A countless number of individuals have probably told you that the best way to be a writer is to start writing. Though meant to be motivating, the tip kinda sounds ambiguous, doesn’t it? I mean did the great J.K. Rowling pick up the pieces of her falling-apart life and just start to write out of the blues? Surely there has to be more involved in how to become a successful writer.
If you’re seeking the realistic tit-bits of how to become a writer, you’ve landed at the right place! This article offers a step-by-step guide on how to launch your writing career.
Let’s dive in…
1. Decide on the Kind of Writing You Want to Pursue
When people hear of a writing career, they automatically assume its novel writing. And even when you are a budding writer, everyone tells you to write a book.
However, professional writing is a very broad career and there are many options. And the best part is you’re not limited to only one writing field but that too doesn’t mean you have to be all over the place.
As a new writer, you may opt to narrow your emphasis so that you can perfect your writing skills.
That said, below are the writing professions to launch a career in:
Novelist– writes fiction books
Nonfiction writer– constructs nonfiction guides such as inspirational literature, self-help books, cookbooks etc.
Journalist– constructs pieces for magazines and newspapers. Should have research skills, be able to comply with tight deadlines and give objective opinions.
Columnist– a subjective writer for magazines and newspapers on current trends or issues
Grant writer– constructs documents to assist companies to attain grants
Copywriter– develops marketing content for brands and other firms
Ghostwriter– develops reading material on behalf of other organizations or individuals but takes no credit for the work
Web content writer– construct articles and blog posts for brands and other organizations
Technical writer- converts complex information into deducible material that users of a product or company clients can relate to
2. Look into the Required Credentials (if need be)
Writing can be an indefinite career path compared to others. It’s not like baking or nursing where you study for straightforward credentials.
For writing, however, the necessity of credentials is a debatable topic, particularly depending on the writing field, you want to pursue.
Certificate– Attaining short-term skill-based training is a good way to go if you desire to be a freelance writer.
Associate degree- This credential ideally lasts 2 years and is relevant if you want to launch your career as a website content writer or copywriter.
Bachelor degree- if you’re aspiring to be a nonfiction writer such as a journalist, a Bachelor’s degree might be essential.
PhD- A PhD in creative writing is reserved for those interested in teaching literature or writing at the tertiary learning level.
3. Search for Writing Opportunities
Numerous online and print publication companies often tend to employ new or developing writers. Making applications at such places will offer you the chance to establish your portfolio. Also just like any career, writing has its fair share of rejection. As an upcoming writer, you need to be equipped on how to handle rejection.
You’d be inspired to find that many successful writers got their piece of the rejection pile.
4. Develop a Writer Website
LinkedIn is an awesome platform to showcase your writing experience, previous publications (if any) and maintain a dominant social media existence where you update your profile by posting your latest pieces.
A writer website is like a game card. It ensures that when editors, publishers or any potential employer in the writing industry looks you up, they will see what a dedicated writer you are.
5. Enrol into Writing Platforms
Joining a writing group has its perks: many platforms post writing opportunities to help you get started and also offer the chance to meet other new writers who share your challenges. Additionally, the proficient writers who’ve been in the industry for a while can advise on how they made it.
6. Continue Practicing your Writing Skills
The interesting thing about writing is you’ll never stop learning. You’ll need to continuously improve your craft, just like a runner never stops running even after they win millions of dollars in a race.
Read publications about writing– If you dream of being a journalist or a novelist, read books made by successful journalists or novelists. Well-constructed craft books provide a wealth of knowledge you can refer to as many times as you desire.
Develop writing consistency– A successful writer continuously improves their skills like time management, organization and writing turnover. Create non-negotiable writing time and make use of your most favourable time of the day to write. Also, create realistic writing goals and invest in writing tools such as a good laptop and proper access to the internet.
7. Begin the Writing Journey
To convert your writing into a life-long career, you need to get started in a reasonable purpose-oriented manner.
The steps shared above help to ensure that you don’t just write without a plan but create momentum for a fulfilling writing career.