How Freelance Writers Can Make Their Dreams Come True - Make a Living Writing

How Freelance Writers Can Make Their Dreams Come True

Carol Tice | 18 Comments

How Freelance Writers Can Make Their Dreams Come True. Makealivingwriting.comAre you struggling to meet your freelance writing goals?

Maybe you’re having trouble even getting started?

You wish you had better-paying clients?

You want to move your writing in a new direction, but you can’t seem to get going?

Well, there is a proven, powerful way for you to ramp up your freelance-writing business. I’ve used it many times, and it always seems to work.

What is this awesome way to get the freelance work you want? The secret is right here:

Oh, you don’t speak Hebrew?

Let me help you out.

That says, “Blessed is the One who spoke and the world came into being, blessed is He.”

No, I’m not getting all religious on you. Stay with me here. You don’t even have to believe in a higher power for this method to work for you.

This opening line from a Jewish hymn points the way to how you can start making things happen as a freelance writer.

What that line is really saying is: When God speaks, creation occurs. His word is deed, his thought is action.

And we are created in God’s image, yes?

Whether you believe that or not, you’ll have to admit we walk this world like gods, in many ways. We, among all the creatures, are one of the few with the power of speech.

Whatever your spiritual beliefs, we can agree on this:

Our words have tremendous power.

We know that kind words can heal and hurtful ones kill.

By talking about what you want, you begin to make it real.

Of course, simply saying, “I want some $1-a-word clients to call me up right now” is not going to make them call.

But here’s the funny thing: If you start talking to people about what you plan to do to earn more, I find it’s highly likely to happen.

If you say, “I’m going to write 10 query letters this month,” your odds of getting those queries written and mailed just skyrocketed.

I recently started saying, “I’m going to start a free weekly call where I answer freelance writers’ questions,” and what do you know, last Wednesday the first Freelance Writer’s Free-for-All took place. I had no idea how I was going to make time for that in my schedule, but now, there it is, every Wednesday at lunchtime. (NOTE: This post is several years old, and I’m no longer holding these calls.)

Why does this work?

It’s because there is one emotion that can surmount our fears of putting ourselves out there as freelance writers — and that is our fear of disappointing (or looking stupid in front of) the people we care about.

Once you’ve told your parents, or your three best friends, “I’m going to cold-call 20 businesses this month,” you’re going to do it. Because you just know those loved ones are going to ask you later — “Hey, did you make those calls?”

And you’d rather die than say, “Oh, um, yeah…I didn’t really get to that.” Ugh! The shame of it.

Talking about it also changes something inside you.

There’s power in hearing your goal spoken out loud, instead of having it just lurking inside your brain. It makes it so much more real when you hear it aloud, doesn’t it?

Your can speak your dreams into being

To start changing your freelance income, start talking to those close to you about what you plan to do. Yes, feel free to leave a comment and tell us all what you plan to do here on the blog, but I don’t find putting it in print is as powerful as saying it out loud to someone close to you.

Break it down into concrete, achievable things you can do this month. Then, talk it up. See what happens. If this works for you, write and let me know.

18 comments on “How Freelance Writers Can Make Their Dreams Come True

  1. Judy on

    P.S. Carol–songwriting, how cool. Would love to hear about that sometime. Maybe you can weave the story into a blog post. Are you still involved with music or songwriting? I have always been way into music.

    Aha–just thought of an idea. Maybe you can do a blog post, or discussion in the membership site, about “music to write by”–music that writers like to have in the background (if any) while writing. I imagine different people have different preferences on this. It’d be fun though to hear what music other people listen to while writing.

    • Carol Tice on

      That’s a fun idea for a user-generated post Judy! I’ll put on my list. Have one post like that coming up but it would be fun to do that sometime.

  2. Judy on

    This is such an awesome reminder–thanks! I love the Hebrew, too. I’ve been wanting to learn some for a while, and I found a cool children’s Hebrew ebook so that I can learn along with my son. It’s fun to learn new languages.

    RE: the conversation about leaving jobs and venturing out and freelancing, etc.–oh yes! It’s like I live in a totally different world from people who have full-time jobs for employers. It’s a total mindset shift. I find I’m a lot more happy, energized, inspired, etc. by mainly being around other freelancers and entrepreneurs. I “get” people like that, and vice versa. I need to be around people who support what I’m doing and what I dream of doing/being.

    I do believe that the earnings potential for freelance writing (and for so many other types of entrepreneurship) is far greater than it is in full-time jobs. I mean, when I look around, the people I see who are making tons of money (and who are happy with their lives and livelihoods at the same time) are the entrepreneurs.

    SO many people are truly not living their lives and their dreams (or like you said, don’t even know what their dreams are), have not stopped and contemplated who they are and what their passions and gifts are, etc. It’s SO SO sad–life is such a gift, and to waste it like that is an utter tragedy. I think so many of our systems/institutions, such as the way our modern business world is set up, are partly the cause of that.

    When you do anything and live any way that’s not really the “norm” such as freelancing, people will shun you or not understand you. That can be difficult, especially at first, but over time the freedom of just being who you truly are, loving what you’re doing in your life, and being content with all that…is priceless.

    BTW re: job stability/opportunities, I read somewhere not very long ago that freelance writing jobs are growing at a much quicker pace than full-time writing jobs are, and that within the next several years, a very high percentage of writing work will be freelance. Wish I could remember where I read that so I could point you toward the article.

    Here’s to all of our dreams, and to us going after them! Carpe diem!

