So, You Want to Write Professionally

When you become a writer, your heart and mind become divided between your many selves. – Author Unknown


By Lydia Oyetunji

07/25/2017

Congratulations on your decision to write professionally. You’re obviously at the stage in your writing career where you want to get paid for your talent. As a writer who started out writing as a personal hobby, and growing into the profession after much trial and error, I feel compelled to share my experience.

Start somewhere

Most writers feel that the art of writing is a passion we just can’t live without. I would dream of becoming an author, but I never thought it would go anywhere. I was okay with that! I started writing for clients obtained from my oDesk and Upwork profiles. What about you? Have you been writing for blogs? Have you written publicly? Public exposure is what matters the most to potential clients. Seek out a community of writers that will recognize your talents and that will nurture your need to be a prolific writer. When you are given the opportunity to work for a person who recognizes your passion, who cares about the pay? What is important is that you start somewhere.

Time to take center stage

Would you act out a feature role in a production and not know your lines? Of course not! Well, the same logic applies to your professional writing career. Take time to do thorough research and seek out tips and advice from those already in the business. Thicken your skin because you might just need it! The ability to accept rejection is key; you may get many “No’s” before a finally receiving an assignment. When you find someone willing to take you under their wing, allow yourself to be groomed into a starting role. All the advice and tips will pay off.

Greatness comes to those who wait

Two Drops of Ink is where my writing career really started. When I started writing for the site, I already had a following on my blog, “Live, Love, Share”; Although, it is best when you are a member of a well- known community. Two Drops of Ink is a decorated soldier that fought the good fight. The site enables newbie and seasoned writers to learn about the craft of writing and stay informed in a forever changing industry. The site is not only a venue to showcase your talent, but it’s also a family; the topics and discussions are wonderful!

It was necessary for me to discontinue writing for clients when I first started with Two Drops of Ink. It was a personal decision that helped me to study and retain everything I was learning. I went from sitting at the kiddie table to taking my seat at the adult’s table. I’m still winging my feet, but I have grown into a prolific writer who continues to sharpen her sword. I finally started writing content for websites this year. I would not have graduated to this point in my writing career without being a member of Two Drops of Ink. You’re only as good as your last piece!

What do you put on your resume if you have not written for a site or a personal blog? Most clients prefer a site that has readers and other writers—a community. My passion is for the literary world, and I was blessed that Scott and Marilyn allowed me to be among the few chosen. You are not required to write for a literary blog, it’s not the only way to get a start; although, your start should be with a community that is going to help you hone in on the needed skills to write professionally. Professional writing is a very competitive arena and not for the faint of heart.

Be true to thyself

Anyone who knows me, or has read my work, knows I frequently reference my happy place—a field of lavender lilies and butterflies. Well, I will tell you as a professional writer, I am not always residing in my happy place. Like any other job, there are deadlines that can change at a moments notice. Large amounts of research, long hours, uninteresting topics, and not so nice editors. My intention is not to sell you a downside but to educate you on the reality of professional writing. Seek out companies that offer writing assignments in the genre and topics that interest you the most. It’s important that you not grow stagnant or compromise creativity in your professional career. At the end of the day, as a writer, your voice is extremely important. I congratulate you on the profession of your dreams, and always be true to yourself.  

 

 

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17 comments

  1. Hi, Lydia. Start somewhere – an atmosphere which provides acceptance, appreciation and recognizes, supports potential. As you mention, Lydia, Two Drops of Ink provides that exact environment. I certainly agree and can bear witness.

    Your suggestion for a solid grounding in the basics of writing then learning all the details associated with one’s goal is certainly the route to professionalism. Lots of work, that!

    Your experience and perspective on what clients desire is invaluable. All the time and effort you’ve expended now produces top-drawer insight for others. Your progress is so very commendable!

    “Always be true to yourself”…hmmmm. I’m guilty of taking that to the ragged edge! However, I have a solid excuse – I have no agenda. None! I just write! To be clear, tho’ – I devote buckets of time studying, applying methods that improve my writing – it’s a satisfying challenge.

    This piece will be very helpful to a legion of writers – wonderful writing, easy to read. Thanks for contributing this post, Lydia.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love to hear stories of success and how journeys lead to destinations. Thank you for sharing. I agree that Two Drops is a great place for authors who want to learn and share their talents. I have enjoyed being here and getting t know other writers, like you!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi Lydia – Thank you for the great insights and tips! You are so right – Scott and Marilyn have created not only a professional site for writers and readers, but a community here! I feel so blessed to be part of it too!
    I enjoyed reading about your journey into professional writing! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Well said Lydia! Congratulations! I agree, this community here at Two Drops of Ink is a great place to start. It has connected me with outstanding people who are now my friends seeking the same things and encouraging each other. Money is nice, but not my primary focus; experience is the gold for me right now.

    Liked by 1 person

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