So you think you can be a lifestyle writer?
by Anna Warwick 03 May 2019
It’s a given that lifestyle writing is one of the most coveted niches out there – but what do you need to become one? Being a student of life who’s insatiably curious, a good listener and a total people person is essential, but that’s just for starters.
Lifestyle writing is all about covering stories of positive and good humans – and most lifestyle writers live the life they write about. They might be mad about yoga, crazy about all things vegan, a lover of alternative therapies or keen to explore new places and experiences. A good lifestyle writer’s work stays fresh because of their genuine interest in what they’re pitching and writing about – so there’s that authenticity. And of course it’s also fun to research and work on a subject you’re passionate about.
How to break into lifestyle writing
When you’re starting out say yes to everything (I once ghost-wrote a book for a Polish billionaire). Take any publishing role to get a foot in the door – even interning. Find a mentor in publishing and nurture this relationship. Network with other writers online, at work or in a course.
As you get more established, work will come from who you know. While you’re getting experience, make lists of lifestyle publications and websites you’d like to write for, get to know those outlets intimately, and start pitching stories. At first, it might be easiest to mine your own life for ideas, eg:
- Advice – e.g. a listicle of life hacks you’ve tried and tested (keep it original and back up claims with expert quotes)
- Opinion – e.g. An unusual take on a Zeitgeist issue (set up Google alerts on your favourite subjects for newsworthy tidbits)
- Real people stories – e.g. something legendary a contact has done or what you learned the hard way while travelling.
Don’t forget to create a website and ensure your paid work is front and centre, with beautiful screen grabs or pdfs so any editors checking you out can easily see what you’ve previously written and what you’re capable of.
Should you specialise?
The most in-demand lifestyle writers may specialise in one area and write mainly about one topic, but be able to cross over into others. For example, a general health writer may also write about sex, relationships and parenting. You may be a travel writer, but find there’s crossover in writing about food and wine and reviewing new restaurants. Or perhaps you’re interested in home decor and interiors but can also turn your hand towards renovation articles or client posts about roofing treatments or trends in emerging technology for the home. If you’re organised and have wide-ranging contacts for a range of ‘lifestyle’ industries, you’ll have more opportunity for work in print and digital content.
It probably goes without saying that you always want to be thinking ahead as a lifestyle writer. Could this story you’re working on parlay into another two or three? Same goes for travel destinations. How many additional stories can you sell out of that one trip to review a new swanky hotel? You always need to have your business hat on in order to keep the work flowing.
When writing a lifestyle story
Lifestyle is notorious for being a saturated market; you often seen the same types of stories over and over. So always do a heap of research and look for new angles, new studies, new people so you’re not rehashing the same-old, same-old. Also, get the ‘colour’ – this involves paying attention to your surroundings, the little details, the sounds and tastes (and taking copious notes).
Always respect your sources – you’ll have at least two, unless it’s an interview. Check names and titles. Send them your story to check before you hand it in. I learned the hard way when I wrote my book of true dating stories, that representing somebody in an unflattering light (even tongue-in-cheek) really hurts them. I’ve rarely had a subject less than tickled pink with what’s been printed since. Plus, subjects usually make good changes that improve the story.
Often in custom publishing, it’s a requirement that you check all quotes with your interviewees before filing so it’s a good habit to get into (you shouldn’t send the whole story, just the sections in which the person’s quotes appear).
What’s changed in lifestyle writing?
Lifestyle writing used to be all about penning classic long-form articles for glossies or online magazines, but times have changed. This work is still available of course, but to make a living you’ll need to be able to supplement print work with content marketing and custom publishing. Read widely and practice writing in different styles so you can shift your tone when required. This is key in becoming a commercial writer.
Look for content producer roles within lifestyle businesses. Advertising and content agencies use freelancers to do blogs, stories and social campaigns. PR companies hire writers to do press releases and custom articles. The more chunky contracts you get, the better your chances of subsidising a freelance career. Working in-house ‘client side’ also gives you a taste of the real world if you’re feeling a bit isolated, so it’s win-win.
7 tips for pitching lifestyle stories
- Don’t cold call – ring the editorial assistant and ask whom to email (typically it’s the features editor).
- Ask which issue they’re currently planning and if it’s themed (ie, some magazines will do themed issues on ‘aging’ the same month every year).
- Pitch two or three ideas for print and one evergreen (e.g. relationships/health) and two clickbait ideas (celeb/opinion) for online. Add a catchy title – think about what you click on/pick up and why.
- Help the editor sell your idea to their publisher and sales team, by outlining why their reader will love/needs to know this.
- Respect the commission – if they wanted it rushed and three-quarters complete, their intern would have done it.
- Deliver extra – fact boxes, great images.
- If the angle’s not working or your source won’t talk, call the editor with a solution e.g. new source.
Are you a lifestyle writer? What are your top tips for making a living from it? Photo by Kylie Lugo on Unsplash
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Life as a Writer: How to Build a Writing Lifestyle
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This week, we’re going to be talking about a subject that we probably don’t talk about enough:
How do you actually build a life as a writer?
Sure, it would be easy if all you had to do was write, if you didn’t have a day job, if you didn’t have friends, if you didn’t have work, if you didn’t have vacation, if you didn’t have family, if you didn’t have hobbies…
But the truth is that the magical future we all dream of where every element of our lives just effortlessly supports our writing really never comes.
Even for hugely successful writers, there remain many conflicting needs pulling at our attention: meetings, productions, multiple projects that we’re juggling, family and experiences.
We need these things. If we lived in a total solitude where all we did was write, it would be really hard to come up with interesting ideas for a film or a TV show. Our ideas grow out of our relationships, friendships, experiences, and even out of our frustrations and problems.
At the same time, it can be extremely challenging to make room for your writing lifestyle.
How do you make room for your writing lifestyle when your life is already over-full?
How do you make room for your passion when you have so many responsibilities? How do you break through the inertia when you already don’t have enough time to get all the things you need to get done? How do you start an overwhelming passion project in the midst of all that?
That’s what we’re going to be talking about in this podcast.
Where do you start?
It’s a truth about human nature that we tend to prioritize whatever is in front of us.
Somehow that email checking and that anxiety that you woke up with rolls into a whole day. You never get out of your email and you never do that important thing that you really wanted to do.
As opposed to thinking “Well, what’s the big dream?” and focusing your life around that. Without a little help, your subconscious mind is just going to accept “Okay, whatever you’re showing me is probably what I actually need to focus on.”
To change this on the simplest level, and start prioritizing our writing, we need to establish a pattern that consistently shows our subconscious mind what really matters to us.
That starts by showing our conscious mind what really matters to us because often, we don’t actually take time to consciously think about it.
In a way, many of us are passive main characters in the journey of our own life. It gets really hard to root for passive main characters. It becomes really hard to feel structure for passive main characters. It feels really easy to become just as stuck about them as they are about ourselves.
If you want to actually achieve your dreams, then that begins with doing the hard work and asking, “What matters to me? What actually matters most?”
You’ve got to do some meditation and ask yourself, “What is the most important thing in my life?” That doesn’t preclude all the other things that matter to you.
You don’t have to be a narcissist or a megalomaniac to become a great writer, but everybody needs a dream.
If your dream isn’t writing, then find one that is your dream.
But if your dream is writing, then it’s important to remember that you must serve your own dream in order to serve all the other things that are important in your life.
You are going to be so much better as a relationship partner…
You are going to be so much better as an employee…
You’re going to be so much better as a friend…
…if you know that you are moving your life in the direction that you want to take it in and if you’re living your authentic dream.
The first thing you want to ask yourself is, “Is writing really the dream?”
Chase the dream that you’re excited about, that you really want to chase.
Don’t chase the one that’s practical. “Well, I really want to be a writer, but that seems really hard. Maybe I will become a legal secretary instead.”
Sure, you can become a legal secretary if you have great skills there, but everybody needs a dream.
The important thing is not whether you achieve your dream or not. The important thing is pursuing it. That’s what actually gives you the structure and the meaning.
If the dream you think you’re chasing ends up being the wrong one, that’s fine! That’s what leads you to the right one.
If you don’t know what your dream is, then you might have to ask yourself a smaller question– the same questions you would ask if you were building the structure of a character’s journey.
When we talk about the big dream, that’s the superobjective.
Sometimes we get a character like that who has that big dream.
If we think about Ted Lasso , Ted Lasso wants to inspire the people around him .
If we think about WandaVision , Wanda wants to keep her love alive .
So sometimes, we get a character with a really big dream. If your character has a really big dream or if you do, then pursue it. Ask yourself, “How am I going to put that in front of myself early? How am I going to wake up and do some small thing in pursuit of the big dream?” It does not have to be a huge thing and it doesn’t have to get you all the way there.
Put your focus on the big dream first thing in the morning, and make that the first thing you put in front of yourself before you focus on your email and your responsibilities and all the other things that are running away with your life.
When you put the big dream in front of you, just like when you put it in front of the character, your mind starts to focus on it and move towards it. Your mind starts to go, “Oh, this is the important thing.” Then your mind starts to make space for it.
If you can’t come up with a big dream, then that’s okay. Start with a little dream.
I’m watching The White Lotus right now. One of the characters’ dreams is that he wants the Palm Suite. He wants the bigger suite for his honeymoon. That’s his little dream and that’s all you need to build the whole structure of his journey.
It can be as small as “I don’t know what I really love, but I’m curious about this character,” or “I don’t know what I really want to do, but I’ve always been curious about pursuing a screenplay or a tv pilot…”
It doesn’t matter. If you can’t come up with the big dream that you want to do for the rest of your life, then that’s cool. What’s the little dream? What’s the little thing that’s attracting you or that has a genuine attraction? Pursue that, whatever that thing is. Put that thing in front of yourself first thing in the morning.
You can see that the way that we’re talking about building structure for our lives as writers is very much related to the way we build structure for our character.
We lose track of characters when they don’t have objectives. It doesn’t matter if the dream is giant—like how Neo wants to be “the one” and see reality and save the world in The Matrix —or if it’s tiny, like the character in The World’s End who just wants to complete the pub crawl with his buddies from high school.
It doesn’t need to be big, but it needs to be heartfelt. When you give your character an objective and you get clear on your objective, then it becomes much easier to build structure.
If your character is juggling 17 objectives and we don’t know which one’s important to them, we tend to zone out on them. We tend to lose track of them.
In the same way, if you’re juggling 17 dreams and you don’t know what the important one is, then you tend to lose track of yourself. Pretty soon, you’re not only passive, but you’re reactive. You’re just dealing with whatever’s happening as opposed to carving your own way.
That leads to a whole bunch of other problems that have nothing to do with art… like depression, anxiety, fear, and misery. All this stuff comes out of just not knowing what the dream is or not knowing how to put it in front of ourselves.
One of the ways that I keep myself focused on my writing lifestyle and on my dream is through a wonderful technique called Morning Pages.
I did not come up with Morning Pages. Morning Pages were created by Julia Cameron, who wrote The Artist’s Way . It’s probably one of the greatest books ever on the writing lifestyle and process.
Morning Pages are my way of remembering what’s really important to me. The first thing that happens every morning when I roll out of bed– I do not check my email or check my phone. I roll out of bed and I pick up a nice, black Moleskine notebook and I write three pages. Those three pages might be three pages of a script, of random thoughts, of fury, or of dreams. It can literally be whatever comes out.
Number one, this reminds me that I am a writer. I know I am a writer because the first thing I do in the morning is write.
Number two, it helps me focus my thoughts for the day. It helps me focus my energy on where I want to actually go today and on what actually matters to me today, before I get swept up into everything else.
Now, when I say I do morning pages, I’m just like you. There are times when I lose track of what’s important to me. There are times when I forget to do my morning pages or I think, “I’m fine. I got it today. I don’t need it.”
That one day when you say that you don’t need it turns into two days where you don’t need it and then a week where you don’t need it. You’re fine for a week or maybe for 10 days or maybe even a month, then suddenly you find yourself lost and drifting and not feeling connected. You realize, “Oh, it’s because I didn’t do my morning pages. I didn’t do my routine.”
In order to build structure for yourself as a writer, writing needs to become a routine.
In fact, anything that is important to you needs to become a routine if you’re going to be successful at it. It needs to become something that you just do .
If you make it too precious, it becomes too important. You might think that you’re going to take a week off and all you’ll do is write. You need that week. Everybody would love that! But you’re not going to finish your whole script in a week. You’re going to end up feeling lost after that week because you didn’t have any preparatory time. The truth is, if you don’t have any rhythm, you’re probably not ready for that week anyway. You’re probably going to feel overwhelmed during that week, like if you tried to lift 500 pounds without ever working out. Then that week is going to end and you’ll probably be down on yourself because you didn’t do enough in that week to actually get where you needed to go.
