Why Writing is the Ultimate Form of Creative Freedom

Sandy Franks

The fondness I have for AWAI isn’t simply because I used to write Monthly Copywriting Genius. It’s because of the people behind the company such as Katie, Rebecca, Paul Hollingshead, Mark Ford, and of course, Don Mahoney.

But it’s not just the people that draw you in … it’s the business itself. There’s something about the publishing business that gets you hooked. Publishing gets in your veins.

In my early career days at Agora – the $500 million publishing company where I worked before coming to AWAI – I couldn’t quite understand what it was about the business that was so addictive. Many of my colleagues and I would joke and call ourselves “the island of misfit workers.”

Now that I’m older and wiser, I realize there’s nothing “misfit” about it. What draws most people into publishing is the same thing that draws so many aspiring people into the world of writing: creative freedom.

In fact to some people, writing is similar to being an entrepreneur.

Think about it. An entrepreneur starts with an idea. Maybe their idea is a new invention, a new way of doing something better, or a service or product they’re passionate about. They do whatever they can to bring their idea to fruition.

The same is true with writing … that is, writing worth paying for!

Truly great writers find ways to make ideas feel new to the reader, whether it’s coining a new phrase, writing a seductive headline that says “read me,” or even writing an article on a topic that has been written about dozens of times, and finding a compelling way to cover it that keeps people reading to the very end.

What I’m telling you is that great writers create something new.

They’re always looking for that “edge” that makes their writing stand out from the rest.

The very fact you’ve showed an interest in getting paid to write by reading this e-letter signals your entrepreneurial self is trying to come out.

Forget Sheryl Sandberg’s leaning in, my advice is let it out, let it all out. Let your entrepreneurial spirit loose through your writing. Don’t hold back. Learn every secret AWAI has to share with you and dare to create something new.

Trust me, it will be the best decision you can make.

I’ll be with you the rest of this week, sharing a few secrets and insights I learned in my 28 years. In fact, tomorrow, I’m going to let you in on what AWAI Founder Mark Ford taught me about a yellow highlighter. Sounds odd, but it will be worth your time to read it.

Also in tomorrow’s edition of TWL, you’re going to notice a change …

We’ll be unveiling a brand new masthead and logo. I’d love to hear your thoughts about it or if you have questions for me, please feel free to drop me a line below.

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: October 12, 2015

6 Responses to “Why Writing is the Ultimate Form of Creative Freedom”

  1. Congratulations on the decision to have a new masthead and logo for The Writer's Life. We've moved on from the 'perfect' life - doing it all on the beach. Nothing is further from real life today.

    Sandy, thank you for your thoughtful advice it's a welcome relief from sales hype.

    Joan M

  2. I'm trying to find the right course for my education as copywriter. I'm trying to choose How to Write Money-Making Websites from Secrets of Writing for the Christian Market. Or I get both but one after the other. I'ved created a company website at http://www.rmcbranch.org and really I need help to transform it to be an income-generating website. So I guess I should start with How to Write Money-Making Websites. Really, I should go for it.


  3. Dear Sandy

    I really enjoyed your article. I suppose I'm looking for someone to assure me that I can do this. Briefly, I'm seventy-five, two grown children, wife still working (a great school teacher), sold life insurance 35 years, in the ministry before that, never really happy with career choices made under default and necessity rather than by genuine desire.

    But now I am elated to be with AWAI. I'll admit that as I am only on Lesson 3 of "Accelerated ..." I admit that billing a client for those sums is a bit scary. But I am excited about my livelihood for the first time in years.

    Any advice? Your reputation precedes you!


    Ron Miller


  4. Hi Sandy. Great article, especially the reminder to just let it all out... Dare to create something new! Too often, especially in the B2B world, it's tempting to hold back a little too much. I needed the wake-up.

    Hope to see you at Bootcamp this week.
    - Les

    Les Worley

  5. Aloha and Mahalo Sandy, Love the "spark" in your words. Yes, writing is an entrepreneurial journey and not a destination. We'll wing it, give up on the guess work,decide,improvise, and figure out the next most important writing thing and just do that! Bring on the new!


  6. Sandy: That's it!! Well said! Years ago I read a biography of Winston Churchill that illustrated how he lived life as a writer above all else. That has always resonated with me and is why I'm excited to have found AWAI.


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