5 Years in 5 Days

I’ve got a big goal this week, and I don’t think I can do it without your help.

You see, many of you have written to ask my secret to launching a successful writer’s life.

And I have a lot of answers to that question – commitment, persistence, a circle of support, etc.

But I recently got an email that really made me stop and think:


I know I can do this writing thing. I have the passion. But I keep running into walls, and I’m so bruised by it all, I want to give up. What can I possibly do to keep this dream alive before getting so burned I just quit?

What was your turning point? What made the difference for you?

After a little back-and-forth, I got the full story. Here was a writer who’d been dabbling at copywriting for years. She’d completed several programs and even had a handful of paid projects under her belt. She had a professional website and her writing was good.

But something was keeping her from pushing forward and pursuing the writer’s life without hesitation.

Her question kept me up at night. What set me apart? What made the difference?

It’s not because I’m smarter than most. Even now, after five years as a freelance writer, I have at least one moment every day where I slap my hand to my forehead and think, “Sheesh, why can’t I get this right!”

And my copy still gets hammered in peer reviews. First drafts are nothing close to brilliant. They’re only publishable after loads of copy suggestions and fine-tuning.

Still, I have a steady stream of clients, three of whom have me on a comfortable retainer. I landed two more clients just this week — one who found me through my website, one through a referral.

I’m on track to pull in six figures for the third year in a row.

At the moment, I’m composing this essay stretched out on a blanket in my backyard. Two birds are singing in my oak tree, alternately bobbing down to bathe in my babbling stone water fountain. There’s a plate of rhubarb pie by my side – breakfast at 10 a.m. I slept in this morning after a late night watching The Lord of the Rings.

Life is good. But how did I get here? What made the difference?

It really comes down to one thing: Bootcamp.

I’ve been five times, and I want to spend the next five days chronicling my own transformative, Bootcamp-fueled journey. I want to show you why Bootcamp made the difference.

Because it’s one thing to say you should go. It’s another thing to show you how and why it works.

So that’s what we’re doing this week. And that’s why I need your help.

I’ll walk you through my experience from brand-new, stars-in-her-eyes freelancer wannabe to high-earning and thriving professional. But I want you to put yourself in my shoes and visualize yourself there. Imagine yourself at Bootcamp and dig deep to figure out how it will make you feel and how it will change your career if you go.

No matter how new you are in this journey, coming face to face with people like yourself who share your dream (and struggles) is empowering. And actually meeting other copywriters who do what they want and get paid well for it helps you realize this is the real thing.

That’s at least one of the things Bootcamp did for me.

I’ll be back tomorrow to tell you how. But if you want to learn more about Bootcamp right now, go here.

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: August 20, 2012

2 Responses to “5 Years in 5 Days”

  1. Thanks Mindy,

    I would love to go to boot camp. But the money is just too tight right now.

    How would you advice someone, like myself who just has little or no money at all, in his or her approach to the program?



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