Launching A Career As A Writer
The journey of a writer begins simply when one falls in love with the act of writing, what follows is the endeavour to find the niche that fits perfectly with one’s writing style.
Although conventionally, the term writer is associated with published authors; however, as careers in writing take many forms, it encompasses a varied range of professions. These professions range from being a journalist, a blog writer, a copywriter, poet, a singer-songwriter to being a published author.
Writing as a profession does not always come with a fixed career path, such as pursuing a degree and then directly getting placed in a job. It is more to do with one’s passion for writing and the amount of discipline and effort a writer is willing to invest in their art of writing.
Regardless of the field of writing a writer picks for oneself the key ingredients to becoming a writer remain consistent through them all. This blog is going to shed light on all these components of writing that will enable you to gain a better understanding on how to launch a successful career as a writer.
Read, read, then read more
The only exception to the saying – ‘too much of anything is a bad thing’ is reading. Reading is at a writer’s core, the more you read, the more familiarity you build with words, different styles of writing and the language you want to write in. Consistency in reading practices becomes the foundation based on which you construct and enhance your skill of writing. Very often inculcating the habit of reading daily, be it a book or a magazine, supplements one’s vocabulary. You become more efficient in communicating exactly what you want to express. Your conversations become a smooth-flowing process rather than a continuous hard-pressed effort of finding the right words.
There are various methods that help better the process of reading;
- Using a pointer to follow the words in order to not lose focus is one of the most conventional ways of speed reading as it keeps your eye level focused on the sequence of the words and there is less probability of your mind wandering away.
- Avoid subvocalizing as reading the words in your head tends to slow you down instead focus on gathering a bulk comprehension of the statement or paragraph in order to increase your reading speed.
- You can also follow the third word rule which includes skipping the first and last two words in every line to increase speed of reading.
There are many ways in which you can form the habit of speed reading which in turn enables you to read more and more.
Discipline Is A Must
Once you have established a relationship with words, the next step is to inculcate discipline in your process. For many writers, this becomes a major roadblock because of the assumption that words will come to you when they are meant to, this is an artist’s illusion. You can have bouts of creativity that can lead you to write something beautiful and expressive once in a while, but to make a career in writing there has to be a method to your madness. Discipline acts as a catalyst for a writer to convert their skill into a successful career.
Set Achievable Goals
Along with discipline and focus, an essential part of beginning your journey as a writer is to start with achievable goals. Many writers set unrealistic standards for themselves, to start your writing career with a book is similar to starting a job without any prior knowledge of what you’re about to do. To have a well written short story is better than to have a half-written novel. Setting achievable goals does not only help in encouraging and motivating your writing skills but also aids in writing becoming a habit rather than a task.
An essential part of your writing journey is to allocate a fixed time dedicated to writing every day. When you spend time honing your skill of writing on a daily basis, you become more able to move towards your bigger goals as a writer. In order to start your career as a writer you need to lock down on what your niche/genre is and write more in its space in order to build your credibility.
Once you are more confident with your writing material the next step is to find the right editors to pitch your manuscript to. It is recommended that you start with publishing your work in magazines and online portals as it contributes to not just your experience in writing personally, but also in building a base of followers to begin with.
You Must Power-Through Self Doubt
The most simple yet perceived as the most challenging advice is not to quit. Often writers begin writing a book with the full assurance that their idea is going to be the next bestseller but end up giving up or losing confidence in their idea. What separates a bestseller from a half-written novel is the act of persisting. You must keep on going. The first draft is never the final draft, whether you’re a singer songwriter, a poet or an author. There are many revisions and edits that take place behind the scene of what you receive as the final product; hence, persisting and not quitting is extremely important. When surrounded by self doubt, the habit of consistency in writing everyday can help you defeat uncertainty. This is because when you’re investing a certain amount of time and effort everyday in your work of writing, the consistency overtakes any amount of apprehension towards your idea. Keep yourself motivated through discipline and consistency.
Feedback – A Helping Hand
When in doubt, reach out. Surround yourself with like-minded writers or a trusted beta reader who can help and advise you. Feedback is a significant source of encouragement when you share your work to either be creatively appreciated or to be constructively criticized it gathers a sense of becoming. It no longer remains to be just an idea saved on your laptop; it becomes a product which people can perceive in their ways, this helps in believing that a blank page can become a bestseller. Online platforms and forums such as www.absolutewrite.com, www.nanowrimo.org, and www.critiquecircle.com provide the right space for budding writers to become a part of writing communities that assist you in your journey to launching a career as a successful writer.
The habit of writing and receiving feedback enables you also to understand what your niche is. While some writers are better with fiction, others find themselves inclined towards writing in detail about facts and events. The narrative you choose to turn into a book must be something that you resonate with. There are various writing tools and platforms that can help you understand which genre is your strongest point such as Pencil which extends the platform you need to build your work consistently through the habit of maintaining blogs, be it fiction or nonfiction.
Types of Publishing
Once writing becomes an extension of you, with dedication, practice and focus, you must begin moving towards your subsequent goals. After your manuscript is ready, you can choose between various types of publishing that you find most befitting. Many established writers who are financially well established prefer to work with traditional publishing houses. Self-publishing is often taken up by writers who require complete autonomy over every step of publishing from editing their manuscript, designing a book cover to the process of distribution of their published book. However, in the contemporary times for writers who are just starting out, the ideal form of publishing is incubated and accelerated publishing wherein the various layers of the publishing process helps the writer to be in a state of constant improvement of their work based on feedback that they receive from their reader online. Pencil is a self-publishing platform that is preparing to incorporate the module of incubated and accelerated publishing. It is a free platform that empowers writers to create, publish, market and distribute their book worldwide in both paperback and eBook formats. You can more read about the benefits of self-publishing with Pencil here.
In conclusion, the journey of a writer begins with owning up to the fact that you are already a writer, knowing that every great writer starts with a blank page, and only with effort and discipline do they persist their way to a successful career!