    Judy

    • Carol Tice on

      Hi Judy — you read right — I’ve reported on the growth of freelancing for the Entrepreneur magazine blog. Companies tried outsourcing a lot of services like writing during the downturn, and they found it worked just great. They’re not going back. In the future, what we do will increasingly be outsourced. So those of us who build our freelance writing business NOW will be in the best position to capitalize on that.

      Especially if we keep healthcare reform and more choices and affordability comes in for entrepreneurs, we’ll see this trend continue to accelerate.

      I think in the future, people who have jobs are going to be the odd ones getting the strange looks. “Oh, you mean you help someone else do the thing that’s their passion, instead of being in control of your own destiny and having unlimited earning potential? Aren’t you worried about getting fired and losing your home? Poor thing…”

      Personally, I know too many people that’s happened to in the past couple years to ever again believe in job security.

  3. Anne Wayman on

    I do something in my mind that I call allowing – allowing income to flow to me and others. If I let myself get jammed up with fear, everything stops… working to allow seems to both calm me and open things up again.

  4. vonnie on

    You’re right! I’ve been smothering my dreams but they kept fighting for air through my migraine headaches! Finally, my new boss aka primadonna pushed me over the edge. Maybe I’ll thank her for that someday -lol!!!

    Thanks.

    • Carol Tice on

      Ha! It was a boss switch that ended up propelling me back into freelancing as well. I was sooo happy at my last staff job…until the editors who’d hired me left. Then I kept waiting for the new guy to get our awesome culture…took a while for me to realize that culture was GONE. And it was time to move on.

      I totally keep meaning to write him a thank-you note since I make so much more now… 🙂

  5. vonnie on

    P.S.S. I forgot to mention that at my farewell party, I made a toast for all of us to pursue our dreams and none of them (7) knew what there’s dreams were. Instead they toasted to getting raises. You’re right, It will only be a matter of time before we drift apart.

    Thanks again.

    • Carol Tice on

      Wow, that is sad. But corporate life will do that to your dreams, smother them until you can’t even remember what they were, much less pursue them.

  6. vonnie on

    Carol,
    In defense of my work friends, they have been supportive and even threw me a big farewell party. But, I think you’re right about being jealous and confused. As long as I keep the conversation about work, it’s fine but when it’s about what I’m doing, I can feel the eye-rolling.

    Thanks for your supportive comment and am anxious to see Wednesday’s post about making new friends.

    PS: Like Marya, I didn’t receive a free report either. Thanks!

  7. Marya on

    Hi Carol, I agree one hundred percent. If you want to see your goals materialize, you need to spell them out first. Thats the first step isn’t it? And spreading the word can only take you further ahead. Thanks for the inspiring post, I needed to hear it today.

    • Marya on

      Carol, I am already a subscriber of your blog however I don’t remember getting the free report. Is there a way for me to get this now? I really need it. Cheers

  8. vonnie on

    Hey Carol,

    This is my second week of taking the leap into fulltime freelance writing. The only friends I have at the moment are from my former day job but when I talk to them about writing goals, their eyes start to glaze over. They say things like, “Are you making as much money as you did while you were working here, yet? How much is health insurance going to cost you? And the dreaded one is “You are so lucky that you can take it easy, now.” Ugh!!

    I understand because I’ve been working 8-5 for 30+ years so this is a huge step for me. So I’m making my own list of goals and ‘to do’s’ and I check them off as I go along. My most satisfying goal will be when I can tell them I’m making more than I did at the day job – and have it be true, of course. 🙂

    • Carol Tice on

      Your second week! Well, congrats.

      I’ll tell you a little story about when I first quit a job. I was so happy I was going to be pursuing songwriting. I had a party and invited all my work friends!

      And no one came. I was crushed! But after a bit, I figured out why.

      So few people have the courage to leave their dependence on corporate America. When they see someone doing it, they’re jealous and confused. They probably can’t imagine having had the discipline to save up some money with which to start a new career. Your move challenges everything they’ve been told — that a job means security, that healthcare is impossible without an employer, and on and on.

      In fact, in the 21st century being a successful freelancer with many clients means security, while a job is tenuous at best. Corporate benefit packages have been shriveling for decades, anyway.

      Your work friends probably won’t want to hang out with you, and they’re not going to be supportive. You need a new set of friends, who’re on this journey and can cover your back. As it happens, you can see Wednesday’s post for more on where you can find them. 🙂

      I’ve been paying my own healthcare since 2006. Yes, it costs more. But what’s the cost of never doing what you want with your life?

      Yes, freelancing has obstacles. But if it’s really what you want, you solve them. That’s all.

      It was a year or two into freelancing when the thought occurred to me — I could not just replace my salary, I could make more.

      This year, I’m projecting I’ll make 100% more. You have unlimited earning potential as a freelancer…so welcome to it, Vonnie!

  9. Rosie Taylor on

    I like what you said here about speaking your dreams into reality. It’s amazing how words can start a change deep down where they incubate into action. The added accountability of sharing those dreams with close friends and family is important to push you through those rocky moments of doubt when you need to be prodded on. It’s unexplainable, but when you make the decision to ‘live your dream’ you suddenly have your eyes open to opportunity and it’s as if the universe just starts throwing benefits in your path. If you’ve prepped yourself with the smallest action on your plan somehow you see that listing or query that is a dynamite fit. It’s not about luck, but when you’re prepped you’ve already set yourself up to take advantage of those chance moments. Thanks for sharing this advice, Carol. As always … profound and useful!

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