No More Slush Pile: The Writing Dream Job You Didn’t Know Existed


Do you secretly dream of being a writer?

I did, for several years. But it wasn’t a dream I shared with anyone. I didn’t want to be laughed at or lectured for pursuing something that only paid pennies – and that’s if you’re lucky.

It was nothing but a fantasy. A dream job I didn’t think I could ever chase.

But, you know what?

I was totally and completely wrong! Turns out it’s pretty easy to become a paid, professional writer. I’ll get to that in a minute.

First, look at this …

In other words, if you dream of being a writer … you’re not alone.

But that’s part of the problem, right? Too much competition from other writer-hopefuls?

Like a lot people, you may have grown up thinking writers are generally starving artists and that there’s way too much competition. You may have even been told getting struck by lightning is more probable than getting noticed in an editor’s slush pile.

And hey, that’s probably true if you’re convinced the only way to become a successful writer is via the slush pile.

But it’s not. The dream of being a published writer is more feasible than ever before. And thanks to the Internet and other little-known writing niches, life as a well-paid writer is a reality.

Better yet, there’s not a lot of competition for the higher-paying writing jobs.

Sure, legions of people want to be writers. But a surprising few actually pursue the career. Fewer still know where to find the good gigs.

And that’s why I’ve started blogging here at Barefoot Writer.

Along with the Barefoot Writer team, my goal is to show you where to find the really good writing opportunities that pay well and give you loads of freedom.

To begin, you should know that not all money-making writers publish stories. Many write content for magazines, movie scripts, songs, ads, direct-mail campaigns, and online publications.

Lots of them work full-time, but many are self-employed so they have very flexible schedules. Others work in-house at ad agencies or in corporate marketing departments.

Now, if you look online, Forbes reports the average pay for writers is about $68,000. And that’s not half bad. Yet I know dozens of writers who make six-figures, and most of them freelance from home. I’m one of them.

You’re probably wondering how it’s possible to work as a freelance writer and make loads of money…

It didn’t make sense to me, either. Not at first.

But that’s because I knew nothing about the different types of content in high demand by thousands of big-money companies.

The Internet plays a pretty big role in the need for good writers. Because if a business doesn’t have an online presence these days, it almost doesn’t exist.

Nearly every company out there, large or small, must continually publish fresh content that’s relevant to their customers. This is how businesses maintain an online presence. It’s how they grow their audience and customer base.

And it means there’s plenty of ongoing work for writers who know what they’re doing.

Consider all the pages of other kinds of content, like emails, newsletters, social media posts, white papers, case studies, product descriptions, and copy for the websites themselves.

That’s how a lot of successful writers make their living.

But there are other ways. You don’t have to write for clients, for instance. You can easily write your own content-filled website and make some bucks that way. Or write e-books. Or self-publish.

You can even write persuasive copy that’s never published online, but instead gets sent out through snail mail.

The bottom line is, life as a well-paid writer is a reality. It’s a dream job, sure. But it’s also a real opportunity.

And here on the Barefoot Writer blog, along with my fellow writers, we’re going to show you how you can make it your reality.

If you’re skeptical, don’t sweat it. I totally was when I first heard freelance writing could be lucrative. I’ll share my story in the next blog, along with what finally won me over and led me to the writing career I have now.

In the meantime, do me a favor and share your thoughts below. How long have you wanted to be a writer? What kind of writing do you want to do?



  1. Just a Teenager on

    This sounds interesting, but I’m just 15, I don’t really know how to make websites or write advertisements. My personal interest is in fiction writing–is there any way to write a fiction book and get paid for it without the slush pile, or self publishing? I dunno why, but self publishing scares me, but if there’s no other options I’ll do it. Are there any blogs that could help me?

    • I was also originally scared of the idea of self-publishing, but when I became determined enough to jump in (after years of research) I discovered how surprisingly simple it can be after all. The enormous benefit of self-publishing eBooks is that you can alter them constantly and at any time. As a writer, I’m sure you are familiar with the multitude of checks and re-checks you go through with your writings. So even if you find a simple little typo or want to redo your entire book, it only takes a quick new upload of the content to change. I’m finding with self-publishing hard copies though it’s not so quick-and-easy. Either that or I just love holding my own hard copy proofs in my hand.
      As for your question about blogs that may help, I have found the best help through Google searches and free eBooks. One of my favorite reads recently is “Secrets to eBook Publishing Success” by Mark Coker of Smashwords. He has many free books similar that I found helpful. You can also do a search on Amazon to find other such helpful books, many that are listed for free. And you can always read them online for free with the Kindle cloud reader, which is great because my Kindle is busted.
      Anyways, sorry for the long reply, but I hope it helps.

      • Thanks for this really helpful information! It may seem odd, but I’ve had a dream for decades of writing instruction manuals. In my early office-worker jobs, I found myself re-writing instruction manuals for photocopiers and phone systems because the employees didn’t understand the manuals that were provided. They weren’t clear and relevant! I would love the opportunity to be helpful in this way.

