So You Want to be a Writer?

The Job of a Writer

The Gist: 

Are you imaginative? Do you have stories floating around your mind that you must share? I completely understand. If you love to write and can share your stories in an interesting way, the job of a writer may be a great choice. Writers are people who translate thoughts and ideas onto paper for others to read.  You can write non-fiction (based on true events) or fiction (using your imagination). There are many job opportunities for writers. Whether you are a novelist, speech writer, advertiser/copywriter, technical writer, or a reporter, writing is a fun and important job.

The Path:

To become a great writer, you must build your English Language Arts skills. As long as you combine these strong skills with a creative voice, you can become a great writer at any time in your life, even now. To become a professional writer, some employers require a Bachelor of Arts in English, Communication or Journalism, while other will accept a liberal arts degree, which is less specific. Some colleges offer a certificate in writing for very specific careers, such as children’s writer, technical writing, or creative writing.

Some of the college courses you will take will include literature, English, poetry, and grammar.  You will also learn about playwriting, environmental writing, and workplace writing.

After college, you may choose an industry that interests you and seek opportunities to write in that industry. You may also work as a freelance writer. Freelance writers do not work for one company, but they are hired for short or long term jobs at various companies. If you choose the route of authorship, you will need financial support to help with living expenses. Many authors work park time jobs while writing their next great novel.

The Perks:

Being a writer can be seen as a glamourous career choice. Many people believe writing jobs require you to sit behind a desk and type all day. Nothing can be further from the truth. A good writer must work with various types of people. They get to travel and discover how others live. They test the latest tech gadgets and they interview some of the most popular celebrities who need writers to tell their stories, write a script, or draft their contracts. Writers are often given privileges to peek behind the curtain and discover the real lives of people.

Bestselling authors are often times put on a pedestal. Adoring fans wait in line to receive their autograph. Audiences love to listen to authors discuss their characters in their favorite book. Speaking engagements can include paid hotel stays and meals are offered to the best writers.

The Impact:

As a writer, your words have a lasting impact.  No matter how small or large your writing projects are, your words will live on forever. Your stories have the potential to change people, encourage them, or help them make an important choice. Whether you are writing an uplifting poetry prose, a speech for an important dignitary, a breaking news story, or introducing the next great technology, your words will make the difference.

Make Your Move

What can you do to get started as a writer?

·       Learn as much as you can in your language art and literature classes

·       Read books similar to your writing style

·       Find a mentor or writing coach to help you

·       Research colleges that offer the writing degree you desire

·       Write often (journaling is a great way to keep writing in between assignments)

Here are some great resources: