There are thousands of people around the world who think they’d do well in a writing career. For many existing writers, this career choice has become a copout because it’s seen as an easy profession. After all, it’s all about good spelling, fancy words and a dash of creativity—right? WRONG! The fact is that if you want to be a good writer, you need to think this through. If you don’t you aren’t likely to get far.
- Identify your field
The first action you should take is to identify which type of writing you want to do. Fictional writing is probably the dream of every writer, but most of us don’t have the luxury (or courage) to start there.
Non-fictional writing has lots of categories. Consider how different many of these are:
- Formal writing
- Legal writing
- Sales writing (copywriting)
- Internet writing
- Finance writing
- Academic writing
…and the list goes on
Make a solid choice to focus on one writing field. This is an important part of success—focusing on your core strengths.
- Take a relevant course
If you thought you could become a writer without studying first, think again. Talent will only get you so far in this industry. Experience will also hit a dead end if you don’t have some qualification behind your name.
The most talented writers have admitted to learning invaluable information by attending a course or a writing college. Learn from the experts. You can’t expect to reinvent the wheel. Get the basics down before you try to make it big as a writer.
- Check the market
Now that you know which direction you want to take as a writer, check out how much of a demand there is for your field. A good way to do this is through freelancing websites. Jobs from all over the world will pop up every few minutes. Write down which of these fits your field and work out a percentage.
If you’re entering a field for which there is little or no demand, you’ll be out of work most of the time. This does not mean that you’re not good enough to make it. It simply means that you will have to fight harder to get to the top. Ask yourself if you’re willing to do this.
- Work for free
The golden rule for every beginner writer is to work for free. This is invaluable for multiple reasons:
- You will get experience to display on your portfolio
- It will teach you how to work with a client
- You will learn from your mistakes and grow from constructive criticism
- Your confidence will grow—especially if you see your work published
- Find a writing mentor
Many writers are looking for fresh talent to share their workload with. If you can find a writer who is good at teaching you the ropes, stick to them like glue. These individuals may ask you to write for very little money, but you’re still getting paid to learn—which is invaluable.
So if you’ve been considering a writing career, use this as your checklist. These five actions will effectively prepare you for the industry. Good luck!