The Story of How I Went from Broke Wannabe Writer to Living the Freelance Life

Lorraine Reguly jobsBy Linda Formichelli

I always knew I wanted to be a writer. Yet I ended up in a Master’s program in Slavic Linguistics at UC Berkeley. (And yes, I did love it!)

Then I had to make a choice: Do I want to continue on with the PhD program or follow my writing dream?

I chose the dream, started cranking out queries, and slowly cut down on the hours I was working in a small office as I got more writing work.

I was able to do this because Eric and I kept our expenses low: We had no car, no mortgage, and no kids. We had paid off our credit card debt in full, slowly and painfully, and vowed not to let the balance creep up again.

When we had six months of living expenses in the bank I made the leap into full-time freelancing.

Eric and I moved into a cheap apartment situated across from a Dunkin’ Donuts where a motorcycle gang hung out all night, revving their engines. We bought a used Renault for $500 from the Rent-A-Wreck. The doors didn’t lock, the fabric was hanging in great swags from the ceiling, and the upholstery was so filthy that it stained your clothes if you sat on it on a hot day. We learned to wear dark clothing and cover the seats with a towel in the summer.

Air conditioning? CD player? Surely you joke.

Whenever I got sick, I took the train to a low-income clinic in Boston, because we didn’t have health insurance.

But there was one thing I DID spend money on: The tools of a writer. Envelopes, stamps (LOTS of stamps), professionally printed stationery, a computer, a tape recorder, office supplies, a fax machine, a separate phone line for the fax, Internet service, a nice set of clothes (for meeting copywriting clients), and more. If I thought it would help me in my new career, I bought it.

I also worked my ass off. Whenever I wasn’t working on an assignment, I was writing queries, compiling a mailing list (at the library — by hand!) for my copywriting, doing direct mail campaigns, visiting prospects, and tweaking my website (which I built myself after learning HTML from a book I found left in a phone booth).

That first year, I earned $30,000 from my writing — more than I’d ever made at any of the 26 other jobs I’d held since the age of 15.

Two things I learned:

1. The importance of investing in your career.

Not only did I buy office equipment and supplies…in the years since then, I’ve invested thousands (and thousands) of dollars improving at the craft and business of writing.

I’ve hired life coaches, joined classes, paid for subscriptions, and more. Just recently when I decided I want to do more teaching and mentoring, I:

  • Took an online class on how to teach an e-course.
  • Paid a writing coach to help me make the shift.
  • Completed a 13-week coaching course, which was a major investment of time and money.

I know that every cent I put into my career will come back to me, and then some. You can’t start and succeed at any career without an investment of money, energy, and time, and freelancing is no different.

2. The value of butt-in-seat hard work.

When you’re first starting out as a writer, your most valuable asset is time. If you use it well, you’ll thrive.

New writers always ask me how many queries I sent out when I was first starting, because they think if they do the same, they’ll be guaranteed the same results.

I don’t know how many queries I sent out. I never counted. I just know that all of my time, when not completing assignments, was spent marketing. I must have marketed 40 hours a week at the beginning.

Freelancing is a numbers game, and it’s not for the faint of heart. You need to produce, produce, produce. You do NOT need to let rejection, fear, lack of confidence, depression, or anxiety keep you from going after your goal. All you need to do is write, and keep writing, and market, and keep marketing.

So: I’ve been freelancing full time for 16 years now, and have invested time and money every time I decided to take a new direction, such as working fewer hours but maintaining the same income, becoming a mentor, and teaching e-courses. I don’t have to market as much anymore so I can rest on my laurels a bit — until I change direction, in which case I need to market my rear end off all over again.

And I’m proud to say that I now have health insurance, a car with clean seats, and a house that’s nowhere near a fast food joint.

How about you: What’s YOUR broke-to-riches story, and what did you learn from it? Let us know in the Comments below!

Stick figure by Lorraine Reguly. Thanks, Lorraine!

rw_ebook_banners_300x630_query letters that rock

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85 comments… add one
  • So inspiring, Linda. Ya hear it over and over again from the folks who are really making it happen–you, Carol, Jon Morrow, etc. — there’s simply no substitute for hard work. Ya gotta want it…BAD! Thx for sharing your story–it’s very motivating…

  • Hi Linda,

    I feel as though I wasted around two years of my freelance writing career messing around on content mills and bid sites. In this time you were already exceeding $30,000 per year!!

