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Freelance Writing Coach

Kaleigh Moore and Emma Siemasko

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Kaleigh Moore and Emma Siemasko have long shared a dream: to build the world’s most fulfilling freelance writing businesses. Over the past 8 years, the two friends have become successful freelance writers, finding new clients (hello Salesforce + Vogue Business); refining their service offerings; building six-figure businesses; and ultimately, creating their dream careers. Now, they’re sharing everything they know and discussing what they’ve yet to find out. Why? Because they know you can bui ...
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The Writing Gym podcast is a writer's go-to source for quality information about how to finish, publish, and market writing in all genres. Not only does it give you the implementable steps you need, it's fun. No snorefest here. You'll laugh at the Quirk O' the week and enjoy hard-hitting advice from top agents, best-selling authors, and publishers. Visit iTunes or www.writing-gym.com/podcast to hear these guests and more: --Top NYC literary agent Eric Reuben. He's represented dozens of best- ...
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Your Writing Coach

Lynn Elikqitie Smargis

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Are you looking to write and publish your first book? Do you need a seasoned writer to guide you through the book writing process? Would you like a writer coach with real-world experience who understands how to guide you to the right publishing options for your book? Your Writing Coach podcast is where writers and soon-to-be authors listen in on writing knowledge and expertise so you walk down the right path to publishing your book. My writer podcast will guide you on how to start writing a ...
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Rebecca L. Weber coaches with the sustainable strategies, mindset shifts, and creative skills development she uses to help independent writers around the world. If you’ve got what it takes to make it as a freelance writer, but struggle with confidence, imposter syndrome, overwhelm, procrastination, time management, writer’s block, improving your craft, marketing, pitching, underearning, pursuing meaning in your work, or getting in your own way, this is the writing podcast for you. Learn, gro ...
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“The best advice I can give you to help you grow as a writer is to experience life.” We came to hear about queries and proposals. We wanted to learn how this speaker organized submissions and kept track of contact information. But at this breakout session at this writers’ conference, she insisted: “I know you think your writing career is all about …
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When I was a child just beginning to speak, my parents drove late into the evening to the rural property they bought. As they drove up the gravel driveway, the sky spread out above us with stars glittering like a million diamonds spread out on a jeweler’s vast black velvet display. Across the fields, a million lightning bugs hovered in the tall gra…
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I made a last-minute decision heading to the most recent writer’s conference I attended. I’d planned to take my classy, professional, sleek gray backpack that I’d purchased to replace the original purple one I mentioned in an earlier episode. As I loaded it, I realized that to stay fortified, I needed to carry snacks and lunch each day—maybe even d…
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Are you getting ready to attend a writers’ conference? Guess what? So am I! And I want to make the most of my time there, so let’s think through what will help with that. You’re likely going for at least two reasons: to learn and to connect. You might also be going to pitch your project. Let’s prep, plan, and pack to get the most out of this upcomi…
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Most of us believe that we can build better businesses if we niche down to become a go-to writer for a particular type of asset in a specific space. Once we do this, however, it can feel hard to expand and grow. What if we want to work in another industry? What if we want to write web copy instead of longform content? In this episode, we offer advi…
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Attending my first writers’ conference proved to be life-changing—or at least career-changing. In the years since, I’ve attended a wide range of writing events, and each one has in some way substantially contributed to my career. Some deepened my knowledge, others expanded my professional network—most did both. I can’t imagine where I’d be without …
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Finding a freelance writing mentor is no easy task: They need to fit in with how you work and take instruction best. In this episode, we share our most impactful mentor experiences and the editors/mentors we learned from the most, plus tips on how to find one for yourself.Kaleigh Moore and Emma Siemasko
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An email newsletter is a great way to stay in touch with your audience and build your personal brand. But wait…is an email newsletter necessary? Will it actually help you market and sell your freelance services? In this episode, we share how we think about email newsletters and what we’ve seen from our freelance friends: the successes, downfalls, a…
