"Master Dayton" might be humorous, (I mean if Ph.Ds are called "Doctors," shouldn't MFAs be called "Masters?") but in all seriousness I have made a living freelance writing and after several years I have tons of information I want to share to help out my fellow writers, regardless of age, experience, goals, situation, or background. This blog isn't pretty-but it will help if real freelance writing information is what you want.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Celebrating Writing Milestones!

I Am One Happy Freelance Writer

Sometimes you toil for months or even years (years especially if you tend to be stop-and-go like I am - always the sprinter, always had trouble with marathon running) wondering why you can't hit that huge freelance writing or passive income breakthrough that so many people have hit before you. Sometimes you see only slow snail-paced movements and you start wondering if you'll possibly have the energy to finish the race to your goals before becoming too exhausted to do anything but quit.

And then sometimes....and then sometimes...

Sometimes you hit that week that not only changes your perspective or your business, but it also changes your life. Based on the title, you want to take a guess on what the last few days in August have been like for me? :)

Well to copy I quote I came up with earlier this week: "The ceiling that marks the limits of what I can accomplish seems to be flying further and further away with every passing week." Wednesday I landed the largest writing contract I've ever had, and it's a beauty. In fact, it's probably going to push me into the next tax bracket. I call that a nice problem to have. The next day on Thursday I broke through a barrier I've been chasing since March 1st, over a full 5 months ago when I made $19.83 in one day with AdSense. I finally broke through that $20 in one day barrier, and so far in August my total passive income is destroying the 15% a month growth I've been aiming for (and almost averaging) this year.

Back on May 30th, so beginning of June for all intensive purposes, I wrote this blog post about passive income, encouraging people just starting out to keep with it, even though it's hard to see the work. One of my biggest points was that in the beginning it took 6 months for me to get to $40 in one month, but after two years my AdSense had single months where it grew that fast, or close to that much. I also stated that I expected to make the $100 jump from $200 a month to $300 month in about 4 to 5 months, less than half the time it took me to get from one hundred a month to two hundred. Well I hate to make an early call, with Murphy's Law and all, but barring Google dying or an atomic bomb disaster of a month, I can already call it: I'm going to blast past $300 this month, only 3 months from the time I was celebrating the $200 mark.

That's a snowball effect, and it's a beautiful thing when it's working for you instead of against you. Hopefully you'll all not only enjoy this day and these accomplishments with me, but take encouragement, as well. I'm not the most tech-savvy person, and in fact that's one area where my smarts don't help me a lot. It takes me a long time to figure out basic SEO stuff that came easy to other people. I'm not a natural at all at marketing myself or pitching to clients to get huge writing jobs. But I know my craft, and I'm stubborn as the most bull headed mule you'll ever meet. So I'll learn. Very slowly, and with many nights banging my head against the wall, but I will keep going to learn what I have to and accomplish my goals through sheer work if nothing else.

I'm sure there are many ways to get to where I am faster and with less pain than it took me...but the point is by being good at what I do, by working on my craft, and by hammering away I managed to get here. I'm going to make more this year than I ever have in a year despite a really ugly first few months, and next year might take me right out of the middle class bracket...which is pretty freaking cool. The passive income is growing and snowballing and giving me more freedom than ever, and getting me close to the point where I can start doing some serious outsourcing to ramp up the passive income projects even more.

If I can get here by pure force of will and stubbornness, what's stopping you?

It wasn't that long ago that I was unemployed with no prospects and no emergency funds, and it wasn't that many years ago when I was homeless for a while. If you really want the dream of a freelance writing or passive income, just keep fighting for it.

I can tell you from first hand experience these breakthrough moments are absolute bliss, and even better than you imagine.

Thanks for sharing this moment with me, now go and make one of your own!


  1. I was so happy to find a post from you when I pulled my writing feeds this evening! Congratulations on this wonderful milestone of success. You, Felecia over at nojobsformom.com and T.W. over at completewritingsolutions.com are my go to sources for online writing/residual income. You all keep me inspired.

    Felecia kicked it off earlier this week with a post that helped me to regain my focus on what it is that I'm trying to accomplish. You've just put the icing on the cake to make me want to work just that much harder.

    Thank you for all the wonderful information that you share with us. In case you've ever wondered, you're making a real difference for writers out here who prefer the 'road less traveled.'

  2. Hi Angela,

    Thanks for the really kind words! This blog is definitely one of passion, because I'm never going to rank high for "freelance writing" and similar terms, so this one isn't for the money. I read Felecia's blog quite often, but T.W. is an new one, so I'll have to check that out. There are some really great people online, and I've felt blessed to grow my group of "online friends" as this journey has progressed for me. I very much appreciate the kind words - knowing that I'm making a difference for at least a few people gives me fuel to keep going and even more encouragement, as well. Keep at it, and thanks again for your wonderful comment!

  3. This was a great post. Came at a good time too. I'm so swamped with student loan debt. It's enough to make a person want to give up.

    Actually, your whole blog is awesome. I remember stumbling across your freelance writing Squidoo lens like a month or two, and I was doing that researching too much thing. Then, I saw your advice "Just get started." Talk about the elusive obvious. I came to your blog from there, and officially had my world rocked. I never thought I'd be a writer, and now, it's quickly starting to look like I'll be earning a serious full-time income from it. I went to college for an English degree, but your blog helped me put it to use.

    Keep on going man. I'm always pumped when I see you have a new post.

  4. Hi Richard,

    Appreciate the comment and thanks for sharing your story. I can definitely relate! Student loan debt is the biggest single reason I'm still living a tight budget as opposed to living like a king and getting a passport ready for Scotland. Word of advice on that: avoid grad school at all costs unless you have it in writing that they're paying for everything. Biggest mistake I ever made, hands down. But anyway, don't feel bad, "Just get started" is something that easily could have applied to me for a full year or more before the car accident made me desperate enough to force the issue.

    Glad to see that you're really hammering away for the freelance writing career, and the best part about it is that writing is so flexible. It can be part time, full time, and if you're looking at writing and passive income, you always have work to do "for the long run," which in my opinion makes the mental aspect of freelancing much easier. I couldn't get a job with the English degree either, and I have an MFA now and all the Adjunct jobs I qualify more ask me to work a lot harder than I do now for less money....I'll go ahead and pass on that one :) So glad to hear this blog was a major part of getting you going. Definitely keep us posted on your future successes! Thanks again for the kind and encouraging words, and you keep at it, as well. It's definitely worth it!

  5. I am new to creating passive income after reading your post it has really motivated me to want to earn more money. It is motivation like this that keeps procrastinators like myself going. Thanks again

  6. Hey Southern Girl,

    Thanks for the comment. The key is to literally get started now. I understand the procrastination - if not for a car accident I'm not sure if I would ever have gotten started. Definitely keep at it: the upfront work is crazy, but it's definitely worth it in the long run.

  7. Congratulations! This was such an exciting post for me to read! Not just because of the good news on your end (congratulations again, by the way) but because of the hope it gives to aspiring freelance writers like myself.

    I have to confess, I've been reading through your blog with stalkerish fervor ever since I stumbled upon it a few days ago. I love all of the humor and information its filled with.

    In fact, its even helped inspire me to go from trepid dreamer to actually taking steps to become a freelance writer.

    So... long post short, thank you and congratulations.

    Rae :)

  8. Hi Rae,

    Thanks for the kind words, they are always appreciated! It always encourages me when someone says I helped inspire them to start their freelance writing or residual writing income journeys. I spent so much time waffling when I should have been getting started, so any time I can help anyone to take the first steps, that's very personally gratifying for me. Thank you for your kind words, and keep us up to date on your future successes!