If you ever meet her, Christy Goldfeder Ingkavet gives the instant impression of a writer who has things figured out. Part of that comes from her insight into the power and versatility of writing as a craft. The rest comes from the wise habits she’s picked up over the years as a freelancer. Enjoy a glimpse into Christy’s life — and pay close attention to the questions she suggests you ask yourself when it comes to defining success.
What attracted you to life as a writer?
I liked the idea of being able to work from anywhere. I lived in France for a year of high school, and I always wanted to live abroad again as an adult. I couldn’t figure out how I could make money other than teaching English … that is, until I discovered copywriting.
How long have you been a working copywriter?
I’ve been an independent professional writer for about three years. I worked my way into writing from editing and project management. I’m also trained as a health coach, and I learned copywriting originally to market my own business. Then, I fell in love with the writing part of my work.
Do you specialize in certain types of writing or clients?
I specialize in marketing funnels and online program launches, and most of my clients are in the health and wellness or personal growth fields. I’ve ghostwritten for a few leaders in holistic nutrition. I also have a couple of corporate clients, for whom I write advertorials for big brands you’ve undoubtedly seen in your local markets.
How do you stay organized with so much going on?
I check into an accountability group in the morning. I usually block out my schedule into writing time, brainstorming or research, and communications and admin. I listen to ambient or electronic chill to stay focused.
What’s an ideal writing setting for you?
I work out of my home office most of the time, but I like to work in cafés, the library, or co-work with other copywriters and Internet marketers at least once a week.
When I’m on a tight deadline that feels like sudden death, I use the Pomodoro Method: Write for 25 minutes, with a 5-minute break away from the computer. This helps me stay focused so I can get twice as much writing completed as I normally would in the same amount of time.
How do you define and measure success?
I’m not going to lie — I like getting paid. But real success is more about how much joy you get out of your days, both working and playing. Are you excited to get out of bed in the morning? Do you get so wrapped up in what you’re doing that you lose track of time? AND do you have just as much fun when you are spending time with your loved ones and friends? Asking and answering these questions helps define your own personal success.
What have been the most important steps you’ve taken to become successful as a freelancer?
Two crucial things: Skills and mindset.
Copywriters need to know how to write persuasively. This is a skill that can be learned, and one that must be practiced. I recently started copying controls by hand. Like practicing scales, it’s not exactly fun, but necessary to get those skills.
Mindset is also critical. It took me a long time to let go of my full-time job because I was not convinced I could make a living. The belief has to come first. I used journaling to plot out an ideal day of work and play. Then I practiced living it by visualizing it. It feels weird at first, but it works.
How do you take advantage of the freedom that comes with life as a Barefoot Writer?
Because we’re not part of a company, where we need to go into an office every day and only get two weeks paid time off, my husband and I can take vacations when we want and for as long as we want. And, we can take time off during the week, if we need to.