Welcome to another installment of the Drinking Coffee With Writers series! We’re featuring writers from our community who have insight to share on their unique freelance journeys.
This week we’re chatting with Kim Spivey, a motherhood & parenting writer who mastered her niche and branched out into weddings, home decor, beauty, skincare and more. Kim is the founder of Girl, You Write, where she offers a range of writing and editing services.
Kim’s vibrant energy caught my attention on Instagram, where she shares powerful positive messages. A scroll through her feed reveals encouragement to own one’s expertise and practice self-love. Here’s what she has to say about getting her first byline, approaching freelance writing with grace, and which mantras she keeps on hand for tough days.
Freelance Writing Cafe: What was the main reason you wanted to start freelance writing?
Kim Spivey: To see my byline in print.
How did your freelance journey begin?
This question is very special to me, and I share this in my debut book, Bloom: How to Get from Good Enough to a Life You Love. For years, I had written for my eyes only because I was operating from a place of fear. I was afraid to expose my craft to the world. My worst nightmare was rejection and ridicule.
But after much prayer and seeking counsel from God, He told me it was time for me to step outside of my comfort zone. So, that’s what I did. There is one particular publication in my city that is established and well-known, and I was eager to see my byline in their print publication. For years, I pitched to them—and nothing. No response.
One day after work, I was on my way to my daughter’s Christmas recital. I had an hour or so to spare before it started, so I decided I would do a little shopping. As I’m leaving work on my way to go shopping, God spoke to me at the red light. He told me to get off the freeway, go home, and call that publication. I thought it was ludicrous, but I did it anyway.
As I stepped into my house and placed my handbag on the counter, I walked into my office and called. After the 7th ring, the publisher picked up the phone. We chatted for a while, and that’s how I got my first freelance gig.
What is the most important lesson you’ve learned so far?
I’ve learned that the more you practice your craft of writing, the better you will become.
What is something you still struggle with as a freelance writer?
What advice would you give to freelancers who are just starting out?
Give yourself grace. Freelance writing is a learning process, and the more that you practice writing, the more you’ll see your byline in print. I have ten simple rules of writing: Just stat writing, declare you’re a writer, make time to write, practice and practice again, be consistent, give yourself grace, create a writing space, trust and believe in yourself, find the best time to write, and have fun writing.
What is your favorite thing about freelancing?
For me, writing is my therapy and my refuge. It’s the best part of everything that I do—my love language to the world. And it’s my love language to myself.
What is your favorite app, tool, or tip for productivity?
My favorite app is Grammarly.
Do you have a go-to mantra or quote that keeps you inspired?
I have so many that I adore. But one of my favorites is, “Everyone doesn’t have to believe in your dreams—only you.”
What’s your favorite hot beverage to sip while working?
How do you find the motivation to work when you’re distracted or having a bad day?
I give myself self-talk. I tell myself that dreams don’t work unless you do. Also, I wrote a letter to myself that I keep tucked away. And when life gets a little crazy, I read it to myself as a reminder of why I need to keep persevering.
What’s one interesting thing about you that people might not know?
I love horror movies.
Anything else you’d like to share with your fellow freelance writers?
First, I’d like to share a quote: “When you’ve worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. You reach back, and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed.” – Michelle Obama
Finally, here are my five mantras of life:
1. Never allow your inner critic to derail you from that thing.
2. If someone doesn’t like your great idea, someone else will.
3. Don’t compare yourself to others because the world will embrace the authentic you.
4. Everyone doesn’t have to believe in your dreams—only you.
5. Failures are stepping stones towards success—embrace them.
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