How I’m Writing My Way to Freedom

By Corey Wilks

In late 2020, I got fired. Long story short, I was working as a therapist doing remote telehealth and my employer decided they only wanted in-person staff.

So my job was on the chopping block.

It sucked, and I felt betrayed. But it was the kick in the ass I needed. I was burnt out working in the American healthcare system and all the barriers that simultaneously make it harder for people to seek therapy and hamstring therapists from helping people.

I’d felt trapped for years, but I got paid just enough to avoid questioning it too hard. Without the safety net of a regular paycheck keeping me handcuffed to an unfulfilling job, I had the time (and existential crisis) to get hyper-clear on what mattered most to me.

So I did some soul-searching and realized my Core Value–the single-most-important value that a life well-lived must include for me–is freedom.

Why does this matter?

Because every goal, idea, or opportunity has the potential to get you one step closer to–or one step further away from–a life aligned with your Core Value.

Being a therapist no longer aligned with my Core Value of Freedom.

So I made the decision to leave the therapy world permanently and become an entrepreneur (without any business background).

Entrepreneurship represented freedom.

So I invested thousands of dollars and months of my life to get certified to do executive coaching (collecting more techniques on top of the 12 years I’d spent getting a doctorate in psychology) and was ready to go out and conquer the world with all my newfangled skills.

But then I hit a brick fucking wall…

I had no idea how to get clients, position myself in my niche (let alone know what my niche was), build an audience, put my ideas out into the world, and knew virtually no one outside the therapy world I’d decided to leave behind.

I was sitting on a powder keg of potential with no way to light the fuse…

Alignment and Serendipity

Around this time, I started getting job offers to come back to do therapy.

One offered six figures–more than I made at my last job. Plus, the way the job was structured, meant it was easy money. I was broke, had no safety net of a fat savings account, and had never made money outside a salaried or hourly paycheck.

Hard to pass up, right?

So I asked myself:

Does this get me one step closer to–or one step further away from–a life aligned with my Core Value of Freedom?

Despite the money, taking the job meant spending 40-60 hours a week working for someone else (instead of working on my own stuff), drowning in bureaucratic red tape, and going right back to the industry I was burnt out on.

Taking the job meant taking a step further away from the life I wanted to build.

I realized I could make more money, but I couldn’t make more time.

Whatever time I spent on opportunities like this one, no matter how much money, was time (aka, units of my life) I would never get back.

So I passed.

I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do, but wasn’t sure how to do it.

So I took a chance and enrolled in my first non-college writing course: Write of Passage.

I met a ton of awesome people and learned incredible frameworks to use writing as a vessel to help people improve their lives.

But after five weeks, Write of Passage, and all its magic, dried up.

See, the beauty of cohort-based courses (CBCs) like Write of Passage is also their downfall.

For those five weeks, you’re building incredible momentum and absolutely crushing it. You’re surrounded by cool people helping you improve your writing, giving feedback, and cheering you on.

It’s intoxicating.

Then it ends and you feel hungover and cast out into a dark alley to fend for yourself.

I’d spent the last five weeks surrounded by peers–other writers who understood me, understood the craft of writing, and relentlessly supported each other.

I couldn’t go back to thinking, writing, and publishing in isolation.

Thankfully, I heard a few WOP alumni talking about this thing called Foster. “It’s where a lot of us go after the CBC ends to stay connected, hold each other accountable, and keep helping each other improve our writing.”

Sign me the fuck up now, I thought.

Foster was exactly what I needed–a collective of intelligent, ambitious writers and editors dedicated to helping each other level up.

Because when you write in a vacuum, you publish into the void.

Foster is a collective so you never feel alone.

You’ve heard the adage, “It takes a village to raise a child.”

Well, it takes a collective to raise a kickass final draft.

Igniting the Powder Keg of Potential

My writing focuses on the psychology of flourishing, fulfillment, and what gets in our way.

Through writing, I’ve positioned myself as a coach who helps entrepreneurs be more intentional with how they live, work, and create.

Through writing, I’ve attracted incredible opportunities like working with Ali Abdaal, collaborating on a paid newsletter with Tim Stoddart, getting on the Modern Wisdom podcast, and being invited to write for Psychology Today.

Through writing, I’ve built courses that have generated more revenue in a single month than I made all year as an intern.

I’m slowly writing my way to freedom.

So can you.

How Will You Write Your Way to Freedom?

Everything I do now, and everything I’ve built since getting fired in 2020, is predicated on my ability to write well.

Writing is a foundational skill for everything else you do with your life and your business.

You can choose from obvious paths like ghostwriting, freelancing, or writing books.

Or you can think outside the box:

  • Want to make YouTube videos? Learn how to write a script.
  • Want to start a podcast? Learn how to write outreach emails.
  • Want to sell your products or services? Learn copywriting.

Fundamentally, writing is about communication–about transferring knowledge, skills, or experiences from one person to another.

But until you learn to write well, through feedback and iteration, you’ll never be able to communicate the value you have to give to the world.

If you feel like you’re sitting on a powder keg of potential, with no way to light the fuse, Foster just might be the spark you’re looking for.


Foster offers world-class editing and collaboration for every type of writer and team. Learn more here, or apply to become a contributor.

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