If you’re a writer, you must have heard this at some point in your life: People don’t make a living by writing. People always see writing as a hobby.
Grim war stories by smart, capable writers abound on Facebook. Poorly paid assignments, clients who don’t pay, disdain for our skill, and disrespect for our profession. And yet, the technology used to create content in the digital world that we inhabit, exists because the words we created are worth sharing.
Text, video, audio — it all needs great writing if it’s going to be worth the time spent on it. If writing is your profession and your passion, you can either accept shoddy assignments for a pittance and poor treatment or, you can choose something better. Because there is something better.
Certain necessary qualities, intensities, and abilities make the difference between, life as a well-paid writer, and life as someone who likes to write but can’t seem to get paid for it.
Here are six of the most important qualities as mentioned above:
This might seem sentimental, but if you wish to be a writer, then you know that there is no substitute for the love of writing. Without love for the language or the topic, the act of merely putting words together is meaningless. Whether you call it compulsion, obsession, or bullheadedness, it is the refusal to settle for weak writing, because words matter.
An attitude of service
Writing for self-expression can be high art, pursued for the sake of your experience of truth and beauty. However, for paid writers, the audience — the reader, listener, or viewer, becomes the focus. Professional writers aim to serve their audience with correct and beautiful words; writing that meets their needs, language that clarifies rather than beautifies. Novelists, copywriters, and content writers, all function to help their audience. Regardless of how witty or perfectly poetic a phrase is, if it doesn’t serve the audience, it is worthless.
It is remarkable that the most capable writers are also the most insecure. Confidence stems from putting work into research, to develop the skills to make a difference to your audience, and become a genuinely authoritative expert. Genuine experts are humble and proud, at the same time.
The pride and belief come from hours of purposeful practice.
A good writing voice and a sound knowledge of punctuation are enough to make a person a professional writer. And great copywriters and marketers need to be excellent wordsmiths as well as strategists.
They need to understand the content required to attract attention, to stand-out amid the sea of content clutter, to motivate buying behaviour, and to help the audience make the journey from being an interested bystander to a loyal customer.
Copyblogger is the perfect place to learn and practice solid content and copywriting strategy. We run a course designed to train you in the craft of professional content creation, for those serious about professionalism in writing. The rest depends on your talent and abilities.
You may be a brilliant wordsmith and a master strategist, but you must devote adequate time and effort to produce the considerable volume of work needed to become successful. A working writer must be disciplined and needs to cultivate certain habits that enable him or her to meet deadlines, keep clients updated, and invoice individuals promptly. Though difficult to adhere to initially, with a firm willpower, these habits eventually keep one on the right track.
The willingness to become a marketer
Although it is possible to earn some money writing fiction, only a few succeed in making a great deal of money out of it. To succeed in journalism and feature writing, one must have excellent contacts. But for the majority that hopes to make a living as a writer, the most rapid and enjoyable way to do that is to write content for businesses looking to expand their client base. It is not only lucrative and in great demand, but also interesting, as it will get you to research and investigate a large variety of topics.
You might think that this kind of writing is dull to do. But creating a really good content will call on your skills as a storyteller, investigator, wordsmith, and historian.
A well-qualified content marketer needs to combine the skills of a great feature or fiction writer with a solid marketing strategy.
Writers who create excellent marketing tools for their clients, need to market themselves as well, using the very same strategies that they deploy for their customers. Even though this may not come naturally to a writer, it is possible to learn how to do so.
One of the downsides of being a professional writer is that the path you walk is the one you make yourself, with no one to guide you or give feedback. However, this can also prove to be an advantage, as it helps you develop your style.
Writing can be isolating, as you don’t have colleagues to bounce ideas off of or share your triumphs with. When you do find a community of writers, though, it’s a lovely thing. They’re some of the funniest, smartest, and quirky people you’ll ever meet. And it is a great feeling to find individuals who understand you.
Writing is a tedious job. But, if you know how to fascinate people with the movements of your pen on paper, writing can be the best profession that you can take up for the rest of your lives.