How to start a writing career?
So, you have never been published before and want to take writing as a career. You want to get paid for the pieces you write. You may not have any formal professional writing experience, but others consider you to be a really good writer.
If you think you have what it takes to be a professional writer, then you should definitely go on and try your luck in the writing field. It may look intimidating at first, but you will get acquainted with these things once you get started.
Not sure how to become a writer?
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Here are some tips that can help you kick-start your writing career and make a name for yourself in the writing industry.
How to Start a Writing Career
1. Improve Your Vocabulary
First things first, you need to have a great vocabulary if you want to start a writing career. By great vocabulary, we don’t mean that you should use complicated words. These words are not understood by the general public and you don’t want to come off as a writer who is too difficult to understand.
Instead, use simple words that get your message across to your audience. Using the right words at the right time will only be possible when you have a wealth of vocabulary.
2. Play with Words
Don’t be afraid to play around with words when you are writing something. If you are not sure whether a particular word will fit nicely in a sentence, use a dictionary or thesaurus. Just make sure the words you use are relevant to the context.
3. Make the Dictionary Your Best Friend
This may sound like a piece of advice for kids, but believe us it helps a lot. Take a dictionary and just scan it when you have time. Read through it just like you read a magazine. You will learn many new words that will improve your level of writing.
Learn new words and use them when they seem relevant to the context and you will see an improvement in your writing.
4. Read as Much as You Can
You can never be a good writer unless you are an avid reader. Read the newspaper each day. This will help you understand how a professional writer writes and how they present their work. Different writers use different languages and you can learn a lot from each of them.
In addition to newspapers, you should also visit libraries and read books. Pick any books that seem interesting to you. It can be from any genre. Read them and learn about the use of words and how sentences are made.
5. Maintain a Journal
Most writers are people who used to keep a daily journal when they were young. Some of them still do it. If you wish to start writing as a career, then you should also maintain a diary. Write your activities of the day in it and express your feelings and emotions.
Make it a habit to go through your writings from time to time. Read the content and point out any mistakes that you made. Think about how it could’ve been written in a better way. You will notice your writing skills improving day by day.
6. You Don’t Need Any Specific Academic Background
Writing is one profession that doesn’t require any academic qualification. You can be anything and a writer. All you need is a knack for writing, and you can start your career as a writer. People who study literature may have a little edge over others, but trends change with time and you have to evolve.
Thus, don’t worry if you are not a literature student. Most of the renowned writers are not literature students either. All you have to do is read and learn new things and then incorporate them into your writings. This will take you closer to your dream of becoming a writer.
7. Don’t Restrict Your Imagination
Remember how we used to create stories when we were kids?
We were very imaginative back then. You need to keep your imaginative and creative juices flowing if you wish to become a renowned professional writer.
If you want to take writing as a career, then you will need to write new, unique and fresh things. Only then will you be able to keep your audience engaged. And for this, you should never restrict your imagination.
If you are new to writing, then you should try to write on new topics. Search on the Internet for ideas if you can’t come up with any. Set a time and word count limit and just write whatever you want. This will not only improve your writing skills but also your time management skills.
8. Consider Freelancing Before Taking Up a Full-Time Job
If you wish to gain more experience before you step into the professional field, then freelancing is a great option. There are many websites that offer freelancing opportunities to writers, such as Upwork. Make an account and try to get freelance projects.
Freelancing not only helps you improve your writing skills but also teaches you how to deal with clients. This can help you a lot when you switch to a full-time job or anything that involves you dealing with other people.
9. Choose from Different Full-Time Writing Job Options
If you want to work full-time as a writer, then you have a lot of options to choose from. You can be a resume writer, a web content creator, a blogger, a journalist, a columnist, etc. There are umpteen choices that you can pick from.
Also, if you enter one field, you can switch to another if you are a good writer. You don’t have to limit yourself to just one niche. But if your interest lies in one particular niche, then there is no harm pursuing that wholeheartedly.
10. Apply for Writing Jobs
Once you have chosen the field you want to work in, the next thing to do is to apply for jobs in this field. You need to create a winning profile to attract recruiters. Send your profile and a succinct cover letter to your potential employers.
Search online job portals and classifieds to see if anything comes up that matches your needs. You may also consider signing up with a placement consultant that specializes in getting writers full-time jobs.
11. Learn to Conduct Online Research
When you enter the writing industry, then you will have to work on various topics. You may have knowledge about some of them, while some may be entirely new. Don’t fret if you are given a topic to write on and you know absolutely nothing about it.
Remember, everything is available on the internet. All you need to do is learn how to do research. If you want to be a successful writer and kickstart your writing career, then you must learn to use the internet and conduct secondary research. You may also have to conduct primary research in some cases, for example, if you become a journalist.
12. Share Your Writing Samples with Employers
If you are called for an interview, make sure you take along some of your best writing pieces to show to the recruiter. You must also do your homework about the kind of writer they are looking for and then shortlist your samples accordingly.
You need to convince the employers that you are the best fit for this position, which you can only do through your work.
13. Update Your Skills Regularly
There is no such thing as too much learning. If you want to be a writer, then you should never stop improving your skillset. This is especially important if you are writing for the Internet. Attend seminars and workshops, register for online courses and learn everything that you think can help you with your writing career.
