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Last updated on Aug 13, 2021

20 Creative Writing Jobs for Graduates (+ Entry-Level Positions)

Being passionate about creative writing hasn’t always been associated with a stable career path, but that’s not to say that there aren’t any opportunities out there to bring well-written stories into your job. In fact, we’re here to talk about 20 different creative writing jobs — 20 professions that let the storyteller in you shine! We’ll discuss the industries, entry level jobs, and potential income for each job below. 

When it comes to creative writing, the first thing that pops up in our mind is books! While writing is the obvious option (and we’ll cover that later on in the post), most writers choose to work in one of the following positions in the publishing industry to gain financial stability first. 

❗ Note: The “per book” rates below are made with 50,000-60,000 word manuscripts in mind. 

1. Ghostwriter 

👨🏽‍💼 Entry level positions: freelance writer, ghostwriter, editorial assistant 

💰 Potential beginner’s earning: $2,000-$9,000 per book or $0.10-$0.15 per word

If you’re all about creative writing but you’d prefer an upfront payment for your words, then ghostwriting is the job for you! Here’s how it works: an author hires you to help them write their story. It could (and usually is) a memoir or an autobiography which the author doesn't have the time or skills to write themselves. Fiction authors also sometimes use ghostwriters to help them write sequels and satisfy popular demands. 

Ghostwriters are freelancers, so you can start by getting some freelance writing gigs. As a beginner, you might start with short-form projects like articles, white papers, website content. Here are some resources, complete with tips from experienced professionals, that might be helpful:

  • How to Become a Ghostwriter in 6 Essential Steps (+ Tips from Professionals) 
  • How to Start Freelance Writing: 5 Steps to a Soaring Career
  • How Much Do Ghostwriters Make: The Ultimate Breakdown

👩🏻‍💼 Entry level positions: editorial assistant

💰 Potential beginner’s earning: $25,000-$30,000 per year or $800-$1,000 per book

Writing is actually not all there is to creative writing jobs — if you really love stories and are always finding ways to make a story better, then editing is a suitable profession for you. There are many types of editors: some (like development editors) work more on the plot and theme of the book, and others (like copy editors ) specialize on its language and style. 

Editorial assistant jobs are the common first steps to this career path. Entry-level positions are quite competitive in publishing, so you’ll likely need a relevant degree (English Literature, MFA, etc.) to get the job. 

Freelancing, as always, is an option, but it can be quite difficult to get clients if you start without any editing experience. Oftentimes, editors start working in-house and later transition to freelance . 

Below are some more resources for you if you want to pursue this career path:

  • How to Become an Editor: A Guide for Beginners
  • Copyediting Certificates: Do You Need One and Where to Get It?
  • Editor Salary: Can Your Skills Pay the Bills
  • Working in Publishing: An Insider's Guide

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3. Proofreader

👨🏼‍💼 Entry level positions: freelance proofreader

💰 Potential beginner’s earning: $20-$30 per hour or $550-$650 per book 

Proofreading comes after editing — the proofreader reads the manuscript one final time, after all the revisions are made, to see if any spelling and grammatical errors are missed out. They’re incredibly crucial to the production of a spotless book, so there’s never a shortage of proofreading jobs . 

This task is often done on a freelance basis, either by full-time freelancers or by editors who want to take on side jobs. You can specialize in proofreading alone, though most professionals will combine editing and proofreading crafts for better income. As a beginner, opportunities for short-form projects will often be more accessible — stay open-minded about taking them up, but also do some proofreading training to prepare for more exciting gigs. 

We’ve also got some resources for this topic for you to check out:

  • How to Become a Proofreader: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide
  • How to Choose Your Proofreading Rates

There’s more to journalism than just breaking news on CNN, which means there’s plenty of space for the creative writer in you to flourish in this industry! Let’s take a look at a couple of options you can consider. 

4. Columnist 

👩🏽‍💼 Entry level positions: fellowships, junior writer/columnist, freelance writer

💰 Potential beginner’s earning: $25,000-$35,000 per year or $100-$300 per piece 

If you like creative nonfiction , you probably have already considered becoming a columnist. In fact, you can even be a books columnist! Job options range from book-specific sites like Electric Literature or Literary Hub, to prestigious newspapers like The Guardian or The New Yorker. But that’s not necessarily the only thing you can write about! You can become a columnist in just about any topic, from social issues to entertainment, as long as you’re interested in the niche. 

Look out for fellowships and junior writing jobs in newspapers and magazines and get ready to apply! A degree in relevant subjects like Journalism or English Literature is a great advantage, though your ability to follow up on leads, conduct thorough research, and keep up with the latest trends in a certain niche will be carefully assessed. You can also be a contributing writer first to forge a relationship with the editors before going after a full-time position. 

👨🏻‍💼 Entry level positions: junior writer, freelance writer

There’s a fine line between a critic and a columnist: critics are usually more academically inclined, and they often work more on the arts than columnists. Columnists cover social issues, sports, entertainment in their more general sense, while critics while home in on a particular piece of art, literature, theatre, or movie to offer expert assessment of it. 

Similar to the columnists, you can begin with junior writing positions and freelance gigs, in which you build up a writing portfolio of relevant work. Ideally, critics will be more savvy to the technicalities of whatever subject you critique — be it filmography or literature. In other words, formal training like a bachelor’s degree is a good launch pad. 

6. News journalist 

👩🏼‍💼 Entry level positions: staff writer/journalist

💰 Potential beginner’s earning: $30,000-$35,000 per year 

Writing news articles is different from the writing column pieces: a journalist must maintain an impartial voice and be succinct. Moreover, you’re always looking out for the latest story, whether on social media or on the street (which is where your love for creative writing can come in). 

The most common way to get into news journalism is to get a salaried position. You can also apply to internships as well, and there are compensated ones to look out for. What you will need is a degree and some journalist training so that you can use shorthand, know what makes a good story, and know what sources to chase, among other things. 

7. Investigative journalist 

👨🏽‍💼 Entry level positions: staff writer/journalist

And what if you’re a fan of true crime ? You might find yourself drawn to investigative journalism! You can chase the tail of anything under the sun, from kidnappings to factory production, from local to international events, so long as there’s an uncovered story there. The topic will often be assigned to you by an editor, and you’ll be given some time to collect information and write the article. It’s a slower pace than daily news, but it’s thrilling nonetheless. 

Similar to the news path, you’ll likely start off with an internship or a junior writing position. With this job opportunity, you can build a portfolio that demonstrates your ability to peel back the layers of the onion to reveal new insights to a matter. Again, a degree and training in journalism are essential. 

Copywriting

Copywriting is writing to sell a product or service, and it could be anything from newsletter emails to slogans to even commercial scripts! There’s definitely a creative element to it, as you’re always looking for a unique and memorable way to capture the attention of consumers. And since it's so rooted in consumption culture, copywriting is definitely a writing career that's in demand!

Below are several types of copywriting jobs you can go into. 

8. Technical copywriter

👩🏻‍💼 Entry level positions: technical writer, freelance writer

💰 Potential beginner’s earning: $32,000-$38,000 per year 

A technical writer works on instructional materials for manuals, white papers, and other informative pieces of writing. A technical copywriter combines that level of specialty with marketing tactics, thereby focusing on promoting products and services that are a bit more, well, technical. Think electronic companies, software developers, repair and maintenance services. 

Ideally, you’d have some education or experience in technical sectors (i.e. IT, engineering, finance). That way, you won’t take too much time to familiarize yourself with the jargon, and employers are more likely to hire you. You can also begin with technical writing, if you don’t mind working on material that’s a bit less creative. 

9. Advertising copywriter

👨🏼‍💼 Entry level positions: junior copywriter, communications copywriter

For a more creative writing job, you can go for advertising. This often involves a lot of brainstorming with the creative team of your agency to come up with advertisement campaigns that will leave a mark. When working on this you can write all kinds of content, from slogans to image copies to web content. 

Having a bachelor’s degree in marketing or an essay-based discipline is usually beneficial if you’re looking for this kind of job. You can work for a big brand, which will constantly be needing new content, or you can work for a marketing agency, tailoring your work to every client. 

10. PR copywriter

👩🏽‍💼 Entry level positions: junior copywriter

Public relations (PR) is, simply put, the art of building a good reputation, whether that’s for an individual or a brand. You’ll work on press releases, report and presentation writing, material for internal and external communications to present your client’s motivation and direction. 

For this kind of job, the precision of your language and your ability to stay up to date with the competitors will be important. A degree in communications or business administration are a plus point. And as is often the case in most writing jobs, the ability to find the human story behind everything will be your best tool. 

Content Marketing

Nowadays, traditional marketing on TV, billboards, and posters are only a part of the industry, the other is all about online content. And with so many things zooming about on the Internet, every company will be looking for the most creative person to help them stand out. Which means you get plenty of opportunities to be imaginative, working on website content, blog posts, social media posts, and even videos.

11. Social media manager 

👨🏻‍💼 Entry level positions: assistant/junior/freelance social media specialist

💰 Potential beginner’s earning: $20-$30 per hour or $30,000-$35,000 per year 

With our evermore online world, social media-related jobs definitely is a writing career that's in demand. So many things can happen on social media — you might very well go viral overnight! The challenge is getting there. As a social media manager, you get to be the voice of the company, interacting with customers in a friendly, casual way, while also learning their habits and preferences so that you and others on your team can better engage with them. 

This is a relatively hands-on job, so experience running a public social media account is the best thing you can have on your CV. A degree in communications can be beneficial, though many job postings don’t require anything specific.

12. Blogger

👩🏼‍💼 Entry level positions: blogger, freelance writer

💰 Potential beginner’s earning: $0.10-$0.15 per word

Blogging is probably something you’re familiar with as a writer — but do you know it can earn you a good penny? By focusing on a specific subject (it can be books , technology, fashion, the freelance life, etc.), you can attract companies who are looking to strengthen their brand awareness and will sponsor you. It’ll take time to build an attractive platform, but it’s definitely possible. 

Beyond that, you can write for others as well. There are plenty of websites that promote creative writing jobs all over, so you can sift through them for the suitable ones. No degree requirements for this job, just your skill with a (proverbial) quill! 

13. Content creator 

👨🏽‍💼 Entry level positions: content marketer

💰 Potential beginner’s earning: $27,000-$34,000 per year 

If you’re happy to do a bit of everything, then apply to become a content creator. You’ll also get to collaborate with a team to come up with an overall strategy in this position.

You can work for all kinds of companies in this career. A bachelor’s degree in Marketing, English, Communications are highly relevant, though adjacent, essay-based subjects tend to do the job, too. Brushing up on search engine optimization (SEO) is also wise. 

Pop culture, the latest rumors and gossip, interesting observations served on a pretty platter — if any of that sounds interesting to you, you can jump into the media industry. Here are some job options if you want to take this route. 

14. Screenwriter

👩🏻‍💼 Entry level positions: assistant/associate writer

💰 Potential beginner’s earning: $20-$30 per hour or $9,000-$15,000 per project 

Everyone of us has probably at one point or another thought about entering the film and TV industry, and that career goal is definitely achievable, if you know where to look. A lot of people start with assistant positions to learn the ropes and get an opportunity to work on bigger productions. If you prefer to write from the get-go, you can go for lower-budget projects. 

To get one of the assistant positions and put yourself out there, touch up on craft skills like plotting, story structures , character-building to be prepared. No qualifications are specified in most cases. 

15. Broadcast journalist 

👨🏼‍💼 Entry level positions: staff writer

We’ve covered written news — now comes broadcast news. From televised reports to radio sessions, you can be the writer behind the words that reporters or presenters read out. It’s a fast-paced job that deals with the latest real-life stories, which can be incredibly rewarding, even if it’s not explicitly creative. 

Many broadcast journalists work project by project (unless it’s periodical news), almost like a freelancer. You’ll still need to have all the skills necessary to put together a good news story, so some journalist training will be beneficial. 

16. Podcaster 

👩🏻‍💼 Entry level positions: assistant/associate writer or producer 

💰 Potential beginner’s earning: $18-$25 per hour, or $26,000-$32,000 per year 

Along the same lines as a broadcast journalist is the job of a podcaster. This is a bit more topical than journalism, and you can really home into certain fields and explore it in depth. Another special thing about podcasters is they usually host the shows, too! So if you’re confident about your voice, and about interviewing others, there’s no reason not to try this out. 

As with screenwriting, the route to get into this sector can be a little bit challenging, since it’s often a case of catching an opportunity from the right people at the right time. Which is why assistant jobs are a strong start. 

And finally, we arrive at the section that hopeful writers often dream about more than anything else. Publishing a book is not easy, it requires not just time and effort but also finances, if only to keep you afloat while completing the manuscript. That said, it’s possible to do it on the side with another full-time job, as is the case for most published writers. 

The cool thing about this career is that you are your own boss — i.e. there are no entry level positions. You are an author the day you call yourself one. 

17. Short story writer

Short stories are charming in their own right, and with the booming literary magazine sphere , there’s no shortage of space to get your words out there into the world. Publishing an anthology with a publisher is also an option but it’s harder — you often need to have an established career first. 

In any case, most magazines aim to have enough funds to pay their contributors. Small ones can pay $15-$20 per story, bigger ones $100-$200. You can also enter writing contests to win higher prizes.

