Writing

A Question About A Career In Writing… Where To Start?

  • February 4, 2013

Star In My Notebook

It all began with my piece entitled, Secrets Of A Successful Freelance Writing Career, then came my advice on keeping a notebook entitled, Why Every Writer Needs A Notebook, and finally, The All-In-One Writing Advice Post For New Writers.

I get lots of email every single day from aspiring writers.  Lots.  However, this particular email from Jordan T is worth sharing:

Do you have any advice for an aspiring writer? I’m having a lot of trouble finding a job around here. Not specifically a writing job, but just work in general. Finding something I actually WANT to do is tough. But back to the writing, any small pieces of advice you could offer? What kind of work do you do/have you done that you feel has been most helpful for your career? Where is a good starting point?
-Jordan

Where do I begin?  As I mentioned in this piece, my career officially started when I was a senior in high school.  I was one of the lucky ones who had a very observant and caring teacher who saw a hidden talent within me that nobody else saw, not even me.

Most successful writers are also voracious readers.  Ideally, anybody seeking a writing career must also be an avid reader.  I have a list of books that aspiring writers should read.  Since I bought my first Amazon Kindle, I have gotten all of my books for my Kindle.  Since I’m always on the go, having electronic versions of my favorite books makes the issue of portability almost minuscule.  To stay current, most writers stay up to date reading magazines.  My favorite magazine is The Sun; avoid magazines devoted to writing if you’re easily discouraged reading about the overwhelming success of other writers.

Writing jobs are very difficult to find these days, especially with the proliferation of bloggers who are vying for paid positions as writers.  Even if a job were available, they are in such high demand that employers will base their hiring based upon academic achievement (i.e. writing degrees).  While there has always been an argument over the ethics of hiring based upon the possession of a college degree, the fact remains the same that employers need some means of filtering applicants; in recent times that filter has been a college degree, despite the fact that there are a multitude of writers who never attended college who later became successful regardless.

All successful writers start out somewhere.  I started out with a free website on Tripod.com (in the late 90’s before blogs were even invented), and over the years, moved my content to countless other places, before recently (in 2013), leasing my own commercial-grade enterprise web server.  If you’re still unsure of where to start, in my professional opinion, one should look no further than WordPress.  The truth is that you must start somewhere, and the Internet is perhaps the best place to start.  When the time comes that you will want or need to upgrade (and it WILL happen sooner or later), sign up for quality web hosting.

Not sure what to write about?  Write about something.  Anything.  Write as often as you can; all day, every day, if you can.  Here are a bunch of things to write about.  Share the pieces of writing you are most proud about.  It doesn’t matter if you feel your writing is inferior to that of someone else.  Whatever speaks to you in some way needs to be shared.

Got any ideas?  Share them here by leaving a comment.  You can always plug your blogs and websites in the comments, too!

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