How the Average Joe (or Jane) Can Find Jobs Writing

By: Caterina Christakos

Without a doubt, one of the biggest questions asked by aspiring professional writers is How do I find jobs writing? It can be really intimidating to determine if there are markets (such as book publishers or magazines) that actually offer jobs writing for them. For those who are determined to make a living by putting words on paper, though, there are some genuine opportunities to consider.

First of all, many writers find jobs writing in their hometowns by going to the local newspaper and applying there. Of course, some of these jobs are a lot more glamorous than others. While you may have visions of being the next Lois Lane and breaking the big story, your editors expectations might differ. Writing the obituaries or wedding announcements may not be the way you envisioned using your creative writing skills, but it is still allowing you to get paid to write.

Because employees are becoming more and more specialized in todays workplace, many businesses are discovering that they no longer have access to people with great writing skills. Just because someone can build a website, for example, does not mean he or she should be the one to write the content. For this reason, many businesses are able to offer freelance jobs writing on a part-time basis.

In this type of situation, you are generally not an employee of the company, as they only come to you when there is a specific piece that needs to be written. To land jobs writing for these types of businesses, it can be helpful to have your own business background or to have a strong understanding of how to write sales and marketing materials.

Of course, getting jobs writing books is not easy, but a lot of writers see this as sort of the holy grail of becoming a professional writer. A little realized secret is that you have a much bigger chance finding jobs writing nonfiction books then you will ever have as a fiction book writer. In fact, the majority of available jobs writing books are for the nonfiction variety, while the majority of those submitting their ideas want to be novel writers. Simply making a small shift in your perception of what makes a successful book writer can mean the difference between being published (and paid) and being overlooked.

The best way to learn if publishers offer jobs writing for them is to check out their writer guidelines. If they do not offer this writing resource on their websites, you can often send in a self addressed, stamped envelope and have a copy sent to you. The writer guidelines will tell you exactly what types of stories they are most interested in seeing. If you have a great idea that fits their guidelines, perhaps you can be the one to land their next freelance writing job. Building a good relationship with the editor (by submitting good work on time) can get you noticed and used more often. For those whose ultimate goal is to find full-time jobs writing for these types of markets, getting this kind of exposure can be the perfect first step.

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