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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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My first career in traditional education informed my work as a freelance journalist, and my work as a writer informs the coaching and teaching I do now online. This week I share a few of the mindset perspectives that have served me well through career shifts, and how building on prior career skills or subject matter makes us more robust as freelanc…
 
A lot of freelancers find it easier to maintain the status quo by keeping on clients that aren’t a good fit because they are so familiar. After you’ve worked with a client for a few assignments/months, you have far more insight into what they’re really like. If you knew then what you knew now, would you take them on in the first place? 🔗 Mentioned …
 
Today I’m sharing what it was like getting pregnant and having a baby during the pandemic. One of the things I got clear about early on was deciding what I thought I wanted my time off to look like (including how long, how “off” I wanted to be, and what the transition winding down and gearing up would be like), and also allowed myself to change my …
 
Have you interviewed somebody who wanted to review your copy before publication? This is a surprisingly high-tension issue for many journalists, even thought it seems like it could be nipped in the bud with a simple, “Sorry, that’s against the publication’s policy.” Today we cover: A simple method to reduce the number of times sources ask to review…
 
Usually when I’ve left a news hook out of a pitch, it was because I couldn’t come up with one easily, and hoped for the best. After all, there are evergreen stories out there. I’ve read and sold a few myself. Maybe you have too. I’ve tried slapping on a thin hook, which sometimes does the trick. And I’ve had some evergreen ideas linger in my ideas …
 
Showing up to do your work regardless of your mood is distinct from ignoring your emotions and telling yourself things are ok when you don’t think they are. Today I share with you one of my client’s stories about how she was trying to push away the feelings that emerged when she told herself she’s bombed a pitch, and how she reframed to open up to …
 
Writing together can be a powerful experience in terms of connection, camaraderie, and support in the creative process. This week we look at ways to make the most of writing with others IRL and virtually. MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE The Writers’ Hour SHARE THE WRITING COACH PODCAST #WRITINGCOMMUNITY Subscribe and write a review of the Writing Coach P…
 
A tweet led to a blog post about how quickly editors dismiss most queries, and here I’m examining this breakdown in the context of journalists pitching freelance article ideas. The vast majority of freelance pitches can be rejected well before the first paragraph. The ones that get assigned instantly show a different kind of understanding of the pu…
 
Running out of reasons to avoid pitching? I’ve got you covered with 100 reasons why you shouldn’t pitch today. Many of these can be adapted to be reasons why you should not write anything else today, like the article you were assigned last week, or your book proposal, or your novel. You’ll probably recognize a few of these reasons as ones you alrea…
 
Dating/relationship analogies come up a lot when we talk about our editors and publications. It’s common for freelancers to have a mix of short and long term relationships, which tend to reflect different mindsets, emotions, strategies, decisions, processes, and company policies. It’s also common for freelancers to confuse or mislabel what’s really…
 
In the middle of the night I emailed myself an idea I didn’t want to forget. I sat down with my freelance journal and phone in the morning to use the message as a prompt. Here’s what I typed: Reason why chsbgdx So helpful, right? I wish I knew what this word (or phrase) was supposed to be. Since I consistently generate ideas, and I’m in the habit o…
 
This bonus episode looks at the application process for Freelance Writer Bootcamp. I explain how I review the applications on a rolling basis, and how this process may be of use to you in other areas of your freelance life. If you’ve told yourself that you want to join the Bootcamp but haven’t applied yet, this episode will give you more clarity ab…
 
The equinox is the transition to autumn/spring, and it’s also the end of Q1. Seasonal and financial cycles impact us, as do many other cycles in our writing life. Some cycle frameworks aren’t that helpful, while others help us recognize that we’re not in the same energetic or growth phase at all times and allow us to plan accordingly. YOU MIGHT ALS…
 
Sometimes it’s faster in the short term not to change the way we’re doing things … but once we make the shift to more sustainable approaches, we reap the benefits long term. I changed the kind of printer I’ve always had, which will save a bit of plastic and hassle. And I changed the way I do my banking and pay for business expenses, which means I s…
 
“How do I get myself to do this thing I know I should do?” The short answer is to change the thinking that’s blocking you from taking action. When you think differently, you’ll feel and act differently too. I don’t mean go through the motions and pretend to believe things that aren’t true. Bridge thoughts are the opposite: first we identify the tho…
 
Join me on Thursday, March 17, for a live masterclass on creating sustainable freelance writer success, i.e., consistent, meaningful work that pays well. www.rebeccalweber.com/masterclass In the masterclass, I'll share with you: + A proven blueprint for pitching and selling freelance article ideas + How to turn a once-off assignment into an ongoing…
 
Do you need a blog? A subscription newsletter? A podcast? A TikTok account? A fill-in-the-blank thing that somebody (maybe you) is telling you is necessary to create and then continually update? Let’s examine your reasons why you may want to invest your time, energy, and money into creating content that you’ll be publishing yourself instead of on a…
 
