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Rebecca L. Weber coaches with the sustainable strategies, mindset shifts, and creative skills development she uses to help independent writers around the world. If you’ve got what it takes to make it as a freelance writer, but struggle with confidence, imposter syndrome, overwhelm, procrastination, time management, writer’s block, improving your craft, marketing, pitching, underearning, pursuing meaning in your work, or getting in your own way, this is the writing podcast for you. Learn, gro ...
 
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How do you prepare for your next task? Next project? Next month? Next year? Sometimes we give it no more thought than opening a new browser tab, and we’re absorbed from minute one. But sometimes we rub right up against resistance. Boring project. PITA client. The I-can’t-remember-where-I-left-off-and-I’d-rather-scroll-Instagram mood. Yes, we do the…
 
You’ve had English teachers and editors ask you to use the active voice rather than the passive voice when writing. When presented with two sentences, one passive and one active, we almost always choose the active. So why do we keep writing our drafts in the passive voice? Our minds default repeatedly to seeing people as passive rather than active …
 
Register for the free masterclass, taught live on Wednesday: www.rebeccalweber.com/masterclass Perfectionism is a gateway to procrastination. If you're holding yourself and your story ideas to an impossible standard, you're probably not sending out very many pitches. "Imperfect" doesn't mean half-baked, overwrought, or unsent pitches. Think origina…
 
If you decide to take on the complaint-free challenge, you’re guaranteed to learn something about yourself. It’s simple: No complaining to anybody you know IRL. No complaining to virtual strangers online. No complaining to yourself. (That one’s the hardest.) Complaining makes our work far less enjoyable. We engage less with our stories, we resent o…
 
Judith Gaton, style coach, author, and podcast host, joins us today to talk about the impact of how the way we get dressed impacts our sense of well being. This isn’t about getting dressed to the nines when you’re working from home (unless you want to!), but about being more deliberate in ways that support your writing life. Why too much freedom (A…
 
Habits can become so ingrained that we believe that they’re the way things are rather than a pattern we’ve started and that we can also end. Sometimes when it’s nearly time to turn in a piece, we’ll go over and over and over it again, working ourselves up in a way that produces diminishing returns for the procut and is the antithesis of self-care. …
 
I don’t mean that editors don’t want your pitch because the story angle isn’t clear, that there’s no news hook, and that you don’t have a string of impressive clips in your bio. You can learn how to handle all of that. What I mean is that editors want what a pitch promises. Understand this, and you’ll be better able to communicate in way that estab…
 
When it comes to pitching, a surprising number of mid-career freelancers really aren’t sure what to do. They may have a basic, intermediary, or theoretical understanding of pitching that doesn’t yield reliable results with competitive publications. Getting clear about this is way more effective for building internal motivation than telling yourself…
 
Freelance writers often spend a lot of time trying to decide when to pitch. Learn when the very best time to pitch is, plus what you can do with the time you used to spend asking this question. Follow me on Instagram: @freelancewriterbootcamp Apply to work with me in my small group coaching program: www.FreelanceWriterBootcamp.com Break into your d…
 
Should you follow up on the story you pitched more quickly than you used to pre-pandemic? Yes, if the story itself must be told urgently. No, if you personally have a sense of urgency about knowing what your next assignment will be. Freelancers often conflate these two very different kinds of urgency. Let’s get clear about introducing urgency into …
 
Today we’re looking at the challenges and opportunities for multilingual writers. We speak with freelancers from Brazil, Poland, and South Africa, who have all used their locations and language skills to build relationships with editors overseas. This is a fascinating discussion for everyone interested in developing a better understanding of intern…
 
The way we think about and prepare questions shapes our conversations, our stories, and our own learning. Today I’m teaching a thinking technique that will redirect you back to yourself and your own knowledge. This will allow you to show up with an extra layer or two of understanding whenever you ask a question. I’ll show you three different exampl…
 
When an editor posts a call for pitches, freelancers sometimes respond the way they would to the siren’s call. The writers retweet them, share them, subscribe to newsletters with them. After weeks of saying they’ll get around to pitching, they suddenly snap to attention. Typically, the writer skips over analyzing (or even reading) the publication, …
 
Are you telling yourself you’re all in and willing to do anything … unless it involves anxiety, doubt, boredom, or frustration? Deciding to do things when you’re not in the mood (especially if you’re never likely to be in the mood) is the key to growing your freelance career. If you avoid risk, you avoid success as well as failure. Let’s look at ho…
 
Usually when we talk about mindset work, we’re focusing on what you’re thinking and how it impacts you. It sort of has to be that way, since the only thoughts you have control over are your own. ;) A lot of freelance writers spend a lot of creative energy thinking about what their editors think … and then let those imaginary thoughts of somebody el…
 
The way I teach writers to set and achieve their goals since I shared my method back in episode 20 has evolved. This is an important update for writers who reach their goals but don’t feel as good about them as they thought they might. By definition, when we’re striving to reach a goal, we haven’t made it yet--and constantly telling ourselves that …
 
