Success Stories

HikingGroup

 

Courage Camp gave me specific tools to revamp my work and they have stuck. The best things I learned were how to zero in on what I want in my work, and how to evaluate my clients. I now only do work I care about for clients I like working with. Seems so obvious but I hadn’t done this on my own. The “goal buddy” system really works. My goal buddy and I talk weekly, telling each other what we’ve accomplished and setting new goals for the next week. That accountability is amazingly motivating and just as important, it makes me take the time to explicitly think “what do I want to do?” and then follow through. — Robin Meadows, 2014

Courage Camp helped me to focus on a clear vision and take freelancing seriously as a business. The collegial and collaborative environment of Courage Camp has also provided me with a supportive network of colleagues that continue to stay in touch and provide a valuable sounding board for flushing out ideas and discussing challenges. — Lesley Evans Ogden, 2014 (read Lesley’s report on the camp for Storyboard here.)

JuliaThe experience made me much more mindful of the choices I’m making and of the great opportunities that are out there if one is ready to grab them. I’m more aware than ever of how fast everything is moving and how much work (and what kind) it takes to stay on track. Camp was a great reality check. Being a good writer isn’t enough…there are lots of good writers out there. You have to be ready and willing to do more than fling words around on the page in order to be successful.  — Jenny Holland, 2014

I use ideas from Courage Camp constantly. Among the ideas I have used most: asking for what I want/need. For instance, I have the confidence to pitch more prestigious and better paying publications. I am no longer shy about negotiating higher fees and better contracts. I have a more realistic sense of what my time is worth, what I want to be doing and who will compensate me decently for it. It’s incredibly empowering to feel like I am in more control of my work and life goals. [My camp goal buddy] and I have been having regular phone calls where we talk through weekly goals for ourselves. — Madeline Ostrander, 2014 (Read Madeline’s report on the camp for the Northwest Science Writers here.) 

Courage Camp taught me to evaluate my clients and projects objectively, and I’ve become better at deciding whether a particular project or client is worth taking on, rather than blindly agreeing to any work. The workshop talks on contracts and finances have also helped me be more assertive when negotiating contracts, and to have a better sense of what kind of work and how much of it I need to do to meet my financial goals. The camp brought together a great group of instructors and freelancers, and it’s been great to stay in touch with everyone and continue to hear about and learn from each other’s experiences. I came back from Courage Camp with a concrete list of things that I could immediately put into practice. Regular check-ins from the instructors and other members of the group have helped keep me motivated and on track. Most importantly, I’ve learned to re-evaluate my goals periodically, and that’s helped me figure out and focus on the things I really care about. — Sandeep Ravindran, 2014

I use the things I learned at Courage Camp every day, even though I ended up in a job a few months later. My most important lessons were to speak up for what I need or feel I deserve. Writing a story for the Chicago Tribune was one of my goals last summer. Now I work here. Another important lesson was to set boundaries. I need to eat. I need to sleep. I need to take care of myself, and set limits on my time. I shouldn’t volunteer for every story, because it’s better to do fewer stories well than do more stories but have sloppy mistakes. Something else I learned from Courage Camp was to look for the angle that isn’t being covered. What can I do that no one else brings to the table? What sets my work apart? — Genevieve Bookwalter, 2014