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Notes, tutorials, exercises, thoughts, workshops and resources about writing or storytelling art

Keys to Becoming a Professional Writer

Entrepreneurship is on everyone’s lips these days. The current economic crisis along with the high percentage of unemployment and job insecurity make some people consider self-employment. If you’re in this situation and you’re passionate about writing, why don’t you become a writing entrepreneur?

How to Become an Author

Think about it for a moment – working from home, doing what you love, being your own boss, and becoming a professional writer. Does that sound like your dream job? If the answer is yes, the following list of tips might help you turn that dream into a reality.

1. Start today.

First and foremost, you must start today – not tomorrow, not next Monday, not next month. If you really want to become a professional writer, start now! Well … you can finish reading this guide first.

2. Schedule your writing time.

No matter whether you’re a full-time writer or you have another job that pays the bills, you must create a writing schedule and stick to it. If you leave it for the end of the day, you’ll be too tired to write anything. Remember – now it’s your job, not a hobby.

3. Don’t get obsessed with the idea.

Expert entrepreneurs will tell you the idea isn’t as important as you think. Don’t get obsessed with coming up with an absolutely original idea for a novel because you might get stuck in the process. Think about how many novels are based on the same topic, but they are different because of the way they have been written. What really matters is that you have SOMETHING to tell, and you do it right. The most important thing is to write.

4. Develop a writing plan.

A writing plan is very similar to a business plan: it’s a road map that helps you go through the long and sometimes hard book writing process.

A writing plan is very similar to a business plan. It’s a road map that helps you go through the long (and sometimes hard) book writing process. Once you know your novel’s main topic, analyze whether you need to document it yourself, read similar books to the one you want to write and ask yourself why they are (or are not) successful, think about your potential readers, and study the publishing market (publishing houses, agents, self-publishers, etc.).

It’s very important that you have a deep knowledge of the publishing world and are able to calculate how many weeks it’ll take you to complete each step of your project. Short- and mid-term goals will make the process feasible and much more manageable.

5. Know yourself.

Look inside yourself and analyze your own writing. Discover your strengths and make the most of them. Find your weaknesses and fix them (or avoid them). If you have trouble doing this analysis for yourself, seek the help of other readers or hire professional services.

6. Invest in training.

Learning how to write well takes a lifetime, so never stop training. Do whatever you need to do – read books on the craft of writing, attend lectures when you have the chance, and explore different genres. Read fiction, nonfiction, and magazines. Watch films, and go to exhibitions. Fill yourself with stories and experiences, and you’ll become a better writer.

7. Surround yourself with positive people.

This is very important. You need people who will support you and your project. This doesn’t mean they should constantly tell you how wonderful you are or how well you write. Criticism, if constructive, can be very useful. However, you must avoid the company of those you can’t rely on and those who make you feel insecure for they’ll hinder your progress. Stay away from them.

8. Look for investment.

Regarding the previous point, you need emotional support, but you also need financial help if you want to devote yourself exclusively to writing. A novel will take at least six months to a year (and after that, you’ll need more time to promote it). However, bills don’t wait for money to come in. If you don’t have any savings to help you survive as a full-time writer, ask your family and friends for support or try to combine your writing with another job.

9. Believe in yourself.

You’re a writer because you write. Whether right or wrong, you put one word after the other. So look at your reflection in the mirror and say out loud, “I am a writer!” Say it with conviction. If you don’t believe in yourself, why should anyone else? Why should they help you or respect your schedule? Why should they read or buy your books? This is now your job, and you must believe in it unconditionally.

10. Make yourself known.

This may sound like the most difficult part, but that’s the way life is. You must promote your own books – especially if you have chosen self-publishing. You need to make yourself known. Once you have started writing your novel, consider creating a blog or at least a social media profile where you can publish information about your work.

This doesn’t mean you must sacrifice writing time for the sake of networking. Being active on the internet can be something you do to have fun and relax at the end of the day.

11. Don’t give up.

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get it right the first time. Just find out where you have failed, and try again. This is an endurance race. When it comes to writing, you need to remember that perseverance is even more important than talent. If this is your dream, go for it!

18 comentarios

  1. 1. Ofir Sanchez dice:

    Thank you for the 11 advises. I will use them for my writing.

