Before I share anything else, I wanted to start this extended chapter by expressing how heartwarming all of your emails have been over the past several weeks. Your response to this series has been absolutely incredible and it became quickly apparent that this series wasn’t yet complete. Due to your overwhelming desire to perfect your craft as a writer, Brad has decided to make it a monthly series.
So congratulations on that- message received. The iWriter Writer Course will continue!
Additionally, I have especially enjoyed learning about how diverse the iWriters here are –
- I helped a sweet old gal from Maine polish up a beautiful letter to her grandchildren
- I met a goat herder from Kenya that made me see the world in a completely different way
- I chatted with a comical mom from Australia that’s an insanely talented cake decorator
- I laughed with a retired boxer from London who now writes standup comedy
- I even met a smart 11 year old girl who wanted pointers on writing a fantasy series for kids
What did I learn from all of this? You guys and gals have some serious talent! Then again, something really bothered me as well. Over and over, your letters showed me tons of promise but ultimately ran into the exact same obstacle- many of you said that you were just too busy to write as much as you’d like to.
And I understand…the bills have to be paid. Kids need help getting ready for school. The refrigerator doesn’t just fill itself. You have a busy life. I completely get all of that.
But what’s more important than following your passions to create an amazing career in writing?
If you remember back to the very first chapter of this course, I made one very simple statement early on-“I can’t give you the passion for writing. Either you have it or you don’t.”
What I probably should have said, however, was that passion is not enough.
For instance, I absolutely love going whitewater rafting in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Every trip down the river is an amazing experience. If bills weren’t an issue and I could do absolutely anything in life, then I might have ended up as a certified whitewater instructor. I really enjoy it that much.
Yet, when I look back at the past ten years of my life, I’ve been whitewater rafting a total of about four times. The closest rivers are only about an hour away and money was never the issue…I just got too busy in life and somehow stopped doing something I absolutely love.
And guess what? I’m ten years older now- I will never get that time back. I missed out on thousands of opportunities to follow that particular passion.
The point here is that I’ve made a lot of sacrifices along the way to build a great freelance career from scratch.
You can do the exact same thing with or without my help… it simply takes a commitment to get started and never look back. Because once you start something and truly dedicate yourself to it, things like whitewater rafting trips suddenly start to feel a whole lot less important.
So I’m going to issue a little challenge to you right here and now- take a hard look in the mirror and think about what really matters in your life. Where do you want to be in 10 years? How will you actually meet those goals? Who can you count on to push you towards success?
Search deep and really find those kinds of answers.
If writing is part of that dream, then I want you to commit to it today. Right now. Tell yourself that from this day forward, you’re going to be a professional writer. Then take a moment, let the thought sink in for a little bit, and then actually start writing. Lots and lots of writing.
As I’ve told you many times before, WHAT YOU WRITE does not actually matter. Learning comes from the process of writing itself, and there is absolutely no substitute for gaining that experience. Either you’re a writer or you’re not.
Next, I want you to make a hard commitment to freelance writing jobs. If you’re already in another career then it’s perfectly fine to start off slow…even if it’s only two articles per week. But you need to start the process of letting your mind wrap around the topic and thinking of creative ways to make things interesting.
Also, I want you to start being your own worst critic. Study your writing and make at least three full edits before you submit it to a client. Also, fret over the small details and work towards eliminating fluff (sections that don’t really say anything of importance).
In other words, aim for perfection every single time. That’s what bankers and fry cooks and Olympic athletes do every single day of their lives within their professions, so you need to do the exact same thing. Never settle for okay…always aim for awesome.
One more thing before we bring this chapter to a close.
I haven’t chosen any of you to personally mentor yet because I literally became overwhelmed with the submissions. So many of you shared your entire life story…which was definitely awesome…but it also made giving feedback super-hard. That was my fault though for not being crystal-clear with the criteria to follow. Sorry, my bad.
So here’s what I’d like for you to do –
Send me an email to [email protected].
By December 31st, 2016.
In the email, write one short paragraph about you (30-60 words). Then write a second paragraph (max. 100 words) that describes the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen in your life.
Include a link to your best online writing sample, your personal blog, or anywhere else I can see your writing ability online. If you don’t have any of these things though, I won’t hold it against you.
Also include details like your name, where you live, and a link to your best social media profile.
Please note that this contest ended on December 31st, 2016 and the winners have already been selected. Keep an eye out for our next iWriter challenge in the months ahead!
During the first week, I will choose up to 20 semi-finalists and thoroughly critique their work (possibly sharing some great samples with you as well).
Then I will give the semi-finalists one week to make revisions and I’ll choose up to five finalists. Those selected will receive personal 1:1 training by yours truly and qualify for elite plus status at the completion of the program. Sound good? Just be sure to follow the four simple rules so you’ll be eligible for the contest.
Also, I’m giving you almost a full month to provide me with one kick-butt paragraph about your most amazing life experience. Take your time with it, spend some time selecting the perfect words, and don’t forget to thoroughly edit.