FW500 Following My Dreams
by Shari Armstrong
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I can say without doubt that finding FaithWriters three years ago changed my life. We had a surprise pregnancy the year before. In August of 2004, I lost my job and the next day started early contractions. I was then put on partial bed rest and medication until our son was born in December. In January, I started searching for a way to make some money from home, as it would be difficult to find work as a nanny again and be able to bring both kids with me. I didn't want to go back to teaching and put our children in daycare.
Dead end after dead end, I decided to pursue a dream I'd had for years – to be published. A friend of mine had started doing freelance writing and managed to find a publisher for a series of youth novels. I decided to see what I could find on-line. In a search for Christian freelance writing, I found FaithWriters. I looked over the site, liked what I saw and registered. The first thing I did was enter the Writing Challenge (the topic was Birthdays). Much to my surprise, I placed 3rd in beginners! I then continued to explore the site and discovered the forums and support of everyone there was amazing. The fact that people who weren't family (but have since become family) actually thought what I wrote was good, gave me the confidence I needed to actually follow my dream.
I read about the FW500 and wanted to sign up, but didn't feel right spending the money each month, as my husband was already working two jobs to just keep our heads above water. The only income I had was a very part-time job teaching calligraphy at a local fabric store. I eventually made enough to get the
Private Message Service, and paid for it with my “own money”.
Within a couple weeks, I got a lead on a writing job that sounded interesting. It was non-paying, but I agreed to do it for the experience. They sent me the topic and before I even finished writing it, they offered me a paid assignment as well. It was my best paid single article to date. I wrote some more for them about a year later.
Not long after that, I got an e-mail from FaithWriters telling me that someone had sponsored me to the FW500. Needless to say, I was so thankful. I started finding some paid work, both writing and basic editing for people. I was finally able to start making enough that I decided to sponsor someone else to pass on the blessing. Then I got an e-mail that my sponsor was no longer able to sponsor me, so I picked up my own payments as well. God has always provided and made sure the money was in my account to pay for both memberships.
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Cool links! ;)
Awesome. Looks like I have a lot to look forward to!
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