14. Edit Your Work Extensively
Writing is just words; proofreading, editing and reworking that writing creates the actual spark in your writing. Editing takes your writing from good to great. Therefore, you should never ignore editing. It doesn’t matter if you are writing a simple blog or a book, you should never publish it without letting it pass through an editor.
Do the first few rounds of editing yourself if you have written a book. Then pass it on to a professional editor who will tweak your work and will give it a great final shape.
15. Consider Article and Content Writing
For most people, the easiest way to start their writing careers is content writing. It is also a great way to learn the tricks of the trade while preparing for the big show. You may offer your content for free at the beginning of your career. Later on, you can sell your content to the sites that pay for fresh content.
16. Start Your Blog
This may sound burdensome at the beginning, but it helps build your rapport and credibility as a writer. This can also turn into a steady form of income if you do it right. Blogging also helps you improve your writing skills and expand your audience base.
The beauty of a blog is that you can write about what interests you the most. You are not bound by anything and can be yourself. You are in control and if everything goes well, it can become a well-paid, full-time job.
17. Learn the Basics of SEO
Everything has gone online. You cannot be a successful writer unless you can rank high in the search engines. You need to ensure that your writing comes up when people are searching for a particular topic. This is particularly important if you write eBooks, blogs or online articles.
SEO tricks and techniques are always changing. Unless you have someone to take care of these things for you, you must learn the basics of SEO. This will help you a lot in ranking high on search engines and get the reward for your efforts.
18. Don’t Get Defensive Over Anybody’s Feedback
One of the key tips to start a writing career and to be successful is to never take feedback in a negative way. As a professional writer, you will be asked to make revisions many times. This is especially common in freelancing and full-time jobs.
Even if you are working independently, don’t get annoyed when someone gives you feedback on your work. Feedback always makes your work better. Take it positively and try to improve your writing using the feedback.
19. Writer’s Block is Common
You should be prepared for writer’s block. It is common, and every writer goes through it at some time in their career. Just because you are facing a writer’s block doesn’t mean that you are not a good writer anymore.
You have decided to start writing as a career and you should learn how to overcome a writer’s block. Don’t give up just because you can’t come up with new ideas. Relax. Give yourself a break, and you will see your creative juices flowing once again.
20. Don’t Try to Be Everything at Once
Don’t be a jack of all trades but master of none. You cannot be everything at once. Therefore, take it slow. Don’t try to do everything that comes your way. This is especially important when you are starting your writing career.
At the beginning of your writing career, you may want to do it all. But it is important to slow down and not do everything. Master one thing before moving on to the next. If you are writing articles today, don’t just start writing a book tomorrow.
Transitions take time, and you should respect that.
21. Be Persistent
It is important to keep in mind that success doesn’t come easy. We are not just talking about a writing career, but also all other professions. If you think you can become a successful professional writer overnight, you are mistaken. Things don’t work that way.
Persistence is very important when you start your career as a writer. Try new things but just don’t give up on your dreams because one thing didn’t work out. Being a writer may be the most underappreciated job out there, but there will be rewards if you stay persistent.
22. Thick Skin is Necessary for a Writing Career
Ask any writer and they will tell you how much rejection they faced in their starting years. Many of the aspiring writers give up early on when their work is continuously rejected. You may also face rejection and it won’t be fun.
However, you need to get over the rejection and learn from it. Find out why your work was rejected and work on it to improve it. Things will get better with practice and experience. You just need to give it time and things will start falling into place.
23. Share Your Work as Much as You Can
Never be afraid to put your work out there. You are a writer and it is a creative job. It is important to share your creative pieces with the world as much as you can. You never know that the work you are most embarrassed about may be the one that is the most well-received.
One doesn’t have to be perfect if they want to take up writing as a career. You will learn slowly and steadily as you create more pieces and get feedback on them. Therefore, share your creative work as much as you can on suitable platforms.
24. Ask for Opportunities
Speak up if you see an opportunity coming up that matches your skillset. Ask for opportunities and take them. Spread the word around if you are looking for freelance opportunities or a full-time job. Let people know that you are available, and they should tell you if something comes up.
You will be surprised to see how many opportunities come up once you start putting yourself out there.
25. Don’t Let Your Age Restrict You
There is no age limit to become a writer. Some people find their calling during the later years of their lives and some find it early on. You don’t have to be a specific age to be a writer. You just need a knack for writing and the motivation to do it, and you are set to go.
Therefore, it doesn’t matter whether you are 20 or 60. You can start your writing career whenever you want.
26. Believe in Yourself
You cannot start your writing career and be successful in it unless you believe in yourself. If you think you are a good writer and are fit for the job, then don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Believe in yourself and your writing abilities.
It may be a long way, but the struggle will all be worth it when you get the reward. The reward may come in the form of appreciation or monetary benefits; whatever it may be, you must continue doing what you have to do to reach the top.
27. Patience Is the Key to Success
Writing is one of those careers that require a lot of patience. You cannot become a world-renowned writer overnight. You have to work hard, and it may still take many years to make a name for yourself. Just don’t give up in the middle of the journey. Be consistent and patient.
While you are at it, do everything you can to improve your skills and abilities. You will surely make a place for yourself in the writing industry when you remain patient and continue your hard work no matter what.
These were some important tips to help you kick-start your writing career. Let us know how they helped you.