18. Novelist 

Being a novelist comes with the difficulty of having the time and finances to write a full draft before you can propose it to publishers, or even publish it yourself. It’s a long commitment, and it doesn’t guarantee a payoff. If it does get printed, a book deal can get you an advance in the $5,000-$15,000 range. If you self-publish, what you get depends on how well you market your books — emphasis on the plural noun!

That said, it’s not impossible. We’ve got a whole post on how to become a novelist here if you want some pointers from famous writers like Anne Lamott and Zadie Smith! 

19. Nonfiction author 

Who says creative writing jobs have to be all about fiction? Creative nonfiction is a growing field that’s always welcoming new stories. From memoirs and biographies to true crime, from self-help to essay collections, you can focus on many different topics with this option. 

The nice thing about it all is that unlike fiction writers, you can pitch your book proposal to publishers before you complete a whole manuscript for nonfiction titles, meaning you can be guaranteed some kind of results before you start writing. The advance amount is similar to that for novels.

And last but not least, you can become a poet! Poets tell stories with rhythm and rich imagery, and not just on paper but also with their voice. Performing poetry is one of the special advantages that comes with this form of writing. Not only does it let you and the audience experience in a new way, it’s also a great opportunity to grow as an artist. 

On top of that, you can also dabble in other industries (advertising, music producers…) as a lyricist. As it’s a gig-based employment, you probably want to diversify your work portfolio to make sure there’s always something you can work on. The rates are usually similar to that of a ghostwriter.

And voila, that’s the end to our master list of creative writing jobs! Hopefully, there’s something to help you passion live on among this many options.

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Writing Forward

26 Creative Writing Careers

by Melissa Donovan | Aug 4, 2022 | Creative Writing | 164 comments

creative writing careers

Creative writing careers — they’re out there!

If creative writing is your passion, then you’d probably enjoy a career in which you could spend all day (or at least most of the day) pursuing that passion.

But creative writing is an artistic pursuit, and we all know that a career in the arts isn’t easy to come by.

It takes hard work, drive, dedication, a whole lot of spirit, and often, a willingness to take big financial risks — as in not having much money while you’re waiting for your big break.

The Creative Writing Career List

Here’s a list of creative writing careers that you can consider for your future. I’m not making any promises. You have to go out and find these jobs yourself, but they do exist. You just have to look for them and then land them.

  • Greeting Card Author
  • Comic Book Writer
  • Copywriter (business, advertising, marketing, etc.)
  • Writing Coach
  • Screenwriter
  • Songwriter (Lyricist)
  • Freelance Short Fiction Writer
  • Web Content Writer
  • Creative Writing Instructor
  • Legacy Writer (write people’s bios and family histories)
  • Critic/Reviewer
  • Ghostwriter
  • Article Writer (write, submit, repeat)
  • Video Game Writer
  • Personal Poet (write personalized poems for weddings, funerals, childbirths, etc.)
  • Speechwriter
  • Write sleep stories
  • Blogger (don’t tell me you don’t have a blog yet!)
  • Creative Writing Consultant
  • Specialty writer (food, travel, fitness, etc.)
  • Write guided meditations

I’m not saying you’re going to make a lot of money with some of these creative writing careers. You might have to earn your creating writing income part-time or on the side. But if you do what you love, the money (i.e. the success) just might follow. You’ll never know unless you try, right?

Do you have any creative writing careers to add to this list? Share your suggestions by leaving a comment.

Ready Set Write a Guide to Creative Writing

164 Comments

GrapeMe

I find it so difficult to consolidate my thoughts when it comes to career paths. I know this is only a short post with some fairly obvious suggestions, but I really have to say cheers for arranging them in a way that means I can go “Oh yeah. I could do that. Or that..”

Baffled in the world of writing.

Melissa Donovan

Thanks, GrapeMe. I’m sure there are many more creative writing career paths, and hopefully some folks will stop by and add their suggestions. What I wanted to do with this post was present some starter ideas for career building. If you’re in school or have a full-time job, then these are great ways to get your feet wet, and you never know where these jobs will take you! Good luck to you!

Wayne C. Long

Great post!

I can tell you from personal experience that it IS possible to make a career in creative writing. My dream was to launch an on-line store where I could showcase and sell e-mail subscriptions to my collection of short stories. Additionally, I wanted to foster other short story writers by sponsoring short story contests.

Now, nearly three years later, LongShortStories is happily chugging along like The Little Engine That Could, bringing the best in short fiction to an ever-widening appreciative global audience.

It does take patience and perseverence, along with a huge leap of faith in yourself and the reading community at large, to create and maintain such an ongoing venture.

Am I successful? Yes. Am I rich? Yes, if by that you define success and richness as living out one’s creative dream. For that, I am so grateful to my loyal readers and contest entrants who see the power in the short story form.

Go for it, I say!

Wayne C. Long Writer/Editor/Digital Publisher

That’s one of the reasons I wanted to present this list — you never know where it will lead if you just start by dipping your toes in the water. And I think for those of us who are creative or artistic, there’s a true need to engage our creativity even if it’s not our full-time work. And if we can bring in a little extra spending money doing something we love, all the better!

Siddharth Misra

Hi Wayne Hi. Felt great to see your view and understande your perspective,on this important and required art. Writing is something which will indeed shape the future have already writen poems, want to publish them. Am a Multiple Sclerosis patient would appreciate support in my persuit to make my work visible.

Kelvin Kao

I’ve heard of most of these, except personal poet. Of course, the creative job (though not about writing) that I wonder most about is: who gets hired to design those patterns on paper towels?

I’ve been to several websites for personalized poetry. Actually, that’s something I briefly considered doing many years ago, but ultimately I chose another path. Funny you mention the paper towel patterns, because I have wondered the same thing many, many times!

Rose

Probably a clever little robot..

Marelisa

Children’s book author. 🙂 I completely agree with you that there is usually a way to turn your passion into a successful career, even if it involves looking for unconventional routes to do what you love.

Yes, those unconventional routes are the ones forged by pioneers, people who were compelled to follow their dreams. Reminds me of the saying, “Do what you love and the money will follow.”

Devin

Nice list, Melissa.

I routinely participate in two of the twenty on your list. However, I would be hard pressed to call either a career. More of a labor of love, compulsion, passion than a reliable way to pay the bills — even though I participate daily. Still, I am incredibly fortunate. I would not change my vague professional choices for anything. Best of success to all who tackle anything on the above list.

Thanks, Devin. I believe that if we combine our passion with a desire to make a living doing what we love, anything is possible. Best of luck to you!

I couldn’t agree more. I mostly just do what I love and somehow the bills get paid. believing in yourself is also very helpful — of course there is no reason not to.

Preston

Mrs. Melissa Donovan,

I wanted to write for theater newsletter a friend created.

She gave me the opportunity and not a thought would come to me.

Not a theater professional but I like theater and felt I had something to say about it.

Upon returning a few theater books to the library, I got lost in a Exploring Theater Playwriting, a topic jumped on me Rules of etiquette.

Finally, I have the first draft.

Johnny

I need guidance to help me orient myself with writing and I hope to find it online. This list is a good start. I scrub toilets for a living, can’t help but read and write before and after work. Words, concepts and definitions are very important to me, can’t imagine not pursuing writing soon, yet I need to sell it too somehow. Custodian/janitorial work speaks for itself, words require a lot more compelling.

Christine Mattice

Great list of creative writing careers, Melissa. To this list, I would like to add:

1. Letter writer — writing personal and business letters for clients. 2. Resume writer

…and you’re right. If you do what you love, the money frequently DOES follow!

Thanks, Christine! These are great additions to the list. Resume and cover letter writing are especially notable because one can make a good living in that field. However, I’m not sure it constitutes as creative writing so much as business writing. In any case, definitely worth mentioning!

TayyTayy

I’m not quite sure what I would want to do in the writing field. I don tknow because so many of them I think I could do well in. I am so grateful for this list because it shows a very organized way of showing so many possibilities in this creative field.

If you try different forms, styles, and genres of writing, you’ll eventually find the one that fits! Good luck to you!

TayyTayy

Melissa. I hope I could maybe get into non fiction writing or even journalism.

Good luck. Just keep writing and submitting, and you’ll get there.

Cheerfreak7

Im just a 12 year old girl who wants to know what I want to do with my life when I get older. All of my other friends know exactly what they are going to be, but I wasn’t sure. So, I went and looked on some websites about jobs that have to do with writing, and this website gave me a very good idea of what I want to be, a song writer because I also love singing. Thanks! 🙂

Songwriting is an excellent career. I love that songwriters get to be creative, work with lots of other artists, and are immersed in music but don’t have to deal with the spotlight and publicity (unless the songwriter is also a star). Nice career choice! Good luck to you.

Thatgirl

I am too and my parents have recently asked me what I may have wanted to be and I didn’t even know so it kinda scared me and I have recently realized I like to write stories.I know how this economy works though with the unemployment and it makes me wonder if a writing career would work.I love to write though,am I crazy or something?

At twelve years old, there is no reason to be scared if you don’t know what you want to be when you grow up. You have plenty of time! Lots of people start college without declaring their field of study, and lots of people start college thinking they’re going to do one thing and then change halfway through. But if you really love writing and want to pursue it, then there’s no better time to start than right now. No, you’re not crazy. Writing is a wonderful adventure. Also, you are living in the best possible time in history to be a writer. There are tons of wonderful opportunities available to writers that we did not have ten or twenty years ago. I wish you the best of luck, Thatgirl!

Chicagohopeful

Melissa, I’m a former high school English teacher who realized a few years into teaching that writing was what I really wanted to do. I have a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in education but am trying to change careers. I’ve been working on a YA novel and have been getting EXTREMELY frustrated. I have to say I found your post on accident but have found it to be very inspiring. Thanks for surge of reassurance that it can be done!

You’re welcome! I think it’s wonderful that you’re working on a novel and normal that you’re frustrated. Just keep at it and the frustration will eventually pass. You’ll find that in a battle of willpower, commitment wins out over frustration every time.

Skyi

I really want to write and it has always been a favorite passtime of mine. If i am not writing I feel empty inside like something is missing. The problem is I am scared to take that ‘leap of faith’ and make a career out of it. Instead, I search for everything else to become in life just to run from the truth that writing has been and always will be my destiny. It started back in high school when I was told writers don’t make much money. I let that get in the way of what I could be now and I quit. Now, I see writers that are better and are doing better than I am and I get jealous because I feel I am a better writer than them all!! Then I realize that talk is cheap without evidence to back it up. Can anybody offer a advice or words of encouragement for me to finally persue my one and only true love and happiness in life?? It would be greatly appreciated. Thank you..

Well Skyi, I personally don’t think jealousy is going to get you anywhere. If you obsess over comparing yourself to your peers, you will be in a constant state of negativity. Also, you should keep in mind that regardless of how well you write, you are not entitled to success, especially in a field that you chose not to pursue. I think your best course of action would be to accept that you are where you are right now because of the choices that you (and you alone) made. Once you accept responsibility for your life, you can set a new course and start pursuing a career in writing. It’s never too late to become a writer. Stop focusing on what other writers are achieving and concentrate on writing the best you can. The only way to be a writer is to write.

ChelleJ

Hey Melissa,

I think your website is great! I ran by it by mistake and really found the info helpful. I am venturing out into my writing career and can use all the info I can get my hands on. I do have a question: I have started a career and have ppl supporting me in this career but I am for certain that writing is where I belong and want to do. How do I make the transistion smoothly and let my supporters down easily? 🙂

Thanks in advance for the advice,

Thanks for your kind words. Your question confuses me. Why would you be letting your supporters down if you transition to writing as a career? If they are truly your supporters, it won’t be a let-down at all.

Wow! Is all I can say..I honestly thought that I was in this boat all by myself! Like you, I have ping ponged myself between careers and have always found my way back to writing. I mean literally I have been a secretary for over five years, graduated with a assoicates business degree, taken cosmetology courses and actually done freelance makeup artistry and STILL I find myself unhappy. I had to really sit myself down and think of what I was taking myself through…it didn’t make any sense for me not to pursue my passion; the one thing that I enjoyed most whether I was sad, mad, happy, etc. I have been writing since the tender age of six from poems to short ficition stories, won many rewards for my writing while I was in elementary through middle school. When I reached high school, I didnt want to be labeled as a “geek” and compared my life to peers which led me to where I am today. Don;t get me wrong, my life is not horrible; I have a good job and work with ppl that I am respected by but I know that life can be more fulfilling and better if I was to just do what in the heck I want to do! lol. It’s easier said than done and I know EXACTLY where you are coming from.

Like Melissa has mentioned, don’t spend your time comparing your life to others; your path to success is truly in your hands. 🙂 I wish the very best for you.

Ren

Thank you for this list! My dream career though is to be a show/concept writer for a theme park like Disney. There are stories for each ride and I would love to be one of the minda behind them.

Wow, writing a theme park ride would be a pretty awesome job. That never even occurred to me as a creative writing career. Thanks for adding it, Ren!

Jess

Hi Melissa, I’m coming up to my last year of high school and I’m trying to think of a career path. I love to write, but I’m not sure what the best way to start. What I would like to do the most is writing lyrics, and if not that poetry. However, I don’t think I would be able to. Do you know how I can get my writing out after college? How difficult was it for you? How did you start making a career out of your writing? What helped you the most? Thank you for your time, -Jessica

I believe it’s pretty difficult to make a living writing lyrics and/or poetry. But there are some careers in those areas, and just because it’s a challenging path doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue it. As a lyricist, you will need to partner with musicians, so building a network of musicians and learning about the music industry would be a good start. I understand that some slam poets are now making a living in poetry, but their form requires live (and recorded) performances, something not all writers are crazy about. (Search for “slam poetry” or check out IndieFeed Performance Poetry podcast for more info.) You can also write poetry for greeting cards (you’ll have to do a little research on how to get work in that field).