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What do you say to people when they ask what you do? Does your professional identity as a freelance writer affect how you show up in the world? In this episode, we talk about how to explain what you do when you’re off the clock, surrounded by people who don’t “get it.” We’re also covering what we’re doing outside of work in 2024, what we’re thinkin…
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You see a post on LinkedIn calling for freelance writers with 750 comments. Is it just you… or does the market seem super saturated? What can you do when it feels harder than ever to differentiate? In this episode, we explore what we’ve been seeing lately and how it’s affected us mentally. We offer advice on how to work around this saturation to co…
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The writing process consists of three steps: (1) researching and outline, (2) productive writing, and (3) editing. But are the tools we use designed for this process? Are we as efficient as we think we are? Is there room to save time and increase our creative output? We sat down with Rob Carpenter, content strategist and Head of Marketing at Butter…
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Companies sometimes hire writers for short-term contract roles to help with specific projects. They might hire a writer to work with them for 30-40 hours per week for a set period, such as three months. What are the pros and cons of taking on these roles? In this episode, we share our own experiences taking on contract work and offer some things to…
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Some freelancers suggest clients “book their day” if they want to work with them. Clients reserve a day… and work gets done. What does this look like in practice? How do freelancers successfully structure it? Are “book my day” offerings a good idea for your business? In this episode, we dig into the benefits and pitfalls of clients paying for a day…
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I stared at a blank screen. Why did I ever think I could pull this off? Until that moment, I’d only written short projects. Articles, essays, poems. As I sat staring at the screen, questioning myself in about every way possible, I was supposed to be writing my first book—a manuscript of over 50,000 words. Overwhelmed, I sat at the keyboard, frozen.…
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What’s one thing you’d like help with in your writing life today? I’d like to coach you about it—and share the recording with other listeners of the Writing Coach Podcast. To apply for a free coaching session with me, visit www.rebeccalweber.com/coachme 🔗 You might also like to listen to … WCP 1: What’s your problem? WCP20 Setting freelance writer …
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“Never go to bed until you have a story to tell,” says Kevin Lynch, Creative Director at Oatly. I heard him interviewed on a podcast and stopped jogging to write down what he said about that daily story: It could be a deep thing that you learned, it could be a movie that you saw, it could be a way you took home, it could be a conversation that you …
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When I was in college, practicing in public meant sitting under an oak tree on campus, flipping open my spiral-bound notebook, and scratching out a poem as students walked the path beside me. Creative writing classes gave me another way to practice in public, when my poems were workshopped by my peers. As a young adult building a freelance writing …
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Dear Writer, It’s easy to freeze up when we’re writing for the faceless masses or the random reader who happens upon our words. What do we say to all those people? How can we speak with heart to a total stranger? Next thing you know, we second-guess our ideas, our prose, our very selves. We fade to beige without saying what we really think, without…
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Let’s look at the pros and cons of using writing prompts to decide if we’re fostering creativity or frittering away time. I remember the pleasure of writing about ladybugs for my high school freshman English class based on the prompt written on the board.1 And then there was the book I found a year or so at the library: Write to Discover Yourself. …
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Sometimes you AND your pitch need to get out of your head and out into the world. On the first Tuesday of the month, I’m hosting co-pitching calls where freelancers work on their pitches together. This month I offered a few short prompts for those who needed it. Here I elaborate on ways to approach these prompts, your story idea, your editor, your …
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Children gaze at a vast blank wall and see opportunity—inspired, they grab a permanent marker and scrawl across the surface in loopy circles and jaggedy lines without hesitation. Why, then, do we adults stare at the blank page—not unlike a blank wall—and freeze up? Instead of scribbling out ideas that fill the white screen, we writers often come up…
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On Monday mornings I used to be cranky and anxious. It’s not a great combo any time, and not a great foundation for the week ahead. Then I created a ritual to help me transition … and I actually look forward to that time when I get to look at my writing projects from a totally different perspective. Creating a ritual or two in your writing life can…
