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Living the Writer's Life: Jim Abbey

Jim Abbey once asked a client why they had chosen to hire him. Much to his surprise, they mentioned an attraction to the way he laughed at an event they had attended together. Jim decided to take this as a lesson and now “laughs his way to the bank.” He uses the resources from the AWAI community and Circle of Success to build a writing career focused on writing in the sustainability industry. You’ll love the “aha moments” Jim shares that led to his life as a Barefoot Writer.

Living the Writer's Life: Anne Hill

One of Anne Hill’s favorite quotes is from the movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. In part, it reads, “I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start over again.” It’s something she reads regularly and has taken to heart. We’re so thrilled Anne was willing to share her story of reinvention and perseverance with us here. Not only has she managed to build a beautiful writer’s life, but she now writes on her terms for clients she loves.

Living the Writer's Life: Lynelle Suan

Lynelle Suan admits she’s a bit “ambitious,” but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that! This young copywriter graduated high school in 2020 and jumped almost immediately into her writer’s life. While working from her native Philippines, she’s gaining the benefits of a higher income by working with clients in the United States and United Kingdom. Lynelle has thrown herself into a number of AWAI courses and mentorship programs, and her enthusiasm and drive is an absolute inspiration!

Living the Writer's Life: Peter Smolens

Peter Smolens fell in love with photography the moment he first saw a black-and-white print being developed. He’s also passionate about digital painting and even published a book on the topic. Through a happy set of circumstances, this love of art and photography led him to a career as a technical writer. Peter attributes his success to persistence. He draws inspiration from the adage, “You have to put your butt in the chair and do the work!”

Living the Writer's Life: Candice Lazar

Candice Lazar is a former advertiser and lawyer who discovered how copywriting could give her the freedom to enjoy nonstop adventure with her husband. Since we last talked with Candice in 2017, she has won the AWAI $10K Challenge, which gave her a lot of exposure in the world of copywriting. She also had the chance to work on a campaign with industry legend Brian Kurtz. You’ll love Candice’s thoughts on community and her advice for writers who are just starting out.

Living the Writer's Life: Curtis Dennis

When Curtis Dennis first learned about B2B copywriting, he was worried it would be boring and force him to suppress his fun-loving personality. But, a few months into the gig, he was happy to learn that B2B clients are people too! Now he has traded in expensive gas-guzzling morning commutes as a carpenter for companies like SpaceX for a writer’s life on a beautiful island with the perfect cool temperatures.

Living the Writer's Life: Jim Wright

It’s been 10 years since we last shared the story of veteran writer Jim Wright. Over the last decade, he was able to confront and eventually conquer his longtime feelings of impostor syndrome. Sure… writing can feel like a solitary endeavor, but Jim’s story helps show the value of making connections with others through live events and online networking. We hope you enjoy this special “where are they now” update.

Living the Writer's Life: Amanda Cowart

A 58-cent “raise” from her former employer was the straw that broke the camel’s back for Amanda Cowart. She transitioned into copywriting and has never looked back. In fact, even if she were independently wealthy, Amanda would still choose to do copywriting. That’s because it gives her a tangible way to empower organizations and help improve the lives of people around her. Check out Amanda’s story and pay attention to how she can use a Pomodoro timer to write anything… Yes, anything!

Living the Writer's Life: Roy Furr

We first met Roy Furr 10 years ago when he was building his writer’s life in the financial niche. Since then, Roy has had the chance to learn from some of the greatest masters in our industry and has turned a simple daily email for a few other writers into a lucrative training community. Today, he’s helping the next generation of writers build million-dollar promotions. You’ll love this interview where Roy shares the 1% trick he uses to keep his clients and customers coming back over and over again.

Living the Writer's Life: Heather Robson

When we last interviewed Heather Robson, it was 2012. She was writing white papers and case studies for clients and working hard to grow her business. Now, nine years later, Heather is a leading expert in UX copywriting and is the head of AWAI’s Wealthy Web Writer. But that’s not all! Did you know Heather’s also working on her fourth novel? You’ll love this insider’s look at one of our top instructors. Plus, don’t miss the end, when she shares her special four-day weekend reset technique!