    I am embarrassed that I wasted so much time not really making any progress.

    I am only now realizing what it really takes to be successful at this gig.

    Thanks for the great article, it is added motivation for me to dig in and keep driving forward. No more time-wasting for me.

    • Thanks, Chris! I feel like people see writers like me and think, “Wow, it’s so easy.” Sure, it’s a lot easier now — after I’ve been doing it for 16 years and know the ropes. But in the beginning, it was all hard work and making sacrifices.

  • I did 2 things right—I started freelancing first on the side while I had a “real” job and then made sure I had 12 months of living expenses saved up before I made the leap. But then I made a HUGE rookie mistake…My first year as a full-timer, I had one client that equaled more than 90% of my income. It was great while it lasted, but then they decided to ship work overseas plus my main contact left. That left me scrambling for clients and made my second year less than stellar. I almost had to give up the freelance life. Fortunately, my marketing efforts paid off in the end. I learned to NEVER NEVER NEVER put all your eggs in one basket. Diversification is so necessary–by industry, by client, and by geography.
    –>hi Linda…miss seeing you and all my other Eastern NC peeps. 🙂

    • Thanks for sharing your experiences! That’s a really good point? You need to diversify right away. Get in touch if you’re going to be in your Raleigh again soon!

  • Linda, honestly this is the best article I have read in some time. I have those moments when I question the effort, but the passion in the work tends to override any doubts.

    Just today I had written a post regarding what a typical day looks like. Up at 6am and working my ass off around the kids schedules. I usually don’t hit the bed until 11:30pm. During that time I am working on assignments and prospecting by contacting any social contacts I feel might be able to use a freelance writer.

    Thanks so much giving readers a glimpse into your life.

  • Love this post! Bringing back some memories…especially of going to the library.

    Around the time I broke into freelancing, I drove a tiny Geo Metro. With no airconditioning. In L.A. Good times.

  • Thanks for your honesty Linda. It’s always helpful when people can read the “I remember when” stories. At least, those are an inspiration for me.

  • I’m glad you wrote this, because when you’re at the bottom, it seems impossible that you’ll ever get to the top. It’s nice to know that others have done what I want to do.

    I’m still working on it… The whole sit down and do it is so much harder than it sounds. As I’ve gotten assignments, it has gotten easier to get publishers to take a chance on me. Now I just need to kick it up a notch (or 15 or 20 notches).

    My POS vehicle is a battered and beaten Honda passport that has the hood tied down, blows occasional blue smoke and smells disgusting thanks to my son leaving wet camping gear in the back of it.

  • Great story…so inspiring! Thanks for sharing your story. I’ve been freelancing 10+ years, but mostly part-time as I’m home with the kiddos. I am stockpiling information to help me jump start my business when they are older (and in school), and your points on investing in your business with courses, training, etc. are jumping up higher on my to-do list now!

    • Great! One caveat — there’s SO much info you can get bogged down. That’s what’s happening to me now as my new thing is to learn more about blogging and marketing. I just hired a business coach to help me cut through the crap.

  • Linda,

    I must say that I was pleasantly surprised to see my drawing accompany a post in which you reveal personal experiences — only because that is what I do in my blog. Fitting! Thank you for paying a tribute to “Lorraine Reguly’s Life” this way!

    I anticipated seeing this on Monday, so I was doubly surprised to see it so soon. I am glad that you found a use for it… I cannot draw, but I am creative. Writers have to be, in my opinion, as creativity is what sets us apart and makes each of us unique.

    It is great to see you share tidbits of your life in your blogs posts; connecting on a personal level is a surefire way to keep your readers interested in what you have to say! (Professionalism has its place; personal perspicuity does, too.)

  • Wow, Linda, I wonder if we know each other. I studied both linguistics and Russian literature at U.C. Berkeley. I was there in the early 1990s.

    • I’m so sorry, I replied to you a few days ago and it looks like my comment never went through! I was in the Slavic Linguistics MA program from 1993-1995. I didn’t take many lit classes, but I did take a couple general undergrad linguistics courses. Too funny if we were in a class together!

  • This was a terrific, motivating, inspiring post, Linda! Thanks so much for sharing the down-and-dirty details of how you got started!!