It’s important that writing becomes a rhythm, and becomes so common to your life that it loses some of its “life and death” importance. That way, if you have a bad writing day, it’s okay, because you know what? Tomorrow you’re going to write again. If you have a bad writing day tomorrow, then that’s okay, too, because the next day you’re going to write again. If that day is also a bad day, then the following day you’re going to write again.
This is a lesson that I took from one of my great mentors. The truth is that all of us are only as good as our mentors. We’re only as good as the people who taught us and who kind of paved the way for us. I was very fortunate to have some really incredible mentors in my life. One of them is a guy named Joe Blaustein, who’s not a writer but a painter.
Joe is one of the great artistic mentors in my life. But the greatest lesson that Joe gave me was not how to paint.
It was this very simple idea: Joe wouldn’t let us paint on canvas. He insisted that we paint on paper. He said that if you paint on canvas, then you’re going to get precious with it and you’re going to think it’s really important. You want to paint on paper. You want to feel like you could throw it away. That was one of the most powerful creative lessons that I’ve ever learned.
You want to write like you’re writing on paper. You want to write like you could throw it away. It’s just a scene and you’ll make another scene tomorrow. The next day, you’ll make another scene… and you’re always going to show up and you’re always going to do it. It’s just a part of your rhythm.
Then what happens is you stop riding that roller coaster of ups and downs as the muse comes and the muse goes away. You stop having whatever crazy routine you’ve come up with that you believe is the only way you can write, and the only way you can get in touch with the muse. You can lose all that. You can let all that go. You can realize that it’s not about that.
It’s not about riding the wave of the muse. Sure, if she comes, then say, “Thank you, Muse. I’m grateful. Thank you for coming.” She may come and she may not come, but your job is to show up. Your job is to show up again and again, to remember you’re writing on paper. You could throw it away. It’s just something you do like making your morning coffee, like showing up for work or like checking your email. It’s just something you do.
This is the crazy thing about dreams. They are seductive because they’re so big and they’re so beautiful. We imagine that endpoint and we think the endpoint is the dream, but that’s absolutely inside out and backwards.
The process of moving towards the endpoint is the dream. The process is really where you live most of your life. It’s so rare to actually hit the endpoint. Even when you do hit the endpoint, it likely will be different than you imagined it.
It’s actually the process of the every day that makes you a writer. It’s not selling a script that makes you a writer. Sure, I want you to sell a script and hope you will sell a script, but it’s showing up at the page every day that makes you a writer.
How do you show up at the page?
One of the ways that you do that is to get out of the “writing well” business (which you can’t control and which, if you’re early in your career, you probably can’t even evaluate yet).
Probably if you’re early in your career, then you don’t actually know your good writing from your bad writing. I’ve seen so many writers throw out their best scenes because their best scenes make them feel vulnerable and anxious and scared. These same writers will often cling to their most cliche and boring scenes because their cliche and boring scenes remind them of things they’ve seen in other movies. They feel “right” for that reason, even though there’s none of that writer’s voice in them.
It takes some time to actually learn how to evaluate what’s working.
We’re going to get out of the “good” business. We’re going to get out of the “talent” business. We’re not going to worry if we have talent or not. Instead, we are going to get into the volume business.
Our job is to show up day after day and always be generating pages. Our job is just to keep showing up, to remember that we’re writing on paper, and to worry about making it good later.
In order to do that you want to break your writing down into nice small chunks, chunks you can’t talk yourself out of.
You want to schedule the exact time you’re going to do those chunks.
I like to write in seven-minute increments. The reason that I love seven-minute increments is that I can’t talk myself out of seven minutes. I can try. I’m a writer just like you, which means most of my life is filled with overcoming resistance. Everything that I’m teaching you doesn’t come from me being on a pedestal. Everything I’m teaching you comes from me over a lifetime finding different ways to deal with my own resistance, my own fears, my own failures and shortcomings. This is what I want to share with you, so hopefully you can get there in an easier way than I did.
I have resistance, too. How do I overcome my resistance?
I realized my resistance was usually because my goal was too big. Or to put it in movie terms, I was focused on the superobjective rather than on the objective.
It’s the same reason why so many movies and so many shows with such great premises turn out to have crappy execution, because the writer is only focused on the big picture. They’re not focused on what the character wants in this moment, what she wants in this scene.
Sure, you can create a great premise by focusing on the great dream that can be achieved by the end of the film. But to create a great movie or TV pilot, even as you navigate toward that beautiful superobjective, you have to keep your focus on the dream that can be achieved right now , in this scene that’s currently happening.
I’m going to do the thing that’s important before I do the email, before I answer the phone and before I get swept up into the current of my day.
Then, just like everybody else, I’m going to attack my day. I have dreams for work, too, and I try to keep focused in the same way. They’re dreams for the studio that really matter. As I build the studio and as we try to serve our writers and our community, there are things that I have to let go in order to do the big things that will really move the needle for my writers.
I’m trying to focus my energy on what I want now, not what’s coming at me. Where do I want to focus? What is the time that I set aside for those little annoying tasks like email? Don’t allow yourself to be on your phone all day. Set your phone down. Schedule the time in your calendar. This is the time I’m allowed to play with email. This is the time I’m allowed to respond. Outside of that, I’m not going to.
You want to free up your time so that stuff isn’t coming at you all the time and so that you’re dedicating your focus to the thing that matters to you.
I have two threads in my writing lifestyle: I have the thread of the studio, my journey as a teacher and the goals I have for my students. Plus, I have the thread of myself as an artist.
I have to balance those two. In my schedule, I’m looking at what the times are for the studio and what the times are for me as a writer. Where do I want the focus to be? At different times the focus is in different places.
For many years, I made the conscious choice that the focus was going to be on the studio. My writing was going to take place for seven minutes at night after all that was done because the priority was the studio and my writing lifestyle was the secondary thread that I needed to thread around that.
At this point in my life, I’m blessed that the work that I did at the studio and the way that I set that dream paid off. I was fortunate enough to surround myself with a really incredible team and really incredible faculty, people who could take a lot of that burden off of me and who could run with our mission without me being involved at every moment. Now, my writing is able to be almost an equal thread in my life.
The way that you allocate your time isn’t going to be the same at every phase of your career. It’s important to ask: What’s the main thing and where do I thread my writing life around that?
You need to answer that question for yourself. Not forever, but for where you are right now.
We want to commit to consistency. If that consistency is every day, then that’s great. However, even G-d rested, so you may want to give yourself a day off. My day off is Sunday night. I can choose to write Sunday night, but I don’t have to.
The reason that the last thing I like to do at night is write my seven minutes is because, right before I go to bed, I don’t have anything else to do. I’m already done with my work for my students. I’m already done with my work for the studio. Lacy, my fiancée, tends to go to bed earlier than I do, so I’ve already done all my work for my relationship. My dog is asleep and I don’t have to walk my dog. Now I have time that’s just for me.
It’s late at night and I’ve done a lot of work, so generally, my first thought is, “Wow, I’m tired. I should skip this tonight.” Then I say, “No. Just seven minutes. You can do seven minutes! No matter how tired you are, you can stay up for another seven minutes. You take seven minutes to brush your teeth. You can do seven minutes. So, I’m going to write for seven minutes.”
If you want to use this technique, then you can’t allow yourself to just sit and think for seven minutes. You’ve got to sit down and you’ve just got to immediately start writing nonstop for seven minutes.
Sometimes I’ll reread a little bit of the last scene I wrote the night before so I can keep that in my mind, but you’ve just got to launch it. You only have seven minutes and you’ve got to move it forward. So, this is my technique. I live an extremely busy life. I work many hours. I’m very passionate about my job. I’m very passionate about the work that we do, but I know that if I don’t serve my writing dream then I don’t feel fully myself. I don’t feel like I’m in control of my own story. So, I set a timer for seven minutes.
Here’s the crazy thing. It’s so rare that I only write for seven minutes! Usually what happens is that I write for seven minutes and then suddenly I’m into something. Then I’m suddenly following that thread and suddenly the seven minutes becomes 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, then an hour, then two hours and then three hours.
Suddenly, time opens up in my life that wasn’t there before. Suddenly, I start to think that I’m going to stay up late tonight, so I guess I’ll wake up late tomorrow. I start to think that I want to stay up late and write this tonight. This errand that seems so important that I had planned for tomorrow, maybe I’m just not going to do that and instead stay up late. That email that I was just dying to perfectly compose, maybe I’ll have to send the crappy version of that tomorrow.
What I’m doing is I’m actually prioritizing the real dream.
On other days, I have what are called bad writing days, where that seven minutes frickin’ hurts. It’s hard to get that seven minutes out. It’s hard to just show up for that seven minutes.
I love that, after seven minutes, I can close my laptop and I can go to bed. I can close my laptop and I can play my guitar. I can close my laptop and I can go binge-watch some TV. I can close my laptop and I can go read a book. I can do anything I want. As long as I’ve written those seven minutes, I am a writer today.
Reviewing everything we’ve spoken about: Number one, you’ve got to decide what the dream is. Not forever, but for now.
You’ve got to focus yourself on that dream in some way when you wake up in the morning so that your subconscious mind knows that it’s important, that this is the dream.
If you’re a morning person, you could work on your script first thing in the morning. I like to do my Morning Pages in the morning, but you could also do your screenwriting for that first seven minutes.
You could just take seven minutes to meditate in the morning and think about your script.
You could take a walk and think about your script.
You could walk with a little voice recorder and record little notes to yourself about your script.
But you want to do something in the morning that reminds you that you’re doing what really matters.
Number two, you want to schedule exact times that you’re going to work on your screenplay.
I do it last thing, but you might want to do it at lunch or you might want to do it in the morning or you might want to do it right after you get home from work. You might want to do it right before you pick the kids up from school, but you want to do it at an exact time, because a Pavlovian response starts to happen. You get used to writing at that time. Suddenly it’s three o’clock and you remember, “Oh! It’s time to write.” Suddenly you sit down and you don’t have to get the juices flowing. The juices are already flowing. You’re used to writing at this time. That’s when it starts to get really exciting.
A lot of people think, “How is it possible to write a whole script in just seven minutes?”
Here’s the amazing thing. Once you turn it into a rhythm and once you realize how much you can write in seven minutes, once you realize what a great scene you can create in seven minutes, once you realize how much you can actually drive your story forward in only seven minutes, you start to realize how many seven-minute chunks you actually have in your life. You start to realize, “Oh, you know what? I finished lunch early. I have seven minutes. Let me jot that scene down.” You start to realize, “Oh, I’m sitting in the doctor’s office. I have seven minutes. Let me jot this scene down.” You start to realize that you have all these seven-minute chunks in your life.
This magical thing happens because we all feel like we’re out of time. We all feel like we can’t possibly do the things that matter to us.
The truth is, we have so much more time than we realize. It just goes to the worst stuff. It goes to email. It goes to social media. It goes to Amazon shopping. It goes to mundane, menial tasks that are important but not urgent, or that sometimes are urgent but not even important. It goes to all these deprioritized things that all end up getting in the way of the real dream.
Once you start to realize that you can actually do your real dream, that you are doing your real dream, that you feel good about yourself because you’re living your real dream—once it becomes a rhythm and a process—all these other chunks start to open up.
Once you realize that you can open up seven-minute chunks, other magical chunks start to open up, too. Once you realize by saying “no” to that one stupid email, by not fighting that stupid $7 charge from Verizon that you know is wrong and will take you three hours on the phone, by actually prioritizing the things that are important to you and letting some of the smaller things go, you start to realize that you can open up bigger chunks. You start to realize that you can actually say “no” to bigger things. You start to realize that you can actually make stronger choices that serve the things that really matter to you.
Suddenly, you start to realize that you’re not achieving less in the same time, but you’re actually achieving more.
You’re moving all these different threads that matter to you forward in less time because you know you have less time to do them and because you know you need to make room for these things that matter to you.
Once you build the rhythm, so many of these other steps will actually happen all on their own.
The last piece to building your life as a writer is recognizing that writing can be a very isolating job. For that reason, we need community. We need feedback. We need mentorship.
One of the reasons we built our ProTrack Program the way that we did is to build exactly this kind of rhythm ,where you’re meeting with a professional writer every week or every other week on a consistent basis. It’s not like grad school. Grad school is the “I’m going on vacation for two years” dream. ProTrack is “I have a job. I have a life. I need to be able to support myself, but I have a dream that matters to me.”
What if instead of crunching a lifetime of learning into two years, you could experience the lifetime of learning over a lifetime? What if you had somebody who was expecting pages from you every single week or every other week? What if you were getting a little bit of feedback every week or every other week to help drive your writing forward?