        • Sarah Buchanan on

          That’s actually what I do! I’m a technical writer, and writing for clarity to all audience types is part of the job.

    • Just a Young Adult on

      Self publishing seems scary and intimidating at first, but there are websites (like Amazon or smashwords) that will help you publish.

      As for websites, try or, those are the two FREE sites that we could use for our online portfolio final for my college. (Was in the writing program). Link it to your LinkedIn profile. It’ll go a long way to get professionals to look at your work.

  2. I’ve wanted to write for as long as I can remember, but I kept talking myself out of it by convincing myself no one wants to read what I have to say. But the idea of being a copywriter is new and sounds like the best opportunity out there for me. I’ve been in direct response marketing for nearly 10 years, but only on the data side, never the “creative” side. Yes, I put creative in quotes because until I started reading posts on The Barefoot Writer website, I always assumed that copy writing required a creative talent which I did not possess. Now, however, I am beginning to understand that it’s not about being creative at all, but about being persuasive! And that is something I can be!

    • Good for you, Sara! You’re exactly right – copywriting is an art form that can be learned by anybody. There are some advantages “creative” people have, but there are also disadvantages – e.g., getting flowery or cute or catchy doesn’t fly in copywriting, and it won’t help if you fall in love with your own sentences (a downfall for some writers; not all, of course). Sounds like you have a leg up in understanding the DR response world. Best of luck as you move forward!

    • That’s also what I wanted to do but feared the same things, such as, who wants to read my life story, I’m not anyone special. Why would anyone care about my story? But copywriting, ebooks, and direct mail publications sound more do-able and I can’t wait to learn more about it!

  3. Thank you for the post. It’s kind of you to ask. I have been writing for decades, but only wanted to get paid for it in the past few years. I write poetry, short stories, essays, songs, furious letters to legislators that would set your hair on fire and probably have put me on a no fly list, and thank you notes to people who are too awesome to ignore.

    What I would like to get paid to write is B2B pitches, since they are actually looking to buy something they need. Much as I truly did love the Barefoot pitch with the Peanut Diet (I laughed out loud through most of it) profiting from someone’s vulnerabilities troubles me, and in the copy writing field, there seems room enough to follow one’s path, and live in comfort.

    • Very good points, and thank you for sharing! I know many writers who are very happy writing B2B materials because the content tends to be more direct and succinct than other forms of copywriting. All have merits, but the most important thing is that you take on writing you enjoy – not something someone else likes & profits from. All the best as you pursue the B2B field!

  4. I am a marketing professional. Writing copy has been a part of my job for over 20 years. I have been able to work largely from home. My company was recently purchased and unfortunately the culture has changed to an “8 to 5 at your desk” mentality, so I am looking for ways to use my marketing skills while working from home. This sounds like a great opportunity. Almost too good to be true.

  5. Hi Mindy!
    This site has opened up a plethora of opportunities for a person like me, who is in love with words. I have been very hesitant about e – writing opportunities, having considered myself a not-so- smart person when it came to writing for the virtual world. But, things look less daunting now and I am willing to try it out.
    I have experience in copywriting, writing messages for card companies and also love to pen down my experiences. If there is any ray of hope for me, please guide me. I think I can deliver commendable results.
    Thank you

  6. I’m 18 and have been told that I’m a good writer. Only problem is, is that I write about things that mainly only professionals in opinion of belief would write about. I wrote a 15 pager one sided book and have been trying to put it up for all to see. Thing is I’m scared to publish it for it is not a book of fantasy, But a book of opinial fact. Meaning its my own opinion on how I see things. But there is fact within my writing. But some could be uncomfortable with my knowledge. Would I be able to post it here some how here on bare foot writers. I’m interested on feed back. And curious to know if I could go somewhere with my books. The one thing I will tell you..,The title is called “Mind of an Innocent Sinner”. And i long the await for more people to read it.. K.c.l

  7. I’ve thought off and on of writing most of my life. I really enjoy it, and I know I’m good at it. I don’t think I ever earned less than a B on any writing assignment in high school or college. I enjoy many different subjects, but I have difficulty coming up with topics on my own, or at least topics I know enough about to get started. Thank you for this great post.

  8. PS to my previous post: I would especially love to become a travel writer, because I love to travel and want to do more. However, being financially unable to travel is a bit of a block to travel writing. I know I can start locally, but my area is very well covered already, and I am not sure how to come up with a new perspective that people would be interested in reading.

    • Sarah Buchanan on

      You could start a blog! Something like “‘Best Kept Secrets in (Wherever you live)” and find hole in the wall places to write about.

  9. I know its a little late to add to the comment section but I stumbled across this website when looking up how to find writing gigs in the city of Louisville, KY. I just moved back here from college and tried the office jobs and have always considered it a dream of mine to be a freelance writer and be self-employed. I have been writing since I have been in high school, took several creative writing classes in high school and college and have always wanted to write a children’s book as a side project. But overall I would mostly like to take on a “gonzo” style of journalism in freelance pieces. Have always dreamed of writing a screenplay or a novel that is adapted into a screenplay.

