Got any tips for a wanna-be-writer?

Philippines
October 10, 2007 1:35am CST
For the longest time, I've been considering making a living as a writer--freelance, preferably. Thing is, I'm not really sure how to go about doing that. I'm not really sure if I've got the skill to make it as one. Not only is it serious self-doubt that hindering me from becoming one, but the mere thought of a highly competitive field makes me cringe. How am I supposed to even get assignments if there are already established names out there with pages full of writing experience? It's not like writing achievements back in high school is gonna count,right? I'm pretty sure that there some myloters that also earn decent income out of writing. Could you spare some of your tips or stories perhaps on how you made it as a writer? What did you do to best yourself from among the billions or so of people out there who are also on this same line of work.
2 people like this
6 responses
@scribe1 (1207)
• United States
10 Oct 07
I started out by selling how-to articles to magazines such as Instructor. My audience consisted of teachers. As a teacher, I was familiar with common problems and offered solutions to them in a number of articles, 30 published ones to be exact. You can do the same thing. Choose colleagues or coworkers as your audience and develop a how-to article, which you can sell to magazines and journals that your audience reads. Writing that article shouldn't be difficult, either. Just write the way you would speak to that audience. You can opt for writing how-to's for people who share your hobby or interest, and have a wide range of subjects from which to choose. You will be able to use the same strategy with this audience. Go to one of those chain bookstores and check out magazines in your area of interest. You'll soon discover that a lot of them feature how-to articles, which are probably the easiest to write and sell. This is probably the best way to see your work in print, earn some money, and become established as a published writer. I'm living proof, as my published articles led to a book and other good things. Items such as fillers, poetry, novels and stories are difficult to newbies to break into. It is best to begin immediately with something that is familiar to you and take it from there.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
10 Oct 07
Thank you very much for this advice. It does seem like a good starting point. Trouble is, I'm still not exactly sure where my interest lies. But, I'll try to reflect on those and see if I can also come up with useful how-tos for similar minded individuals. Hope I can also enjoy the success that you have.
@scribe1 (1207)
• United States
10 Oct 07
Another advantage is that you can figure out a good solution for a common problem that you share with co-workers. You can draw upon your experiences for possible solutions, pick one and develop it into an article that addresses your audience. While you are persistently working on your how-to articles, you can write stories or poetry or screenplays or anything else. As your articles sell, your income will grow and your expertise in your chosen subject will be recognized. People will associate that subject with you! Gradually, opportunities, such as speaking engagements and book offers, will come.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
10 Oct 07
Illusions of grandeur already slipping into my mind. Whew! That'll be life. Getting appreciated and being acknowledged on a specific field, with a wider range of writing opportunities to be explored in the process. Thing is, with my job experiences, I think I should be the one being handed advices not the one giving out advices. I'll try to think of a different topic that I feel I could share with other people. Thank you for the additional input though.
@mari_skye (1638)
• Philippines
11 Oct 07
Hey there! Like you, I also want to become a writer. And I want to develop my writing skills but then it seems that I do not have the time to really sit down and write. Every once in a while I get to write an article but then I really don't write that regularly. And that is where I would like to improve on. Some writing tips says that in order for your writing to improve, all you have to do is to write. Write. Write. Write whatever comes to mind and write on a regular basis. So there, all you have to do is to write. Keep a journal, it also helps. Cheers!
1 person likes this
• Philippines
11 Oct 07
Thanks, mari_skye. That's also one of the advices that I picked up on the web. One given by a professor for a creative writing class. Write anything. Everytime. Writers do that since the demons won't leave them be until they've written. Good thing now we have an alternative to keeping a journal--blogging! Hope you manage to get yourself to sit down and polish your writing skills!
@michfroi (413)
• Philippines
11 Oct 07
me too i want to be a writer but i dont know if i have the skills and talents... i really admire those who write good stories... i want to be like them
• Philippines
11 Oct 07
Same here! That's one of the reasons why I'd like to explore the possibility of earning through writing. To be able pen like my those people whose ability to write I deeply admire would be a great achievement on my end. Then again, the knowledge that I will never measure up to them makes me simply envious and gives me second thoughts about even trying to write.
• United States
11 Oct 07
Write about your passions. It will show through in your words.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
11 Oct 07
Thanks, quiethorse. I'll try to coin a few words about the things I deeply care about.
• United States
10 Oct 07
I'd say get yourself a copy of The Writers Market the 2008 is already out, also subscribe to a few writer mags my favorites are The Writer & Writers Digest. Check our buy some books on freelance. My favorite here too is 'The Well Fed Writer' and he wrote a second one. I too would love to freelance, own tons of books. But for now all I still write is poetry and although I have tried to publish it, nothing has worked out yet. GOOD LUCK TO YOU! :))
1 person likes this
• Philippines
11 Oct 07
Thanks, monkeywriter. I'll try to check if I could find copy of The Writers Market over here in our shores. Who wrote "The Well Fed Writer" by the way? GOOD LUCK TO BEING A POET TOO!! :)
@brijlesh (273)
• India
10 Oct 07
hi Friend, I am not any writer and my writing capacity and vocabulariy is not very good. But I want to suggest few tips on writing.. First you choose the topic for writing. and Choose the topic on which everyone can enjoy that topic..... either that from young generation or from old generation. thanks
1 person likes this
• Philippines
11 Oct 07
Thanks, brijlesh. That is exactly what I'm trying to work on. Choosing a topic that a lot of people will find enjoyable and interesting to read.