Jewel Pickert is refreshingly bold and direct about her goals as a writer. She seized upon the opportunities in the Barefoot Writing world with a single-minded focus we can all learn from. And now that she knows what she wants, her approach is to combine a variety of resources and methods to enhance her skills, gain practical writing knowledge, and build her client network. Enjoy Jewel’s frank take on what led her to success. 

ProfessionalHow long have you been a working writer?

I started writing a monthly column on communication and conflict resolution for a local newspaper in January 2013. Now, I’m putting together the pieces to forge a career as a B2B copywriter. 

What’s your favorite way to market yourself?

Directly, creatively, boldly. I like to meet new people; hence, I prefer cold calling or cold emailing. I figure the worst-case scenario is a “no.” I think of every experience, regardless of the outcome, as either defining my character or creating a future conversation starter. Either way, I win. 

You’ve found success as an author. How did you come to write a book?

I’ve always wanted to write a book. When I observed the experience level and camaraderie among the PowerTalk Toastmasters members, it just felt right to inquire about us writing a collaborative book project together. I’m glad we succeeded. Now I have numerous ideas for future books of my own. 

You also have a lot of experience in public speaking, something a lot of writers avoid. How has that helped you as a writer?

In speaking, you need a Big Idea. You have to focus on a specific number of points in relation to the length of your speech. You have to appeal to your audience, not impress yourself. You have to strike an emotional chord. It’s just like any successful copywriting project where you need to start with a Big Idea. 

What’s been the biggest challenge (or surprise) you’ve faced in your freelance career, and how did you overcome it?

I can think of 4 surprises:

  1. Freelance writing truly is a journey, not a destination. You can shape it into whatever you want. I maintain that if you enjoy the journey, your attitude will remain optimistic, and your destination will be that much more rewarding.
  2. You have to acquire a knack for determining how much time it takes to do things to become more efficient.
  3.  It takes dedication and commitment to develop a business mindset.
  4.  Copywriting makes me more observant of human nature and psychology. 

Who has been the biggest influence on your life?

Without a doubt, my parents instilled values in me which I retain to this day. A solid foundation can truly give you an anchor of comfort. Therefore, I value self-integrity, trust, and honor. It’s coincidental that the buzz word of today, authenticity, aligns with integrity. 

What books do you recommend for other writers?

How Rich People Think by Steve Siebold

177 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class by Steve Siebold

Anything by Robert Ludlum. Although fiction, your imagination and creative juices will find enrichment.