    When I first started typing in this comment section I was a little hesitant because I have never really put it out there that I would like to be a writer. I just keep all of my works on my laptop and share them with one other person. Thank you for making this feel so inviting.


    • Mindy McHorse on

      Thank you for sharing how you feel! They say admitting it is the first step. 😉
      It’s odd how personal writing can feel… but one thing I’ll tell you, is that a lot of the most successful writers I know have at some point or another hesitated to come out and say how much they love or hanker after a successful writing life. My advice is to keep reading and learning – and above all, keep writing! Also, connect with other writers. They’ll be your best advocates and motivators. I once thought other writers were my competition and that they’d make me feel small… but the opposite happened when I finally put myself out there and went to some writing events. They’ve become my best friends and biggest cheerleaders. I hope you find similar connections, and best of luck in succeeding at your goals!

  10. I have been a writer since I was a child–at 11, I began my first novel (not a good one, but it was ambitious)–but only recently have I started exploring ways to actually make a living with my words. I may never become a house-hold name or a spot on the Times Best-Seller lists, but if I can earn money doing writing in any form, I will be happy; being able to work on my terms, balancing a career with my kids and my farm, would be a dream come true. Discovering AWAI and the Barefoot Writer has truly been an an experience that has the potential to change my life!

  11. Pretty interesting timing my finding your site today. For as long as I can remember, I’ve felt a calling to write. An avid journal keeper since my teens, I’ve dipped my toe in the writing pool via short stories for my stepdaughter & grand kids, but have been hesitant to move further with “real” writing. I find myself feeling as if I have to explain or apologize for the time I spend writing. As if it’s somehow not legitimate work. And yet, clearly for many, it is.

    Yesterday in a discussion with a therapist, I mentioned feeling adrift. As of my soul knows I still have more goals to accomplish … but what? By the end of the hour it was clear to me that there really is a story inside of me itching and begging to be told. It’s time to put my fears and excuses aside and put my words out there.

    Thank you for providing yet more encouragement and some very helpful tools.

    Lori Lamb

  12. I’ve been writing since an early age. I mainly write poetry however I have written a play. A few years ago I tried to start a blog yet I couldn’t get the gest. I enjoy writing and hope to have a freelancer life.

  13. Delbert Turner on

    I would like to write short stories and children’s books. I would also like to write editrailes on today’s issues.
    Thank you.

  14. Hello,
    I’ve loved writing since I was a kid, by my early thirties I became a published author. That was a pretty exciting time for me! Until I found out I would be going through a divorce, he’d be able to get half my royalties.

    Needless to say I could go no further than I did at the time. Now I’m just recently looking to get back into writing again. I would love to do ghost writing and some creative. I’m glad that I found this site, because you have many useful tips.



  15. I am just realizing my dreams as a writer. I am currently seeking an on-line degree in Psychology. I have a lot to say about many things. I plan on writing self-help books in the future. Right now, I am looking for ways to make money online. I know there is a way to get paid for writing. I am sure I can wright e-mails or newsletters……with the proper training. Help!

  16. Hi Mindy,

    I’m a new member of Barefoot Writers and have a lot to learn as I’m becoming a copywriter and writing other things as I start on my new journey. I’ve had half a dozen poems published online and they recorded them on CD’s, but I paid for each copy of the book I’m published in. I’m looking forward to a new and rewarding chance to write for Barefoot Writers and I’ll get started after reading Stephen King’s book On Writing and continuing to read the teachings available here o I get a better idea of how to write for the public.

    Thank you for being so available to the readers so we can get a better grip on writing as you and others offer and I hope to become successful and a writer in demand as you have achieved. Looking forward to your new blog, and meeting up with you one day down the road!


    • Hi Andrea!
      Welcome to Barefoot Writers – so glad to know you’ve joined! Copywriting has been particularly good to me and so many other people I know – and we’re always here if you have any questions! Congratulations on publishing your poems – no matter what route you take to get published, I admire any writer willing to put themselves out there. Also, good call on Stephen King’s book – one of my favorites.
      Thank you for your kind words and I certainly hope we’ll get to meet someday, and in the meantime, thank you for connecting here. 🙂

  17. I have not been able to afford to build my website yet. I’ve always loved writing. I’ve been told I’m pretty good at it. I want the Barefoot Writers’ Life with all my heart!! I’ve joined AWAI, and The Professional Writers Alliance, and have studied, as well as searched and applied for jobs. I have still not earned a dime. I guess I need to talk with someone, but WHO?? If you can help me I would be so grateful!

    • Li Vasquez-Noone on

      Hi Jean,

      It’s okay if you don’t have a website yet. You can get a web presence by setting up a free LinkedIn profile for now. It can be hard to get those first few jobs. Some people start by volunteering to write for a club they belong to or their church. You can try approaching a local business and offering to write something they need in trade, even for a testimonial. You can also tell everyone you know that you’re a freelance writer and ask for referrals. Keep trying different things, and soon you’ll start getting jobs. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask!

