Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Let's Get Started

Whether you just lost your job as a writer, just graduated from college with a journalism degree, or are even still considering the possibility of becoming a writer, there is work out there for you. The bad news is that recession that took place over the last five years cost a lot of jobs and probably kept a lot of full time positions from being created. The good news is that this has opened the door to thousands of freelance offers that might never have been possible.

The work is out there, but the question remains, "how do you find it?"  It's not as hard as you may think it is. On and offline publications are looking for work, agencies are hiring, job boards are posting and content sites are putting together writers and publishers every day. Before you start applying for work, there are a few things that you need to do.

First, put together a resume. This isn't about applying for a full time job, this is about getting writing assignments. You'll want to highlight any writing you did (i.e. ad copy, press releases, even a thesis) and keep it very simple and basic. You aren't applying for a design job.

Next, decide what you want to write about. Just because you like pets, that doesn't mean you should be writing about them, but if you've worked in a kennel or owned numerous animals, you might want to give it a try. The number one rule to remember is that the best stories are the ones that come from experience. If you've experienced something, you'll be able to write about it.

Last, hone your skills. Brush up on the Associated Press (AP) Style Guide. That will be the one you are most asked to copy. Get in the habit of running everything you do (even that email to Mom) through spell check and grammar check. Learn where you weakness is and work on improving it. Get yourself ready to start writing for money.
The additional offender groans.

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