Guest Post: How to Start a Writing Career With No Experience

Our friend Sarah Lapallo Beck from Ink Book Company will be presenting at the Agile Writer Conference January 26th. Click on this image to find out more about the Conference. In the meantime, she’s offered this article from her website to help you.

SO YOU WANT TO BECOME A WRITER BUT THE REAL QUESTION IS HOW TO START A WRITING CAREER WITH NO EXPERIENCE? HERE’S HOW YOU CAN DO IT AND FIND WORK TOO.

Picture1

Starting a writing career without any formal education can be daunting. Don’t worry though, this article will show you how to start a writing career with no experience.

Don’t let other people discourage you. No, seriously!

You’ll get “the talk” from some people that you tell about your plan to start a writing career. You know, the one that goes something like this:

Can you type without looking at the keyboard? How fast can you type? You know it’s difficult being a full-time writer. Blah blah blah…

Don’t listen to the naysayers or largely negative messages that you’ll get out there. Don’t believe what others say until you try it yourself.

So with that out of the way, let’s move on.

What You’ll Need to Start a Writing Career

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need any experience to start but you do need the willingness to do and a determination to succeed.

So how do you start learning?

Start by reading some publications from other established writers or people that inspire you. Then you need to take the following steps.

1. START WRITING MORE

At first, you may find it difficult to write for hours but most things worth doing are. So don’t be discouraged.

At this stage, you may not have any work or contracts and that’s ok. By writing regularly, you’ll begin to develop the skills necessary to become a great writer.

Also, the best thing you can do for yourself is to start a blog!

A blog will help you focus on a niche topic that you enjoy and come in handy for acquiring higher paying clients in the future.

Most importantly, it’ll give you much-needed experience but make sure that you’re open to feedback.

2. ACQUIRE EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION SKILLS

Communication is important in our personal and work lives. So learn to communicate effectively because you’ll need these skills when dealing with clients.

This article about communicating effectively is a good start: 7 Tips to Improve Your Communication Skills.

3. BUILD YOUR REPUTATION

It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.

Warren Buffett

Luckily, it’s not going to take you 20 years but Warren drives the point home.

You need to build a portfolio to start building your reputation. You don’t need to have published pieces but you do need samples.

Going back to step one:

If you’re frequently writing, then you’ll always have an abundance of samples to show potential clients.

4. KEEP UP WITH CURRENT TRENDS

To keep up with trends, you can subscribe to a few blogs that you enjoy or read current publications on things that interest you.

Many writers focus on a single niche while others can write about practically anything that comes their way. Neither approach is wrong.

It really depends on what you want to do.

5. LEARN THE BASICS OF SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)

A basic understanding of SEO is an asset to most clients but not absolutely necessary. Some clients will want their articles optimized for search engines, so having this skill can help you win those contracts.

Where to Find Work

It wouldn’t be complete without this!

Here are some great places to find work as a writer.

  • Freelance Websites – Sites like Upwork, Guru and Freelancer are great places to find writing gigs. Clients go to these companies to post available assignments and freelancers apply for the work. The competition can seem fierce but you can win bids if you focus on value or customer needs.
  • Content Mills – Similar to freelance marketplaces, these websites act as the middleman. You’ll definitely find work here but the pay is a little lower. Popular content mill sites include: TextBroker, Great Content and Hire Writers.
  • Job Boards – In most cases, you can find the best paying gigs on job boards like Indeed or Career Builder. Often, these are companies looking for full-time or part-time writers. Also, yearly contracts or more are posted on these sites.
  • Market Yourself – This one can be tough, especially when you’re just starting out. If you don’t have one already, get a website or blog and start marketing yourself. You can use social media, email, video or other strategies to do this. However, make sure that you choose one primary marketing strategy and focus on it.

That’s it! You’re ready to start your writing career and build up experience along the way.

Advertisements

Guest Post: Avoid Writer’s Block with the “Candy Crunched Method”

The Problem with Notting Hill

I recently read a blogger’s takedown of “Notting Hill.” She had identified the Anna Scott character as being very shallow and self-absorbed. And since she was so flawed, Will Thacker should not have loved her. The author believes no one should watch the movie because it gives a bad example of relationships.

https://www.mamamia.com.au/notting-hill-sends-a-bad-message/

My thoughts…

If you look at this from a “story structure” point of view, you need a character to transform. In order to do that, you have to lay bare her flaws. Anna is self-absorbed and spoiled. And it’s Will and his ‘ordinary’ family that show her that she can be a better person. So Will is the change-agent for Anna.

