who’d basically have the same thing to say — “use my memory method!” — in every column.

      I see you have a blog — I’d recommend using it to get those guest posts and articles, and see if you can build a large audience around it. At which point, you really don’t need an agent or a publisher, because you can self-publish and earn more (and likely reach more people) using your own platform.

      If you really love the traditional publishing route…what gets you an agent or a book deal these days is building your own platform and proving you have an audience already assembled who would want to buy your book. I can tell you, I was approached to write both of the traditional print business books I’ve done, based on the writing I’d done online for relevant outlets to the topic they wanted written.

      Hope that helps you understand how the marketplace operates! I actually don’t think Freelance Writers Den would be a good resource for you, as it’s for writers looking to find paying clients.

      • Very appreciative of this. I think I won the contest after all! 🙂

        My site is successful in exactly the ways that you described, but you’ve helped me understand why this route is not necessarily the way to go.

        That said, I’ve emailed 200+ agents about my platform in the form of what I think is a solid book proposal (based on Michael Hyatt’s book proposal training).

        My platform and success is significant and by all means should attract at least some interest in representation. I have all the proof in the world of thousands of books and video courses sold, hundreds of reviews and testimonials. I just don’t know what I’m doing wrong in my book proposal.

        I’ve heard from one PR person that I should cut my hair if I want to expect acceptance from the mainstream publishing world. Frankly, I think that is the most ignorant thing I’ve ever heard, and I’m sure Malcolm Gladwell would agree.

        If short hair and a business suit is the magic ticket, however, then I think sticking with my current program and platform building strategies will be more than fine. It just means reaching fewer people with an effective take on memory techniques that no one else I’ve encountered teaches that gets results because no one else out there creating trainings uses them for the real world purposes that I do.

        The only question I might have left over is if you do know of a blog, teacher or PR person in this area who might help. If so, that would be awesome.

        Either way, thanks again for your notes. I appreciate them very much and rest assured, I love following your blog and have learned a lot even if I’m not exactly your target audience. 🙂

        • Carol Tice says:

          Anthony, I think pursuing representation is a tough, tough game these days, as the traditional book-house world is busy imploding. I think you could hire someone and throw tens of thousands at that and still not get anywhere, necessarily. And can’t say I know anyone I’d particularly recommend for that. It’s about connections — start going to book and literary conferences where you can meet agents.

          If you have an audience that size, put out your book and start promoting it! There is increasingly a progress from self-pubbed book to traditional print, once you prove you can sell on your own.

          • Rob says:

            I’ve met three people who got published. Two were in Australia. One got published by a big British publisher, but it was kind of a fluke. The 3rd was in the U.S. He worked for the New Yorker and had already published one book. A 4th person had all the credentials in the world, but chose to self-publish because he didn’t think he could find a traditional publisher. His book is selling well thanks to all his contacts and efforts. He started promoting it about a year before he published and crowd funded his travel. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s hard to get a traditional publisher. It’s hard to self-publish, too, but if you have a following, that may be the way to go.

            • Carol Tice says:

              Yeah, in general I think of selling books for primary income as a real moonshot. Most people who sell nonfiction books do it as lead-gen, to sell consulting/coaching/conferences etc.

    • Sue says:

      If I had all the resources to grow my freelance writing business, I would have the following in no particular order of preference:

      1. Anthony Metivier as my memory coach. This way I would finally master speaking and writing Chinese Mandarin up to intermediate level within a span of 2 years. I have tried learning Chinese Mandarin more than 3 times over. A big ambition of mine, that Anthony could help with, is to learn practical math from Mathemagician Arthur Benjamin.

      2. Carol Tice as a personal friend and mentor. It goes without saying why : )

      3. With a decent income, to travel for an entire month, every six months, to all corners of Asia-Pacific, so I could write about all my experiences which would be off the radar of mainstream press.

      4. More than enough money to pay for the visit of my writing buddy (I am looking out for him/her on Freelance Writers Den) to Barcelona, Spain. Or for my trip over to see my buddy wherever she/he may be.

  57. Paul says:

    First of all am living in third world country where electricity is as scarce as gold, secondly we are still using 3G connection for internet,third of all paypal dont even allow payment into Nigeria…So if i have all the resources needed to grow my freelance writing career i wont be an 18 years old newbie freelance writer working hours for penny pay on fiveer…If i have all the resources i need i will be somewhere close to my hero Bamidele Onibulusi who happens to be my hero and inspiration by the way am still saving to get his freelance starters guide… Anyway am not complaining,am determined and motivated.this is just me putting the freelance writers community notice watch out for me am coming.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Paul, thanks for kicking off the essay contest! You know, I mentor so many 60+ writers who would kill to be 18 and starting out in this career. 😉 They wanted to but put it off all their working lives, and are trying to get started in retirement.

      All of us have to take our supposed negatives and turn them into positives, and use them in our careers. When you’re young, there are youth brands and blogs who’d love to have you as a writer, and would never have me.

      I know Oni has found ways to get paid in Nigeria even with the Paypal problem…so don’t let that stop you!

      This post may help: http://www.makealivingwriting.com/be-taken-seriously-freelance-writer/

      • Paul says:

        Thank you carol and about turning our negatives to positives we Nigerians are specialists at that we aways strive no matter the circumstances Bamidele Oni is a testament to that.

    • Hi Paul,

      Yes you can do it; the odds are stacked against you, yes, but you definitely can do it. I was in the exact same position as you are — at 16 years old — but I somehow made things work.

      Send me an email through my blog’s contact form and let me know you came from here; we should talk!

      Best Regards,
      Bamidele

      • Paul says:

        OMG…Bamidele just ask me to reach out to him.I cant contain my excitement you know that feeling when someone you look upto and want to emulate glance at you…to quote the titanic right now “am the king of the world”