It’s the same with our Master Classes . Instead of doing an immersive film school where you will have to generate $300,000 of debt and be left with so much weighing over you that you can’t actually pursue your dreams, what if you could get a film school education one Sunday a month, not over two years but over a lifetime? What if you could learn in a community of writers, getting the information in The Master Class and then practicing it in ProTrack? So, we have programs to support you.
We also have free programs to support you. If you need some community and you’re not yet ready to commit to the bigger dream, commit to the little one. Show up on Thursday night . It’s free! Every single Thursday you come and you connect with our community. There are hundreds of writers there. We learn about the writing lifestyle, we do writing exercises together, we hang out and we connect.
If you can make a donation, we’re grateful. We donate it to our scholarship fund . We will match your donation and we’ll use it to help students who otherwise couldn’t afford our mentorship program or our masterclasses to actually attend those programs. If you can’t afford to make a donation, then come for free. Bring a smile or a friend. Have a good time. You’re going to need that community. That community is part of the celebration of what you’re doing.
This is the thing that I actually want to leave you with: It is not enough just to have success. It’s not enough just to achieve your goals, show up every day and do it. You also need to celebrate your success.
Celebrating your success can be doing a little dance, giving yourself a gift, introducing yourself to somebody and saying “I’m a writer,” or celebrating with us on Thursday nights and saying “Hey, I’m a writer today.”
You showed up at the page. This week, you carved just a little bit of space that turned into just a little bit more and just a little bit more, until that little drip or trickle turned into a stream and then a brook and then eventually a mighty river of creativity driving you not just toward a future, but through a really awesome present where every single day you are not pursuing your dream, you’re actually living it.
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The Lifestyle Writer
What is lifestyle writing? In her new book, Sarah Beth Watkins describes it as writing that focuses on things that are important in our lives. This book shows you how to construct, write and market magazine articles, and even how to write a lifestyle book and see it published. ...
- You’ll get to know your own writing habits better, e.g. the time of day when you’re most productive, or the location where you’re most inspired to write;
- You’ll develop writerly discipline (an essential skill if you ever hope to write a book or another long form project); 💪
- You'll work out what you really like to write, whether that's literary fiction or epic fantasy;
- You’ll stick around long enough for new ideas to occur to you (especially helpful if you’re a pantser, not a plotter ).
2. Practice reading books by other authors
On the level of vocabulary, sentence structure, and rhythm, the “ease and intimacy” King talks about occurs subliminally, beneath the surface of your consciousness, quietly sharpening your perceptive skills. On the level of plot or structure, you actively discover the creative strategies of other writers. Now aware of what others are doing with their words, you become a native to that “country of the writer”.
Ultimately, the more wonderful things you feed your brain, the richer the pool of knowledge your creativity will be able to draw from.
📚 If you need recommendations, we’ve compiled reading lists for every taste here:
- 25 Creative Writing Examples to Inspire You Today
- The 115 Best Books of All Time
- The 60 Best Nonfiction Books of the 21st Century
- The 125 Best Children’s Books of All Time
- The 30 Best Memoirs of the Last Century
- The Best Short Stories and Collections Everyone Should Read
3. Pick up writing skills from other texts
Okay, enough with the subconscious magical learning — you also need to put in serious, active effort. That means taking apart passages that impress or move you and dissecting another writer’s methodology.
This will be most helpful if you focus on texts in your genre or form: read respected newspapers or magazines if you’re hoping to submit to such publications, poetic collections if you long to publish poetry , academic papers by reputable academics if you’re a budding scholar.
Read each sentence carefully, asking yourself how you would have gone about writing it. Notice the differences between each version: look closely at how the other writer avoids repetition and regulates sentence length, and become aware of all the words that could’ve gone into the sentence, but were trimmed out. If you remember the lessons you draw from this exercise, you’ll be on your way to becoming a better writer.
If you struggle to write consistently, sign up for our How to Write a Novel course to finish a novel in just 3 months.
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4. Study examples of writing theory
Time for some homework: aside from picking up other writers’ tricks by reading their work, you can also study up on basic writing theories . Learning about story structure and the different models that dramatists and fiction writers rely on, like Freytag’s pyramid or the classic three-act structure , is valuable for any aspiring writer. These models are guides to centuries of storytelling tradition: demonstrations of how you might apply a structure onto a story.
When it comes to expressing yourself, brushing up on your literary and rhetorical devices is also helpful. After all, as much as people like to pretend writing is a mystical art, divinely bestowed upon one by magical inspiration, a lot of it comes down to active effort on the writer’s part.
Head to these guides to literary and rhetorical devices if you’re ready for school:
💡 45+ Literary Devices and Terms Every Writer Should Know
💡 30+ Rhetorical Devices Everyone Must Know
Literary Devices Cheatsheet
Master these 40+ devices to level up your writing skills.
5. Create your own voice
Some people’s advice for learning how to write is to stick to templates. These can be wonderful if you’re writing something meant to be plain, like a legal document or a freelance proposal . (If this is the case, all you need to do to become a better writer is be accurate, precise, and grammatically correct.) For everything else, by all means inform yourself about things like story structure, but never adhere to templates to the point where your personality is extinguished.
If you’ve got a sense of humor, interests, opinions, or possess literally any other quality unique to human beings (as opposed to bots), you can channel that personality into your writing, and lift mundane subjects up with the buoyancy of your voice.
💡 Need an example? Check out this post on the best reading chairs written by Savannah, one of Reedsy’s writers. You might not have a passion for chairs, but you’ll stay for the engaging tone of her writing voice.
6. Experiment with your writing style
Hit a plateau? If you don’t feel like you’re improving, it’s time to switch things up. Try writing something completely different to cleanse your palate with the literary equivalent of pickled ginger in a sushi restaurant. Experimentation seems to be working for George R.R. Martin, who has for decades been writing short stories , novellas and even reference books between instalments of his novel series A Song of Ice and Fire — evidently, switching between different forms has helped this author of epic fantasy stay inspired and motivated.
We’ve got over 1,000 creative writing prompts you can browse for inspiration, as well as an interactive plot generator if you need someone to establish plot parameters for you. We know writers struggle to set themselves deadlines, so you could even join our weekly writing contest — we’re happy to provide you with some external pressure, and $250 if you manage to win!
7. Outline your book
Openings and endings don’t just matter in fiction. Inherent in all good writing is story: a narrative with a full-fledged arc that must start and end in places that make sense and add value to the entire text.
Writing students commonly struggle with slow or delayed story openings — where the writer takes too long to clear their throat. They can fill two or three paragraphs, several pages, or even an entire chapter before they get to something interesting.
To sharpen your beginning, try deleting parts of it to get a feel of your work without them. You may find a later passage is more gripping to your reader — you’ll then know you’ve found your true opening.
Endings are similarly crucial. As editor and former publisher Jasmin Kirkbride points out, “Every subplot and all the different strands of your main plot should reach satisfying, clear conclusions. If they are meant to be left ambiguously, ensure your reader knows this, and create something out of that uncertainty.”
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8. Write with a clear vocabulary
As you edit your work , you’ll be thinking of what you intended to say at the time of writing. For that reason, you’ll need to maintain a level of mental alertness that enables you to evaluate whether or not what you ended up writing actually does convey what you wanted to say. This is particularly important if you’re writing nonfiction.
9. Self-edit for errors in your prose
While we’re discussing lazy, unmemorable writing, this is a reminder that fillers are another literary ‘bad habit’ to actively resist. Cluttering up your prose, these short words sneakily crawl into your writing and distract your reader from the essence of your point.
In her free Reedsy course on self-editing, Lisa Lepki identifies the most common words in the English language as the culprits of literary clutter. Lisa advises writers to avoid “meandering around [their sentences’] meaning”, and offers this sentence as a wordy example:
“Andy went over to the far end of the playground to see if there was a rake that he could use to tidy up all of the leaves that had fallen down in the night.”
Lisa offers this distilled alternative:
“Mountains of leaves had fallen overnight, so Andy checked the playground for a rake. ”
Sign up to take the rest of this free course here:
Free course: How to self-edit like a pro
Rid your manuscript of the most common writing mistakes with this 10-day online course. Get started now.
10. Cut the repetitive sentences
One practical way to become a better writer is by consciously analyzing your writing to identify repetitive patterns. This is hard to do during the drafting process, especially if you write your first draft quickly , but it’s mercifully simple in retrospect. So dig out some past writing samples ( creative nonfiction , poems, short stories — anything will do), grab some coloring pencils or highlighters, and mark every instance of repetitive language.
Study your words on multiple levels:
- The lexical level, i.e. specific verbs, adverbs or adjectives you might be repeating (are your characters constantly grinning?);
- The sentence structure level, like if all your examples come in threes;
- The narrative structure level, like if you unwittingly but consistently lapse into new flashbacks.
The point of this exercise is to identify your personal linguistic reflexes — known in linguistics as your “idiolect”. In terms of language use, it’s your fingerprint, and familiarizing yourself with it can help you identify repetition and edit it out of your writing.
💡 If you want to learn more about idiolects, check out this post by one of Reedsy’s writers.
11. Avoid clichéd language
Clichés are every writer’s stumbling block, ever an uphill battle — though the battle has its ups and its downs, and what matters most is not the destination, but the friends we made along the way. You get our point, hopefully: clichés are lazy, overly familiar, platitudinous, and often boring. Every time you use a cliché, you’re wasting an opportunity to be original and authentic.
Primarily, our issue with clichés is no moral qualm about authenticity. It’s the simple fact that they completely drain your writing of its ability to be memorable. Lifeless, it falls to the ground, faceless and forgotten.
Which contemporary author are you?
Find out which of today's greats is your writerly match. Takes one minute!
12. Understand the ideas behind your work
You’ve already taken the first step toward seeing the bigger picture by honing your opening and ending. Now it’s time to look at all the extraneous stuff outside your text: in other words, situate your writing within a wider framework of similar work.
13. Respect your reader’s attention
Don’t lose sight of the fact that there’s a person on the other end of the line. Be a compassionate writer by imagining yourself as the reader: is that fourth paragraph detailing the history of a secondary character’s nomadic tribe really necessary? It’s certainly great world-building , but if it puts your reader to sleep, it’s got to go.
Similarly, do not manipulate your reader. Pointless plot twists or clickbait will erode your readers’ trust, and hollow hot takes will impress no one. Stick to substance, and skip the paratextual circus act.
14. Get feedback from an editor
Nobody writes flawlessly. Most published writing undergoes significant editing both by its author and professional editors. For example, Raymond Carver’s classic short story collection What We Talk About When We Talk About Love is known to have been extensively shaped by Carver’s editor, Gordon Lish.
No matter what you’re writing, give your work time to cool before stepping back into it with the fresh eyes of an editor. Assess the clarity of your meaning, expressions, overall structure, your tone, and the mood of the piece, and compare these to the vision you had when you were writing.
Any writing intended for publication should also be professionally edited — and lucky for you, you can hire some of the most experienced fiction or nonfiction editors in the publishing world, right here on Reedsy.
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The best editors are on Reedsy. Sign up for free and meet them.
Learn how Reedsy can help you craft a beautiful book.
15. Be open to constructive criticism
Becoming a writer means releasing your work into the world, and with that comes both praise and criticism. But neither will help you become a better writer if you shut all feedback out. Though some of the criticism you’ll receive may not be helpful, some of it will be, and you’ll struggle to improve your writing if you refuse to see that. Open your heart up to constructive criticism, and you’ll see your writing flourish.
16. Invest in your career with a writing course
While we’re on the topic of learning: there’s plenty of classes and courses you can take, if you’d rather study in a more structured way. If you’re serious about becoming a better writer, whether that’s an author, journalist, ghostwriter , or freelancer , a class can give you access to the wisdom of more experienced professionals — and a real-life class also means meeting mentors and kindred spirits.
You can check out writing courses online — we’ve got a bunch of completely free courses you can take:
Author and ghostwriter Tom Bromley will guide you from page 1 to the finish line.
👩🎓 How to Write a Business Book — taught by business coach Alison Jones
👩🎓 The Non-Sexy Business of Non-Fiction — taught by author coach Azul Terronez
Still hungry? Consider pursuing a writing degree. These aren’t just for people looking for creative writing classes — MFAs also focus on nonfiction, so if that’s what you see yourself writing, there are plenty of options. Only you know which program and school would be the best fit for you, and the Internet will be your friend as you work the answer out.
17. Keep company with other writers
Everything’s better with company. Whether your choice is to join a local writing group, critique circle , or an online Facebook group, having friends who are writers means you’ll have someone to bounce ideas off, someone to support you if you feel insecure about your writing, someone to inspire you to work harder, and someone to offer you advice and opinions about your project. All important aspects of improving your skills! ✊
18. Write content consistently
Writing takes a lot of determination and discipline, especially when you’re working on a longer work like a book or a series . Sometimes things won’t work out, and you’ll be frustrated, impatient, demotivated, and temporarily hopeless. All of this is fine, and an entirely normal part of the process. When you get to this stage, be gentle with yourself, but do not give up.
