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Rebecca L. Weber coaches with the sustainable strategies, mindset shifts, and creative skills development she uses to help independent writers around the world. If you’ve got what it takes to make it as a freelance writer, but struggle with confidence, imposter syndrome, overwhelm, procrastination, time management, writer’s block, improving your craft, marketing, pitching, underearning, pursuing meaning in your work, or getting in your own way, this is the writing podcast for you. Learn, gro ...
 
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Borrow from yourself. Borrow from what works. Borrow from the non-writing parts of your life to inform your writing and freelancing. We have a tendency to notice where we’ve failed or not figured things out, and then we continue down that pathway looking for examples to keep the pattern going. When we intentionally look for things we’ve done well o…
 
If you’ve been listening to the Writing Coach Podcast for a while, you already know I: Send emails to myself. Annotate ideas on paper/screen in one-minute bursts, or else forget them forever Direct my brain to solve something by asking one good question In the quest for the new, we tend to overlook the advantages of repetition. This week on the Wri…
 
Should you pitch travel story ideas before or after you have a notebook full of notes? In theory, you can do it successfully either way. You could do a little research and pre-reporting, pitch, get an assignment, schedule your interviews and be confident out in the field knowing who you’re writing for and what your angle is. Or you could set off on…
 
So many professional writers have lost touch with the passion or purpose that brought them to this work in the first place. If you’ve achieved a lot but aren’t enjoying it, what’s the point? 🔗 Mentioned in this episode: WCP 1 What’s your writing problem? 🔥 Work with me 1:1 Private coaching is for the writer who wants a personalized agenda and trans…
 
Linda Sivertsen is a New York Times bestselling co-author and midwife of 6- & 7-figure book deals. Her new book, Beautiful Writers, gives aspiring writers and seasoned literary veterans a look into the lives of iconic authors and answers the burning question, “How did they do it?!” Linda joined me on Publication Day of her latest book. We discussed…
 
Pretty much every freelance writer can earn more money. Here are some specific things that writers DON’T do that keep them from earning more, and what they CAN DO to earn more. Listen in, notice your resistance, and choose one to work on applying to your freelance writing life. 🔗 Mentioned in this episode: WCP 193 Rates shaming 🔥 Work with me 1:1 P…
 
Have you ever been ashamed of the rate you accept for a freelance job? Ever talked to another freelance writer who felt that way? Have you ever heard someone who disapproves or criticizes a writer for their fees? Rates shaming is when somebody reprimands or reproves a writer for rates of which they should be ashamed. This can happen when the rate i…
 
A single a-ha or breakthrough moment in your writing life can happen quickly. Creating lasting transformation usually takes reinforcement, especially when addressing long-held beliefs and behavior patterns. 🔗 Mentioned in this episode: 🔥 Work with me 1:1 Private coaching is for the writer who wants a personalized agenda and transformative breakthro…
 
Let’s talk about working with and for nonprofits (and NGOs and associations): Why working for a reduced fee can be more problematic than premium rates or pro bono Choosing change not charity models Reshaping the narrative to bring more depth to your piece Recognizing guilt, resentment, and obligation Applying nonprofit lessons to for-profit clients…
 
This is a followup talk on applying the concepts introduced earlier this week in Episode 191, Time passing. Do you believe you have enough time to do the things that matter most in your writing life? 🔗 Mentioned in this episode: WCP 1: What’s your problem? WCP 191: Time passing 🎁 Download my free guide on how to pitch freelance article ideas, “5 Pr…
 
How you think about time—such as if you have enough, not enough, or plenty of it—impacts what you create in your writing life. Many writers credit time as necessary for their skills, clients, or assignment quality to improve. An overemphasis on time passing to become a better freelancer isn’t useful or accurate, and can be a disempowering framework…
 
For me, getting ready for a coaching call or a writing session includes: Bringing nature into my workspace environment Planning time to transition and orient myself rather than crash landing into a call Getting intentional about arguing for things that are helpful for writing vs. those that sidetrack you 🔗 Mentioned in this episode: WCP 1: What’s y…
 
Whether your articles are published online or in print, you need to make them readily available for potential clients to read online. Simply having a list of links isn’t sufficient. Sites reorganize and your links go bad; your piece gets pulled or the publication closes; and paywalls prohibit access. Clips that look great on paper need different tr…
 
Why I went to the library on Monday morning instead of my nature walk Time to check out your library’s updated remote resources Researching publications via the library 🔗 Mentioned in this episode: WCP 1: What’s your problem? WCP 44: Monday morning on the mountain with Mishka 🎁 Download my free guide on how to pitch freelance article ideas, “5 Prov…
 
Some freelance projects spiral out beyond the original agreement. Let’s curtail your taking on more and more uncompensated work, or from seeing all your clients as creeps. Today we cover: What scope creep is and what it isn’t Handling the pressure to say yes when you don’t feel like you can say no The long-lasting nature of scope creep and how it i…
 
When a client reaches out to you for the first time with a freelance assignment, we often call it a fluke. Often we really like it happening, and if it's a good gig we may wish all work happened this easily. The problem with telling ourselves that we played no part in getting the work is that it means we don't have the ability to recreate what happ…
 
