Believe it or not, incredibly lucrative opportunities exist for skilled writers. Entry-level writing jobs can often have a reputation for not paying well, requiring lots of work, and demanding long hours — because of this, it is sometimes assumed that writing jobs on the whole aren’t worth the time.
However, if you have natural aptitudes for writing and are interested in pursuing a career that utilizes those strengths, many writing jobs can be highly rewarding and pay well too.
The quintessential writing grind is usually characterized by the plight of a rookie newspaper journalist — cutthroat deadlines, punishing hours, and base-rate pay. However, though journalism can take a little bit of work to get into, this trajectory can lead to a wide variety of highly paid roles in specialty subjects.
Journalists that focus on a niche and develop a following or expertise in a certain area can cultivate a high premium for their services. From food to culture to specific skills or professions, specialty journalists can secure high rates for their work and can often build a flexible work schedule and lifestyle, getting to pick and choose the jobs they want.
Similarly to specialized journalists, freelance writers can enjoy not only a well-paying job but often the benefits of a highly flexible one as well. Freelance writers either build a portfolio of their own clients or work for an agency or firm. Though it usually takes an amount of ongoing effort to source and retain clients, experienced freelance writers can earn high rates for their time and, especially when paid per word or piece, can often earn what calculates into very high hourly wages.
Freelance writing also lends itself to being remote and flexible. Many freelance writers take the opportunity to travel, live around the world, or to simply allocate time wherever they’d like — whether that’s towards spending time with their kids, enjoying three-day weekends, or pursuing other hobbies and activities.
Political speechwriting is a different type of pursuit — though it can be more pressure-filled than the previous two roles, accomplished speechwriters can often bring in premium earnings. In addition, speechwriters are often privy to an elite way of life and highly influential societal circles that many others only ever dream of experiencing.
Though grant writing is employed by huge numbers of organizations, many of which don’t have the budget to pay their grant writers a lucrative salary, some grant writing positions are offered by large nonprofit organizations or entities that recognize how valuable grant writing can be. There are many grant writing positions available out there that are highly paid and provide substantial benefits and job security.
In the corporate sphere, writers with high-quality writing skills and usually some amount of academic, technical, or engineering expertise can earn solid salaries as technical writers.
These roles might be responsible for writing manuals, user guides, product specification sheets, and more. Experienced technical writers can often work their way into huge salaries and also enjoy the amenities of working for large corporations – solid benefits, 401k’s, and more.
How to Hone Your Writing Skills
If you enjoy writing and are interested in pursuing a career in one of the fields above, it’s never too early to begin sharpening your writing skills to jumpstart a writing career. Obviously, make sure you write without grammatical errors and run-on sentences. Here are a few other steps you can take to sharpen your writing expertise and be ready for the next opportunity to snag a premiere writing gig:
Learn the Structural Elements of Good Prose
Read decorated authors. Dissect novels to understand what is happening “under the hood.” Join writing clubs. Take a class at a local community college. Anything that expands your understanding of not just words and sentences, but passages and movements of text, will help you build better pieces as a writer.
Practice Crafting Strong Arguments
Arguments aren’t just what people use when they fight. Arguments and persuasive rhetoric are building blocks to having something meaningful to say. Learn how to recognize both strong and weak logical constructions.
Read Other Writers in Your Field
Don’t ever become complacent. Read those who are writing in similar spaces as you. If you’re not yet in a writing job or field, read pieces in a field you’re interested in entering. Whatever you read, whether it is quality or not, will teach you something. The more you can engage in learning your craft, the better your production will be.