Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Angela Caito. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Angela, looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. What do you think it takes to be successful?
It takes many things combined to be successful. At the top of my list would be time commitment. It is important to set stringent times for work, as well as for play, when you are working towards success in your career, or even in your personal life. It takes a focus driven mind devoted to time honing your craft to develop the skills necessary to be the best at the work that you do.
Self-discipline is also a requirement for success. This is especially true for anyone that works from a home office and must be an initiative-taker to complete their work. Without self-discipline, it would be easy to stray away from your work and fail to focus on direction for a career path. Overall, a lack of self-discipline would cause failure.
Something to note about failure. Take each failure and treat it as a learning experience. Never let failure set you back or deter you from what you want. Each mistake we make helps us learn and grow. So, look at those small failures as positive growth experience that teach you as you go.
Finally, you must have the skills necessary to excel in your career. With writing, I believe that anyone can tell a decent story, but it takes well developed skills to be able to tell a story in the same tone that your client would tell it. Skill development does not happen overnight. It can, and often does, take many years to fully develop. My advice for those who may be new to the writing industry, or any industry, is to take time to develop your skills. Practice really does make perfect, so work hard every day and continue to develop your professional skills for the career that you choose.
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your background and context?
I started writing when I was a child. I remember many years ago, in elementary school, I entered a writing contest sponsored by the organization, the Daughters of the American Revolution, and I won. I knew that I loved to write short stories, but after winning that little contest, I developed a strong passion for writing, and I knew I wanted to spend my life doing what I loved.
As an adult, I started writing for newspapers, magazines, and clients from around the world. Currently, I write blogs and articles for travel, automobiles, health, and fitness, and more. My clients need engaging content for their websites, and I create the content that they need. Something that sets me apart from others is the fact that I am focused and driven to please my clients, but my primary goal is to make sure that what I write will engage readers and help bring customers to my client’s businesses.
I worked ridiculously hard to build my career from the ground up. I was a single parent with two small children, and I decided to work for myself rather than punching a time clock and working for others at a newspaper. In the beginning, it was beyond tough as it took quite some time to build a strong client base. I can remember barely being able to pay my bills, and even relying on friends for financial help when I took the leap to work for myself. I stayed focused on my goals however, and worked feverishly around the clock to please clients, beat deadlines, and build my brand. For many years, an 18 hour or longer workday for me was normal. Today, I am thankful that I don’t have to work those hours, although there are times that I certainly still do!
I am proud of the work that I do because every word that I write today reflects the arduous work and dedication that I have put into my career over the years.
What do you find most rewarding about being a creative?
I love to make clients happy. When I write an article for someone and know that it has helped their business in some way, I feel rewarded because I know that I have created something that helped another person. Client satisfaction is a terrific benefit of my work as a writer. Best of all, I love to create something new. Whether it’s a website article or blog post, or even a screenplay, book, short story. Being able to create entire new worlds, and the characters who reside in those worlds in books and screenplays and short stories, and then seeing that people like what they read, is a huge reward for me. One of the best compliments that a writer can have is when someone tells them they feel like the character is real and that they can “see in their mind” what they’re reading. I love to keep people entertained!
Can you talk to us about how your side-hustle turned into something more.
For many years, I worked in advertising for local newspapers and managed office work for various businesses. My “side hustle” was writing short stories for websites, articles for friends’ websites (for free!) or an article here and there for writing mills that barely paid a penny per word for content. I also had my website, Writing Mind, and I wrote articles for my own site.
I was a single parent, and had a job offer in a new city. I packed everything up and my children and I relocated with hardly a penny to my name. I paid a couple of months of rent in advance and did not even have money for groceries or utility bills. A week before the new job started, the employer informed me that I was going to have to go out of town to work for two weeks. As a single parent with no way to hire a daycare or sitter, I knew I had to do something to build my career.
I decided to work for myself. What better way to earn money and be able to be home with my kids? It was quite honestly the scariest career move that I ever made. I was suddenly stalking every writing job post online and submitting samples of my work. It took six months or so before I had a few steady clients. Those were the hardest six months of life for my children and myself as I was barely able to pay rent, buy groceries or pay utilities. I thankfully had a few friends who believed in me, and they certainly helped with making ends meet.
I used to take all the work that I could find in the beginning. If a company offered me two cents a word for an article that would take hours to research for, I would jump at the chance to write. I even wrote many articles for free just to get my name out there. In the beginning, it really helps to get your name to the public and let people see what you can do. While I would not advise anyone to write for free for a business, I would highly suggest starting a website and populating it with your own work so people can see what you can do.
Today, I am so thankful for those who gave me a chance to show them I could help their business if they would hire me to write for their websites. I am thankful for every client I’ve ever had because through writing for them, I learned so much about my industry, the dedication it takes to succeed, and all that goes into creating content.
One of the biggest milestones in the beginning of my career that let me know I was on the right track was an email I received from a client that I had been working with for around 8 months. The email contained enough writing work to last a year. It has now been many, many years since that email and I still write for that client! Their faith in my work was a huge pat on the back for me, and I am still thankful to that business today.
I love the life I have built through writing, and I hope to continue for many years to come. Today, I not only write website content for clients, but I also write short stories, screenplays, and books. I’m currently working on a new book that I hope to have out by the Spring of 2023.
I’ll end by saying that anyone who wants to build a career as a writer should never let anyone dash those dreams. Keep writing, even if only for yourself. It takes many years to perfect a talent, and with hard work and dedication to what you do, dreams do come true!
- Website: http://writingmind.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/angelacaito/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/angelacaitowriting
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/angelacaitowriting/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/AngelaCaito
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/AngelaCaitoWriting
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