If you want to become a writer, there are many ways to do so. However, the ways to become a writer and become a successful writer diverge greatly. If you want to actually make a living from your words, here is what you’ll need to do.
Write as Much as You Can
Write as much as you possibly can. Make sure to have a set schedule where you write. Do not just wait until the feeling hits. The more you get used to writing on a schedule, the more desirable you will be to publishers.
You probably aren’t going to write the great American novel your first time out. In fact, to start making money, you probably won’t be writing fiction at all. While writing novels and short stories is definitely the more attractive of the writing professions, it is also the hardest to turn a profit from. Instead, focus on writing non-fiction pieces, website content, and freelance assignments that allow you to climb the ladder. You can focus on the writing that you truly love until you get to a certain level.
Don’t be shy about submitting writing samples to as many places as you possibly can. You may be surprised at what kind of publication or other venues you are accepted into. Remember, the key right now is to make enough money to live from. Now is not the time to be picky.
Get an Education
You may not think you need a college education to become a writer, and in some regards, you do not, but if you are writing any sort of technical articles or other writings where your expertise comes into question, it is very good to have that degree backing you up. Even if you are strictly writing only fiction, an English degree comes in very handy. Paying for a college degree to follow a career in writing is the same as any other degree. Always use your grants and scholarships to pay for as much of your tuition as you can. Anything that is leftover can be paid when you apply for private student loans. These are a great way to not only pay for college but to build your credit rating as well.
Build an Online Portfolio
With the advent of freelance writing and the internet, it is more crucial than ever that you post samples of your writing online. This gives prospective clients the opportunity to check out your writing without the need to contact you first. This may seem counterintuitive, but it is actually a great way to save time in case it is not a good match.
Look for Professional Grants
If you are a professional writer, you are bound to have peaks and valleys in your income. There is such a thing as writing grants that can help to keep you afloat when the times become lean in regard to income. Some may have stipulations as to what the money can be spent on, but many of them do not.