Susan Lennon MSW, LCSW Content Strategist
Communications Consultant
Specializing in Thought Leadership and B2B/B2C Marketing Communications

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The Freelance Writer's Guide to Selling More Work Faster
The Renegade Writer's Query Letters that Rock, November, 2006
by Susan T. Lennon - Query written for ATA World Magazine; selected by editor

Dear Jennifer,

A couple of months after I earned my first degree Black Belt, I broke my ankle and had a complicating blood clot. In a cast for 12 weeks, and on a blood-thinner for an additional eight, I couldn’t imagine how I’d ever catch up. Worse, I worried that after all those months of forced inactivity, I’d lose my motivation. 

But Taekwondo had taught me to be a problem-solver and a fighter. So I abandoned my defeatist thoughts and found ways to stay involved throughout my recovery – and three years later, I earned my second degree.

As Mr. Robert Ferguson, 6th degree Black Belt, author and motivational coach says, “A setback is simply a set-up for a comeback.” 

 I’d like to write “8 Ways to Maintain Motivation While Recovering from an Injury” for ATA World.

In addition to using my own experience, I’ll talk to sports psychology, motivational, and fitness/martial arts experts like Patrick Cohn, PhD; Joseph J.Kolezynski, MBA, PhD; and others. Practical and affirming tips will include:  

  1. Be physical in other ways (if you can’t kick, punch, and vice versa) – I’ll offer safety tips based on the type of injury
  2. Hook up with someone else in your Do-Jahng who has an injury and drill together – I’ll interview someone who has done this
  3. Use visualization techniques to maintain your Black Belt attitude – I’ll include several techniques
  4. Listen to/read motivational works – I’ll list Taekwondo and other resources
  5. Meditate to stay in the moment – I’ll offer tips from an expert
  6. Read Taekwondo books and rent, borrow, buy videos – I’ll provide suggestions
  7. Go to your Do-Jahng at class time; observe as if you were the teacher – Mr. Ferguson describes how “becoming your own instructor” 
  8. Work on Korean terminology– I will include motivational examples

I’ll also add a sidebar for parents about how they can help their kids stay interested through coaching, working with the instructor, and setting small goals.

 For a bit about me, I’m a Master’s Level Licensed Clinical Social Worker and 2nd Degree Taekwondo Black Belt whose credits include Newsweek, The Washington Post, Health, USA Weekend Magazine, and others.

Thanks, Jennifer! I look forward to hearing back from you.


Note: the book offers Jennifer Lawler's commentary about what made this such a standout.

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