Launching the Most Relaxed Writer’s Life Ever
It’s great seeing you back today as we continue our discussion about reinventing yourself.
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.
The Professional Writers’ Alliance
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