~What you need to know before you start your novel~

Are you a writer, or just a person that writes?

Isn’t it amazing how just flipping a few words can cause self-doubt in your abilities?  Are you a writer?  Do you write? Then you are a writer.

The truth of being a writer does not mean you’re a published author. Being a writer does not mean that people have seen your work.  Being a writer doesn’t mean you’re in line for the Pulitzer or selling your work to the point of being on the New York’s best seller list. Being a writer, having years of education and special degrees in writing, isn’t always needed in order to have credibility as a writer?

Now dear writer, we can start our conversation.  The real question you need to be asking yourself; is your writing good enough for public consumption?  Let’s meditate on this topic.

Who is your audience?

When a writer sits down to pin their words, the first thing they need to know to whom those words are for.  When you write, do you think about your audience?  There are many reasons for writing, and every word written has an audience.  Consider the following audiences.

  1. A person who needs to learn something.  When your words are written your purpose may be to educate your audience.  Therefore, when you write your information you are writing to inform, teach, encourage, or reason with a person.
  2. A person who needs to be entertained.  This writer does so with the hope to tell a story to their audience. There are so many genres to entertain in the world of fiction writing.  Telling a story, however, is not only for the fiction writer.  Non-fiction can entertain through biographies, tales of history, and news events.
  3. A person who needs emotional release.  This writer does so for their personal gratification.  Their words are not for public consumption.  They may need to understand themselves through journaling, or they may want to convey their feelings to another through a letter.  This person may even write to entertain themselves, by way of poems and short stories, simply because they love the beauty of the written words.

How much education is needed to earn the title writer?

The argument of education is a long and arduous one.  Many people argue over what an educated person is.  Does a piece of paper signify that you are worthy of a listening ear?  To those that have put years of their time, and thousands of their dollars into getting a formal education would argue that they and their like counterparts are worthy and reliable sources.  There are many that feel life experience gives you the real credibility in speaking on a subject.  Then there are groups of people that feel like self-education is an ongoing part of life and is done so by extensive reading and taking courses on subjects of interest.

In regards to a writer, all three of these forms of education is plenty to be considered a credible writer.

  1. The writer with a formal education and degree.  A writer does not need to have a master’s degree in creative writing.  A writer with a Master’s degree in creative writing is a person that would most likely to do literary writing. They may also write on specific areas of research, such as the medical field or areas of technology.  For a creative writer, who is perhaps writing pop fiction that is trending, they would be putting themselves in unnecessary debt. Most likely, pop fiction creative writers, will not reap the financial rewards that would be deserving of the work and money put in to attain a Master’s degree.
  2. The writer with years of experience writing.  This writer has been writing since they knew how to form sentences.  Practice with writing has gained the skills needed to weave works eloquently.  They have a natural style of themselves and their speech that they can communicate in the written form.  This writer is respected, and read due to what can seemingly be thought of as natural born talent.  In actuality, it is practicing the art of writing, which is leading to their profession.
  3. The self-educated writer. This writer can see the benefit of taking creative writing classes or workshops.  They have joined writing groups, so as to have their works critiqued by an audience of peers.  This writer reads works by authors that they wish to emulate.  This writer continues to improve themselves and their skills, so as to stay on top of what is desired by all areas of readership that they wish to encounter.

Another topic each writer will want to consider is that of financial compensation for your work.  Do the best writers get the most pay?  There are so many variables that affect what a writer gets paid, that it would take a series of articles to consider.  Let me give you an example.  There are the self-published writer and the writer that goes through a publishing house.  There are self-published authors that generate over ten thousand dollars a month on the books they write, and writers that have agents, publishing houses and professional publicist that might pull in fifty-thousand dollars in a year.

What does that mean for a writer?

How does a writer get compensation for the work they do?

  1. The writer that is paid by an organization.  This writer is paid because they have filled a need of an organization or publishing house that feels they can promote this writers words and gain a large sum of money.  They may pay an advance to the writer to ensure a deadline is met.  Part of their pay involves the organization marketing their work and hopefully procuring a large enough of an audience that everyone can get a big fat check.  The downside is that everyone is getting a piece of the money made that the writer is expected to generate from their words written.  The more people involved with the writing getting out to the desired audience, the less money the writer can get.  In return, the writer doesn’t have to worry about anything but producing the content.  They don’t have to market their work because that is done by others.
  2. The freelance writer.  This writer is paid by an organization that already has an audience.  This audience is looking for certain information and they have advertised for a writer to produce it and stipulates a value for the work.  There is a lot of money that can be made for the freelance writer, and there is a lot of hustle for this writer in order to get paid.  They too have deadlines to address.  This writer my find work where there is freedom to choose their topic, but most times they have to write what the audience has specified.  They also have to hustle to find people that need writers.  Once they have found the work, and have completed the work, the money they make, belongs to them alone.
  3. The self-published writer.  This writer has total freedom as to what they choose to write about.  They have total freedom as far as how long they take to accomplish their writing.  Depending on the price they charge for their work, and the amount the audience is willing to pay for it, their income can be massive.  If there is a downside to the income to be made by the self-published writer, is that they have to find their audience, market their audience, hustle the content out to their audience, and not really know how much money they will actually generate for their efforts.  The income is different from product to product that they put out and can either stay on the market for years or dwindle after the second month of releasing it.

Now that you have realized that you are a writer, what kind of writer are you?  Tell me in the comments what your education is as a writer and if you are published?  I’d also be interested to find out if you feel you are adequately compensated for the work you put in as a writer?

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