When you pitch a story idea, are you inviting the editor to consider working with you? Do you recognize the value of what you’re offering and tempt them? Or are you asking the editor to give you an assignment? Do you approach the pitch from a place of neediness? Give/get, push/pull, love/hate … which side do you want to be on? 🔗 Mentioned in this e…
 
Once you tap into the power of presenting a story idea (or just about any other writing related project) in a way that connects the dots for the recipient about how it will be relevant/helpful to them, you can bring that frame of mind with you to pitch almost anything. I’ve seen Freelance Writer Bootcamp alumni transition seamlessly into landing st…
 
Six months into the year, let’s reflect on, and possibly revise, your annual goals. What you’re telling yourself about hitting—or not hitting—milestones impacts your ability to reach your goals. What are you working on believing about yourself? 🔗 Mentioned in this episode: WCP 160 Freelance writing goals: 5W1H goal setting WCP 2: Thinking thoughts …
 
Sara Cincurova is a freelance human rights journalist from Slovakia, focusing on migration, conflict, human rights, humanitarian issues, and women's rights. She has written for The Guardian, BBC News, The New York Magazine, Al Jazeera English, Der Spiegel, Foreign Policy, The HuffPost, The New Humanitarian, Women's Media Center and many more. Sara …
 
When a freelancer says that they feel like they’re going backwards, often they’re hyperfocusing on a small piece of data instead of larger trends (e.g. a couple of weeks/pitches vs. quarters/years); or they’ve changed an important variable (e.g. pitching more competitive publications for the first time vs. pitching less competitive pubs they’ve alr…
 
Are your emails annoying your editor? Are you sending too many followups? Too many story ideas? Are all your messages getting on their nerves? If your pitches are half baked, poorly written, and an overall bad fit for the publication, it really doesn’t matter how many you send. You can’t send lousy pitches and expect assignments as a reward for not…
 
Curiosity is a useful state of mind for freelance writers. Curiosity helps us identify great story ideas with unrecognized angles. Curiosity fuels our interest in improving our craft. Curiosity makes understanding the pitching process and other business of freelancing type processes fascinating. It opens up our imaginations to possibilities that we…
 
My first career in traditional education informed my work as a freelance journalist, and my work as a writer informs the coaching and teaching I do now online. This week I share a few of the mindset perspectives that have served me well through career shifts, and how building on prior career skills or subject matter makes us more robust as freelanc…
 
A lot of freelancers find it easier to maintain the status quo by keeping on clients that aren’t a good fit because they are so familiar. After you’ve worked with a client for a few assignments/months, you have far more insight into what they’re really like. If you knew then what you knew now, would you take them on in the first place? 🔗 Mentioned …
 
Today I’m sharing what it was like getting pregnant and having a baby during the pandemic. One of the things I got clear about early on was deciding what I thought I wanted my time off to look like (including how long, how “off” I wanted to be, and what the transition winding down and gearing up would be like), and also allowed myself to change my …
 
Have you interviewed somebody who wanted to review your copy before publication? This is a surprisingly high-tension issue for many journalists, even thought it seems like it could be nipped in the bud with a simple, “Sorry, that’s against the publication’s policy.” Today we cover: A simple method to reduce the number of times sources ask to review…
 
Usually when I’ve left a news hook out of a pitch, it was because I couldn’t come up with one easily, and hoped for the best. After all, there are evergreen stories out there. I’ve read and sold a few myself. Maybe you have too. I’ve tried slapping on a thin hook, which sometimes does the trick. And I’ve had some evergreen ideas linger in my ideas …
 
Showing up to do your work regardless of your mood is distinct from ignoring your emotions and telling yourself things are ok when you don’t think they are. Today I share with you one of my client’s stories about how she was trying to push away the feelings that emerged when she told herself she’s bombed a pitch, and how she reframed to open up to …
 
Writing together can be a powerful experience in terms of connection, camaraderie, and support in the creative process. This week we look at ways to make the most of writing with others IRL and virtually. MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE The Writers’ Hour SHARE THE WRITING COACH PODCAST #WRITINGCOMMUNITY Subscribe and write a review of the Writing Coach P…
 
A tweet led to a blog post about how quickly editors dismiss most queries, and here I’m examining this breakdown in the context of journalists pitching freelance article ideas. The vast majority of freelance pitches can be rejected well before the first paragraph. The ones that get assigned instantly show a different kind of understanding of the pu…
 
Running out of reasons to avoid pitching? I’ve got you covered with 100 reasons why you shouldn’t pitch today. Many of these can be adapted to be reasons why you should not write anything else today, like the article you were assigned last week, or your book proposal, or your novel. You’ll probably recognize a few of these reasons as ones you alrea…
 
Dating/relationship analogies come up a lot when we talk about our editors and publications. It’s common for freelancers to have a mix of short and long term relationships, which tend to reflect different mindsets, emotions, strategies, decisions, processes, and company policies. It’s also common for freelancers to confuse or mislabel what’s really…
 
