Launching the Most Relaxed Writer’s Life Ever


Will Newman

It’s great seeing you back today as we continue our discussion about reinventing yourself.

(If you missed the previous two articles where I talked about my reinvention and four steps you must take for your own self-reinvention, click here and here.)

Today, we visit Cyndee Davis, an AWAI member who, after 34 years in nursing, was forced to reinvent herself. She chose the writer's life because it married her passion for writing with a comfortable income.

Cyndee’s self-reinvention didn't follow a straight line. But once she got started, she did a terrific job of carving out the writer's life.

Let me introduce you to Cyndee so she can tell you her own story …

You’ve distinguished yourself as a professional mental health copywriter. How did you discover that niche, and how did you know it was a good fit?

I started out in the mental health niche because of a lifetime of experiences with mental illness in my family. It’s an intuitive industry for me. However, initially, I had trouble finding clients who could afford my fees. I tried some other niches looking for clients with deeper pockets.

After trying the chocolate industry, then the oil field services industry, mental health professional clients began coming to me … almost out of the woodwork. The initial marketing I’d done for mental health started paying off and I focused my full attention there.

What led you to freelance writing in the first place?

I always loved writing and expressing myself. But I was told writers can’t make enough to pay their bills, so I got my B.S. degree in nursing. After 34 years in the field, I was laid off in 2009 when my department was dissolved during the recession.

I’d received emails from AWAI about how writers really can succeed, so I decided this was my chance to finally do what I loved so I ordered The Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting.

Do you have any rituals you follow when writing?

I need complete quiet to write. Sometimes I’ll put my dogs in front of Lady and the Tramp on TV to keep them quiet, then dive in. I’m not a morning person, and my juices don’t start flowing till later in the day … so my best writing is afternoon and evening.

My reward after a day of writing is dinner and a glass of chardonnay … somewhere between 7 p.m. and midnight.

What are your writing goals at this point?

I’m writing a program to help mental health professionals market their services. This is my first full-length book and will include other multimedia elements to optimize the learning experience.

The e-books I’ve written have prepared me well for this project. I'm going to continue developing information products to build a passive income for the day when I’m unable to write any more … say when I’m 114?

What role do live events and conferences play in your writing career?

Conferences and live events make all the difference. The electric atmosphere recharges me to go home and put to work new ideas for writing copy and marketing. I also learn other new skills.

What’s one thing about you no one knows?

I write in my PJ’s. Every day. I concentrate best when I’m not aware of myself, so I need to be utterly comfortable.

I wake up, go through my email, do some marketing, then begin to organize what I need to do for the day while my mind is catching up. I also do Lumosity [online brain-training] daily to get my mind toned up before starting.

Then I write. Often I look up at 10 p.m. and realize I never dressed all day!

What’s the single most important piece of advice you can give newcomers?

Tenacity, determination, and persistence in your marketing efforts make all the difference. Don’t let yourself give up because you don’t have clients yet. Market, market, market.

Cyndee is spot on when she says it takes tenacity, determination, and persistence. And it also takes a great deal of courage. Tomorrow, I'm going to introduce you to a friend of mine who exhibits all those qualities. Even though he’s only 20 years old, he can teach us all a great deal about success. I think you'll enjoy meeting him.

Until you come back tomorrow, let us know what you think about Cyndee Davis's story by commenting below.

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Published: June 1, 2016

8 Responses to “Launching the Most Relaxed Writer’s Life Ever”

  1. This is the first one of these I've read all the way through and I enjoyed it. I like that you've delved into the marketing aspect of this. Thanks Tom

    Guest (TMac)June 1, 2016 at 1:07 pm

  2. That's really nice...comfort of working from home. Thanks Cyndee for sharing this

    Guest (Hina)June 1, 2016 at 2:04 pm

  3. I've experienced something similar with my first chosen niche, the training and learning development market. I've been marketing A LOT, made some good connections, but still no clients. I've switched over to the chiropractic market in B2C and B2C, also because, like Cyndee, I've been a patient since childhood and have an intuitive feel for it. Cyndee's experiences encourage me to continue marketing in my first niche, and know that it will pay off when I least expect it.

    Joyce HJune 1, 2016 at 2:15 pm

  4. I appreciate Cyndi's comments. As a retired nurse myself I too have an insatiable desire to write. I have been published in some newspaper articles in the past, but have had little formal training. I have written newsletters for a job position I once had. I was co-author in a book written for a disability agency I worked for. I. howeberhave never been paid for any of my work, except through my regular salary. I have mamy niches that I am interested in. I am currently on a vacation in N.C. and must wait till I return home later this momth. Thanks, Connie Buckalew

    Guest (Connie Buckalew)June 1, 2016 at 3:04 pm

  5. I love this story!I've worked in Real Estate Sales for about 20 years. If my math serves me correctly you didn't re-invention until the middle 50's.I'm in that group too.How did you begin to market yourself? Did you have a mental health certification? How did you become an expert in the clients eyes?E-mail sources you already knew in the Nursing field? I just started the program maybe that's in the last chapter. Still, excellent news to know I can still work, make money and be retired!

    SoozieJune 1, 2016 at 5:39 pm

  6. Cyndee Davis was forced to reinvent after 34 Years of her life.We have a great trouble to make a real choice concerning what matters as "career".
    Well this statement is not actually all right.We have got enormous problems at finding our right way to earn money.
    There are more victims of modern life as we expected to know about.
    On the one side some people changes rules to get more money,but on the other side some millions are forced to survive at a minimum of income.Where is the justice?

    Guest (ali rely)June 1, 2016 at 7:26 pm

  7. Great article, Will! Great story, Cyndee! But I'll tell you what, Cyndee; most likely you don't even Lumosity. You have enough on your daily plate to kick your "brain" into high gear already. Good work!

    Thomas ArillottaJune 2, 2016 at 6:33 am

  8. Thank you Cyndee. I selected a niche in healthcare through volunteering for nine years. It is Proton radiation to treat cancer. I learned that I have no competition, but many new Proton centers are opening across the world. I am in the process of marketing and feel Josh Boswell is right. My market "will be revealed." It helps me to learn there are others in a similar situation. My hopes are confirmed by your comments.

    Guest (Clyde Marsh)April 11, 2017 at 5:38 pm


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