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In one week, you might have a pub that you’ve written for for years fold, receive an email from an editor who said she loved your pitch now asking for a ton of edits, sign a contract for a new book, and have a source ask to reschedule an interview. It seems there’s nothing as constant in change in the freelance writing world … and yet so many freel…
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They say it’s the thought that counts when it comes to gifts. But if you’ve ever had the experience of receiving a gift that was clearly intended for somebody else (but the tags got swapped or similar), or if you received a generic Secret Santa present, you know that the thoughts leading to those gifts were fundamentally different than when somebod…
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When I was visiting my grandmother one summer afternoon, she pulled out a letter I sent her. “This is good,” she said. “Really?” She pointed at the paragraphs and said the ideas were well organized, my writing flowed well, and I included lots of details. “It was interesting to read,” she said. Then she looked up at me and smiled. “Maybe we have ano…
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On a road trip, you might see a dozen reminders about an upcoming exit. The frequency doesn’t mean that you should get off the highway for an unwanted detour. Following the trail of habitual thoughts can derail your writing life. Learn to stay the course. Also: The last session for the year of my small group coaching program, Freelance Writer Bootc…
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Some writers always honor their deadlines for clients, yet aren’t accountable to themselves when it comes to marketing or creative work. Maybe you want to pitch more stories, finish your book proposal, or write in your journal every single day. You get started, then quit, and never build enough momentum to create the writing life you really want fo…
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Just as musicians credit their musical influences, writers, too, have literary inspirations who help them discover and shape their unique voice. At a White House event for poets in 2011, Billy Collins said to students about finding your voice: You’re searching for the poets who make you jealous…you’re looking to get influenced by people who make yo…
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Perception of time varies from person to person, and from task to task. Before, during, or after a particular writing task your estimate of how long it takes will likely vary. This lack of clarity about time in the moment can be seen or described in very different ways depending on the context (eg “flow” vs “time blindness”). If you don’t know how …
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Freelance writers often have a hard time setting rates, or feeling great about them after we’ve signed a contract. It can feel challenging when: You have a sense that there’s a correct rate to charge, but you don’t know what it is You don’t know how much you need to earn this year, so can’t break down this project accordingly You believe that the c…
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Did you know we are really good friends? HA. We enjoy each other’s company, love chatting about WHATEVER, and are catching up and giving you a picture of our holistic selves beyond the world of freelance work. We talk about Kaleigh’s history as a dancer, Emma’s weird modern house, and get into what’s happening outside of work. For anyone who wants …
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On a sunny spring day, I sat with seven homeschoolers on a stretch of grass for a creative writing session. The older kids started to fidget before we even started. “What are we doing out here?” “We’re going to see what’s around us.” A fifth grader pointed with his pen. “I see sky, clouds, cars, building. Done.” The others laughed. “We’re going to …
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Do you (almost) always honor your agreements to others (e.g. you routinely make your deadlines), but have a hard time doing things that nobody else is completing (e.g. pitch a story to a new-to-you editor)? External accountability can help interrupt narratives that are neither fact-based nor helpful. Today I share with you a number of external acco…
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Freelance writing is really weird right now. Layoffs, the rise of generative AI, and internal chaos at a lot of companies have made many of us feel super insecure about the field. Our friends and colleagues are kinda freaked out… and maybe we are too? In this episode, we talk about what we’re seeing in the world of freelance writing and what we’re …
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No electricity. No internet. They’re not one in the same, but when they overlap they make for a powerful Venn diagram. The extreme weather and increased pressures on infrastructure means we’re going to continue to see large areas lose power and connectivity. Here in South Africa, we’ve had plenty of chances to learn how to freelance efficiently bot…
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We both work in B2B SaaS. So do A LOT of writers. But what even is B2B SaaS? Why does it seem like so many writers are working in this area? In this episode, we talk about how we got into B2B SaaS, explain why it’s so popular, and offer some guidance on how to figure out whether it’s the right niche for you. This season of Freelance Writing Coach w…
