Some professional writers get into the business because they were destined to write. These masters of the craft were writing books for family and friends at an age when most kids were sitting in the corner eating paste. However, there is a growing sector of writers who never imagined that they would become a professional writer.
Perhaps the job market is down in your industry or you found you don’t truly have a passion for that subject in which you obtained your degree or maybe you just want to earn a second income without getting a second job. Many smart, well-written people in one of these positions find themselves wrapping their heads around the idea of becoming a writer. Companies exist that are looking to hire bloggers or content writers. If you’re second-guessing your ability to write for a living, these tips may help you decide that you have what it takes to do so.
Fake It Until You Make It – So, you found someone who wants to pay you to write about a particular subject. The first few times this happens, it can be a bit nerve-wracking. Just jump in headfirst and tackle the project. Spend time reviewing the client’s instructions and expectations and write it. Then, carefully proofread your document and go with it. You may not be a writer in your own mind, but if you can provide quality work, you are in the mind of your client. Do your best, learn from your mistakes and one day you will wake up and feel like a writer.
Write Your Passion – Instead of tackling a subject that takes extensive research, why not start with a project that is in line with what you already know? This can make it easier to feel like an expert—even if you aren’t an expert writer.
Experiment – Some writers are more comfortable blogging, others like the structure of a press release or white paper, still others do their best work on web content or email newsletters. Try out different formats and find out what pieces make you feel like you’re doing your best work.
Connect – Connect with other writers through forums, Facebook groups or any other means possible. You’ll find you learn quite a bit from others who are already in the industry, plus you may learn about other places to pick up work, useful tools and other advice that can only come from “experts.”
Learn – Expand your writing skills by taking advantage of any learning opportunity you can. Take courses at a nearby junior college or online school or spend time learning online at websites like Perdue OWL or Grammar Girl. You’ll grow as a writer even more quickly when you focus on your writer education.
One day you’ll wake up and realize that you no longer feel like you are faking it, but instead you are making it. While not everyone has what it takes to work as a professional writer, nearly everyone who wants to do it can find a way to earn in some way by using his or her writing skills. The best thing about writing is that it is something you never master, only improve—so never stop improving!
Tracy S is a freelance writer and blogger who is writing her first book. When she’s not glued to the keyboard she has her eyes glued to a sci-fi book, her mind glued on her pool game or has glue on her hands while working on a home improvement project.