Some people call it a midlife crisis. Others call it a period of reinvention. Whatever you want to call it, life’s midpoint is a time when people often revisit the goals and aspirations that were once dear to their heart, but were brushed aside in the face of everyday toil and family obligations. At the midpoint of our lives, however, the pendulum begins to swing back. Children leave. Jobs are steady but have become a boring unfulfilling grind. Suddenly, you remember that you had once dreamed of becoming a writer. But is it too late? Can you, at age 40, 50 or even 60, start a writing career?
The answer is a resounding yes! Of course, the question for many an aspiring older writer is how and where to start. Fortunately, becoming a published and paid writer in today’s world is easier than you may think.
If you have never written professionally or haven’t written in a while, take the time to brush up your skills. You may want to attend a writing course at a community college or study books on style and grammar that can help your prose sing and leap off of the page.
Put Yourself Out There
Once your skills have been honed, apply to sites such as WriterAccess, which can put you in touch with paying clients who are in need of freelance writers. Who are these clients? Many own or manage websites that are in need of fresh, strong content. As you perused the Internet, did you ever wonder who wrote the content for all of those bazillions of pages? In the future, the answer could be you.
Put in the Hours
Once you are accepted as a content writer, don’t worry what level you are placed at – just begin to write. If your work sparkles, if it can capture an audience’s attention, you will be moved to a higher level, which, of course, will mean more money. It’s also important to read client critiques of your writing so that you can learn from your mistakes.
Start a Blog
Not only will a blog help you refine your writing style, it can also draw in paying clients who may enjoy your work and want to hire you. A well-written blog can also be used as an example of your work when pitching to prospective clients.
Build a Client Base
As you become more confident in your writing skills, it is also important to start answering client requests, such as WriterAccess’ casting calls. This is the best way to attract new customers. Pitching to these prospective clients is an art, especially if you are a new writer or one with a large gap in your writing resume. In fact, if you don’t have examples of published work, a well-written pitch is going to be your best sales tool to prospective clients.
To win repeat customers, it is important to always meet your deadlines and read over the client’s requests carefully.
The best advice, however, is to just go for it. Don’t let your age stop you from pursuing a writing career. Remember, there are no expiration dates on dreams
Jane E is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.