Writers are often the most stubborn of people: so go ahead and keep writing in spite of yourself, in spite of your insecurities or personal failures, and in spite of what anyone else might think. If that doesn’t earn you the ‘badge’ of a writer, we don’t know what does.
19. Don’t give up on your words
Your ideas will be exciting, but they won’t always be masterpieces. Some you can fix with a zealous edit. Others, not so much. Accept this as a reality and let them float down the river of oblivion.
We know this sounds contradictory to our last bit of advice, but trust your intuition to decide whether it’s worth persevering with a particular project. For example, there’s no point in trying to resurrect the passion you had for a project you started long ago, if the inspiration has long since left you. There is also little point in pursuing something you began simply because you felt it was what you were supposed to be writing. If it doesn’t speak to you anymore and you see no way to revive the spark, cut your losses and move on.
20. Embrace failure to become a better writer
Finally, just as you’ll have to handle criticism, you’ll also undoubtedly face rejection and failure. Whether you’re rejected by literary agents , fail to get a publishing deal, or have your stories, pitches, or poems rejected by literary publications, you must remember that failure is an inescapable and inevitable fact of life, and does not determine your worth as a writer.
Be assured that others fail, too, even if they only fail in private. One of our favorite reminders of how common failure is is the famous CV of failures published by Princeton professor Johannes Haushofer , where he lists every program, award, and position he was rejected from, as a reminder that everyone experiences failure. And if you need a writer-specific example of success despite failure, remember that Douglas Stuart’s novel Shuggie Bain , winner of the 2020 Booker Prize, was rejected 32 times before it received a publisher’s offer.
You don’t need anybody to officially ordain you as a writer — you’re a writer if you believe you’re a writer and write anyway.
We hope these tips help you figure out how to become a better writer. Your quest is noble, and we believe in you!
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The Best Freelance Lifestyle Writers For Hire In 2023
Are you struggling to find the perfect way to communicate your perfectly constructed lifestyle to the world? Do you want to tell the world how they can elevate their life? Why not connect with us and let one of our lifestyle writers do the nitty-gritty while you reap the rewards!
Specialized writing and proofreading professionals you can count on
What does it mean when you say you want to become a freelance lifestyle writer ? Ultimately, putting it in simple terms, it's you telling your readers about a point of focus that you enjoy and want them to know about too!
If you love writing, have ever had a blog of your own, or are looking to break into the world of freelance lifestyle writing, then this is for you! Having the ability to create content you are passionate about and to tell a story about your success to others is more than just inspiring.
As a lifestyle writer, you'll be able to collaborate with other influencers as well as find opportunities where you are invited to be a guest blogger or a guest writer. Your goal? To create content that gets you at the top of the search results page on the web!
We're here to help you do just that and so much more. If lifestyle content creation is what you love, then this post is going to help ease you into the writing industry so that each article you pen down, whether it be personal stories or tips to live a better life, is perfect!
What Does a Lifestyle Content Writer Do?
Lifestyle content writing is an art form, like any other type of writing. Ultimately, you are responsible for optimizing freelance articles that nurture the target audience ! Many writers want to take a job as a lifestyle writer, but they have no idea what it entails.
As a lifestyle content writer, you want to make sure your readers gain value from your writing, and you receive pay while doing it. This is what will leave them coming back for more!
What's great about lifestyle writing is that you can tell your whole story in different segments. Readers can relate to your personal experiences. Better yet, you'll even receive some pay from it should it go viral!
There are so many different domains you can focus on as a lifestyle content writer ! A few of these domains include
nutrition, health, and well-being
spirituality and religion
all things sex and sexuality
fashion and fitness
personal finance and business
all things beauty and make-up
self-help and achieving the perfect work-life balance
By joining The Urban Writers (TUW) as a freelance lifestyle writer, you will not only have the extra experience to add to your cover letter, but you will also have a constant influx of writing jobs that you can complete anywhere in the world! The perfect way to become a digital nomad, right?
What Are the Prerequisites to Becoming a Lifestyle Content Writer?
One of the most important qualities you need to have as a freelance writer is the ability to be self-driven. What we mean by this is that you need to be able to take the initiative and have a fountain of inspiration that you use as a source for motivating you to create content.
Other than being able to write English fluently, having a repertoire of writing projects can boost your application. However, it is not required! There are so many freelancers that showed promise and used TUW to launch their writing careers.
If you have previously written articles on the web or even a blog post where you wrote about food, these will all give us a taste of how you write! And, if you would prefer editing rather than writing, then having some form of editorial experience would be beneficial.
As a lifestyle content creator , you are going to be tapping into a wide audience . Some might be looking for help, while others need help establishing a life focus. You have the potential to change people's lives! Can you think of another job as rewarding as this one?
Other than the typical writing requirements, you need to have a personal focus on time management and organization. At TUW, you'll most likely be working on several projects at a time. The higher the quality of your work, the more jobs you'll be requested to work on.
How Much Does a Lifestyle Content Writer Earn?
From $25 per article to $150, there is no fixed amount of money that can be earned. But, that is the beauty of being a freelancer! Your earnings are based on your willingness to work! That, and the quality of work you produce within your given niche.
Becoming a freelance lifestyle writer is more than just fulfilling a word count requirement. You are creating an article that will inspire others, change mindsets, and help people live the best life possible. If you feel you can do this, then you are the ideal candidate for TUW !
It is also important to mention that as you begin your freelance career, you won't be earning big bucks! Think of it as you are still getting paid for your efforts while learning what writers need to focus on when creating a lifestyle article fit for public use.
How to Get Started as a Lifestyle Freelance Writer?
You've gotten this far in the article, so it is safe to say you are ready to take your next career opportunity and become a lifestyle freelance writer with TUW! But, other than your application, you need to decide which niche you are going to write about.
Choosing a niche can be rather difficult, especially if the web is oversaturated with the same content. That's why you always need to bring your own personal touch to all jobs you take within the writing industry .
For example, someone might compile articles about the yarn hobby they picked up recently, while others write about taking photographs. Still, others will write about food, beauty, business, or something more relatable.
You will know the makings of passionate and talented writers because they are always bringing a fresh perspective to engaging stories , and their quality of work is authentic. Very few people become lifestyle writers for the pay.
So, all that's left is to send in your application, go through the trial process, and join our team of fantastic freelance writers that span so many different domains and niches! As a freelancer, you need to have a community, and we have a range of different ones just for you!
What to Focus on When Wanting to Grow as a Freelance Lifestyle Writer?
The world of publishing, writing, and editing can be hard to break into, depending on where you decide to apply for a freelance position. However, no matter how hard you look, TUW is always at the top of the search results on any web-based search engine. So, join us!
Let's get into the nitty-gritty of how you can grow as a freelance lifestyle writer!
Network Online and Find a Mentor
Finding freelance contributors that will add input to your work will enable you to create content that is people-focused. Print out your articles and give them to your mentor for a read-through. You'll be surprised at how much you grow personally and professionally.
Practice Your Blogging and Writing Skills
Practice makes perfect! While you do jobs for TUW, create your own blogs about different hobbies that you really enjoy! Whether you are writing women's lifestyle content similar to what gyms print and hand out, your personalized spin on the content is what will draw readers!
Keep Up to Date With Trends
Whether it be Valentine's Day, and you want to give some tips on how to start the perfect conversation, or it's International Friends Day, and you want to provide some hints to make all relationships worthwhile, following the trends that can gear you for success!
Have you had video experience with a particular trend? Post it! The more real you are with your community, whether it be through taking photographs or engaging with them in the comments, you'll find that this will become less of a job and more of a lifestyle.
Do Your Keyword Research. Ensure You Are Optimizing Freelance Articles
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a skill that you can never go wrong with. It ensures that your articles show up at the top of search engine results and will help drive traffic to your own blogs as well as your customers' blogs. It's a win-win!
What's great about keyword optimization is that you don't have to pay for it. It is a learned skill that will actually bring in money over and above the pay you get for your job.
Make Sure You Are Writing Simple and Achievable Projects
The best way you can be part of a group of highly skilled writers is to eloquently explain and convey a message. Keep it simple, achievable, and wholesome. Your readers want to listen to you, not read an in-depth research article .
Cover the five W's (who, what, when, where, why, and how). Emotion, fact-based information, and a well-thought-out argument will help you make your point. That is, only if your job requires you to do that. Even if it isn't a job with pay, add your own personal touch!
Whether it be travel trends or referring to blogs that drive inspiration, your proven writing expertise will be based on how you relate to your readers, not how quickly your articles go to print.
Where Can You Find Your Next Gig as a Lifestyle Freelance Writer?
Finding your next gig as a lifestyle freelance writer is easier than one would think. All you need to know is where to look for jobs, and you're all set.
Most freelance lifestyle writers tend to look at online publications for a freelance position. You'll most likely need some applicable writing samples when applying. This is where TUW comes in! We provide you with the ability to grow and earn some pay, while doing different jobs.
Whether you are looking to write for women's lifestyle websites or about food, health, or sports , you'll almost always be able to find a job at an online publication.
Corporations and Small Businesses
Corporations and small businesses are always looking for experienced lifestyle writers to write their content. They often prefer freelance lifestyle writers who have experience editing content, taking photographs, and are interested in doing field research for the industry.
Many writers have done a job or two for clients that offer them regular work. For example, Weststar Multimedia Entertainment has a variety of full-time freelance basis positions as well as full-time and part-time assignments.
Publishing Companies, Online Websites, and Personal Brands
Some publishing companies and personal brands have several editors and writers, while others only have one. If someone is going to offer you a job finding stories specific to a particular niche, go for it! Who knows, it could even go to print and be in a newspaper.
Applying to Write Book Reviews
To gain some experience writing content, why not do some book reviews on GoodReads? Writers rarely find all of the mistakes in their own writing. Who knows, someone might even pay you to do a few review jobs for them in the future.
If you are someone who wants to write lifestyle content, or you are looking for a meaningful career shift, why not join our team of freelance lifestyle writers? As you grow within TUW and gain more experience writing content, your career will really start to transform!
Join our team of writers and editors that go over and above the job and pay to create a community that is meaningful, supportive, and will help grow your freelance journey each and every day.
Absolutely! You shouldn't pay others to write your academic work, but it's currently legal to hire someone to proofread your writing.
There's no exact amount for an average proofreading hourly rate. Each freelance proofreader editor charges based on their skills, education, professional background, and experience.
While each editor has their individual pay rates, your cost will vary depending on the type of work you need. It will also depend on the type and volume of your writing.
Connect with the right freelancers for every job! Browse freelancers, review profiles, and send direct messages. When you find the perfect fit, you can invite freelancers directly to your project(s) and/or approve freelancer requests. No commitment until you find your freelancer!
Manage your project fully on the Platform. Track timelines, progress and chat with your freelance team via dedicated project chat for every order. Receive automated emails and internal Platform notifications as your projects move through different stages of the process. Chat directly with Admin if you need to escalate anything. Various approval stages allow you to be in complete control.
Once your work is completed, and our quality assurance team has finished the product, you are able to approve and download your project to share and publish.
Sign up to the Platform to gain access to game-changing content creation! If you already have an account log in and you can either post a project or manage existing ones.
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Writing contests, make money writing, hottest topics, how to become a healthy lifestyle writer.
According the latest health surveys, more than half of the adult population in the United States, as well as an alarmingly high number of children and teenagers, is overweight. These findings have ignited a new wave of health awareness programs across the nation in an effort to encourage people to be more conscious of their own personal well being. If you are considering a career in freelance food writing, now is the perfect time to make an entrance into the business.
Indeed, dozens of books on healthy lifestyle practices have been pouring out into the market, and their number has shown a marked increase in the last few years. These books tackle a plethora of different nutrition-related articles, from tips to selecting the right diet to the importance of getting a routine physical checkup from your doctor.
Topics Commonly Discussed in Freelance Food Writing
It really doesn’t matter what you write about when it comes to food and nutrition, considering the current trends. Whether you discuss the values of dieting or the different ways of toning down the butt, you have a good chance of coming out with a bestseller.
Of course, you will have to use a writing technique that appeals to the average reader, which is usually a conversational and laid back style. If your articles are fun to read, they will be more effective in delivering the points across to your readers.
People are always on the lookout for diets that work so you may want to start by enumerating the different diet programs that do give positive results. For each diet, try giving a complete but concise description of how it works, what it requires and what results can be expected out of them.
Freelance food writing does not always have to be exclusively about food, though. Other related topics such as exercise, aging and physical health can also be discussed, as well as other topics that have something to do with nutrition.
