Tips on How to Become a Professional Writer

Creative Writing Courses for ESL Students

If writing is something that makes your heart beat faster, and you seriously think about becoming a professional writer, this guide is something to help you along the way. First of all, it is important to mention that professional writers are engaged in a range of niches and have an opportunity to find jobs to deal with the most various topics. Learning how to become a professional writer can give a boost to your career.

In this article, we’ll seek the answers to the following questions:

  • What is a professional writer?
  • How to become a professional author?
  • How hard is it to become a writer?
  • How to pick your unique writing style?

Keep on reading to find out more about how to upgrade your prose and join the gang of writing professionals.

What Is a Professional Writer?

Before we discuss how to be a professional writer, let’s check out a clear professional writing definition. Professional authors are individuals who craft supreme quality written content. One can become a professional writer in a single genre or focus on several, writing professional content for both full-time and freelance positions.

What is professional writing? As a rule, it includes any prose produced by journalists, bloggers, copywriters, and many other individuals engaged in different settings, like a conventional company office, at home, or even in the field. At the same time, qualified writers can have different schedules, from traditional 9-to-5 to non-conventional hours with days off and holidays included.

When it comes to the duties that a professional writer has to juggle, the set of those depends on the field the experts are engaged in, the project, and the employer. In general, expert writers are busy with the following:

  • Writing top-quality content for a target audience;
  • Performing research and delving into the existing trends to find reliable content;
  • Brainstorming new content ideas;
  • Editing and proofreading written content according to the existing standards before submitting it;
  • Working within the deadlines;
  • Finding the most effective ways of distributing work;
  • Working in strict accordance with the guidelines provided by the employer and in various styles of writing, etc.

How to Become Professional Writer?

As a rule, to become a writer today, you have to start with a college or university degree. Yet, when you’re in the middle of your career path and willing to upgrade your skills, you can take some steps to become better at your craft.

Choose Your Career Path

Where do writers write? There are loads of options to go for to start a career as a professional writer. For example, you may find yourself interested in writing resumes or legal documents. It may be a position at a large company engaged in the field of marketing in need of a qualified social media content creator. Finally, you may write books in the preferred genre or create video scripts.

Get a College Degree

It’s no doubt that you can become a professional writer without attending college. However, your work will be focused on freelance projects in that case. As for the full-time jobs, they’re available only with a diploma in your hands. There are many options out there available for those who are interested in a writing career, such as creative writing, journalism, communications, tech writing, English writing, marketing, etc. Attending college or university also serves as a foundation for critical writing and thinking skills that can’t be attained in a home environment.

Set Clear Goals

Choose what kind of professional writer you would like to be. Is it non-fiction or fiction that you are most interested in? Would you like to produce content for books, websites, or magazines? It is also crucial to consider how fast you would like to get to the professional level. How long does it take to become a writer? Well, the timeline for becoming a competent writer varies widely from individual to individual. It is usually based on key factors like your dedication, aptitude, and the specific goals you would love to reach. For instance, pursuing a college education may take 3-7 years, while the time it takes to develop writing skills can vary greatly.

Boost Your Craft Non-Stop

Before diving into the professional writing niche, ensure to create a solid basis for your career. This includes studying the words of writers that you admire, reading on a regular basis, as well as writing as much as possible. How about attending workshops or taking writing courses? Use all chances available to boost your prose.


Feel free to join professional communities of writers who have the same passions and interests as you. You all will be there to support, motivate, and inspire each other on your way to the desired career. You may check out each other’s works to review them and get valuable feedback. Find a mentor to get professional guidance, learn from the experiences of others, and see what job opportunities are available in your niche today. In most communities, all members are provided with direct access to various networking conferences and other events for free.

Work on Your Portfolio

Build a portfolio to let the world see your best works. For example, you can showcase blog posts, published articles, short stories, or any other prose that proves you know the writing craft. When you are on the lookout for decent writing opportunities, your portfolio will help you become more interesting to potential employers.  

