There are many ways to launch a career as a professional writer. In fact, lots of successful writers almost fall into the role by accident. This could be because they are tasked with writing texts and content in the workplace and find it’s the most enjoyable aspect of their work, or perhaps because works of fiction created in spare time are published and achieve enormous popularity and acclaim.
There are heaps of great online posts about the sorts of skills and qualifications needed to become a professional writer. So, if you feel you have the qualities required, one of the best ways to launch any kind of writing career is to set aside some time daily to focus on your writing and make a start on either your creative works or building a copywriting portfolio.
What is a professional writing career?
First off, you need to consider what writing professionally actually means to you and work out your objectives and goals. Writers may craft novels, articles, plays, advertising copy, film scripts, news stories, comic books or blog posts and great written skills are an essential qualification. So, if you’re researching potential careers in writing take the time to consider the type of job you want and whether your skills and attributes mean you’re suited to this work.
If you’ve always written fiction, poetry or drama in your spare time as a youngster, student or full-time employee, then you’re more than halfway towards becoming a professional writer. As you will already have developed the determination and strength needed to conquer writer’s block and create a finished piece of work. Ultimately, the test of whether you are “professional” or not does boil down to whether you are paid for your creative work, though. Many aspiring writers fire off tens or even hundreds of manuscripts to publishers, yet find it impossible to get their work published. It is much easier to become a published writer nowadays, though.
Self-publishing on sites like Amazon or your own blog means all kinds of writers have opportunities to build a lucrative and successful career if they can attract a paying audience and build readership. Bestseller ’50 Shades of Grey’ is just one of the phenomenal success stories for self-publishing authors, so it is possible to build a lucrative online writing career if you’re a good writer and write a book, articles or other content that grabs the public’s attention.
Types of writing career
You don’t need to be a novelist to succeed in a writing career, though. There are plenty of available writing jobs for commercially minded writers looking to build a professional career. Some of these are highlighted above.
Many professional writers are self-employed and work on a freelance basis for a number of different clients. The sort of work involved could include writing:
- Business website content
- Blog posts
- Advertising copy
- White papers
Other writers are employed in business to produce targeted content to drive online marketing success and attract visitors and customers to websites. There are lots more openings for this type of work as the business demand for online content across a variety of channels grows ever larger. So, the work could entail composing short social media posts, longer blogs or e-newsletters, or producing attention-grabbing copy for products or business services.
And finally, there is a huge demand for writers with journalistic or technical writing abilities to compose the fact-based copy needed for news articles, magazine features and articles and product manuals and guidelines.
You’re sure to be able to find even more ways to develop a professional writing career when you carry out further research into the role and available opportunities.
How to kick off my writing career?
As noted above, scheduling a set amount of time daily to focus on your writing is essential for kicking off your writing career. If you’re already working on a full-time basis, you will probably be reluctant to quit work until you’re earning money from writing. And, if your plan is to become a novelist you will need to put quite a bit of time and effort into crafting your works of fiction.
You might also want to consider the benefits of quitting your job or moving to part-time work and developing a career as a freelance writer for an agency like Copify to kickstart your professional writing career. Working as a freelance agency writer gives you the option to work at times to suit yourself and all you need is a good internet connection and excellent writing skills. Your freelance writing will help you develop the discipline needed to meet deadlines and use different tones of voice and writing styles for a variety of clients. You’ll also find it’s a lot easier to schedule fiction or creative writing into your daily freelancer schedule.
If you hope to launch a career in the competitive arena of feature writing for magazines, agency copywriting work helps ensure a regular income. This gives you greater freedom to work on the sort of features that interest you most and build contacts and network in the magazine sector. In fact, you could find that many of the articles, blogs and posts written for the agency clients actually inspire interest and further research into a range of topics.
And, finally, working as a freelance writer means becoming self-employed. You will need great administrative skills in order to handle essential client invoicing, bookkeeping and complete self-assessment tax returns.
You can probably see there’s quite a lot involved in building careers in writing; however, writing is a rewarding career that can be carried out any place, any time. If you want to travel regularly or live in a more remote area of the world, launching a professional writing career is one way to achieve your goal. The only real requirements are sufficient time to craft your work, a high-speed internet connection and the ability to write interesting texts that grab the attention of your target readers. In the meantime, why not check out our guide on how to become a copywriter?