Writing is something you are passionate about. You know there are people who call themselves “writers”, and now you’ve decided you want to join them. Where do you start?
First, like any career, you have to take it seriously. Maybe you have always enjoyed writing, have consistently kept a journal, or used to write really creative stories, poems, etc. when you were a child. No matter what your background is, if you are serious and have the drive, of course, you can make earning money from writing possible.
Look Around You
If you haven’t got your heart set on a certain writing career already, such as a novel writer, a blogger, or a textbook writer, start looking around you. You will soon find that all types of writing jobs and markets exist, many of which you have probably never considered. There are words everywhere, and somebody had to have written them. Restaurant histories on menus, product descriptions online, email promotions, the possibilities are endless. All you have to do is find the right fit or even a few right fits.
Even if you’re dying to get out of your current full-time job, don’t just get up and quit without having an established income from your writing. This will mean essentially working two jobs at once, but it the end it’ll be worth it.
Start small. One of the best ways to start a writing career is to start online or in print with smaller articles, and then build up to submitting pitches for longer articles and features at better-known publications. Use whatever you can to get your foot in the door to be selected to write a piece. Have insider knowledge? Have a blog? Don’t be afraid to really promote what experience you have, no matter how little.
Assessing and Improving Your Skills
What are you good at and how can it help you to launch a writing career? Are you a people person? You can network and market yourself easily. Are you good at time-management? It will be easier for you to go the freelance route where you can set your own schedule. Can you tell a good story? Hopefully, this is a yes for everyone reading this post, but if you are really creative, then tackling all those plot twists shouldn’t be a problem!
With many careers, there is time set aside for workshops, lectures, meetings, etc. for employees to better themselves. This is more commonly known as professional development and there are many different ways of getting it. You can take a class at your local college. You can join a writing group where you look at others’ work and they look at yours. There are plenty of resources online for improving certain aspects of writing skills, some of which are free.
And, of course, you know what they say: Practice makes perfect. Write every day and it will come even more natural than it already is.
Accept That It Takes Time
Becoming a writer doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a time to build your reputation, build relationships with clients and editors, and to hone your skills. You will get rejected. Many times.
A possible exception of this is if you get hired for a full-time position for a company looking for a writer, copywriter, editor, etc. There are these jobs available of course, but as mentioned earlier, the key is to really sell yourself and any work you have done. Always send samples of your work, even if they aren’t published samples.
Hand in hand with acceptance is persistence. Get inspired by reading some success stories of other writers because many of them started where you are now and it took them many months of hard work to get where they are today. Every person who can call themselves a writer became one through different means and a different path. Yours will emerge with patience, thick skin, and the will to keep submitting ideas to publishers, or to keep writing that next chapter in your book.
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