education, faith, God, writing

Starting a Freelance Writing Business (picking a niche and trusting my gifts)

Danielle MacInnes@dsmacinnes

I ended up subbing in a high school today. It was a bright start to the day with the Dean of Students barging in on me first period.

Him: (stone faced) “Here’s a new student. Don’t let her pee. Don’t let her leave the classroom. Dial 99-4923 if you need security ASAP.”

Me: (smiling) “I can’t wait!”

I was surprised to hear this frozen faced statue of a man giggle hysterically at my response. Hopefully he was still laughing a half hour later when said student decided she didn’t want to do math and would rather ditch my class to roam the hallway with her bestie and do who knows what in the bathroom of her choice.

A year ago I’d have freaked out. “OMG! I lost a student!” These days? I don’t care. It’s not my fault the kid doesn’t want to learn. I can only do what I can do.

I say this with zero judgment, for that student is a giant mirror for my own yearnings. How often do I not want to sit in the stuff of my life that is difficult? I, like her, would rather ditch than do the hard work of figuring it out.

But it’s becoming crystal clear to me that the more I run, the less I will have something to show for myself – at least financially. And one thing I know for sure is that if I’m going to have to make a living it’s not going to be teaching. So then what?

I have lots of reasons I haven’t landed on something yet.


Getting sober.

Working on my marriage.

Just not being sure of myself.

And, for lack of sounding like an egotistical ass, there’s about ten million things I could do writing wise (and I have) but it’s time to choose something consistent.

On tonight’s walk with Rex my mind started spinning like a top again. “Oh my God, I was here four years ago! Why am I still here!” But a quieter voice came in that reminded me, “No, you were not this centered as a person four years ago. At least you have awareness now that you don’t have consistency. That is HUGE.”

My prayer then became, “God, show me in a way I can understand what you would have me do with my writing.”

With a bit of calm, it became even more clear that I don’t think it’s corporate writing, as fun as a job at Netflix would be. And the money would be lovely.

But at 50, where is a job like this going to lead me? What I really want, in my heart, is to write another pilot (or take meetings for the one I have already written) and finally finish that musical, but…. I need bread and butter while I do this.

With that mental masturbation satisfied, I started thinking again about starting up a freelance writing business while I write my dream stuff on the side. I’m already memoir writing for folk for pay. The ticket to sustainability then becomes about choosing a niche – something I have never buckled down to do before.

If that is the case, I’m considering focusing on being a story teller/content writer. I could be the go-to gal for memoirs, articles about people, blogs on corporate websites that deal with people, newsletters, etc. No products. No blow up hot tubs or direct sales marketing. No click through SEO bait donkey dung key words to lure people into buying organic horse crap.

Basically I’d be paid as a story teller and showcase this in whatever way a company or individual wants to promote themselves or their business. This kind of niche also lends itself to writing at and getting another book out there.

In closing, I realize I’ve been a bit all over the board lately, but I choose not to judge myself. I’ve been so consistent with my marriage and my kids. This is an area that I have not truly given myself time to consider, so I am open to failing and fumbling as I find my way.

What do you think? Would love your take. I would love to know.

As always, when I go into fear, I will remember:

God is everything or he is nothing.

Until next time,

My book is available on Amazon. (Note: It’s a special ed journey… your kid doesn’t need to have Tourettes to relate!) Follow me on Twitter@AndreaFrazerWrites or on Facebook. )

7 thoughts on “Starting a Freelance Writing Business (picking a niche and trusting my gifts)”

    1. I think I’m closer and closer. I know in my gut want I want to do. It’s that it is new for me to really trust myself. I’m good at lots of stuff (as we all are) so it’s been easy to rationalize, “Oh, well, this makes money” I have to be willing to really trust a different timeline than instant gratification. If I can do this – WHEN I will do this – I will have conquered that final beast (myself and my fear) and I will be free. (And my family and friends will be a hell of a lot happier, too.)

  1. How would you get gigs. My dream job is to get paid to write stories but who on earth would buy the stories I write? And then are these true stories, like they need to be researched? It would be awesome if some one assigned a story like a writing prompt: write about a cat owner. I think I could do that.

    1. Lol. I’m thinking blogs for people that run their own business but don’t have the ability to Blog. Ghost writing for celebrities. Website copy for descriptions of staff etc. my niche would be transformational stories though and that could include magazines as well

  2. First off, “mental masturbation” is the best line I have read all day.

    I have some experience with this. I was a full-time freelancer for six months and still do it part-time. The beauty of it is, I could easily make a career of it now if I wanted to…but I happen to have a dream writing job that actually offers benefits, so instead of ramping up I scaled back. It’s comforting to know that in a worst-case scenario, I could certainly make a go of it, too.

    I think you can, too. Based on the ONE blog post I have read so far (lol) I can see that you’ve got talent. Promotion is the really hard part, but once that experience starts to pile up, you could find yourself with literally too many clients. Good luck if you do choose to go this route!

  3. Thanks, Swinged Cat. I have already gotten a few clients under my belt. Of course now I have a few contract jobs also knocking on my door. I have to decide if I want to piece together a few steady contract with freelance or just, as you are doing, bite the bullet and go in full time. I will just have to see where life leads me and be open. When I trust the process it is always good. When I over analyze it’s paralysis by analysis and no one is happy. And dinners are always a lot more sketchy for the family.

  4. Thanks for this post.
    I loved reading through it, and one of the best things I loved about this is your honesty. I could say, you are a good writer. The problem about writing is that there are not many writers like you who are not afraid of telling the truth to your readers.

    I’d say, you are in a great place right now and I would love to see you grow in your journey. I just thought perhaps this website might help in your journey

    Given your goals and your vision, I think partnering with TheRisr could be a good option for you to take.

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