Your Writing Career Starts with a Dream

Gordon Graham

Hello, you crazy dreamer!

I don’t mean anything negative. I love dreamers. Look around you, almost everything you see started as someone’s dream.

How about a box that lets people talk to one another across the miles! Through wires strung up to everyone’s house? What a crazy idea in the late 1800s!

But Bell did it, and the phone companies have generated trillions of dollars for more than a century.

How about doing it all over again, this time with no wires? That’s nuts! But 6 out of 7 people on earth now have access to mobile phones.

It all starts with your dream …

Do you have a fantasy? A secret ambition? A daydream your mind often drifts back to?

Is your dream to earn your living as an independent copywriter?

If so, I invite you to take a few minutes today to step into your dream. See it, feel it, smell it, and taste it.

What’s your routine? Do you bounce out of bed with the rising sun, or sleep in? Do you have a leisurely breakfast and a lingering coffee? Or do you clatter around helping your kids get out the door?

When it’s time to work, do you bring your laptop out to your deck? Or step into your office, filled with sights and sounds to inspire you?

What else do you dream of … avoiding your commute? Escaping the boredom of your job? More time with your family? Or being there so your kids don’t come home to an empty house?

Using the creativity you feel, even though your job doesn’t call for it?

I know I did. And like me, you can follow those dreams.

There’s just one catch. The only way to make your dreams come true is to get busy.

Consider Sheila C.

Sheila C. is a persona we’ll use to show how to move closer to your dreams.

Sheila is 34 years old, living in Chicagoland with her husband and three-year-old son. A couple years back, she returned to work at a health insurance office.

But it’s tough. She pays $1,000 a month for daycare, plus hundreds more on her car. She’s not getting enough sleep. And she’s not seeing enough of her son or husband.

She often wonders if it’s even worth it.

Sheila dreams of staying home with her son in the mornings, then walking him to his grandmother’s in the afternoon, while she works part-time from home.

And, with the money she saves on daycare and transport, she could earn much less and still come out ahead.

What’s your dream?

You’ve heard from Sheila. Now, why not write down your own situation? Include everything you’re dissatisfied with. Then write down how you dream of making it better.

Share your comments here.

Tomorrow, I’ll describe the easiest way to make your dreams come true, by jumping into B2B content.

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Published: August 17, 2015

47 Responses to “Your Writing Career Starts with a Dream”

  1. I am an executive assistant, but I would prefer to be writing. I have all sorts of ideas (i.e., books, plays, songs, poems, etc.) swimming through my head all the time. When I leave work, I am too tired to focus on writing. My dream is to be a full-time, paid writer, and to start a program in the community for young writers. I even have a name for this program. What I need is to have the time and freedom to bring my dream to fruition.


  2. Hi Gordan, I'm a talented artist stuck in the 'rat race'. I started out as a stylist thinking it was the only creative venue that would support me. But my real interests are drawing/painting/writing. I'm unhappy with what I have earned the past year as it doesn't pay everything. I'm unhappy with the drama in the work place. And I can't get into my creative streak when always having to leave to go to a job. My dream is to become freelance so I have the freedom to venture into my other interests.

    Sarah S

  3. I left work because I wasn't able to keep the pace, and I had to take care of my wife, who needed surgery. She's great now, but I'm unable to find any work (I'm 60 in this old factory town. Haven't earned a penny since October of last year. We're totally broke right now. I'm a composer and have written music for LOTS of people. My dream is to write music for ads and other things so I can become self-sufficient and LIVE the way we are meant to! I'll write for you and we'll market together!

    Guest (Perry)

  4. I've been a stay-at-home mom, with a special needs child. All that hard work with him is paying off: he's just moved into his own apartment and joined an organization where he can find social supports. He has a part-time job and transportation to and from that job and he's thrilled to be on his own.
    As for me, I've been a librarian and a teacher and tutor and I write poetry and fiction. I know I would like to earn money, but I hate the idea of working for an organization, for a boss.
    I want to work for my self.
    I love writing and I am pretty good at convincing people to do stuff--you have to be if you teach or work in a library!


