There may not be any pre-requisite formal qualifications for being a writer, but there are a number of skills that it would be useful to have. All of these can be easily learnt so if you lack knowledge in any of them now, don’t worry!
One of the most important skills you’ll need is a good understanding of English. This is vital as publishers will expect your work to be as error free as possible – the less work they have to do to make your work ready for publication the more likely you are to get work accepted on a regular basis. If you intend to self-publish, you need the work to be correct to instil a sense of confidence in your readers – reading work with errors is not only irritating, it can change the meaning of the writing and damage your credibility.
You need to have good:
Knowing the practicalities and basics of the publishing trade will also be an essential part of your writer’s kit. Publishers can be very particular about how they want manuscripts sent to them. So, knowing how to set the work out and send it to them in the correct way can help to hide your status as novice. You’ll be submitting work on a level playing field with other, more experienced, writers.
Research skills will also be an advantage when you are carrying out market research for potential publications for your work. They’ll also come in handy if you want to check fact and figures for your writing. Again, this is something that can be easily learnt.
It would also be useful to know how to use the internet. It allows you to:
All of these skills can be easily learnt so if you are missing any of them it’s not the end of the world. And, the beauty of writing is that you can earn while you learn. In fact, for most, writing is an ongoing learning process as new techniques, trends and topics come to into play.
If you want to be a published writer request a free Creative Writing course prospectus with no obligation to enrol.
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“I’m currently working on my fourth book, have been paid for my writing by at least 15 different magazines, and now earn half my income from writing – all thanks to The Writers Bureau’s course."
Sarah Plater - Writers Bureau Writer of the Year 2017