A good start for a poet like yourself is to take some poetry workshops, which will help you understand whether your work is publishable. But you should also submit your poetry to journals and literary magazines. Visit their websites, check their submission guidelines, and then send them your work. That is how you start.

I made a career out of writing by studying creative writing at university, which gave me the skills (and more importantly, the confidence) to start my own blog and copywriting business.

What helped me the most? Writing a lot and reading even more.

Good luck to you!

Andrea

Thank you so much for this list. This will be my last year in high school before I start collage, and my dream has always been to be a writer, but sadly I have always been told that writing doesn’t pay very good unless your amazingly good. The comments as well as the posting, has given me hope about having a job in writing.

One could argue that few careers pay well unless you are amazingly good. I would further qualify that to say you don’t even have to be good, just hardworking and driven. There are plenty of viable career opportunities in writing. It’s probably easier to make a good living as a technical or scientific writer than as a novelist (assuming you acquire the proper training in those fields), but if you are sufficiently motivated, you can succeed at whatever you want.

Joshua

I’ve always loved writing and video games. Me and some of my friends would literally sit and talk for hours about ideas for video games we had and would start writing them down. Even before graduating from high school, I’ve been trying to find a path that would allow me to become a video game writer. It’s been three years since I graduated from high school and I’m still left without answers. I went to college for two years for secondary English education but it just didn’t interest me the way writing for video games do. A few days ago, I went to Pittsburgh University of Greensburg and talked with a professor there to see what I should do if I want to become a video game writer. Once again, I was left without answers. She pretty much told me that she had never heard of such a thing before. Please, if you could provide me with any information, anything at all, I would greatly appreciate it.

I would suggest studying creative writing with a focus on fiction. Another good option might be screenwriting. Video games are stories, so you would want to develop writing skills in general and storytelling skills specifically. You might also take some courses in programming or application development. That’s not my area of expertise, so I can’t be more specific. You best bet is to find someone who writes for video games and ask their advice.

Dream

I came across this on accident. I was looking for different options to take for a career path on writing. I have not written much in my life. When I was in middle school and in high school I used to write in my Journal a lot. I had a couple friends who wrote poems and short stories I thought they were good and I wanted to try too. I wrote in my journal about many different things, but it never seemed satisfying to me. I was too embarassed to show everyone what I could write. So I continued to write secretivley. I stopped writing, and 2 years later when I felt as if my whole life was nothing I started writing again, and now I feel alive! i still don’t think my writing is the best but it has made me feel so much better about myself.I started writing a novel. My fiance is excited for me and wants me to follow my dream and do what I want to do. When I came across this I felt like someone was nudging me. Thank you so much! This has inspired me entirely!

Thank you for sharing your writing experiences. I’m so glad you found Writing Forward inspiring. I know what you mean about coming across something that gives you a little nudge. All my life, I’ve experienced little nudges and they have always pointed me toward writing (even way back when I had my sights set on other career paths). Those little nudges really make one wonder about destiny.

Michelle

I’m one of the few that lived the dream, earned money from writing and hated it! It sounds terrible, but writing for money sucked all the joy out of the creative process for me. I loved to write for school and my unpaid internship (I have a Bachelor’s in English), but the minute I needed to pay bills with my writing, the whole process felt like a soul-suck. Suddenly it wasn’t enough to write when the inspiration hit throughout the week (when my best writing happens anyway), but I had to be witty and original at the snap of a finger. Yet it wasn’t enough to be witty: you have to care about what sells, what different editors think “good” writing even is and follow contradictory style guidelines. It wasn’t that I wasn’t used to these things, but now if it didn’t happen or I didn’t sell, my power goes off. I had panic attacks every time I sat down to write. I had to go back and get a traditional job.

But if I’m out of it, why search this stuff a month and a half after admitting defeat? It’s because I love the art of writing: the creative process, the big dreams of those starting out, the insights others have, the glory of a sentence fashioned just right after five pages of terrible ones. The monetary aspect destroyed that for me. Just goes to show, it’s not for everyone. To anyone that wants to write for a living, be willing to work long hours, open to constant criticism and have a plan B.

Hi Michelle. I would say there’s a big difference between commercial writing and creative writing. Commercial writing means you’re writing for payment rather than to express your own ideas. I can certainly understand how writing commercially zaps creativity or feels like a soul-suck. I’ve experienced it myself. But I hope you’re still pursuing your creative writing. In fiction and poetry, I believe the best writing comes from the heart and is not driven by money or the marketplace.

Jamie

I am a senior in high school and plan on going to college to major in journalism. However, I do not know exactly what field of work to go into. I was thinking about writing for People’s Magazine. I know it seems far-fetched, but hey, it’s my dream! Do you know how a person might have a chance at writing for a such a successful magazine??

Jamie, it sounds like you have decided which field of work to go into (journalism). More specifically, it sounds like you want to write for a Hollywood gossip publication. There are probably many opportunities in that area, not limited to People Magazine. For example, there are tons of websites that focus on celebrity news, and you could also work as a writer for one of the entertainment news shows (like ET or Inside Edition). That’s definitely not my area of expertise, but it sounds to me like you’re already heading in the direction that’s right for you.

Thanks for the comment! I am not exactly positive that I want to write for People Magazine, but I do know that I want to write. What do you do for a living (if you don’t mind me asking)? I would love to write for any company, really. I just like to write. I am interested in entertainment. Which is why I want to write for a magazine. But, writing for something a little more discreet is fine too.

I’m a web designer and copywriter by trade. I help small businesses build effective online marketing campaigns. My livelihood is somewhat supplemented by the work I do here on Writing Forward. I’m also working on a couple of big writing projects (a novel and a book of creative writing exercises). The exercises book will be out soon and available here. The novel could take years! There are many opportunities for writers; you just have to find them.

That is really neat! I just want to do anything to make my family proud! I love to write! 🙂 I can’t wait to gain a higher education. Thanks for taking the time to read my comments and commenting back!

It fills my heart with hope to see a young person so excited about education. Something tells me that you’re going to do quite well, Jamie.

Andrew

Hey, i found this while looking for it, oddly enough. I am currently attending college and in pursuit of a Creative Writing degree, I am about two years in! with almost completed half of my courses for my four year, I still have some question’s as most. My concentration will be in Technical writing, Grants and contracts, but i will be writing on the side to keep the creative spark. I was curious, however, if you could point me in the direction of a detailed description of a day in your shoes as a copy write. i would much oblige Thnx again.

That would be a lengthy essay indeed. I will say this: every day is different. Also, most of my time is not spent writing. It’s spent on marketing and taking care of administrative tasks.

Barbara Saunders

Liberating thought: even if writing does not provide a full living, it can provide enough of one to let a person withdraw from the pressure to move upward in another career. A decent-paying day job plus supplemental writing can add up to as much or more income as a hated rat race job.

I agree 100%. For many writers, it’s an outlet for creativity or it supplements their income — small things that have a big, positive impact on quality of life!

Adebisi

Melisa, Thanks for the list. I am a writer who intends to find my feet more in the art of writing. I am inspired by the list. My contribution is, if you love to write anything at all, start writing. You can’t imagine where it might take you. God bless you.

Thank you for your inspiring words.

delilah

hi I would like a career in writing but I just dont know what to do. I was into journalism but had a talk with a journalist a few weeks ago and got really discouraged. I have a blog and write short stories. But I just dont know what to do in my life. I am 18 years old and would like to stop wasting time and money in lectures I am not going to use. Currently I am doing a course on media production and I’m liking it. But it is like there is something missing. When I write I feel whole.

Many eighteen-year-olds have no idea what they want to do. It sounds like you know you want to write; you just need to figure out what form. College is a great place to figure that out. You can take classes in different types of writing (fiction, journalism, business writing) and find what fits. If you’re drawn to journalism, I don’t think you should give up on it just because one journalist discouraged you. Talk to more journalists, take some journalism classes, and do a little citizen journalism. Experiment and stick with your studies!

Alexis

I am a short story writer, and a poet. But I am only 13. Trying to hook myself into this early <3

I started writing when I was thirteen too. Stick with it!

I will! Haha, even my boyfriend likes my writing.

That’s good. It’s important to have a support system. Try to find others who will appreciate and support your writing, too. Good luck!

Para

I’m having a hard time finding a career path. I’m still in high school, but it’s not going too well.

My odd circumstances are going to leave me in dire straights soon, where I can either choose to drop out of high school and get my GED or go through with two more of high school. (I’m a senior, kind of. I left public school for home school, and it’s not working out. For myself or my mother.) So, I figured that now would be the best time to find a career path that is both logical but suited to my creative side.

Is there any security in being a creative writer? I mean, this list is comparatively small when you look at more practical things like nursing degrees or business degrees. I understand that the big blow up in internet culture, creative writing via blogging is becoming a fast hit with book publishers, but how likely is it that creative writing will be a degree that I can support myself (and/or a family) on?

In this day and age, I don’t think there is true security in any career field. Perhaps there never has been. Careers in the arts have a reputation for being harder than other careers, but I am not sure I believe that to be true. I think these careers are different in that you usually don’t have an employer, benefits, etc. You are hustling rather than working set hours for a regular paycheck. In my experience, people with self-discipline and drive create their own job security (in any field). Also, there’s a kind of competition in the arts that doesn’t exist in many other industries.

In terms of your education, my advice would be to finish high school. However, I’m not privy to the details of your circumstances. I just think there is a greater value in getting a diploma alongside your peers.

Nobody supports themselves on a degree. You can get a degree in astro-engineering and end up homeless. Success is the result of making smart choices, working hard, internal drive, external support system, and luck. You might find yourself eventually making a choice between living a more secure, conventional life and pursuing your dream of becoming a career writer. Sacrifice of one kind or another is inevitable.

My cousin has his undergrad degree in English and MFA (master’s in fine arts) in creative writing. He’s taught technical writing in college and now works at home as a contractor for corporate companies (tech writing.) He recently finished the first draft of his sci-fi novel by saving up and taking a few months off at a time. And, yes, he certainly is not a starving artist.

I am studying creative writing and education, both of which are terribly impractical, income-wise. But it’s possible to make a decent living if you’re passionate, dedicated and willing to take day jobs that you won’t necessarily enjoy.

See, I just don’t think these fields of study are impractical, especially studying education (we will always need teachers). With all the budget cuts, a career as a teacher might look improbable right now, but these cuts only apply to public schools. There are many other opportunities for teachers and places where their skills can be used.

Peter Minj

Thank’s Melissa for the encouragement.I will surely look into that.This blog page of yours is really helpful for all the aspiring writers.

Karolina

I read the article and I loved it. I am an aspiring author (Junior in highschool), and wish to one day publish a succesful fiction novel, like many others. I always knew I wanted to write, but I was told constantly that it would not suit for a career, and that healthcare and buissness were far better choices, money-wise. I am aware that sacrificing wealth over happiness is a nessecity in this pathway, but I am not so interested in wealth. My love for writing and spreading messages to inspire people, and even entertain is what I strive for. I realize it is hard to make a successful fiction novel. I will forever write them, but I need a job that will at least get me by. I’m not so sure which would be best for a fiction novelist. I was leaning more on article writing, but that is more technical, I believe. I was inspired by the coments and your responses. Recently, I firmly decided to go with creative writing, but the desicion to pick what to do is dificult. I will continue writing, and hopefully, I’ll make it one day. 😀

You sound like my kind of writer, Karolina.

I once heard someone say that money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy comfort. Well, many writers find comfort in the craft. I wish you the best.

Oliver JK Smith

Hi there guys! I’ve really enjoyed reading everyones opinions and experiences. I could really do with some advice of my own- I’ve always considered myself a creative soul; I’m a songwriter, have written screen plays and am currently working on my first novel. My major passion in life is professinal wrestling (eg.wwe), I currently write a wrestling blog and love the idea of one day writing creativtly for the tv shows. Having scouted my dream job with wwe, I learnt that they require applicants to have a ba degree in creative writing or a similar field aswell as experience in scriptwriting for tv. I am 22 yrs old and looking to settle down with my girlfriend however the idea of finally going to uni and gaining the skill set to at least improve my writing has big appeal. I realise my chances of ever workibg in such a niche field are slim and would settle for any work in which I could contribute to a creative process, but is uni with all its costs and time it takes to complete worth it?

I majored in creative writing in college, and I definitely think it’s worth the time and money, especially if you plan on a career in creative writing. If the job that you’ve got your eye on requires a BA, then you should certainly pursue it if you can. Dream big!

Lisa-Marie

This is a wonderful post and I thank you for it. I have been struggling over the last few years when it came to finally making a decision in regard to what I want to do with my life. This has definitely given me a few ideas and I will be getting the ball rolling as soon as I possibly can! :]

Thanks, Lisa-Marie. I’m glad you got some ideas out of this post, and I wish you the best of luck in your writing future!

