How to Become a Writer: Our Complete Guide

How to Become a Successful Writer (or Author)

Anyone who writes is a writer. I stand by this. If you’re writing fan fiction or poems no one will ever see, you’re a writer.

What’s the Difference Between a Writer and an Author?

Brush up on Your Writing Skills

A professional writer understands the importance of high-quality writing, and they will use any tool at their disposal to improve their writing skills.

Types of Professional Writer Careers

There are many types of professional writing paths you can take. We’re going to cover some of them here.

Technical Writing

Technical writing is a great niche for people who have backgrounds in specialized fields. A technical writer conveys complex information in a specialized industry. This might include writing guides or support documents or even journals.

Business Writing

Business writing is another broad niche, and it is often the most lucrative writing career. We can break this niche into a couple of broad categories.

Grant Writing

Quality grant writers are always in high demand for businesses and nonprofit organizations. Grant writing is a specialized style of writing with the goal of obtaining competitive funding for an organization.

Creative Writing and Fiction Writing

It’s possible to build a successful writing career with creative writing, but it’s much harder because you won’t be hired by companies with a writing budget.

Other Types of Writing Careers

There are plenty of other fields you can enter as a writer. There’s entertainment writing, video script writing, blogging, and e-course development. You can get hired as a ghostwriter to write books for other people.

How to Get Into Freelance Writing

There are several steps you can take to become a writer. The order of these steps isn’t important.

Take a Writing Course

A good writer in any field is dedicated to becoming a better writer. An online writing course is a great way to learn how to become a writer, learn a new skill, or get a certification.

Build Your Portfolio

  • Editorials for college newspapers
  • Academic writing samples
  • Fake samples of your niche
  • Free samples for a friend or family member

Start Pitching

There are many articles on how to become a writer that make it sound easy to find writing jobs. They downplay the time it takes to find open positions and pitch for them. However, pitching is a numbers game, and a good pitch can open doors for long-term writing positions.

Choosing a Niche

How to Become an Author

You might think that the first step in how to become an author is to write a book. Surprise! While you should be writing, there’s another step that is important to do concurrently.

Build an Audience

You can’t sell books if no one knows about your books. Whether you choose an indie publishing or traditional publishing route, you must build your audience first. It’s much harder to build your audience after you’ve published because you sound sales-y. They don’t know you, so why would they read your book?

  • Your writing process
  • Behind-the-scenes
  • Writing struggles
  • Writing memes and book memes
  • Themes you discuss in your books
  • About the author facts
  • Quotes from your work-in-progress

Write a Book

You can’t be an author if you don’t write. Whether you’re writing short stories, novellas, novels, or nonfiction books, you have to get those words on the page.

Traditional Publishing vs. Self Publishing

Traditional publishing involves pitching to a literary agent who will then sell your book to a publishing house. This is generally done after you have a completed manuscript.

How to Get into Writing: Conclusions

Becoming a writer isn’t necessarily easy, but there are infinite career paths you can take within the field. For people who are passionate about writing and using their words to impact people, it’s a fun career that is rarely dull.

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