    I do have a question, just because I’m curious. But if you had to give an estimate of how many hours total you worked per week when you were doing all that stuff (pasted below), how many would you say?

    “…Whenever I wasn’t working on an assignment, I was writing queries, compiling a mailing list (at the library ? by hand!) for my copywriting, doing direct mail campaigns, visiting prospects, and tweaking my website (which I built myself after learning HTML from a book I found left in a phone booth).
    That first year, I earned $30,000 from my writing…”

    • Thanks, Holly! I’d say I worked at least 40 hours a week, but it was so long ago that I can’t really remember. But however much waking time I had where I wasn’t writing assignments, I was marketing.

  • This is really inspiring! This really shows hard work and dedication are tools to success. It’s giving me the motivation to also pursue writing. Thanks!

  • This is the best post title I have seen in a long time! I love this article. Investing in your own business is so important and is something too many people are afraid to do. Investing in one’s own entrepreneurial adventure is no different that a businessperson buying a new outfit for an interview or new position. It takes a special person to see what needs to be done.

  • I LOVE this — especially because it shows what it really takes to make it as a writer. You don’t need to know the right people or learn special secrets…you just need to know how to write and work your butt off. Love it.

    And I also love it because I’ve finally buckled down and started *really* sending queries like crazy. If I keep up at the rate I’m going right now, it’s sure to pay off big soon!

    • Way to go, Lisa! You were already kicking butt, so soon you’ll be kicking MAJOR butt!

  • The investment of both time, and whatever money you can afford, into the very beginning of your career is what many people fall short on. The persistence and time commitment needed, on an ongoing basis, to find clients and writing opportunities, is what would-be freelancers don’t take into account.

  • This is so inspiring.
    I am currently studying Psychology and Education so it was pretty daunting to discover half way through that what was no longer where my passions lie. Reading the stories of people such as you shows me that it can be done and that with a lot of hard work, you can get there.

    I guess, the main thing is in order to get successful in freelancing, you need to do a lot of work for little or no money to begin with to get your name out there and build a reputation for yourself. If’s costly and requires a strict living budget, but writing is (and always will be) worth it. 🙂

    • Thanks, Grace! Believe me, though, you don’t need to slave away for pennies. You will probably live on less as you ramp up, but it’s definitely doable. Good luck on your path. And welcome to the blog!

  • Linda, this is inspiring! I’m working on a blog post and looked up “wannabe writers” which led me to you. Glad I found you.

  • Love this! We weren’t exactly broke but we needed some money coming in if we were going to ever be able to take a vacation, move to some space, keep the kids in their homeschool gymnastics class they loved so much. When Mr. Kerrie said, “We can’t afford gymnastics anymore” I put butt to seat and made about $2K per month over the summer writing/proofreading. I’m writing to reach long-held dreams for my family.

    • Good for you, Kerrie! So many writers don’t understand that whole “butt in seat” concept. 🙂

  • Linda,
    Thank you for the beautiful testimony to the truth that writing is not a dead art as some short-sighted critics claim. It was an inspirational read. I can relate to this story quite well, as I am a computer engineer turned freelance writer. Your tips are now bulleted points on my wall!

  • Chris

    I started my freelance career all wrong. I had no money at all and on the verge of bankruptcy. I went into it because I had been fired from every other job and it was better than working another temporary minimum wage job in retail. Two years later I’m still dead broke, and climbing out of a bankruptcy. Freelancing was basically financial suicide for me. When I look at how much I’ve earned it actually works out to less than minimum wage. If you can make this freelance writing stuff work for you, great. More power to you. But for me, I think its time to pack it in and get a real job.

    • I’m sorry to hear it didn’t work out well for you! I think it’s just like any other business — there are so many moving parts that sometimes it just doesn’t happen.

  • Melisa

    Linda, I followed your advice, and I can’t believe it worked for me! I held out on unpaid assignments. With zero publishing clips, an editor actually accepted my work, and the pay is so much higher than I expected. I suffer from anxiety, so it’s very hard for me to take chances, especially when I feel unqualified. Your blog and Carol Tice’s blog really helped me make better decisions than working for pennies or unpaid gigs.

    I’m starting out, and I may have needed to sell off some old collectibles that I’ve ignored for years to get started, but it’s worth it to work your butt off. I’ve toyed with the idea of being a writer for a while, but I also realized I needed to write, because I didn’t feel happy if I didn’t write at all. I also totally get what Mary Jaksch and other writers mean now. There’s still a long way to go for me. I still have a website I need to set up but I’m slowly working my way!

