Shifting Gears By Susan Boerchers

We moved out of state just over a year ago, which wouldn’t have been a problem for my business-to-business freelance work since most of it was virtual. However, the publisher I did so much work for had pared down to a bare-bones staff and was no longer working with freelancers, struggling to stay afloat in this difficult economy. In addition, my primary freelance client, for whom I’ve written everything from website material to press releases to speeches, was understandably preoccupied with a two-month trip to China where he and his wife would be adopting their second child.

With my freelance efforts at a record low, my family endured six months of tribulations in our new home, book-ended by my husband’s stay in the hospital just after moving in and mine several months later. If truth is stranger than fiction then the trials and major mishaps we underwent those first six months would make a blockbuster movie.

And so the freelancing went down to nothing and so did my morale.

While floundering in my own misery I decided to do what they recommend to young children in elementary school: we had lots of lemons; I would make lemonade.

I shifted gears and wrote a small article about our trials and troubles and sent it to a small family magazine. It was accepted, more quickly than I’d expected, and so it inspired me to keep at it. I’d written a bit for magazines before, but not in a long while.

I now have several queries out to magazines, resumes out for blogging positions, and have submitted another article for magazine publication. And of all things, my client came home from China and told me he wants me to ghostwrite a book. We’re currently fine-tuning the outline.

It’s not what I’m used to and writing a non-fiction book is completely out of my realm of experience, but if nothing else, it motivates me in a new way to push myself further. I am writing. The checks are coming in. I am inspired.

Susan Boerchers is a freelance writer based in Easton, Pennsylvania. Her clients have included an architectural firm, a sales recruiting firm, and a business-to-business publisher. Her articles have appeared in The Family Digest and Leaders in Life Science and she is currently working on a novel.

Have a Freelance Success Story to share? We pay $40 on acceptance, non-exclusive electronic rights only. Success stories run around 300 words but we’re very flexible. Our guidelines are here:


TRAVEL WRITING 2.0 – Earning money from your travels in the new media landscape
Toss out the old travel writing books and advice because the media landscape is changing fast. Old paths are disappearing but new ones are opening up. Join veteran travel writer Tim Leffel on a journey of opportunity tempered with realism and hear advice from dozens of other travel writers, bloggers, editors, and book publishers.’