How To Become a Writer
Do you want to become a writer? Then grab a pen and start writing! Seriously, we know that becoming a writer isn’t just about holding a pen. On the other hand, this profession often has a mystical air. But the truth is, it’s all about talent, hard work and determination. It is always a pleasure to write something that will be appreciated. The value of reading therapy should not be underestimated.
What is a Writer?
The Oxford Dictionary defines a writer as “a person whose job is to write books, stories, articles, etc.”
According to this definition, it is possible to consider yourself a writer when you make money by writing. Before diving into the different types of writers, we would like to specify that you can also be a writer when you love to write and when you enjoy creating stories, poems or letters to loved ones. The term writer is not only for those who write professionally, but for all those who have the heart and soul tied to the words and rhythm of a perfect sentence. Don’t you make money with words? Don’t worry: hard work and perseverance are the best traits of a writer. That said, let’s talk about the variety of this beautiful profession.
Writers are found in all fields. They use their command of the language to convey information, a certain message, fun and ideas. Depending on their specific location they deal with different types of content such as manuscripts, books, articles and poems both online and offline. Some writers clearly work in a non-fictional way, for example journalists. Others, such as book authors, they can work on both fictional and non-fictional content.
To start writing first you have to be a reader. If you are a passionate reader, you know the classics of literature, you already have the capacity to proceed with writing. But there is something more than what you can read. Some people become sketch writers for satire or comedy shows, work as screenwriters, or create content for radio shows. As you can see, the list of where a writer can work seems endless, especially as new jobs have sprung up as a social media manager or blogger who also deals with texts. To give you a brief overview, let’s take a look at the list of potential jobs in a writing career:
- author: who writes a book that is published, be it informational or fictional
- journalist: usually a person who works in the news needs to have an objective view of events
- columnist: often works for larger magazines or newspapers showing their point of view on the topics
- blogger: a person who creates their own blog on a specific topic
- copywriter: usually works in advertising or marketing by formulating slogans and commercial texts
- scriptwriter: works with texts that will then be translated into moving images
- translator: transforms a text in one language into a text in another language and must be aware of cultural and linguistic particularities
Text creation plays an important role in many careers, which require different skills. Let’s dive into the common tasks of writers in the next section.
The Tasks of the Writer
A writer writes, right? This is what you might think, but it takes a lot more to be a writer than to write what you have in mind. In fact, writing only happens at the end of the creative process.
Let’s talk about the homework before and after the actual writing. Before starting to write a text it is necessary:
- find out what kind of text your client needs (if you are a freelancer)
- choose a topic and analyze the needs of readers
- do research on the subject: web searches, interviews, phone calls, visits to places, interviews with the authorities
- create a concept and fill in missing gaps such as quotes and information
- find the right tone for your text: Need to write a formal speech or informal for article about the latest celebrity scandal?
It is a fact that the writers never belonged to the group of people living in a safe working situation. Even in the early days of the mass media, writers were people who were paid by the word rather than by the month. The internet, with its flexible options, has made the situation even worse. Paper newspapers, which were once a great job opportunity for people looking for a steady job, are disappearing. While writers and screenwriters have always struggled to finance their projects, regularly employed journalists could often be sure of getting a salary.
Now that everyone can spread news (and often fake news) over the web, it is increasingly difficult to get paid to do good journalism. Let’s face it: you pay to read a magazine, but reading a text on a website is free. This has changed the writing scene enormously.
These big changes have led to new writing careers that are more world wide web focused. Content production, video script writing, editing, translation is mostly what we are talking about today. Digital skills are no longer a plus, but a requirement. If you are considering a career in writing, make sure you familiarize yourself with the latest technologies, learn about the different CMSs, learn about SEO, social media and follow the trends. This way, you can satisfy your client as a freelancer and try to get a good position in the marketing department of a company if that’s what you want.
All in all, you need to be willing to do internships (often unpaid), write articles for local newspapers where they get a few cents a word, and keep up with the latest industry trends. As a writer you may not earn that much, have unstable working conditions, and work whenever something big happens like a fire at night, a protest in a developing country, or a natural disaster in the middle of nowhere. If you’re still motivated to become a writer, learn how to start a writing journey.
How to become a writer
Of course it all depends on the specific position you are looking for. If you want to work as a novelist, poet or author, your path will include hours and hours of writing, finding a publishing house, or posting your work on your website. In this case, you must also learn the principles of marketing. But other than that, there is no single education, degree or certificate that makes you a writer. It all depends a lot on the path you choose to take rather than on your formal training (having a degree is always useful anyway).
However, modern writing jobs often require at least a degree, not necessarily in creative writing. If you want to enter the copywriting or marketing department of a company, you need to demonstrate that you can manage a series of data and analyze the underlying message.