It’s true that Anna is flawed and trapped in a world where she thinks she can’t escape. Will shows her a way out and she’s a better person when she’s around him. And *that* is the meaning of the story (whether you like schmaltz or not): when we find the right person, we become the best version of ourselves.

Our Own Jackie Hunter Featured on WTVR Virginia in the Morning

“Lost in the Red Hills of Mars”

RICHMOND, Va. – Jackie Hunter, retired educator turned science fiction writer, is using several creative outlets these days to encourage young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. She stopped by the studio to talk about one of those projects, her debut novel called Lost in the Red Hills of Mars. To learn more about Jackie Hunter and her new book, you can visit her websites atwww.therippyeffect.com or www.lostintheredhillsofmars.com. You can also find her new book on Amazon.com. 

Screen Shot 2018-10-08 at 9.53.22 PM.png

Used Bookstores are Swimming in These…

Used books are a good deal. But apparently there are a good deal of these titles:

Go-Set-a-Watchman_Harper-Lee-199x300

  • POLITICAL TELL-ALLS
  • NONFICTION TITLES MADE INTO MOVIES: Seabiscuit, Unbroken, Marley and Me, The Blind Side, Black Hawk Down.
  • ’80S AND ’90S PAPERBACK HITS: Mary Higgins Clark, Danielle Steel, Sydney Sheldon, Tom Clancy, Nora Roberts.
  • JAMES PATTERSON
  • CHRISTIAN FICTION GREATEST HITS: The Shack, Left Behind, Karen Kingsbury’
  • CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL
  • COOKBOOK CELEBS
  • GO SET A WATCHMAN BY HARPER LEE
  • A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE BY GEORGE R.R. MARTIN
  • ANGELA’S ASHES BY FRANK MCCOURT
  • THE TWILIGHT SERIES AND THE HUNGER GAMES TRILOGY
  • FIFTY SHADES OF GREY TRILOGY BY E.L. JAMES
  • HEAVEN IS FOR REAL BY TODD BURPO

Read More at Book Riot…

Agile Writer Jackie Hunter in Boomer Magazine

From Boomer Magazine…
hunters-1st

Jackie Hunter showed up at the coffee shop with two books. One was her own. The other was, well, OK, perhaps a slightly better-known Mars book, Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles. Kirkus Reviews had likened a Bradbury plotting device to one of her own. So Hunterthought she should read the science fiction classic.

But of course. What’s one more item on her massive to-do list.

Read a book? Certainly.

Maybe over lunch.

As you know, “Second Acts” features inspiring people who didn’t clock out once they gave up the 9-to-5 gig. Many baby boomers – first careers behind them, productive years ahead – seek a rewarding change of pace. But for Jackie Hunter, who is now 67, this is more like a 22nd Act. The woman operates at hyper speed – fittingly enough for someone who has just written a sci-fi book for teens, Lost in the Red Hills of Mars.

We met the other day at a Starbucks near Parham and Staples Mill roads. Hunter remembers writing poetry and short stories as a 12-year-old. There was nothing to suggest she would write a book, though.

Hunter had started teaching middle school math and science in 1973, retiring in 2004. (Five years as an assistant principal at Lakeside Elementary School were in the middle.)

“Retirement” meant anything but retirement. 

Read More at Boomer Magazine…

Agile Writer Starts Alopecia Blog/Vlog

Screen Shot 2018-09-05 at 7.26.56 PMChristine Gauthier Writes…
In honor of Alopecia Awareness Month, my Alopecian Life YouTube channel goes live on September 1st!
Some of you may know that I’ve been writing a book, a fictionalized account about my experiences living with alopecia.  The process has occupied three years of my Sundays, and a lot of emotional and mental energy.  While I work at finding an agent and getting published, I’ve developed a YouTube channel called Alopecian Life where alopecians, and those who love and care for them, can go for support, information, and advice.  Please follow/subscribe to the channel, sign up for my mailing list at alopecianlife.wordpress.com, and forward this email on to anyone you think would be interested!
The videos represent several months of planning, writing and retakes (who knew recording a five-minute video could actually take 90!).  I’m sure I’ll get better at it all over time, and toward that end appreciate your suggestions/praise/questions as you see appropriate.  I’m also open to ideas for new discussion topics, so if you have some I’m all ears!
As always, thank you for your love and support.  Here’s to Alopecian Life!
With love and friendship,
– Christine Gauthier
Alopecian Life Blogalopecianlife.wordpress.com,