Ocean in ViewO the Joy! A Freelance Writer Gets Giddy

By: Sue Lapointe

The quote – though originally badly misspelled – is from Meriwether Lewis, upon finally seeing the Pacific Ocean. Through a long and twisty branch of our family tree, I get to claim this brave explorer as a relative.

What do we have in common? Frankly – not a whole lot. Captain Lewis was unbelievably brave to set out to explore the western two-thirds of our nation. I thought I was pretty brave last month to take off alone for San Francisco for a Klemmer & Associates seminar. Lewis was appointed the governor of the Louisiana Territory. Me – I share the governorship of our home with my wonderful husband of seventeen years.

But I have done something pretty brave. I started a business of my own. After becoming essentially unemployable, because I’m not willing to grovel for a day off to take care of sick kids, to eat lunch at a time specified by a boss, or to work like crazy… for someone else – I went looking for a better way to contribute to our family financially.

Yes. I know about the statistic that says one-third of all new businesses fail in the first year. Yes. I remember how my prior entrepreneurial attempts crashed and burned – the custom knitting business, the cigar box purses on ebay, the mystery shopping (I could do this all day, but you probably get the idea).

And yes, I was scared that this one would fail, too. What is that quote?

“Courage is not the absence of fear; it is taking action in fear’s presence."

So, I read a book by Loral Langemeier, called The Millionaire Maker, hired a coach through Live Out Loud, and started the hunt for the perfect business. It had to be something based on my existing skill set. Something that people would pay for. Something with relatively low start-up costs.

I felt a lot like George Costanza on that episode of Seinfeld when he’s out of work and contemplating various careers. "I'd love to be a Civil War buff. What do you have to do to be a buff?" The homework went something like this: make a list of 100 things you do well. Have three people who know you well make similar lists, but with only 50 skills each. Compare the lists. Do any skills appear on all of the lists? How could you earn money with these skills? And by a unanimous vote….. I became a writer.

Great. So, how do you make money with that? Where does the giddy freelance writer from this article’s title come in? Don’t writers pretty much starve to death? Don’t they get all unkempt, lock themselves away to type and crumple, and slowly go insane? At least, unless they’re Stephen King or JK Rowling?

Nope. Not if they do it the right way. With some good advice, the right books, a bit of talent, and a team, they do just fine. In fact, one year after launching a writing business, they joyride down the beautiful Indian River Drive in Jensen Beach, FL (a winding road next to the river, flanked by palm trees swaying in the breeze) – listening to Norah Jones (still can’t beat those vocals, guitar, and piano), while enjoying the smooth-as-butter ride of a brand new company car… all with a big, giddy grin from ear to ear.

What would make this joy complete? Teaching others how to do it, too. That’s why I launched my new siteFree Articles, WorkingWriterHappyWriter.com.

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