Matt Thatcher

I recently just started a hobby of writing, they’re fictional based stories, but i was inspired by real events in my life & though the stories i write are fictional, they are realistic to a certain extent as well. Guess you could consider them historical fiction &/or drama & suspense stories. I’m kind of new at writing & i don’t know very many people that are well to do writters, so I’m kind of on my own. I was wondering if anyone had any ideas of where i should start?

There are plenty of writers on the internet, and you can easily connect with them. You can search for writers’ groups. Look for writers on social media. Start a blog. Writers love to discuss the craft and share information, and the web makes it easy. If you’d prefer to do something in person, check your local community college for creative writing classes and workshops or poke around and see if you can find a writer’s group that is accepting new members. Best of luck to you, Matt.

OK, thank you !!

You’re welcome.

Monica

Hello Melissa! Thanks for this list.. I’m an English major with a Creative Writing minor, and lately I have been struggling to make a decision about my future career(s). I write poetry but my main focus is writing fantasy/mystery fiction, and I’d like nothing better than to just write novels for the rest of my life. However, I know I may never be able to support myself by doing just this. I’ve been stressed out lately thinking what career I could get into, but technical writing doesn’t appeal to me and I don’t have a burning desire to teach. This list reminds me that I have more options than I thought!

That’s great, Monica! I too majored in creative writing (at my school, it was called a concentration). I’ve also found that most employers appreciate a worker who has strong writing skills. I got more than one promotion and/or raise because of my writing when I was an office worker! I wish you the best of luck!

Tim Socha

I have always aspired to become a published author, and now that I am in the last years of my life I find myself wanting to have a writing career more than ever. All my life I have worked hard to make a living to raise my family, the physical demands of my jobs have paid their toll on me, and I think it is about time I settled down and did something I could enjoy. I have always excelled in the creative arts, from writing to acting to art, but have never held a job in which I could use these talents. Following is a list of the creative writing jobs I could do from your list: Greeting Card Author, Advertising (Creative), Freelance Short Fiction Writer, Columnist, Video Game Writer (includes storytelling/fiction!), I would also like to get a few novels published. I can also draw just about anything-ultimately I would like to get my own stories published- with not only my creative writing, but my illustrations as well. I have written several books and have ideas for many more, but because I have to make a living I have been unable to get anything published because the cost is too much. In other words, because I have had to take physically demanding jobs that paid little wages I have never had the capitol to get started. I have sent out many submissions and have entered many contests, but made little ground in the creative field. I want to write, I’m good at it, and I just need to find a way to get my work noticed-this has been very difficult. I would merely like to make a living in something I’m good at and I have a driving desire to do. Is there any advice you can give me, or any contact information for agents and publishers who might be interested in helping out a new author?

Hi Tim. It sounds like you’re passionate about art and writing. I’m not sure how much you’ve submitted your work, but I would say keep at it. If you have a lot of completed material, you can polish it and just keep submitting it. Chances are that eventually, your work will be accepted. You might also want to start a website to build a readership and audience. A professionally designed site will be an expense, but you can start with a free platform like WordPress.com. You can use your site/blog to post your writing and your art. You can also self-publish and build your own readership. However, I would note that running your own website is time consuming, and there can be a lot to learn in terms of marketing, so you might want to pick up a couple of books or hire someone to help you with the process. I wish you the best of luck!

Ned-duh

Wow! Thank you so very much for creating this list! I actually haven’t really thought of doing some of the jobs listed on here. I’m only 20 years old and I’m finding it EXTREMELY hard to make it in the writing business! However, I am pursuing my dream and I am planning to do whatever it takes to make it. Thank you ever so much Melissa!

Many blessings to you,

Good luck to you, Nada!

I wish to be a writer some day.I am currently working in a IT company which offers a decent pay.But I have always loved writing since my school days even though I eventually graduated in Engineering.I want to make a career switch and pursue a career in writing.I now the pay is not that great in writing but then arts is always difficult.I want to take a shot at it and live my dream.I am very apprehensive about the future and don’t know how to tell it to my parents.I keep a blog for short-stories and poems.

Most writers start their careers while they have full-time jobs. You can definitely ease into a writing career. If you can get paid for a few freelance projects, get a blog and audience going, you’ll be able to lay a solid foundation for a future career. Best of luck to you!

Quadree Breeland

Hello, my name is quadree Breeland and I am a 19 year old college student in Delaware and I am looking to transfer to Columbia college in Chicago. I might not be the greatest writer but I love it. I have written 2 full short scripts. One is a police procedural and the serial killer who kills people with their own video games. Literally and the other is a thriller about a guy who quit the CIA because of problems with his father and a Russian terrorist comes back to try and kill him and anything around him. I love writing and I am very creative. My dream career is to write the dialogue, story, or the missions in video games. Basically, I wanna write for games. I know I won’t get a job like that as soon as I get out of college, but I have no problem applying for a job as a comic book writer, game or film reviewer, or writing for a web series. Im not really a novelist, but I wouldn’t mind taking a job like the ones I stated above when I graduate. I guess all I want is a reply with school advice and career advice. I am trying to find a good blog or site to post my stories at. I’m trying to find schools for me with film, or writing in the entertainment industry. I’m trying to find schools with dorms, clubs, and a good social life. You know, parties and stuff.

You have some great story ideas that would work well for scripts or video games. I would suggest that you try to find an internship with a company that produces video games. If you do that while you’re still in school, you’ll have a much better shot at landing a job in your chosen field when you graduate. Good luck to you!

Rachel

Blogging sounds interesting and fun, but I don’t know how to pinpoint a topic to dedicate a blog to! I’m not an expert at anything and don’t do much of a hobby that I think could carry out well as a blog. Any ideas, suggestions, etc?

Hi Rachel. You could always write a personal blog in which you share your personal stories, ideas, and experiences. You can also do a photo or art blog. You do need some central theme or topic to write around.

Katherine Hou

When I was purusing an art undergraduate degree in philosophy and graduated in 2009, I had no idea that a career in the liberal arts can be this tough. My hobby of writing has started upon graduation, and had been looking for work that can utilize my writing skills ever since.

I have seen job posts that requires a degree in journalism if were to pursue staff writer, but no mention of a degree in philosophy.

I came across your website and like what you blog about.

Thanks, Katherine. Yes, it’s tough to get these jobs, and many work best as second jobs or extra income. Part of what determines whether you can land these positions is your skill level. It’s all about practice and getting in those 10,000 hours. Keep at it!

J

I want to add Medical Writing/Editing to this list. Although some may think that it is not “creative writing”, it can be very creative depending on the type of medical writing that you do. Medical Regulatory writing is more factual, but consumer medical/health writing can give you the chance to be creative and factual at the same time. Medical Writers/Editors are paid very well ($45,000 to $100,000) and you do not have to be a medical professional to write about health topics.

Resources to learn more about medical writing:

American Medial Writing Association

Hi J. I appreciate that you mentioned medical writing, but when we differentiate between business, academic, and creative writing, medical writing definitely does not fall under the creative category. It is a form of scientific writing. Copywriting (what I do) requires a lot of creativity but it’s still not creative writing; it’s a form of business writing. However, I’m glad you mentioned it, because for creative writers, there are a lot of opportunities in the field of business, scientific, and technical writing. While some of these careers may require education in their respective fields (and some may not), they are industries where one can make a good living as a writer.

Creating Writing high school freshman

Thank you SO MUCH for creating this article!

Leonora

But isn’t making a career in writing only just … too dangerous. Because I’ve always wanted to be a novelist but I also want to make a (possible) career in the medical department. So I was thinking isn’t having a “back-up” plan better? And if so does it have to be from the same branch?

I wouldn’t call creative writing a dangerous career choice. There’s no reason you can’t study medicine and write. You could even be a medical writer. You might look into majoring in medicine and minoring in English. There’s nothing wrong with having a back-up plan, and no, it doesn’t have to be in the same discipline.

Julie

Thank you, Melissa, for this wonderful post. I have a BA in Creative Writing and really wish I had done more during uni to try out different writing careers, as internships seem extremely hard to come by for graduates. Any words of wisdom on how a graduate might gain professional experience in a particular writing field, short of going back to school?

Well it depends on which writing field — fiction, poetry, journalism? One thing you can do is submit your work to professional magazines and journals and build up your writing credits. You have a blog (that would have been my next suggestion). Get your work out there; that’s the best way gain experience.

I would really like to try my hand at journalism, but I’m starting to think the only way to do that (as a graduate without experience in the field) is to offer my services for free. But I also like your suggestion about submitting to magazines. I once read “Do good work. Then put it where people can see it.” Exposure is definitely something I need to work on! Thank you again.

Thanks, Julie. Writing is one of those careers where you may have to do some free work or take an internship to prove yourself before landing a paid gig. Musicians have to do the same thing. They play for free (or for pennies) — sometimes for years — before they start getting paid. Submitting to magazines is a great way to get experience and get paid since they often buy articles based on merit. Good luck to you, and keep writing!

AT

Thank you so much for making this website, and I can see that you are very dedicated to helping people pursue a writing career. I’m a junior in highschool, and I have considered many careers, but whenever I thought i knew what I wanted to do, deep down I knew it wasn’t. I finally figured out why I’ve been unable to pick a career, and it’s because I absolutely love to write. I would write all day, everyday if I could. I just thought that writing was a hobby, and I couldn’t make a career out of it. I now know that I can make a career out of writing, and this is what I wish to pursue in college. Only problem is that my parents want me to be a doctor or something, but this doesn’t interest them. All they care about is me making enough money, but I feel that money isn’t everything, and I would rather do what I love, and be happy. I have faith in myself, that someday I can be a sucessful writer. I just wish my parents could see that this is what I love to do. By reading all your posts on this website, it has really helped brighten my day, and it has shown me that I’m not alone, and that I can do what I love, if I have faith in myself. thank you

You’re welcome! I’m glad you found strength and inspiration here, and I wish you the best of luck with all your writing and education. Keep writing, no matter what!

Jane Kashtel

“Now, I’m not saying you’re going to make a whole lot to live on with some of these creative writing jobs but if you do what you love, the money (i.e. the success) just might follow.”

Therein lies the problem with this article. That’s not how writing works; “success” is not synonymous with “the money.” The vast majority of novelists could not live completely off their book sales, and I can think of no short fiction writers who could make that claim. Don’t even get me started on poets; getting published in the most highly regarded journals in the country leads neither to fame nor fortune. 

Writing isn’t accountancy or business management. You don’t get into creative writing to fulfill some sort of career desire. You do it because you feel compelled to write, because you have something to say. It is the effective communication of the idea that defines success, not the money attached. 

The problem with your comment, Jane, is that is disregards the title of the post that it criticizes. Young and new writers often ask me about whether they can make a career out of creative writing. This article answers the question can I make a living doing what I love (writing)? You may feel there’s something wrong with that, but I don’t. In fact, I admire people who pursue their passions and attempt to turn them into viable careers. People do need to eat.

“You don’t get into creative writing to fulfill some sort of career desire. You do it because you feel compelled to write, because you have something to say. It is the effective communication of the idea that defines success, not the money attached.”

I don’t think anyone has the right to tell other people why they should write or how they should define success. You and I come from a similar place since these ideas reflect my own personal feelings about writing, but I would never tell someone else what constitutes a valid reason for writing or how they should define their own success. There are, indeed, people who get into writing to fulfill a career desire and who define success by how much money they make.

“The problem with your comment, Jane, is that is disregards the title of the post that it criticizes.”

It does indeed, because it’s a faulty premise. Let’s look at your list: there are very, very few novelists who are able to live completely off their royalties, and I don’t know of any short fiction writer anywhere who could make that claim. As for “personal poet,” even professional poets who win the country’s best prizes don’t “make a living” from their poetry sales. Calling these “careers” would be misleading.

But notice how many novels, shorts stories and poems get published every year. My point was that writing is a field not exclusive to professionals. Anyone can write a novel with the possibility of publishing, but it is disingenuous to call this a “career” when it’s not a main source of income for most.

“There are, indeed, people who get into writing to fulfill a career desire and who define success by how much money they make.”

Writing is not economics or finance, it’s a process of communication. Using this communication tool as a money-making strategy would involve telling people what they want to hear. There are descriptions reserved for those who only tell others what they want to hear.

Jane, you seem to be more interested in looking for minute points to argue rather than grasping the full intent of this post. There are plenty of novelists and other creative writers who have built full-time and part-time careers with their work. I happen to know “personal poets” who subsidize their income by writing personal poetry. Might I suggest that you open your mind to the possibility that the people you know and experiences you’ve had are not definitive? You are merely presenting your opinions and personal experiences as facts, and they are not facts.

I don’t care if a writer’s work is a main source of income, a part-time source of income, or if it doesn’t lead to any income at all. My job here is to encourage writers to pursue their dreams and that includes trying to make a career out of their writing, if that is what they want to do. I never said that writing is economics or finance. I said that some writers get into it as a career (James Patterson is an example — he himself says he’s a better marketer than writer). If you think such people are hacks or sellouts, then that is your opinion. I have my own opinions about it, but I don’t go around publicly judging other writers because I have not walked in their shoes. I do not know what is in their hearts. And neither do you.

“Using this communication tool as a money-making strategy would involve telling people what they want to hear. There are descriptions reserved for those who only tell others what they want to hear.”

There are also descriptions reserved for people who go around the internet stirring up malicious arguments and for people who lack manners. I neither appreciate nor welcome your insinuations. Such insults, however cloaked in wit, will only get you banned from commenting here. I built Writing Forward to be a positive, uplifting space for writers to explore their craft. It’s a shame that you’re so pessimistic about other people’s potential and what is possible for aspiring writers.

