You Do You!
Your Writer's Life Doesn't Have to Look Like Anyone Else's

Happy writer with hands out to the side on boat

Choices. They’re a double-edged sword.

On one hand, choices represent the different possibilities out there waiting for us to claim them.

On the other hand, having choices means it’s our responsibility to actually CHOOSE something. And it can be overwhelming — even scary sometimes — to make the decision to choose something.

But not choosing? Well, there are consequences to that choice, too.

This was illustrated perfectly for me one Thanksgiving years ago. It was a year when we had a huge gathering at my house.

In addition to my husband and our son, who was a toddler at the time, my parents were there as well as my in-laws. My sister, her husband, and their teenaged son came from out of town. My brother-in-law, his significant other, and their kids were all there. Aunts, uncles, cousins … Everyone showed up that year.

We had to rent extra tables and chairs, and move furniture out of the way to make room for everyone to sit down and share a meal together.

We prepared massive amounts of food. But the most memorable were the desserts.

Oh, the Desserts!

We wanted to have enough choices so that everyone would find something they liked. So we made five different kinds of pie: pumpkin, pecan, apple-cranberry, boysenberry, and grasshopper.

The grasshopper pie was chosen to appeal to all the boys, some of whom were young enough — and gullible enough — to believe it was really made with grasshoppers.

And in addition to all the pie, we had chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies, and peanut butter cookies out on trays. My mother-in-law brought her signature holiday fudge. Someone else brought brownies.

There were so many choices! It was sweet-tooth overload.

My teenaged nephew Jeremy didn’t want to choose. He wanted ALL the options. And this one time, we let him go for it.

He ate a slice of every kind of pie. He ate one of each kind of cookie. He ate some fudge, and he ate a brownie, too.

He was determined to take advantage of each and every dessert choice there was that Thanksgiving. He did it. And, yes, he paid the price that night and the next day. It turns out that even teenaged boys don’t really have bottomless pits for stomachs!

All the choices you can make — all the possibilities — of a writer’s life are just like those desserts piled up on an overflowing buffet table.

They’re all delicious. But you can’t possibly eat all of them. You have to choose.

Your Choices Define Your Writer’s Life

Some of the first choices you make in defining your version of the writer’s life are …

  • clients or no clients?
  • in-house employee or freelance business?
  • full time or side hustle?

These aren’t multiple-choice questions with right or wrong answers. All choices are valid. Each answer has proven to work for different writers.

So it all comes down to the question What do YOU want?

It’s like all the desserts at our Thanksgiving …

We made such a variety because we knew that everyone didn’t have the same taste preferences. Each option was delicious in its own right, but not every dessert was right for everybody we were serving.

Similarly, each version of the writer’s life is great, but not every one of them is right for everybody.

And then, some of the other choices you’ll make in defining your writer’s life involve the kind of writing you want to spend your time doing.

For example, my writer’s life started out with web copy … specifically taking websites from boring corporate-speak online brochures to engaging, conversational pages that directed the reader to DO something, to take some sort of action.

Then I added social media and email copywriting to my writer’s life. I added content marketing, blogging, SEO, and UX.

But, unlike my nephew, I didn’t add these specialties to my plate all at once. And I didn’t even have the desire to do it all.

I took a little taste of writing white papers and decided that wasn’t for me, although I knew writers who were finding a lot of success doing just that. Same thing with financial sales letters and video sales letters …

I saw fellow writers living really great lives — making good money — doing this kind of writing. But it wasn’t for me. It wasn’t MY writer’s life.

And I came to realize that that’s okay!

AWAI doesn’t have such a huge product catalog with so many choices because I have to know it all and do it all to live a successful writer’s life. They offer so many options because they’re serving such a large and diverse family … all of whom have different tastes and preferences.

This realization helped me settle in and enjoy the options I’d selected to be on my plate. And that’s when my writer’s life became the satisfying success that it is today.

Choosing Which Strategies and Tactics to Use

Just as you get to choose what kind of writing to do, you also choose which strategies and tactics are right for you.

Let’s take getting clients as an example …

There are MANY different strategies and tactics for getting clients. Ilise Benun teaches using LinkedIn to connect with prospects. Jay White sends cold emails. Michael Katz leverages existing relationships.

I used networking events and asking for referrals to get clients.

All of these strategies and tactics are proven to work. But you don’t have to put all of them to work for you!

You need only one.

You just have to choose the one that fits YOU best.

And then consistently take action.

Of course, just like with the kinds of writing you choose to do, you aren’t limited to a single choice. But mastering one at a time is usually a wise move, because some flavors just don’t blend well. (Imagine what pumpkin pie and grasshopper pie would taste like mashed together! Or maybe it’s better not to!)

Other decisions you’ll make as a writer involve things like scheduling your day, organizing your workflows, handling invoicing and accounting, and so on.

Your choices don’t have to be the same as mine or any other writer’s …

Your writer’s life doesn’t have to look the same as mine or any other writer’s …

The power of the writer’s life is that you get to do you!

Instead of being overwhelmed by all the choices laid out on the table, try feeling empowered with the knowledge that there isn’t a wrong answer. There is something on the table that’s just right for you.

So grab your slice of the pie, and enjoy!

The AWAI Method™

The AWAI Method™ for Becoming a Skilled, In-Demand Copywriter

The AWAI Method™ combines the most up-to-date strategies, insights, and teaching methods with the tried-and-true copywriting fundamentals so you can take on ANY project — not just sales letters. Learn More »

Click to Rate:
Average: 5.0
Published: June 28, 2024

Guest, Add a Comment
Please Note: Your comments will be seen by all visitors.

You are commenting as a guest. If you’re an AWAI Member, Login to myAWAI for easier commenting, email alerts, and more!

(If you don’t yet have an AWAI Member account, you can create one for free.)

This name will appear next to your comment.

Your email is required but will not be displayed.

Text only. Your comment may be trimmed if it exceeds 500 characters.

Type the Shadowed Word
Too hard to read? See a new image | Listen to the letters

Hint: The letters above appear as shadows and spell a real word. If you have trouble reading it, you can use the links to view a new image or listen to the letters being spoken.

(*all fields required)