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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
 
“Is my pitch too long?” If you’re asking the question, the answer is probably yes. The question you really need answered is not how long your pitch should be, but why your pitch is too long: You’ve generated a bunch of options without making choices about what’s most important and what to cut back on. You likely are leaving out some key components.…
 
This week is the start of the year-end holiday season in the United States, which is associated with a lot of personal and professional stress. This episode looks at meditation as a concentration practice that can help you center yourself before writing. When I was a kid, an adult I trusted made some negative comments about meditation that stuck wi…
 
Freelancers often ask: How do I get a client to pay an invoice that’s past due? Instead of a how to on chasing payments, today we’re asking and answering a better question: How do you get clients to pay you on time in the first place? If you’ve had more than one late-paying client in the past few years, following the actions recommended in this epi…
 
One of the best ways to start the new year strong is to finish this one strong as well. We want to make sure you're investing, rather than just spending time, money, and energy to get clients. When you are ready to get yourself a new assignment, do you factor in the prior investment you’ve already done to secure your existing clients? Or do you go …
 
Today we are talking about goals. I’ve talked again and again about being aware of your potential obstacles when setting a goal. There are going to be challenges and so it’s important to plan on how to deal with those challenges. When we’ve created an internal obstacle, we also have the power to shift it. It’s about changing your perspective, shift…
 
Establishing company policies might sound like it would create distance from freelance clients, but it does the opposite, especially with your ideal clients. Clear boundaries set a framework for clear expectations and positive work relationships and self care. If you know what you will and won’t do, it leads to better communication. On the other ha…
 
Early bird invitations for Freelance Writer Bootcamp will be sent out soon. If you are keen to work with me in my small group coaching program, you’ll definitely want to register now and snag a juicy early bird bonus only for those writers on the waitlist. Break into your dream publications and get paid well while covering stories that matter. Alum…
 
Many groups have traditionally been underrepresented in journalism, both amongst staff and freelancers. Gender, race, ethnicity, disability, religion, age, and country of origin are factors in building a robust press. Today we focus on how writers in the so-called Global South may have less access to writing stories locally or globally. WORK WITH M…
 
A full scholarship is available for the January session of my small group coaching program, Freelance Writer Bootcamp. The program focuses on helping writers improve their pitch acceptances rate, and to get paid well while covering stories that matter. If you identify as a person of color, are from the so-called Global South, identify as LGBTQI+, a…
 
Robert Kolker’s piece about two fiction writers brought up many issues that have counterpoints in the journalism and freelance worlds, including: idea ownership and development, sense of not belonging, competition and hierarchy amongst peers, white saviorism, and friendship. MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE Who is the bad art friend? Rebecca on Instagram:…
 
What’s the importance and impact of seeking out original stories that nobody else is doing? In this conversation with freelance journalist Raymond Joseph, we examine how much a unique story and/or angle matters for you, your career, your editors, and society at large. Ray’s investigations into lottery corruption over the past four years have won hi…
 
We’re all willing to watch a short trailer for a new movie or series—IF it’s any good. In a minute or so, we usually know if we’re in (“Ooh, I want to see that one!”) or if it’s a hard no. A sample of one scene and we have a handle on the genre, the plot, the actors, the look and feel. It’s all show, no tell. What we don’t see is the screenwriter, …
 
Some freelancers say they’re writing for low paying, low circulating, low quality, or otherwise low satisfaction publications because they need to pay their dues. If working this way was a sure route to high paying, high circulating, high quality, highly meaningful work, I’d be all for it. But it’s not. Those publications aren’t suddenly going to b…
 
Today’s episode is a replay of the most popular one published here on the Writing Coach Podcast in the past three years. So chances are, if you've ever listened to the podcast, you’ve heard this one before. I encourage you to listen to it again. Try to come to it today, with beginner's mind. You’re not a beginner as a professional writer. But when …
 
Part of loving your writing life is loving all the people involved in it. Yep, I’m talking about loving your editors, your colleagues, your readers, and yourself. If you’re thinking, “Easy for you to say. Most of my clients are a major PITA,” or “I’m not looking for a love connection, just a pay check,” or “I can’t love myself when I’m procrastinat…
 
Many writers see their writing as the way to measure their significance in the world. This viewpoint empowers editors to become gatekeepers who can determine if a pitch--and by extension, the person who sent it--has value or not. If the idea of an editor rejecting your pitch makes you cringe, you may be allowing the editor’s judgment of the pitch b…
 
Are you making and implementing choices that are leading to financial growth? If you see yourself avoiding financial goals, or setting the same monetary goals time and again without any real progress or change, your default thinking is likely working against you. We receive messaging from clients, peers, and society that we won’t be able to earn mo…
 
Portfolio shame can compound over time when a core belief (such as “I’m not a good enough writer” or “I haven’t made it yet” or “I should have better clips”) pops up every time we complete an assignment. When we repeat these thought patterns over time, and feel ashamed both of the work we have and haven’t done, it becomes harder to enjoy or appreci…
 
When a person tells you Yes, do you think it means No? Or vice versa? Some freelance writers receive emails from editors that literally say “Please pitch me again” and choose to interpret it as “Never pitch me again.” Today we’re going to unpack where this topsy turvy thinking originates from (hint: It’s not that the editor is trying to be polite),…
 
Hello podcast listeners! Here are the questions I’ll be answering today: + How do you stop thinking about where your sources would like to see a story published? + Do I need to list prices on my website? I keep getting asked for a rates card. + I bid on a project but they chose another freelancer. Should I let them know I can go lower? + My client …
 
Maggie Reyes is a life coach and marriage mentor who specializes in helping Type A women have better marriages, without waiting for their partners to change or adding more work to their lives. She is the author of the Amazon top 10 bestselling marriage book The Questions for Couples Journal and the host of The Marriage Life Coach Podcast. We cover …
 
The freelancer’s version of the eggestential question: should I first reach out to the source to ask about interviewing them for an article, or should I pitch the story and secure the assignment first? Our thoughts about the individual we want to talk to and the publication we want to write for can distract from the core issue: It’s time to make a …
 
Every editor says to read their publication before pitching. When I coach writers, we put this research step first—get to know their stories, angles, and readers, before developing a story idea. Some writers prefer to avoid this essential step because they associate it with overwhelm. Many writers find researching publications online in particular …
 
The question of what to charge comes up not just amongst newish freelancers, but frequently amongst mid-career and veterans as well. In reality, nobody else can tell you what your rates should be. Today we’re looking at three components so that you can feel more clear and confident in deciding what to charge: 1. Research 2. Do the math 3. Money min…
 
You use certain meta skills and habits in your writing life that you developed before you even considered freelancing—and you probably use some of your best freelancing skills in non-writing areas of your life. Becoming aware of these allows you to tap into them more deeply and recognize that you have a deeper foundation for success than you normal…
 
Glossing over achieving goals, and the milestones along the way to those goals, doesn’t allow us to really recognize or appreciate all that we’re doing right as freelancers. Sure, there is intrinsic value in a job well done, but it’s also useful to pause and intentionally celebrate those wins as well. Ignoring achievements, or of “rewarding” oursel…
 
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 …
 
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