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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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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…
 
Neediness has been normalized in much of freelance culture, to our own detriment. Desperation compounds difficult situations by blocking our own resourcefulness. Even when desperation fuels our actions, it’s not energy that’s sustainable long term. Without defining neediness as a so-called negative frame of mind that needs (!) to be replaced with a…
 
The fundamental 5W1H questions you use when reporting are just as handy for examining your freelance life. When it comes to setting writing goals, WHO will you become in the process of achieving your goal? Is your goal setting process setting you up for success? Have you chosen goals that are distracting you from the writing you really want to be d…
 
When it comes to making lasting changes in your freelance life, I’m more a fan of experiments than of resolutions. The latter tend not to work so well, often relying on willpower or self-shame as fuel to get things done. Some industries have business models based on these negative, dysfunctional cycles, and you don’t want to rope your own freelanci…
 
Freelance writers often conflate two very different kinds of urgency. Confusing them impacts pitching and following up. First is the urgency of the story itself. This includes identifying why the story needs to be told now. It can be any kind of news peg or timely aspect that compels the editor to assign and publish the piece, and the reader to pri…
 
Should you pitch during the holiday season? Yes, if you want more assignments. No, if you want to take time off. There are two valid approaches to taking time off as a freelancer: 1. Take time off during conventional holidays. Editors and sources may be less available; family and friends may be off too. 2. Freelancers make their own schedules and d…
 
When I started freelancing, I was 100% DIY. One of the tricky things about making a good living as a freelance writer is getting a feel for what to do yourself and where to spend–or invest–time and money. Some choices that seem to be saving short term wind up costing you in the long run. Let’s look at some areas where you may want to invest in supp…
 
When you’re interviewing a source for an article, you’d want to do some followup if they said: “I don’t know how a key part of my job works.” You’d ask the question again, or come at it from a different perspective. It should be the same when you wonder why you did (or didn’t) get assigned a story idea you pitched. If your default is “I don’t know,…
 
Join me on Wednesday, December 8, for a live masterclass on breaking into your dream publications and achieving sustainable freelance writer success. We’ll focus on proven strategies to get consistent, meaningful assignments that pay well. Sign up for free at www.rebeccalweber.com/masterclass This won’t be the conventional, so-called freelancing wi…
 
“Is my pitch too long?” If you’re asking the question, the answer is probably yes. The question you really need answered is not how long your pitch should be, but why your pitch is too long: You’ve generated a bunch of options without making choices about what’s most important and what to cut back on. You likely are leaving out some key components.…
 
This week is the start of the year-end holiday season in the United States, which is associated with a lot of personal and professional stress. This episode looks at meditation as a concentration practice that can help you center yourself before writing. When I was a kid, an adult I trusted made some negative comments about meditation that stuck wi…
 
Freelancers often ask: How do I get a client to pay an invoice that’s past due? Instead of a how to on chasing payments, today we’re asking and answering a better question: How do you get clients to pay you on time in the first place? If you’ve had more than one late-paying client in the past few years, following the actions recommended in this epi…
 
One of the best ways to start the new year strong is to finish this one strong as well. We want to make sure you're investing, rather than just spending time, money, and energy to get clients. When you are ready to get yourself a new assignment, do you factor in the prior investment you’ve already done to secure your existing clients? Or do you go …
 
Today we are talking about goals. I’ve talked again and again about being aware of your potential obstacles when setting a goal. There are going to be challenges and so it’s important to plan on how to deal with those challenges. When we’ve created an internal obstacle, we also have the power to shift it. It’s about changing your perspective, shift…
 
Establishing company policies might sound like it would create distance from freelance clients, but it does the opposite, especially with your ideal clients. Clear boundaries set a framework for clear expectations and positive work relationships and self care. If you know what you will and won’t do, it leads to better communication. On the other ha…
 
Early bird invitations for Freelance Writer Bootcamp will be sent out soon. If you are keen to work with me in my small group coaching program, you’ll definitely want to register now and snag a juicy early bird bonus only for those writers on the waitlist. Break into your dream publications and get paid well while covering stories that matter. Alum…
 
Many groups have traditionally been underrepresented in journalism, both amongst staff and freelancers. Gender, race, ethnicity, disability, religion, age, and country of origin are factors in building a robust press. Today we focus on how writers in the so-called Global South may have less access to writing stories locally or globally. WORK WITH M…
 