Tips on How to be A Successful Freelance Writer on Food and Nutrition
Freelance writing in itself is a very good way to put your verbal skills to good use while earning money at the same time. You don’t even have to do it full time if you don’t want to. With freelance writing, you have total control over the amount of time you want to spend doing your articles, as well as on the kinds of topics you want to write about.
To further boost your skills as a food and nutrition writer, here are some of the things that you may want to work on:
1. Take as many food-related writing projects as you can in order to build your resume.
2. Write in a way that appeals to your target audience so that you can keep their interest from start to finish.
3. Write on topics that are relevant to the current times such as the newest trends in dieting and exercise.
4. Make sure that your facts and figures are updated and verified using reliable sources.
5. Create articles that are credible and well-researched. Good writers always do a little bit of research before writing on any topic.
6. Try to expand your network of food and nutrition experts. When you are associated with such people, you will be more believable to your readers.
7. People tend to get tired of the same old recipes and diets so you should try to introduce new things every once in a while.
Finally, in order to achieve success as a freelance food writer, you have to be truly passionate about food and nutrition. This passion will shine through in your work and will make your readers come back for more.
Freelance Writing: How to Generate 'Reader-Interest' in Any Story or Article
What interests all people, all the time? It's seeing themselves in a story or piece of news. Use this to generate reader interest in your writing.
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What Do Lifestyle Bloggers Write About?
The term “lifestyle” covers a wide range of topics, so when it comes to lifestyle bloggers, it’s not surprising that they write about an equally wide variety of subjects. Unlike personal blogs that focus on personal storytelling, lifestyle bloggers write about many activities, interests, or products. The spotlight of the blog isn’t on the writer — although the writer is sharing his or her own experiences — and it often has the tone of a helpful friend giving advice or sharing valuable information.
In many cases, lifestyle bloggers start by writing about a single niche topic, such as makeup, fitness, or parenting. But over time, they often begin adding other interests related to their original blog theme. For example, a fitness blogger might start sharing some of her favorite smoothie recipes or give tips on buying fitness apparel. By linking together topics that connect organically, they increase their ability to attract an audience that shares those interests and will begin to see them as an authority.
When you become a lifestyle blogger, you open the door to becoming an influencer in your chosen areas of interest. Promoting your blog and your topics on social media is an excellent way to grow your audience.
Types of Lifestyle Blogs
Lifestyle blogs cover a lot of territory. Each type of lifestyle blog has subcategories that can be included. Here are some of the popular types of lifestyle blogs and some of the topics that can be included within each one:
- Arts and culture: Museums, fine art, TV/films, music, books, pop culture
- Beauty: Makeup, skin-care products, hairstyles, cruelty-free beauty products, makeovers
- Fashion: DIY fashion, fashion trends, fashion tips, shopping tips, designer looks, accessories
- Finances: Investing, budgeting, saving money, debt reduction, side hustles
- Fitness: Exercise, nutrition, supplements, fitness fashions, mental health
- Food and drink: Gourmet cooking, budget dining, healthy indulgences, cocktails, wine
- Home and garden: Interior design trends, crafts, décor, natural living, DIY, home improvements
- Marriage and family: Relationships, pets, parenting, religion, blended families
- Self-help: Mindfulness, psychology, inspiration, spirituality, education, research
- Technology: Gaming, photography, smartphones, digital devices, computers
- Travel: Domestic travel, luxury travel, budget travel, family travel, international travel
Of course, this isn’t a comprehensive list; you can explore other categories based on your interests. The important thing to keep in mind is that you need to choose topics you’re familiar with and have a certain amount of knowledge or expertise in, since you’re positioning yourself as an authority.
Choosing the right lifestyle niche
While there might be several topics that appeal to you, it’s best to narrow it down when you’re starting out. More is not always better; each blog post needs to be informative, engaging, and accurate, and taking on too many topics in the beginning can make your blog posts feel scattered and unfocused. Remember, you can always add more topics or categories as you become more comfortable with the blogging process, so choose one or two areas to focus on and work on growing your following through those topics.
Lifestyle blogs are popular, but that also means you’ll have to find a way to stand out from others who are covering the same or similar topics. What’s going to differentiate your blog? What voice will you use, what tone will drive your content, and who is your target audience? You’ll also want to think about how you’re going to reach your audience and what social media tools you can use to promote it. These are all important questions to answer before launching your blog.
Where to find topics
At first, you may find that you have more blog ideas than you can write. As you write, continue keeping a running list of new topics, and use resources such as other blogs, news stories, and seasonal events to provide more story ideas. While you don’t want to copy what other bloggers are writing, you can look at trends and topics and think about how to put your own voice or spin on it.
Consistency is important to ensuring the success of your blog, and that means not only creating new posts on a regular schedule but also being consistent in your tone and approach to topics. And, as you become more comfortable with blogging, you’ll find that ideas are everywhere; you just need to look for them.
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March 6th, 2022
How to Become a Lifestyle Copywriter
Written by Anna Alger
Anna grew up in the bluegrass state, where she learned to love written and visual storytelling. She holds a BFA in painting from Indiana University and an MFA in creative writing from Hollins University. She currently resides in Louisville, KY with a cat named Louise.
It’s three a.m. Scattered around you on the floor are the ink-ridden pages of your hundredth piece on how to boil water and product descriptions for Marve’s Monkey Wrenches. It feels like every sentence that leaves your pen ends in some iteration of buy this now, or else . Outside, a lonely coyote raises its howl to the moon. A half-disintegrated tumbleweed drifts by your window.
Despite trying your best to force some creativity into your work, you’re tired of selling cold, hard copy and wish your words had room for a little more meaning.
In your head, at long last, a brave voice rises up to speak:
I want to write for brands that matter to people.
I want to tell their story.
I want to become… a lifestyle copywriter.
Do you take the bait? Do you listen to that voice and set out on a life-changing voyage to write for brands whose purpose is to sell not only a product, but also a lifestyle?
Reader, we can’t tell you what to do—but we can tell you how it might happen.
This is the story of how you become a lifestyle copywriter.
Step One: Learn the Way of the Lifestyle Copywriter
Your creative spark is thriving . Your plants are coming back to life. The clouds are clearing from the sky, and words have meaning once more.
All of this is hypothetical, of course. While we can’t promise your pilea peperomioides will unwilt itself or that the rain will evaporate, becoming a lifestyle copywriter is a fantastic way to put your imaginative brain to work. But first, you need to know how to get there.
Know the Goal
Before we go any farther down this road, let’s first understand the destination:
- Copywriters produce words, or copy, with the purpose of inciting an action from the reader—whether that’s to purchase a product , investigate further, sign up for a newsletter, or become a volunteer. This messaging can take many shapes and forms, but the end goal is the same: to inspire action.
- Lifestyle brands are brands whose core values center around a certain ethos. Consider a juice brand that sells fresh-squeezed, organic juice to yogis, or a clothing company that focuses on athletes. Each company needs messaging that shapes the readers perception of the brand and attracts a core audience—in this case, yogis or athletes.
In essence, the brands you’d be writing for as a lifestyle copywriter have a purpose built around something more abstract than the product itself. This may include:
- An aesthetic
- A philosophy
- A way of living
To become a good lifestyle copywriter, you don’t have to spend hours bent over a half-broken typewriter in a damp basement room. Unless, of course, that’s how you work best—in which case, go right ahead.
What you do need is knowledge of how to craft a compelling story. Whatever shape your copywriting takes—be it a three-sentence social media post or a 1500-word blog—it all starts with knowing who’s listening and how you can reach them most effectively.
Understand the Audience
Just as you’re the hero in this journey of becoming a lifestyle copywriter, a brand’s audience is the main character of the story they’re telling.
To connect with that audience, you must empathize with them and understand their perspective and motivations. In doing so, it helps to ask questions about how the brand aligns with their life and aspirations. For example:
- What lifestyle does the product fit into?
- What kind of reader might want this lifestyle? What is their life like now?
- What drives them to want a different lifestyle?
- How will the reader’s life change by using this product?
The answers to these questions will depend on the brand’s core values and what solutions they offer. For some, pursuing the lifestyle the brand promises might mean:
- Becoming part of a community
- Attaining a certain look or aesthetic
- Achieving better health and wellness
- Fulfilling a personal ideal
Once you have a better grasp of who you’re writing for and what lifestyle the brand is selling to them, you can begin to craft that story—which brings us to the next part of your journey.
Tell the Story
Let’s say you’re writing for a company that sells sustainable running shoes for earth-loving athletes. Your messaging won’t be to simply buy a quality pair of shoes. Rather it will be to invite the audience to experience the sun on their skin and the wind in their hair. To feel the dappled shadows of trees as their branches pass overhead. To appreciate the world as it is—while wearing shoes whose production won’t require its destruction.
In crafting the brand’s story, you’re appealing to more than just the reader’s intention to buy new shoes. You’re helping them envision a new state of being, what it will look and feel like, and how the product can transport them to that lifestyle.
The tools you use to craft that message are the same you use to tell any convincing story:
- An interesting narrative
- Sensory details
- Creative use of language
- An appeal to emotions
That last bullet is especially important. When the audience feels an emotional connection, the lifestyle brand’s story becomes much more than just a sales pitch. It’s an invitation for the reader to step into a whole new world—one where the grass really is greener, where the life they want to live is within reach.
The brand itself becomes the magical bridge they need to make change happen.
Step 2: Practice Your Dreamweaving Skills—aka, Build Your Portfolio
The sun is shining brightly through your window, turning your desk golden and making your keyboard glow. You can envision it now: a world in which you, a lifestyle copywriter, spend your hours weaving enchanting narratives and persuading readers to pursue their highest aspirations.
The next step is to do it.
To find work as a lifestyle copywriter, you’ll likely need to show some evidence that you know how to write like one. That means building a portfolio you can show to prospective clients and employers when they’re deciding whether to hire you.
But what if your writing samples are all newsletters on how to crochet sweaters for cats?
Well, one could argue that’s a lifestyle, too. But if you’re trying to position yourself toward a particular lifestyle, industry, or type of product, or even just want to show a little breadth in your skill set, you may want to enhance your portfolio with a few practice pieces.
Lifestyle copywriting can include any form of copy a lifestyle brand uses to communicate with their audience, including:
- Social Media
Regardless of what you choose to fill your portfolio with, remember that the focus of effective lifestyle copywriting is to tell a story the audience can step into seamlessly. In doing so, they become a part of the brand’s community—and, hopefully, buy their products.
Be sure to check out our top 10 lifestyle copywriting tips to ensure your portfolio, and the content within it, shines.
Step 3: Start Your Journey by Deciding Where You Want to Work
You’ve studied the craft, assembled your portfolio, and dusted off your best pair of interview shoes. It’s time to hit the streets and shake some hands.
Okay, not really. We all know the world of jobs is changing, and your first interaction with prospective clients will probably happen online. Still, there are a number of ways you can work as a lifestyle copywriter. Some of these include:
- Applying to positions with lifestyle brands – If you feel particularly passionate about one lifestyle brand or industry, you might seek opportunities to write for them directly. These opportunities can be a bit harder to find, but could be ideal for someone who wants to become an expert in one specific voice and brand message.
- Becoming a freelancer – If you’re just starting out as a copywriter, freelancing can be a marvelous way to build your portfolio and get experience writing for different brands. Even among experienced copywriters, some prefer to freelance because of the flexibility and ability to pick and choose their own projects.
- Working for a copywriting agency – This option is an excellent choice if you’re hoping to put your writing skills to work for more than one lifestyle brand. If you excel at stretching your storytelling skills across multiple formats, adopting new voices, and speaking to different audiences, this option affords you the opportunity to do so a bit more consistently.
Let Copycat Copywriters Tell Your Story
If your aspiration as a copywriter is to weave compelling words for lifestyle brands, we know the journey ahead of you will be filled with wondrous dreamscapes and lands full of wishes. We wish you the very best.
But what if you’re the lifestyle brand, and your life’s aspiration is to not do all this work yourself? Sit back and find somewhere comfy to put up your feet. We have a solution for that, too.
At Copycat , we know that understanding an audience, making connections, and telling good stories are all key to communicating your brand’s core values.
That’s because we live and breathe copywriting. You could even say it’s our lifestyle.
INTERESTED IN WRITING FOR COPYCAT?
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The Lifestyle Writer: How to Write for the Home and Family Market Paperback – July 16, 2013
- Paperback $11.95 2 Used from $9.17 4 New from $11.95
Purchase options and add-ons
- Print length 157 pages
- Language English
- Publisher Compass Books
- Publication date July 16, 2013
- Dimensions 5.46 x 0.37 x 8.37 inches
- ISBN-10 1780999844
- ISBN-13 978-1780999845
- See all details
About the author, excerpt. © reprinted by permission. all rights reserved..
