Like a lot of Barefoot Writers, Christine Butler loves to travel. The only difference is that Christine never wants to go “home!” Fortunately, after 27 years of doing technical project management-type work in the demanding telecommunications industry, she’s taking her new copywriting career on the road to be able to do just that.
I heard your dream is to have a home office on wheels — what’s that all about?
Our plan is to sell our house and go full-time, which means living in our 40-foot motor coach year-round, and not having a home to go home to so to speak. My husband can work from anywhere for his job. And as a writer, so can I.
Have you tested this out? Can you stay focused when there’s beautiful scenery outside?
This summer was my test. We went up to Washington and Oregon and visited family, and then we came down the Oregon coast. And, we spent five weeks in a teeny tiny little town called Winchester Bay, in Oregon. It’s right where the Umpqua River flows into the Pacific Ocean, and it’s a beautiful spot — our favorite RV spot so far.
To make it work, I knew we had to stay disciplined. We decided we’re going to get up at 5 o’clock in the morning and work till 10. Then, we could go play. We rode horses on the beach, we rode our bikes, and, of course, we had to test the clam chowder at every restaurant. We got into a routine, and it worked for us. Often, I worked on my laptop outside, overlooking the water below.
I’m convinced as long as we have an Internet connection I can be a successful freelance copywriter while on the road.
How long have you been RVing? You must bepretty passionate if you’re going to sell your house and hit the road 365 days a year.
Our coach is an ‘02 and we bought it brand-new, so we’ve been doing it about eight or nine years. We have over 110,000 miles on it now.
RVing, it allows you to slow down. You take things at your own pace. You can see things and do things on your own schedule. If you want to stop, you can. If you want to keep going, you can. You’re just really in charge of your own life at that point.
You meet some fantastic people. It’s a community in itself. And, you get to see some gorgeous places. We’ve been to quite a few of the national parks. Our goal is to get to as many as we can, and then I guess bottom line is we can take our dog and our cat with us, too.
Have you been able to combine your passion for RVing in your freelance work? You could be writing about RVs while sitting in your RV!
That’s my plan. As a copywriter, I’ve worked on several brochures for artists in my community, as well as some landing pages and autoresponders for other clients. I’ve also looked into specializing in writing for the self-help market.
Then, my COS Peer Review Group, as well as my Mastermind Group, just this last fall both started saying, “Why don’t you write in the RV industry? You’re experienced.” There are a lot of companies out there. They not only sell RVs, but RV insurance, equipment, and all the rest. And they use brochures, direct mail, email, online ads … it’s a long list.
I’m also looking into maybe helping people — would-be RVers — get started. What do you need to equip your rig with? What are some of the simple things you need to do that you don’t really think about?
What’s your advice to others who want to make a living as writer but who have … maybe not this particular dream or aspiration … but something else just as big and ambitious?
I think the first thing you have to do is definewhat your dream is. Once you determine that, then you need to do some planning and figure out what it would take to achieve that dream and then go for it. Life’s too short to wait around, and that’s where the planning comes in. You figure out what you need to do and you do it. They always say you can do just about anything you want if you put your mind to it. But, you’ve got to figure out what that dream is first. And then it takes discipline to fulfill it.