Being a great writer is not enough if you want to make a living from your craft. You could be the best writer in the world, but if you lack ideas, if you lack motivation, and if you lack basic business skills, then you aren't going to be able to get your writing out there and start making money from it. Essentially then, if you want to be not just a good writer, but also a successful one, then there are many other skills that you need to spend some time developing. Here we will look at a few of those crucial skills for writers, as well as a few other abilities that could help you to become even better at what you do...
Marketing and Psychology
When you write you will a lot of the time be writing a sales piece. You might not realise this because the topic of your article might be 'how to paint your walls', but actually you are writing to sell because you need to convince your readers to keep reading and you need to convince your editor/client to buy the article. Having a basic idea regarding the art of persuasion and how to market something and engage attention then is crucial if you want to make your articles a success. What is a title if not essentially a sales pitch?
At the same time understanding the basics of psychology will help you to bring a lot more to your articles in terms of colour and emotional resonance, and if you're writing fiction it will help you to create realistic and believable characters with genuine motivations and good dialogue.
Focus and Motivation
If you've seen the beginning of the film Limitless then you'll remember how the writer-hero at the start of that story is essentially a failure. His hair is dishevelled, he wakes up at twelve in the afternoon, and he never does any work. I know that feeling all too well because I've been there – so if you want to be a successful writer you need to make sure that you can wake up in the morning, jump out of bed, and then force yourself to start writing and creating.
Of course what also helps in this regard is being able to write fast, and if you have the ability to touch type then this will essentially increase the amount of money you make per hour. To improve your typing speed you can play a range of games and apps, or you can just practice, but either way make sure that you give some thought to typing quickly and earning more money as a result.
Which also highlights another fact of life for most writers – working with computers. For most of us writing means using Windows and it means using Word, which is why we need to know how to edit our articles and to deal with crashes and problems. At the same time if you're good with IT you can look into web design and other projects that could help you to earn more from your money.
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Carlos Vela works at Gaps Writing, for more information about their products and services click here
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