#052: Overlooked Freelance Writing Opportunities for Retiring Boomers

The premise of this show is that earning more in less time should be one of your key drivers.

That kind of approach to your business (when done in a spirit of balance) enables you to have more time, more freedom and live a richer life … without sacrificing your income.

Freelance writer Kathleen Fink recently contacted me with a different twist on this idea — one that’s particularly suited for retiring boomers who don’t need to make “income” their primary goal.

And in this episode she shares some great insights that may change the way you think about writing during retirement.

The notes that follow are a very basic, unedited summary of the show. There’s a lot more detail in the audio version. You can listen to the show using the audio player below. Or you can subscribe in iTunes or on Stitcher to get this show delivered straight to the Podcasts app on your smart phone, tablet or iPod.

 

Tell us a bit about yourself

Kathleen Fink worked for over 20 years as a project manager in financial services. Much of that work involved writing. At the same time, she wrote articles about Japanese garden design and tea ceremonies for pleasure.

When she was laid off, she spent even more time writing. After conducting a detailed self-assessment, she realized she wanted to work as a freelancer.

Today, she has her own business, Expressive Projects. She writes on diverse topics related to her passions, including art, music, and wellness.

Tell us about writing opportunities for baby boomers nearing retirement

About 76 million baby boomers were born between 1946 and 1964. Over half of them have a college education. Many boomers are stepping down from high stress jobs to lower stress jobs, or reducing their hours. This group has a huge amount of experience and energy, and many have writing skills.

What are the benefits of writing during retirement?

In The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, Bronnie Ware writes that when people are dying, they often regret not living a life truer to themselves. Retirement provides an opportunity to do this through writing.

Writing can fit a variety of lifestyles and energy levels. It can allow you to contribute and create satisfaction.

What do you say to concerns about age discrimination in this area?

Age can be an advantage. Older people tend to have subject matter expertise and are often careful and reliable. Age may also make you a better writer.

When you don’t relying on writing for your entire income, you can take more risks. You can take the time to develop relationships with editors.

When you really love something, passion trumps age. Passion radiates energy and youth.

How easy is it to find passion-based freelance writing opportunities?

You can create community and connections through LinkedIn, Amazon reviews, Facebook and blogs. These can all lead to writing projects. If you have a particular interest, you can find a way to write about it.

And don’t ignore the possibility of bartering. Often you can get free entry to events, free books and more.

Tell us about the pace. Is it as crazy as the corporate environment?

The pace can be relaxed, but it does require discipline. Unless you’re writing for an event, you can usually negotiate deadlines.

You can choose to write shorter pieces, which require less time and are less stressful. When you’re writing from retirement, you’ll have more time to research, interview and thoroughly read the target publication. You’ll have time to polish the copy at a more relaxed pace.

What is the income potential in passion-based writing?

If your goal is to consistently earn money from writing, it’s even more important for you to understand your history and motivation. Authenticity will attract people and opportunities to you.

Writing is a way to create new meaningful relationships. If you take the time to figure out what you care about, create a message about it that the world needs, and make a lasting contribution, then that conviction will help you.

After building relationships and getting a few articles published, you may find it relatively easy to find paid opportunities.

When you’re writing about things you’re passionate about, you’ll have fun even if you don’t get a writing project out of it. The more you enjoy the topic, the more you’ll network and the more people you’ll meet.

Writing is always about mutually beneficial relationships, which is hugely valuable in retirement. Writing is a tool to create multiple communities of people who love the things you love.

How can listeners learn more about you?

Email: Kathleen.m.fink@gmail.com

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Thanks again for your support!

Till next time,

-Ed

  • Mary Rose

    I highly enjoyed listening to this broadcast, not only for the information but also to hear the passion in Kathleen’s voice. I’ve hesitated to focus on a passion of my own, thinking I’d never make any money at it. But when I talk about this subject I love, people often laugh with delight and tell me I sound so passionate. As I listened to Kathleen, I thought: what would it be like to *live out* such a passionate life, to take the chance, as Ed suggested, that I might make real money at it after all. OK, Ed and Kathleen, I’m in. I’m going to pursue my passion and see just where this path leads me.

    • edgandia

      Awesome! Glad to hear this episode inspired you, Mary Rose! Thanks for checking it out and letting us know. 😉

    • Fellow Writer and Boomer

      It’s been two years, how has the passionate writing life fared?

  • Mia Sherwood Landau

    This is a terrific interview, super-inspiring for those of us who have great enthusiasm and excitement about sharing what we know for the rest of our lives. Kathleen is a wonderful role model! Thanks for taking the time to record and post this interview, Ed.

    • edgandia

      You bet! Thank you for checking it out, Mia. Kathleen will be thrilled to read your comment.

  • Angie Mangino

    Passion, when expressed through skilled writing, is what separates the exceptional writer from the mediocre one, whatever the writer’s age. What a wonderful interview!

    • edgandia

      That’s a very good point — and a beautiful way of expressing it, Angie! Thank you. 🙂