What Skills and Education Do You Need to Become a Professional Writer?
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What Skills and Education Do You Need to Become a Professional Writer?

The reader will learn how to be a commercial writer and whether or not someone needs special training or education to achieve their goal.

Writing is, without a doubt, one of the most popular pastimes in this country.  This nation was born to write and has produced some of the world's greatest and most talented and influential authors in history.  While many write in their spare time as a hobby, though, it is possible to make a living out of this talent - if the would-be author is sufficiently motivated.  One thing that trips aspiring writers up, however, is a lack of education as to how writers get their start.  In this article I will give a brief overview of what is required of a writer in order to get his or her start in the writing business.

What Skills Do You Need?

This is a subjective question, and depends greatly on what field you're in, but in general a writer absolutely must have a desire to write.  As with any career, you cannot succeed if you genuinely do not have a passion for what you do.  Writing is no different.  Writing requires patience and diligence, as well as focus and motivation when necessary.  If you are reading this, you likely already have this trait.  A good grasp of basic grammar is also needed, as is a proficiency at spelling and other mechanics of English.  Writing is all about effective communication, and if your grammar is lacking or your sentences confusing, then your writing won't do its job.  Experience in whatever you're discussing is also a plus but it is by no means required.

Do I Need A Degree?

No, you don't.  Anyone can write.  All it takes is a pen and paper (or computer) and an imagination.  That's it.  Voltaire wrote some of his best works while in prison.  Lincoln wrote one of the world's greatest speeches with a substantial lack of formal education.  You don't need a degree to be a writer, but it certainly couldn't hurt (and it could definitely help) to either take writing classes in high school and college or get an actual degree in fine arts.  Education is about instruction and refinement; the more educated and practiced you are, the better you'll be.

What Ways Can I Get My Writing Out There?

If you want people out there to read your work - and what author doesn't? - then there are plenty of ways to do that.  You can go the old-fashioned route and attempt to get your work published, either in a book, a magazine, a newspaper (even a letter to the editor), or an anthology. Or, you could go high-tech and put your work out there on a blog.  Sites such as WordPress (http://www.wordpress.com) are free to any aspiring blogger who wants to be heard.  You don't have to be published in order to be a successful writer, but for many it is the best and most successful path to being a commercial writer - although it must be said that it takes a great deal of patience, hard work, and luck to get published.  The bottom line is this: Anyone who is dedicated and motivated enough can finish a work and get it out there for readers to enjoy.  All you have to do is persevere.

Being a writer, in the end, is no different than any other career or occupation.  It takes diligence and patience, as well as a touch of creativity.  But in the end, it is definitely possible to be a writer, even without formal education of any kind.  All it takes is work (and a little bit of fun).

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Comments (8)

I agree-the main issue, if one wants to be a "Paid" writer is learning the format that pertains to their market.

Yes, interesting artice, lots of people want to write but not just from US. There are writers from many countries here on Factoidz and on the internet in general.


I really thougth that I this answered a lot of my question and helped me to start my career as a young artist!

What skills and academic training do you need to become a professional writer? That all depends on what kind of professional writer you want to become. Fiction writers need little in the way of a formal education. Technical nonfiction writers on the other hand need a great deal of it. Some people will tell you that a good writer can write about anything simply by researching the subject, and, to a degree, that's true but no amount of research empowers you write as effectively as years of experience in the subject that you are writing about. Basically what I'm saying is that if a writer wants to write about auto mechanic, he or she had better have turned a wrench or two or else it's going to show in his or her writing.



The information above is help on my views about being a true writers, thanks for this informations

Thank you, Enjoyed this article as well as your interesting Biograph.


Good article, but you didn't touch on reading. How important is reading to writing? How much reading should be done if you are to become a successfull writer?