The Lifestyle Writer
How to Write for the Home and Family Market
John hunt publishing ltd..
What is Lifestyle Writing?
Look around you. What does your life contain? Home, family,children, grandchildren, eating out, good health, holidaysabroad? Or maybe it's not so sunny and your life includesrelationship issues, a lack of a decent holiday, imminent surgeryand a clapped out car. Wherever you are in your life, whateveryou are experiencing, you can turn your life stories into saleablearticles for the lifestyle market. People want to read otherpeople's stories. Humans are fascinated by other humans; whatthey've got, what they are doing, where they are doing it andwhether we can do it too!
The Oxford Dictionary describes 'lifestyle' as the way in whicha person lives . Well, that should provide us with many an idea!Lifestyle magazines include everything from the home andinteriors, fashion and beauty, food and nutrition to health andwell-being; parenting, childcare, travel and days out are coveredtoo.
Lifestyle writing focuses on the things that are important in ourlives. From raising children, dealing with health issues and beingpregnant to decorating your home, managing a city garden andwhere to go on holiday; writing for the lifestyle market encompassesthe aspects of our lives that we can share with otherpeople.
You'll never be short of ideas when you are a lifestyle writer.Everything you do or have done has the potential to be a lifestylearticle. If you get stuck for ideas, just talk to your friends andfamily. What experiences have they had that you could drawupon to write a lifestyle article? Ideas are all around you. Startlooking out for them!
Lifestyle writing is one of the easiest markets for a writer toget into mainly because first person viewpoint is often used. Thismeans you can tap into your own experiences to begin yourwriting career. There are hundreds of magazines that publishlifestyle articles on a weekly basis who eagerly await freelancewriters to send in their stories. It's a market you can write for andthis book will show you how.
The first article I ever sold was about the differences betweenthe births of my two sons. It started as simply as 'Jake, my firstbornson, was born in a hi-tech hospital in Northern Ireland ...' (YourNew Baby, 1997) . That one article for a parenting magazine led tomany more lifestyle articles for the same magazine and theirwebsite. I began my writing career by writing about pregnancy,child-raising and how to survive as a parent when my childrenwere young. What has affected your life recently that could makea good article?
And what has happened in your past that you could draw onfor another interesting article? My latest article was also writtenfrom a first person viewpoint and examines my recent foray intomaking home-made wine. I grew up in a household thatproduced the most amazing wines from next to nothing and Iused this as an introduction to the article.
'My grandparents made home-made wine. They made it fromanything and everything: grapes, potatoes, marrows, tea - you nameit, they tried it. They started making it during the Second WorldWar and carried it on for many years. As a child I helped pick thegrapes and crush them between my tiny toes. Not in a Greekvineyard but in the back garden of a small house in London. We werereared around wine: the smells, the process and later on, the taste.'(BackHome magazine, 2012).
When you begin to look at your own life experiences, you willrealise that you have just so much to write about. And not justthat, but experiences that can help inform, instruct, advise andsupport your readers too.
A market is a term used to describe where you can sell yourwork. So it's not the fruit and veg kind but each magazine,website or publisher is a market where writers can sell theirlifestyle articles. There are so many markets out there frommagazines and newspapers to websites and e-book providersthat it would be impossible to list them all. Lifestyle markets areeverywhere, from local publications like Parish journals andcommunity newsletters to national magazines and newspapersand on to global book publishers.
It is estimated that there are 3,300 magazines in the UK andover 10,000 in the US. Magazines are published weekly,sometimes monthly, so that's a huge market looking for writersto fill their pages on a regular basis. And you don't have to justwrite for magazines in your own country. I live in Ireland andI've sold articles to magazines in the UK, America and Canada sothe world really is your market. The best guides for up-to-dateinformation on potential markets are The Writers' and Artists'Yearbook and the Writer's Handbook (UK) and the Writer'sMarket (US). They contain lists of magazines, newspapers andpublishers that you can submit your work to. We'll look moreclosely at how you can research these types of market in the nextchapter.
There are also over 644 million websites on the Internet someonehad to write them! Ok, they may have been initiallydeveloped by a computer tech somewhere but they still needwriters to produce new articles, website content and blogs forthem. Websites are constantly changing, regularly being updatedand they need writers to keep them going. Web writing andblogging about lifestyle subjects can be a lucrative market forwriters.
Depending on where you find your information, the bookindustry is stable, unstable or in dire jeopardy. The event of the e-bookhas changed the face of publishing and there is a hugedebate raging about whether this spells the demise of the printedword. I think there will always be a place for both print and e-booksand that place will continue to have many lifestyle titles.As well as mainstream book and e-book publishers, the Internethas led to the production of many self-published works. As awriter this means you can produce a book about literallyanything and have it available to download directly from theInternet. So if you write a lifestyle book, there will always be amarket for it, whether you do it yourself or are contracted towrite it.
Why become a Lifestyle Writer?
Why not? There are many opportunities to see your work in printand earn an extra income from your writing. You don't have tocommit to writing a book if you don't want to, you can startwriting smaller pieces before moving on to bigger things. You cangive lifestyle writing as little or as much time as you haveavailable while still building up a portfolio.
Say you have an idea for a book, if you were writing a fictionnovel; you would have to complete the whole manuscript beforeapproaching publishers. That's a year; at least, of your time withperhaps nothing to show for it (I'm looking on the negative sidehere). A lifestyle book, however, starts with a proposal. That willtake a few weeks to put together depending on whether thepublisher wants one, two or three chapters to go with it but thelifestyle book is commissioned on the basis of that proposal. Youdon't need to take a year out of your life to write something thatmay never sell. A lifestyle editor will tell you on the basis of yourproposal whether you have a good idea or not. A lifestyle bookwriter will receive a contract before they have completed theentire manuscript. Your energies and time will not be wasted. Ifyour proposal is no good then you can think of a new idea andtry again.
It's the same with articles. A magazine will be looking atfeatures of 1,000 words plus. It's only going to take you a fewweeks at most. Once it's in the post or emailed, you start anotherand your productivity level increases. Web articles can be little as250 words. That's not going to take long to write, is it? A lifestylewriter can be writing all lengths of factual, informative pieces ina short space of time.
I started my writing career by sending in letters to the editor,tips for advice columns and writing snippets of local news for acommunity newsletter. I graduated on to writing articles forseveral magazines. I've written on everything from parenting towine-making. With the event of the Internet, I started writing forwebsites and am now a published author. Lifestyle writing canreally take you on a journey of many different projects.
And it doesn't matter who you are or where you are, what ageyou are or what your background is. Writers are a mixed bunchof people. You don't have to be an academic to write about life,everyone has life experiences to draw upon and turn into asaleable article. You don't have to have a posh home to writeabout interiors or the latest Lamborghini to write about cars; youjust need a passion for writing.
If you have hobbies or interests, are a mother or a father, workin a certain industry or are studying for a career, you have lifeexperience that will make interesting articles and lifestyle books.Whatever you do in life has the potential to be turned into a pieceof lifestyle writing. So there's no excuses - you can write for thelifestyle market!
But do I need Special Skills?
Not at all. Writing skills improve as you use them; the more youwrite, the better you will become. You will need a good level ofEnglish to start with and the ability to send in copy that is errorfree. This might mean going back to the grammar books orpunctuation guides to refresh your knowledge of English usage,but these days you can find fun quizzes to test your skills on theInternet or easy to understand books like Lynne Truss's Eats,Shoots & Leaves that will update your skills.
Conventions abound around presentation and how to submityour work to publishers and editors. There are ways of laying outarticles and human interest stories so that they are editor readyand we will look at those later in this book. Once you havecovered the basics, you are ready to write for any publication.
Lifestyle writers do need to be a bit organised though! Youwill find that research mounts up and will need to be filed. If youstart making a good profit from your writing then you will haveto keep accounts. You will also want to keep a record of whereyou have sent your work, on what date and whether your writingwas accepted or not. But all this comes as you progress along thepath of a writer.
All you need to start with is a love of writing and a desire toshare your work and stories with others. A thick skin helps too.Your writing won't always be accepted. Rejections are inevitablefor various reasons. Your article might not suit a particularmagazine or your book idea might have already been acceptedfrom another writer. Perseverance is the key. As a lifestyle writer,you need to keep writing through the highs and the lows and youwill be published. There are so many markets out there that oneday your work will see itself in print.
What can you Write About?
You may be an expert in your field of work, an academic with aspecific field of study or you may just be a person that has lifeexperiences to share with readers. Whoever you are andwhatever you do, you have knowledge and interests to writeabout.
I said earlier that I've written on everything from parenting towine-making and, believe me, it's been a wide variety. Some ofmy articles have included holding Disney-themed birthdayparties, writing wedding invitations, visualising your life goals,reading the clouds, homeschooling your teenager and how tochoose the best petrol remote control car! Quite a random mixbut each one has come from something I was doing at some pointin my life. Lifestyle writers really can find ideas in everythingthey do.
As you go about your everyday chores or working life, thinkabout how you could turn your experiences into lifestyle writing.You go to buy a new car - could you write about what to look for?Or how to get the best deal from a showroom salesman? You'vespent the morning at the doctor - could you write about anillness? Or how the health system is failing certain patients?What about that wedding you went to? You could write aboutwedding trends, fashion, catering, buying presents. Everythingyou do, however small you may think it is, has the potential tomake you a writer. It doesn't matter if the subject has beencovered before, if you have a new take on things, can see thingsfrom a different perspective or can just write damn good copy,you've got a wealth of experience to draw on.
What are your passions? Do you enjoy gardening, motorsport, football? How about reading, playing computer gamesand listening to music? Whatever your interests and hobbies are,they too have the potential for you to use them as ideas for yourwriting. What about your occupation? A landscape gardenercould write about how to design a roof top garden, what plantswill grow best in a damp garden or how to make cheap and easypots and containers. A childcare worker could write about fungames to play with kids, what to do on a rainy day or how toencourage children to read. And you don't just have to writeabout your life. You can write about what others do, what theirexperiences have been and share their lives with readers too.
Try this Exercise: Chunking down ideas
Answer these five questions:
1. What is (or was) your occupation?
2. What are your hobbies?
3. Where have you lived?
4. Do you have children or grandchildren?
5. Where do you go on holiday or for a relaxing day out?
You now have at least five things you could write about. Nowlet's focus in a little further.
1. What is the most interesting part of your job? What is theworst part?
2. What hobby or interest are you most passionate aboutand have knowledge of?
3. Name at least one interesting thing about a place youhave lived in.
4. Name one activity you have undertaken with yourchildren or grandchildren.
5. Where was the most interesting place you have visited?
Now you have more ideas about what you could actually writeabout. Look at each idea to see if it has the potential to be fleshedout as a piece of lifestyle writing.
Is there Money in it?
There are lots of ways to begin making money through lifestylewriting, starting right now. Websites can pay as little as &8364;5 for anarticle to around &8364;150. Articles can be anything from &8364;30 to &8364;300.Payments depend on each market and, when looking at where tosend your work, always check out what the payment rates are.
If you write a novel, it will take you at least a year of yourtime. If it's fantastic, you may find a publisher who will give youa modest advance and then you have to wait for sales before yousee any royalties rolling in. By contrast, a lifestyle book can takeless time and so you begin making money a lot quicker. It's hardto gauge the sales of a lifestyle book. It may make you as little as£2,000 but then if it becomes a bestseller, the money will just rollin.
Writers are always told never to give up the day job because,unless you are under contract, you will never know where yournext payment is coming from, but there are writers out there thatdo make a living from their work. It depends on how much youcan write and who for. It's like anything in life, the more you putinto it, the more you get out of it. Writing is no different. If youcommit to being a lifestyle writer, you will gradually build up anincome, whether you quit the day job or not.
Where to Find Work
Every time you go into a book shop or newsagents, look at themagazines on the shelves, the newspapers in the rack and thebooks lining the walls. Many of those will represent a marketyou can approach. The opportunities are all around you! Thenext time you read a newspaper or magazine, think about whatyou could write for them or how you would have covered asubject from a different angle or perspective.
If you already know what subject you would like to writeabout, check out the specialist magazines that cover your topic.Look to see what books are available and what seems to bemissing that might present you with the possibility of writingsomething to fill that gap.
When you are next browsing on the Internet, see if any of thesites ask for writers to submit their work. Google for writers'sites and find out what paying markets you could sign up to.Once you start looking at the opportunities for lifestyle writing,it will open many doors. Make sure you are ready to stepthrough them, waving a manuscript in your hand!
Before you start writing, there are some things you can do toprepare yourself and get yourself ready to become a lifestylewriter. Reading this book is a good starting point as it will giveyou lots of tips and advice and hopefully steer you towards asuccessful career in writing about the subjects you love.
