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How To Start A Freelance Writing Career

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Are you ready to get started on new career that is completely self-directed, fulfilling, and can be done anytime, anywhere? Everyday I pinch myself and thank God for allowing me to do this work and I’d love to share everything I’ve learned with you!

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Are you ready to get started on new career that is completely self-directed, fulfilling, and can be done anytime, anywhere? Everyday I pinch myself and thank God for allowing me to do this work and I’d love to share everything I’ve learned with you!

I’ll never forget the day I realized that there was actually a career to be had out of freelance writing.

I was still in college, frustrated with yet another semester of nursing clinicals, which I despised. I started doing some research, something along the lines of, “Writing Careers for Dummies,” and after reading a few articles and books, I had to do a double-take.

Sitting alone in our dark, rather damp basement, I scratched my head and talked aloud to my computer screen.

“Wait, you mean, I can actually write articles on anything I want? For money? As in, anything that interests me?? Is this for real??”

As someone who had a zillion jobs growing up, quitting one after another in quick succession when I got bored, or sick of the rigid schedule, it finally dawned on me that maybe it wasn’t the jobs or even my fickle nature that were the problem:

Maybe it was just that I hadn’t found the right job!

Freelance writing sounded absolutely too perfect for me. A job that would allow me to explore everything that interested me, let me keep my own schedule, and allow me to pursue the one thing that I had loved doing since I got my first diary at 8 years old?

Oh.em.gee.

The thing I didn’t realize about a freelance writing career unfortunately was how dang hard it was. What did I do with all my fabulous ideas? Where did I send them? How much money could I make?

I was so excited that day that I raced up and down the stairs, grabbing paper and pens and other writerly supplies, making list after list of article ideas.

But that’s about as far as I got.

I was overwhelmed before I really got started, real life set in, oh, and I got pregnant and started work as a nurse. And got pregnant again. And then again.

It wasn’t until my second child was a newborn, four years ago, that I really started to get serious about writing. And by serious I mean, I was attempting to run off my baby weight and had the following epiphany:

“Hey! I should write a book!”

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So I started a blog. Tentatively put myself out there as a “wanna-be writer.” (Read about that common new writer mistake here.) I learned how to write a book proposal—and miracle, of miracles,landed a book deal.

I finally realized, in a burst of excitement reminiscent of those first days alone with my words in our dingy basement, that I could do this. Really, really do this.

I could make a living as a writer.

It took me two years of squeezing in writing on the weekends, after the kids were in bed, and early in the morning (Heck, it’s 5 AM right now and I’m writing this, so that part never really ends!) before I even sold one article and three more years for me to replace the income I was making as a nurse. Ironically, I pitched Babble for almost two solid years and got rejection after rejection after rejection from them. Seriously, you’d be embarrassed to see how many rejections I received from them.

But those rejections turned into one accepted article which turned into several which turned into an offer to write for them monthly, which turned into me writing full-time for Babble for the last two years as their top traffic driver. I write for sites like Babble and Mom.me and I even reached my dream goal of getting published on The New York Times last year.

Today I’m here, working today as an official full-time freelance writer after adding two more kids to our family. While I was pregnant with my fourth baby, I finally, finally realized my dream of leaving my job as a hospital and nurse and officially quit.

And now?

I’m making more money as a writer than I ever would have as a full-time nurse.

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I have definitely succeeded in making a real, livable income from my writing and I fully believe it is possible for anyone with enough passion and commitment to become a freelance writer. I’ve carved out a completely new life for myself and my family while having four kids at home full-time with me and I really believe that having a job that is flexible enough to allow me to care for my family but also take some of the burden off of my husband to keep us going financially has been a huge blessing.

Which is why I’m offering my first online class on starting a career as a freelance writer!I had the chance to first teach a freelance writing class at a local community college a few months ago and it was so much fun. I loved getting together with new writers and hearing their passions and watching them realize that they could reach their writing goals.

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My class will feature:

  • A complete breakdown of how I went from making a $0 yearly income as a writer to averaging $10,000 a month.
  • All of my organizational strategies + tools to making working from home with kids possible. (I’ve done it with four kids all at home full-time with me!)
  • How to get ideas for articles and submit to editors.
  • Where to find paid writing jobs.
  • How to establish yourself as an expert in your field and land regular writing gigs.
  • INSIDER information from my experience as a magazine editor—it’s a different world on the other side, my friends, and I’ve learned a ton of valuable information for freelancers on the other side of the screen.
  • An overview on tax tips and rules.
  • Basically, EVERYTHING I’ve learned over the past six years as a freelancer.

BONUS Material: I’ll also be sharing my submission spreadsheet, so you can take the work out of tracking your submissions and get right to work!

I focus specifically on starting a writing career if you’re in the trenches as a mom — the little stages of nights with newborns and toddlers and diaper blowouts and never having a free hand because that’s the life I know and in a lot of ways, it’s a great season in our life to carve out new careers. Plus, kids say the darndest things that make great article fodder, you guys.

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My own writing career started with a class offered by Meagan Francis — her class honestly changed my life, so please congratulate yourself on taking this important step towards your career!

What students are saying:

“I just got a weekly paid writing job – it’s not huge, but it’s every week, “above the fold” – an article or interview for the weekly parenting page with my local newspaper. I’m so excited – and completely convinced that Chaunie is magic, because once I set my goals (to make steady money from writing, continued exposure to build my “platform” and to start really taking writing seriously) – it started happening!”–Melissa Cohen 

“I recommend this class [and] Chaunie is so open about the writing world (which was a mystery to me before) and willing to help in any way she can.”–Kristel Acevedo (who became a writer at Disney Baby after the class and now contributes to Mom.me and Babble!)
“Thanks to Chaunie’s writing class, I was able to learn the “tricks of the trade” in writing at my own pace. As a busy mama of 3, it can be hard to find a class so full of information that can actually apply to my life and to my blog. This class not only gave helpful video lessons and power point notes, but also the ability to have a professional relationship with other writers in the class Facebook group, and great one on one feedback from Chaunie herself. I’m so excited to apply everything that I have learned and to set my goals higher than I could have ever dreamed!” – Jess Elaine
Ready to do this? Let’s get started.

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