    • Wow, that’s amazing. Congratulations on your success — and your motivation and tenacity! Here’s to many more PAYING assignments in 2014!

  • Liz

    I’ve been freelancing for about two years now, but I’ve only really started getting serious about it in the past couple of months. I can definitely say that the amount of effort you put into this is directly proportionate to the amount of reward you reap. I recently lost a major client that payed most of my income, making me re-evaluate where I was in my career. I realized that I was just working enough to get by and wasn’t actively looking for better, more interesting projects. While the loss was a blow to my bank account, it really gave me the opportunity, and reason to finally shelve my anxieties about rejection and self-worth, to seek out better work. (It’s funny how lack of money can REALLY light a fire under you.) In the past month alone, I’ve landed an assignment for one of my dream pubs, gotten two new clients (one of which is an on-going, long term arrangement), and interested responses from three editors I sent targeted pitches to.

    While I’m nowhere near rich yet (or even making enough money where I can splurge on the fancy cheese at the store), my whole perception has shifted. It’s not the rare, special few who can make a living freelancing. It’s the ones who go after it, work hard, do the research and try over and over again without pausing to lick the wounds of rejection (I have been guilty of this far too often) that succeed.

  • Re-reading this was a great reminder to me that I need to be willing to open the wallet a little bit more to make this freelancing gig work. I’ve been overloading myself with too many “to dos” and I needed this reminder to stop spinning my wheels and just buy the workshop, just hire the consultant, just get the training I need to make the most of my limited time. COULD I figure it all out on my own? Sure, with enough time, but the reality is that I don’t have the time. A few of the comments here are also nice kicks in the pants.

  • You can read my story on my fledgling blog. P.S. I don’t sell anything; I don’t even have an opt-in, so this is really just to share my story.

    http://thewritewayout.com/2014/03/25/how-we-survived-a-number-of-setbacks-and-ultimately-found-our-niche/

  • Thank you for writing this article! I’m so new to this and realized I am allowing fear to hold me back. I’m not worried about rejection of my work but how little I know on the business side. Taking the time to learn , invest in classes and start being exposed to writers groups will help me.

  • Thanks for the helpful info. My biggest issue is that I’m not quite sure what my niche is, so I don’t really know who my “target” audience is at this point. I love to write: prose, poetry, fiction…and I am also an educator. I have a blog, but it does not seem to be something that could generate income. At this point I am doing more research on blogging and looking for useful tips. I find your site very useful.

    • I know finding a niche can be hard…especially with fiction and poetry. With journalism, copywriting, and blogs, you can focus on whatever interests, education, or expertise you have. For example, if you ever worked in a restaurant you could write for restaurant trade magazines, businesses in the industry, etc.

  • I know I’m a little late to the party here but just wanted to say this was a very inspiring post, Linda! Thanks so much for it….and good for you. You made it work through education, training, investment, and hard work. When people ask for a “secret to success,” this is all you need to know and do–those 4 things. Bravo!

    • Thanks you, Kristine! I felt like I was giving the impression that this is easy — and it’s not.

  • Hi Linda! Every so often I like to read a purely motivational post to tell me how I need to work and that I can, indeed get there. This was the perfect post for me to read today. 🙂

    Side note: I loved reading you had a masters in Slavic languages. I have a masters in Russian, Central and Eastern European Studies. It’s such an interesting area of the world and the languages are so beautiful.

    • Thanks much! And too funny…you wouldn’t believe how many people I have met with the same degree! Even randomly met a lady at the bookstore who has a PhDh in Slavic Linguistics.

  • Ariel

    Hello,
    Thank you for taking the time to share this very useful information with us. It is always nice to learn from people who have bee in this business a while. I am JUST getting into building my business as a writer. I am taking steps to get their 🙂 i do not have any professional experience yet so i am wondering, when i get my first job, how much do you think is a good rate/hour to start at. Just so I can have an idea about how to get into this.

    Also, I would like to know if it is unprofessional when the editor offers you the job, but you ask them if you can think about it and and let the know in less than 24 hours. ( so you can have the chance to really consider every thing about the contract before agreeing then and there on the phone.

    Thank you for your help!

