If you have a way with words, writing is a fantastic and diverse career choice. You can get into writing web copy (such as this very article), news writing, fiction writing, and more. The world really is your oyster. However, like all career paths you’ll need to develop some skills in order to kick start that dream career. Here’s what you need to have in order to be a good writer.
No matter what you want to write about, you’ll need to have the research skills in order to do it. For example, as a freelance writer, you could be asked to write about multiple topics in one day. You might write one piece on mountain biking, another on home repair, and a third on resume writing tips. You need to be able to find the information you need in order to write well.
The best thing to do is learn how to perform advanced Google searches.
Ability To Generate New Ideas
You’ll need to come up with new ideas constantly as a writer. You’ll be looking for new business all the time, and you’ll be asked for ideas that you can sell on to companies. You won’t have time for the dreaded writer’s block here.
A good way to generate ideas is to think about who your audience is, and what they want from you. For example, say you write for a filmmaking blog. Sit down and brainstorm as many ideas for blogs that their audience would want to read. You could write about camera techniques, how to find the best actors, and how to storyboard a film.
When you’re generating these ideas, you’ll need to communicate them well with prospective clients. You need to refine your ability to pitch. They key is to get straight to the point.
Writing is a unique job as you’re often alone with your laptop and your thoughts. You need to be fiercely motivated in order to be a writer and actually make money.
‘Many people think they want to be a writer, until they realise how much they need to motivate themselves’ says recruiting consultant Peter Davies from UK Top Writers. ‘However, once they find themselves having to work alone, they find it very difficult.’ You’ll really have to be motivated to get everything done on your own.
Good Editing Skills
Good writing doesn’t happen when you put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard. It’s in how you edit what you’ve written to make it really shine. You’ve got to be able to come back to your work and not be afraid to make changes, to make it better.
You’ll also need to have the knowhow to edit and correct grammar when needed. Good grammar is the cornerstone of good writing, so you’ll need plenty of knowledge, online references, and a grammar checker to make your writing excellent.
You need to be able to network if you want to get writing opportunities. It’s important that you find like minded people and start working with them. This is where social media comes in. There’s never been an easier way to find your people and opportunities. Don’t be afraid to speak up and tell your network that you’re looking for writing work. You’ll be amazed at what can come your way.
Being Able To Ask For Help
Yes, you may initially spend your time writing alone, but at some point you’ll need to be able to ask for help. Remember, the best writers improve as they’re always asking for feedback and thoughts on their writing.
Like in any job, you’ll only get better if you listen to others and get help when you need it. You can do this online, thanks to the wide range of services on offer. For example, Grammarix will help you with improving your grammar, and State Of Writing is full of writing guides that you can put to good use.
Finally, to be a writer you’ve got to be persistent. This is especially true if you’re going to work as a freelance writer. You’ve got to keep getting out there, asking for opportunities, and looking for work. It can sound exhausting, but to the right person it can be a welcome challenge. If you don’t want to do the same thing every day and relish the challenge, writing is for you.
There you have it. Develop these skills, and you can become a successful writer, no matter what field you want to work in. Get practicing now and you’ll go a long way.
Rachel Summers is an education writer living in the UK. She works with several different institutions, including leading writing service Australian Reviewer. Her goal is to help students get the most out of their school years, and to help them get the assistance they need.