To become a Writer-Author you need three things: PASSION, PRACTICE, and STUDY. To discover if this career is for you, take one of our quizzes.

Not all writers work as or want to be novelists, poets or authors. Writing is an extremely diverse occupational field with multi-faceted career paths. There isn’t a single route to becoming a writer, which is one of the major benefits of the profession.

Writer-Author Salary

  • Average Annual Salary: $54,950
  • Expected Lifetime Earnings: $2,311,650

Writer-Author – Education

Most writers and authors that want a regular and paid steady job require a college degree, and to be able to stay in tough with editors, sources, or clients, proficiency with computers is a necessity. It goes without saying that highly-developed writing and keyboarding skills are key assets. To be able to secure full-time employment as a writer, writers usually are required to at least hold a bachelor’s degree, and most employers are looking for candidates that have a degree in journalism, communications, or English. Check out if becoming a writer or an author is your ticket and take a free career and personality test.

Writers and authors may already become experienced if they start out by writing for high school or college magazines and papers, and they also may at a young age take a part-time job at local radio or television stations, or at an advertising company or a non-profit organization in their neighborhood. More opportunities are frequently provided by college theaters or music programs.

Here, playwrights and songwriters often will have the opportunity to perform their work, and quite a few newspapers and magazines additionally offer great internships for students who are interested in becoming writers. Interns may conduct research, hold interviews, and write stories, so they may become experienced in general publishing.

Additionally, writing for Internet blogs may also provide writing experience as long as writers have a computer and fast Internet access. This kind of writing may very well result in paid assignments, and then education no longer plays a role as unique perspectives and quality of the written pieces are determining success.

Writer-Author – The Job

Writers and authors typically are developing written content for magazines, books, advertisements, movie scripts, online publications, or television productions. They usually select their subject matter based on what readers find interesting, and conduct in-depth research to gather authentic details and factual information.

Writers and authors may write fiction or nonfiction, and they may present it in the forms of novels, articles, biographies, or scripts. They may also be in the business of writing advertising copy that is used by magazines, newspapers, broadcasts, or for internet publications. They generally need to present drafts to clients and editors for reviews and feedback, and must often work closely together with them to ensure the published material is shaped well and accurate.

Writers need to earn their credibility with clients, readers, and editors by proving extensive and strong research, and by using trustworthy sources and appropriate citations. Writers and authors choose the material that they want to be using and convey the provided information to their readers. Editors may help them rewrite or revise certain sections so their publications come with optimal phrasing and the appropriate organization.

A lot of writers are freelancers, meaning they are self-employed. They are earning their living through selling written content to publishers of books and magazines, to news organizations or advertising agencies, or to theater, movie, or television producers. Often freelancers are engaged to write specific recurring or short-term assignments, for example to write newspaper columns, to contribute to a series of magazine articles, or to write a newsletter of some organization. A rapidly growing number of freelance writers are writing material that is directly published online via blogs or videos.

Where do they work

A lot of writers and authors work at home or in an office, or at any place, as long as they have a computer and Internet access. If they need to work from an office, we see that their jobs are mostly concentrated in key metropolitan areas such as Chicago, Boston, New York, Miami, Los Angeles, or DC, but thanks to the Internet and improved communications options, they nowadays can work from practically anywhere they want. A number of writers and authors are preferring not to work inside these metro areas, so they need to travel frequently to meet with clients or publishers, to do their research, or to conduct interviews.

A lot of freelance writers, some 25 percent, work on a part-time basis, and though quite a few work at regular office hours so they can stay in touch with clients, editors or their sources, many freelance writers and authors set their own working hours. Freelance authors and writers are usually getting paid per column or assignment, so they often need to work as long as it takes to meet their deadlines. Consequently, they need to work irregular hours in weekends or evenings to come up with something that is acceptable to a client or editor.

Job outlook and earnings

The professional outlook of writers and authors is not expected to grow considerably over the coming decade, though online publications are expected to grow rapidly, leading to more demand for writers who are experienced in Internet and multimedia publishing. Experienced writers and authors that are looking for a steady job may find employment with non-profit organizations, in corporate or governmental public relations departments, or at newspaper or magazine publishers, though at these companies, freelance writers are usually preferred. In 2014, the average earnings of writers and authors was around $54,950.