If you are just starting out as a writer, then there’s lots you need to learn in order to be successful. Such as how to find new jobs and how to increase your profile as a respectable writer. But don’t let that put you off. Starting out in any new career can be a little daunting at first, but success is there for those who want it. However, if you do wish to feel a little better prepared about the challenges ahead, here are 10 things you need to know, today.
1. It can be lonely
Not to put a damper on things straight away, but the honest truth is, becoming a writer can be lonely. You will need to spend a lot of time researching new articles, proofreading and expanding on your abilities. If you are someone who thrives around having constant company, then you might struggle with this at first. However, you’ll soon find that there are ways to combat working alone. Such as spending time working in local coffee shops or shared workspaces.
2. It will be hard
Yes, it will be hard. Hard in the same way that starting out in any new industry is hard. You’re essentially at the bottom of the pecking order and it’s your job to build a name for yourself as a high-quality writer. But, at the same time, you should not view this as a reason to give up. You should instead take it as a challenge. Recognise when the hard times are there, but also find ways to overcome your difficulties. The good times will be there soon!
Read also: Just how hard is it to become a writer?
3. You will face rejection
Writing is a pretty competitive industry. And, depending on your niche, you will find that you face a lot of rejection when starting out. Whether you are cold calling clients or applying for work opportunities posted on job boards. Rejection is normal, and it is an important learning process. Through it, you will discover more about how to specialise in a certain niche and how to find and pitch yourself to the right people.
4. There is still room for you
There are never too many writers. Especially in this digital age when online copywriting is booming and more and more businesses are looking for talented individuals to write about topics in their industry. Similarly, if you prefer to take the route of becoming a published author, then don’t let the large number of existing writers hold you back. It is important to cultivate your style as an author and slowly build your fanbase.
5. Yes, you can write about whatever you want
The great thing about starting out as a writer is that there is literally no end to what you can write about. There is demand for talented writers in all industries. So, whether you are passionate about movies, fictional writing, design or digital marketing, there’s room for you. Once you accept this and decide what it is you want to specialise in, it is just a case of creating a plan and sourcing viable ways to make money in your chosen field.
6. The internet is your new best friend
Whether you’re looking to improve your writing skills, learn more about your industry or find new clients, you’re going to need access to good quality internet. Slow-loading internet access will no longer do, so it’s time to upgrade your home hub if necessary. This will make your day-to-day life far more enjoyable.
7. It’s time to network, network, network!
If you’re starting out as a writer and want to be truly successful, then you need to start building connections. Whether those are with potential clients or other writers just like yourself. Building those relationships are crucial as they help you to build your understanding of your industry and to open up new avenues for opportunity. Again, the internet is a great way to start networking. Especially through social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram where you can find plenty of like-minded writers and start engaging in conversations with them.
Read also: 5 networking tips for writers
8. You’ll need to start holding yourself accountable
If you come from a typical 9-5 office environment, then you’ll find life as a writer much different. No longer will you have someone there telling you what needs to be done and by when. Instead, it’s up to you to set strict deadlines and stick to them. You’ll also need to broaden your skills in jobs you don’t normally do. Such as cold calling potential clients and handling your own taxes.
9. Always focus on improving your skill set
No matter how good a writer you think you are, there is always room to improve. In fact, the writers that build truly successful careers are the ones who understand this early on and are willing to learn from those around them. Whether that means taking an online writing course, attending a weekly book club or showing up at industry events. Always put effort into developing your skills and thus making yourself more desirable.
Read also: What education is needed to become a writer?
10. There is support out there
This is one of the most important things you need to learn: There is support out there if you need it. Everyone who is now a successful writer started in your position, and many are more than happy to help you. Similarly, those who are in your current position will usually be there to share their experiences and develop alongside you, as you both become successful writers.
Now that you’ve made the decision to get started as a writer, you’ve actually taken one of the hardest steps necessary to be successful. Far too many people ignore their passion for writing, due to fear of the unknown. Well, hopefully now you have a bit of a clearer idea of what is ahead and what you need to do to be successful. For more tips on becoming a successful freelance writer, check out the rest of the Copify blog here or sign up to get started as a writer.