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Jennifer Dukes Lee ​invites you to transform into a better writer​ through “beautifully ruthless self-discovery.” It starts in the pages of your journal. In a recent interview, she delves into the therapeutic benefits of daily gratitude journaling and its potential to rewire our brains. By writing down things we’re grateful for, our minds seek out …
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As a species, we’re pretty judgey. As working writers, we’re constantly having our work judged. Sometimes it can feel like how someone feels about our writing is how they feel about us. When we add our own judgement of somebody else’s judgement, things get sticky. Fear of judgement (by an editor, a friend, an anonymous reader who leaves a comment, …
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If you’re creating original content, you’ll likely find yourself conducting interviews. You might interview subject matter experts, customers, or your client’s customers! Emma does it all the time when she writes case studies. Kaleigh does it for more journalistic assignments. In this episode, we offer advice on how to conduct a gosh darn good inte…
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Freelancing while traveling disrupts the home routine. Get clear about your process and expectations when traveling, and you’ll be better able to reduce frustration and optimize your next trip. Some unconscious and/or unrealistic expectations include: + Stamina, sleep, and food choices + Only reporting vs. starting to do some writing before reporti…
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Working with an intense editor can be, well, intense. It has the potential to elevate your writing, poke helpful holes in your sentences, and take you to the next level. But it can also be really annoying. In this episode, we’re discussing our experiences working with editors who’ve got high high high standards. This season of Freelance Writing Coa…
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One great guiding question is at the heart of a pitch that lands an assignment, or in an article that resonates with readers. Answering this question is usually going to be more compelling for a reader, and often essential for an assigning editor. This episode unpacks the power of answers, plus the exception you want to watch out for (ie, when you …
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What does it mean to be a REALLY GOOD writer? In this episode, we’re exploring what content managers, thought leaders, and others look for when they’re hiring writers. In particular, we discuss writing abilities and editorial chops.Kaleigh Moore and Emma Siemasko
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As a writing coach, I’ve heard countless writers complain about their numbers. Or, more accurately, I’ve lost count. Often somebody will hook into a goal number (daily word count, annual income, how many likes on a post) that disappoints–whether they hit that number or not. And many others don’t identify a goal number from the outset, but then lame…
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WOOOOOOO boy. Where do we start with this one? Unless you’re living on the moon, you have *feelings* about what generative AI tools mean for your business, livelihood, and craft. In this episode, we explore our thoughts and feelings on AI and offer some ideas on how we can rise to the occasion in the new world of robot writers. This season of Freel…
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During the early years of parenthood, I wasted a lot of time feeling sorry for myself. Why can’t I have my own dedicated writing space? Why can’t I have blocks of uninterrupted time? The overwhelming demands of being a stay-at-home mom almost shut down my creativity. In time, thank heavens, I stopped griping and started looking for solutions. My id…
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We’ve all had clients that were...awful. But what if we told you avoiding nit-picky, cheap, or boundary-crossing clients was well within your control? We believe a screening process makes the difference! Don’t worry– we’ve made our fair share of mistakes, too. In this episode, we’re explaining how we screen prospective clients to avoid bad eggs and…
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Steph Fuccio invited me to her podcast, Content to Connect, to discuss the value and impact of podcasting and newsletters. This BTS conversation is relevant to anyone involved with a podcast, newsletter, or other (semi) regular form of opt-in communication. I share my own transition from a newsletter to podcast and how these both help my ideal clie…
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Nearly everyone who writes personal stories in any form has agonized over how much to share. Will writing about an issue from childhood break Mom’s heart? Should I change the name of a high school teacher? The next-door neighbor? The dog? The children? Are the hyacinths blooming by the mailbox worth mentioning? We write. We worry. Is this naval gaz…
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As writers, we spend countless hours crafting and refining our work to perfection. We labor over word choices, sentence structure, and the perfect flow. Despite our best efforts—even after a pass through Grammarly—typos slip through. We tend to spot them in other people’s projects, even if we miss them in our own. How do you react when you spot a t…
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