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So, you want to be a writer…

Writing for a living sounds easy, doesn’t it? Just sit back on your comfy sofa, open up the laptop, bash out some words and then you’re done. Except it’s not quite that easy, in fact, it’s a lot more complicated than that. For starters, there are many different types of writers and each area requires specialist skills.

Non-fiction writers

Some of the common areas of specialism include:

Bloggers

Bloggers write blog posts (this page is an example of a blog post). The style and format vary hugely across blogs but it is common to find blogs written in an informal and conversational tone.

Good working knowledge of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is essential for a successful blogger.

Content Writers

The clue is in the name, content writers write content for various mediums, commonly websites. The type of content they write includes the homepage, the about page, product descriptions and blog posts too.

Content writers also should have a good working knowledge of SEO.

Copywriters

Copywriting is a specialist skill that ties in closely with marketing. Copywriters write copy with the purpose to sell a product or persuading the audience to perform the desired action, such as to click on a link.

Copywriters compose the text for advertisements, brochures, email campaigns, and website landing pages.

Journalists

A journalist investigates and writes articles about current events and affairs. They might report on social events, political events, worldwide events, and criminal activity.

Journalists usually undergo specialist training.

Grant Writers

A grant writer is responsible for researching, drafting, and submitting proposals for an organisation (or individual) to seek grant funding.

There are no set qualifications to become a grant writer but most will have at least an undergraduate degree.

Fiction Writers

Novelists

A novelist writes novels and this usually involves planning, researching and drafting novels which are anywhere from 60,000 words upwards. A novel will undergo a large number of edits, initially from the novelist, and then also from a proofreader and an editor.

Anyone can write a novel but it takes a lot of dedication and practice to write a good novel.

Short Story Writers

Short stories are a much shorter version of a novel and have a much simpler plot. Writing a complete and compelling story that could be anywhere from a few hundred words to a few thousand or even tens of thousands of words long, takes a lot of practice.

Screenwriter

A screenwriter writes the scripts for media productions such as TV, film, and video games. A screenwriter will need to know how to write in the desired format as well as have a talent for writing a good script.

Playwright

A playwright writes plays that are normally performed on stage. As plays are heavily dialogue-based, a playwright will need to have a talent for writing compelling dialogue that tells a story.

Poet

Poets make great use of language to convey and allude to themes and images within their poems. Writing poems takes practice and time to study how great poets use effects such as rhyme, rhythm, and alliteration.

Other Writers

There are other types of writers not mentioned here such as Ghostwriters who write a work of fiction or non-fiction and give up all rights to having the work attributed to them.

In Summary

There are many areas that a writer could choose to specialise in and then they usually choose to specialise further by writing within a specific niche in that area. For example, a blogger might choose to specialise in writing only about cryptocurrency, or a novelist might choose to only write romance novels.

One thing that all writers have in common, is how hard they work to not only perfect their craft but to produce a polished product. The words may flow within the latest novel you’re reading but you can be assured that the author has spent countless hours agonising over every single one of them. Or that cryptocurrency blog post that you just read – the author has probably spent quite a few hours researching, writing, and editing before hitting that publish button.

Many areas of writing are open to anyone to writing skills but it is important to bear in mind that it can take time, practice, and experience to get good. And just like a lot of creative careers, unless you get really good (or lucky), you can forget dreaming about making the big bucks or being the next J.K. Rowling success story. As long as you are realistic about your goals, it is perfectly possible to achieve success. And if you work hard, who knows what else you could achieve?

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