Becoming a writer today is probably much easier than it ever was before. There is so much tech to help you make writing easier, so many free online resources to study writing on your own, and so many opportunities to connect with clients with the help of the Internet.
And yet, there are some things that you need to understand about being a writer before you decide that you do want to set out on this path and build a career in this field. Hence, here are the four things you have to know if you want to start a writing career.
#1 There Is No One Way to Become a Writer
The first thing you need to understand is that there is no one way to become a writer. For starters, there are many different types of writers. You could become a fiction writer who specializes in thriller and horror books, like Stephen King.
Or you could become a technical writer who creates manuals for consumer electronics. Or you could become an academic writer who helps students complete their assignments. Or you could become a ghostwriter who creates content for bloggers and influencers.
All of these are the many options you have when it comes to writing – and that’s what makes it such an interesting career path to choose. In addition to the type of writing you choose to do, there will be different requirements you need to meet to become that kind of writer.
For example, becoming an academic writer will require you to have a relevant degree (high school, undergraduate, graduate, or post-graduate) to prove your level of education. That’s why the writing services reviews site Best Writers Online and others like it are so careful about who they choose to accept.
On the other hand, some types of writing don’t require any special education because they rely mostly on experience and even talent to an extent. For instance, you don’t need to have a degree in creative writing to be able to write interesting adventure or romance books.
Once you realize that there is no one way to become a writer, you will not only feel more confident about your own abilities, but you will also be able to find your own path to success. It’s all about what you want and how you choose to do it.
#2 You Will Need to Prove Your Worth
The second thing you need to understand about writing is that you will need to prove your worth before you start making a living with it. One of the biggest challenges beginner writers face is not being taken seriously because they don’t have enough experience to prove that they are capable to do their job well.
This is why building your portfolio from the very beginning is so important. If you decide to become a freelance content writer, networking will be particularly important. This is how you get new clients – by attending relevant events, being active on forums and in communities, and asking your past clients to recommend you to other people who could be interested in your services.
At first, you will likely need to have an additional source of income before you gradually advance on the career ladder and grow your income from writing enough to sustain you. You can even get help and advice from experienced writers by getting in touch with them on the custom writing reviews site Writing Judge. This way, you can continue improving your writing skills while growing your client base and working on your regular job.
That being said, there is also the option of self-publishing if you want to be a fiction or non-fiction book writer, poet, or essayist. The Internet has made it much easier to publish your books digitally or even with print-on-demand services, but you will need to be the one promoting your work.
Due to the popularity of fanfiction websites like Wattpad, some writers who used to be known only in their fandoms get book deals with actual publishing houses and release their books traditionally. This is the case for Anna Todd whose “After” fanfiction series became popular on Wattpad, was picked up and published by Gallery Books, and eventually got a movie series adaptation.
#3 You Should Have Good Language Skills
Even though you don’t necessarily need to have special education to become a writer, you should still have good or, at least, decent language skills. You can still make linguistic mistakes in your writing, but if they are too frequent, the quality of your writing could suffer a lot.
Of course, most writers work with editors – and you can do so too. Check the writing services reviews site Trust My Paper and find an experienced editor who will proofread and edit your work to polish it. However, an editor can only do so much for you, so you should still improve your language skills.
There are many free resources that you can find online about grammar, spelling, and punctuation rules. You can also use a dictionary and a thesaurus to help you enrich your vocabulary. There are even free online courses that can help you master specific terminology used in different types of English (e.g. for business).
Speaking of terminology, you will also need to be familiar with it if you plan to become a writer in a specific niche. That’s why technical writers are often required to have a relevant degree in a medical field if they write drug instructions or in a tech field if they write electronics manuals.
#4 Reading Is Just as Important as Writing
Last but not least, you need to understand that being a writer is as much about reading as it is about writing. Many things mentioned above are possible only if you have read enough and are ready to continue reading. That’s why you need to be reading to spend a lot of time on things not directly related to writing.
For example, research skills are essential for writers because research is critical for you to understand the topic you are writing about and correctly credit the sources you use. Obviously, research takes a fair amount of time and reading (books, media outlets, online resources, etc.)
It doesn’t matter if you want to be a fantasy writer or a journalist – you will need to keep reading if you want to keep writing. The greatest fantasy writers are fans of the genre who know all of its ins and outs. The greatest journalists are the ones who are aware of all the latest news and understand the topic they are writing about very well.
Reading also helps you improve your language skills. You can see the way sentences are structured and learn how to structure your own sentences. You can learn new words and phrases and enrich your vocabulary by remembering and using them in your own writing.
All in all, becoming a writer is not a one-and-done task, but it is definitely a career worth pursuing if you are serious about it. Take into account the things listed in this article before you decide to become a writer and start building your career in this field.
Lillie Jenkins is a creative copywriter and content writer. She has worked as a copywriter since school, so her writing skills are well-honed. She writes publications in such fields as marketing, business, education, and personal life. More than writing, Lillie loves to travel and read professional literature.