  • Kristy

    In a former life I was beginning to build a freelancing career. Life got in the way and now I’m starting over: building my clips, writing two blogs. The part I struggle with is marketing-it’s overwhelming to me. Any tips or books you could recommend?

    • Welcome, Kristy! If you mean magazine and online pub writing, you’ll find a ton of posts on marketing right here. As for books, of course there’s Diana’s and my The Renegade Writer’s Query Letters That Rock. I also like Six Figure Freelancing by Kelly James-Enger and the book (I forget its name) by Margit Feury.

  • My uncle, who built a successful electrical contracting company, always used to like to say “The harder I work, the luckier I get.”

  • Hi, Linda,
    We met several years ago at Canyon Ranch, when I was making big bucks in a corporate job and could afford to go. I started freelancing in the late 1990s and in 2002, my top year, I wrote 54 articles yet only earned $16K. Fast forward: I retired from my corporate job in 2008, took another, lesser, job and walked out in 2013. Sandra Forsyth once said you need a three-legged stool as a freelancer, so I teach creative writing at a university (I have an MFA), write for corporate clients (I have an MBA and headed up web content in my last corporate job), and write for magazines. I never want to work in a corporate office again. Now my challenge is to work smarter and earn more per hour. Financially, my situation is pretty dismal, but at least my eyes aren’t twitching. BTW, I studied Russian for six years (but was a German major).

  • Nice article Linda! You started in such a logical, responsible manner. God bless you.

    In 1991 I quit a $60K corporate job cold turkey and went to work as a part-time typist for $6 an hour at a weekly newspaper to learn the writing trade from the inside. I did manage to work my way up to reporter before I blew through my savings and the newspaper editor fired me because she felt threatened. So I then did what any hungry, immature, angry young writer would do — I started a competing newspaper.

    I had no money so wife and I created a mock up of what our newspaper would look like and sold a year’s worth of ads (at a huge discount if they paid right then) in advance to 8 businesses. The 8 grand we collected bought our computer and gear we needed to get started.

    The newspaper was a great success for everyone except us. Within 3 years we were working 100-hour weeks, sleeping at the office and juggling debtors with accomplished dexterity. Amazing how good you get at selling ads when if you don’t sell, you don’t eat. We’d never written a business plan of course, which would have revealed our island was two small for a second newspaper to survive. The real-life lessons mounted. Soon we were working every hour of our waking lives and 50% of the hours in our sleeping lives and still not generating enough income to keep it all going.

    I remember the office coffee machine breaking and we were too broke to buy a new one for $16. So we bought $3 packages of instant coffee instead. Bankruptcy came as a massive relief. Our sudden, unscheduled time overwhelmed us as an embarrassment of riches. We reacquainted ourselves with our two young daughters and vowed never to get trapped again. It was such a sucky, yet creative and exhausting wild ride. But it was also like a massive triple-major college education in real life and real writing.

    The day after the bankruptcy cleared I landed a $50K a year freelance client that lasted 6 years. We’d lost the house so we could move anywhere. So we picked our dream state and started over. My writing client had me write how-to newsletters for a firm that sold those to other businesses.

    What got me the gig? My corporate experience, the newspaper experience and the writing ability I’d honed over all those issues. A few trade magazines gave steady work too.

    We got another house. Started another business (successful this time) and eventually tired of having to write to eat. So I self-educated myself on how to buy existing passive income streams. Specifically income-generating multi-unit mobile home parks. My writing skills were vital to convincing bankers and sellers to fund our deals.

    I tell people I wrote my way to early “retirement” 5 years ago at age 52. Now we just manage the managers of our two parks and bathe in the luxury of free time. And believe me, the Kuerig coffee machine gets heavy, and GREATLY appreciated use. When you’ve experience having nothing, you appreciate everything.

    Lessons? You can learn the hard way or learn the easy way. Putting yourself on your wits is one way to do it. Crisis forces you to learn and grow. It was all worth it 100 times over. And it makes for a good story.
    MJ

    • Wow, GREAT story! Hard work pays off, even if not immediately. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Linda, as a new freelancer it’s refreshing to hear someone say there’s no substitute for butt-in-seat hard work. It’s not all glamour, but it pays off little by little. Thank you!

