7 Steps to Get Started with Your Writer Career
Here are some of the most common challenges beginner writers face, along with tips on how to fight them head-on.
Being a beginner writer can be challenging. You’re driven to achieve your goals, but the path to success is not always clear. Whether you’re looking to create content for your company or form a new career as a freelance writer, trying to break into the industry can feel like an uphill battle.
It looks like you’re competing with thousands of other people - and yes, you are - for a tiny number of views. You’ll often be asked to write for free. You may even find yourself dealing with rejection and harsh criticism. This can make it hard to keep going and build up your writing portfolio.
Although it might seem impossible at times, there are plenty of ways you can overcome these challenges and become a successful writer.
Writing can be hard and you’re not alone in feeling frustrated with the process.
From the time I was in elementary school, I always loved to write. But when I tried to start a blog, it was really tough: I had no idea what to write about, and I just didn’t know how to start or continue with a project that could scale.
The best writers will tell you it’s a constant struggle to get their words to flow onto the page. And that’s when they know what they want to say! When they don’t have a clear idea, sitting down in front of a blank piece of paper is even more intimidating.
Whether you’re a beginner writer or have been writing for decades, you might find yourself staring at a blank screen for hours before you can put one word down. And even if you manage to get some words down, you will often delete most of them and start over.
So what’s a writer to do?
Fear not! There’s a small list of easy-to-follow tips and tricks that can help you get your words flowing on the page and overcome these challenges.
Step 1: Write!
This might seem obvious, but it’s easy to let the fear of writing keep you from trying. Just start writing somewhere, anywhere, and see how it feels to put words on the page. You might be surprised by how much easier it is than you thought!
You can also try writing in a different medium than you normally use, like a mobile phone or voice recording tool. Even if you don’t end up using what you write, it can help give you some confidence in your ability to write more easily in the future.
Step 2: Write about what’s inspiring you right now
Skip common tips like finding your niche or researching for keywords for now. It’s not time for that yet. If there’s something that’s really exciting or inspiring to you right now, try writing about it.
From writer’s block to their own inner critic, new writers are already overwhelmed with challenges. You don’t need to add up technical issues for the time being.
Step 3: Read as much as you can
Something that changed my life was starting to read everything I could! My massive daily reading habit helped me get past the challenges that were holding me back from getting started. Reading helped me overcome certain fears, and you can use it as a strategic base for your own writing projects. Moreover, that was exactly what made me sign up to a Medium’s paid subscription.
If you enjoy reading stories like this, consider becoming a Medium member. Monthly membership costs $5 and provides access to unlimited Medium content.
Step 4: Try to outline what you’re going to talk on
We’ve all been there - staring at a blank page and feeling like no progress will come of it. Sometimes you just need a bit of guidance to get past this roadblock.
For example, if you’re writing an article, start with a brief that lays out exactly what needs to be covered. If you’re crafting sales content, start by considering the questions your customers might have about the product or service you’re describing.
Not sure where to begin? No problem! Use an AI tool that can provide expert guidance and point you in the right direction (more on this later).
Step 5: Give yourself a pause
One of the biggest challenges every writer faces is writer’s block. When we get stuck on what to write - or how to write it - it can be difficult to get started again. There are lots of different ways you can tackle writer’s block and get back into your flow state:
- Listen to music: some writers love listening to music when they work, while others prefer silence. Try listening to music that puts you in a certain mood.
- Walk in the park: take some time to refresh your mind - and your lungs too!
- Workout: nothing better than staying healthy as a whole to make you feel like a superhero. Mens sana in corpore sano.
- Dinner out: that’s all about knowing that you deserve enjoying your life and get inspired by trivialities.
Step 6: We’re stronger together!
Join as many active communities - such Facebook groups - related to what you like as you can. Engage with others, liking, sharing and commenting on their posts.
Use Twitter as your traffic weapon. If you are writing something that is trending or has potential, you should definitely share it on Twitter. But irrespective of that, I would recommend you to always share your post links. Who knows what can go viral in seconds? But don’t forget to use hashtags!
Also, there’s no shame in asking for support and bringing your initial community into Medium.
Step 7: Writing Tools
Now that we’ve got our inspiration sorted, let’s talk tools!
It’s time to put all the pieces of your stack together as they will help you level up as a writer and achieve your goals. But please, listen to me: don’t put your money in expensive apps widely suggested as your saviours in a ton of blogs around!
Keep your focus on what’s essential to have your job done. Pick your preferred text editor up and hands-on! Look for free tools on the web as far as you need them: planners, schedules and assistants.
Let me know if you’d like to see a blog dedicated to tools I’ve already tested.
Bonus track: Do you need some help?
Assuming that in the early stages of their writing careers many people face the same challenges, we can say that some “helpers” can aid most of them as well.
If you don’t know how to start or you’re blocked, you can use AI-driven writing tools to help you get unstuck. The future of writing is bright, and that future certainly includes these tools that help writers as they hone their craft.
Artificial intelligence came to change how we do our daily tasks and even our creative work. If you can afford only one thing, it should be a writing assistant.
This kind of tool will provide expert guidance for your work based on research from millions of other writers’ works across the internet and beyond. You’ll receive suggestions for how to improve your work, which can help make your way to the top smoothly.
As technology advances, writers will have even more tools at their disposal. I spent a lot of my time in the past two weeks testing a number of AI-based assistants.
Please share your thoughts and tell me if you’d like to get further information about it.
This text was gently written as a piece of advice for me by the writer I intend to become in the near future, but I hope it helps you too.