In order for someone to be successful, she often has to try something completely new. I became a successful paid speechwriter just by “going out on a limb” and attempting something novel and different. With absolutely no speechwriting experience, I was hired as a freelance wedding speechwriter for instantweddingtoasts.com . They literally taught me how to write wedding speeches. I wrote Father of the Bride, Maid of Honor, and Best Man speeches. I would have never learned this skill if I weren’t willing to try it.
From wedding speeches, I branched out into writing holiday speeches for occasionalwords.com. For this internet speechwriting company, Iíve written Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Motherís Day, Easter, New Yearís and Fatherís Day speeches.
I learned a whole new writing genre just by stepping out of my comfort zone and taking a chance on learning something new. Doing this required me to be somewhat fearless and also required time and energy to learn a new task. I failed at writing my first few speeches, but after time, I got the hang of it and began to produce lively copy and make decent money, approximately $50 per speech job.
The rewards were great. I discovered a new way to communicate and it was nice to know I was helping people look and sound good on often the most important days of their lives.
This writing experience spilled over into my other freelance writing life. I took what I had learned and wrote a feature article on how to become a wedding speechwriter, which appeared in the June 2007 issue of Toastmaster Magazine. I was paid $400 for that feature.
The speechwriting experience also bubbled up into my university teaching life. When my boss at the local college asked me to teach a public speaking class, I jumped at the chance because I already had some experience writing speeches. The public speaking teaching gigs continued to come and I’ve taught public speaking for over two years now.
So being successful often means just being willing to try something new.
They can teach an old dog new tricks. It happened to me. It can happen to you, too.
Laura Yeager writes literary fiction and nonfiction for many kinds of markets. Her nonfiction frequently appears in The Writer Magazine, bp Magazine, and at authormagazine.org. She also works as a professional blogger and speechwriter. She teaches online fiction writing at Gotham Writers’ Workshop. Laura is currently looking for an agent for a middle-grade novel series.
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