Living the Writer's Life: Jason Gaspero

Jason Gaspero loves the beaches, community, and food on his adopted island home of Koh Phangan in Thailand. Working as a copywriter, he gets his ideas for promotions while enjoying the beach and laughs about how the monkeys are taking over the island. If you’ve ever thought of living your writer’s life overseas, you’ll love this interview where we catch up with Jason — nine years after we first featured him on our pages!

Living the Writer's Life: Peggy Stankiewicz

When Peggy Stankiewicz added copywriting as a side gig, she was hoping to complete 100 projects that first year. Combine her ambitious goal with her steady determination to learn all she could, and it’s no surprise she reached her goal early… three months early! In this interview, you’ll learn how Peggy combines copywriting with her love of fiction writing. She also shares her tips for how to get started with Fiverr when first connecting with clients.

Living the Writer's Life: Thomas Blake

Thomas Blake followed a twisty path in life before he landed on B2B copywriting. But today, he’s living his writer’s life while enjoying a newfound hobby of drawing pencil sketches. He even managed to score a free art course in exchange for his blog-writing services. Read below to learn Thomas’ advice for how to avoid burnout and one sneaky trick to make sure you’re always writing in a conversational tone.

Living the Writer's Life: Jessica McKay

When the pandemic hit in 2020, Jessica McKay realized it was time to make a change. So, she pulled out her copy of AWAI’s Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting. It had been gathering dust on her shelf for the past several years. Within days, Jessica had her first client — a $1,700/month retainer. It was a strong start to an even stronger year, with her top-grossing month coming in at $18,000. Check out the interview below to learn how this former life coach found a way to transform her life through well-paid writing.

Not Sure How to Get Started? Get Inspiration from These Successful Writers

Everyday people like you have started writing careers. They had doubts and fears, yet they stuck with their dreams of the writer’s life and pushed through to success. Learn from people who are where you want to be.

Living the Writer's Life: Ashly Kimball

Every morning, you’ll find Ashly Kimball and her cat strolling down the driveway to get her mail. At the same time, she’s holding a phone to record a quick business tip to post on her Instagram account. According to Ashly, this has revolutionized her business. Read on to learn more about how she uses social media to connect with her clients.

Living the Writer's Life: Mike Klassen

It’s been a long time since we showed his face, but it’s time to share the story of our very own Barefoot Writer designer, Mike Klassen! Mike actually got his start working at Microsoft, but it wasn’t long before he turned to AWAI to learn copywriting and then graphic design. Over the last 10 years, his career has continued to evolve, including a trip to Australia for a speaking engagement, time spent homeschooling his kids, and — of course — the freedom to work with nice people on his own terms. We hope you enjoy this peek into the design side of our magazine family.

Living the Writer's Life: Frank Mitchell

You’ll often find Frank Mitchell relaxing and playing guitar. In fact, other musicians know him as “the fingerpicking guy” because of his skill at that particular style of play. Although music is a huge part of his life, Frank prefers to write in silence and is working hard to build his dream writer’s life. Read Frank’s story to learn how he leverages his experience as a truck driver and military veteran to connect with email and funnel campaign clients.

Living the Writer's Life: Sunni Baerwalde

On a lazy summer afternoon, you’ll find Sunni at her lake house — laptop in hand — writing for one of her 30-plus clients. When she’s not writing web copy or working on her books, you’ll find her spending valuable time with her kids and grandkids. You see, writing has unlocked a world of possibility for this dedicated mother. Her business has grown significantly in the past year because of her ability to dive into every AWAI course she’s ever taken. Here’s a special interview between Jade Trueblood and Sunni Baerwalde…

Living the Writer's Life: Joseph Battrick

Joseph Battrick has done it all. He’s worked as a journalist, funeral director, and insurance salesman, and even tried a job in aerospace manufacturing. But this passionate performer wanted something more. He wanted a job with flexibility… one where he could be creative and work on his own terms. So today, Joseph is thrilled to be the newest face on AWAI’s in-house writing team. Here is his story…

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