WriterSanctuary Hits 10 Years

10 Years of WriterSanctuary! Where Do I Go from Here?

Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank

December 13th marks 10 years of WriterSanctuary.com. Well, at least the first time I published a post back in 2012. And over the last decade, a lot has changed for me as a writer. Considering where I started and where I am today, I’m eager to see what the next 10 years have in store.

To be honest, I never thought I would be where I am today a decade ago. In the beginning, I just wanted to see if I could supplement some of my income from the school district.

Seriously, $8 per hour wasn’t a lot to support a family.

How WriterSanctuary Started 10 Years Ago

I began my journey as a writer shortly after closing down my computer repair shop. It was a perfect storm of failures that culminated in losing a great deal of myself in addition to my business.

January 1st of 2012 marked the day that I decided to try my hand at writing online. A little over a year later, I was able to quit my full-time job at the school district and focus purely on writing in general.

I essentially break down the entire story in my book, A Freelancer’s Tale.

A Freelancer’s Tale

This is the story of how I got started using nothing but content mills and built myself up to the point of writing full-time, all while dealing with one of the worst depressions of my life. Never give up, never surrender!

Using Content Mills

I began with Textbroker to see how difficult it would be to write articles for clients. I’ve always been a writer in some regard and figured it would be a good place to start. As I progressed, I expanded into a variety of other platforms to increase my workload.

When I started writing, I was working full-time as a network tech for the school district making $8 per hour. The goal was to surpass that amount and quit my job.

At one point, I would have Textbroker, WriterAccess, and Fiverr opened in different browsers. Then, I would hop from one to another throughout the day completing any work that was available.

Eventually, I had so much work coming to me from Textbroker that I didn’t need the other platforms.

Expanded Into Blogging for the Last 10 Years

As I was writing for content mills, I decided to blog about my experiences. It was a two-part reason: a) perhaps I could help others in their own writing journey, and b) it was good practice to fine-tune my writing ability.

Apparently, I had a serious problem with commas and superfluous language. So, anytime editors would point out what I did wrong, I would take to Google and figure out what I needed to fix. Then, I would put those fixes into practice on the blog.

That’s why when you look at my first-ever post on WriterSanctuary.com, it’s a bit cringey. And yes, I’ve kept all of my “journal” entries available over the last decade.

Today, I work on several primary blogs with a couple that are more of afterthoughts. The blogs bring in more than enough from AdSense alone to pay for hosting.

Growing My List of Private Clients

A few years after starting with content mills (yes, I used them full-time and made a better living than at the school district), I began working with private clients.

And although Textbroker will always have a special place in my heart as to how I got started, I rarely access the site today. That’s because private clients pay me far more than I ever made on content mills.

In 2017, I started working very closely with GreenGeeks Web Hosting, and in 2019, became the Content Marketing Team Lead. This means far more responsibilities, but far less writing in general.

Still, I have other clients who pay me well for creating content for their websites.

Started the YouTube Channel

In 2018, my good friend, Chris Desatoff, convinced me that I should make YouTube videos about using Textbroker. Apparently, after more than 5,500 completed orders with only three rejections, I am seen as a bit of an expert.

I’ve dabbled a bit with YouTube for more than 10 years with various ideas. But I really didn’t have a solid plan or a purpose. Well, until Chris talked me into uploading those first few videos.

In the beginning, the YouTube channel was growing at a decent pace. But as I continued, I was using Textbroker less and less. Today, I tend to focus more on self-publishing and blogging.

So began the downward spiral of the YouTube channel. Now, the videos are rarely shown in the Suggested column and I have a fraction of viewers every week.

A lot of things contribute to this, though. I’m not as consistent as I used to be, the algorithm for YouTube is less forgiving, and my niche isn’t overly popular.

However, I still love doing Monday night live streams and will continue to make videos for those who watch them. I’m not looking to make that mad YouTube money…just help people find their own writing paths.

Published My First Book

In November of 2021, I published my first book, A Freelancer’s Tale. As the book is incredibly niche, I never thought about it as being a money maker. The audience is too narrow.

Nonetheless, the book did serve its primary purpose: getting me introduced to self-publishing and what it takes to get a book on my shelves behind me. And I learned a lot during the process.

Currently, I’m working on my next book, which is a dark fantasy novel. It’s actually the first in a planned series as the story is just too big to cram into one book.

With any luck, it’ll be available in January or February.

Today’s Purpose of WriterSanctuary.com

Although it started as a simple journal sharing my experiences, this website has grown quite a bit over the last 10 years. I’ve incorporated all of the different paths for writing I’ve experienced.

