Writer_banner© Ed Gregory

Writer

Industries:
Publishing
Personality type:
Creative
Departments:
Print and Media

The Lowdown        

  • Creating various works of written content
  • Using a large vocabulary and understanding of structure and piece to write engaging pieces

Is this role right for me?

For this role, you will need to:

  • have a strong writing ability
  • be an able researcher who can quickly and precisely find information on a subject, even subjects you're not familiar with
  • have an engaging writing style with correct grammar, punctuation and spelling
  • have excellent editing and proofreading skills
  • have confidence in your abilities, and be thick skinned enough to not let rejection deter you
  • be organised and excellent at meeting deadlines
  • understand the basics of copyright law

What does a Writer do?

Writer is a broad term for a profession that contains many different disciplines and styles. Typically a freelance position, a writer is someone with a passion for language and semantics who can construct sentences in a creative and evoking way.

A lot of the more famous writers are involved in novel writing, such as Stephen King or JK Rowling. However, there are many different avenues for writers to explore, such as poetry, short stories, non-fiction, and more. There are even a lot of very specialised fields, such as writing for greeting cards, that can support developing writers.

With the advent of mobile and internet, writers are becoming even more increasingly in demand, as there are more avenues available for written content, with the ability to easily and affordably self-publish your work.

Writers will typically work their own hours from home, though some may be go into an office for freelance work. Even when working at home, most writers will designate themselves working hours to ensure they have time to get everything they need written. Although the end-product is the words on the page, a lot of thought goes into structure and pacing. A writer deep into constructing a paragraph can seem almost scientific in precision.

Will I need a qualification?

A writer is judged on their manuscripts and body of work, however qualifications in english language or creative writing may give you better insight into how to write to a professional standard.

What’s the best route in?

Writing is one of the most competitive job roles. However, although there are a lot of people applying for writing positions, it’s very easy to separate yourself from a lot of the pack simply by writing. A lot of people want to be writers more than they write, so by showing your passion and dedication to it, you’re already proving to potential publishers or employers that you're worth looking at.

You can do this easily by keeping a blog where you update with written entries that contain short stories, poems or whatever medium you want to write in, or by publishing your own works to experiment with the process.

Once you’ve got some words under your belt, it’s time to get an agent. Most publishers won’t read anything submitted by a writer (sometimes referred to as "unsolicited manuscripts"), so you’ll find yourself struggling to get noticed without a literary agent to broker the relationship. You should never send manuscripts to an agent or publisher without them asking first – don’t pass your work around freely!

Sending query letters detailing your love of literature and your reasons for wanting to get into the industry will prompt them to take notice of you, and once you’ve found representation, it’s time to start shopping around your writing, looking for jobs and publishers who are interest.

Where might the role take me?   

Writers typically stay writers throughout their career, though it’s not unheard of for them to take other roles. A highly respected factual writer may end up working in an editorial position for a magazine, or novel writer might switch gears and start writing screenplays.

Interested? Find out more…

For more information on job roles in the creative industries, take a look at Hiive's job roles.  

Websites

  • All Indie Writers are blogs and podcasts that offer advice and support to get new talent into the world of writing
  • Publishers Association are the leading publishing representative, offering information and events

Publications

  • Writers Digest is a world famous publication about writing and getting published
  • Publishing Executive is a quarterly magazine that takes an in-depth look at the evolutions of the publishing industry
  • InPublishing reports on newspaper, magazine and online publishing communities

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