This chapter will help you to organise yourself as a writer,whether that's full-time, part-time or just whenever you have aminute. Organising your space, your writing tools and your timewill get you started on the road to becoming a lifestyle writer. Ofcourse you can just pick up a pen and paper or start typing on thecomputer, but wouldn't it be so much better to get organised sothat your writing time really is writing time? (Continues...) Excerpted from The Lifestyle Writer by Sarah-Beth Watkins . Copyright © 2013 Sarah-Beth Watkins. Excerpted by permission of John Hunt Publishing Ltd.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
- Publisher : Compass Books (July 16, 2013)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 157 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1780999844
- ISBN-13 : 978-1780999845
- Item Weight : 1.47 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.46 x 0.37 x 8.37 inches
To report an issue with this product, click here .
About the author
Sarah-Beth Watkins grew up in Richmond, Surrey and began soaking up history from an early age. Her love of writing has seen her articles published in various publications over the past twenty years. Working as a writing tutor, Sarah-Beth has condensed her knowledge into a series of writing guides for Compass Books. Her history works are Ireland's Suffragettes, Lady Katherine Knollys: The Unacknowledged Daughter of King Henry VIII, The Tudor Brandons, Catherine of Braganza, Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scots, Anne of Cleves, The Tragic Daughters of Charles I and Sir Francis Bryan.
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How Rebecca Yarros Packed Dragons, Magic and Steamy Sex Into a Blockbuster Fantasy
Yarros drew on her experience with chronic illness and life in a military family to write “Fourth Wing,” a huge best seller that spawned a spicy fantasy series.
For Rebecca Yarros, writing Violet, the main character in “Fourth Wing,” was cathartic. Credit... Joanna Kulesza for The New York Times
- Share full article
By Alexandra Alter
- Nov. 6, 2023
When Rebecca Yarros pitched her publisher a sexy fantasy about telepathic dragons and their riders, she thought it might be a tough sell.
She’d built a career and a dedicated following writing romances, often drawing on her experience as a military wife. What she was proposing was wildly off-brand: an epic fantasy series with dragons, griffins, magic and political intrigue.
To Yarros’s surprise, her publisher, Entangled, loved the idea, and wanted to launch a new fantasy imprint with it. Over a feverish few months, Yarros crash-wrote “Fourth Wing,” an intricately plotted 500-plus-page narrative that takes place at an elite war college, where two dragon riders feud, then fall in love. She was stunned when she learned they were printing more than 100,000 copies and rolling out an elaborate marketing campaign with limited-edition hardcovers.
Yarros — who lives in Colorado Springs and has a busy home life, with six children, two dogs, a cat, two chinchillas and a bearded dragon — was exhilarated, but also felt as if she was “in a vise.”
“The pressure was utterly intense,” she said. “I was like, am I going to be personally responsible for dragging down this whole publisher?”
Her publisher assured her it would be a hit. Still, Yarros was unprepared for the frenzy that has erupted over “Fourth Wing” and its sequel, “Iron Flame,” which comes out on Nov. 7.
Since its release in May, “Fourth Wing” has sold more than two million copies globally, according to the publisher. It has been on The New York Times’s hardcover fiction best-seller list for more than six months — with three months at No. 1. It took off in Britain, Australia and South Africa, selling more than 600,000 copies in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, and translation rights have sold in around 30 languages.
On TikTok, hashtags for the author and the series have been viewed more than a billion times. Amazon MGM Studios has optioned the series for a TV adaptation, with Yarros as an executive producer.
“It was a slow, steady build, and then it went absolutely mental,” said Rebekah West, Yarros’s editor at Piatkus Fiction in Britain.
The novel’s runaway success stems in part from the boom in romantasy, a hybrid of romance and fantasy that is drawing fans from both genres. “Fourth Wing” is a steamy mix that blends fantasy elements (elaborate world building, an epic battle between good and evil, fire-breathing winged dragons) with popular romance tropes (the enemies-to-lovers plot, plus explosive sex scenes, including one that starts a literal fire).
“It’s just been massive,” said Shannon DeVito, director of books at Barnes & Noble, about the response from readers.
For Yarros, the escalating fame has been jarring.
“I’m not comfortable in the spotlight,” she said recently over dinner in Manhattan, the night before an appearance at New York Comic Con. “I would rather stay home with my kids.”
Navigating best-sellerdom is made even more complicated for Yarros by chronic illness; she has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a genetic connective tissue disorder. It can be difficult for her to stand or talk for more than an hour, which makes marathon signing sessions and fan events a challenge.
“Sometimes I feel like part of my job is to make sure she survives this with her health intact,” said Louise Fury, Yarros’s literary agent.
In “Fourth Wing,” Yarros wrote about her condition for the first time, giving her protagonist, Violet Sorrengail, many of the afflictions she suffers from, like dizziness, brittle bones and joints that easily dislocate. Violet’s mother, the commanding general, pushes her to join the elite dragon rider forces like her older siblings, but Violet struggles at the war college. Her condition, which is never named, leaves Violet so weak that she can’t stay on her dragon, nearly plummeting to her death before she grudgingly accepts a saddle that locks her into place. Other dragon riders belittle her as small and fragile, but Violet’s ruthless antagonist and love interest, Xaden, is won over by her determination.
“I read fantasy growing up and I never saw that, I saw these powerful heroines,” she said. “I wanted to tell a story about a girl who should not succeed, and who should not be able to endure an overly brutal environment.”
Yarros grew up as the youngest of four in a military family — her grandfather was a general, and both her mother and father are retired lieutenant colonels. Her family bounced around Washington, D.C., Oklahoma, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Germany and Colorado.
She took up writing poetry and fiction early, and wrote a novel for a high school English project. When she was a college student at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, she met her husband, Jason Yarros, a young private in the Army, at a karaoke bar one night. They got married and quickly had a child, and Yarros dropped out of college.
Jason, who flew Apache helicopters, was deployed five times, with four tours to combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan. While he was gone, Yarros worked on her college degree in history. When she graduated, at age 29, they had five children.
In 2003, after Jason was injured by an antitank land mine in Iraq, Yarros developed insomnia. To occupy herself in the middle of the night, she read romance novels. Several years later, when Jason was on his third deployment, Yarros decided that instead of just reading novels, she would write one.
She knew so little about the publishing world that in 2011, when she wrote her first book, an urban fantasy, she bought “Publishing for Dummies” to figure out her next steps. She signed with an agent, but no publishers made an offer. Undeterred, she decided to write about a young woman in a military family. The result was her debut, “Full Measures,” a romance about a woman whose father is killed in Afghanistan. She sold it to Entangled, and it was published in 2014.
It was the start of a prolific career. From then on, Yarros worked at a breakneck pace, releasing two novels a year. But she often felt discouraged by her stagnant sales.
In the years after she was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos in 2020, she thought about quitting. A flare-up had left her so dizzy she could barely walk from her dining room to her couch without collapsing. Her four sons were also diagnosed with the disorder. The stress of writing, managing her illness and caring for her family felt overwhelming.
“I got to a point where I was like, is this worth it?” she said.
Then, in 2022, her pitch for “Fourth Wing” was accepted. She’d written 20 romances, but this was a chance to write fantasy, something she’d wanted to do ever since her first book failed to sell — and to write an otherworldly epic about a heroine with a chronic illness.
“Writing Violet is super cathartic, because she struggles to accept the accommodations that are given to her, and I have that same struggle,” Yarros said.
She wrote “Fourth Wing” on an accelerated schedule, working 12 to 14 hours on some days. Her husband, who had retired from the military after 22 years, looked after the household. When the book hit the New York Times best-seller list, they both cried. “He would kill me for saying that,” she said.
Soon after she was done with “Fourth Wing,” she wrote “Iron Flame,” the second installment of a planned five-book series.
Now, “Iron Flame” is shaping up to be another mega best seller. Barnes & Noble is holding midnight release parties at more than 200 stores, including one at the Union Square store in New York that Yarros plans to attend along with 600 fans; tickets to that event sold out in minutes. Independent stores, as well as bookstores in Britain and Australia, are also throwing midnight parties, a rare occurrence that booksellers say reminds them of the fan fervor around “Twilight” and “Harry Potter.”
At Comic Con last month, a crowd of ecstatic fans gathered at the Javits Center to meet Yarros.
One reader told Yarros she had skipped work to come. Another said his wife had sent him to get her copy of the book signed — and told him not to bother coming back if he failed. Some wore T-shirts and backpacks that said “Basgiath War College.” A few came as Violet, in leather bodysuits with daggers strapped to their thighs.
Several people thanked Yarros for creating a heroine with a chronic illness.
Ashley Sitarski, a “Fourth Wing” fan from New Jersey who was diagnosed with lupus last year, said it was refreshing to read about a character who lives, and thrives, with a chronic condition. “The fact that she wrote her illness into the book is huge,” she said.
Another reader, Evey Alvarez, who has had dire health complications from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, immediately recognized Violet’s illness, and was gratified to read about a character with her condition who is also “sassy,” she said. “The representation matters.”
The signing was taxing for Yarros, who felt a migraine coming. But she was beaming throughout, introducing herself to each reader, as if she still couldn’t quite believe that they had all come just to see her.
“Hi, I’m Rebecca,” she said over and over.
Alexandra Alter writes about publishing and the literary world. Before joining The Times in 2014, she covered books and culture for The Wall Street Journal. Prior to that, she reported on religion, and the occasional hurricane, for The Miami Herald. More about Alexandra Alter
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Writer Samantha Herman can’t get enough of the holiday season and being in love with love—so naturally, she writes Christmas movies for the Hallmark Channel.
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Herman spoke to Deadline about her love of holiday films and how they inspire her, writing strong female characters and what’s ahead. She noted that before we hopped on Zoom, she was planning her upcoming Hanukkah celebration while watching World Record Christmas , another 2023 Christmas movie offer on Hallmark Channel. Yes, she’s a real super fan.
DEADLINE: You’ve written multiple Christmas films for Hallmark, which is interesting because you’re Jewish. What inspired you?
SAMANTHA HERMAN: Yeah, I’ve done 8 Hallmark Christmas movies and the other three are non-seasonal. I’ve also done a CBS Christmas movie. I don’t know…why it is, the dual ironies. There’s the whole Holiday Hebrew thing, which is being Jewish and somehow becoming a Christmas expert, and being single and somehow becoming a romance expert. With Christmas, I think it’s because I didn’t really celebrate it growing up. We did a few of the classic things like we made cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve and we would do a few gifts just to feel like we’re like part of the spirit of the season.
DEADLINE: What are some of your favorites or ones that have inspired you?
HERMAN: I remember distinctly seeing Home Alone and I still watch it every year without fail. We didn’t have Hallmark in Canada but we had other channels that would sublicense the content. I watched their movies that way as often as they were available simply as a fan. When I moved to the U.S. in 2007, I went to Chicago for law school. I remember calling to set up my cable and internet and requesting the package that included Hallmark. I’m really not saying this because it sounds good, it’s all true.
I love romance movies, books and romantic ballads. I just love love. And maybe part of it is because I have not been particularly lucky in love myself, but I just gravitate to it. And so the combination of love—most of these movies are romance-forward or at least romance-related in some way— plus the magic of Christmas is the perfect synergy.
DEADLINE: In Christmas Island, the lead female character Kate is not a stereotypical damsel in distress. Why was that important to you?
HERMAN: I think some of what has been done is like a girl returns home to a small town and abandons everything she’s worked for [to be with a man]. I’m not into that so I wouldn’t do that. The channel is encouraging us to move away from kind of that old-school trope. It is important to me to have a woman represented with strength, ambition and quirks so people feel like they’re seeing a real human being and not a cookie-cutter.
DEADLINE: Do you have any plans to do a Hanukkah movie in the future?
HERMAN: I would love to. I gotta switch it up and trade a Christmas tree for a menorah. But I already have some ideas for other stories I’d like to tell.
DEADLINE: Do you have any wishes to share with us being so close to the holidays?
HERMAN: Anyone who may have a blind date for me, hit me up.
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San Antonio Express News
‘St. Francis escorted him to heaven’: Sam Greco’s life began and ended with Italian saint
Posted: November 20, 2023 | Last updated: November 20, 2023
He was his mother’s miracle. Elvira Battafarano Greco prayed to San Francesco di Paola for a son.
After five miscarriages, she promised that if her prayers were answered, she’d dress the boy like a monk every Sunday for five years.
She kept her promise.
ALSO READ: Sam Greco’s mom prayed to St. Francis for a son. He’s now giving the saint’s statue to San Antonio.
Throughout his life, Sam J. Greco continued his mother’s devotion to St. Francis, the patron saint of Italians and Italian Americans.
Greco died Nov. 14. He was 82.