  5. I just want to get a chance to write some very wonderful stories and get paid so is that possible for me?

    Guest (vusi)

  6. I am a mother of three boys. I have worked full time for mediocre pay and have fallen behind. I was stretching myself thin being mom, bill payer, fixer of broken things and much more. I had a tragic event, I had a ruptured aneurysm in my brain. I was 7 months pregnant. I had died on the operating table, but, not only did I live, but I relearned how to walk and talk. I gave birth two months later and five months after that I was in college. I graduated with high honors and worked fulltime. More recently, I have been unable to work due to debilitating mingraines. I am drowning in debt, trying to provide and manage my health. I see myself waking slow in the morning sitting on my bed with my laptop writing, feeling more secure about the future.


  7. I am a bookkeeper, but I love to write. My husband is retired and I want to retire too. I can begin collecting my pension in a few months, but will not qualify for Social Security for about two more years.

    My dream is to retire and enjoy life with my husband and write for extra income. My ultimate dream is to write the next great American novel, but who knows?

    Guest (treasure hunter)

  8. Hi Gordon. Great article! I have been unemployed since April. I have worked on setting up my home office,and think I finally have everything in place. I have been writing off and on most of my life,but have never done anything with it. I finally have the the time to do this. I have been writing Children's books(still unpublished),as well as a couple of articles.I am excited and ready to make my dreams come true,and looking forward to the financial and personal freedoms this will afford me.

    Karen Simmons

  9. I used to have a good career but it's gone. I was delivering stuff but my car broke down. Now I work in a call center. It took 3 months to get that job and I'm behind on all my bills, losing my house. I have often been told I write well, and I would love to get going as a copywriter but it will have to wait until I can get my credit card reactivated. Sigh. I will get there!

    Guest (Jean S)

  10. I hate not having money to do fun things with my daughter, credit card debt I can’t pay off at the end of the month, driving a car that’s 25 years old, and the fact that I haven’t had a vacation since 2007. I don’t know if my dream of building a ranch-style Christian retreat will actually come true.

    But my dream day starts by waking w/a peaceful heart, dropping my daughter at school, and taking a long walk with friends before sitting down to write for a few hours. I chat w/my mom, making plans for our next visit. I visit the farmer's market. When my daughter gets home from school, I sit w/her as she shares whatever is on her heart, and I have the peace of mind to give her my undivided attention. As she does homework, I enjoy the sunset.


  11. I'm haunted by the lack of confidence in my writing, is my material in demand, did I write it correctly? I'm currently working 4/12 hour shifts and weekends which stifle my creative juices for my writing and painting. I need more income to be able to continue living where I would like to live instead being force to live where my current budget limits me. I long to become a free lance writer, is it too late for me?

    Guest (Janice)

  12. Gordon, you hit the nail on the head! I want to live my life on my terms- with balance for personal success without compromising my family for it. I know it's possible to use my drive and ambition to further MY life instead of it being exploited for corporate gain.

    Guest (Brittany C)

  13. I am retired, a professional photographer, fiber artist and writer. Would love to be able to earn an income writing freelance and have the ability to travel with my wonderful husband while we still can. On a retirement income, it seems like dreams are all we have. Hope to be able to make my dreams -- our dreams -- come true.

    Terri D-FL

  14. Hello Gordon, I truly believe there is no such thing as "Stuck in a certain mode" we all have a choice and today is the day I choose to become a writer, one that takes my craft seriously and believes that this is the right time and place to take it too the next level. I work closely with the public and train others for a living, I look forward to moving my career in a new direction using my past and present experience, with help and knowledge sharing I look forward to learning as much as possible

    Guest (Elaine)

  15. I live everyday as a retired person and love it. I do dream of making some extra money so we can have a few extras that now do not fit easily within our budget. In fact, that's what I want to change, our budget. It will be so much fun when I finish these lessons and I have happy clients who pay me to write for them. I love to write and I know I can do this.


  16. Hi, Gordan. I work for a grocery store, in the meat department. I've worked there for 10 years, with no possible hope for advancement. It seems that no one appreciates my time there, but I am in need of a change, since my kids need my attention more than work. I dream of working from home, doing more for my wife and kids, and being there for them. I want the freedom to work from anywhere actually, and be able to provide a better life for us.