Yuly

Thank you for your ideas in writing career paths, it gives me some things to think about. As a child and in my teen years I used to write short stories. However, as an adult I have lost that creative side and find that I am empty and in need to be creative. I have considered pursuing a MA in creative writing with hopes that I can find that creative side of again. I feel, however that spending the time and money on this degree may not deem worthy because it is incredibly difficult to obtain a job that pays well enough to keep the bills paid. Do you have any suggestions?

Yuly, I don’t think anyone can tell you whether it would be best for you to pursue writing on your own or to get an MA. If you are disciplined, I think you can do it on your own. If you need a lot of direction, guidance, and support, then an MA program might be better for you. Either way, you can pick up plenty of books to inspire you. When I’m uninspired and need to get more creative, I usually go through creative writing exercises and prompts, which always get my ideas flowing again. Good luck to you!

Molly Kluever

I’m in the 8th grade, and it seems that whenever something is needed, such as a testimony of my school, a farewell speech for a retiring teacher, or a greeting at an event, my name always seems to come up. Then I get a phone call, saying what is needed and the deadline. I’m glad to do it, and obviously I don’t charge anything. However, if adults always think of me, a kid, when they need something written, surely other people will do the same when I’m older. Is my reasoning off, or is that a possible job opportunity?

If the school is calling on you for writing, then that is certainly a testament to your writing abilities. It’s a good indicator that you are a talented writer, and yes, I would say that if you enjoy writing, these are all signs that writing might be a good career option for you.

Hadassa

I just completed my engineering(Civil Engineering). I have absolutely no aptitude for that subject. I did it due to pressure from family. Now, its my career. My life. I feel its high time I take a stand. I have great passion towards writing. I have thereby, developed decent writing skills. So, I would like to pursue a career in the same. Right now, I need some place to start and venture into the world of writing. That’s exactly where I need help!

I have to admit that I honestly don’t understand why some families pressure kids to pursue one particular career. I guess I can empathize when it’s a family tradition (five generations of doctors or something like that) but I can’t get behind it at all. I think each person should pursue what’s in his or her heart. Do what you love!

Ashley

What if their not sure what they want to do or where their passion lies? What should they do?

Every person has to find his or her own path. If I wasn’t sure about my passion, I’d try lots of different things until I found it.

martha

I agree. Kids should decide for themselves. And where are the guidance counselors in all this?

Maybe some schools don’t have guidance counselors or the kids simply aren’t going to see them.

Kevin

I’ve experinced the delima’s first hand similar to you,concerning family and friend’s who where great math major’s but couldn’t get through college without the English major’s writing their paper’s?I was the English major who didn’t even finish my assocites in literature because I couldn’t do Algebra.Yet my god given passion is english and the art’s ,and especially writing.All I can say is ,especially in are high tech world today,pursue what your gifted at,and if it’s writing ,do what your heart’s telling you,don’t be like so many and waite till your 50ty,you can still do it,don’t let friend’s and family say different,one dedicated art person that does give a dam.

There is a lot to learn by getting a degree, so I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t finish your associate’s in literature. However, there is a lot you can learn about the craft by simply reading and studying on your own. With or without a formal education, it takes a lot of work to make it as a writer. Good luck to you.

I’m a college student and I need some advice for a journalism career career. I love the entertainment industry as a whole. Video Games, movies, tv shows, celebrities, and music. I am currently in school for journalism and I just need help what kind of journalist I should be. I’ve already looked into entertainemt journalism and I live that. Writing articles/pieces about the entertainment industry looks like an awesome job. But what do entertainment journalists focus on. Do they just focus on being on the red carpet all the time or writing articles about celebrities all day? Do entertainemt journalists write articles about Video games, movies, tv shows, music, and other celebrity stuff. Should I become a freelance journalist? I guess my dream job is to write articles or do reports for ign in New York or another entertainment company with an office. Maybe a staff position?

Or maybe I should try games journalism? But dont entertainment journalist write about video games too? I’m a gamer and I would love to write about the newest games or movies coming out or do reviews.

I’m not an entertainment journalist (or a journalist for that matter), so I cannot give you career advice, but you might try reaching out to an entertainment journalist who can answer some of these questions for you. Good luck!

Stephanie

I am currently studying for a PhD in Creative Writing and I have to say that this is one of the most accurate lists I came across. What is good for aspiring writers to keep in mind, especially those with CW degrees, is that writing is a craft. It’s very practical, so unlike history, philosophy or literature degrees a writer has transferable skills. If you are a writer looking to make some money while writing a novel or a collection, you can offer editing and proofreading services. Becoming a content writer is a profitable pathway as well. A lot of companies look for skilled writers to produce their online articles and they usually pay well. And for the more daring, there is online publishing. Is not a guaranteed route but it gives you a boost of confidence; no matter how much you make, it’s good to know that somebody paid to read your work.

Thanks, Stephanie. I’ve taken the online and self-publishing route and haven’t looked back.

Matt

Just a little quibble: A history degree does produce transferable skills related to research and analysis, writing, word processing, etc.. It’s not “just learning names and dates.” 😀

Christina

Thinking about chaning careers. Although I got my B.G.S – General Studies and and a Masters in Management – I took a lot of creative wirting classes in college and it is something that I think I could be good at. This might be a good place to get some ideas on getting started. Thanks!

You’re welcome, and good luck to you!

vivek

i am doing engineering first year..i took the decision as i have always been quite good at maths and stuff..but i started writing last year simply for the passion that was ignited by some great novels and i am totally a novice in it..yet i like it a lot. So right now i am in a dilemma which career path i should take…one thats based on my interest but im not so good at(writing).. or the one in which i am good at(maths,science)??

I think most young people struggle with this same dilemma. Unfortunately, nobody can tell you which life path is best for you. You must find that answer within yourself. I do think that you can pursue both science and writing (you could, for example, become a science writer). You can also study writing and become better at it. It’s up to you.

I want to get into freelance writing in the entertainment industry. I love writing and I’ve looked into copywritimg and story producing. Any advice or any writing careers I should take on?

The best advice I can give you is to study writing and the entertainment industry. If you want to write entertainment news, you might want to major in journalism at a university. For screenwriting, you can major in film studies at many universities. Get to know the industry and keep working on improving your writing. There are also tons of resources you can get if you don’t go to university. Start with the “Writing Resources” section here at Writing Forward, then head to your favorite bookstore and search for books on your field of interest. Good luck!

mari

wow! you guys really love writing. Me too but I’m taking up pre dentistry right now but i really love writing much more. Actually i just wanna try this course but i think i’m not gonna continue because writing is really my passion and i’d love to pursue it. my parents don’t know any of this yet and i’m planning to tell them..any advice for me guys? thanks to whoever answers this.. 🙂

One thing to keep in mind is that you can study dentistry and writing. You can choose writing courses for your electives and set aside a little time each day for your writing. As far as changing your studies, I believe that each individual has to find his or her own path. Once you find your path, I think you should follow it, because I believe one of the worst fates is a life of regret. Hopefully, the people in your life will be supportive, although unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Ultimately, only you can make this decision. It is a big one. Take your time to think about it. Consider talking to a career counselor, who should be open-minded and objective.

Alyssa

Okay, so I’ve been thinking about the popular question, “what do I want to be when I grow up?”. Writing has been my passion for as long as I can remember, and I LOVE books. Seriously. If I wasn’t on a competitive, year-round swim team, I could read all day. I have been thinking about jobs that circle around the actual “writing” idea, if you know what I mean. I’ve considered being an editor, since I love books, but I’m not quite sure what an editor does. Any ideas?

Editors do some writing but their main function is to make editorial decisions. Their duties vary depending on where they work. A magazine editor, for example, decides which stories go into each issue, which one gets the cover spot, and will also assign articles to the writers. An editor at a publishing house makes decisions about which books to publish. Editors also actually edit, meaning they review the writers’ work and make changes to improve it. I don’t know for sure, but I would think (hope) that someone would start out as a writer before becoming an editor. I suggest using Google to learn more about different careers for editors.

Philip

First of all, thank you for this post and all your replies. It’s very good of you to reply to everyone who needs direction. So, my dilemma is that I will be commencing my masters degree in September and lately I’ve been thinking of pursuing a creative writing masters instead.

I’ve just finished my undergraduate degree in communications and I was deputy editor and features editor of the monthly university arts magazine, which I absolutely loved and learned so much through. My undergraduate thesis was in the form of a creative writing novella, which was roughly 18,000 words. I had always wanted to try my hand at fiction writing and by completing the thesis I became fully aware how much I enjoyed it. I also received very positive feedback from lecturers.

Once I finished my undergraduate degree, I applied for and received a place on a masters in public relations, which I think I would enjoy as it’s media related. However, as mentioned, I’ve been seriously considering giving up the PR masters and applying for the creative writing one instead. My issue is that I am torn between a course that’s practical and could very well lead to a successful career, and a prestigious CW course that I’m highly interested in but may be quite impractical in the long run. I have this dream of travelling and writing novels (long shot I know) and a CW masters could help me bring my writing skills and ideas to the next level. So, I guess I’m asking if you think a CW masters is necessary in becoming an author?

And what would your opinion be on switching courses into CW or staying with the original choice? Would it be more wise to stick with PR (which I’m currently interning in) and try do some writing on the side? My only problem is, with writing I feel I need guidance, direction and deadlines. I may find it hard to do it on the side, especially when the majority of my energy would be going elsewhere.

Any info/advice would be great 🙂 And sorry for the long post.

No, you definitely do not need a CW masters to become an author. My guess is that most published authors don’t have masters. I once heard a bit of advice from an author (can’t remember who) that I thought was sound. She said if you’re self-driven and will do your writing and study the craft on your own, then you don’t need a masters. One of the benefits of a masters program is that it forces you to write and learn. If you do that on your own, you don’t really need the coursework (unless you want it for prestige). Having said that, my guess is that there is value in a masters program, in being immersed in writing and literature and surrounded with other writers, even for those who are self-driven.

Nobody can tell you what to study. It’s a classic dilemma: follow your dreams or do the “smart thing.” Only you know what is the right path for you.

Danny

I just graduated with a BA in creative writing about 5 months ago, and I’ve been applying for jobs in the creative field like crazy. I’ve applied for practically every advertising firm in the Chicago area and I’ve heard back from two of them. I don’t know if it’s because I lack experience, or the economy is just that bad. I’ve tried applying for jobs out of my field, but it’s still no dice. I hope I can find something extremely soon, as I’m near desperation at this point. I really hope there’s hope, so I don’t regret getting a BA in creative writing : (.

I held office jobs for several years after earning my BA in creative writing. Since I had a degree in English, my employers often gave me writing assignments (including editing and proofreading), which helped me build my experience. It doesn’t happen overnight. Get a job to pay the bills and keep writing. Eventually, you’ll find your path. Good luck!

Xinyiteoh

Erm hello Melissa.. I actually want to do Creative Writing since I love writing, but I also want to do History since I love both. However my parents object to both and want me to pursue some medical degree or something. Can you erm like give me some points to argue my pitiful cause since I don’t really think I’m into doctoring since I’ve got a slight phobia of blood and ever since Biology dissecting stuff had never exactly been my thing?? I hope it’s not too much to ask.. thanks in advance

I am just going to be straightforward about this, because I get a lot of emails and comments from young people like yourself whose parents are pressuring them into some career they abhor. I believe that each of us knows in our hearts who we are and what we want to do with our lives. If you have a phobia of blood, then it’s blatantly obvious that a career in medicine would be completely inappropriate for you. Now, if you had that phobia but desperately wanted to be a doctor, I would encourage you to get over it. But since that’s not what you want, why should you torment yourself? I understand why some parents advocate certain careers for their kids – they associate success with money and prestige. I do not. I equate success with happiness. And I believe that once we become adults, it is our own responsibility to find our happiness. So, once you are an adult, it’s up to you to find your path and follow it. Do what you love.

Darren

What is the difference between journalism and creative writing? I am still not very sure even after researching on the net. I have a dilemma on which course to take. I want to be a novelist but that might take years to complete a book. So, what my mother advised is that I should get a stable job that ensures my survival while I work on the book first. Which one should I do?

Journalism can fall under creative writing. For example, if you wrote a literary nonfiction book on a specific person or subject, it could be both journalism and creative nonfiction. Journalism is one of those forms that has become a bit gray. Originally, journalism meant reporting on the facts, objectively. Nowadays, a lot of journalism is heavily colored by the author’s personal views and ideologies. A novel is creative writing and not journalism at all; it is fiction where journalism is fact-based.

I think getting a stable job while writing your first book is a pretty smart way to go. Do you even have a choice? I mean, unless someone is willing to support you while you write your book, you’re going to need a job to pay the bills.

Erica Barrus

I have always had a passion for writing, but never had confidence to let anyone read any of my work. I do not have a fancy education, but I do have an amazing imagination! The work I did when I was younger my mom found and was amazed by my story. I do enjoy wrting poetry and short stories. During the development of my son, I wrote in my journal Letters to Baby. As the pregnancy developed things were less than peferct and not very positive. I stopped writing my Letter’s to Baby because it was sad things written. I only wanted my child to know he was loved from day one no matter where life took us. The baby is now 10 yrs old and so much has inspired me to write again. I started a story that I hold dear to my heart and I am super excited about it. I dont expect publishing ever, but I would like to get an outside opinion from someone in the industry that could give me tips and tools to help my creativity develope. I also would like to know some avenues I can go down to continue writing for fun and just to get things out of my mind. I am sure it is hard to make a living writing, but if I can make a little something to put away for a rainy day that would be great! Any help and suggestions would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks!!