A big area of growth for myself, as well as for many of the writers I coach, is being able to recognize our wins. This means identifying them when they happens. Without a disclaimer about why they don’t really count or why they’re an anomaly or how it’s not enough. When this is very challenging, it often indicates cognitive dissonance. The writer i…
 
Some freelancers avoid low-hanging fruit, and always have their eye on a tree in the next orchard over that they can’t reach yet. If the fruit is ripe and the right height, picking it now as you learn to climb the tree will sustain you with assignments that are sweet, simple, and easy to attain. But don’t pick unripe apples, or ones that are full o…
 
Melissa Noel is an award-winning, independent multimedia journalist, television host and media entrepreneur. She brings stories to international audiences with a lens on culture, travel, social issues and business. Melissa has covered stories out of the Caribbean region and throughout diaspora communities in the US and Canada for outlets such as On…
 
After a corona-induced hiatus, Listener Q&A is back. Here are my answers to some of your recent questions: + Should white writers avoid covering stories so that BIPOC voices are heard? + Can I get a media card as a freelancer? + I think my source doesn’t like the profile I wrote about her, and I’m not sure what to do. DID YOU ENJOY THE SHOW? Suppor…
 
Black lives matter, today and every day. This is not always reflected in the media. Today we look at how an anti-racist approach to reporting helps us get closer to the real truth of what is happening in the stories you cover. An anti-racist approach works both in stories that explicitly cover racism, as well as so-called softer stories where you m…
 
The way we think about certain events happens so quickly that it can seem like it’s the only way to respond. Some of our inner dialogue is so routine, or so convincing, that it feels inevitable—at least at first. Today I’m sharing with you a coaching client who noticed that a thread of thought was distracting her from what she really wanted to focu…
 
This is a followup to last week’s episode. Instead of coming up with a sophisticated justification for resisting pitching, this week we’re looking at two types of overpitching. Overpitching type 1 is when you are full on pitching. Pitching the socks off of every single story. You become a pitching warrior. If your goal is one assignment, you pitch …
 
How would your writing life be different if you felt more confident? You’re invited to join me for a free, live masterclass on Wednesday, March 20, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern / 6:00 p.m. BST. Click here to register: www.rebeccalweber.com/masterclass In this class we'll look at how you can increase your confidence NOW, without relying on external factors.…
 
Are your emails annoying your editor? Are you sending too many followups? Too many story ideas? Are all your messages getting on their nerves? If your pitches are half baked, poorly written, and an overall bad fit for the publication, it really doesn’t matter how many you send. You can’t send lousy pitches and expect assignments as a reward for not…
 
Guilt is a useful emotion when it’s alerting to an ethical mistake we’ve made. But quite often guilt stems from beliefs that aren’t true or helpful. Simply telling yourself “Don’t feel guilty!” is more likely to make you avoid the feeling rather than deal with it. Today we unpack what to do if you’ve got a freelance assignment and you’re feeling gu…
 
Do you plan your week from Monday morning forward, or from Friday afternoon backwards? When you send out a pitch, are you focused on who you want to write for this week, or who you want to write for in 3 months from now? I find it’s often much easier and more successful when I start from the future and work backwards to the present. Today we’re tap…
 
Do you want to read something that will make you feel good? So does pretty much everyone else. One outcome of coronafatigue has been an increase of interest in solutions journalism as well as non-pandemic articles, as evidenced in the most popular lists and newsletters of many websites. These are a rich data source for freelancers trying to underst…
 
Your ideal clients a few months ago may no longer be a good fit for you … and some clients who weren’t on your radar then may be perfect for you now. In simple terms, your ideal clients are assigning stories now, are able to meet or exceed your desired rates, and have potential for ongoing work. You likely have some other criteria that’s important …
 
Some writers rely on the energy of excitement to write pitches and articles. Sometimes excitement can be very useful for getting things done, but it’s not the most reliable or effective of emotions when it comes to marketing. Our editors and readers often don’t feel the way we felt while we were writing, and excitement can cause us to skip over ess…
 
Janna Brancolini is an American journalist based in Milan, Italy. She covers environmental and tax policy in Southern Europe for Bloomberg Law, and her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Columbia Journalism Review and Business Insider. When coronavirus hit Northern Italy in February, Janna’s freelance work dried up. There wasn’t much to co…
 
Hearing another writer being coached gives you the chance to recognize your own thought patterns and behaviors—and make changes accordingly. Listen to how a shift in perspective opens things up for the following freelance challenges: + A food writer struggles to develop a story angles that staff writers don’t see + A journalist questions where to p…
 
Reporting by video calls, like Skype and Zoom, often gets a bad rap. Freelancers don’t want to brush their hair and get on camera, sources don’t have the software installed on their device, and the whole experience can seem impersonal compared to meeting in real life. With social distancing and travel restrictions, this is the perfect time to recon…
 
