“Don’t be afraid of change. You may lose something good, but you will probably end up gaining something better.”
If you enjoy something, you stick at it. You practice that ‘something’, perhaps not even realising it at the time, but you do. Now, when I was at school, everyone was always encouraged to follow their dreams and pursue their passions. I found that particularly difficult. I enjoyed playing guitar, but I knew it wasn’t going to take me anywhere. I liked writing, but apart from being an well established author, I had absolutely no idea that I could have any other decent career in the field.
Of course, over the years, whether it be from doing research or meeting new people, I realised that of course, you don’t have to be an author to follow your writing passion. It’s possible to land yourself a career you are passionate about. Luckily for me, I landed myself a job that allowed me to practice my hobby in a different light, as well as enabling me to continue writing stories in my spare time. So, if you enjoy writing fiction, poetry or anything else that exercises your creative side and you’re wondering whether a career in writing is a good step, I’ll give you some pointers.
Explore your inner writer.
Don’t be like silly old me and assume you can only write in your day to day job if you can produce the next best selling novel. Make sure you do your research and gradually introduce yourself to different areas. Starting off with a blog can be a great way to express yourself, and if your posts never even get read by anyone, it’s all good practice. There are also companies such as Vocal, who accept article submissions for their site about a range of topics. This gets your content out there and will even earn you a bit of cash too. I’ve not used the site myself as I don’t really think it’s necessary right now, but I’m sure it’ll be beneficial for some.
Research different opportunities.
Doing a simple Google search these days helps in almost any situation. Apart from when you Google your symptoms and realise you’re about to drop dead in 15 seconds. Copywriters, editors, marketers, journalists, you name it; there are so many areas to look at and explore. If you’re as passionate as you think you are, it can be pretty easy to slot yourself into the right category. A very useful starting point!
Don’t be scared to ask for experience in a role.
Funnily enough, this is exactly where I started out. I liked the sound of copywriting after my research and because going back to college or going to university wasn’t really an option at the time, I (very nervously) sent a few companies an email saying I was looking for any sort of experience in the field. I was convinced I wouldn’t get any responses, but I did. Just the one. I’m actually working for that very company right now because of a single email, doing the thing I love! Don’t just push something to one side because you’re scared of rejection. If you do, you’ll never get anywhere.
When you’re in your dream job, don’t give up your hobby.
It can be very easy to stop diving into your own work when you finish ‘work work’ for the day. I did for a while and it isn’t the best thing! Your creativeness starts to subside and sometimes it can take a lot to get it back again. Even if it’s just once or twice a week, updating a blog or working on a story can keep your brain active and will enable you to enjoy writing at any time.
Allow some quiet time for you to get your head down.
When you’re back on top form, it’s a good idea to make sure you set some time aside for yourself. I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel half as productive if people are waffling on in my ear! Saying that, I always tend to listen to soundtracks while I write. Calming songs without lyrics are definitely the way to go! Stranger Things and Spyro are current favourites; they always get me in the zone.
Plan of action.
I’ve said this before a lot in my blogs but planning ahead is essential I find. There’s nothing worse than sitting down to write and finding that absolutely nothing comes into your mind. I’m still guilty of this (whoops) but getting there! I think that when you get that sudden urge to write something down, this is the best time to plan. Simple bullet pointed ideas to start with are great and you’ll always have a starting point when you pick up your pen or laptop.
So, let’s sum up. If you’re going to take away anything from reading this, please take note of these points:
- Write every day, even if it’s just a little paragraph. If you stop altogether it can be very difficult to get going again, as with anything else!
- Don’t ever think your writing isn’t good enough. If you get that mentality, you’ll never get anywhere and you’ll always disappoint yourself.
- Your style of writing is exactly what an employer is looking for. You just need to find the right one. Don’t stop until you get there.
- Find the confidence to tell people you want experience and don’t shy away from unpaid work. Experience matters more than anything if you’re going to get to where you want to be.
And the big one to keep in mind…
- Nothing is ever easy and nothing happens over night. To make something of yourself, you need to put the work in. If you don’t want to put the work in or ‘can’t be bothered’, this career definitely isn’t for you. But, I can promise you this. When you do put the work in, what you get out of it at the end of it all is glorious, and your happiness will shine out of you everywhere! (Yes, there as well.)
Is writing your hobby, career or both? How are you working towards your goals? 🙂