How to Become a Writer: 7 Practical Steps

If you ’ re dream of turning your passion for writing into a full-time career, you ’ re in the right place. In this station, we ’ ll go through a series of actionable steps that you can take to start writing professionally .
here are 7 steps to help you become a writer :

1. Create a solid writing routine 

How To Become a Writer | A writer is ready get work done
Finding the time to write in a jammed schedule is the first hurdle for about every draw a bead on generator. Countless talented writers never make it past this obstacle, but those who do are already halfway to ‘ making it ’ — all you have to do is make writing a regular habit.

here are a few tips for establishing a writing habit :
Make writing a priority. If you want to be a professional writer, set non-negotiable compose time in your calendar and arrange your early commitments around it .
Define your writing goals. Whether it ’ s a day by day number of words or completing a job in a set number of days, goals help break larger projects into manageable chunks — so you ’ ll be less overwhelm and more likely to knuckle down and write .
Identify your ideal writing times. Do you tend to get the most done right after waking up in the dawn, or during the repose hours of the even ? calculate out your windows of productiveness and capitalize on them .

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however, no matter how unassailable your write routines are, every author can benefit from a helping pass to perform at their best. thankfully, there are some apps for that .
How To Become a Writer | A writer is writing at her desk
If you want to become a full-time writer, you need to equip yourself with the right environment and the best write tools .
different tools can impact your output in different ways : for exemplar, on-line whiteboards like Miro can help you visually sketch out your book ’ south outline and character bios, and help you define the climate of your world-building. Tools like Grammarly can identify and fix misprint and grammatical errors, whereas browser blockers like Cold Turkey can help to minimize distractions and stay fat .
When it comes to using master writing software, you could use tools like Reedsy Book Editor to enjoy legato collaborative edit, keep lead of your word count goals, and format your book for distribution .
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Which writing app is right for you?

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finally, workspace tools like ergonomic chairs and standing desks can besides largely influence the quality and proficiency of your writing ( we besides hear that houseplants can boost creativity, but don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate quote us on that ) .
But, before you get excessively comfortable in your writing corner surrounded by all your adorable tools, you may want to consider going second to class…

3. Take classes to pick up credentials

How To Become a Writer | A student is taking notes about Creative Writing
The relevance or necessity of academician credentials to become a writer largely depends on the type of writing job you want. While ‘ novelist ’ might be what most people think of when they imagine a writing career, that ‘s not the alone way to earn your surviving as a professional writer. here are a few alternate options to consider :

  • Journalist — write for newspapers and magazines. Requires top-notch research skills, the ability to be objective, and to meet strict deadlines.
  • Columnist — write for newspapers and magazines. Unlike journalists, columnists offer their subjective opinion and insight on current events.
  • Copywriter — write marketing copy for brands, companies, or organizations.
  • Technical writer — turn complex jargon into concise information that users of a product or clients of a company can clearly understand.
  • Web content writer — write online blog posts and articles for brands, companies, or organizations.
  • Ghostwriter — write content on behalf of other people or organizations. Learn more about becoming a ghostwriter here!
  • Grant writer — write documents to help organizations seeking grants.

The options are bountiful. But if you think you ’ ll need academic credentials, let ‘s take a look at your choices in closer detail .

MFA

You need n’t look excessively unvoiced to find authors who emerged from MFA programs to establish glittering literary careers. For case, both Flannery O ’ Connor and Rachel Kushner are MFA babies .
then again, you can find just as many authors who didn ’ t discipline anything related to writing and worked in wholly unrelated industries before becoming bestsellers — like Charles Bukowski ( a mailman ), Haruki Murakami ( a sleep together golf club coach ), and even Harper Lee ( an airline ticket clerk ). After all, life experience is a samara ingredient of any good fabrication .
Becoming a novelist doesn ’ thymine require any specific credentials beyond the ability to write ( and market ) a great floor. Pursuing an MFA can surely help you develop your craft, network with established and aspiring writers, or lead you to some creative writing gigs, but it ’ s not a shortcut to success. In addition, the majority of MFA programs focus on literary fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. so if you want to become a fabrication writer, an MFA is likely not a necessity step stone for you .