  18. Loved your article. I love story telling. It seems that an optimum path to avoid the slush pile is to concentrate on story telling leads in the copywriting field. Appears to be the best of both worlds.

  19. I have always wanted to write creative stories since I was a child. I never pursued this ambition but the notion has always been in the back of my mind. Someday I hope make this dream come true. This could be the perfect start for me in this age and stage of my life. I am very interested in this opportunity.

  20. Finally, connected with Barefoot Writer’s Club website.

    All through my childhood I had a story for every event and wrote the story. To be a Writer? Well… it’s a dream.

    Like a moth to a flame I was drawn to Copywriting. It answers an inner urgency to write to get through to another human being. Communicating in words is a challenge.

    As I move through the Accelerated Copywriting Program the process is bringing out something I do dream about today, writing… and getting paid, well, this is the ‘glicken.’

    Mindy, your emails are an inspiration. My aim is to follow in your footsteps. Some days I think I can do this, and other days I look at the copy I write and collapse inside. Then I remember others have been doing it longer than I have, and I continue to learn.

    My dream is Copywriting for a Cause. Yes, I want to take your course when funds permit. One of my other dreams is to meet you in person.

  21. I would love to travel and write about the total experience. The social aspects of a town or destination, the food, the music, the amenities. I think it would be fun to find that stand out character, a waitress, forest guide, or the best chef and write about their story in a way that makes you eager to travel to that place and have the same experience.

  22. A friend of mine once said, “words make worlds” … In my opinion, no truer words have been spoken. I have always been in awe of individuals who could move others with the written word. If you were to check most people’s “bucket lists” I am certain that you would find “I want to write a book” or “become a writer” on there somewhere. It was on my list and after many years of talking about it, I finally set to work and wrote my first manuscript (nonfiction) and, I also signed a publishing deal which will see the book published in the Fall of 2016. I cannot describe the great sense of accomplishment and joy that I felt when the publisher said “yes”. It was such an exhilarating feeling that I’ve decided that I want to do more of it, not only writing books but writing articles, blogs and copy as well. I am looking forward to learning all that I can about copyrighting industry and hopefully being able to generate some income in the process! I am reminded of the words of Henry Ford, “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” I would suggest to all aspiring writers, young and old that if you just substitute the words “do a thing” with the word “write”, you will be successful. Happy writing everyone!

  23. I love writing children and teen stories. Supernatural stories. I also interested in writing Romance stories. I’m an unpublished author and I want to eventually self publish. I’m new to copy writing and I have the Accelerated program. I just started looking through it one day ago. I was just wondering do I need to finish the entire program before I can get a job?

    • Li Vasquez-Noone on

      Hi Janice, welcome! The Accelerated Copywriting program is a great place to start, that’s how I began, too. To answer your question, no, you don’t have to finish the entire program first. Whenever you’re ready, you can start looking for copywriting jobs. Good luck, and let us know how it goes!

  24. I love all the different stories. I have dreamed of making a living writing since i was in my 20s, a long rtime ago :). I seem to stop and start and now I’m stuck in inaction, but I’m getting more clear. I love writing about people and using movies and stories to talk about career issues and other things. I’ve done two series in two different small town newspapers that I loved doing and people in the towns loved. Then, I stopped because other things got in the way. Then, I did a column in my community college newspaper where I taught. Left the job and stopped. Now I’m thinking, it may not be copywriting necessarily that I want to do. Maybe it is writing my own ebooks, articles, etc. and then finding trade magazines and other ways to get published…still working on Barefoot Writer too (chuckle). But I love looking at thing from different point of view and maybe that’s what I just need to do and see what happens.

  25. This post has been up a long time but I see that people are still commenting so I’ll jump right in. I’ve always had a talent for writing letters and speeches that evoke a lot of emotion. I am currently developing a site and product that inspires and teaches people to write affirming letters to their loved ones. While I am growing that business, I want to be able to earn $2000 per month writing freelance copy. Because of my ability to take readers on a journey, touch them emotionally, and inspire them to take action I would love to write for non-profits and charities. My question is… Is this type of organization willing to pay a reasonable amount for sales letters or direct marketing copy. And if so, do they tend to deal with an agency or freelancer? As a freelancer how do I find the ones that hire and what is the best approach? Okay, that was more than one question! Perhaps you can point me towards previous articles that cover this topic or a forum to post in? Thanks for giving us an opportunity to share.

  26. Books are one the first things I loved as much as toys as I grew up. I love to read and have always believed it is such a gift for those able to craft intriguing stories. I have wanted to write since I was 25. At that point my friends thought I should try my hand at children’s stories, but now I would like to try my hand at all kinds of writing ! I also like intrigue, thrillers or mysteries. Now I am 61! I am a cosmetologist for a living and in the past ,enjoyed writing descriptions of salon and or spa services. I am interested in plants ,art, interior design, travel, and music. I am passionate about repurposing and giving a new or different life to most items.
    I am totally interested in discovering what type of writing jobs are available where a person can get paid while working from home. At this point, I do not have a website. Thank you for your time.