A full scholarship is available for the January session of my small group coaching program, Freelance Writer Bootcamp. The program focuses on helping writers improve their pitch acceptances rate, and to get paid well while covering stories that matter. If you identify as a person of color, are from the so-called Global South, identify as LGBTQI+, a…
 
Robert Kolker’s piece about two fiction writers brought up many issues that have counterpoints in the journalism and freelance worlds, including: idea ownership and development, sense of not belonging, competition and hierarchy amongst peers, white saviorism, and friendship. MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE Who is the bad art friend? Rebecca on Instagram:…
 
What’s the importance and impact of seeking out original stories that nobody else is doing? In this conversation with freelance journalist Raymond Joseph, we examine how much a unique story and/or angle matters for you, your career, your editors, and society at large. Ray’s investigations into lottery corruption over the past four years have won hi…
 
We’re all willing to watch a short trailer for a new movie or series—IF it’s any good. In a minute or so, we usually know if we’re in (“Ooh, I want to see that one!”) or if it’s a hard no. A sample of one scene and we have a handle on the genre, the plot, the actors, the look and feel. It’s all show, no tell. What we don’t see is the screenwriter, …
 
Some freelancers say they’re writing for low paying, low circulating, low quality, or otherwise low satisfaction publications because they need to pay their dues. If working this way was a sure route to high paying, high circulating, high quality, highly meaningful work, I’d be all for it. But it’s not. Those publications aren’t suddenly going to b…
 
Today’s episode is a replay of the most popular one published here on the Writing Coach Podcast in the past three years. So chances are, if you've ever listened to the podcast, you’ve heard this one before. I encourage you to listen to it again. Try to come to it today, with beginner's mind. You’re not a beginner as a professional writer. But when …
 
Part of loving your writing life is loving all the people involved in it. Yep, I’m talking about loving your editors, your colleagues, your readers, and yourself. If you’re thinking, “Easy for you to say. Most of my clients are a major PITA,” or “I’m not looking for a love connection, just a pay check,” or “I can’t love myself when I’m procrastinat…
 
Many writers see their writing as the way to measure their significance in the world. This viewpoint empowers editors to become gatekeepers who can determine if a pitch--and by extension, the person who sent it--has value or not. If the idea of an editor rejecting your pitch makes you cringe, you may be allowing the editor’s judgment of the pitch b…
 
Are you making and implementing choices that are leading to financial growth? If you see yourself avoiding financial goals, or setting the same monetary goals time and again without any real progress or change, your default thinking is likely working against you. We receive messaging from clients, peers, and society that we won’t be able to earn mo…
 
Portfolio shame can compound over time when a core belief (such as “I’m not a good enough writer” or “I haven’t made it yet” or “I should have better clips”) pops up every time we complete an assignment. When we repeat these thought patterns over time, and feel ashamed both of the work we have and haven’t done, it becomes harder to enjoy or appreci…
 
When a person tells you Yes, do you think it means No? Or vice versa? Some freelance writers receive emails from editors that literally say “Please pitch me again” and choose to interpret it as “Never pitch me again.” Today we’re going to unpack where this topsy turvy thinking originates from (hint: It’s not that the editor is trying to be polite),…
 
Hello podcast listeners! Here are the questions I’ll be answering today: + How do you stop thinking about where your sources would like to see a story published? + Do I need to list prices on my website? I keep getting asked for a rates card. + I bid on a project but they chose another freelancer. Should I let them know I can go lower? + My client …
 
Maggie Reyes is a life coach and marriage mentor who specializes in helping Type A women have better marriages, without waiting for their partners to change or adding more work to their lives. She is the author of the Amazon top 10 bestselling marriage book The Questions for Couples Journal and the host of The Marriage Life Coach Podcast. We cover …
 
The freelancer’s version of the eggestential question: should I first reach out to the source to ask about interviewing them for an article, or should I pitch the story and secure the assignment first? Our thoughts about the individual we want to talk to and the publication we want to write for can distract from the core issue: It’s time to make a …
 
Every editor says to read their publication before pitching. When I coach writers, we put this research step first—get to know their stories, angles, and readers, before developing a story idea. Some writers prefer to avoid this essential step because they associate it with overwhelm. Many writers find researching publications online in particular …
 
The question of what to charge comes up not just amongst newish freelancers, but frequently amongst mid-career and veterans as well. In reality, nobody else can tell you what your rates should be. Today we’re looking at three components so that you can feel more clear and confident in deciding what to charge: 1. Research 2. Do the math 3. Money min…
 