Focus on YOUR Niche

Finding the types of writing you’re exceptionally good at and honing those skills will take you to the expert level sooner than you know. Are you a virtuoso at writing movie reviews? Or, perhaps your passion is creating ad commercials. Or maybe it’s everything at once? Choose your niche(s) and become a guru in it.

Tricks to Select Your Own Professional Writing Style

Writing style is something that may help you stand out in the crowd of competitor writers. If you wonder how to become a professional writer, ensure to come up with your own unique style of writing that will help you convey your messages to the target readers and hook them to read more of your works. To help you decide on the writing style, we’ve listed some time-tested tricks below.

Identify Your Interests & Strengths

Those who wonder how to write like a professional should first consider what genres and topics resonate with them the most. Are you drawn to tech writing, memoirs, or journalist articles? Focus on what your strengths are and the niches that you’re most interested in.

Do not Hesitate to Experiment

Different genres and styles shouldn’t scare you. Feel free to experiment with those in order to discover your unique voice and field. Create short stories, experiment with poetry, or try to produce content for marketing niche. The point here is that the more you dive into experiments, the better you will understand what your strengths are.  

Adaptability Is Key

There’s no doubt that every writer (be it a beginner or a pro) must have a preferred style. However, adaptability is crucial. As a professional writer, you may face loads of clients and projects they stand behind. Every project, in turn, will be provided with a range of requirements. Your ability to adapt to the required style to meet the demands of your clients will 100% boost your marketability.

How to Write Like a Professional and Enjoy It

No matter how much you enjoy the process of writing, if you’re just starting out as a writer, the process may be tiresome at times. The reality is that even the most experienced and prominent kings and queens of prose find themselves less excited about the process at some point. However, the good news is that there are some effective ways to make the process of writing more enjoyable and fun.

Establish a Routine

To become a professional writer, you have to be consistent in your routine. Ensure to set aside an adequate amount of time for writing every single day. Even if you’re going to practice for half an hour – doing that on a regular basis is a must. Just like in the case of workouts, when you boost your muscles, the routine helps foster discipline and ensure that you progress with no interruption.

Find Your Writing Environment

Find your special environment where your creativity thrives. Whether it’s the local Starbucks café or a hotel hall decorated with baroque adornment, ensure to discover the spot where you’ll be best focused on converting your most unusual ideas into prose.

Embrace Revisions

Professional writers know how essential rewriting is. Do not be afraid to get back to the beginning of your piece to refine it and, well, rewrite it if necessary. After all, every draft that you craft is one more crucial step that takes you closer to perfection.

Top Mistakes to Avoid as a Beginner Writer

It is impossible to become professional in any niche without making mistakes on your way to success. Nonetheless, we don’t want you to get stuck and repeat the same mistakes over and over again. With that in mind, we’ve listed some of the most common pitfalls that beginner writers tend to encounter along the way.

Neglecting Editing

Never skip the editing part, no matter how much you are sure your prose is flawless. All the grammatical, punctuation, and style mistakes can distract your target audience from the overall message you’re trying to convey. Take your time to check the piece and fix all the mistakes before the submission.

Fear of Rejection

Unfortunately, rejection is an integral part of every writer’s journey. However, you shouldn’t be discouraged by rejection letters. What is more, you can use them as a chance to become better and work on the skills gaps. Carefully read all the feedback you get along the way to learn from it and boost your prose.

Lack of Discipline

Consistency is the bedrock in the niche of professional writing. It is important to stay away from the trap of waiting for inspiration to strike. In other words, you have to treat writing like a job. Moreover, you have to be there even on days when the muse seems to be on vacation.

Writing is always en vogue. After all, nothing can replace a professional writer when it comes to creating top-notch content, editing, and proofreading it. It is crucial to keep in mind that there are no fixed timeframes for becoming a pro in the field of writing. While someone you know may achieve professional recognition in a year or two, your writing journey may take years. What’s the key to getting to the writing Olympus? Love for the craft, persistence, and a never-ending dream to grow in the chosen niche.

About Terry Qin

Terry Qin is a 27-year-old R&D engineer from Shenzhen currently living in the US. He is interested in programming, new trends and blogging.