  27. Chelsea Moye on

    I’ve wanted to be a writer for my entire life. I’ve always been in love with the art of storytelling. I live on social media and my blog, and I would love to make money writing for social media campaigns. I also write fiction, but I want to branch out and embrace more lucrative writing opportunities. I want to make a living doing what I love from home, and I would love to contribute enough money to my marriage that my husband would feel comfortable with us having a baby.

  28. Christine Sims on

    Hi. This is my first time commenting on any writers website. I have been getting emails from AWAI for months now, and finally I decided to take a closer look at the opportunity this past weekend. I don’t know why I waited so long, but this ‘copywriting for a living’ idea seems awesome! It is right up my alley. I have always loved to write. But I never saw myself as a creative writer. I have dabbled in news writing and have done some marketing in the past. At this stage of my life, a copywriting career would change my life. I’m going to give it a try!

  29. Janette Finley on

    I just signed up with AWAI, and I feel a tad bit lost. Where do I start? Where do I find this or that? What are my interests? What do I like to do? How long do I want to write and how long am I productive? Awe! I am a wanna be writer, author.
    When I was 12/13 years old – oh what a horrible year that was for me. I laid in bed for 3 months with a severe case of infectious monenucleousis. I would look at the pictures on the wall my mother hung in my bedroom and with pencil and paper I would write stories of those scenes. Sort of the popular romance novels with some action but definitely a short story.
    On one of those days, the tv was on, mom was fixing lunch, BLT sandwiches with soup, and everyone in the United States, was shocked and life stopped when President Kennedy was assinated on live tv. I hollard to mom, some one shot the president momma! My sisters, came home from work and school, everyone was crying. And my thought for a young teenager was sadness. The bacon, caught fire, momma set the house on fire because she forgot to take the bacon off the stove. Firemen carried me out of my bedroom and proceeded to knock out cabinets and put out the fire. Live was never the same after that… we all watched tv for a week or two, Everything was on Kennedy and the shooter Lee Harvey Oswald and that other guy, I can’t remember his name, but he shot Oswald who was in police custody. Our dream president was dead!
    I always wanted to be a writer. I have more short stories that have been written and thrown away because my mom was realistic – get an education and work. You can’t make any money writing. There are enough authors in this world now.
    Perhaps, her meaning was well intended, but I knew, she would not be encouraging a career in writing. Well, guess what! I am going to be a writer now. I am going to learn how to do it with AWAI’s help and courses. With that said, I am here for the long haul. I will search the site for the Barefoot Writer magazine and read the back issues and the daily letters, and I will continue to try find my way around the site this first week. I want to complete the accelerated program and work through what ever is offered, because, I want to be a “real” writer! Not a wanna be.
    You know, I am still ill. Disabled, I have been sick most my life but I have never stopped writing something. I managed to marry, divorce, raise two boys, and put my faith in God. He has never let me down.

    • Roberta Wilson on

      Janet today is my first experience with reading all of these wonderful post. I have been reading them one after another for a good while now. I want you to know I would read your stories. Your real life stories. My dream would be to write real life stories from folks everywhere. Best of luck! Thanks

  30. Fred Williams on

    I believe I will write for the B2B writing copy for them and copy writing for internet companies also. Maybe later on add to my portfolio

  31. I am a first time author of a children’s book (for all ages)! The book was published in 2009 without any success! It is a gift box set with a resin replica of a gaftopsail catfish skull, which is Jesus on the cross! Reelly!!!!! This revelation is a passion, that I can’t let go! I’m hooked and want to share this parallel of a fish and a human life of intricate, interior design! The security and significance, we all fish for, in life redeemed! We will not find it in this world! The book in gift box design is an exclusive, limited edition! I’m fishing for opportunities to share and write with my revealed truth! I prefer short stories, emails, letters, short, sweet, to the point, writings! I Think! Just discovering the writer’s life! This life dream has left me in debt, but spiritually rich, I would love to change my life financially and go and tell others of their self worth portrayed in a stinky fish! Providing for others in many ways, my dream!!! Thanks, pat

  32. Cindy Howitt on

    Hi MIndy,

    I’ve been writing about two years now, mainly for content mills that pay poorly. I’m new to The Barefoot Writer, but not new to AWAI. I became a member and purchased the Accelerated Copywriting Course in early 2014. I had a dramatic life change so now am just trying to make ends meet with an 8-5 job with writing in my spare time. My problems is that I’m so eager to start this, I get impatient and try for anything and everything – hence, the content mills.

    I think I need some direction. I have a website, but it’s not very good and I’m not active in it.

    I’m open to anything – I just want to write and get paid. Do I have my priorities out of order? How do I get work when I don’t have any samples? I’ve tried to get started guest blogging, but it seems complicated. I’m not proficient with WordPress.


