Let’s Have Some Fun!

Christina Gillick here, bringing you The Writer's Life this week.

Heather Robson, from AWAI’s Wealthy Web Writer online community, recently sent out an email that reminded me why I chose the writer’s life in the first place: I wanted to have fun!

Heather asked, “What about all those things we as freelance web writers dreamed about when deciding on this career? Things like catching a matinee movie just because you feel like it or taking a day off on a whim because it's too beautiful not to go spend it outside.”

Heather’s message couldn’t have come at a better time.

My writer’s life was supposed to be fun. But somewhere between learning, writing, approaching clients, and deadlines, I had forgotten about that and became a little unmotivated and uninspired.

If you want to put the fun back into your dream lifestyle – or you’re getting discouraged with the path you chose – I’m going to help you get back on track and build the career of your dreams.

Before we get started, I want to say I realize no matter how much fun your business is, some tasks like accounting, taxes, and invoicing will still be a chore. I haven’t forgotten those things, and I’ll explain how to tackle them later in the week.

Today’s email is all about building a business you love and enjoy – for the long haul …

Wouldn’t it be great if your business was fun every day? If you jumped out of bed every morning eager to get to work and completely sure that you were on the right path?

You can … if you start with a solid foundation.

The first step is choosing the right niche.

A niche is a specific area of demand for a product or service. Your service is writing, but there are many types of writing in numerous markets and industries, so you need to narrow your focus.

When you focus on a smaller group in a larger market, that’s your niche.

At AWAI, we’re always encouraging you to choose a niche. But maybe you think you don’t need to. Maybe you think it will limit the assignments you can take on (and limit the amount of money you can make) or make your work dull over time. That’s not the case.

By choosing a niche, you will more easily find clients, increase your demand, make your business more fun, and even make more money for each project.

You’ll be able to work on projects you’re passionate about, and because there are many products and services within each niche, it’ll never be dull. (Read this article I wrote on other reasons you should choose a niche for more details.)

Take Pam Foster, whose niche is the pet industry. When I met her at the AWAI FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp and Job Fair this past fall, I could immediately tell how excited she was about her niche. It’s clear she chose something she’s really passionate about. I bet it makes her job a lot more fun.

But a lot of people find choosing a niche more difficult because they no longer know what makes them happy. They go to their J-O-B all day and then come home to crash on the couch for a few hours before they go to bed. They wake up the next day to do it all over again. They’ve given up their hobbies and interests, and now they can’t even remember who they really are.

If you’re in this position, I’m going to make it easy on you. All you have to do is answer the following questions. Don’t think about what’s coming next. Just answer truthfully.

  1. If you could do anything with your time – and money didn’t matter – what would you do? List at least 5 things.
  2. What career have you always been excited about but didn’t pursue because of time, money, or education? List at least 2.
  3. When you go to the bookstore, which section do you head to first?
  4. What do people say you’re good at?

Now that you’ve answered the above questions, you can breathe a sigh of relief. You just took the first step toward putting the fun back in your writing business.

Share your answers by commenting here.

Tomorrow, I’ll show you how you can use your answers to pick a niche you’ll love.

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: January 16, 2012

14 Responses to “Let’s Have Some Fun!”

  1. I would have pursued singing much earlier AND learned to play the piano. I would have pursued acting. I would have nurtured my writing and artistic talents more seriously. Many have told me I'm good at interviewing people and crafting a good article from the interview, mostly covering the arts for Upstate South Carolina.

    jazzdiva2January 16, 2012 at 2:47 pm

  2. I would do more of what I'm doing now without the restrictions and demands of a full-time employer. I would have been a working novelist and photographer early in life, and fluent in Spanish instead of hobbling along! I head straight for the mysteries section and then the children's books at a bookstore! Love to relax by knitting, crocheting and reading.

    tidepoolsJanuary 16, 2012 at 4:13 pm

  3. If I could do anything, I would kayak, go on as many cruises as possible, learn to speak Spanish, take acting classes every day, and get certified to teach some sort of fitness class. I've always wanted to act and write, but I feel like I'm stalling out in both of those fields. I always look for Stephen King's books first in in any bookstore, and I guess people tell me that I'm a quick learner, and a good actor. I get good listener a lot too.

    nycactorJanuary 16, 2012 at 4:24 pm

  4. Writing and illustrating books for children.

    When I was a young girl I remember picking up a book and telling myself that this is what I want to do-write stories. Add that to my drawing ability, and that is where my passion lies.

    csmaggardJanuary 16, 2012 at 5:26 pm

  5. Do anything? write songs, motorcycle,travel, eat out, go fishing.
    Careers not pursued: musician, sculptor,archtect.
    In the bookstore: political, spiritual, travel.
    They say I'm good at: remaining calm in tense situations; metalwork, coppersmithing;writing songs, playing guitar.