You use certain meta skills and habits in your writing life that you developed before you even considered freelancing—and you probably use some of your best freelancing skills in non-writing areas of your life. Becoming aware of these allows you to tap into them more deeply and recognize that you have a deeper foundation for success than you normal…
 
Glossing over achieving goals, and the milestones along the way to those goals, doesn’t allow us to really recognize or appreciate all that we’re doing right as freelancers. Sure, there is intrinsic value in a job well done, but it’s also useful to pause and intentionally celebrate those wins as well. Ignoring achievements, or of “rewarding” oursel…
 
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 Bootcampers transition seamlessly into landing staff jobs, being accep…
 
Are your pitches in demand with editors? Making sure the quality and clarity of how your pitch addresses the needs and perspectives of your publication’s readers is essential for connecting with assigning editors. Following through on what you’ve promised is just as important for long-term relationships. When the editor receives your story, they th…
 
What makes for an ideal writing space? What supports your focus, the quality of your thinking, and getting words out of your brain and onto the screen or page? What’s conducive to you getting writing done? Let’s talk about how your environmental influences your writing, and how to optimize. MENTIONED IN THIS SHOW Tools for South African journos and…
 
Over the next few months, I’m going to be periodically re-releasing some of the best and most popular episodes from the Writing Coach Podcast archives. If you’ve been a subscriber from day one, you’re ready to deepen your understanding of these concepts. I’ll give you a few additional thoughts about each episode. And if you’re new, think of this as…
 
To support ourselves, it’s nice to have a reliable go-to selection of tools, apps, programs, books, and other stuff. In today’s episode, I talk through a few of my own favorites, and why and how I use them. Be sure to check out one of my oldest blog posts that I keep updating, with all the links mentioned plus several more for you to explore. These…
 
Time for another edition of Listener Q&A! Here are today’s questions: + I’m getting charged a lot of fees because I’m working with an international client. How can I avoid these? + Can I write about toileting toddlers one day, and mental health issues in returned military men and women the next (and be taken seriously)? + I pitched a story to my id…
 
When an editor wants you to do a piece but leaves the deadline up to you, your initial reaction may be: Great. I’ve got work lined up and I don’t have to work on it yet. It can be quite liberating if you’re used to working under tight deadlines and a lot of pressure. But somewhere along the way, things turn. You still don’t have a deadline, but now…
 
Do you hate marketing because it always takes too long and never winds up in front of the right people? Today we’re challenging that with a quick makeover of that humble marketing workhorse, your email signature. It’s such a fast and easy way to demonstrate to your clients (current and potential) that your communications are always concise and thou…
 
This episode isn’t a breakdown of why followups should be a part of your routine. Scheduling followups is so quick, easy, cheap, and effective, that NOT doing them basically means turning your back on multiple assignments, clients, and ultimately the growth of your freelance career. Instead, let’s focus on the hesitation, second guessing, and outri…
 
For many freelancers, when you get sick it becomes a question of finding hours or days when you’re able to push yourself to get things done vs. not getting paid, rather than taking actual time off. Today I’m talking about my own experience contracting coronavirus, and discussing how to care for yourself and your freelance writing business when you …
 
Who gets to decide if you’re accomplished or not? Is there somebody actually keeping score? Often one of the motivating reasons we set a goal is to feel accomplished. That can be a real challenge if it’s an emotion that’s unfamiliar to you. If you have a strong habit of naysaying what you do and repeatedly telling yourself that you’re not accomplis…
 
Today’s episode continues where we left off last week, looking at the distinction between desire and commitment. You’ve decided to step out of the energy suck of both wanting and not wanting something, and shift into prioritization. Listen into how one of the writers I coach figured out how to prioritize time for writing and sending pitches. The ac…
 
This is the first of two episodes exploring the intersection of desire, commitment, and priorities. Is there something in your writing life that you strongly desire but haven’t committed to yet? Writers who mistake desire for commitment are actually committed to wanting to do something—request deadline extension, write a book, pitch a dream publica…
 
Join me on Tuesday, March 23, for a live masterclass on how to break into your dream publications. We’ll focus on proven strategies to get consistent, meaningful assignments that pay well. This isn't the conventional, so-called freelancing wisdom that leads to mediocre results. These are the same principles I teach my paying coaching clients, who h…
 
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