Can Writing Make You a Better Person?

Mindy McHorse back again. I've been sharing career-boosting takeaways from the Web Copywriting Intensive this week. Here’s the next one …

Freelance writing paves the way to self-improvement.

That’s because life as a freelance writer is a lot easier once you get good at mastering your life — not just your writing.

Let me put it this way. When I set out to be a freelance writer, I had two objectives: I wanted to write, and I wanted to make a lot of money.

It never occurred to me that in my quest to be a successful writer, I’d also learn how to set goals and follow through. Or that I’d have to figure out time management and reconfigure my lifestyle for optimal health and inspiration. I certainly never anticipated launching multiple businesses based on my own interests.

Maybe these are things you’d do in any other career, or things you do just as a matter of getting through life.

But the difference is, you’ll succeed faster at freelance writing if you start now on self-improvement. Here’s what I recommend:

  • Set goals that go beyond money. Think about what you’ll do with your money once you have it — like pay off your house, travel the world, send your kids to college debt-free, start a charity, etc.
  • Take care of your body by eating well and exercising in whatever way is most fun for you. A healthy body fuels a creative mind.
  • Sleep. Your brain is your primary writing muscle. Just like an Olympic runner shouldn’t tax his legs by walking all over town before a race, you shouldn’t tax your brain before you tackle a writing project.
  • Really focus on time management. Time management isn’t sexy, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be astounded at what you can achieve in a writing career.
  • Do things that fuel your passion. A happy writer is a good writer, so doing things that bring you joy is extremely relevant to your success.

I think pursuing my passions — like making pies — also fuels and calms me. What do you do to inspire your writing?

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Published: February 20, 2013

7 Responses to “Can Writing Make You a Better Person?”

  1. Mindy, those are excellent foundational takeaways! I especially like your first one...setting goals beyond money. As a copywriter it's our job to keep digging down to uncover those deeper and core benefits for our prospects. As you sagely point out, we would be well served by applying that same technique to examine our own deeper reasons...benefits...for desiring the freelance lifestyle. Even go so far as to create a 3-D picture of what that looks writing, of course!

    Alan Steacy

  2. I couldn't agree more. As you delve into your deeper goals, you may find that you uncover new writing and business opportunities. For example, one of my deepest goals is to use my writing skills to help help my kids learn about the world. This week, I'm finishing my first children's book in a series of books that uncover the invisible world of tiny creatures in our backyards.

    Brian W

  3. Mindy - I loved your blog, because I am finding that freelancing is helping me to change as a person and a professional. I am exercising regularly, for one thing - and THAT's going to make a difference. My two big goals are time management and setting a firm foundation for my business. Also, there's family - my two children are teens and I love being able to take part in their growth, rather than manning a desk in a highrise somewhere. Thank you for your thoughts.

    Brian T Copywriter

  4. Mindy,

    The moment I quit chasing money and started pursuing the deeper goals, my entire life changed for the better.

    Two things that I do to inspire my writing:

    --regular time sitting in a nature setting--at least 30 minutes a day. No writing, no books...just sitting (and a little bit of fidgeting!).

    --every morning, I do writing exercises from Mark Levy's book Accidental Genius.

    These two practices have been transformational.

    Still working on the health and time management stuff, though....


  5. Hi Mindy I get inspired by, baking nice big plump loaves-of-Newfoundland style bread...when the bread is ready and still hot...I cut a thick slice and put home made butter and molasses on it and sit back and enjoy...out on the deck overlooking the lake...and read Betty Crocker cook book...for inspiration.


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