Career Advice for Aspiring Black Writers

February 6, 2011  |  

As an aspiring writer, you seek career advice to help  you develop your talent. If so, there’s a fire sign that turning this hobby into a career isn’t a bad idea! All you have to do is use it as exposure for your audience, and you can become a successful writer. However, there are a few things you must know before entering a career in writing.

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1. Find your niche in the field

You have yet to reach the surface, and in doing so, you must find your niche! Writing isn’t limited to only one profession. There are an array of options in which you can cultivate your experience through journalism, creative writing, technical writing, legal or medical writing to name a few. Or you can explore magazines, newspapers or online writing? The market is your playing field, but not every career will be suited to your liking. Getting a head start in one or a few careers listed above may be the only way to find your calling.

2. Critique your writing skills

Others may have told you how great of a writer you are, but have you defined how good you are? In order to build upon your expertise, there’s a process for molding your work into a clear, concise and factual style where it comes naturally. Can you write objectively where readers can visualize your point? Can you write in a way that evokes emotion or persuasiveness? Are you using grammar and punctuation in your work? Thinking that your robust for any writing profession isn’t the case for someone who has yet to learn the leaps and bounds of the business.

3. Find out which area is most interesting

Gaining control in your writing abilities is to ascertain what specifically interests you the most. Is there a certain audience you want to write for? As a writer, the subject matter will give you a platform to speak about topics or issues that your interested in. Stories on black politics, scientific matters, entertainment or black businesses, for example, could be the focal point for your words.

4. Use writing as a format for learning

Early in your career, you may find that becoming a writer is cutthroat and difficult. Honing your skills involves more than consistently writing, reading and editing, but allowing others to critique your work. Have those who are knowledgeable about writing or the business at-hand to express your flaws. In order to be the dynamic writer that you are, you must use writing as a format for learning and/or guidance.

5. Build your portfolio through networking and marketing

Writing has the tendency to grow under a booming network and marketing industry. You can maximize your potential by reaching out to fellow industry professionals who can get your name out there or inform other companies about your work. Join a writer’s seminar, group or panel to convey your work. Be apart of a fellowship of writers who can enhance your portfolio. The prospects for you are even greater if you have a reputation in place to make others respect your work, and get you hired.

6. Create a portfolio

Keep a binder or portfolio outlining your work through the years. Get in the process of writing that sends employers or writers on the edge of their seats, or that proves your writing style is tantamount to a company’s expectations. You can even use writing as a basis for an upcoming book, job or desired undergraduate or graduate program.

7. Stay committed

Now that you have the tools and strategies to be a professional writer in the industry, it takes a level of determination and persistence to be all that you desire to be. Being a formidable writer requires commitment. If you deviate from the writing cycle, more than likely you can feel burned out or lose satisfaction for writing.

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