Can you make a living as a writer? What do you need to do? How much does a professional writer get paid? These are all obvious questions for practical people who are trying to make a decision about their choice of vocation.
In The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron talks about how she understood the great myth out there about the starving artist. She was and is a very successful screenwriter and author who has led people to discover their creative force. She is of the opinion that people who believe that they will be broke if they embark upon careers in the arts are just wrong.
I agree with her. You have to correlate your goals with your circumstances. If you want to make a lot of money writing, then there is a way to do that. If your idea of success is not a dollar amount, but a lifestyle, then there is a way to do that, too. It starts with what you want and what you need.
A person with a lot of monetary needs will have to make important choices about the type of writing that he or she chooses to do. There are millions of opportunities for writers and authors and it starts with the writer. What is the main reason for breathing? What kind of writing gets excitement going?
What kind of writing can be done? If you speak two languages, can you think of doing translations as a side hustle while you crank out that novel about the little dog who grew twenty feet tall because his human loved him that much? You get me?
Here’s the data.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes this handbook online that shows career outlook projections for ten year periods. They updated their handbook on September 8th of this year with current data. It was good news for writers and authors. According to this respected government source, employment in media and communication occupations are projected to rise14% between 2020 and 2030 for a gain of 151,000 new jobs. The annual median wage for writers and authors with a Bachelor’s Degree was $67,120. Not exactly starving. Well, there are many writers that make millions, too, but this is not an average, but a median wage. This means that half of the writers reporting wages to the government make less than that and the other half make more.
If you want to make the moolah, then strike out for technical writing. This field is listed as having the highest median wage. The highest concentrations of technical writers are in North Dakota, New York, California, Maryland and a few other states. I know– South Dakota who knew?
To prepare for these positions, there are many different types of educational requirements and certifications that will add credibility to your resume, but there are certain qualities that all successful writers and authors tend to share.
Here are the top traits.
Critical Thinking Skills
Remember the job title. Writers and authors develop written content for various types of media. That means CLEAN PROSE, STRONG RESEARCH AND CLEAR CITATION.
Who can buy work from a freelance writer?
Look for well-crafted
Novels, Biographies, Histories.
Look for targeted
Poems, stories, essays.
Look for clear and concise
Features, investigative pieces, event descriptions.
Look for audience centered
Business profiles, ad copy, commercial scripts.
Movie, Theater and Television Producers
Look for exciting and likable
Screenplays, plays and teleplays.