Writing is an ideal career for those who enjoy it. It takes a great deal of effort in order to make a career out of writing, however, which can be a turnoff for some people. With just a few tips, those who want to become a writer can do so with less stress. There are ten tips for making a career out of writing that you should follow if you are getting started in the field.
Set a Schedule
It is not wise to sit down and just start writing. It is an even worse idea to write for hours on end without stopping. Eventually, you may get writer’s block and find yourself stuck on coming up with new ideas. You could even burn out completely, requiring a long break before you can get back into the swing of things.
Setting a schedule is a better alternative, as it helps people get a routine going for their writing. Choosing a time to work is key so you will have a specific time for handling assignments, and a specific time for spending it doing other things, such as enjoying time with family. Having a set daily schedule will ensure it truly feels like a career, and not an everlasting job that you want to escape.
During the scheduled writing time, it is best to avoid distractions. This may mean turning off your phone, limiting Internet use that is not for research, and avoiding getting up when it is not a set break time. Distractions can make the writing process drag on. Avoiding them will ensure the writing is proficient and well focused. I find the phone to be a major distraction.
You do not have to turn it off completely if you are expecting a call or need to keep it on in case of emergencies. Instead, you can do what I do and turn off notifications for certain apps, such as Facebook or Snapchat. You can check them later during a break period.
Take Regular Breaks
While distractions should be avoided during writing times, that is not to say they can not be enjoyed during breaks. All jobs offer break times so employees have a moment to themselves to recuperate and re-energize.
The same should apply to a writer, whether they are working from home or in an office setting. Breaks should be set into the daily schedule so there is time to eat, use the bathroom, or simply check messages. I like to take a longer lunch break and enjoy a show, and get back into the mood for writing afterward.
Utilize Writing Blogs
There are a large number of writing blogs out there that help beginners get started in the writing world. They offer tips, helpful advice, and methods for finding new clients that can help you get started. Utilizing these blogs and similar resources is a great way to get a step up in the field.
Sites like Writer’s Digest, The Write Life, and Positive Writer are just a few of the options out there. Each of these websites focuses on writers and ways they can make the most of their skills. They each provide additional resources you can utilize, and may even post about available jobs from time to time.
Start With a Broad Topic, Then Narrow It
When it is time to start a writing assignment where you are responsible for choosing the subject, it is best to start with a broad topic. Many articles are going to be centered around a specific keyword. Think about a common question you could answer regarding that keyword. Once that initial topic is thought about, you can narrow it down further to a more specific question that people could benefit from reading about.
Look at the way I talk about writing. I started with the broad topic of making a career out of writing. A more narrow focus of that is tips for making that career happen. I chose 10 tips to make a full-length list. Breaking each assignment down this way could help you to create more unique pieces in the future.
Make an Outline
It is important to make an outline for each article you write during your career. This makes it easier to write in the long-run, which can save you time. The longer it takes you to write and submit an article, the longer it takes you to make money. You can earn a better hourly pay rate overall if you set up a proper outline first, and simply have to fill in the blanks with your writing.
Create First Drafts
Writers should never write one draft and submit it as is. A first draft is needed that can be revised and corrected. Once the revisions are made and the work has been read over carefully, the final draft can then be submitted. This helps to limit the amount of mistakes so that pieces go through without revision by the client.
Build a Portfolio
A career in writing cannot advance if there are no portfolio pieces to show new clients. Many want to see a writing sample that will show them the work you can do. It is best to build a portfolio and have well-written pieces to show a client in order to advance your career. You can create your own portfolio pieces in between assignments, or use pieces rejected by a client when they do not meet their specific needs.
Reach Out to Local Businesses
You do not have to solely write for online sites or magazines. There may be local businesses in your area that have a website or blog site where work is needed. You can reach out to these businesses and ask if there is any help they need online. You may be able to get some leads and build your portfolio this way.
When clients offer feedback on work you have submitted, do not take it personally. Instead, use it to improve. Follow the feedback you are given in order to reshape your writing into quality work that is accepted on the first try. There is always room for improvement, and following the reviews you receive will help you improve tremendously, as you learn to apply those aspects to future pieces.
Making a career out of writing can seem like a daunting task at first. With a few tips for handling the process, however, any aspiring writer can be on their way to the career of their dreams. By following feedback, avoiding distractions while working, and making an outline for each assignment, you will already be well on your way to becoming the best writer you can be, allowing you to get paid to do something you love.