Living the Writer's Life:
Elizabeth Pickart

Elizabeth holds an advance copy of her middle-grade
	fiction novel, Premonition: The Gift, written under pen
	name E.C. Quinn and set to debut this month.Elizabeth holds an advance copy of her middle-grade fiction novel, Premonition: The Gift, written under pen name E.C. Quinn and set to debut this month.

Elizabeth Pickart is in the process of watching all her writing dreams come true. Like many Barefoot Writers, writing for her was nothing more than a hobby until a necessary career change prompted her to look in new directions. Copywriting surfaced as a viable opportunity, and the more she did it, the more she loved it. One win led to another, and before she knew it, her author dream started to unfold. Read on to discover how copywriting helped her get there.

Take me back to what life was like before you discovered copywriting, and what you were hoping to change about your life or get away from.

Elizabeth and her dog, Loki
Elizabeth and her dog, Loki

I’ve always had the goal to be an author and write books. But as life stepped in, I ended up becoming a physical therapist (PT). I enjoyed it for 20 years, and for the last 16 worked in the school systems in my area. Then I had a health issue crop up in 2017. I was training for a half-marathon and had some foot pain, which turned into some odd balance and strength things that have taken years to resolve. So I started looking at what I would do if I couldn’t do PT, because it’s a very physical, active job, especially working with kids.

As I started looking at alternatives, the Barefoot Writer Club popped up. I’ve always loved writing, but I didn’t know how many different areas you could do it in. I ended up going from full-time PT to part-time PT to even less than part-time PT. At the same time, my writing was ramping up. Everything I tried, from newsletters to web writing, blogs, emails — I loved all of it, and it was so different, the variety was just unbelievable. Then when it got to a point where I had to step back from the PT, I was already doing the copywriting, so it was a very smooth transition. At the same time, I’ve also been writing novels, and I ended up getting a book contract last June.

Congratulations on that book contract! Have you already looked at ways your copywriting skills can help promote your book and author platform?

Absolutely. Almost from day one, because as soon as you sign the contract, then it’s game on to get the word out. I would’ve been lost if I hadn’t done all the things as a copywriter. For copywriting, I took the Build Your Freelance Website in Four Days program, and then the site audit course to know what a good website should look like. From that I created my copywriting website, which I still have, it’s still live, but then I had to do my author one. And if I hadn’t already done it for copywriting, that would’ve felt overwhelming. Instead, it was like, Oh, I’ve done this before. So I went back to those same courses, did a refresher, answered my own questions, like, How do I do that again? And then I created my author website.

At the same time, I’m using a pen name for my fiction: E.C. Quinn. So I also needed to get on social media as an author. Nick Usborne has this amazing course on marketing through social media, and I went back to that and created new accounts for Twitter and Facebook and Instagram. At first, I took it just for copywriting, but then it was an easy shift to do it as an author.

What direction did you first choose as a copywriter?

Because of my PT background, health and wellness just seemed like a natural fit because I already had that background. And then I would pick up smaller projects, like newsletters. I loved Michael Katz’s course on newsletters. You can pick up a few clients, and it’s not overwhelming. You can just do as many as you’re comfortable with. I also started my own copywriting newsletter, which was so helpful. I published it for three years, every single month. Then three months ago, I started my author newsletter. Again, easy transition to do that because I’d already been doing it, just in a different realm.

What was your proudest moment as a copywriter?

I think when I opened my business. I had set up an LLC because I decided, You know what? I’m going to be all in. I wanted to keep it separate from my personal life and maybe my school PT realm. That was probably the proudest moment when I realized, Oh, I actually own a business. I’m actually bringing in income as a writer. That was huge, because it was this separate thing, and it was just exciting to get paid for my writing. I’d done a bunch of published stories and a couple of Chicken Soup for the Soul books. But it was all fiction. And this was totally different. This was for businesses. This was helping people improve their business, improve their relationships, their connections, and grow their own businesses as I was growing mine.

Elizabeth's Living The Writer's Life story was originally published in Barefoot Writer. To learn more about how you can start living your dream writer's life too, click here.

What help do you need to move forward with your version of the writer’s life? Let us know in the comments below so we can help guide you in the right direction.

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Published: May 25, 2024

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