Tag: Humsafar

What Makes a Writer a Writer?

We like the moooooon (heavily annotated Harvest Moon, 10/6/2006)

An interesting discussion on LinkedIn is swirling around the topic of when a writer can call themselves a writer .. As I've watched the discussion unfold, some interesting ideas have cropped up. They are worth considering.

A writer is someone who has been published offline.

Considering that a large segment of the writing work available is almost exclusively online today, this definition just can not hold true. While it is almost guaranteed that someone who has broken into hard print is a very good writer, it does not preclude someone who has never had their work published in traditional media from being considered a writer.

A writer is someone who knows their grammar, punctuation rules and how to spell things correctly.

I'm not prepared to say this is true because I know that publishers, magazines and newspapers all hire copy editors for one very good reason. Not every writer on the team has good spelling skills. No writer's punctuation skills are perfect. And everyone has certain words they almost always type incorrectly. I've been a copy editor. It's always easier to see others mistakes.

For me, I have to watch dropping the "r" on your, adding a "d" in college and several other persistent misspellings. There are words I consistently add extra letters to and others I drop letters from almost every time I type them. And most of the time, they are words, so spell check does not catch them.

At the same time, if a writer can not tell the difference between when to use your and you're or its and it's, it will be an obstacle to achieving a higher pays scale. Excellence in every aspect of writing is essential if you want to be taken seriously.

A writer is a professional who makes a consistent income from writing.

This can be true. The definition of consistent may vary. I know that I began by approaching only a few hundred dollars a month from writing work. I had some months where I had no income from that source. At the same time, I was consistently seeking work. As a writing professional I took action.

  • I actively built my portfolio.
  • I built a free website on Office Live.
  • I focused on bridging the gap from when I studied journalism to what the market demands of writers today.
  • I applied every piece of knowledge I gained into strengthening my ability to write compelling materials.

To put the title "writer" on a resume, suggest you need to be more than someone who has started their own blog. Despite the fact that I have a ghostwriting tips blog, it is not this blog that makes me a writer. It's the fact that people read this blog and actually benefit from it that supports my claim that I am a writer.

A writer is someone who can explain different topics in language that the average person can understand.

This truly is a skill that not everyone possesses. In some ways, every writer needs to have a teacher's heart, the ability to break things down into understandable packages. Some writers are gifted with the ability to reach very young minds. That's why there are writers of children's books. Other writers just can not get down to that level, yet remain effective writers for a different audience.

A writer is more than someone who starts their own blog.

There are good blogs and so-so blogs. To truly claim to be a writer, the blog can not be riddled with grammar errors. A few spelling and punctuation errors are forgivable, especially as most blog writers can not afford a separate set of eyes to edit their work.

A writer is someone who crafts words to influence others.

It's the power to dig into the meaning of words and craft them as you have done that signifies a writer. The fact that you can express your arguments succinctly using words in their written form defines that you are a writer. Maybe that is the definition we should be holding to here. "A writer is someone who can write with words so effectively they can influence others whether they do it for pay or not."

It's not whether your work appears on the eviscerated remnants of a tree or on the electronic representation of a page that makes you a writer. It's whether your words move and / or motivate. A novelist may move through the creation of characters and plots. A web writer may motivate to action by carefully chosen words.

Both are writers. Both use their power over words to create an experience in the mind. That experience would not be there without the writer's ability to craft words.

What makes a writer a writer? We'll probably never be able to agree on a single definition. Too may people would disagree with the writer's version of the artist's definition, "A writer is a writer because he / she writes."

Freelance Writing: How to Become Super Successful

Gunna Wendt

Freelance writing is how many writers earn money.

Writing books is great too, but the income may not be consistent enough to live on, or it may not be enough.

That’s why many writers turn to freelance writing to make sure that they can earn a full-time income from their writing.

The ‘trick’ to working this way is to make sure you have plenty of projects to work on and that means finding enough writing markets.

And to help you I’m going to tell you about three types of freelance writing you can start doing straight away and where to find them.

  1. Writing for Magazines and Trade Journals. This is probably the easiest type of freelance writing to do. You look through magazines and trade journals, look up their submission processes online to see if they accept freelance work and what their rates are, and then send in a pitch. You can also find these types of writing markets online by doing a quick Google search of “magazine writing submissions” or “writers’ guidelines” or “write for us” or something similar. Alternatively, sign up for writing newsletters from bloggers who share lists of current writing markets to their subscribers.
  2. Writing regular blog posts. Once you start looking you’ll probably also find regular work writing for blogs and other websites. There are millions of sites online and many of them are looking for regular writers. If you can find a few of these they can provide you with a consistent income.
  3. Writing competitions. Many writing competitions are highly paid. And even if you don’t win, you still have a piece of unpublished work that you can re-slant for another submission somewhere else at a later date. I recently told my subscribers about a scriptwriting competition for a 60-minute stage play with the winner receiving ï¿¡3,000 British Pounds plus a ï¿¡3,000 advance against 8% of the box office takings. Not bad for a 60-page stage play (one page = one minute approx.).

So even if you’ve never thought about freelance writing before, don’t dismiss it because it’s a great way to earn income because as I’ve shown you, even writing competitions can pay well.

And not only is it freelancing a great way to earn money, but writing regularly and working to deadlines really helps you to create a daily writing habit that can go on to help you for the rest of your writing career.