Ask Wendy: Your Writing and Publishing Questions Answered

October 2007 Family Fun Magazine

By Wendy Burt Thomas

Q: In terms of managing a writing career, what are the best lessons you’ve learned in 2008?

A: In my fifteen years of freelancing, I think 2008 was my best “revelation” (not “resolution”) year yet. Many of my writer friends and I learned these lessons this year:

  1. I do not have to take every opportunity that comes my way. This is an especially hard lesson for intermediate/advanced writers who got to where they are today by taking low-paying projects. We often develop a mindset that we shouldn’t pass up any project that’s offered because the gigs may dry up. The truth is, there’s plenty of work and we deserve to make great money. We need to raise the bar for ourselves. Creative people are incredibly undervalued.
  2. I need to take care of my body. If I worked my body as hard as I worked my brain in 2008, I’d be fit, healthy and free of back problems.
  3. I need to have a life. I love what I do-perhaps a bit too much. I need to remember that all work and no play makes for a dull mommy, wife and friend. A successful writing career is as much about balance as talent.

Wendy Burt is a successful full-time freelance writer and editor who has more than doubled her income since leaving her job as a newspaper editor just four years ago. With two women’s humor books for McGraw-Hill and more than 1,000 published pieces, Wendy’s work has appeared in such varied publications as Family Circle, The Writer,,, Home Cooking Magazine and American Fitness. Wendy teaches “Breaking Into Freelance Writing” and still finds ample time to spend with her beautiful children, Gracie and Ben. Visit to see books by Wendy and her award-winning dad.

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