For some people, the desire to be a legitimate writer can be compared to a strong current coursing through their bodies. However, as children we are typically told that writing is a fall-back career and we are advised to think about doing something more realistic. Thanks to the changes we see in the modern world, it is now quite possible to turn writing into a reasonable career if you have the right combination of assets and opportunities.
There are just some things that you cannot learn in college. Being an entertaining and informative writer is one of those things. Getting an education is not ever a bad idea; but if you have the yearning to be a writer, chances are that you already have some inherent ability. The best writers are wise enough to know that it is important to mix just the right amount of professional training with these natural skills. When a writer, journalist, or author develops and expands upon these qualities, it then becomes easier for them to create a distinctive voice that attracts readers and clients.
Create a Unique Voice
Just like all successful and notable writers, you need to create a voice that is all your own. This does not mean that you have to create your own vocabulary or ignore common grammar rules. It does mean, however, that you should give some thought as to your objective before you write anything. Knowing what you want to say will help you remain true to your intended message.
There are several ways to ensure that you create and maintain your unique voice throughout your work. Many detail-oriented writers make a short list of the points they want to make before they begin. Some even use a tape recorder, transcribing their thoughts later when time or inspiration allows. By doing any of these things, you are basically ensuring that your work stands out in an organic way; and this, in turn, will help you land more writing jobs.
Try to add some of your own flavor into your writing, but as always, avoid using clichés. If you try too hard, it will show. As a good rule, try to write how you talk, going back later to fix mistakes in grammar, punctuation, and vocabulary. This practice will help you remain genuine while allowing you to record as many coherent thoughts as possible.
Start a Test Blog
Blogging is a trend that has become quite popular since the advent of the Internet. Because of this, it may be a good idea to use this resource to find ways to increase your readership and opportunities. By writing a regular blog and marketing it adequately, you should be able to find out which types of your writings are more successful than others. This will also assist you in developing your unique voice.
There are numerous blogging platforms that you can use to further your writing career. Often, people give up on their blog once their career takes off; but it is recommended that you keep up on it as much as possible. It will only serve to satisfy and intrigue your audiences. Building your readership now is a great way to ensure your sales are as great when you finally write your book or masterpiece.
Exercise Your Willpower
It is going to take some willpower to start a writing career and keep it going. When I first started, I stayed up until the wee hours of the night writing samples and submitting résumés to all sorts of places. I got turned down more than I got accepted. However, I understood that, as a writer, I had to prove myself. I would sit with my computer on my lap until it got hot, and then I would switch over to the table, never giving up on my belief that I had something to offer to the literary community. I did this until I got my first freelance job through an online platform, and I still find myself working until I hear morning birds chirping outside my window.
In fact, I ate, drank, talked, walked, and slept writing for three months before I caught a paying break. You have to be willing to work even when there is no reward for it. To be a legitimate writer, it is necessary to take a hit or two in the beginning. Because of this, you have to exercise your willpower to make it through round one without getting knocked out.
Work Through the Pain
There comes a time during any endeavor where the progress sort of levels out, and at this time, it takes a certain amount of mechanical indifference to maintain your momentum. Indeed, it was Ernest Hemmingway who said it best when he famously uttered, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” His words here are some that have gotten me through times when I could no longer feel my typing finger.
That’s right. I type with just a couple of fingers, but I am lightening fast. I developed my own style, without regard to the standardized way of doing things. This was mostly due to the fact I was, and still am, quite petite. Either way, I get the job done; and I often find myself working through that pain, as well as the pain of headaches, from hours of tedious yet rewarding work.
I have noticed through all this that my writing has improved. I didn’t think that was possible at first because I was an arrogant writer. Perhaps that’s why it took me so long to land a paying job. For that reason, I advise that you stay humble when developing and using your unique writing style. You may lose some opportunities if you are not willing to be a little flexible. However, try to find a balance between taking constructive criticism and becoming like a chameleon, changing your style every time you land on something new. Doing this is not at all conducive with building a successful writing career.
Prepare for Long Hours and Little Pay
In the beginning of your writing career, you are going to have to accept the fact that not everyone in the world thinks you are the next Ernest Hemmingway, Steven King, or Maya Angelou. You will have to work for your cut of the pie, even when you are not getting much of it. At times, you will have to write about things that don’t interest you; and you will probably do this while getting paid very little. Stick with it and things will likely turn around.
If you provide quality work for your clients, then you should be able to generate some genuinely positive reviews. A client can tell when you are in it just for the money; and to be honest if that’s what your main concern is then a writing career may not be for you. In the end, it’s about how hard you tried as well as how well you represented yourself. A true writer creates characters while showing his or her intrinsic character – always willing to write for the sake of writing, even for people who do not yet know the worth.
Keep Your Eyes Open for Work
Just because you have landed your first paying job as a writer does not mean that you should give up looking for better opportunities. Keeping your eyes peeled for new work is one of the best ways to ensure that you keep your writing skills honed and your pockets full. To develop your skills and portfolio further, try writing for all different types of companies.
It is important to learn skills in editing, proofreading, ghostwriting, article writing, and fiction creation. It wouldn’t hurt to know what SEO is and how to incorporate that into your writing, especially if you are creating content for a client’s website. Going into a job already knowing this information and having these highly sought-after skills will help you receive better reviews on your work.
Once you receive enough positive feedback, you will become eligible for more opportunities. Just as a good story builds upon itself so too does a writing career. It is easy to assume that your writing is good enough to be taken seriously; but it is often difficult to convince others of that until you have put in the appropriate amount of time and effort.
Showcase Your Best Pieces
It’s important to remember that you should be showcasing your best works at all times. In order to grow an adequate readership or to find lucrative and exciting opportunities, it is imperative that you let people know what you are planning. There is nothing wrong with promoting your own material, so long as you do it tastefully. Keep in mind that just because you worked hard on a piece does not mean that your audiences will appreciate the fact. In essence, choose your highlighted pieces with your spectators in mind.
Coming across as pushy can be easy; so you really do have to learn how to tow the thin line between being business savvy and being compared to a used car salesman. Try lightly posting some of your best work on social media websites to begin. This practice, much like blogging, can give you a good idea of what your audiences enjoys reading the most as well as provide you with helpful feedback on how to better accentuate your unique point of view.
At the end of the day, how much effort you put into anything is typically one of the biggest determining factors as to whether or not it is a successful endeavor. Starting a writing career is no exception. Create the life you always wanted; and stop subscribing to that old “starving artist” concept. In the modern world, if you have the will and the skill, there is usually a way.