    John P

  17. I'm on the cusp of my dream. just enough to see what fun I could have as a freelance writer—take time to attend Boot Camp, and have the money to pay for it; work from a beach or my home office, on my schedule; then, after the work is done, I can finish the half dozen novels dancing in my head—that's my writing dream, in a nutshell. But I'm still a captive writer that needs more side work to break free.

    Guest (Yarnspinner)

  18. Well Gordon lately my Dream has been to once again have a Home of My Own Again,well me and my Bestest Bestie a Human could Ever Pray for, her name is Foxy!! See 6yrs ago I found Sobriety,but 5yrs ago I found True Happiness in my Sobriety,Foxy. My strength in My Sobriety,in this probably 17lb little stray that had been taken to the Humane Society of The High Plains in Hays,Kan Trying to stay busy=trying to stay Sober. Then,May19,2012 alwith yes one son who was 22yrs old!! Too young,and not Completely Forgiven of the Hell me and My Alcoholism put him Who by the way was Thrilled I was home All the Time. Thrilled until I had No income for 180 Days,6 months!! No Warning!!
    Hey i have to go for now,


  19. My situation is not Sheila's Wow! wow. What a position to find yourself in! I NEED to attend Bootcamp, but I can't afford it! $1795.00!
    However , I know what you're saying is TRUE-- I really can't afford NOT to attend! Yes, In looking long term, the $1800.00 can be compensated for within a month or two -- depending on the acquisition of good, well-paying clients you garner. Everybody's different, and Have their own way of doing this. But I'm thinking of NOT eating to & from Florida! Yes, Shirt term needs! Seriously! yes, short term --but, it's REAL! Please advise-- any price breaks what-so-ever on this Bootcamp?! I need to know, to make plans going forward..


    Guest (Doug The bug)

  20. My dream is to combine my part-time teaching career with successful freelance writing. I have been a journalist and published several books but these opportunities came to me-I didn't search for them. I now need to learn how to look for them. But after achieving other goals over the past few years and having a gap from writing, I now struggle with low confidence and rusty writing!

    Guest (Andrea)

  21. Thank you for helping me make my dream come true!!!...looking forward to hearing from anyone for inspiration, as i would do the same for others!!!...keep faith, Sincerely and Very Grateful, michael goldberg

    Guest (michael j goldberg)

  22. I'm a writer, weaver and painter currently working as a reporter and copyeditor for a small-town newspaper, which offers no money and no time for myself. I'm the queen of day jobs and the author of "The Day Job Survival Kit." I want to stay home and let the colors fly! I've tried finding my niche in copywriting for years, finally settling on case studies and white papers. Now I need to learn to market my skills. Thank you for offering your experience and expertise. It's much appreciated!

    Guest (Durga Walker)

  23. I'm a writer, weaver and painter currently working as a reporter and copyeditor for a small-town newspaper, which offers no money and no time. I'm the queen of day jobs and author of "The Day Job Survival Kit." My dream is to stay home and let the colors fly! To this end, I've been trying to find my niche in copywriting for years, finally settling on case studies and white papers. Now I need to make it a reality. Thank you, Gordon, for offering your experience and expertise. Much appreciated!

    Durga Walker

  24. Why Do I Need Copywriting?
    I’ll be honest. Plainly and simply, it’s the money.
    We have been retired for 10 years. Money is necessary to maintain a lifestyle, even at a reduced level. We have a lot of GOOD years left, and we don't like the reduced level.
    My wife and I both feel qualified as copywriters and believe that, working together, we can be even better.
    At our age, no one is going to give us a job. We have to make this work.

    Guest (Lindy)

  25. I have been a concierge, tour guide, administrative assistant, retail salesperson, gallery manager, stage manager and real estate agent. The only thing I haven't been is a waitress. At the moment, I work 9-5 for a German accounting firm in Florida (go figure!). While I am grateful for a job that keeps a roof over my head, I yearn to travel and return to my spiritual home in Vienna. I have had 4 books published by John Wiley & Sons and am eager to master the nuances of B2B writing so that I can have the the same things that my colleagues want - Time and Freedom.

