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How to Make a Career in Writing?

There are more than many opportunities that one could not imagine that you would find in this field, but one requires to sincerely look for it.

Contrary to popular beliefs, writing is a lucrative and vast career with multitude of specialties within every single type.  People who have developed writing skills have opportunities open for them in fields and industries such as... 

Content writing for magazines, scientific journals, e-commerce and newspapers, academic writing, technical writing of IT industries and others, copy-writing, social media writing, Seo writing, ghost writing for authors, translating novels, poems and short stories, novel writing, poetry writing, writing scripts and screenplay for movies and TV series, short story writing, play writing for theatrical performances, and the list simply does not end. 

There are more than many opportunities that one could not imagine that you would find in this field, but one requires to sincerely look for it.

In today’s fast-paced age of internet, content has become an important way for brands to promote and endorse their company and products. And this requires hiring employees with efficient writing skills and knowledge base. On the internet, the content is the core and everything revolves around it. Therefore, creating valuable and engaging content is what everybody is looking for, and this is where writing is required. Every single activity of planning a project requires clear ideation and jotting down of a plan, which is an on-going process for writers: reading, thinking and writing. Candidates who have creative inclination are required in every type of industry, hence, the opportunities are massively growing.

Writing is one field that requires more attention to the words and thoughts than any other. Starting a career in writing is not a difficult, however, making a distinct identity of your writing style and thought process and putting it across is a difficult one. The first thing one could do to begin a career in writing is to do blogging. But it is that that simple. Blogging requires a well-grounded knowledge in the subject matter. If you still haven’t found your zone, you could try writing about either the incidents that are taking place around you or try writing news articles for starters.

Once you have read enough blogs, magazines and newspapers as well as have written enough, you can attempt reading literary fiction and other genres to understand whether you would like to get into that field of writing. Poetry writing is also any important zone. Many renowned novelists were also poets. Writing English short stories and poems and getting published in literary journals such as Glimmer Train and Tin House for short stories, New Yorker and Atlantic for interesting pieces, Kenyon Review, Poetry and Slate for poems—all can immensely boost you literary writing resume; and could probably even get you a book deal someday.

Now, when we talk about writing a novel, one should ask what kind of writing you are aiming to be: a commercial fiction writer, literary writer, or Flash fiction writer, science fiction writer, epic fantasy writer, or self-help writer. You have ample amount of options to choose from. When you start reading and researching, you are soon going to find your zone—where you know exactly what you would want to do.

Before you start you literary career, read literary journals and magazines, read literary fiction by Kafka, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Albert Camus, Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde, Thomas Hardy, Milan Kundera, J.D. Salinger, Virginia Woolf, as well as Ian Ryand, Stephen Kings, and other writers. Also, as important as reading those classics are, do not miss out on the current novels out there in the market like The God Of Small Things, White Tiger, Life Of Pi, Eat Pray Love, P.S. I Love You, etc. For every genre that you would want to write in you would also need to read the authors of those respective genres.

One important suggestion: if you are planning to write a novel, poetry collection or a short story, do not leave you day job, because the success percentage for one getting his or her work published and that too earn from it very less. Making a living as a novelist is very difficult, so please continue with you job while you attempt to or write a masterpiece.

Also, try to understand what kind of audience you would want to write for. If it is a magazine or a newspaper or a blog, see if you are, for example, interested in automobiles, tech, travel, food, etc. Knowing this will give you direction and specific categories or zones to write in. If you are a Travel person, writing travel articles for magazines is not a bad idea, in fact, it will give a kick start to your career while to explore the world of writing and stumble upon a plot as fantastic as Lord Of The Rings.

GQ, Vogue, Top Gear, Stuff, Digit, Buzzfeed, Mashable, Huffington Post, ScoopWhoop, and many other magazines are currently hiring content writers. Start with that and see how it goes. 

If you want to be a writer, you better start writing with something than nothing because you need to write in order to a writer of any kind. 

And for more understand of things search you queries in Google, Ask, Quora, Reddit, and other platforms. Make friends with people who are currently writing in magazines, or digital marketing agencies, ad agencies, IT firms, literary magazines and more, and learn from them to get more clarity about your zones.

Have patience and determination, and keep reading, writing and interacting with like-minded people, something interesting will surely pave your way to becoming a writer.

And ya…keep reading and writing—that’s the only ‘Mantra’. Adios!

This is a YourStory community post, written by one of our readers.The images and content in this post belong to their respective owners. If you feel that any content posted here is a violation of your copyright, please write to us at mystory@yourstory.com and we will take it down. There has been no commercial exchange by YourStory for the publication of this article.
An Indian novelist and investment banking professional.

Stories by Bibhu Datta Rout