Writers Worth: A Defining Moment in A Freelance Career

Friendship is a wonderful thing, especially when it’s given freely and appreciated fully. Such is the friendship between Cathy Miller and me.

Cathy notices things. When she saw I was writing a good bit more this Writers Worth Month than usual, she sent me a note asking if I needed more content. Now any time Cathy Miller offers you free content, take it. Cathy has a way of showing us gently the harshest moments. Through her filter, everything is a wonderful lesson we can use right now.

This post by my friend is no different. Thank you, Cathy. I appreciate you fully.

Writers Worth: A Defining Moment
by Cathy Miller

Writers love words. We love to play with
their meaning and use. And many of us love to learn their origin. A dictionary
is like a well-read novel to writers.
So I pulled out my trusty Merriam-Webster
(although these days, she lives online). I looked up the word worth.
1. a) monetary value; b) the equivalent
of a specified amount or figure
2. a) the value of something measured by
its qualities or by the esteem in which it is held
3. a) moral or personal value; b) merit,
4. a) wealth, riches

Isn’t it amazing how often the definition ties money into
the equation? Isn’t that where we stumble? However, what I have discovered is
it’s not the definition of worth we
struggle with. It’s the definition of self-worth.
A feeling that you are a good person who deserves to be
treated with respect.

Corporate Chaos
In my thirty-plus years of corporate life, I often said the
one area I felt confident in was my job. I was good at it. Then a funny thing
happened. Toward the end of my corporate career, my confidence disappeared.

Like a boxer who had gone one too many rounds, I felt beaten
up. What served me all my adult life was standing on wobbling legs, ready to pitch
forward in defeat.  So I quit. 
I entered the world of freelance writing.
Now there’s a confidence-builder.

Writers Worth
Like most new freelance writers, I felt
overwhelmed by the business side of the dream. I had always written. I loved writing.
But could I make a living at it? Could I handle the daily decision-making that
stems from owning your own business?

I had to rebuild my self-worth before I
could even begin to determine my writers worth. Because whether you are self-employed
or employed by others, your self-worth spells your success.
After a painful first year of healing, I
stepped back and took inventory. I listed what I had to offer.
30-plus years of experience in the
healthcare and insurance industry
  •          20-plus years of management
  •          A corporate career filled with Fortune
    500 companies as clients
  •          Unique combination of technical and
    creative skills

That was just the start.
I can hear the newbies. “But I don’t have
30-plus years of experience.” Or, “I’m a stay-at-home mom.”
Something brought you to this place.
  •         Your love of writing?
  •          Your desire to be your own boss?

Start with that. Be confident in your
writing. If you’re not, practice. Take classes. Build your confidence. Then
take inventory of what you have to offer.
Tell me a stay-at-home mom doesn’t know
about daily decision-making. Tell me you have no experience at all – like traveling,
managing a home, taking care of a loved one or a pet or a knack for numbers.
Tell me you don’t deserve to be treated
with respect.
Know your self-worth. Your writers worth
will follow.

Cathy Miller has a business writing blog at Simply stated business. Her
blog, Why 60 Miles,
is in the early stages and inspired by her passion for walking 60 miles in 3
days to support research for finding a cure for cancer.

About the author




  • Sharon Hurley Hall May 26, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    Well, what is there to say but Amen, Cathy? I always used to tell new writers that everyone has skills they can use – tying these into your writing career will help both self-worth and writer's worth.

    • Cathy May 26, 2015 at 12:42 pm

      You're right, Sharon. Our own experiences is what makes us unique & interesting. 😊

      Lori, thanks for the kind words. I value you! 😊

  • Paula May 26, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    As always, Cathy not only finds the nail, she hammers it home.

    A few years ago, my older sister – who always bowed to peer pressure as a kid, which got her into a lot of (thankfully minor) trouble — said she'd always admired my ability to hold my ground and do what I felt was right instead of following the crowd. It didn't make me popular in school, but quite honestly, the popular kids' opinions didn't matter. As I said many times, "Why would I value the opinion of someone who rates how great their weekend was by how little of it they remember?"

    That same sense of self worth serves me well today. If nothing else, it sure takes the sting off rejection!

  • Cathy Miller May 26, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    Which is why we love you, Paula. 🙂 Self-worth is where it's at. 🙂

  • Lori Widmer May 26, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    Cathy, thank YOU. Once again, you've made this blog a better place with your wisdom. 🙂

    Sharon, such an important point for us to learn, too. Every last one of us has something of value to share, no matter how long we've been at this.

    Paula, we are of like minds — I never cared what the popular kids thought, either. Why should I? They're not me.

  • Ashley May 27, 2015 at 4:48 am

    Some people quit, some people get pushed out. Some people want to freelance, some people have to. We all have different reasons for being here, and you are exactly right about evaluating what you personally bring to the table. Everything else can be learned if you're willing to work at it. I think the biggest part of success is believing you can do it and then going and doing it, no matter how long it takes 🙂

  • Jenn Mattern May 27, 2015 at 11:30 am

    Great post Cathy.

    Knowing you, it seems crazy to think of you struggling with confidence. But that's the point I guess. We all do at times. I'm glad you're able to do what you love, and I'm happy you found new confidence in freelancing. 🙂

  • Tracy Spangler May 27, 2015 at 5:57 pm


    I love to look up words in my dictionary and thesaurus. I'll admit I'd never thought to look up worth, or self-worth, likely because until recently I didn't think I had any. Your straightforward explanation, and inspiring words, that everyone who wants to write has talent, be it as a mom or CEO, was something many freelance writers, like myself need to read, and believe.

    Thank you so much!
    Tracy S.