The most useful skill for writers

She lost her writing job to the pandemic, but came up with a new plan

When I started out in writing over a decade ago, it was easy to find niche work. There were an array of magazines on every imaginable topic … if you wanted to write about fishing in Canada while drinking wine, there was probably a mag for it!

Since the lockdown started in New Zealand, one large magazine company closed its doors and another media outlet laid off 120 staff.

I’m expecting one of my main magazine jobs won’t be there after this is all over.

Even before the current situation, media was struggling. In 2019 a number of digital media outlets, such as BuzzFeed and HuffPost, made staffing cuts.

Why am I telling you this? Because the writing world is a roller coaster. If you want to survive here, one skill is more important than any other.

Flexibility.

Some of you might remember Grace Grossman, the first writer to go through my mentoring program last year.

I’ve asked her to chat with you today about how she managed to be flexible and keep writing when things changed suddenly.

After the mentoring program, she landed a great writing job. Things were looking good! Then the roller coaster turned.

“Since the pandemic hit, I lost my mainstream income and broke up with my partner. It was tough, but everyone is suffering in someway or other. Being a passionate writer to spread the power of peace and positivity, I decided to write.

I wrote a book in a week and I couldn't believe it! It healed me. I'm still a beginner in the writing world and only started the whole freelance writing gig last year in November/December - it's crazy what can happen in five months!”

Grace’s advice to people starting out is: 

  1. Find your niche (if not, don't stress)

  2. Put your mind to it

  3. Research and READ

  4. Write and WRITE

  5. Finally, and maybe most importantly: Network - talk to whoever you are inspired by and who could be interested in your services.

“You'll get there,” says Grace. “Just look forward and set yourself goals. Yes, your pitches won't all be welcomed (been there, done that), but that's the way it is. Stay strong!”

Grace’s essential self-help book to get you through tough times: The Season of Self-Discovery is available on Amazon Kindle.

That’s flexibility!

If you are a Medium writer (or want to be) I’ve created a checklist so you can increase your chances of doing well: Your Medium Checklist for Polished Writing

See you next week,

Kelly