Bachelor’s Degree (BA)

While higher education is not a needed certificate for becoming a novelist, academician qualifications can be more crucial for nonfiction writers. In many cases, success as a nonfiction writer relies upon your subject authority and frequently necessitates the relevant credentials as proof. That might include a degree or early relevant experience in the airfield. Imagine yourself picking up a nonfiction book and turning it over to read the writer ‘s bio : what kind of credentials would assure you this is person who knows what they ’ re talking about ?
In terms of journalism, most news outlets will require applicants to have completed a Bachelor ’ s degree before adding them to the payroll. While majoring in journalism is surely a sound option, many news program outlets require a literature degree or exchangeable, as you ’ ll have many of the same skills but no biases in your journalistic practices. It ‘s besides distinctive to double-major or major-minor in a combination of journalism and the field you ’ rhenium concerned in writing approximately .

Doctorate (Ph.D.) 

A Ph.D. in literature or creative write is often preferred by people who want to teach literature or writing at college or university levels. Overall, a doctor’s degree may besides be appropriate if your writing draws extensively from academic research or scientific findings — as it will give you more subject-matter authority .

Associate Degree

An associate degree typically lasts two years and can be more industry-focused than a BA. If you ’ re hop to become a copywriter or world wide web capacity writer, pursuing an associate degree in media, market, or writing might be a dependable room to lay the foundation for your career .

Certificate

Certificates are short-run programs that provide foundational education and skills-based discipline. They typically last a few weeks to a few months, and, as with the associate degree, it ’ s a good option for aspiring freelancer writers .
How to become a writer | List of academic credentials for different jobs Again, while not all kinds of writing careers require specific degrees, seeking relevant, dinner dress education surely won ’ thymine injury it. That said, with the written news nestled comfortably in the digital landscape, it ‘s more authoritative than ever for writers to sniff out opportunities to publish their work and establish their names.

4. Seek opportunities to publish your work

How to become a writer | A writer writes starts writing a story
once you ’ ve produced work that you ’ rhenium gallant of, it ’ second clock time to start seeking opportunities to publish it. Countless print and on-line publications eagerly accept work from budding writers. Submitting to these places will give you the opportunity to build your portfolio, and provide you with valuable experience in tailoring your writing to specific outlets .

Fiction

If you ’ re an aspirant fabrication writer, follow the likes of Ursula K. Le Guin and Ernest Hemingway, and get your foot in the door by submitting your unretentive stories to magazines and contests. hera are a few places where you can do merely that :
To ensure your deoxythymidine monophosphate ’ south and one ‘s are all properly crossed and dotted, here is a submissions checklist that ’ s sure to keep you square !

Nonfiction

nonfiction writers have ample opportunity to get their byline out in the global besides. If there ’ s a particular recess you ’ ra interest in, start by putting together a list of relevant publications. Most websites will have a submission section with guidelines for submitting a piece .
Follow specific editors on Twitter to keep up with when magazines are accepting pitches. They will normally tweet when their inbox is loose ( and what they ’ re looking for in a sales talk ) — plus many of them are open to questions. If you do n’t know where to find them, look for names via magazine websites, the publication ’ second LinkedIn page, or just use the Twitter search officiate. Editors of magazines normally tell you who they are in their Twitter bio !

Put your pitches and deadlines in a calendar

following, get your ‘ pitch calendar ’ organized by listing the outlets you want to write for, your premise for each pitch, and any deadlines to keep in take care. You might besides want to make note of any feedback you receive. For example, an wall socket might let you know that your piece wasn ’ thymine right for them “ at this fourth dimension, ” or they might clarify what they ’ ra looking for in more specific terms .
hera are a few resources that connect writers with publications looking for submissions :

Consider self-publishing

If you have a book idea you can ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate stop thinking about and your finish is to see it materialized, then you might want to consider self-publishing. Getting your ledger out into the worldly concern is easier than it ’ mho ever been, and we ’ ve detailed the whole process in another guide. Plus, you can do it in your own meter .
Though some traditionally published family names nab hundreds of thousands in advances, those are the outliers. many more self-published authors make a animation from their writing than their traditionally published counterparts : this report found that the act of indie authors earning five to six figures per year from book sales was a lot higher than the total of large 5 authors earning the same .
If you ’ re distillery on the fence about which publishing path to take, why not take this one-minute quiz to find out for sure which option is the most viable for you ?