Last year, Greco commissioned a 6-foot-tall bronze sculpture of St. Francis to replace a statue of Christopher Columbus that was removed from Piazza Italia Park in July 2020. Protests about the 15th-century explorer’s treatment of indigenous people led to the removal of monuments across the nation.
On Sept. 14, Greco stood with family, friends, parishioners and dignitaries for the unveiling of the statue. His gift to the city was his last civic act.
Greco said the Italian community felt St. Francis represented Italians and their ancestors’ ocean crossings from Italy to America.
He was born in San Antonio on Nov. 27, 1940, to Italian immigrant parents. Because his parents only spoke Italian, he reached out to a neighbor to teach him English.
Salvatore Greco, a vegetable vendor, worked long hours to provide an education for his son. Family members said he laid some of the first red bricks at San Francesco di Paola Catholic Church, a cultural center of the Italian community.
Sam Greco met his late wife, Kathy Fisher Greco, when they were sophomores — she attended Providence High School; he went to Central Catholic. Greco and his family dedicated the statue to her.
He received a bachelor’s degree in banking from Louisiana State University and a master’s in finance from the University of Chicago. His family said after a successful banking career, he retired as the youngest bank president in the Lone Star state.
During their 60-year marriage, the couple co-founded several companies, including Greco Construction, Pecan Valley Childcare Center and S&K Management. Greco volunteered with several civic groups as director of the then Southside Chamber of Commerce, president of the East Side Lions Club, and director of the Southeast Chamber of Commerce.
ALSO READ: St. Francis statue arrives to replace Christopher Columbus at Piazza Italia Park
He passed the virtues of St. Francis to his four children. They remembered their father as a storyteller and generous man whose home was open to those in need. They learned of their parents’ good deeds — such as feeding the homeless and bringing them new coats when it was cold — from other people.
Darrell Greco said his father shared a different story about St. Francis at an annual church service. He said his father was known as the “St. Francis baby.”
“I believe St. Francis took care of him,” said Sharon Pirro, Sam Greco’s daughter. “I feel St. Francis escorted him to heaven.”
Brenda Greco Bowerman received phone calls from doctors who said her father touched their lives.
“It says a lot about my dad,” she said.
Diane Greco remembered her father as a man of peace who wanted his children to study and be aware of current affairs and the world around them.
Greco was the recipient of several prestigious honors. His family said Pope Francis appointed him to represent the United States as the First Heraldi of San Francesco di Paola. Giorgio Napolitano, the former president of Italy, bestowed Greco with the title Knight of the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity.
Condolences and remembrances came from near and far. Mauro Lorenzini, consulate general of Italy in Houston, thanked Greco for his “long commitment to the benefit of the Italian community in Texas.”
Angela Lombardo, whom Greco counseled, remembered her friend’s commitment to being an engine of change, a role he invited her and others to take up.
Paolo Cristadoro, president of the Italian Society, said he sorely missed his friend and fellow society member.
He recalled standing outside City Hall with a smiling Greco and Linda Kohnen after receiving the final approval for the statue. He said during the 18-month process, Greco never lost focus on upholding the legacy of ancestors who settled San Antonio’s Little Italy.
“It’s a hard void to fill,” Cristadoro said. “He was dedicated to getting the statue in place, not only for the community but his wife, whom he adored. He rallied everyone together. That was Sam.”
Kohnen helped Greco with planning the two-day dedication event. She recalled her friend as a dynamic family man and advocate for the saint that was the church’s namesake.
“That was his grand finale,” she said. “He made it happen, and it wasn’t easy. He accomplished so much in his lifetime. We’re all going to miss him terribly.”
ALSO READ: ‘A gift to the city’: San Antonio’s Italian community unveils statue to replace Christopher Columbus
The retired businessman oversaw every detail of the statue’s arrival in San Antonio.
It was one of two sculptures he commissioned of the saint from Italian-Canadian artist Antonio Caruso. The other statue stands in the seaside town of Paola in southern Italy.
In July, Greco joined society members for a dry run of the statue’s placement at Piazza Italia, the downtown neighborhood settled by Italian families in the late 1800s.
Before the dedication, Greco was hospitalized with ill health for five days. Society members said he insisted on being present for the event.
Greco led the procession of 300 people from the church, pushed in a wheelchair by former Mayor Henry Cisneros, to the park. He joined in tugging ropes that loosened the shroud from the statue, drawing applause from the crowd.
“You did it,” Cristadoro said as he leaned to congratulate his friend.
It would be his last devotion to the saint whose presence was woven through his family’s lives. For Greco, it was a day that only happens once in a lifetime.
Greco was preceded in death by his father, Salvatore Greco; mother, Elvira Battafarano Greco; sisters, Rita Greco Branca and Jean Greco Monaco; and his wife, Katherine Fisher Greco.
He is survived by his children, Darrell (Karan), Sharon Pirro (Joe), Diane Greco (Sylvia Lopez) and Brenda Greco Bowerman (Karen); and eight grandchildren.
Memorial services will be held at San Francesco di Paola Catholic Church on Tuesday. The family will receive friends at 10 a.m., followed by a rosary at 11 a.m. Mass will take place at 11:30 a.m.
The family asked that instead of flowers, donations be made to the Italian Society, 201 Piazza Italia, San Antonio, TX, 78207.
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With Rosalynn’s passing, Jimmy Carter faces life alone
The carters, who met as small children in plains, ga., were married for 77 years. friends say it is ‘hard to imagine one without the other.’.
When Rosalynn Carter was 90, she was wheeled into an operating room in an Atlanta hospital for major surgery.
The surgeon warned Jimmy Carter that his wife’s advanced age made the operation to remove a large part of her colon dangerous. It was 2018 and the former president, then 93, sat awake all night praying in the hospital.
At dawn, after learning Rosalynn had survived, Jimmy dialed his grandson.
“It was 6 a.m. He said he wanted to go home and spend the rest of his time with her,” Jason Carter recalled. “That was the moment he truly retired; he said no more executive meetings at the Carter Center. He just wanted to be with her.”
Rosalynn was Jimmy’s devoted partner for 77 years until she died Sunday at age 96 . They traveled the world together during and after his presidency. She was at his side when he entered hospice care at home nine months ago, and he was at her side after it was announced a few months later that she had dementia. Jimmy was with Rosalynn on Friday when she joined him in hospice care. With her passing, however, the former president is now without his Rosalynn for the first time since she was a teenager.
A key focus of her life’s work was to honor those who help the sick and elderly. She often spoke about the emotional toll of caring for — and then surviving — a loved one. As their health declined over the years, Jimmy and Rosalynn were often each other’s caregivers. Until her final days, Rosalynn was still able to get around with the help of a walker. But she had been losing weight in the past week and was becoming increasingly frail, according to family members.
“Time just caught up with her,” her niece, Kim Fuller, said Sunday after her death was announced. “She was getting more and more weak.”
Rosalynn was last seen in public two months ago at the annual Plains Peanut Festival in the Carters’ hometown, right before Jimmy’s 99th birthday, where she waved to the crowd while holding her husband’s hand from the back of an SUV driven by a Secret Service agent.
Members of the Carter family said Rosalynn found comfort in being able to see from her front door in Plains the grassy slope where she and her husband planned to be laid to rest, side by side.
“They were at peace with what was coming,” said Andrew Young, the former Atlanta mayor and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who visited them in their home earlier this year.
Rosalynn was the second-longest living first lady, after Bess Truman, the wife of Harry S. Truman, who lived to be 97.
The Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers, which she founded in 1987, supports family members and others who take care of those unable to function alone. She called caregivers the backbone of the nation’s community health care system and said they too often went unrecognized for the vital work they do.
Rosalynn was devastated when her father got leukemia and died when she was 13. Though young herself, she was the eldest child of four and so she sold eggs to help support the family. She also helped her mother, who needed to work, care for her younger brothers and sister.
The former first lady often said that there are only four types of people: those who have been caregivers, those who are now caregivers, those who will be caregivers and those who will need caregiving themselves.
Anne Mahoney Robbins, a former White House aide to Rosalynn, said she often saw her taking care of others, making the time to talk with them or offering a hug. “She said she had been lucky and she wanted to give others a break, too,” Mahoney Robbins said.
For many years, Rosalynn championed childhood vaccinations against measles and other diseases. She traveled widely to discuss the importance of getting schoolchildren vaccinated.
Rosalynn grew up in Plains, a town of only 700, and knew Jimmy as a child. After they married and he was running a peanut farm and warehouse, she was his bookkeeper. When he ran for elected office, she was regarded as his best campaigner and, according to their son Chip Carter, “she was definitely the better politician.”
“She was a total partner to Jimmy in every way,” said Mahoney Robbins, who accompanied her on campaign trips during Jimmy’s successful 1976 presidential bid.
Rosalynn took Jimmy’s defeat to Ronald Reagan in 1980 and failure to win a second term far harder than her husband did, the couple said in a 2018 interview with The Post. He said his need to cheer her up and find things to look forward to helped him get over the loss.
“She really broke down,” Mahoney Robbins recalled. “She would say, ‘Why would the country do this to him?’”
When they began their post-presidency charity work, Rosalynn focused on advocating for mental health and new ways to support caregivers.
Rosalynn teamed up with Betty Ford, the first lady who preceded her in the White House. Ford, who publicized her own struggle with alcoholism, was a national advocate for better treatment for addictions.
Gleaves Whitney, executive director of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, recalled Rosalynn coming to Michigan to speak at the Ford Museum. “She could be charming and witty, but above all she was a straight shooter,” he said. “And, before you talk to her, before you challenge her, make sure you have done your homework.”
Rosalynn accompanied her husband’s many overseas trips, promoting human rights from Asia to Africa.
In the 2018 Post interview, she recalled a most unusual trip to North Korea in 1994. No prior U.S. president had been to that country, which barred most foreigners. At the time, North Korea was threatening to build nuclear weapons. Jimmy’s mission was to get then-leader Kim Il-sung to allow international inspectors to monitor North Korea’s nuclear activity.
Before the serious discussion — which did end in an agreement — the Carters and Kim took a cruise down a river. “We just talked about fishing,” said Rosalynn, who often went fly-fishing with her husband. When the high-stakes discussion started, she said, she then became the official note taker.
Asked about the secret to a happy marriage, she said to give your spouse some space but also not to miss out sharing hobbies and fun pastimes. At 59, for instance, she learned to ski so she could join Jimmy on the slopes.
Even into her 90s, Rosalynn worked side by side with her husband on construction sites with Habitat for Humanity, building affordable homes for others.
Since 2015, when Jimmy was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma, the Carters seesawed back and forth about which one was the other’s caretaker.
Against the odds, the former president recovered from the usually fatal cancer, and soon he was helping Rosalynn, who was becoming unsteady on her feet. Then in 2018, she was hospitalized. A large part of her colon was taken out because of enormous pain caused by scarring from a long-ago operation. Jimmy would bring her treats and rub her toes.
“He actually was a very good nurse,” said Jill Stuckey, a family friend in Plains.
But a series of falls since 2019 weakened Jimmy.
By the end, their globe-trotting days over, the Carters spent their days in their living room. They shared blueberries in the morning and watched “Law and Order” in the evening. Jimmy rested in his brown recliner and Rosalynn sat on the end of their blue sofa, close enough to lay her hand on his.
Their living room looks remarkably similar to what it looked like in 1961, when they built it. There is little evidence that the Carters belonged to the rarefied world of America’s first families, other than a photo of the couple and their four children walking down Pennsylvania Avenue at Jimmy’s 1977 inauguration.
Kim Fuller said the Carters remained each other’s caregiver, even when all they could do was hold the other’s hand. “They were never far from each other,” she said.
“It’s hard to imagine one without the other,” said Stuckey, who saw them most days.
In February, when Jimmy entered hospice, he said he would no longer go to the hospital for any treatment because he said the trips away were too hard on Rosalynn. He wanted them to be together.
When Young visited them in their living room that month, the three old friends said a prayer together. Rosalynn was quiet. Jimmy just smiled.
“They seemed so happy to be with each other,” he said.
Jimmy Carter: The life of the 39th president
The latest: Rosalynn Carter, a close political and policy adviser to her husband, President Jimmy Carter , died Nov. 19 . The Carters spent the final months of their time together at the family home in Plains, Ga. The former president decided in February to stop medical treatment for an aggressive form of melanoma skin cancer.
The un-celebrity president : Jimmy Carter’s simple and modest lifestyle was rare , in sharp contrast to his successors. He declined the corporate board memberships and lucrative speaking engagements and decided that his income would come from writing. He wrote 33 books and has helped renovate 4,300 homes for Habitat for Humanity.
Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter: The Carters had been married for more than 77 years , the longest presidential marriage in U.S. history. Their love story blossomed in World War II and survived the searing scrutiny of political life. Rosalynn Carter expanded the role of first lady.
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