  • Thank you for this motivation and inspiration! I completed an MA in French language and literature last May and also contemplated staying on for the PhD, or going out into the real world. I didn’t really know what that second option would hold at the time, but I went with it and decided to figure it out as I go. In the past few months I’ve realized that writing has always been my passion and a strength, so I’ve decided to try to build a career out of it. So far I’ve had a few pieces published online and I’m now trying to learn more about how to get into copywriting and other ways to expand. Thanks for the reminder that lots of hard work CAN pay off!

  • Thank you for a great and timely article. I am transitioning from a long career as a business man, into retirement and now as a freelance writer. It is very helpful and fun to have your support.

    Craig

  • Correcting the spelling of my name.

  • And here’s another Slavic student – I got my MA in Slavic Lang&Lit from USC in 1994. Living the dream in Moscow now.

  • It’s so true that you really do need to invest everything – time and money – to truly make it as a freelance writer. I’m in my first year as a writer and am currently making enough to get by with a low-cost lifestyle and loving it! I started out finding most of my clients on Elance… the site gets a bad rap but it’s actually worked well for me to find a few quality clients (I also get to save on stamps! haha)

  • Marie

    Hi, Linda!

    I recently left my 8-5 job because I was inspired of your success. I was earning well, by our country’s standards, and even though I was a writer, my heart wasn’t fully into it. I wanted more! I wanted a job that would allow me to spend time with my kids and visit my parents anytime I want. I want to explore my creativity.

    So, I quit and yes, I’m struggling. But I am investing and will invest more in my skills. Soon, I will be able to post here again, and tell you about my success too. That I am confident about! I just wanted to say THANK YOU. You’re an inspiration to a lot of people.

    • Marie, congrats on making the leap! I’m sorry to hear you’re struggling, but you’re right — if you persevere, soon you’ll be telling me all about your successes. Here’s to many lucrative gigs for you!

      Linda

  • Jessica Stanford

    I am living this life as well, though not to such an extent. Im just getting started at really taking this more seriously. Im writing as much as I can. Im sending out manuscripts and articles. Ive already received rejections, but I really havent let that get me down. Ive also spent quite a bit of money on investing in this career. Its extremely difficult to make ends meet right now, but I am attending college for a business degree. I figure I can get my degree, find a job that I enjoy and that pays the bills, and work on my writing every free moment I have. I work at home right now, and that does give me a chance to send out as much as I can and pick up as many freelance writing jobs I can find. Its a tough career choice, but like you, this is my dream. You inspired me because you were like me, and now you are successful. I believe I can do the same.

  • Maxwell LaSalle

    I read your article, but I didn’t find it. That magic little pill, the one I gulp down with my two olive very dry martini, sit back and read in the following day’s Book Section of the Times: “We can only stand and watch as the glorious God of Literature presents us with Maxwell LaSalle (my pen name ). Drop everything and read, etc., etc., mindblowingly poetic, etc., etc., the love child of Ernest Hemmingway, and Gertrude Stein, with Raymond Chandler, Damon Runyon, and Hunter S. Thompson standing there watching. etc., etc., etc.

    Get your butt in the seat…persistence…it takes a whole lot of hard (I’m feeling sick here) work. I’ve read others talking about this. Damn! This is disappointing as hell, but, after reading your article, I’m slowly coming to the realization that I’m wasting my time searching for something that isn’t there. Maybe that blog thing’s a good idea. Thanks. You know, I think I’ll get going with that. Sounds like fun. Hell, I can do this, so I better get busy. Yes, I know, it’s time I give up wasting time searching. Spend a few bucks on supplies, get a list of magazine editors and get crackin.’ I feel inspired. I’m going to get my butt in the seat right now.
    First though, let me fix myself another very dry martini, and then, hey, I’m good to go!

  • Love your story and congrats to all your success… it is very inspiring no matter how long it took to get 🙂

    I have such a problem with ‘what should I be focusing on’… and get stuck way too easily. Example of a big roadblock to success for me is putting out queries that should take more time and effort but after a few and no replies back I think why bother and move to some other focus.

    I am going to take more time reading your book that I recently purchased on Amazon – “The Renegade Writer” and more time putting out more queries until I start to gain some confidence.

    Thanks for all your great advice 🙂

  • Charm Baker

    Sharing personal stories like this provides more inspiration and motivation than any resource a writer can find. Your words help writers get tough themselves and do what I like to call “shut up and write!” Awesome article, no doubt 🙂

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