Becoming a writer

Work in the writing business can be very fulfilling and oftentimes frustrating; hair-pulling to be exact. But the reward in the work itself grounds and roots me to my psyche. For those that are drawn to words and how they are strung together congregate in libraries, open mics and other such places and dream of one day having a job that will pay them to pick words out of the air in a congruent and clever fashion. We are a special breed to say the least.

Now just how does one become a writer? Not only just a writer, but how does one become a freelance writer? The answer to these questions can be found in your mind and in your heart. It is either a yes or no and then fire motivation set with some guidelines.

A very easy recipe yet requires some meticulous attention.

The first thing one needs to think about when deciding on a writing career is specific goals. It sounds easy though some don't take the time to do it. And I believe that whatever the mind is set to, it will accomplish. There are studies out there (in print and on the net) that goal setters earn and accomplish ten times more than those who don't.

Goal setting gives you a sense of purpose and provides you with focus for what you need to do. By concentrating on the intention you seek, you are better able to use time-management strategies to achieve more. You are also able to move away from self-doubt and able to overcome fears. Thinking successful places your mind-set in the positive, raising your confidence levels to actually becoming successful.

There are also some out there who believe that they must obtain a journalism or English Degree to become a writer but this is not at all the case. Such degrees will enhance the quality of your work but there are many writers who are self taught. Besides, the key to successful knowledge is all about reading! And if you have a penchant for books and reading about writing, you are on the right track. Although, having a college education never hurts, the piece of paper you obtain does not define you. If you feel that you can commit to this craft and have a sound understanding of grammar, rhetoric and the like, you owe it to yourself to try.

Once you have set your goals and decided this is the right path for you, start thinking about the type of markets you would like to write for and the audience you would like to reach. What are your interests outside of words and rhetoric? If you are interested in sailing then it would make the most sense to write about the various topics on boating. Being a freelance writer is all about motivation so it is best to start out this way. You will find yourself more committed and find the best results.

Once you have found your choice topic it is time for some research. Find the publications in each of the markets that you feel you could write well with and read them cover to cover. Find out what the submission guidelines are and query the publication. Make sure it is specifically suited to their needs otherwise they may not give you a second chance to correct yourself.

After writing a few articles on the selected genre you will know if this is where you want to be. Starting in a smaller market also allows you to develop your skills as a writer. Editors of these smaller publications are more likely to take some time to help you develop your voice and create sound pieces. It is also a good place to start developing your curriculum vitae. Usually larger markets require writing samples before they hire you.

It never matters that you wrote for a big publication. What matters is well-reported, well-researched and succinct writing. Knowing someone can get your foot in the door, but implementing your whole self through it and into a regular position pertains to what you know. You must practice your craft. Keep a journal of exercises close by to challenge your mind and your writing. It will keep the work coming. Resilience and consistency from piece to piece will show that you can produce good work when the opportunity presents itself.

Starting out as a freelance writer may be difficult financially, however, there are writers that do it. One must set up a budget so as not to hit any financial snags. Know exactly how much money is being brought in and how much money you spend monthly. At the end of every month make sure all the numbers add up and make time to readjust if need be. Microsoft Excel is a great way to keep everything organized. This is very important, especially if you are buying large items like property, vehicles etc.

Being a writer is not as glamorous as you suspect. It is also a very lonely profession. But the immense gratification that comes after an article is written is more than any nine-to-five desk job. Stringing words together in a competent fashion sets the world ablaze with newness and satisfying accomplishment.