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Do I Have The Qualities Needed to be a Published Writer?

Being a published writer is much like any other job and you need to approach it as such. If you think being a published writer is all about sitting in front of a window gazing out until inspiration hits you, I’m afraid you’ve been mislead. You need to put in as much work as you would with any other job and being a freelance writer means you are wholly responsible for the success of your career. But, get it right and you will have a successful career that allows you freedom, creativity and a healthy bank balance!

For writing you specifically need to be prepared to:

  • put your ego to one side and write stories and articles that the publishers and their readers want – it’s no use writing articles on subjects you enjoy and then finding out that no-one wants to publish them. There’s nothing stopping you from working on your masterpiece in your spare time or self-publishing other work.

  • spend time researching the market. One of the key factors in getting your work accepted is targeting the right market. In fact, one of the leading reasons for rejection is targeting the wrong publication. So, spending time perfecting this skill will really help your acceptance rate.

  • put in the hard work needed to create writing that is suitable for publication –you need to be prepared to research and revise both the publication and your work thoroughly. This will ensure that what you produce is suitable in its style and content for your chosen market. Don’t just dash something off – take your time and get it right.

  • be reliable – once your work has been accepted, it is vital that you get the work to the editor by the required deadline. If you do this they are much more likely to use you again.

  • follow guidelines for submission of work – you must adhere to any guidelines given to you or all your hard work could go to waste without even having been read. If you are not sure how to submit your manuscript – find out!

  • be professional – you are representing yourself so it’s important to remember to be courteous at all times, even if you are complaining about an unpaid invoice!

  • work unsociable or odd hours – you may have to work at the weekends or in the evenings. This will, of course, depend on what you want to write about, but to keep your options open you should be prepared to write about a wide variety of topics.


It also helps if you have the following in abundance:

  • a passion for sharing knowledge
  • a liking for meeting people
  • enthusiasm
  • an interest in current affairs
  • a keen eye for detail
  • excellent listening skills


And, you’d benefit from having the following character traits too:

  • a sense of humour
  • a thick skin
  • an open mind
  • tenacity
  • a sense of adventure


This may seem like a long list, but you don’t need every single quality to be successful as a writer – it just helps!

For the qualifications you’ll need to become a published writer click here and for the skills you need click here.

If you want to find out more about being a published writer request your free Writers Bureau Comprehensive Creative Writing course prospectus today!


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Annemarie Munro Writers Bureau's Student of the Year 2022

"I have seen my writing journey as an adventure: What can I write? What am I best at? What new aspects of writing can I discover and contribute towards? I have welcomed the wide range of modules covering different types of writing, challenging me to try new aspects in style and content, pushing me gently outside my comfort zone with encouragement.

"I signed up for the course in December 2020 as a Christmas present to myself and I started the first module in January 2021. I have had eight pieces published: three paid earning £1080 and a star letter where I won a £250 hotel voucher."

Annemarie Munro - Writers Bureau Student of the Year 2022

Read Annemarie's full story


Institute of Training and Occupational Learning

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