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Susan Shain is a freelance writer specializing in travel, food, and personal finance. Her work has appeared in publications like The New York Times, CNN Travel, The Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, Playboy, and on NPR’s website, among others. After realizing that working in a corporate environment in public relations or consulting was not the life she wanted, she sought out a number of seasonal jobs (for about six years) that took her on a journey around the planet again and again. And she documented the whole experience on her old travel blogging site, Travel Junkette.
Susan worked for a couple years as a Senior Writer at The Penny Hoarder, considered to be one of the fastest growing media companies in the U.S. But the pull of the road and freelancing was too much, and she set back out on her own, eventually starting the website WheretoPitch.com, which helps other writers and freelancers identify different publications and outlets that might be a good fit for their pitches and submissions. Additionally, she publishes a monthly newsletter with the hottest submission opportunities on the web and released her first book, The Ultimate Guide to Seasonal Jobs, last year.
What You’ll Learn About Writing This Week:
- Tips on how to land a pitch at your dream publication
- How luck and persistence can help you get your start as a freelance writer
- The importance of getting out of your own way
- Finding a niche that you like, but also finding one that can pay your bills
- Striking a balance between content marketing and journalism gigs
- Managing your time (daily, weekly, and monthly) as a professional writer
- Remembering that people want to say “yes” to your pitches and submissions; you just need to give them a reason to say “yes”
Mentioned in This Episode (Links and Resources!):
You Can Find More of Susan and Her Writing On:
Tweetable Quotes From This Episode:
- “That was really where I fell in love with the whole idea of writing, because it was a really fun way to explore things, and talk to people, and be creative with the results.” – @susan_shain
- “I think that was when I really got addicted to freelancing and publishing those kind of pieces because you can really speak to a large audience and connect to other people that way.” – @susan_shain
- “I didn’t have a lot of shiny bylines at the time; I just had a pitch that I worked hard on and really fit what they were looking for.” – @susan_shain
- “As long as editors can see that you can write that type of story, I think that’s important.” – @susan_shain
- “If you make [an editor’s] job easier, they’re going to want to keep working with you.” – @susan_shain
- “Reading is the key to writing; I try to read a lot… books, articles, and all kinds of things, and I think that’s really helped my writing the most.” – @susan_shain
- “Pitch those places that you don’t think you qualify for, that you’re not good enough for, because you have no idea! You might be good enough for them, and you never know, so just go for it.” – @susan_shain
Thanks to our Season 3 sponsor: Coworker.com
Elisa Doucette is a writer and editor who works with professional writers, entrepreneurs, and brands that want to make their own words even better. She is the Founder of Craft Your Content, and oversees Client Strategy and Writing Coaching. Her own writing has been featured in places like Forbes, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Yahoo! Small Business, and The Huffington Post, among others. She also hosts the Writers' Rough Drafts podcast here on CYC. When she isn't writing, editing, or reading words, she can usually be found at a local pub quiz, deep in a sun salutation, or binging TV shows for concept ideas and laughs.