Unfortunately, this kind of makes it more difficult to rank on Google for specific keywords. As I deal with all forms of writing, websites that focus purely on something like self-publishing exclusively are prioritized in search.

Yet, I’ll continue to do what I do and hopefully help a few people along the way.


Blogging has great potential for a myriad of purposes. From small businesses to authors, it’s all about getting yourself out there to the general public. When properly used as a marketing tool, the blog can vastly increase your income.

With blogging comes the most popular content management system on the Internet, WordPress. So, I’ll obviously share a few things you can do with WordPress such as showing book progress bars and contact forms.

However, I need to be careful as to what WordPress content I create. I wouldn’t want to compete with certain clients, which then creates a conflict of interest.

In any case, blogging is one of my favorite pastimes and it’s helped me make quite a bit of money, especially over the last couple of years.


Since I was nine years old, I’ve wanted to be a writer. I remember hammering out random stories on my grandpa’s old, 1940s-style typewriter over the weekends. I even submitted a manuscript to Double Day when I was 12.

Unfortunately, I wouldn’t have the opportunity nor faith in myself to publish a book until 34 years later.

The aspect of self-publishing isn’t as bad as many might think. Sure, it doesn’t have the “prestige” of having a publishing house’s label on your book, but it does entail a lot more focus and responsibility.

In fact, I have more respect for indie authors and self-publishers simply because of the hard work it entails.

Freelance Writing

Although most of my workload today centers around blogging and publishing, I still try to help those who want to make money as freelance writers. Because regardless of what some people might tell you, freelancers can make a decent living.

In fact, according to ZipRecruiter, freelance writers make an average of $33 per hour.

If you line up a few good clients, you could easily make more than six figures every year writing from home. But it will take a lot of work to get to that point.

What Do the Next 10 Years Look Like?

Over the past decade, I have expanded greatly across a variety of platforms. I’ve done a lot of awesome things and met some amazing people. I suppose when all is said and done, I would like more of the same.

In 2012, the only concern I had was to offset my meager income from the school district. Well, I’ve done that and then some!

But if I had to set goals for the next 10 years, I guess I would start with:

Getting a Real Office Space!

Having a home office isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, it can weigh you down if you don’t have much of a social life. Not to mention when your life is as chaotic as mine, a home office is nearly futile.

I miss “going to work,” office parties, and interacting with people at the gas station when I grab a cup of coffee. I’m sorry, but social media isn’t really “social.” It’s the human interaction that I miss.

Sure, there are videos-a-plenty showing the bottom of the barrel in terms of humanity. But I still think people are, on average, good at their core.

In any event, I believe having an external office space will have a major influence on my mental stability and productivity. For one thing, I won’t view my bedroom with dread as I no longer have a sanctuary from work.

Publishing More Books

I’m currently working on my second book and have plans for three more in 2023. Although I’m a successful freelance writer, I thrive on utilizing my creativity.

I don’t know if I’ll purely focus on fiction going forward. After all, my first book is more of an autobiography and I love helping people who want to do what I do.

Regardless of the genre or niche, I plan on publishing far more books over the next 10 years.

Do you know that I can whip out more than 20,000 words per week but only about 5% is spent on my next book or being creative? You know what? That’s going to be a new study for 2023…how many words do I write across all projects.

Yep, time to make some edits to my spreadsheet for next year.

Building Up All of the Blogs

I’ll undoubtedly keep working on all of my blogs. Sure, it would be awesome if they generated the 10s of thousands of dollars some “experts” claim on YouTube. But I just find it fun and relaxing.

As I’ve said before, I am driven more by the fact that I help people than by the amount of money a blog can make. If I was keen on turning a dime, I would produce more lists and have far more affiliate programs on the sites.

Don’t get me wrong, I still try to earn what I can through different platforms. I’m just not driven by wanting to drive a Bugatti or live in a $10-million mansion.

Doing More with YouTube

This past year hasn’t been the best for the YouTube channels. Especially since it seems like YouTube is burying WriterSanctuary down deep in the compost pile. Yet, I do have several people who watch and appreciate the body of work.

Over the next 10 years, I would love to see what I can do with the channels. The hardest part is coming up with time. As I do virtually everything myself, it can take anywhere from two to six hours to produce and upload a single video.

In that time, I can write one to three decently sized blog posts or write out two or three chapters in my next book.

Because YouTube doesn’t play a role in my monthly income or reach a large audience, it’s just not that much of a priority for me, I suppose. With everything I have going on, I have to prioritize the vitals.