    Adele Z

  26. Hi, Gordon. Thanks for your inspiration. I am a retired journalist-turned-real-estate-agent who is trying to return to writing. Ideally, I would like to do travel writing while continuing my fledgling career in real estate. As a raving tennis player, I also would like to write about that sport. I must admit, though, I am increasingly intrigued by the financial potential of copywriting. I look forward to your posts.


  27. My dream is very simple. I want to make my living writing. I started with fiction-specifically short fiction. Now I think copy writing can give me a way to still write for a living while concentrating on writing novels. I hope it works.
    I have just began a blog to enhance my copy writing business. I would like to invite you to visit it at .

    Guest (Amy)

  28. I am a retired and disabled science and theology teacher. I've had good success writing curriculum and formal science research papers. I think I can learn this new skill, but the proof is in the pudding. And I want MORE PUDDING. PUDDING ALL AROUND. Preferably on the Cote'Azure! In the water!


  29. I'm a long-time special education teacher who has had enough of the bureaucracy and paperwork and petty politics. I love to write, and I am going to make this my last year of teaching. I now have both my kids in college, so I have more opportunity to spend time doing things for me. Writing is both one of those things, and a way for me to get to do all the other things I dream of.

    Joyce H

  30. My FB profile photo is when I was 25y.o. Three years later I had a stroke following my first brain surgery, with paralysis on my left. I've been a campus newspaper reporter and editor, writing briefs and features. And published in newspapers in northern Ca including the SF Chronicle. My dream is to support myself through writing so I can live in an assisted living or retirement community where I can see the ocean.
    I'm 64 but my spirit still feels 25, and I am eager to develop tools that help me magnify my writing skills. With my hand in yours and with AWAI, I'm confident I can.

    Guest (Keep dancing)

  31. I live my dream but can't seem to make it my living. I am clandestinely world-renowned: an architectural visionary surviving the loss of my once inseparable identical twin -- now informing me from the OTHER side of inseparable space and time as we know it. And although I'll likely win neither architecture's Pritzker nor the Nobel for physics, if ever anyone were to win both, diminishing returns are hardly in my offing's super-symmetrical twin bent.

    Guest (Chris Morris)

  32. I lived in my car with my dog for 8 months and now am recovering. I work a full-time job, which cuts into my study and writing time, but I am progressing.

    I re-started the Accelerated program for the third time, and am now farther along than I ever was. Very excited! I am also studying Gordon's "Crash Course In B2B Content." I can't wait to complete it.

    To all others who are facing challenges: Don't give up the dream! My dream is to wake early each day, enjoy the sunrise on a walk with my dog, and live life on my own terms. And play a little music on the side! Keep on keeping on, everyone!


    Garth Osborn

  33. I gave up my employment 14 years ago to assist with the care of my mother-in-law. My wife was an R.N. and provided for us. My mother-in-law passed away in 2010. my wife became seriously ill 6 months after. Diabetes took her sight, diabetic neuropathy set in and she Can't walk anymore. She is completely disabled now. I must stay close by because she needs assistance, constantly. The AWAI and Barefoot writer seem to be the avenue that I might take. Plenty of freedom to write when i chose.

    Guest (Gary)

  34. I just made a career change. Does it count as "a change" if you have run screaming from it and have no idea of how to sustain yourself, your husband and your cats?
    I have always been good at writing and am dearly hoping to replace the salary I left behind through using the skills I have and learning new ones.

    Guest (Janis)

  35. Hello Gordon, Great article. I have been retired for a few years but have always had the itch to do something to supplement my income. I am enrolled in The AWAI Accelerated Program For Six-Figure Copywriting where I hope to learn enough to write professionally at some point. I heartily recommend it for anyone just starting out.


  36. Wow! I'm an IT Project Manager and thought I would give up work as I wanted to be a travel writer and include some B2B work as well to boost the income. However there are so many hard-luck stories on here that I'm wondering if I shouldn't stick with what I'm doing and leave more room for those who really need the opportunity!

    Whew, is the market big enough to take everyone?