  33. Emiko Redden on

    I am in my 50’s and have been at the mercy of my jobs for way to long. I have always wanted to write a novel or short story. One of the things that I have done for a former company was to write traning programs for subjects like reading a map and navigating the city I live in. I also wrote a wheelchair transportation traning course. I have written safery meetings and delivered my material to participants. I would like to do some kind of writing at home to suppliment my income because the job I’m in right now has cut hours with no relief in sight. Is there something that you could suggest. I also have very limited computer skills and no web site.

  34. “I’ll share my story in the next blog, along with what finally won me over and led me to the writing career I have now.”

    Where is it?!? I’m eager to read it but I can’t find it on this website. Share please 🙂

  35. Just like: JANETTE FINLEY; I too just signed up with AWAI, and I feel a tad bit lost. Where do I start? Where do I find this or that? What are my interests? What do I like to do? How long do I want to write and how long am I productive? Awe! I am a wanna be writer, author. I want to quit my 40 hour a week job and live the life/dream I want. I want to be able to pay my bills and still write, write, right?
    I am not sure where to start. I am already signed up with AWAI accelerated class, already behind due to life and that I still am unsure how to GET IN the class itself, now that I have paid for it. There are so many questions in my head and so little answers I have found. I feel like I’m failing before I even start. UGH! How do I get rid of that feeling? PURSUE MY DREAM! I want to write, I have poems that I have written since I was 17 and I’m still writing poems (they rhyme). I have self published a book on the abuse I lived through as a child and an adult. I don’t know if that will go anywhere. I have a website but I am not sure that it’s getting the attention I was hoping for. In case anyone has ideas/opinions it’s
    I need all the HONEST/CRITICAL feedback one can give. Especially if it means I’ll be more successful.

    I am here for the longhaul, even if I can’t be on every second like I want to be. Thank you. I’m so excited to be taking this path, this journey. Thank you

  36. Alyce Skelton on

    Hi, i have been writing a long time now. I started in the 80’s after becoming the staff writer for a large Chamber of Commerce, writing news releases, newsletters and publicity for the local Civic Center programs. I now say I wrote fiction for the chamber. I have done interviews and history pieces. I began teaching creative writing both in Massachusetts and later in NC where I had moved to in the 1990’s as an adjunct at UNCW, and later taught five workshops on AOL’s Online campus til 2001 when AOL ended their online programs.

    I did interviews of people in the movie business in Wilmington, NC where Screen Gems had a studio. But I never made much money at any of these projects, and often had to work three jobs at a time. Teaching 1st, 2nd, and third grade in the morning, working as a secretary at Cape Fear Hospital in radiology in the afternoon, and teaching creative writing at UNCW at night!

    I have written a play that had a live reading and half of a mystery–I am still stuck on that! I did try to get jobs in the technical writing field, but I had no experience. I know about marketing, but I have just a little knowledge of web marketing. I have a website I created in HTML in 1997, but didn’t do any graphics.. If you google me, (Alyce M. Skelton- don’t leave the M out! ) you will see a link to info about one of my classes… “Writing for Fun and Profit” LOL I would really like to know why the Search with my name without the initial doesn’t pull up the website.

    At one point in Wilmington a film crew visited my office —a 6 foot square space– they wanted to put a clieg light on the roof. They were filming a rock movie, ” Empire Records”- and needed a roof access. My office had the only one, and the ladder filled the room. As the crew climbed the ladder someone asked “do you have a phone” (This was 1994 and I didn’t have a cell), I said “No this is a low budget operation.” They all cracked up, they were young and they had all worked on such projects.

    I have had an active life, but still haven’t done the writing I want to. So I signed up. I am living on a small income, social security, have a lot of energy and need to make more income. I was bothered too, that I paid one fee and then almost immediately it was implied that I couldn’t write copy until I took the accelerated program. It seems to me that there is a lot of hype about how great the program is, and not enough specific details.. I know I am new, but would like to begin right away with details.

    • Alyce Skelton on

      I just googled myself without the M and it looks like it comes up on the 2nd page. Ah well…still wonder about placement.
      Good luck to everyone!

      • Roberta Wilson on

        Alice don’t give up!! You’re just the person that can find answers and make it happen. The market needs folks like you!!

  37. I daydream often about writing and have always been my own worst critic. I do write but not as often as I would like mostly poetry and some short some long but all of it seems to be dark and yet still has a theme of truth. I don’t know that would ever be paid to write but what a dream…

  38. I enjoy writing comments about current events, writing business letters for friends and co-workers, before my retirement. For free. Frequently, the “Powers-that-be” on my job would ask me to write a response letter, over his/her signature, with high praise. It is my belief, with the help of The Barefoot Writer’s Club, I could do well as a freelance writer, or a copywriter. I’m looking forward to giving it a try.