I would actually recommend that you take a creative writing class or workshop. An in-person one would be best, but if you’re too busy, try to find an online course (community colleges are great for this). This is an ideal way to connect with other writers while getting mentoring from someone who is experienced (the teacher), and you’ll find that many other writers share your insecurities. Make sure you vet the class first to make sure it’s credible. You might also want to research the instructor a little.

Another option would be to find a local writing group, but that may be more challenging since writing groups often arise out of established relationships. However, there are some open writing groups, especially online and in larger cities.

Your first hurdle will be to work on your confidence and worry more about strengthening your work than what other people think. Everybody starts somewhere. As long as you’re willing to work at it and improve your skills, it does not matter where you are now with your writing.

Thomas Thyros

I am a discouraged writer in need of some information. I have been writing for a little over a year and I have had some success. I have been nationally published, being a staff member on one magazine start-up, an editor-in-chief of one failed start-up magazine, and I am a staff member for an online magazine for which I publish an article every three months. I have also been published on a few other informational websites. Additionally, I have ghost written close to 200 articles on a low paying website.

The problem I have faced (which has caused me to stop writing now for several months) is the total lack of pay I have received for my efforts. So many will ask you to write; however, they do not want to pay a reasonable rate for your craft. This is the only problem that I face as per my writing. I thoroughly enjoy writing, but I cannot continue to write for such low pay. Any tips, advice, what have you, would be appreciated. Otherwise, I will have to give up writing and move on to something else. Thanks.

I had the same problem when I first started freelancing. Then I realized that the reason I was getting low paying gigs was because I was accepting low paying gigs. The better paying jobs are harder to find, and in my case, I started my own website and business to attract clients and set my own rates. This involved a lot of marketing to get my own clients, and they are business people rather than content farms. However, there is a caveat: the writing must be at a professional level to warrant higher rates.

Hello Melissa,

Thanks for responding. I haven’t accepted a low paying writing job in some time now, nor have I used any content farms. I can market well as I am a singer songwriter, and I have made good progress with it in that realm. My writing is always professional and of the jobs I have found they have paid well. However, it seems as though it is near impossible to find enough well paying writing jobs to make ends meet. Anyway, again, thanks for responding and for your suggestions. Best of luck to you.

I wish I had some solid advice to give you, but I don’t know enough about your business and marketing strategies. There are plenty of self-employed and freelance content writers out there. I’m sure a lot of them struggle to make ends meet, but plenty of them have found considerable success. When I first started, I did my best to seek out successful writers and examine their approaches so I could learn from them. Getting your own website and operating as a business (or professional consultant) makes a huge difference.

Matthew Eaton

I was just having this discussion with a friend a while back about how people get locked into three options when they write and that’s it. There are so many other opportunities out there if you know where to look for them. You just have to be open and aware of what is really out there.

Thanks for sharing this, I am glad this came along at the right time. Maybe I’ll send this over her way today!

You’re welcome! I’m glad you found this article helpful, Matthew.

Lyric

I saved this article months ago when I was in a funk, but I forgot to read it afterwards. Reading it now has made me think. Looking back at it, I’ve been writing for many years, ever since I was 13, and I’m 23 now. I’ve went to college twice, graduated both times successfully, but throughout that time I stopped writing fiction. I kept my ideas, but I never finished the stories.

I haven’t been lucky in finding a job ever since I graduated and the ones I did find were still out of reach, I went back to my writing because I needed to do something. Anything to get my mind clear and my thoughts straight like I used to because I became frustrated with myself. When I decided to go to college I had clear plans, but once I finished things didn’t go my way and I realized that I already had something that I should have never let go, my writing. Now I’m looking into finishing my ideas and self-publishing them. I’m glad I came back to this article and read it thoroughly this time.

I’m motivated now more than ever to focus on my true calling. It may be tough, but it’s the only thing I have ever done that made me truly happy even when things around me weren’t good. I think I’m gonna try writing my ideas separately in the form of a series of short stories/chapters/volumes since I’m not good at writing long works of fiction. Is there any advice that you can give me? I would love to write a story for a webtoon, but I’m not that good at drawing and I don’t know how to ask an artist for help.

Hi Lyric. Many of us take time off from writing. Sometimes it’s because we’re busy with a new job. Other times family obligations keep us from our writing. Occasionally it’s some other hobby. Thankfully, writing is always here for us, and we can return to it any time. I’m glad you did.

Madonna Weaver

Its so good to read through the interests in writing and thank you for the informative comments. I have self published a poetry book that people can use in their cards, tributes. on blurb.com called Handy Verse for Occasions with a possum on the front. I am working on my children’s stories and acitivities and will self publish in September this year. and I am blogging the challenge on madonnamm7.wordpress.com I had written the stories many years ago and did not have as much motivation and my husband encouraged me and I was inspired by the movie Julie and Julia (Meryl Streep) and started the year challenge.

Regards Madonna Weaver

That’s wonderful! I love the title Handy Verse for Occasions .

Sam

I have the most obscured dreams. I’d love to print a book with short stories of them. How may I accomplish that?

You might want to look into self-publishing through KDP or CreateSpace. Good luck!

Andy Li

I knew I wanted to write since I found out I like putting thoughts and ideas on paper. I kinda have it down, but I am struggling. Putting your thoughts and ideas is not easy as it looks, but that won’t stop me. I’m writing a book, but I just can’t seem to get past the first 10 paragraph. How do I focus my intent?

A lot of writers struggle with discipline. We get stuck and wander away from a project, we get lured away by some other idea, or life just gets in the way. The only way to focus…is to focus. Force yourself to do the work. I’ve known a lot of writers who got good results by adding writing to their daily schedule. Every day, at the same time, you sit down, and that’s your writing time. It could be twenty minutes or it could be two hours. And you do the work.

Graeme Watson

Thanks for the ideas. Given the current pandemic, being creative is something I need to look at more to try and get some additional income. Have published one collection of short stories but needing to do more.

You’re welcome, and good luck with your creative efforts!

In the past I have self published a poetry book people can put in their cards etc and also a book of children’s stories with Activities through Blurb.com I am writing a novel based on truth now. All the best to everyone in their writing. Regards Madonna Weaver

Thanks for sharing some of the opportunities you’ve carved out for yourself. These are great!

Iwan Ross

I have a creative writing career that I would like to add to your list. What about a Technical Writer? We have two technical writers employed in our company and I chat with them on a daily basis. It is a great job with above-average earning potential. Thanks for allowing me to post here.

That’s a great writing job, but it’s technical, not creative. Creative writing encompasses fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Great career though!

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what jobs require creative writing

A Seriously Long List of Jobs That Involve Creative Writing

what jobs require creative writing

Who says you can’t make any money from creative writing?

Okay, so a lot of people. But they’re wrong. If you’re a creative writing major, have a degree in writing, or simply identify this skill as the best thing you’ve got to offer the world, there are a ton of ways to build a career with your talents.

In fact, writing skills are way more valuable than your Uncle Richie realizes (or whichever relative scoffed at your dreams last Thanksgiving). Anyone with a gift for words has the ability to communicate vital information, motivate others into action, and help others feel seen and understood.

The survival of many industries depends on their ability to connect with human beings. They need brilliant wordsmiths. And here’s the really exciting part: not everyone can do what you do as well as you can do it.

So no, being a writer does not mean you’re sentenced to a life as a “starving artist.” 

That said, some creative writing jobs are easier to snag than others. There’s also a difference in pay across different writing gigs. Some jobs will be easier to fill with AI in the future, and—the important detail—some will be more in line with your vision for your writing career. 

So here’s a comprehensive list of opportunities and considerations to help you narrow down your focus. You’re about to find out:

  • What writing jobs are out there
  • The skills you need to land work in the creative writing field
  • Which industries are looking for folks like you
  • What type of education or experience you need to get started

Let’s start by taking a look at your many, many options.

Career Opportunities in Creative Writing

The word "HIRING!" written in white chalk on a black background.

Before we launch into this very long list of creative writing jobs, I’d like to clarify the term “freelance writer.”

A freelance writer is a contractor. Rather than hiring them on as employees, an individual or business hires a freelance writer to complete specific tasks within their area of expertise. 

If you choose to work as a freelancer rather than an employee, you’d be your own boss. You’d set your own rates, determine your own schedule, and decide which projects to take on and which to skip. You’d also be free to work with as many different clients as you’d like.

The downside is that you don’t get benefits like paid time off, health insurance, and employer contributions to your retirement fund. You’re responsible for paying quarterly taxes directly to the government, as no one withdraws them from your paycheck. 

Depending on the specific creative writing career you’re building, you might also need to look into professional liability insurance or setting up an LLC. These topics get complicated and vary according to where you live, so I’m not even going to try to give you advice on any of that. It’s better to consult your accountant, mentor, and/or fellow freelance writers in your area.

The main thing I want to convey is that if you choose to freelance, you have to think of yourself as an actual business. That’s what you are after all. It comes with a lot of freedom and extra responsibilities. So weigh your options carefully.

One more quick note:

Salary Ranges Are Tough to Nail Down

Hands count money on a desk.

I’ve included an average salary range for each of the job descriptions below. These ranges are huge and the numbers are almost meaningless. I put them there because if I were you, I’d want to see them so I could at least get a sense of the income one might make from these different writing jobs.

But the standard salary for each job can vary widely depending on the size of the company hiring you and the cost of living in your (or their) area.

The income range gets massive when you add freelancers to the mix. A rookie freelance copywriter who’s just building their portfolio and client list might make $20,000 in a year. Meanwhile, an in-demand freelance writer could make well into six figures and out-earn an in-house copywriter.

So use the salary information I provide to get a general idea of what’s possible. For more concrete numbers, check out job listings in your area and talk to people who already do the kind of work you want to do.  

And what kind of work is that? Let’s decide! Here are a ton of ways you can make money as a writer.

Content Writing Jobs

The word "blog" spelled out in Scrabble tiles on a wooden surface.

Content is all the media that encourages consumers to engage with a brand—blogs, videos, social media, podcasts, you name it. Creative writers like you and I might prefer to think of those things as art, but in business-speak, it’s content.

And as a professional content writer, you’ll have to ride that line between creativity and capitalism. After some looking around, you should be able to find an employer or client who wants you to bring some creative vision to your work. But you’ll also have to care about which creative strategies get buyers to bite. 

More on that in a bit, though. For now, here are the most common content writing jobs.

Content Writer

A content writer focuses more on long-form writing that builds a relationship with the target audience. In other words, content writing is less about making a sales pitch and more about being helpful and conveying the brand’s personality.

Common content writing tasks include:

  • Email newsletters
  • Articles and blogs
  • Case studies

Average Salary: $40,000-$70,000 per year

A writer types on a computer at an outdoor cafe table.

A copywriter is more involved with the kind of creative writing that says, “Hey, you should spend money on this.” They compose things like:

  • Website copy
  • Landing pages
  • Print and online ads
  • Sales emails
  • Sales pages and mailers

In many businesses, the content writer and the copywriter are the same person. But if you freelance as a copywriter specializing in one specific area—sales emails, for example—get familiar with the other materials your client is putting out to make sure your sales copy builds on the relationship they're already building through content.

Average Salary: $60,000-$120,000 per year

Technical Writer

Technical writing is basically “how-to” writing. It includes:

  • Instruction manuals
  • Explainer video scripts
  • White papers
  • Spec sheets

Technical writing might be your jam if you’re great at grasping complex concepts and clarifying them for the rest of us. It’s truly a magical writing skill that involves simplifying and being thorough at the same time. 

If you can pull that off, it’s only a matter of time before you’re considered an irreplaceable rockstar in someone’s business.

Annual Salary: $60,000-$90,000 per year

Social Media Writer

You’ll sometimes see social media fall under the umbrella of content writing, but it’s also its own position in many businesses.

As you can probably guess, a great social media writer comes up with brilliant captions that engage audiences on social platforms. But there’s more to it than that.

To do this job well, you have to be on top of social media trends so you can jump on challenges and hashtags while they’re still fresh. You also need to understand which customer segments are more likely to be on which platforms and how to engage with them.

Depending on the size of the company you’re working with, there’s a good chance you’ll also have to come up with the visuals and create the videos that accompany your brilliant captions.

If you love social media, you’ll be in heaven. If you don’t, you probably won’t be able to fake it. 

Average Salary: $50,000-$80,000 per year

Journalism and Media Jobs

A newspaper and magazine on a white surface.

In this category of creative writing jobs, we’re looking at everything that has to do with news and mass communication.

I know. That includes a lot. So let’s get to it.

A journalist investigates, researches, and writes the news for print and/or online publications. That’s a tidy little sentence to describe a writing job that involves a lot of specialized skills and a strict code of ethics.

While journalism absolutely belongs under the heading of “creative writing careers,” it’s an area where you can’t get fast and loose with your creativity. Journalists are responsible for revealing the truth to the public. Ideally , they do this without guiding the reader’s opinion or embellishing actual events. 

The ability to compose engaging articles that inspire thoughtful questions without pushing an agenda is a remarkable skill in and of itself. Successful journalists also tend to be curious, driven, resourceful, and fast writers.