A couple more freelance insights while playing Wordle over morning coffee, this time focusing on the roles of perseverance and giving yourself wise counsel. FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM Did you enjoy this episode? Follow Rebecca to get notified next time she goes live on Instagram and tag her when you share the Writing Coach Podcast with your writer frie…
 
This is NOT an episode about how to improve your Wordle scores. Instead, let’s look at what Wordle can teach us about freelance writing success. Download my free guide on how to pitch. WCP 167 Organic tomatoes vs. Twinkies WCP 1: What’s your problem? Join the Freelance Writer Bootcamp waitlist SHARE THE WRITING COACH PODCAST Did you enjoy this epis…
 
When you’ve developed an evergreen story idea, it may be accurate to say that there’s no reason why the story needs to be told now. But that’s only true when we look at your existing pitch. Your angle, your slant, your point of view doesn’t include a perspective that makes the story relevant now. Telling yourself the story doesn’t have one, that yo…
 
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, …
 
What do 1947, 1972, 1997, 2012, and 2021 all have in common? They all have big anniversary years in 2022: 75, 50, 25, 10, 1. We like these kind of milestones to remind us of past events, and the impact they have on how we live today. They can work well to anchor an evergreen story that’s worth sharing but that otherwise get lost in the relentless n…
 
Most women say they’ve never negotiated their salary. As freelancers, we have so many more opportunities than staff employees to practice negotiations and to get better and better over time. When the lease on my house came up, I thought all I’d have to do was say I wanted to renew, and possibly negotiate a rent increase. I was not expecting to have…
 
Have you ever held back from turning your camera on Zoom? Sent a pitch via an anonymous form (the modern day slush pile) instead of the assigning editor? Imagined somebody saying that you were posting too much–or too repetitively–on social media? These are all slightly less obvious ways of holding yourself back. You may be aware of some ways that y…
 
When we put ourselves out there, we take a risk. We risk not getting validation, assignments, contracts, money, Likes, comments, safety, etc. We risk approval internally and externally. The idea of putting yourself out there probably pushes buttons that you had even before you became a professional, published writer. You may have prior experience w…
 
Two months ago I invited you to take a 90-day challenge to get paid on time. That episode includes the logistics of what to do to get paid promptly … and also addresses the resistance so many freelancers have about actually doing these things. Overall, you’ll see a shift in your cash flow when you do this challenge. But that doesn’t mean every sing…
 
The research and reporting rabbit holes are some of the most seductive and appealing parts of the freelance writing comfort zone. You start off doing good work: nailing down facts, seeking rich data, locating interesting sources. But there’s always another twist and turn, and you can easily lose your orientation and not know if you’re getting close…
 
Neediness has been normalized in much of freelance culture, to our own detriment. Desperation compounds difficult situations by blocking our own resourcefulness. Even when desperation fuels our actions, it’s not energy that’s sustainable long term. Without defining neediness as a so-called negative frame of mind that needs (!) to be replaced with a…
 
The fundamental 5W1H questions you use when reporting are just as handy for examining your freelance life. When it comes to setting writing goals, WHO will you become in the process of achieving your goal? Is your goal setting process setting you up for success? Have you chosen goals that are distracting you from the writing you really want to be d…
 
When it comes to making lasting changes in your freelance life, I’m more a fan of experiments than of resolutions. The latter tend not to work so well, often relying on willpower or self-shame as fuel to get things done. Some industries have business models based on these negative, dysfunctional cycles, and you don’t want to rope your own freelanci…
 
Freelance writers often conflate two very different kinds of urgency. Confusing them impacts pitching and following up. First is the urgency of the story itself. This includes identifying why the story needs to be told now. It can be any kind of news peg or timely aspect that compels the editor to assign and publish the piece, and the reader to pri…
 
Should you pitch during the holiday season? Yes, if you want more assignments. No, if you want to take time off. There are two valid approaches to taking time off as a freelancer: 1. Take time off during conventional holidays. Editors and sources may be less available; family and friends may be off too. 2. Freelancers make their own schedules and d…
 
When I started freelancing, I was 100% DIY. One of the tricky things about making a good living as a freelance writer is getting a feel for what to do yourself and where to spend–or invest–time and money. Some choices that seem to be saving short term wind up costing you in the long run. Let’s look at some areas where you may want to invest in supp…
 
When you’re interviewing a source for an article, you’d want to do some followup if they said: “I don’t know how a key part of my job works.” You’d ask the question again, or come at it from a different perspective. It should be the same when you wonder why you did (or didn’t) get assigned a story idea you pitched. If your default is “I don’t know,…
 
Join me on Wednesday, December 8, for a live masterclass on breaking into your dream publications and achieving sustainable freelance writer success. We’ll focus on proven strategies to get consistent, meaningful assignments that pay well. Sign up for free at www.rebeccalweber.com/masterclass This won’t be the conventional, so-called freelancing wi…
 
“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…
 
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