Is self-publishing or traditional publishing right for you?

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once you start to get a few publications under your belt, it ’ randomness prison term to put them together in a nicely bundled portfolio that shows the global ( and likely clients ) what you ’ ra able of .

5. Create a strong portfolio 

How to become a writer | A beautiful author's website
Besides maintaining an active social media presence and sharing your latest pieces on platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn, your personal web site is your calling poster. It will ensure that when editors, agents, or publishers look you up ( and they will ), they can immediately find your writing portfolio — and see that you ’ ra dedicated to your career. here ’ s how to put together a portfolio that attracts clients :

Create a website

To create your own web site, you must first register a world name on services like GoDaddy or Namecheap ( e.g. authorname.com ), or sign up for a free web site with services like WordPress, Wix, or SquareSpace ( e.g. authorname.wordpress.com ) 一 although the inaugural option is more professional. If you ‘re not excessively confident in your technical school skills, consider hiring a professional web graphic designer who can help you build a web site that stands out .

Use a portfolio site

If you don ’ t want to spend besides much time designing a web site, you can always turn to a trusted portfolio site. All you need to do is create an report with them and input your personal data. here are a few democratic options :

  • MuckRack: a popular platform for journalists and PR professionals.
  • Contently: a useful site for content writers.
  • Clippings.me: provides a clean-cut design for every kind of writer.

Perfect your website

Your author web site should reflect your personality, list your credentials, and most importantly — show your work .
There are different ways to present your portfolio : you could divide your writing into different niches like Jennifer Fernandez, or you could go for a concise bio that packs a punch in terms of insight into your professional background as in Alice Driver ’ randomness portfolio. For writer websites, it ’ s key to give visitors a clear route to buying any books you ’ ve published ( check Austin Kleon ’ south model ) .
once your web site is know, it might take a while for word of mouth to spread and for job opportunities to come your way. then, while you get the ball hustle, consider reaching out to organizations that could help you support your dream ( read : paying the bills ! ) .

6. Apply for writing grants 

How to become a writer | A writer receives a paycheck
Until you manage to write professionally full-time, a writing accord can help you finish those big, time-consuming projects on your hands, acting as a buff when actual income is patchy .
here ’ s a reliable list of grants for you to peruse — some will have no stipulations regarding what the money is spent on, and others will be for specific reasons, like traveling to a writers ’ retirement or league. There are besides many grants specifically intended to help marginalized communities get a branch up in the industry. Make certain you check out our video recording guide for some helpful advice on making a successful application .

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Whether or not your career will benefit from scoring a grant, you ’ ll soon learn that if you want to reach fresh literary heights and establish yourself as a writer, you ’ ll need the assistant of other professionals in the space .

7. Collaborate with professional editors


How to become a writer | A writer and an editor collaborate successfully

equally soon as your budget allows for it, aim to collaborate with professional editors to improve your craft, acquire diligence cognition, and land ambitious projects.

An editor ’ mho boodle and butter is to revise your influence then that it ’ mho quick for the big stage, from spotting plot holes, improving text quality, and examining your manuscript for inconsistencies before its acquittance. More than that, working with an editor program will teach you about the ins and outs of the publish diligence — including the all-important standards and best practices of the literary worldly concern .
Finding a good editor is always a type of collaboration worth investing in if you want to speed up your development and make a leap fore in your journey to become a master writer .
hopefully, this mail has shown you how to get things going so that you can make writing a financially viable career. To wrap things up, there ’ south nothing quite as inspiring for budding writers as words of wisdom from those who have achieved writerly acclaim. thus tuck into these bright books about write, and then pick up your pen and get going. We look forward to seeing your name in mark !

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