This is one of the few writing jobs where having a degree (usually in journalism) is relatively important, especially if you hope to work for a notable publication. 

Average Salary: $60,000-100,000 per year

Broadcast Writer

A broadcast writer prepares the news for television, radio, and online media. In other words, they take all the deets about what’s going on in the world and turn them into scripts to be read by news anchors.

Like a journalist, a broadcast writer faces the challenging task of conveying information in an unbiased way. They also need to be adept at writing pieces intended to be read aloud—scripts that flow naturally for the speaker and can be quickly understood by the audience. 

Much like journalists, broadcast writers must be able to work quickly, often under pressure. If you like the idea of being in front of the camera yourself, this creative writing career path can include conducting interviews, attending press conferences, and reporting the news.

Average Salary: $40,000-$100,000 per year

Scriptwriter

A table of scene cards spread out with a writer's hands folded on the table in the background.

A scriptwriter is anyone who writes a script for a play, movie, radio show, podcast, video game, or television show. Scriptwriters who write plays are called playwrights, movie writers are more commonly called screenwriters, and television writers are best known as—get this—television writers.

Playwrights and screenwriters almost always work on a freelance basis. Much like traditionally published book authors, they work with a literary agent and are constantly trying to sell their next project.

Television authors also need representation, though they’re usually hired onto the writing staff of a TV show as an employee. There is such a thing as freelance television writing where a writer steps in to pen a single episode of a show, but this practice isn’t as common as it used to be.

All of these jobs have the potential to be deeply fulfilling for a creative writer. They come with fun challenges like learning how to tell a great story purely through visuals and dialogue. 

Keep in mind that—much like becoming a successful author—it takes a long time to build a solid career in this field. There are a lot of gatekeepers and frequent rejection .

Film, theater, and television are also much more collaborative art forms than book publishing. Whatever you write, you have to be prepared for producers, directors, set designers, sound designers, actors, and editors to put their fingerprints on it, too. It’s entirely possible that the end product will be quite different from what you imagined.

In other words, if you’re precious about your work, this might not be your field.

Average Salary: $40,000-$80,000 per year

Publishing and Editing Jobs

A bookshop window.

Feel like your true home is in the book world? Then you’re looking for something in publishing.

When we think about creative writing jobs in publishing, we usually think of authors first. After all, that’s the dream for a lot of creative writers. But it’s no secret that authorship comes with rejection, requires a ton of patience, and doesn’t always cover the bills.

The good news is, you can still build your career around books even if you’d prefer to pass on all the uncertainty that comes with being an author. This field has plenty of other opportunities to flex those creative writing skills.

But we’ll get to those in a moment. First, let’s look at the best-known writing job in publishing.

As I mentioned before, authors are almost always freelance writers. This means that whether you plan to publish traditionally or self-publish, you have to think of yourself as a business.

Publishing traditionally means working with a publishing house to release your book into the world. This process usually involves finding an agent who then pitches your book to publishers and negotiates a book deal for you. We have a guide to the entire process right here .

Self-publishing means you produce and market your book yourself. This publishing model has boomed in both popularity and earning potential in the past decade and change. You must have an entrepreneurial spirit to succeed on this publishing path, though. You can learn more about it here . 

Whichever path they choose, successful authors build platforms and a following through channels like social media , email newsletters, and speaking engagements. Those platforms help them develop relationships with readers, give them more visibility, and make them more appealing to publishers.

You also need to some degree of sales smarts, whether you self-publish and take on the full responsibility of marketing your book or you decide to publish traditionally, which requires creating a compelling book pitch that gets agents and publishers onboard.

Average Salary: I can’t even give you a range in good conscience. So many factors influence author earnings, and only a small percentage of authors make a living on books alone. I recommend checking out this article for a clearer understanding of what you can make as an author. 

An editor holds a paper out to the camera.

As Doug can tell you , there are several kinds of editing you could do, including:

  • Developmental editing
  • Line editing
  • Sensitivity reading
  • Fact-checking

Each type of editing evaluates a different aspect of a written work. These options also allow you to zero in on your greatest strength as a creative writer. Are you the sultan of story structure ? You might be interested in developmental editing . Are you a research rockstar and a stickler for accuracy? Maybe fact-checking is for you. 

This is a job you can do as an employee of a publishing house or as a freelancer. If you go the freelance route, you’ll likely be working with a lot of indie authors.

Average Salary: $60,000-$80,000 per year

Copy Editor or Proofreader

Copy editors are magical beings who have the kind of superhuman focus that allows them to catch tiny issues like grammar errors, misspelled words, inconsistencies in story details, and the like.

It’s true that AI is getting better and better at catching these mistakes. That’s why Dabble uses ProWritingAid to power grammar, spelling, and style checks. It helps creative writers prepare a draft that isn’t utterly riddled with errors.

But at this moment in time, we still can’t count on AI to catch nuanced errors, recognize clever word play, or appreciate an author’s deliberate decision to shirk old grammar rules. We still need human eyes to do this job.

Often confused with a copy editor, a proofreader is the very last person to review a book, and they look for any and all errors. If there’s a missed typo, a messed up margin, or a wonky image, they’ll flag it. Think of them as quality control.

As you likely guessed, both jobs require you to be extremely detail oriented.

Average Salary: $50,000-$90,000 per year

Literary agent

A literary agent sits at a desk, smiling.

You probably associate this career path with sales more than creative writing. But the literary agents who succeed are the ones who understand what makes a book great . 

This job is best suited for someone who’s ready to do a ton of reading and enjoys rubbing elbows. You can expect to spend plenty of time on the phone, in lunch meetings, at publishing events, and in pitch meetings. You have to be good at building relationships and love talking books. 

What many creative writers don’t realize about agents is that their job also involves giving feedback on current projects and helping their clients talk through new ideas. The advice of a good agent can mean the difference between a book deal and a manuscript that never graduates beyond PDF status. 

Keep in mind that it takes time to succeed in this career. As a literary agent, you’ll make 15% of what your authors earn from their books. Expect some lean years as you build your client list.

Average Salary: $50,000-$70,000 per year

Book Reviewer

As a creative writer, you’re probably great at explaining why books work. You have smart things to say about character development , plot structure, and pacing. And if you’re a fast reader—and would love to make reading part of your creative writing career—you’d probably enjoy being a book reviewer.

Book reviewers do exactly what you think they do: they review books. Many choose to specialize in a specific genre or two. Specializing can be an effective strategy when it comes to building a name for yourself and giving readers a reason to value your opinion. It’s a way of establishing yourself as a genre expert.

Just note that this isn’t an easy career to just plop into. While you can find job listings for book reviewers, there aren’t many of them. Most people who do this for a living start by writing reviews on a freelance basis or even for their own blog/social media platform.

As you build your portfolio and reputation, you can submit your reviews to other publications, monetize your own review website/podcast/vlog, or possibly land a job as an in-house reviewer for a magazine, newspaper, or online platform.

Average Salary: $20,000-$80,000 per year

We already covered what a copywriter is, so I won’t go too deep on the subject here. I just want to make sure you know that it’s possible to do copywriting work within the world of publishing.

Publishing houses have copywriters on staff to handle things like press releases, media kits, author bios, social media content, and marketing materials.

In this role, you’d be able to enjoy the stability of a marketing-focused creative writing job while still getting to think about books all day. Not too shabby.

Average Salary: $50,000-$120,000 per year

Advertising and Marketing Jobs

Items sitting on a white desk: a keyboard, cup of coffee, glasses, houseplant, and smartphone with the words "online marketing" on the screen.

If you’re on the lookout for creative writing jobs that make your value as an employee easy to quantify, advertising is the place to be. 

The goal of all advertising is to persuade your audience to make a purchase or take some other action that benefits the business you work for. 

Modern technology makes it easier than ever to track the success of your ad copy and marketing campaigns, which means you often have access to numbers that demonstrate what the return on investment is when someone hires you.

Now, all this might sound very cold and business-y, but this is an area where creative writers thrive because your goal is the same as it would be if you were writing a novel or screenplay. You’re trying to find the best words to connect emotionally with your audience.

Not everyone can do that. You can.

Let’s take a closer look at the different ways you can do that.

Advertising Copywriter

Oh, look! We’re talking about copywriters again. Since we’ve already covered this, I’ll give the abbreviated explanation for the article skimmers.

An advertising copywriter writes copy (go figure) advertising a product or service to potential buyers. This includes anything that could potentially lead to a purchase, including:

  • Marketing emails
  • Print or online ads

Brand Strategist

A Starbucks coffee cup sits on a cafe table.

If you already know what a brand strategist is, you might be surprised to see this position appear on a list of creative writing jobs. Brand strategists don’t write as much as they, well, strategize brands.

This person is responsible for conducting market research, analyzing trends, creating buyer avatars, planning campaigns, and overseeing the production of marketing materials. 

Depending on the size of the marketing team, a brand strategist might also write copy and content. But what makes this career a decent option for a creative writer is the storytelling aspect.

Brand strategists are responsible for translating the business’s message into a story that resonates with buyers. They also need to understand their consumer on a deeper level—a skill that comes more naturally to someone who’s spent time studying character development.

Creative Director

Much like a brand strategist, a creative director looks at the big picture of a company’s marketing efforts. What story is being told? How can they best use the creative resources available to tell that story in an emotionally compelling way?

The creative director leads all the creative professionals on a marketing team, including copywriters, designers, and social media content creators. They make sure everyone is on the same page, telling the same story and communicating the same message.

Average Salary: $120,000-$200,000 per year

Content Marketing Specialist

Remember when we talked about content writing? This is that, plus some added responsibility.

While a content writer is usually told what to write, a content marketing specialist is the person who decides what type of content will be most effective for the business. 

They strategize content like emails, blog posts, videos, and social media depending on which formats and messaging are most likely to help buyers connect with the brand. 

This person also selects the SEO and analytics tools to help them make sure their strategy is effective. They watch the results closely and regularly optimize their content marketing efforts to get better performance.

And yes, a content marketing specialist might also write some or all of the content themselves.

Skills Required for Creative Writing Jobs

The word "SKILLS" written in white chalk on a black background.

I tried to give you some sense of the skills required to stand out in each of the creative writing jobs we just went over. 

Nevertheless, if you’ve found something that interests you, I strongly suggest researching it further and connecting with someone who’s already killing it in that field. Get a sense of what it means to excel and you’ll be in a good spot to pursue your creative writing career seriously.

If you’re still not sure where you want this journey to lead, no problem! Follow your curiosity and let yourself gravitate towards the work that excites you. In the meantime nurture the following skills essential for every creative writing career.

Writing Skills

Okay, so I’m not exactly dropping a bone-rattling truth bomb here. Of course you need strong writing skills to build a career as a creative writer. You know that. That said, some writers underestimate the importance of building on the skills they already have. 

This is an issue I think tends to plague young writers the most. We catch wind of the fact that we’re “good writers” from teachers and peers and get attached to the idea that a good writer is something we already are. Like inherently.

I know I wasted a lot of energy in my early adult years worrying about whether or not people thought I was a talented writer instead of working to continuously become a better writer.  Ongoing improvement is how you’ll stand out from the crowd, especially as you zero in on the type of creative writing you want to do. 

If you want to be a copywriter, find a mentor and start a course on copywriting. If you dream of being a bestselling author who makes a living from books alone, join a writing group, attend writing conferences, and download this free e-book on writing a novel that rocks.

Keep sharpening those writing skills, no matter how exceptional you already are.

Research and Analysis Skills

Using a pen, a hand points to a bar graph on a piece of paper.

Research and analysis sounds like a skill set that only applies in marketing and technical writing. But in all creative writing jobs, research and analysis have the same goal: understanding what it takes to connect with an audience.

Now, if you become a screenwriter or a novelist, you might not pore over metrics the way you would if you were a brand strategist. What you will do (hopefully) is consume a ton of art in your genre to understand what works.

Constantly refresh your understanding of what speaks to readers, which trends are hot, and why current bestsellers are selling so well. It’s also important to stay on top of new developments in the publishing industry and strategize your career accordingly.

And if you plan to be a self-published author, your research and analysis skills will help you make important marketing decisions.                                                                                                                              

Creativity and Imagination

If there’s one area where you have a leg-up on AI, it’s this one. Everything AI creates comes from ideas and structures that already exist. As an adaptable, creative human being, you can find unique ways to express ideas that haven’t been explored before.

This skill is essential for all the creative writing jobs we’ve discussed. The best ad writers figure out how to write copy that stands out from the competition. Great editors help writers tap into their own original voices. Even in technical writing, imagination is crucial for finding new ways to simplify complicated topics.

Communication and Collaboration Skills

Two colleagues have a conversation at a small table.

There are no writing jobs that allow you to compose brilliance alone in your cave and release it into the world with no input from anyone else. 

You have to be open to feedback, and in ultra-collaborative fields like screenwriting, you must be ready for the possibility that your vision won’t often be everyone’s top priority. (It hurts, I know.)

If you’re still working on building your collaboration skills, I can offer a few suggestions.

One is to make a habit of identifying what’s important to you about every project you work on. What’s motivating you? What are your goals? When you can answer those questions, you’ll be more confident gently pushing back on things you care about and more open to offering compromising when it comes to less important issues.