  39. Tisha Skipworth on

    I’m still new to the club, but super excited! I signed up about 2 weeks ago and have since jumped in with BOTH bare feet! I’ve been reading and reading all the great advice and know-hows nonstop and even better still…. writing! I was born a writer…it’s as much a part of me as my personality is. I’ve always enjoyed writing short stories and poems. I have, in fact, been published in my youth for poetry….. I’ve always written my own world, if you will… somewhere my imagination rules over reality! I think what excites me most, is learning a whole new perspective of writing. I am a ‘love to learner’ so discovering this whole other side of the writing world, not to mention getting paid to do not only what I love but what I know, has me super anxious to keep reading, perfect my writing, and see where my ever bare feet(really)will lead! 😊

  40. Julie Bartlett on

    Hello friends! I hope your day has been as blessed as mine. I enjoy a variety of writing and I’m really not sure I could choose just one area of writing. I do know I prefer non fiction. Would love to write children’s books, inspirational books and so much more in thar area. I would also like to write autobiography for too msny reasons to tell you about in this text that is probably supposed to be short, sweet, but to the point! Lol Thank you for this very useful information. I sincerely hope it’s reality and not a scam! Your friend, Julie

  41. Tiffany Picotte on

    I’m very interested in copy writing but every time I look up possible paying job, they want a lot of prior experience. How do I get the resume builders to start making money?

  42. Hi Mindy,

    After reading this I really got to thinking of all the possibilities that this can possibly offer?? I consider myself a writer because I do love to read and i adore writing. Have I ever thought I could make a living doing so? No, not really. It`s not because I second guess myself, but because you always hear of writers not making a whole lot of money. So there went my dream of being a success in that area of expertise. However, I have seriously thought of going into a field of writing, but there is no school near by that offers what I am looking for. Could bear foot writers be my solution to this problem? I sure do hope so!! I have been wanting to become a writer for a few years now. I love to write song`s, poems, and also lot`s of creative writing`s ! Those three are my favorite topics to write on, however I can write other things too. From boring Essay`s to exciting catch phrases. You ask, I`ll write. ( From your thoughts comes my late night response.)
    P.S.) By the way, that was a really cool and eye catching picture working out in the field. For some reason It reminds me of being a kid again, rolling down a hill of luscious grass. (LOL) 🙂

  43. Yolanda Weaver on

    I have always wanted to be a writer.In middle school I won awards mainly for the poems I wrote.It has always been my dream to write my life stories, as I’ve grown older along with my sister.With the challenging world of technology.The desire to write kind of faded away, but not my dream.I work in the healthcare field. In which was also a dream of mine every sense I was a little girl.Now that I have accomplished that dream for 20 plus years.I feel that it’s time for me to accomplish my writing dream.This opportunity seems to be right on time for me.

  44. I have always loved reading and thought it would be great to be able to write something meaningful. I recently became disabled and am home all day. I have done several things during my lifetime and I think I could help people with writing about my experiences. I joined this club to see if there was any ideas of how I should start this.

    • Roberta Wilson on

      Yolanda hope you’ll write some stories about your patients you cared for in the healthcare field. I worked as a patient advocate in a renoun trauma center. I have a pocket full of stories waiting to be told. I bet you do as well. Best of luck.

  45. i am a nonfiction writer who is almost finished with my first book, “A Citizens Outrage.” It tackles the many issues facing the citizens of the greatest nation God ever gave to us, United States of America. An comment on this is welcomed.

  46. Hi Mindy,
    As a prolific letter-writer for years, discovering this world of writing for a living excites me in a way that I didn’t expect,
    At least one letter I wrote ended up being framed and hung on a museum wall!
    Friends react positively all the time on the personal comments I insist on including in cards for all occasions.
    I once had a semi-serious dream for authoring a book. It involved the notion of telling a story and framing it in the context of a series of letters to a friend.
    It’s difficult to imagine a career that could be better suited to the current season of my life.
    I thank you for introducing this exciting opportunity. I look forward to learning, growing, and powering through this very successful and fun-filled adventure.
    I barely know where to start! But I’m jazzed about the resources you have available.

  47. Been writing since 4th grade.then stopped picked it back up at age,25 when I was expecting my son felt inspired to write again
    Many journal later been writing over30yrs. Now

  48. Hi!!
    My name is Abbey Smith, and I have decided recently that I would like to reinvent myself and become a writer.
    I have wrote a novel of “short stories” and recently, quite by mistake, landed a literary agent to see if I can pursue this pipe-dream I have come up with.
    Although that is an amazing feat (for myself), I am not published, and know that I have a long road ahead. So I have decided while I wait, I like instant gratification and would love to sell with my words. So I am looking to break into the copy writing industry. I have read all of your content in these web pages, but nothing actually leads me to get to write my first sample, or links me to get to actually sample write for a potential job. I am not a big web-searcher, and like to get to the meat of the job. Can you please help by posting where it is that I actually go to pursue this dream? Im typically one that jumps with both feet…Please help me jump!!

