Did you always dream of becoming a writer? Or are you just now discovering your passion for writing and want to explore your options? No matter the case, becoming a writer is easier than ever!
If you want to turn writing into a full-time career, you’re in the right place. In this post, we’ll go through various steps you can take to start writing professionally, as well as answer a key question about the different types of writers:
- How much do writers make?
- How much do freelance writers make?
- How much do grant writers make?
- How much do technical writers make?
- How much do ghostwriters make?
How To Become a Writer
Remember that the moment you sketched out your very first outline, that’s when you became a writer. Many believe that to become a professional writer, you must publish a book; while that is a possible path, it is certainly not the only one. Read on to learn more about the steps you can take to start your writing career.
1. Choose a path
Deciding to pursue a writing career is just the beginning. However, when it comes to making a living out of this career, you must choose your desired career path. Fortunately, writing offers various rewarding choices. While some writing forms may excite you more than others, you might want to try multiple paths before settling in.
Here are the paths you can choose from:
- Freelance writing
- Writing nonfiction books
- Fiction writing
- Technical writing
Reading is essential to being a good writer. The more you read, the more you’re exposed to high-quality writing. Without realizing it, you’re internalizing the elements of the text, and you’ll slowly find yourself implementing them in your writing.
Not only this, reading gives you inspiration and ideas. These two elements together will make writing so much easier.
What you choose to read will often affect the way you write. To make sure you get some quality reading in during the year, make yourself a monthly reading list with books in the following categories:
- Books on the craft of writing
- Books like the ones you want to write
- Books you read for fun
3. Create a writing routine
Finding the time to write in a jam-packed schedule is the first hurdle for almost every aspiring author. Many talented writers fail this step, but those who do are already halfway to “making it”—all you have to do is make writing a regular habit.
While having to write every day might sound inflexible, those who take their writing seriously make time for it in their daily routines. Whether you are an early bird or a night owl, carve out some of that time for your new writing habit. Figure out your windows of productivity and capitalize on them.
4. Put yourself out there
Get over the idea that every page you write has to be perfect. The fear of making mistakes or not achieving perfection is the main reason behind writer’s block and procrastination.
To become a professional writer, you must equip yourself with the right environment and the proper writing tools. Nowadays, there is a tool for everything, from sketching your writing to editing; use them!
You can also join a writing community. By doing so, you will gain honest critiques and reviews and share your writing. This can boost your confidence, especially if you are unsure of whether others will like your writing.
You will receive the best feedback from your readers, so don’t hesitate to publish your work. Countless prints and online publications accept work from new writers. Hence, you should constantly seek opportunities to get your work out there!
Average Salary for Writers
Most writers are self-employed, and their experience directly impacts their salary. An entry-level writer with less than one year of experience can earn an average compensation of $50,215. As they gain more experience (1-4 years) are expected to earn an average of $52,945. With 5-9 years of experience, the average salary can increase to $65,971. In their later career (20 years and higher), writers can make an average total compensation of $69,109.
Additionally, the type of writer you decide to be will consequently determine the salary you will earn. Let’s take a look at how much different writers make.
Freelance writers work as self-employed contractors for an organization instead of full- or part-time employees and can work for multiple clients simultaneously. They can be generalists, meaning they can write content for various publications and channels—blog posts, internal corporate communications, emails, grant writing, proposals, or newsletters.
On the other hand, many freelance writers choose to specialize in a specific communications channel or industry. No matter the path they choose, the average yearly income freelancers are expected to make rounds up to approximately $50,475.
A grant writer researches, writes, and submits grant requests for individuals and organizations seeking funding. Generally, this involves finding specific grants and determining whether they’re suitable for the organization seeking them. It can also include liaising between the funding provider and the recipient.
Organizations like to find grant writers who can work with them in the long run. So if you manage to satisfy them by winning them their grants, you will likely be offered a long-term contract. That contains many grants, which means you can make money consistently. Annually, grant writers are expected to earn up to $52,774.
Technical writers create content teaching people how to use applications and tech equipment. They write instruction manuals, how-to guides, articles, and product guides.
Technical writers have degrees or other formal training in STEM fields. A technical writer’s work must be highly detailed, leaving no room for misinterpretation or error. The median pay for technical writers was $75,002 annually.
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Many of the bestselling books you see by celebrities, entrepreneurs, politicians, and public figures aren’t actually their work. A ghostwriter often interviews the person that will be on the cover and turns their life story or ideas into a book.
Becoming a ghostwriter involves understanding how to interview people, translate life experiences into stories without losing the tone of voice, and know how to write a book. Sometimes these writers rewrite a manuscript or early drafts created by a public figure or celebrity until it can be published.
The average salary for a ghostwriter is $52,684 per year.
Editors are considered a company’s voice, ensuring that all written materials are accurate and of high quality. They work with writers to improve their content while educating them about general best practices for writing well so that everything comes together seamlessly at publication time.
An editor’s main duties are editing and improving copy, identifying ways to improve the flow of materials, and advising writers on content pieces. They also have to create a content calendar. For these responsibilities, editors can expect to earn $56,301 annually.
Social media managers
Social media managers are in charge of the business’s interactions with possible clients through social media platforms using a unified voice. Their duties include:
- Analyzing engagement data
- Identifying trends in customer interactions
- Planning digital campaigns to build community online
They oversee a company’s interactions with the public by implementing social media platforms’ content strategies.
Writers vs. Authors
While all authors are writers, not all writers are authors, which may confuse many of you but bear with us. The primary difference between a writer and an author is whether or not your work is published.
You are technically a writer if you’ve written dozens of science fiction novels, children’s books, and various literary pieces, but none of them have ever been published. However, if the publishing industry distributes your next book, that act of publishing makes you an author.
So, an author is someone whose written work has been published. In addition to producing published work, people who write are considered authors when they originate the ideas and content of their written work.
Job Outlook for Writers
The blossoming of web-based publications, in particular, is expected to positively impact the demand for writers and editors. The blossoming of web-based publications, in particular, is expected to positively impact the demand for writers and editors.
Bloggers and technical writers for interactive media should encounter significant growth possibilities, mainly as print magazines, businesses, non-profit organizations, and associations develop exclusively digital content. With training in specialized fields such as law, medicine, or economics, writers will experience significant job prospects because of the continuing need to communicate technical information to target audiences.
Becoming a writer can be challenging, but there are endless career paths you can take within the field. People passionate about writing and using their words to impact people have a chance to do so through different writing forms.
While earning a competitive salary can take time, focusing on constantly becoming a better writer is essential. Keep your devotion to writing alive no matter what; with time, it will shine through everything you write.