This means books and blogs come first. Well, after the clients, anyway.

However, I do plan on doing far more with the YouTube channels over the next few years. Besides, you can’t expect anything to grow if you don’t put in the effort to grow it.

A Lot Can Happen in the Meantime…

The thing is, a lot can happen over the next decade. As a wise Jedi Master said, “Always in motion, the future is.”

What this means is that I can make all of the plans I want for the next 10 years as a writer. It doesn’t mean I’ll come anywhere near those goals. I could become far greater than I could possibly imagine. Or, I could give up and start waiting tables.

My point is that you’ll never know what is going to happen until you start walking the path. Something could change in drastic ways that opens doors you never thought possible.

But doing nothing more than wishing and dreaming is not the way to find out.

Are There Any Regrets Over the Last 10 Years?

Overall, I don’t really have a lot of regrets over the last decade. Everything I’ve been through and all of my decisions has culminated in a career and lifestyle that makes me happy.

In the end, that’s all that really matters.

However, there are a few things that have negatively influenced my level of success. And these are things that I wish I would have addressed differently.

Not Taking Myself More Seriously as a Freelancer

Sure, I’ve made a lot of money from content mills. Actually, I often miss covering a wide array of topics for many different clients. But I wish I would have taken myself a bit more seriously as a professional in the beginning.

In this case, I mean signing a few private clients sooner than I did.

I didn’t get my first serious client until five years after I started as a freelance writer. I might have made a great deal more money over the last decade. Nonetheless, I’m incredibly happy with the ones I have now, so, it’s not necessarily an overly regretful thing.

I just often wonder where I would be today if I had taken myself more seriously as a professional writer earlier on.

Not Having More Faith in My Abilities as an Author

I’ve been writing stories here and there since I was nine years old. But I never had faith that they were any good or that I could make something out of storytelling.

According to most people in my life, though, that was a gross misconception of myself.

If I would have pushed through and taken my writing seriously 35 years ago, who knows where I could have been today? Now that I’m 46, I feel like a huge chunk of my life was wasted by not putting in the effort to become an author.

Well, it’s better late than never, I suppose. I don’t dwell too much on wasting time, though. Sure, I regret not putting in the effort. But the fact that I’m doing so now means the next 35 years will be something else entirely.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what I can create over the next decade.

Not Putting as Much Effort Into the Blogs

Another of the more prominent regrets over the last 10 years is not putting the same amount of effort into my blogs as I do for my clients. While they are continuing to grow slightly every year, they could have been far more popular.

And probably generating a damn site more money.

This all ties into not taking myself as seriously as I do for paying clients. I’m not sure why that is, though it might have a lot to do with impostor syndrome. When you don’t feel worthy of success, it can have all kinds of negative effects.

Despite all this, however, I still get the occasional comment about how I helped someone. For me, that’s worth a great deal. So, I wouldn’t ever call my blogs a “failure.” I just wish I would have spent more time properly cultivating them.

Not Having an Office Space…

At this moment in time, not having an actual office space is probably the more debilitating. Instead of viewing my bedroom as a sanctuary, I stress because it’s viewed as my “workspace.”

Now, I know a lot of people out there who are completely capable of separating the two. Unfortunately, I’m not one of them. I feel like I’m tethered to my room all day long.

Probably because I am.

Being stuck in a room as a writer for the past 10 years hasn’t been the easiest to manage. It partially led to my collapse in 2016, which is explained a bit in my book.

Yes, I love my job and the content I create. But not having an office space separate from my home plays a number on my mental state.

Though, this is one of the things I hope to rectify in the coming months. I have quite a few ideas and plans set in motion to help me accomplish this, so, let’s keep our fingers crossed.

The Last 10 Years Have Been Amazing!

It hasn’t been the easiest road to travel, especially considering how much I’ve lost personally over the past three years. Yet, being a writer has been an amazing journey. I’ve done things and accomplished goals I never thought possible.

If I accomplish half of what I have planned for the next 10 years, it’s going to be an even more incredible ride.

This is a testament to what you can do if you never give up on hopes and dreams. Sure, things might take a bit longer than you’d like. But that doesn’t mean they never will.

Motivation, dedication, and perseverance are keys to any kind of success.

When all is said and done, it comes down to having a body of work you can be proud of creating. And I can say that I am quite proud of where I am today compared to where I was in 2012.

Keep walking the path. It may be dark right now, but you’ll eventually come out of the tunnel to see a wondrous world around you.

Michael Brockbank
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