    Brian WinfieldJanuary 16, 2012 at 5:54 pm

  6. Answers.1.buy a ranch raise cattle and horses, build a internet business that supports ranch income,move to different country just because this one doesn't like us to much.
    2. ranching and owning my own business
    3.information
    4.organizing work and people.
    There you go ,I appreciate any help I can get..thanks

    John MerrickJanuary 16, 2012 at 6:13 pm

  7. I am still far away from being a writer in your sense. It is, as for many fellow writers here, the difficult barrier of getting hooked up to the market and getting first assignments that blocks me.

    In search of opportunities to write I discovered HubPages and started to write about topics I am passionate about and gathered some knowledge.

    Here the Link to my profile that leeds furtheryou to my first two Hubs.

    Enjoy :-))
    Jack

    PS: I hope I did not violate some rules here....

    JackJanuary 16, 2012 at 6:37 pm

  8. If money was no object, I'll play gof, ride on my spyder RT taht I just bought with my no object money, pursue photography, and travel around the world. My other two careers would be engineering consultant and CPA. Now a days I go to book stores for a particular book. So, I would go the related section. People say I'm a handy man, because I like fixing things.

    ab1 knobeJanuary 16, 2012 at 10:06 pm

  9. I would set up professional projects whith my friends (who I have not now), projects that would enjoy us a lot...a lot of fun together I would exercise at home with a personal coach I would learn...english...photography...acting I would speak at Universities to share my experience with students who wonder what they will do with their lives I would give lectures about my professional projects and experiences (and I would apply what I'd have learnt during my acting courses) I would write...about my projects...or about daydreams I have and are always successful :)
    I would build multidisciplinary teams and have brainstorming sessions with creative people I would hang out with extraordinary people...and invite them to have dinner with my friends

    I love entrepreneurship (come up with ideas, innovate, create) and being independent

    I would do all these stuff and more games with my dogs

    Those are my dreams.

    I'm looking forward reading your post tomorrow, Rosie

    Guest (Rosie)January 17, 2012 at 6:39 am

  10. 1. If I could do anything with my time a. travel b. teach c. write d. have more sex in the middle of the day e. photography
    2. Career I've always been excited about a. advertising/marketing (really!)
    b. inventing
    3. First section in the bookstore a. self-help/motivation (i.e. Tony Robbins, Les Brown, Zig Ziglar, etc.)
    4. What do people say I'm good at?
    a. Everything (except sports). That's actually part of my problem. I have so many interests and am good at so many things.

    Jeff KonturJanuary 18, 2012 at 2:31 pm

  11. I have had a pretty eventful life, having done things that some would relate to as goals, i.e. 5 Atlantic crossings under sail, visits to ST Helena Island and Tristan da Cuhna, being ship wrecked in the Madagascar channel and being rescued by the French Navy, been privy to smuggling whiskey into Brazil, experiencing the "night life" in Fortaleza and Rio. Lived on ST Thomas, USVI for 4 years, as well as other Carribean Islands. No longer married, kids onto college, it is now time for me!

    canilarkJanuary 20, 2012 at 4:47 pm

  12. I always wanted to be able to travel with my wife. I would love to buy a nice home with a view. Love to own Condo and properties over-seas as investments. When I go to Book Store, I always head for Christian books,motivation books and business books. I have been a Senior Pastor for 25 years and people say that I am good at public speaking, encouraging and motivating people into good actions as well as teaching, which I love to do. I would love to have my niche around these things.

    Guest (Larry)January 20, 2012 at 7:05 pm

  13. The five things are reading, writing, cooking, working with horses, and travel. I missed out on a horse training career, and I've always been interested in writing professionally. At the bookstore I start in fiction; second stop is YA and Children's books. People say I'm good at writing, horse training, and management.
    There you go!

    MRennerJanuary 21, 2012 at 7:13 pm

  14. All my life I've enjoyed the Needle arts. From simple sewing, knitting, crocheting to the search of new stitches, designs and the arts. A career in Fashion or any of the Arts would have been exciting.
    I find pleasure in reading and writing, but missed an education in literature and Grammar. I'm playing catch-up in this computer age.
    In the last decade I've enjoyed Spirituality and Christian Religious Studies.
    And my newest endeavor is Healthy eating. It's never too late to get healthy.

    CoraJanuary 26, 2012 at 7:10 pm


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