So you want to be a laptop-wielding, adverb-destroying artist of the word?
Maybe you’ve dreamt about it since you were a fanfic scribbling toddler or maybe you’re a career-changing multipod who just stumbled upon the idea. Whatever path led you to the pen, these are six essential steps to becoming a writer.
Want to be a writer but don’t know where to start? Want to know how to become a writer without a degree? Read on!
1. Figure out what kind of writer you want to be
Do you dream of writing about dragons and faeries? Or is writing content for popular blogs more up your alley? Whatever you like about writing, there is a career for you. But figuring out which is right for you is the first step.
- author or ghostwriter
- blogger/content writer
- science writer
- technical writer
Knowing your niche is essential for becoming a writer. You need to know what the requirements are for jobs in your field. You need to understand the particular style and structure for the writing career you want to pursue.
Most of all, you need to know what to study.
2. Research your craft
Speaking of studying, the next step to becoming a writer is research. Depending on the type of writing career you want to pursue determines what that research will look like.
Whether it’s keeping up-to-date with a TV show you want to review or scouring blogs to get a feel for the format of keyword content, research is essential for understanding the basics of the writing craft.
Yes, there are those lucky few who seem to have been born drafting news articles or composing rhymes. Those lucky folks, though, are few and far between. For the rest of us, studying how others write is a great way to learn the basics before you begin applying what you’ve learned.
3. Practice makes perfect
Now that you know what kind of writer you want to be and you’ve learned the basics through research, it’s time to practice!
This means writing what you can when you can. Carry a notebook with you or keep the notes app on your phone handy, whatever you do, just remember the age-old adage: Practice really does make perfect when it comes to writing.
When you practice, you take the basics and apply your own unique perspective to your writing. This gives your writing style and voice, which are two aspects of writing that are extremely difficult to teach. If you want to be a writer, practice is essential for giving your pieces authentic flare.
4. Tell people you’re a writer
“Tell people I’m a writer?” You cry. “But I haven’t published anything! Haven’t posted my first blog! Haven’t even sold my first article!”
Hear me out: Humans are social creatures. We find it rewarding when others celebrate our successes with us. Rewards = motivation and motivation = desire to keep writing.
Not only will this help with motivation but it also helps hold you accountable. Maybe telling mom that you’re a writer will finally give you that push you need to apply for an internship at your local newspaper. When others know your goals, there is someone else rooting for you to succeed.
5. Join writing communities
Speaking of accountability, the penultimate step toward becoming a writer is joining writing communities! Depending on your interests, there are many different platforms to engage with your writing community.
Here are just a few ways to get in touch with the writing community:
- Youtube has Booktube and Authortube
- Instagram has Bookstagram
- Twitter is home to a diverse community of political commentators, authors, and journalists
- Writing forums online
- Conferences in your area
Writing can be a solitary career so interacting with your fellow writers is a great way to stay social. Additionally, joining a community of writers is a great way to network and get your name out into the writing world.
6. Support other writers like you
Connecting with other writers is just as important as supporting their work. Whether you chalk it up to karma or the power of positive thinking or Newton’s third law, supporting other writers will make them want to support you.
Buy or review books. Share and comment on blog posts. Like critics’ reviews.
Helping out your fellow writers shouldn’t be hard. It should, however, be an essential step on your checklist of how to be a writer.
That’s it! Six easy breezy steps and you can become a writer.
But wait! You cry. You didn’t mention going to college! Or buying books on writing!
You’re right. I didn’t mention either of those things because I believe anyone can be a writer. That’s right, you don’t need to spend tons of money on a degree or break the bank to afford expensive texts on how to write. There is one thing more powerful than both of those combined: the internet.
There a million (free!) resources online that you can take advantage of to further your writing abilities. If you have the money to spend, go for it! If you’re desperate for knowledge and short on cash, though, do not despair: This blog and a hundred others like it are here to help.
So there you have it: Six essential steps you should take on your path to becoming a writer. Leave a comment and let me know what made you decide to become a writer. Happy writing!