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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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show series
 
Once you tap into the power of presenting a story idea (or just about any other writing related project) in a way that connects the dots for the recipient about how it will be relevant/helpful to them, you can bring that frame of mind with you to pitch almost anything. I’ve seen Bootcampers transition seamlessly into landing staff jobs, being accep…
 
Are your pitches in demand with editors? Making sure the quality and clarity of how your pitch addresses the needs and perspectives of your publication’s readers is essential for connecting with assigning editors. Following through on what you’ve promised is just as important for long-term relationships. When the editor receives your story, they th…
 
What makes for an ideal writing space? What supports your focus, the quality of your thinking, and getting words out of your brain and onto the screen or page? What’s conducive to you getting writing done? Let’s talk about how your environmental influences your writing, and how to optimize. MENTIONED IN THIS SHOW Tools for South African journos and…
 
Over the next few months, I’m going to be periodically re-releasing some of the best and most popular episodes from the Writing Coach Podcast archives. If you’ve been a subscriber from day one, you’re ready to deepen your understanding of these concepts. I’ll give you a few additional thoughts about each episode. And if you’re new, think of this as…
 
To support ourselves, it’s nice to have a reliable go-to selection of tools, apps, programs, books, and other stuff. In today’s episode, I talk through a few of my own favorites, and why and how I use them. Be sure to check out one of my oldest blog posts that I keep updating, with all the links mentioned plus several more for you to explore. These…
 
Time for another edition of Listener Q&A! Here are today’s questions: + I’m getting charged a lot of fees because I’m working with an international client. How can I avoid these? + Can I write about toileting toddlers one day, and mental health issues in returned military men and women the next (and be taken seriously)? + I pitched a story to my id…
 
When an editor wants you to do a piece but leaves the deadline up to you, your initial reaction may be: Great. I’ve got work lined up and I don’t have to work on it yet. It can be quite liberating if you’re used to working under tight deadlines and a lot of pressure. But somewhere along the way, things turn. You still don’t have a deadline, but now…
 
Do you hate marketing because it always takes too long and never winds up in front of the right people? Today we’re challenging that with a quick makeover of that humble marketing workhorse, your email signature. It’s such a fast and easy way to demonstrate to your clients (current and potential) that your communications are always concise and thou…
 
This episode isn’t a breakdown of why followups should be a part of your routine. Scheduling followups is so quick, easy, cheap, and effective, that NOT doing them basically means turning your back on multiple assignments, clients, and ultimately the growth of your freelance career. Instead, let’s focus on the hesitation, second guessing, and outri…
 
For many freelancers, when you get sick it becomes a question of finding hours or days when you’re able to push yourself to get things done vs. not getting paid, rather than taking actual time off. Today I’m talking about my own experience contracting coronavirus, and discussing how to care for yourself and your freelance writing business when you …
 
Who gets to decide if you’re accomplished or not? Is there somebody actually keeping score? Often one of the motivating reasons we set a goal is to feel accomplished. That can be a real challenge if it’s an emotion that’s unfamiliar to you. If you have a strong habit of naysaying what you do and repeatedly telling yourself that you’re not accomplis…
 
Today’s episode continues where we left off last week, looking at the distinction between desire and commitment. You’ve decided to step out of the energy suck of both wanting and not wanting something, and shift into prioritization. Listen into how one of the writers I coach figured out how to prioritize time for writing and sending pitches. The ac…
 
This is the first of two episodes exploring the intersection of desire, commitment, and priorities. Is there something in your writing life that you strongly desire but haven’t committed to yet? Writers who mistake desire for commitment are actually committed to wanting to do something—request deadline extension, write a book, pitch a dream publica…
 
Join me on Tuesday, March 23, for a live masterclass on how to break into your dream publications. We’ll focus on proven strategies to get consistent, meaningful assignments that pay well. This isn't the conventional, so-called freelancing wisdom that leads to mediocre results. These are the same principles I teach my paying coaching clients, who h…
 
Freelancers often think of the editors who don’t want to assign them stories, and of readers who don’t want to read their stories and angles, when writing pitches. I don’t mean the editors don’t want to assign the stories because the pitches need to be zhushed up. I mean they don’t want to work with the writer because it’s a bad match. And that if …
 
The work you're doing now will tend to lead to similar work moving forward. Similar pay, topics, structures, publications, clients, etc. All of these tend to replicate if you’re not intentionally making changes and steering yourself in a new direction. You also have the possibility of continually building upon what you did last quarter or last year…
 
No electricity. No internet. They’re not one in the same, but when they overlap they make for a powerful Venn diagram. The extreme weather and increased pressures on infrastructure means we’re going to continue to see large areas lose power and connectivity. Here in South Africa, we’ve had plenty of chances to learn how to freelance efficiently bot…
 
Listen into some coaching I gave to a few alumni inside my small group coaching program, Freelance Writer Bootcamp, who have NOT been pitching their celebrity crush clients. You may be surprised to hear the coaching I give them about how to move forward and break their current patterns. MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE The pitching triad miniseries: WCP11…
 
The pitching triad focuses on three interconnected areas: trust in yourself, in your publication, and in your pitch. Today we’re focusing on the believing in your pitch. When you know pitching is one of your freelance superpowers, it can deepen your trust and belief in yourself and your ability to work with your ideal clients as well. Here are a fe…
 
Are you currently working on a pitch or assignment for your dream publication? Do you know that your ideal clients see you as an ideal freelancer for them? Are you confident that they’ll pay you well and promptly? If you answered “No” to any of these questions, it could indicate a lack of belief in your client and your connection with them. This wi…
 
The writers I coach ask me all the time what they should be doing. Whether they are trying to figure out a news hook for a seemingly evergreen story pitch or planning their annual financial goal, they want to know what specific actions to take. Today’s episode goes beyond any one goal or task, and it’s something that virtually every writer I’ve wor…
 
It's been longer than I would've liked since the last episode. I've had coronavirus, and although my symptoms have been squarely in the mild category--I can breathe and take pills to keep my fever in check--I wasn’t recovered in a couple of weeks as I had anticipated. I thought long covid was for people who wound up in the hospital. Initially, it w…
 
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…
 
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