Pursuing a Writing Career and Finding Success

Career Objectives

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a career coach, I work with people who have dreams and aspirations that fall into nearly every category. I also work with a lot of people who fear their dreams and aspirations are not attainable – and so they fall into careers that are just jobs, focused solely on paying the bills as they allow those dreams of theirs to wilt and fall away.

This is perhaps never more true than for those who secretly (or not so secretly) harbor a dream of writing for a living.

Did your ears just perk up, as you realized I am talking directly to you? The good news is: writing for a living is not an impossible dream. Particularly in today’s climate, where self-publishing is a growing venture and blogs are becoming money making platforms. But you have to be smart about harnessing that talent of yours and turning it into a career. Here’s how:

 

Walk Before You Run

There are so many different schools of thought when it comes to pursuing a dream, but in terms of writing for a living – quitting your day job and diving in headfirst probably isn’t the best way to go. Yes, you can and should pursue your dreams. Absolutely! But if that dream is writing, you need to recognize that establishing yourself, building a reputation and acquiring long-standing clients (or finishing and polishing that novel) take time. You need to have a steady stream of income while you work towards that dream, otherwise you are likely going to fall flat on your face. So take the leap by committing to this dream (starting a blog and working to bring in freelance work) but not by throwing in the towel on everything else right away. Know that it can take years to get where you want to be, and be willing to spend the time necessary to get there.

 

Expand Your Vision

Perhaps you imagine writing for a living to entail penning novels on the deck of your very own lake house. That is certainly a dream to aspire to, but don’t limit your hopes of writing to just that. In the meantime, recognize that there are plenty of career opportunities that will allow you to flex your writing muscle, even if not in the creative capacity you yearn for. Plenty of companies and industries require technical writers, and most organizations can use a strong writer on their Human Resources team – for company memos and training programs. Sure, these may not sound like what you always dreamed of, but they can be a step in the right direction towards calling yourself a writer. Consider checking out TheLadders.com. As a comprehensive career resource for professionals, they take pride in being able to assist any demographic with their career, no matter what the field. Which means they have the resources to help you parlay your writing skills into an actual career while you work on that novel on the side.

 

Thicken Up Your Skin

It’s important to understand that writing is a field filled with rejection. Not everyone will like what you have to say or how you say it. In fact, you will face rejection far more often in this field than you will praise – especially in the beginning. If you let those doors in your face convince you that you aren’t meant to succeed in this career, than you won’t. So toughen up and learn to believe in yourself and your writing. You can always pursue writing courses and groups to help improve upon your craft, but don’t let the rejection get you down.

 

Don’t Lose Sight of What Matters

When pursuing a writing career, it is easy to get caught up in the dream. You start focusing all of your free time on the pursuit of that dream, and you forget about the other things in life you used to care about. This is normal, and that passion is something to embrace, but it isn’t a state of being to strive towards on any kind of long-term basis. Remember that the best writers tend to pull from real life, and those real life experiences and relationships are what will inspire and motivate you to be a better writer. So continue to live your life in addition to pursuing the dream; because you need the one in order to be successful at the other.

 

 

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