5 Steps To Becoming a Professional Writer

by | Oct 5, 2017 | GrammarSpot, Writing Tips | 0 comments

5 Steps To Becoming a Professional Writer

by | Oct 5, 2017 | GrammarSpot, Writing Tips | 0 comments

The importance of skillful writing has most certainly become more apparent nowadays. Well-written blog posts, speeches, advertisements, TV shows or instruction manuals can be invaluable to businesses. No matter what kind of writing you want to do, there’s a write—excuse me, right way to go about becoming a professional writer.

How To Become a Professional Writer

People commonly take these five steps to earn the title of professional writer:

1. Write

First, you need to write. Obvious, yes, but it’s more important than you may realize. Before you invest in classes, a degree or anything else, it’s best that you make sure you actually like writing. If you don’t, you’re wasting time and money you could invest in pursuits you actually enjoy. Take out time to write or journal, and ask yourself if you could do this day in and day out for a living.

2. Earn a Degree

To get the most out of your professional writing career, you’ll likely need a degree. An undergraduate degree in communications, English, journalism or professional writing is sure to open more doors and offer you more opportunities than not having a degree related to writing. Also, your school might offer job placement to help you get started or writing resources you can put to good use.

3. Build Your Portfolio

Any school writing projects you complete or work you have published should be added to your professional portfolio. Your portfolio shows potential employers the kind of work and results you produce, and it could be just the thing they need to make a decision regarding hiring you. If possible, add a variety of content to your portfolio to show that you’re a well-rounded, experienced writer.

4. Decide What Kind of Professional Writer You Want To Be

One of the absolute best things about being a professional writer is that there are so many avenues to explore. It’s a good idea to seek out as many of those avenues as possible to see what’s out there. Doing so will help you decide if there’s a specific area of writing in which you’d like to specialize. For instance, do you have a knack for composing marketing or advertising material? Do you feel that you’re better suited to technical writing? Or maybe you like writing essays, product descriptions and articles for magazines and online sites. Decide on your focus area, and always remember that there’s likely a few writing stones you have yet to upturn, so always be on the lookout for new opportunities.

5. Look for Work

There are plenty of online resources available for finding work, and knowing the type of writer you want to be helps you know which resources to use and how to use them. If there’s a magazine you’d like to contribute to, check its website to see if they accept work from freelance writers. Explore job boards to see if you’re interested in any companies that might be in need of a writer of your caliber and with your expertise.

While there’s a lot of hard work involved with becoming a professional writer, it’s most certainly worth it in the end. If you have any additional tips or steps you’d like to share, leave them in the comments below.

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O'Brian Gunn

O'Brian Gunn has been freelance writing full-time since 2012. He also enjoys writing short stories, a few of which have been professionally published. When not wrangling words, O'Brian can be found feeding his music addiction, wrestling his muses, reading, enjoying comic books and re-experiencing the glory that is Battlestar Galactica.
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