This Single Mom Quit Her Day Job in 3 Months Thanks to Freelance Writing

Imagine waking up to your own schedule and starting the day off on your own terms. Freelance writing can give you the ability to be your own boss and make a living from your passion. But, as luck would have it, you’re stuck at a job that doesn’t inspire you and all you want to do is quit your 9-5 job and work from home.

Writeto1k course student Cheri never imagined that she would make a living from writing in only three short months of deciding she wanted a new life. Let’s find out the steps she took to reach her end goal hella fast!

What does your ideal life look like? For me, it’s pretty simple – setting my own hours, working from home, deciding my own income, and taking off on a road trip whenever I feel the urge…

This Single Mom Quit Her Day Job in 3 Months Thanks to Freelance Writing

And guess what?

I’m living it!

Hard to believe, right? But a year ago, I was sitting in my office at the nonprofit company I worked for, daydreaming about working from home and making more money. Now, don’t get me wrong – my job wasn’t bad at all. In fact, from my family’s and friends’ view, I was pretty darn lucky. I had a decent paycheck, a 401K, and a pretty flexible schedule.

The problem was, I always felt like I was missing something.

Maybe I was just a little rebellious, but even as far back as junior high, I knew I never wanted to work for someone else. I always looked for careers I could eventually do on my own, but I never imagined being able to do anything without a degree.

So I majored in accounting. I know…ick. I thought I would eventually become a CPA and run my own business. But less than a year into working for a local firm, I realized it wasn’t for me.

Enter Freelance Writing

Since I wanted to be self-employed, I spent a lot of time scouring the internet for things I could do on the side. I tried a lot of them out over the years, like direct sales and online selling. I even made a little cash with some of my ventures.

But nothing quite resonated with me like freelance writing. I loved to write and I loved the idea of getting paid to be creative. But, like most, I had no idea where to start.

I began by following some freelance writing blogs I found, such as Careful Cents, Freelance Writing ,and Writers in Charge. And I got a lot of really great information.

But when I came across Elna’s blog, something about her story and her writing style made me want to stick around. So I took a leap of faith and hired her as a coach, and later enrolled in her Write Your Way to Your First 1K freelance writing course.

Setting Big Goals

I must admit, I was a little slow to start. Like turtle pace slow. Like one pitch a week slow.

But Elna kept nudging me along and encouraging me to set goals and dream big.

So I did.

At the end of November, I set a big goal to quit my job by January the following year, giving me a little over a year to build up my client list. I made up my mind that as soon as I replaced my income with freelance writing, I would turn in my notice.

That same month, Elna hosted a pitching challenge in her private Facebook group. Since I knew that landing gigs was a little bit of a numbers game in the beginning, I saw this as the perfect opportunity to get a writing job under my belt. And you know what?

I landed four freelance writing jobs!

I didn’t win the challenge, but I didn’t care. I had finally scored my first writing assignments and felt like I was on top of the world.

That gave me the confidence to keep pitching and keep landing clients. I had a full workload faster than I ever imagined!

The Day My Life Changed Forever

I often say that finding Elna’s blog and her course changed my life, and it did, but the day I knew my life was about to change forever was the day I realized I had actually earned as much from freelance writing as I had from my day job.

I can’t remember how I reacted. I may have blacked out a little. Because this day didn’t come as scheduled.

It came 9 months early!

In only 3 short months I was able to learn the right tools and best practices about freelance writing, pitch my little heart out and land enough work to quite my 9-5 job for good.

Because I wanted to make sure I could consistently earn the income I needed, I waited a couple of months to turn in my notice.

It was one of the most gratifying days of my life.

To Conclude

Today, I’ve been a full-time freelance writer for 3 months, and I’m living the life of my dreams.

Is it perfect? Heck no! Some days, I think about throwing in the towel and going back to a “real job” because I work harder and longer than I ever have. But the bottom line is this: There is nothing in this world I would rather do!

What I hope you understand is that you CAN do this! Don’t let anyone tell you it’s dumb to leave a “secure” job to chase your dreams. The money you can make with freelance writing is virtually unlimited, and there is literally never a shortage of demand for your skills.