    Guest (David)

  37. my biggest dream is when do I get my assignments. I think I know what I should specialize in but I need feedback from my instructor to decide this.
    The commercials are great. I want to get down to work, today thanks Ruth I also have 50 companies that I could work for, I don't know what to do next, you went so fast in your speech, I know you contact a certain person, what do I say. I am blind i cant read that shadow stuffso I am a little slow just a little slow, write soon, my keys are hot an

    Guest (ruth)

  38. As a full time special education teacher, I can tell you, teaching is not the same as it used to be. I'm ready for a change! I've always LOVED writing-stories, papers, poems....and I enjoy helping others write as well. But now all I write are evaluations and IEP's. Hoping to make a living doing what I love but feeling slightly overwhelmed!!

    Guest (R Fox)

  39. I've been self-employed for the last 51 years of my 76. From Chevron Dealer to home delivery milkman, to Insurance Broker to Securities Dealer to General Contractor to Home Inspector. In 2006 I retired in 2008 I lost over 750,000 of my retirement. My Real Estate Broker wife's business literally stopped. I was able to go back to Home Inspections but at 77 I know I won't be able to inspection anymore. I need to be able to replace my 10,000 per mo. income. Copywriting has always been my dream.


  40. I have reached retirement age but I hate to even talk about it. I want to continue working to my last day, God willing. I have decided to follow AWAI's path to success.. My dream is to devote the major part of my time to writing, fiction and non-fiction, for the love of it. My nest egg being insufficient, I need to generate revenues from my efforts. I want to try B2B writing to earn enough to support my doing what I really love.


  41. I was fired from my hotel receptionist job,there 1 yr 1/2+.Came in on days off,stayed over and worked after working,sometimes due to their finances worked off the clock a few hours,promised I'd see it on my next check.NOT!Was a shady job but I did what I had to do to make it from paycheck to paycheck.Beginning of June they fired me with out hesitation,said"they were letting me go,my last paycheck was ready to be picked up!"Filed for employment the shady boss knew if she said "Insubordination" I'd get denied.Fighting with appeal.Now me,my husband and 4.5 yr old son are all under my husbands income,forced to get on state assistance(food stamps)we are struggling every single month to pay rent on time,pay bills to keep them on for the month.

    Guest (amyb)

  42. I was a model, Fashion Designer, Boutique Owner, Wife and Mother of two with some health issues that I was trying to get under control while taking care of everyone else and running my own business. I forgot about myself, had a break down and woke up in a mental institute. It has taken me over two years to feel comfortable enough to want to share my experience and to not fear my own shadow. I want to write about the injustice that not only I have had to deal with but to write for change for Mothers that are dictated when they can see and be with there children.

    Guest (Jessica)

  43. eva since i was still crawling in all four, i have shared d writers dreams,and inspire many with my thoughts,or scenes i catptured in my head...i love to live in the world of my creative imaginations,but along the line i was caught up in the rate race and taking away from my dreams to remain as a writer,but every now and then my heart yarns and creave for every ability in me to make my dreams come true, i love to write,n hope that noting more i should do either now or ever...even right there in my bed,this dreams lingers in my head.


  44. I never knew this type of writing existed!I think I would enjoy it. Lately I have been reading everything I can about it and I have no problem understanding it, but when I try to write something its like my head is an empty box and nothing comes out. I have to wonder if there is any hope for me. When I was younger in school, I never liked writing essay's. Oh, well I guess that's why writers have a swipe file, right?

    Guest (Audrey Sorg)

  45. I have spent my adult life raising our two children in a parsonage and being a pastor's wife and a teacher. I was able to express my deep-seated desire to write in curriculum, drama and speeches, including sermons! I love the ability of words to paint pictures! I regularly kept a journal, but now I want to explore the world of writing and engage the opportunities that await!

    Guest (Marilyn Martin)

  46. It seems everyone here has dreams for writing and I am the only one trying to fit into the system. But I cannot give up. I wish to start up something after loosing my job and can't pay my bills again. I have been an independent person all my life, I can't imagine leaning on somebody now to pay my bills. I know with this website I can achieve ALL.

    Blessing Tina

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