  49. After having read all the above comments after the article, I’ve come to realize that I’m not alone in this writing thing. I took a journalism class in high school and wrote for the school newspaper. I’ve loved writing ever since. I’ve tried a couple writing classes over the years only to say I have failed because I didn’t make it a priority. So much has evolved in the writing world and I still have and always have had a passion for it. I’m a member of AWAI and keep up with all the happenings each month. Unfortunately for me, I struggle in life to make and keep ends meeting. I have a great career but am not happy in it. I dream of becoming independent as a freelance writer. Being my own boss is my ultimate goal. Living the writing dream with my toes in the sand and the warm sun on my shoulders, with laptop in tow paints a permanent smile. I have tried a few of the opportunities AWAI has to offer only to realize I haven’t found my thing yet. I will continue to try things until I get it right for me, but I could use some advice as to what may be a good start for someone who has little experience but the determination to make it happen. I would love to hear thoughts from anyone. 😉

  50. Well to start with.. I have no experience in writing and the only writing i have grown in is my own and from other books i have read.. 😲 but still i feel i have grown in my writing😆since the age of 8 have i wanted to be a writer and ever since have i tried.. Many have push me down and sone didn’t even borther to look at my books.. And 8years ago i found wattpad and since then have i typed on there but still nothing.. 😢 but i hoping and prying that this is it and that this isn’t another brick wall i am running into😮☺

  51. Hi! Thanks for this inspiring post. I have been writing in journals since I was a kid and have been dreaming of a writing career since I was in my early 20’s. I’m 40 now–so that’s almost TWO DECADES of knowing that this is what I wanted yet not knowing how to pursue a career in writing and in general doubting that I had the talent or the resources to earn income through my writing. Now that both of my kids are in school–my son starts kindergarten on Tuesday (thank you God!)–I am looking forward to diving into the business of writing for clients who will pay me well for my services. I am also looking forward to learning how to market my business as teacher, speaker and coach to help others discover and live from their deeper purpose. I’ve had a hunch for some time now that my writing would open doors to new opportunities and experiences; now I’m ready to find the doors and walk into a whole new way of life! Thanks for reading. 🙏🏼🌈✨🌎💖

  52. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a young girl, reading Nancy Drew. I’ve started many novels, never to finish because the dream always seemed impossible and was frowned upon in our home. When I became a single mom I stopped writing, other than for work, because my life was tied up with them , work and school. Now that they are grown I want to get back into writing, but I’m more intimidated now than I was as a young girl. Self publishing or trying to obtain clients seems out of my jurisdiction since I am very shy and hate to approach people. I was drawn to this program because I felt it could give me the tools I needed to succeed as a writer and possibly bring me out of my shell enough to obtain clients.

  53. This is really hitting home today! I started a book about paying attention, specifically, to our surroundings, perceptions and interpretations of them, in 2002. It has evolved considerably since then and is about 80% finished. It is amazing how my perceptions have evolved due to the experiences I’ve lived through in these times. Between being a commercial carpenter, injured, a truck driver, the 2008 and ’09 experience, homeless, starting from scratch, and now a manager in customer service ready to retire. That in it self is a gambit. I’m ready to work for my self and benefit directly from my efforts.

  54. I wanted to be a writer for a long time and have gone back and forth with it, from writing poetry and getting recognition for it at nineteen, to posting an articles in my local newspaper. I got told by so many people who I looked up to that writing didn’t pay, I couldn’t believe that I was into blogging in 2011 – 2014. My blogging never paid me then. After I stopped working that blog and lost it I didn’t even think I’d remember I’d want to write again. I saw a Writer’s Digest asking to go to a website if I wanted to make a living as a writer. After a whole year I purchased my first professional writing training.

    It was so different from what I did in college, when I spoke to my English Professor about writing for a living. She also was someone who told me writing didn’t pay. Had I known how to search for Professional Writing Training then, I’d be far along. Nothing happens before its time. In 2015 I spent for my first writing materials. In 2017 I purchased two additional writing courses and then two more. I never knew that I could earn money writing the kind of letters I read and sometimes felt were too long to read as a girl. Since I love to write letters am all in until I earn my stash of money and continue to earn until I feel it fall like rain.

  55. Sarah Townsend on

    I’ve been flirting with the idea of copywriting for a long time. I have tried to start several times but didn’t make it. I can’t tell you what number of attempt this is, I’ve lost count. But I keep coming back to it. I have set things up to be ideal for dipping my toe back into this pool, so umpteenth times a charm…..?
    I would like to write for pet and environmental causes, as those are the most near and dear to my heart. Travel is also of interest, namely solo female travel and travel with pets. When I say pets I mean cats. So it’s not your typical dog story. Crazy cat ladies unite!

  56. Joseph Capovilla on

    As long as I can remember, I would always write little items regarding frustrations in life. Being an introvert doesn’t help. Still do. I get most creative in times of deep misery. I want to change that. My goal is to glean as much information as possible and bring some joy to my misery. Thanks for the opportunity!

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