Not all writers work as or want to be novelists, poets or authors. Writing is an extremely diverse occupational field with multi-faceted career paths. There isn’t a single route to becoming a writer, which is one of the major benefits of the profession. Yet, two-thirds of writers are self-employed freelancers. The information below outline steps someone can take to become a writer.
Earn a high school degree
A high school degree or equivalent is the minimum educational requirement to qualify for a majority of writing jobs. Coursework in English, reading and writing are important. Future writers can also write for their yearbook or school paper to develop skills.
Select a professional path
Before embarking on an academic or career choice, prospective writers should decide on a specialty. Do they want to write fiction as an author? Are they poetically inclined and desire a career as poet? Do they want see their words make it to the big screen as a screenwriter? Are they interested in marketing and want to work as a web writer? When getting started, think about the type of writing you want to do, more than the industry itself. That can help guide the decision about what type of education to pursue.
Get a writing education
There are two types of writing training: formal and informal. Formal training includes completing a degree program at the undergraduate or graduate level. Some writers choose either an associate degree in English or a bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis in writing or creative writing, while others may choose a journalism degree. Beyond attending a traditional degree program, writers need to write. Prospective writers can develop a portfolio while they attend school. Submitting pitches to publications, and writing articles on “spec” (for free), and writing for the college newspaper are three great ways to gain experience and familiarity with the publishing industry.
Build a portfolio
After completing a degree program, writers can seek out full-time writing positions in their respective industries. For individuals who want to become authors, poets and screenwriters, the road is slightly more challenging. Typically, their path includes writing a novel, collection of poems or screenplays, attempting to secure an agent, and selling their work to a publishing firm. It can be a long road that takes dedication and persistence.