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:

  1. Enjoy writing.
  2. Want to be in charge of how much you earn.
  3. 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

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: March 8, 2012

7 Responses to “I Can’t Believe He Said That!”

  1. Touche', Mindy. You're nicer than I would have been--I would have ripped that guy a new ear hole!

    AmyODonnell

  2. I think that there is another thing they don't understand - and that is the opportunity of freelancing. This lady's husband is probably not alone in thinking that the investment in Bootcamp etc. will only generate a small increase in income. Therefore, why bother?
    The scarcity mentality is alive and well, I meet it often, usually disguised as, "I'm glad I'm not as gullible as you are." - and often applied to AWAI materials.

    Debra H

  3. Hi Mindy,

    Loved the article you sent out.

    It reminds me of someone in my family who still tells me EVERYTHING on the internet is a scam.
    Everyone on the internet is out to take my money.
    But I know different. I don't let it bother me at all.

    I am so glad I found AWAI and all the people there.

    I am just getting started myself but I KNOW I CAN.
    I don't have my first course yet or have never been able to attend any social gatherings with AWAI, but I know I can.
    There is no doubt in my mind of my ability to write well.

    I know by staying positive, I can do anything. I just have to get started and I WILL do it.

    Thanks, Tammy

    Guest (Tammy)

  4. Has someone tromped on your dream? Well yeah...An abusive husband intent on completely controlling my life. He was able to distroy many years of my life but after a harrowing escape, and time in a womens shelter, I emerged to get six years of training and become a licensed and ordained Minister.
    I sing solos, marry people, lead Bible studies and now am persuing this Copywriting career with emmense gusto.
    I am not a trained writer but I am full of passion believe in this program and the good people who are leading it.
    My best to all struggling writers who are becoming exactly what we need to be to succeed.
    regards,Sandi Grace Gracefire Copywriter

    Guest (Sandi Grace)

  5. I pray dat God should put her through

    Guest (Grace)

  6. I can more than sympathise with your young writer as I have a less than supportive partner.

    And I think this problem is quite common. There's a lot of fear and selfishness demonstrated by partners and family in situations like this.

    If you have a supportive partner, you are very lucky indeed!

    Terry

    Terry Dunn

  7. Congrats to your writer that, despite her perceived lack of support, she IS following her dream of being a successful (aka "paid") writer. If she keeps following her heart, she will continue to gain confidence, improve her skills, and increase her bankroll. Attending a conference where like-minded people share ideas and information is always inspiring. Perhaps she can find a local writing group where she can get a jump start on planning to attend next year's gathering and maybe find someone to help share expenses. My issue is that horrible curmudgeon in my head that says I have no talent and nothing worth writing about that anyone would want to read so I've never pursued my dream of freelance writing, despit a family of staunch supporters that believe I'm an amazing writer. She is at least twenty steps ahead of someone who hasn't taken step one. Good for her!

    Guest (Melissa Kenis)


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