In the middle of the night I emailed myself an idea I didn’t want to forget. I sat down with my freelance journal and phone in the morning to use the message as a prompt. Here’s what I typed: Reason why chsbgdx So helpful, right? I wish I knew what this word (or phrase) was supposed to be. Since I consistently generate ideas, and I’m in the habit o…
 
This bonus episode looks at the application process for Freelance Writer Bootcamp. I explain how I review the applications on a rolling basis, and how this process may be of use to you in other areas of your freelance life. If you’ve told yourself that you want to join the Bootcamp but haven’t applied yet, this episode will give you more clarity ab…
 
The equinox is the transition to autumn/spring, and it’s also the end of Q1. Seasonal and financial cycles impact us, as do many other cycles in our writing life. Some cycle frameworks aren’t that helpful, while others help us recognize that we’re not in the same energetic or growth phase at all times and allow us to plan accordingly. YOU MIGHT ALS…
 
Sometimes it’s faster in the short term not to change the way we’re doing things … but once we make the shift to more sustainable approaches, we reap the benefits long term. I changed the kind of printer I’ve always had, which will save a bit of plastic and hassle. And I changed the way I do my banking and pay for business expenses, which means I s…
 
“How do I get myself to do this thing I know I should do?” The short answer is to change the thinking that’s blocking you from taking action. When you think differently, you’ll feel and act differently too. I don’t mean go through the motions and pretend to believe things that aren’t true. Bridge thoughts are the opposite: first we identify the tho…
 
Join me on Thursday, March 17, for a live masterclass on creating sustainable freelance writer success, i.e., consistent, meaningful work that pays well. www.rebeccalweber.com/masterclass In the masterclass, I'll share with you: + A proven blueprint for pitching and selling freelance article ideas + How to turn a once-off assignment into an ongoing…
 
Do you need a blog? A subscription newsletter? A podcast? A TikTok account? A fill-in-the-blank thing that somebody (maybe you) is telling you is necessary to create and then continually update? Let’s examine your reasons why you may want to invest your time, energy, and money into creating content that you’ll be publishing yourself instead of on a…
 
A couple more freelance insights while playing Wordle over morning coffee, this time focusing on the roles of perseverance and giving yourself wise counsel. FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM Did you enjoy this episode? Follow Rebecca to get notified next time she goes live on Instagram and tag her when you share the Writing Coach Podcast with your writer frie…
 
This is NOT an episode about how to improve your Wordle scores. Instead, let’s look at what Wordle can teach us about freelance writing success. Download my free guide on how to pitch. WCP 167 Organic tomatoes vs. Twinkies WCP 1: What’s your problem? Join the Freelance Writer Bootcamp waitlist SHARE THE WRITING COACH PODCAST Did you enjoy this epis…
 
When you’ve developed an evergreen story idea, it may be accurate to say that there’s no reason why the story needs to be told now. But that’s only true when we look at your existing pitch. Your angle, your slant, your point of view doesn’t include a perspective that makes the story relevant now. Telling yourself the story doesn’t have one, that yo…
 
When an editor posts a call for pitches, freelancers sometimes respond the way they would to the siren’s call. The writers retweet them, share them, subscribe to newsletters with them. After weeks of saying they’ll get around to pitching, they suddenly snap to attention. Typically, the writer skips over-analyzing (or even reading) the publication, …
 
What do 1947, 1972, 1997, 2012, and 2021 all have in common? They all have big anniversary years in 2022: 75, 50, 25, 10, 1. We like these kind of milestones to remind us of past events, and the impact they have on how we live today. They can work well to anchor an evergreen story that’s worth sharing but that otherwise get lost in the relentless n…
 
Most women say they’ve never negotiated their salary. As freelancers, we have so many more opportunities than staff employees to practice negotiations and to get better and better over time. When the lease on my house came up, I thought all I’d have to do was say I wanted to renew, and possibly negotiate a rent increase. I was not expecting to have…
 
Have you ever held back from turning your camera on Zoom? Sent a pitch via an anonymous form (the modern day slush pile) instead of the assigning editor? Imagined somebody saying that you were posting too much–or too repetitively–on social media? These are all slightly less obvious ways of holding yourself back. You may be aware of some ways that y…
 
When we put ourselves out there, we take a risk. We risk not getting validation, assignments, contracts, money, Likes, comments, safety, etc. We risk approval internally and externally. The idea of putting yourself out there probably pushes buttons that you had even before you became a professional, published writer. You may have prior experience w…
 
Two months ago I invited you to take a 90-day challenge to get paid on time. That episode includes the logistics of what to do to get paid promptly … and also addresses the resistance so many freelancers have about actually doing these things. Overall, you’ll see a shift in your cash flow when you do this challenge. But that doesn’t mean every sing…
 
The research and reporting rabbit holes are some of the most seductive and appealing parts of the freelance writing comfort zone. You start off doing good work: nailing down facts, seeking rich data, locating interesting sources. But there’s always another twist and turn, and you can easily lose your orientation and not know if you’re getting close…
 
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