But that’s enough about me. What’s holding you back from chasing your dream of becoming a freelance writer?

Leave a Reply


Hi Cheri and Elna! This so inspiring! Gives me a lot of hope as I really contemplate diving into freelance writing this year. I think I need to set an ambitious goal like that for myself. I get so scared of the unknown. I have the textbook definition of imposter syndrome and analysis paralysis. Like Jenny above, I feel that as a non-native English speaker, people would not hire me. But from Cheri’s answer I can see, that is all in my head. I have got to do this. Thank you so much for writing this post. It gives me a lot of hope.Reply to Jane
Wow! It is sooo inspiring. How I wish I could do the same. My DREAM! This is my dream, to be able to work from home and personally take care of my child. I have a 7month old child and every day, I dreaded leaving her for work. For months, I’ve been searching over the internet on how I can earn from home and ditch my day job which robs me 11 hours a day away from my family. Currently, I teach English during the night but my side income could barely cover my internet connection bill and power bill combined. And so it’s quite frustrating. I finally found hope when I stumbled upon this blog. But the question I have right now is, is it possible for me to be successful in this area and land a career out of writing? I’m from an Asian country and I’m afraid good opportunities are only teeming in the US? Oh I would love to hear both from you Cheri and Elna. Thanks for your time.Reply to Jeany
Hi Jenny! In reading your comment, it looks like your English grammar and spelling are very good. I don’t imagine you would have any trouble landing writing gigs. There are lots of people from other countries like Bamidele Onibalusi who make very good money in this biz from other countries. Most ads don’t require you to be from the US. Just to have a good grasp of the English language. My advice is to take a good course like Elna’s and get started immediately. I would love to see every Mom have the option to see her kids more!Reply to Cheri
Hi Jenny! I’m so happy you found some useful posts on this blog to help you! Make sure to check out my course tab for some other great training!Reply to Elna
Cheri’s story just added some fuel to the fire haha. I landed my first client a few pitches in and I’m totally ready to land some more. A three month achievement for a full-time income is crazy fast!! Hats off to Cheri and you Elna for helping all this happen! 🙂Reply to Vivian
Hi Cheri, This is so inspiring! Your story sounds very similar to mine, so I hope I get the same results and outcome. Thank you for sharing your journey with us, and thank you Elna for featuring such a great story on your blog!Reply to Alexis
How incredibly motivating and inspiring! I am dying to be able to work from home! I really think freelance writing is one of the ways I can get there. I joined the challenge group and I’m really excited! Thanks for sharing! AmandaReply to Amanda-LivingFullyandFree
Hi Amanda, Cheri’s story is truly inspirational! So happy she was able to share her story with my readers 🙂Reply to Elna
That’s why I love working from home. It allows me to work from home AND earn more money than I ever did with my old 9 to 5 job.Reply to William
Very inspiring and Congratulations! That is fantastic! I am just starting out, haven’t even considered freelance writing other than my blog, but I love writing. I’m excited for you!Reply to Liz-singlemomconquers
Thank you, Liz! I’m really enjoying my new life!Reply to Cheri
What an amazing success story! TRUE freedom is the ability to choose what you want to do and who you want to be!Reply to Natasha
Hi Natasha! You’re right about that! It took me a long time to figure out what I did want to do so I’m happy to be where I am!Reply to Cheri
Hi Cheri & Elna, Love this post! Sooo motivating! Elna, I really can’t imagine how you’ve managed with twins when I don’t find the time to create a website! Do you drug them? If yes, can I borrow from your stash? 😉 My nine-month-old refuses to sleep most days, and naps for like 15 minutes! Plus, he just wants to play with ‘Mommy’ all the time, instead of his toys. Very challenging to find the time to take a shower even! Lol Venting session over.Reply to Rebecca
Hi Rebecca! I’m with you on that. My kids are 25 and 16 so I don’t typically have the challenges that come along with having kids in the house. But I do sometimes keep my grandbaby and I don’t know how anyone gets any work done that way! I’m certainly in awe of all that Elna accomplishes with toddlers at home, but she’s proof that it CAN be done. So, don’t give up!Reply to Cheri
