How To Become A Professional Writer

By on August 13, 2018
How To Become A Professional Writer - Writer's

Every professional writer has a turning point, a moment where they decide they don’t want this just to be a hobby anymore.

It could be that you’ve been trying to fit your writing around your day job for years and become increasingly frustrated with your lack of progress. It could be that you’ve been steadily building up your freelance copywriting business and now feel in a position to go full-time. Or perhaps you’ve just had one of those ‘Eureka!’ moments, where you realise writing, is all you’ve ever wanted and ever will want to do and therefore feel brave enough to pack everything else in and concentrate on only that.

Of course, many people who write as a hobby would love to become a professional writer, but the reality is most don’t take that leap because the idea of doing so is frightening, and the consequences (such as you no longer have enough money to pay your bills) are all too severe.

Of course, everyone has to make their own decisions in life, but if you know deep down that being a professional writer is what you want to be, you owe it to yourself to at least try to make that dream a reality.

But how?

Making the shift isn’t easy, and whether you are trying to become a professional novel writer or content writer, you’ll have to take risks and put in some serious work to give yourself the best chance of success.

Treat it like a job

If you want to succeed as a professional writer, you have to be just that - professional. Make sure you get up every day ready to work a full working day. Be focused, be productive, be ambitious. Just because you are your boss now doesn’t give you the excuse to slack off.

Treat it like a business

You are not only a professional writer you are a businessperson too. This means you have to do several roles (unless you can hire people to do them for you). Make sure you focus on getting your writing done, but also making contacts, learning how to market, researching where you can get your work published, editing, managing your finances and so on. Treating it like a business means being able to set goals, to schedule working time and to make plans. The more businesslike you are, the more likely you’ll be able to juggle all the tasks you need to to make it work.

Get feedback

Being a professional writer means putting your writing out there, so make sure you get feedback (early on). Feedback can be so helpful if it’s given by someone who knows what they are talking about and wants to help you but isn’t afraid to give their honest opinion.

Train yourself up

In any other good role, you’d always be learning and evolving so make sure you invest time and money (if you can) into training yourself so that you continue to improve. Read books, take classes, attend workshops and find information online to help you to get better and better and always stay on top of your game.

Start small (but think big)

If the idea of packing in your day job cold turkey is too daunting, then you can make the shift to becoming a professional writer by taking small but purposeful steps to get there. Find ways to fit in your writing outside of your work hours or see if you can reduce your working hours or go part-time to make the transition more manageable.

Becoming a professional writer can become a reality if you are willing to be brave and put in the time and effort required to do so. So don’t delay, start following your dreams today!

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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