Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Life

If you’re worried you can’t have quality relationships with colleagues as a work-from-home freelancer, you’ll love this story. (It’s about food, of course, to match our theme for the week.)

Now, let me tell you about my friend Cassandra. I met her at an AWAI-sponsored Writer’s Retreat four years ago. I’ve seen her every year since at Bootcamp and the Web Intensive.

Cassandra is a graphic designer, and we’ve partnered on projects together. Not long ago, I mentioned to her via email that I was sick. A rotten stomach bug had gotten me down.

A few days later, the UPS guy knocked on my door and handed me an enormous box. I tore into it to find a large glass jar, nestled in with packs of dry ice and insulation.

It contained an enormous amount of homemade chicken soup. Frankly, it was the best I’d ever tasted. Fresh and meaty, it was obvious it’d been made from whole ingredients. The carrots were chunky and varied in size — and as potent in flavor as if they’d come straight from the garden. The same was true for the celery, and the noodles tasted like they’d been made from scratch.

Not only was it a heartwarming, belly-soothing gift, but it also thrilled me to know it had come from a friend in the copywriting world — a world that easily feels far away when I’m at home, entrenched in Planet Mindy.

What I loved about that chicken-noodle soup gift is that Cassandra brilliantly bridged the gap that comes from telecommuting with people across the country. She lives 1,200 miles away, but she made it seem like she was just next door.

With one simple gesture, she made me feel valued as a colleague and friend.

When you’re just starting life as a freelance writer, I know it can be tough to recognize what you bring to the table. It’s easy to lose confidence when you haven’t yet connected with your first client, or while you’re still getting up to speed on copywriting basics.

Yet, valuing yourself is essential if you plan to be a profitable freelancer. Clients pick up on self-confidence. They’re drawn to writers who have it. They shy away from writers who don’t.

How do you build confidence?

The best way to build confidence in your writing career is to glean knowledge from superior resources and associate with worthy colleagues and mentors. I encourage you to invest in training programs and attend live events. Link up with industry leaders and learn about mentoring options. Or, simply go to your library and read up on the greatest time-tested techniques by legends like David Ogilvy and Eugene Schwartz.

That way, you’ll gradually build skills of the highest quality.

It’s a lot like that chicken soup I went wild over. It was made from whole, organic foods. Proof of its quality was in the flavor. Unlike other run-of-the-mill, canned soups, this one stood out above the rest.

So, our lesson for today — steeped in homemade, chicken-soup logic — is to do what you have to do to value yourself enough so clients take notice. You’ll get more jobs and will come to really enjoy the writer’s life.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »

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Published: November 30, 2011

3 Responses to “Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Life”

  1. Wish I could take advantage of this...but as you know, I have no money. Wish I could try making a website too, but I don't really know where my writing talent in this would apply.

    With Gratitude, Michael

    Guest (Michadl)

  2. Thank you for a very relevant information!

    Best regards, Lilia E. Tan

    Guest (Lilia)

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