I Can’t Believe He Said That!
About two seconds into reading the email, I was livid.
It was from a young writer, relatively new to the freelancing world.
She’d written me a few days earlier, asking my opinion on whether the Web Copywriting Intensive was worth the investment for someone like her. She only had a little writing experience under her belt and very little spare cash.
But she’d also been “stuck” for a while. Stuck in her search for a niche. Weighed down by low-paying clients. Trapped by her I’m-not-good-enough attitude.
I sent her my cut-and-dry opinion:
You can keep doing things the way you have been — and remain stuck and depressed — or you can take action, set the wheels in motion, and Change Your Life.
She wrote back a promising response. It sounded like she was ready to move forward.
But just a few hours later, I got this in my inbox:
The thing is, my husband is less than supportive. I told him I really wanted to go and that I need to get my hands on that information if I’m ever going to get out of my rut.
He said things like, “You don’t have anything to wear,” and “You should have lost more weight,” and “The kids need you.”
And that is why I was livid.
I mean, are you kidding me? Here’s an up-and-coming writer who’s got serious talent. But the guy who’s in the position to be her biggest supporter is holding her back.
I didn’t write back immediately. If I had, I would have said some very unkind things about her husband.
The next day, I understood a little more. The husband is not a total bad guy here. Sure, the weight comment was insensitive. And maybe he doesn’t realize he’s capable of taking care of the kids for a few days.
But if he were truly unsupportive, she would never have made it as far as she has already.
The thing is, he just doesn’t understand the world of freelance writing. Unlike most business circles, appearance doesn’t matter in this world. Instead, what counts is your passion. That’s your entry point. You can’t join our club on account of your Manolo Blahniks or stainless-steel Rolex.
You can only be part of this world if you:
- Enjoy writing.
- Want to be in charge of how much you earn.
- Welcome the idea of total freedom to plan your days as you please.
It’s those shared ideas that create a kindred spirit network among freelance writers.
The way you look doesn’t matter. Don’t get me wrong — I used to worry about that stuff, too. In fact, before my first Bootcamp, I went out and bought fancy shoes so I’d look polished while mingling between conference sessions.
It totally backfired. The darn shoes were so uncomfortable; I had them off after the first day and limped for the next two.
The lesson here is that you don’t have to “fit in” when it comes to our group. You’re pre-accepted on account of your driving passion to succeed as a paid writer.
The Professional Writers’ Alliance
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