This weeks blog is a little different from my usual posts. Rather than concentrating on legal content marketing and copywriting I wanted to discuss writing. More specifically, can you make a living from writing? The reason I decided to venture away from my usual theme this week is because I have had two talented women ask me about getting into writing, and whether you can make a living from it.
My answer is a resounding YES. However, it is very important to define exactly what kind of writer you are. I have always been a voracious reader and I had thought a great deal about becoming a writer throughout my life. On many a New Year’s Day I started a journal, only to abandon it within a few weeks. I have tried writing a novel and never managed to write more than a few pages. I have even completed part of a freelance writing course. But somehow, I could never attain that passion one needs to be able to sit down in front of a blank computer screen and fill it with crisp, clever, witty words that other people would want to read. So it never crossed my mind that I could make a living as a writer.
Then, when my son was in pre-school and I was taking a career break to stay home with my boys, I started writing the school newsletter and discovered that I really enjoyed doing it. I had absolutely no idea that this was copywriting, I just knew I really loved doing it and wanted to do more. So I started reading other copywriter’s blogs (once I discovered that this was an actual profession) and doing some brochures and websites for free. Then things just snowballed. I created a website, decided to specialise in legal copywriting and organised childcare two days a week so I could work in peace. Like many life-changing decisions I did not think about the consequences too much, action just seemed to take over.
Now, just under three months since I started I have my first long-term client, I am making good money, and I love every second of my new career. Being able to combine my law degree with my sales and marketing experience and my love of words is something I cherish every day. From here things can only go forward and I enjoy being able to pass on the few things I have learned so far to other people.
So in conclusion, yes you can make a good living as a writer but you need to find your niche. There are many different kinds of writing and once you find an area you are passionate about the work will come. As for the best piece of advice I have stumbled across in the last three months? It comes from the author Stephen King and it is simply this; “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.” I try and follow this advice every day.