So you want to be a writer but not sure how to begin?
Rest assured, you’re not alone!
Writing can seem like some mysterious craft that only a select few can do. But really, writing is one of the easiest (yet hardest) things you’ll ever do.
Easy, because all you need to do is begin writing.
Hard, because beginning (and continuing) takes creativity, courage and lots of discipline. And even then, you often question whether what you have written is worth reading.
But before you settle for a career as a writer, there are a few key questions you should ask yourself.
Why do you want to write?
What is it about writing that thrills you? Does it thrill you or only interest you? Have you always liked writing or is it something you’ve only just begun to enjoy? If you could write anything in the world what would it be? What do you hope to get out of writing?
Do you want to earn a living from writing?
Writing for pleasure and writing for a living are two very different things. Firstly, writing for pleasure means just that — for your own pleasure. There is a kind of luxury in being able to write what you like when you like, and to indulge in your creative side.
Writing for a living means writing for other people. Very often, it means writing to a brief — which means producing a piece of writing for a specific purpose and specific audience. It may involve writing content that you find boring or hard to understand. It may mean interviewing people to hone your story. It may involve copious amounts of research. In short, it can be very hard work, but also very satisfying in producing something that someone else values.
What do you want to write?
When the word ‘writer’ comes up, most people think of a novelist. And while writers do write novels, there are many different styles of writing, all of which are valuable and fulfilling. For example:
- Fiction: Even the world of fiction has many genres and sub-genres (i.e. fantasy, science-fiction, drama, romance, children’s fiction, young adult fiction)
- Plays and scripts
- Marketing and advertising
- SEO writing
- Medical writers
- Health writers
- Education and training writers
- Tender and Bid writers
- Legal writers
- Academic and research writers
The list could go on and on….
If you have some idea on what you’d like to write, then you’re halfway there.
If you have aspirations to write a novel, fantastic. But remember, many successful authors earned their keep by writing in some of the fields listed above, while they were writing their masterpiece.
Do you have a niche?
What do you like to write? What interests you? What are you good at writing? Have you had experience in writing for a specific industry or field? What are your natural talents? Can you combine those with your love of writing? Developing a niche market for your writing, instead of spreading yourself too thin trying to write everything, can lead to a very lucrative and successful career.
Do you need new skills?
Finally, you need to ask yourself if you need new skills? Perhaps you want to become proficient at SEO writing, but need some training in the concepts surrounding SEO. Maybe you dream of being a health writer, but need to learn how to research and reference academic research. Writers should always be honing their skills. Sometimes it’s just putting your bum on the seat and writing, but other times, you need to acquire new skills to keep your career moving forward.
If you want to be a writer, then go for it. It’s wonderful, it’s scary, it’s boring (sometimes), it’s difficult, it’s inspiring, it’s exciting, it’s rewarding and it’s courageous.
The best way to begin is simple — just begin.
If you’d like to work with a writer who has superb skills in health and medical writing, shoot me an email. I’d love to have a chat.