How to Become a Writer
A writer prepares written correspondence, content, and copy for a range of clients. If you enjoy language, reading, and writing, then this is something you might like to consider making your career. There are many different pathways to become a writer, the one you take will depend on the kind of writer you want to be.
Writing can take you into almost any industry. There are journalists writing in the media, travel writers exploring the globe, grant writers working for not for profit organizations, and freelance writers working from the comfort of their living room couch.
When you become a writer, you may find the first few years of competition tough, as there are many people who try to enter this field. The secret is though, that many give up along the way. As long as you persevere, and build up a strong portfolio, you will be able to make this your career.
Education Requirements to Become a Writer
There is no formal qualification needed to become a writer, however many have a college degree. Studying journalism, creative writing, and literature will really help your writing skills, as well as make you more attractive to employers.
College is a good time to start working on your portfolio. Even though your coursework will involve a good amount of writing, volunteering as a writer or editor on your school's paper or magazine is a good idea. You can put this on your resume later, and also have some good work for your folio.
There are other ways you can work on your writing from home. You might like to start a blog, or contribute to websites. There are many opportunities online to write. Although they pay little or nothing at all, this is how many writers are now getting their start outside of traditional pathways such as journalism.
Writer Job Description
When you become a writer, you can expect to spend most of your time writing. There will be long hours in front of a computer screen dedicated to making deadlines. If you decide to become a freelance writer, you will need to build relationships with clients, and also spend a lot of time marketing yourself.
Here are some of the different types of writing you could specialize in:
Freelance Writer - These writers write feature articles for magazines and websites. They usually have experience in journalism, or a similar role, before they decide to freelance.
Novelist - A novelist or author writes books for a living. They may be fiction or non-fiction. Many will receive an advance form a publishing company which will fund them while they create their masterpiece.
Technical Writer - These writers compile guides and manuals for all kinds of equipments and machinery. There are good job opportunities in this field.
Grant Writer - A grant writer puts together proposals to gain grants for government departments, organizations, or private companies. There is currently a lot of work in this field.
Business Writer - A business writer puts together grants, proposals, website content, and a whole range of marketing material for a business. They may work on a contract basis, or be a full-time employee.
Travel Writer - These lucky writers travel the world writing about all the luxurious places they go on vacation.
Writer Salary and Career Path
To get a start as a writer, you will probably need a related degree. Starting in an internship as a journalist is a good way to being your career. Advertising and copywriting agencies will also take on graduates and show them the trade.
Some writers start out as freelancers and never work for a company or agency. Working as a freelancer you need to put just as much time into marketing yourself and your services as you do actually writing.
The median salary for a writer is $50,000 a year. The salary you earn will be dependent on the kind of writing you do.
If you're interested in the written word, and would like to make a living out of it then writing is a good choice of career. While it can be difficult to get a start, it can also be a very rewarding if it's something you enjoy.
*Salary Information provided by the Bureau Of Labor Statistics