As freelance writers, coronavirus hits us both professionally and personally. We’re looking at these issues and how mindset management will help you handle: + Freelance workflow with rapidly changing editorial needs + Feeling criticized or blamed for how “the media” is handling coverage + Self-isolation, medical concerns, and information overload M…
 
Join me for this free, live masterclass on Wednesday, March 11, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern. Click here to register: www.rebeccalweber.com/freeclass In this class we'll look at how you can increase your confidence NOW, without relying on external factors. What would you do if you felt more confident right now? Maybe you would … Make powerful freelance dec…
 
Some freelancers are having stories postponed, killed, or ignored due to the spread of coronavirus. Let's look at how to protect yourself from shifting editorial plans, as well as look at stories that can be assigned now. Feature opportunities abound in how COVID-19 is impacting different segments of the population in your geographic area as well a…
 
Masterclass: Creating sustainable freelance writing success Join me on Wednesday for a free, live masterclass that covers some of the most pressing issues for freelancers who struggle to get consistent, meaningful work that pays well. This isn't the conventional, so-called freelancing wisdom that leads to mediocre results. These are the same princi…
 
Here’s looking at you, you green-eyed monster, you. Feeling jealous of another writer’s assignment, grant, income, relationship, skill, talent, age, credits, social media presence, book contract, education, or any other attribute can act like a double whammy. First, the compare and despair mode derails us from our own work and can be a huge time su…
 
Freelance writers shy away from talking about sales. “Got an assignment,” yes, but “sold a story,” much less so. “Salesperson” is associated with being “salesy,” which itself brings up a sleezy person trying to convince us we want something we don’t, or somebody who won’t give us a moment to process or consider. We’ve all been on the receiving end …
 
Are you and your writing blooming? Sometimes valuing productivity and efficiency can be counterproductive. If you and your writing are blooming—or will be in the near future—focusing on the notion of being behind robs you of your enjoyment and even slows you down. MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE Support the Writing Coach Podcast with a review on Apple Po…
 
It’s possible be a successful freelance writer with a single niche, several related subniches, multiple unrelated niches, or no niche at all. For most writers, the benefits of identifying and working within a niche outweigh the cons. Changing your niche isn’t going to be what transforms your career: It’s the process of clarifying what you do, posit…
 
question, “Why are you the one to tell this story?” Some people will avoid answering or avoid pitching to avoid an existential freakout: “I’m not the one! They can just let somebody on staff do it instead. I’m not experienced enough and will mess it all up.” Others use the same cut-and-paste reply for all pitches. They’ve found an acceptable answer…
 
The freelance journal is a key tool to understanding your process, habits, attitudes, limiting beliefs, and true ambitions. Keeping a narrative record of what you’re doing as a writer and as a freelancer means that you will become more familiar with what you’re doing, how you’re doing it, why you’re making the choices you’re making, how well things…
 
Many writers say that they always honor their deadlines for clients, yet aren’t accountable to themselves when it comes to marketing or creative work. Maybe you want to pitch more stories, finish your book proposal, or write in your journal every single day. In reality, signing a contract isn’t what actually makes you complete an assignment on time…
 
Register for my new masterclass on confidence this Wednesday. Doubt and indecision are like kryptonite to freelancers. What would you do in your writing life if you felt more confident right now? Maybe you'd: + Make a powerful freelance choice quickly and see it through, without overthinking. + Take risks with your words--and reap the benefits of i…
 
Are your 2020 goals based on a limited vision of your past accomplishments … or on what’s truly possible for you in the future? Today’s exercise will help you expand your goals and how to achieve them. NEW LIVE CLASS ON WEDNESDAY Join me in a new free class on building confidence as a writer on Wednesday, January 8. Registratoin is free but essenti…
 
Applying for scholarships, workshops, grants, and other opportunities can sometimes be daunting: What do the people reviewing this really want to know about you? What can you do to make your application stand out from the rest? A full scholarship is available right now for Freelance Writer Bootcamp. I talk about how to approach this application if …
 
A big or consistent gap between the work you most want to be doing and what you’re actually doing indicates a lack of right action. Keeping busy or chasing after low-satisfaction, low-paying work isn’t going to resolve the situation. Let’s look at what it means to instead identify the weakest link in your freelance writing chain, and focus on stren…
 
Straight from my inbox: My answers to your questions. Today I’ll be responding to these questions: + I was interviewed on the radio about a story I wrote, but I got nervous and it didn’t go well. What can I do differently? + How can I plan far enough ahead to have the financial stability of a salary? + How can I improve my writing? + What sentence …
 
This week we’re looking at three proven strategies to improve your freelance bottom line. Focus on putting these into place now for a strong end to this year and a strong start to the next one. APPLY NOW FOR FREELANCE WRITER BOOTCAMP If most of your pitches don’t get assigned, or you’re not sending enough out to get the number of assignments you de…
 
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