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How to Become a Professional Writer

December 31, 2016

How to Become a Professional Writer : Step by Step Career Guide

If you really want to become a professional writer, start now. No matter whether you’re a full-time writer or you have another job that pays the bills, you must create a writing schedule and stick to it. What really matters is that you have SOMETHING to tell, and you do it right. The most important thing is to write. If you leave it for the end of the day, you’ll be too tired to write anything.

You might become a freelance writer at home, or get a writing job, if you have the background, education and experience for it. It takes more than just half an effort to write a high quality non-fiction : article or book ; or fiction: play, story or novel, or poetry that will sell. It takes certain skills that you may develop.

Think about it for a moment – working from home, doing what you love, being your own boss, and becoming a professional writer. Does that sound like your dream job ?

Should I Be a Professional Writer ?

Look inside yourself and analyze your own writing. Discover your strengths and make the most of them. Find your weaknesses and fix them (or avoid them). If you have trouble doing this analysis for yourself, seek the help of other readers or hire professional services.

Do whatever you need to do – read books on the craft of writing, attend lectures when you have the chance, and explore different genres. Read fiction, nonfiction, and magazines. Watch films, and go to exhibitions. Fill yourself with stories and experiences, and you’ll become a better writer.

I used to love writing. People told me to follow my interests so I majored in journalism and after graduation was hired as a copy writer and get paid to do what I enjoyed.

Career Requirements

Using their command of the common language of their audience, writers conceptualize, research, write, and edit polished manuscripts, poems, articles, and other types of written content. In their role, they may work across genres, from nonfiction to poetry, fiction to satire. In a business environment, writers may work as copywriters, technical writers, blog and feature writers, and as editors.

There are numerous different types of writers, such as copywriters, journalists, novelists, web writers and editors. Writing professionals are broadly employed in different industries, ranging from academia to business, journalism to entertainment. It’s a unique occupation, as a majority of writers are self-employed (approximately two-thirds). Along with superior writing skills, it often falls upon writers to do exhaustive research when writing, so they must have superior research skills as well. They may be called upon to parse data and find the story within that data and write about it, so they should be able to understand data and data sets.

Steps to Be a Professional Writer

Select a Professional Path

Before embarking on an academic or career choice, prospective writers should decide on a specialty. Do they want to write fiction as an author? Are they poetically inclined and desire a career as poet? Do they want see their words make it to the big screen as a screenwriter? Are they interested in marketing and want to work as a web writer ?

When getting started, think about the type of writing you want to do, more than the industry itself. That can help guide the decision about what type of education to pursue.

Get A Writing Education

There are two types of writing training: formal and informal. Formal training includes completing a degree program at the undergraduate or graduate level. Some writers choose either an associate degree in English or a bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis in writing or creative writing, while others may choose a journalism degree. Beyond attending a traditional degree program, writers need to write.

Prospective writers can develop a portfolio while they attend school. Submitting pitches to publications, and writing articles on “spec” (for free), and writing for the college newspaper are three great ways to gain experience and familiarity with the publishing industry.

Complete An Internship

Professional writers in fields such as business, marketing and healthcare can benefit from completing an internship. Internships provide students with experience, applying their classroom-based knowledge in real-world projects. Whether it is copywriting or journalism, future writers can hone their craft and develop new skills by completing an internship while in college.

After completing a degree program, writers can seek out full-time writing positions in their respective industries. For individuals who want to become authors, poets and screenwriters, the road is slightly more challenging. Typically, their path includes writing a novel, collection of poems or screenplays, attempting to secure an agent, and selling their work to a publishing firm. It can be a long road that takes dedication and persistence.

Start Today

A writing plan is very similar to a business plan. It’s a road map that helps you go through the long (and sometimes hard) book writing process. Once you know your novel’s main topic, analyze whether you need to document it yourself, read similar books to the one you want to write and ask yourself why they are (or are not) successful, think about your potential readers, and study the publishing market (publishing houses, agents, self-publishers, etc.).

It’s very important that you have a deep knowledge of the publishing world and are able to calculate how many weeks it’ll take you to complete each step of your project. Short- and mid-term goals will make the process feasible and much more manageable.

Once you have started writing your novel, consider creating a blog or at least a social media profile where you can publish information about your work. This doesn’t mean you must sacrifice writing time for the sake of networking. Being active on the internet can be something you do to have fun and relax at the end of the day.

Believe in Yourself

This is very important. You’re a writer because you write. Whether right or wrong, you put one word after the other. So look at your reflection in the mirror and say out loud, “I am a writer!” Say it with conviction. If you don’t believe in yourself, why should anyone else. This is now your job, and you must believe in it unconditionally.

You need people who will support you and your project. This doesn’t mean they should constantly tell you how wonderful you are or how well you write. Criticism, if constructive, can be very useful. However, you must avoid the company of those you can’t rely on and those who make you feel insecure for they’ll hinder your progress. Stay away from them and believe in yourself.

Writing Tips

Start writing! Seriously, the more you write, the better you'll get. Read lots and find some friends who are also thinkers/readers/writers to talk about your interests with. If possible, join a writers group.

  • Be Patient when you Write
  • Start Writing Today & Give Your 100%
  • Be Motivated & Never Give Up
  • Read More Articles, Books, Novels etc.
  • Do your Research
  • Think About Ideas

Don’t Give Up

I want to be a writer when I grow up. See what's hot to read and what's not so hot. You must find (or create) a need or strongly felt desire to read your words, thoughts and mental pictures... Knowing what others will find interesting will make your writing better and help you to create "demand" for more! You would probably need to specialize in one kind of work and an area of real interest or knowledge. Once you've established the basics of your purpose for writing, then read good works of your genre (kind of written work) that have won awards, for inspiration and to learn as much as you can about what you should include in your work to create a product that is in demand, and you will "supply" the market with your skills.

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get it right the first time. Just find out where you have failed, and try again. This is an endurance race. When it comes to writing, you need to remember that perseverance is even more important than talent. If this is your dream, go for it !

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