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10 Ways to Increase Your Potential as a Writer
People who love to write are a minority, especially in a school setting. Even after graduation, people who enter adult careers often avoid writing – they don’t like to do it; they don’t feel proficient at it. And if you ask, most career professionals in non-writing professions will say that writing is their least favorite part of their jobs.
But you like to write. And you even think that a profession in writing may be in your future. And, even though hard copy print journalism is rapidly declining, there are a huge number of opportunities for good writers who are willing to take steps to improve their skills in a wide variety of genres. Most writers today, unless they are prominent, actually write in several genres, because freelancing in this business requires it.
Steps to Increase Your Potential as a Writer
There are several things you can do while still a student to prepare yourself for a career in writing, no matter what your current major field of study may be. Here are 10 things to get you started.
Write About Anything
Set time aside to just write. Sit down and decide on a purpose for your writing during this sitting. Perhaps you have a pet peeve that has been eating at you for some time. Identify it, write about it, and think about solutions. Maybe there is a current issue you feel strongly about. Write an editorial that presents your point of view. You can improve opinion writing by working on ways to logically and clearly put forth your views.
Take a Journalism or Content Marketing Class
The required number of credit hours for a degree leaves plenty of space for electives. Sign up for a class or two that will force you to practice writing skills in areas other than those required for academic essays and papers. Content writing can be learned, and people who are really good at web-based copywriting, such as website content, blog posts, articles, press releases, and so forth, can have a career with good earnings and lots of satisfaction.
Keep a Journal
This will force you to write every day, not to mention the added benefit of improving your mental health through writing. Psychologists tell us that “venting” is an excellent to rid ourselves of negative and destructive emotions, and one way to vent is certainly to keep a journal. Write letter to people who have wronged you or to people you have wronged. Express your frustration about world conditions or your personal issues. Learning how to express yourself comes with practice and it is a skill that is transferrable to other types of writing.
Get Online and Read – A lot!
If you are serious about a career in writing, then you need to read the writing of other successful people in this field. Get on blogs and read popular posts. How do they write? Can you emulate that style? Write a few pieces yourself and submit to blogs for possible publication. There is nothing more motivating than seeing your name and bio by a published blog post! And you can build a portfolio that may serve you well later one.
Get Those Endorphins Moving!
People write more and better, no matter what the topic, when they are feeling good. You know what makes you happy – maybe it’s the some of the “classics” in music by Journey or Queen; maybe it’s a particular comedy TV series; it could be exercise or meditation. Do these things and then sit down to write.
Read Your Own Writing Out Loud to Yourself
How do you sound? Would you like the piece if someone else had written it? Be honest about the things you need to improve and then work on those.
Write Personal Narrative Essays
Why? Because you need to become a good storyteller! You will be amazed at the amount of freelance writing involves compelling story telling, especially in the area of content marketing. Find tune your art of storytelling and write personal narrative essays, and many jobs will await you!
Remove Distractions as You Write
You might as well get used to this now. Freelance writing is demanding, and if you have a tendency to be distracted by anything else, and you allow that distraction to continue, you will never write enough copy to support yourself. Plus, people have deadlines, and you cannot afford a reputation as one who does not meet deadlines.
Practice Rotating Genres Frequently
Write an opinion piece; switch to a narrative; switch again to a “how to” piece; and, yes, write an academic piece. The more versatile you can be in your writing, the more in demand you will be. You may end up writing blog posts and web content, but you also may end up at times answering the call of a student who says, “I need help to do my essay.” Be open and ready to provide any type of writing to anyone.
Practice Stunning and Creative Title Writing and Opening Sentences
Popular writers who gain a following or who are in demand by writing services and companies are those with creative and compelling titles and first sentences. They know that readers who are “hooked” from the onset are far more likely to read on.
Write Down Ideas for Writing Topics as They Come to You
Get an app or keep a note pad with you at all times. You never know when a clever idea will strike, and you will want to remember it!
Writing careers can be lucrative and very satisfying. And, if you plan to write the next great novel of all times, you will need a way to feed yourself in the meantime. Freelancing can meet that need!