Hey Rebecca! Since I have twins it’s a bit easier because they can “play” together. Their thing is making a camping site in their room, so they spend like 10 minutes hauling all their stuffies and blankets and pillows into the room. Grab a flashlight and goof around for another 20 minutes. This gives me blocks of 20-30 minutes while they are up to check email, comments and social media. Oh, and of course they love Paw Patrol so at least once or twice a day they watch a 20 minute episode of that. It’s only when they sleep that I can actually work!Reply to Elna
Hi Cheri, it’s awesome to read your story! I’m still struggling myself, lol. I’ve been pitching for a month or so now, about 3-5 pitches per day. But I’ve only landed one paid gig. The problem with me is, I’m not sure what niche to go into. I thought travel is good, so I pitched to travel blogs. I was actually accepted by 2 blogs. However, I realized the pay is too low for the amount of research and work I had to do. In the end, I had to give them up; didn’t get paid since they didn’t publish my work. I also realized travel writing isn’t for me. Then I wanted to go into personal development and it’s such a huge area I’m struggling again with niche-ing! *bangs head against wall* I settled on psychology and pitched local psychologists but no bites. I’d thought to apply for parenting blogs also, but they are mostly US-based. I’ve read through posts and though some are generic advice, I sense that such blogs are better written by someone who’s familiar with American culture (TV shows, Kardashians, Netflix etc). So since I’m not from US, I cannot quite relate, much less write. So now… I’m like… what do I do? Lol. Guess I have to keep on figuring this out… But I have a deadline too. March 2017. Haha~Reply to June
Hi June! Yes…what Elna said! I call myself a finance and digital marketing writer, but my 2 biggest clients are a photographer and an essential oils brand. So, like Elna says, pitch to anything and everything you feel even remotely qualified to write about. There is usually some little way you can relate to almost any niche. Good luck and keep pitching!Reply to Cheri
Hey June! Yeah, the goal is to find that niche you LOVE to write about, but that also pays the bills right? In my Writeto1k course I let new writers know that in the beginning, you’re going to write about things you don’t want to (or like to) write about. My first gig was writing about auto insurance and gas prices. Yuck! I’m sorry but I’m not a fan of either of those topics. But it paid well and it helped me build my portfolio up (even though I don’t write in the automotive niche anymore). I say pitch to anything and everything that you are remotely interested in, connected on Twitter with small business owners and influencers and I’m sure something will come up soon! You’d be a great candidate for the course however. We have a very international Facebook group and I’m sure those writers can point you to how they landed some gigs (I think a lot of them went local first). Good luck!Reply to Elna
I so want this to be my story, although I’m a step ahead on the finances bit (had some savings to get me out of my 9-5). I’d best get to pitching! Elna, yours is one of the first blogs I found when starting my freelance journey, and I need to get back to regularly checking in for a kick in the rear toward my end goals! Thanks for the insight, and a ton more.Reply to Erynn
You are way ahead of me if you have a little savings. It was the right time for me to take the leap, even without a ton of savings, but it definitely would be much easier to have something to fall back on in the beginning. Good luck on your journey. It’s totally possible!Reply to Cheri
Hi Erynn! I know right? Cheri’s story is so inspiring and amazing, isn’t it? Thanks so much for letting me know that you enjoy my blog 🙂 I try hard to deliver top quality posts and sometimes it’s a challenge now that my twins are battling their sleep!Reply to Elna
Thank you for sharing your story. It is quite motivating to see that others are actually doing it and it can really happen when you stay determined and encouraged. I’m happy for you and your success.Reply to Lorin
Hey Lorin! Isn’t it? I know it was for me when Cheri told me your new success! She’s even part of my success stories in my course! It’s so amazing.Reply to Elna
Hi Lorin! Thanks so much! I love my new life and I love for others to know how possible it really is!Reply to Cheri