    Escrito el 27 May 2014 a las 10:03
  2. 2. devinder dice:

    thanks for the great piece of advice.i need it

    Escrito el 27 May 2014 a las 10:05
    • 3. Literautas dice:

      Thank you for your comments. I’m glad you like the posts. 🙂

      Happy Writing!! 😉

      Escrito el 27 May 2014 a las 10:12
  3. 4. RickW dice:

    Great website. Excellent points. Out of work 6 years, I started writing 2010. My first book BASEBALL TEAM NAMES was published by McFARLAND in 2013. It got 6 good reviews and is ranked No.37 on the Best Sports Books of 2013. Even so I only earned a few hundred bucks in royalties. But I’m undaunted – writing team name books now on football, basketball, soccer, and hockey. Actor Tom hanks said “I’ve made 25 movies and 5 of them are good.” Physicist Robert Oppenheimer said “If you want to have a good idea, you’ve got to have many of them, first.” With the world economy disintegrating, one must find a way – not to get rich – but to earn I living. I’m doing it by writing. A’int easy. But not too much is. Thanks and thanks for your website.

    Escrito el 27 May 2014 a las 10:20
    • 5. Literautas dice:

      Thank you for your comment, Rick!

      I’m glad you like the website and I agree: it’s not about getting rich right now, but to earn living. 🙂

      Happy Writing!

      Escrito el 27 May 2014 a las 10:22
  4. 6. Eman dice:

    I’m glad that I’ve found this page to start now not tomorrow.Thanks a bunch

    Escrito el 27 May 2014 a las 10:35
    • 7. Literautas dice:

      Thanks, Eman!! I’m glad you like it.
      Go for it! 😉

      Escrito el 27 May 2014 a las 10:39
  5. 8. nirajan luintel dice:

    I’ve always feared that I won’t be able to become a good writer, but “I am a writer, good or bad” has really encouraged me.

    Escrito el 27 May 2014 a las 10:40
    • 9. Literautas dice:

      Great! That’s the spirit. And the first step to become a good writer. Don’t worry, you’ll get there (maybe you are already but you don’t know). It’s just a matter of time and perseverance. And, above all, it’s a matter of will. Forget about fears and go for it! 😀

      Thanks for your comment!

      Escrito el 27 May 2014 a las 10:47
  6. 10. Mrs Tolchard dice:

    This was a very reassuring read, and it’s a relief to know that I’m doing some things right! My main problem at the moment is the snootiness of editors – no-one will actually spell out why they don’t like what you’ve written: you could fail by 1% or 50% but you never know, and that’s what I’m currently trying to address. Show me one other profession in this country in which people are supposed to improve by guessing their mistakes!

    Escrito el 8 June 2014 a las 20:02
  7. 11. Johanna dice:

    I have always loved to write. I have a lot of free time so it is easy for me to get work done. I have a suggestion for this website. Add a section on writing tips for kids. I’m only 11, so these don’t really help. I know some really good writers who want to get published (me included) but were all in middle school. Nobody ever gives kids tips for how to succeed in a certain career. Like writing. So I suggest adding some tips for teens on how to get published.

    Escrito el 10 June 2014 a las 21:18
  8. 12. Jason dice:

    I made plenty of mistakes but I will learn from them all as this page informed me that it doesn’t matter what you do for a living,it’s what you choose to be for a living and I choose writing.Even though I’ m only fifteen years old I still have a lot to learn from at school and hopefully become a successful writer in the future

    Escrito el 23 August 2014 a las 09:47
  9. 13. kana dice:

    I am not a native english speaker, but I will start today, no fear.
    Thank you for the tips. It is great!!!!

    Escrito el 29 August 2014 a las 02:01
  10. 14. Koushik Debnth dice:


    Escrito el 18 August 2015 a las 05:52
  11. 15. celumusa dice:

    I wish i could follow all the steps,specially number 9 which says believe in your self,when it says look through your reflection in the mirrio and say it loud “i am a writer”and it says you write and you are a writre,weather wrong or right,but believe in your self,having confidence of what you’re doing.

    Escrito el 27 August 2015 a las 22:56
  12. 16. merry jackson dice:

    i really love to write and I’m different from other people and i thin that’s good.

    Escrito el 9 May 2016 a las 20:14
  13. 17. Elizabeth Pelo dice:

    I really love to become a professional novelist but I don’t know where to start and I am not a native english speaker, but I will start today.

    Escrito el 23 August 2016 a las 17:45
  14. 18. Sean dice:

    I’m currently working on my second novel, and in dire need of reassurance. My first book, although technically”published” was a hard lesson in the realities of publishing. This time, I am trying to write something I’m truly proud of. Something real. It’s inspiring to know that I’m not alone. I am a writer. Thanks for all the advice!

    Escrito el 5 December 2016 a las 16:31

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