Another tip is to cultivate a genuine appreciation for what others can contribute. As a writer who regularly wrestles with a stubborn, foot-stomping ego, I often return to this interview with Dolly Parton for a reminder of the kind of artist I want to be—someone humble enough to celebrate when another person makes my good thing better.

And of course, working with people you respect helps boost that collaborative spirit, too.

Finally, clear communication is absolutely essential. Make sure you know what clients, employers, or team members expect from you. Also manage their expectations by being frank about your availability, timeline, and expertise.

Adaptability and Time Management

Most writing jobs involve deadlines and your reputation as a reliable writer hinges on your ability to meet those deadlines. That means you’ve got to get good at managing your time.

This can be especially difficult if you’re a freelance writer, because there’s no one dictating your schedule. There’s just today, a deadline in the future, and all this space in between that can be whatever you want it to be.

Time management takes practice, and a quick Google search will take you to loads of suggestions for making the process easier. You can try time blocking , the Pomodoro Technique , deep work strategies … test whatever you think will do the trick.

For me, the most effective method is to remember two things. First, I need to maintain my reputation as a reliable writer if I want to pay my rent and gradually increase my income. Second, I don’t want to be stuck at my desk when my husband comes home from work or friends are inviting me out on the weekend.

Those two limits help me draw time boundaries on that wide-open calendar and keep me motivated to stick to it.

Even as you create structure for yourself, however, you have to keep in mind that things might change. A client might shift direction. A project could fall through. You might find yourself partnering with a collaborator on something you thought would be a solo situation.

It’s important to know your own work boundaries so you don’t get walked on. But being adaptable (within reason) is also crucial for building positive, long-term professional relationships.

Industries That Hire Creative Writers

Two people shake hands over a desk.

We’ve examined your professional opportunities by looking at the most common creative writing jobs. Now let’s take a look at them by industry.

If you’re already in the workforce, you might discover that there are writing jobs within your current industry—jobs you never even knew were there. If you’re in school pursuing something other than a creative writing major, you might discover that you can totally flex your wordsmith skills in your field of study.

And if you still have no idea how you want to put your talents to work, this list might help you uncover some less obvious job opportunities.

Entertainment Industry

You already know that the entertainment industry needs scriptwriters. You can probably guess that there’s a need for copywriters in those massive marketing departments, too. 

But there’s also song writing, video game writing, script reading/analysis, and script consulting. Every single thing you see on TV has a writer behind it—usually an entire writing staff —including award shows and reality television.

You can even get hired to rewrite or “punch-up” someone else’s script. 

Publishing and Journalism

We covered the big writing jobs in this industry earlier, so for now, I’ll just add this:

As technology advances, these creative writing careers are more accessible than ever. You develop specialized skills online, build your own platform, and publish your own work. It’s entirely possible to forge your own path in these industries that used to be heavily guarded by gatekeepers.

That’s not to say it’ll be easy to make a name for yourself, nor is it to say that I think everyone with a Wordpress account should feel free to market themselves as a journalist. 

What I mean to say is that if you want a career in these traditionally intimidating fields, there’s space for you. There are more ways than ever to learn what you need to learn and create what you want to create.

Advertising and Marketing

Again, we’ve talked about these writing jobs, so I’ll just tell you a quick story.

When I first moved to Los Angeles, I took an improv class (it’s mandatory here) with a woman who was a freelance namer. That was her whole job. She named products for major companies and made a whole entire L.A. living doing it.

While I can’t help but wonder if AI has taken over her job yet, it’s an important reminder that writing skills are worth a lot in marketing. The right words are straight-up gold . 

Education and E-learning

A young student holds a notebook to their chest and smiles.

Creative writing is a teachable skill. If you enjoy guiding others, teaching might be a solid career option for you. You could teach creative writing in a formal education environment (you’ll need a degree), at a local community center, or even online.

The education world also needs creative writers to put together written materials like textbooks, discussion guides, glossaries, and study guides. You could even write scripts for educational videos.

This is an area of creative writing that doesn’t get a lot of attention, but there’s an increasing demand for it. Not only do modern students turn to the Internet for information and homework help, the digital world has made self-directed learning easier than ever. You can find an online course for almost anything from auto repair to world literature. 

What’s great about this industry is that it allows you to combine your passion for creative writing with your interest in another subject. Plus, there’s the business about inspiring curious minds and all that.

Nonprofit Organizations

If you’re intrigued by the challenges of a job in marketing but want to feel like your work serves a greater purpose, consider writing for a nonprofit.

You’d be doing many of the same things you’d do for a for-profit business: email marketing, advertising, blogging, video creation, and the like. The goal is similar—you want to get the word out about the organization and create a positive association in people’s minds.

But there’s also a strong fundraising element, since that’s how a nonprofit stays afloat (and covers your paycheck). This means you can also expect to write grant proposals and oversee donor communications. 

You can do all of this as part of the team or on a contract basis. Grant writing in particular is a good option if you’re looking to set up shop as a freelance writer.

Corporate Communications

Corporate communications is an oversized novelty umbrella that covers a lot of stuff. Simply put, this term refers to the many ways a corporation communicates its mission, goals, successes, and functions to everyone. 

Seriously, everyone . The public, employees, shareholders, partners… every person who exists.

Now, if you work with a small startup, “corporate communications” could be your entire job. For larger companies, however, you’re more likely to work in a specific department. You might be on the marketing team or you could be responsible for internal communications like employee manuals and reports.

Bottom line: if you’re dreaming of a creative writing career in the corporate world, the job opportunities are definitely there.

Career Development and Education Options

A person smiles in front of a building, wearing a graduation cap.

You know what creative writing jobs are out there. You know what skills these different industries are looking for. What about education? What kind of training do you need in order to land the job and crush it?

It depends on the specific job as well as what kind of time and money you have to invest in your creative writing education. 

The good news is that you don’t have to rack up insane student loans in order to make a good living as a writer. There are certain positions where a degree is mandatory, but there are plenty of hiring managers who don’t care where you got your creative writing skills as long as you have them.

And it’s never been easier to find training as a writer. Let’s look at your options.

Degree Programs in Creative Writing

If you plan to get a four-year degree to boost your knowledge as a writer, you might be eyeballing a creative writing major. This area of study is most useful if you plan to become a fiction writer, screenwriter, poet, or the like.

If you’re mapping out a career that’s a little more predictable and a little less “artsy,” consider majors like journalism, communications, technical writing, or marketing.

Industries that are most likely to have a mandatory college degree requirement include journalism, academia, and large corporations or nonprofits.

If you plan to go into entertainment or work as a freelance writer, a formal education can help you develop essential skills. Although—real talk—many of those skills can be learned through the less expensive educational avenues we’re about to go over. 

Many folks who earned creative writing degrees will tell you that the biggest benefit of their program was the network it provided when they left college. That’s no small thing, but it’s also not what we think we’re going to college for. 

Writing Workshops and Online Courses

A person works on the computer in bed.

You can easily find live workshops, online courses, and writing groups to help you sharpen your skills or develop new ones. 

This option is a good compromise between a formal education and fully self-directed learning. There’s often a fee, but it’s tens of thousands of dollars less than you’d spend on a creative writing degree. There’s a structure to keep you on track but you don’t have to show up at a physical location multiple times a week for months at a time.

Whatever type of creative writing skill you want to work on, a quick Google search will help you find courses you can take. You can also search the course selection at sites like Coursera , Udemy , and Masterclass .

Finally, a lot of folks who sell online writing courses offer free webinars as a way to get you on their mailing list and pitch their full program. If you don’t feel like you have a clear enough goal to invest in an entire course, these webinars provide a great opportunity to pick up some basic insights and start practicing new skills.

Networking and Professional Associations

Look for networking events and professional associations specific to the field you wish to enter. You absorb so much information just by being around experts and peers, plus you’ll have access to seminars, boot camps, training programs, and more.

Many organizations also hold or participate in conferences. These conferences provide learning opportunities that not only sharpen your creative writing skills but also educate you about your chosen industry. If you don’t have the travel budget, you can attend many conferences online at a discount.

And don’t forget to build your own little network of creative writers! Even fiction-focused communities like Dabble’s Story Craft Café are full of writers who rely on more predictable writing work like copywriting and communications to pay their rent. These are great places to share information about building creative writing careers of all kinds.

Building a Portfolio and Gaining Experience

Finally, we learn best by doing. As you pick up new advice and information through your chosen educational channels, put that insight to work immediately.

Offer to write the press release for your cousin’s startup. Ask a strapped-for-cash nonprofit if they’d be interested in letting you write your first grant proposal on their behalf. Create a blog that allows you to showcase the kind of content you hope to one day get paid to write.

These things help you build a portfolio to show prospective clients or employers. They also give you an opportunity to learn from your mistakes, get feedback early, and discover the challenges that are unique to different writing jobs. 

The faster you experience those things, the faster you learn and the sooner you’re ready to make a living as a creative writer.

Runners lined up on the starting line.

Writing is an in-demand skill. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. If you dream of paying your bills with your words—either as a full-time job or a side hustle—you absolutely can. It may take patience, diligence, and a lot of learning, but the work is out there.

The last bit of advice I’ll offer you is to find a community of writers who have your back. No one understands the journey like another writer. You can count on your network of fellow wordsmiths for moral support, job leads, feedback, and more.

If you’re still in the process of finding those friends, join us at the Story Craft Café—especially if fiction is part of your writerly aspirations. The community is free to join and a great place to talk craft, share your work, and stay productive with daily word sprints. Follow this link to get started.

Abi Wurdeman is the author of Cross-Section of a Human Heart: A Memoir of Early Adulthood, as well as the novella, Holiday Gifts for Insufferable People. She also writes for film and television with her brother and writing partner, Phil Wurdeman. On occasion, Abi pretends to be a poet. One of her poems is (legally) stamped into a sidewalk in Santa Clarita, California. When she’s not writing, Abi is most likely hiking, reading, or texting her mother pictures of her houseplants to ask why they look like that.

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Trade Schools Home > Articles > Jobs for Writers

23 Awesome Jobs for Writers That Offer Real Opportunities

By Publisher | Last Updated September 7, 2022

Here's a news flash: Good jobs for writers really do exist. You can parlay your love of the written word into a paying gig. The truth is that the technology, media, entertainment, public relations, marketing, publishing, and advertising industries all need people who can craft high-quality content. The range of possible writing careers is far broader than you might expect.

But, as with any creative field, it can be difficult to pinpoint opportunities. That's partly because writing jobs, in contrast to other occupations, don't follow a set formula. (If you want to become an engineer, you get an engineering degree. If your goal is to become a nurse, you complete a nursing program. But if you dream of becoming a writer, the path you need to take isn't nearly as clear-cut.)

That's why we've compiled a list of 23 jobs for many types of writers across many different fields. We've also included some tips on how to find legit freelance writing opportunities. And if you're wondering how to support yourself while getting established, you might want to check out our suggestions for day jobs that let you write on the side.

  • 23 jobs for writers
  • How to find legitimate freelance writing jobs
  • The pros and cons of ghostwriting
  • Day jobs for aspiring writers

Salary information is based on May 2021 data from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program and the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) .

Jobs for Writers

Jobs for Writers

1. Content strategist

Content strategists combine strong writing and communication skills with analytical thinking and marketing know-how to plan, create, and manage online content that achieves specific business goals. They apply principles of search engine optimization (SEO) and study analytics to figure out what kind of content is working (and what kind isn't) so that they can adjust their strategy accordingly. Training in journalism, communications, or technical writing can be a good first step toward this career.

  • Median salary: $133,380

2. Communications director

Overseeing various types of corporate communications and making sure the public views your company in a favorable light requires a blend of top-notch writing and marketing skills. In this role, you establish the communications goals of a company and develop branding and style guidelines for press releases, articles, newsletters, email campaigns, advertisements, and other marketing materials. This is a high-level position that requires several years of experience; be prepared to work your way up.

  • Median salary: $119,860

3. Technical writer

A key skill for any technical writer is the ability to take complex technical jargon and turn it into plain English. These writers design and develop software manuals, user guides, technical specifications, and other complex documentation. A big part of the job involves drawing useful and relevant information out of software developers, engineers, and other professionals, so solid interpersonal skills are essential. Of all jobs in writing, this one has one of the best outlooks: It's expected to see faster-than-average job growth between 2020 and 2030, according to the OOH.

  • Median salary: $78,060

4. Proposal writer

A common fixture in consulting firms and sales departments, proposal writers prepare documents related to pricing, marketing, and product design. They assess requests for proposals (RFPs) and develop responses to help their employers win new business and secure contracts. To succeed in this role, you need excellent organizational and writing skills as well as an eye for detail and a solid understanding of how your company can meet the needs of potential clients.

5. Grant writer

Crafting proposals to secure financial support for foundations, non-profit agencies, and other organizations is a responsibility that falls to grant writers. They are a key part of the fundraising staff in many places. Grant writers are in charge of identifying funding sources and developing written materials that target each potential donor. Flexibility is important; some donors expect a one-page document, while others look for much lengthier proposals.

6. Web content writer

Many companies need writers who are highly skilled in researching and writing digital content like blogs, articles, and landing pages. You might be required to conduct online research or interview subject matter experts to gather information. Having some knowledge of search engine optimization (SEO) techniques is very helpful.

  • Median salary for a writer or technical writer: $69,510 - $78,060

7. Speechwriter

It's not just politicians and government officials that rely on speechwriters: You could also work for business executives, notable celebrities, or public relations firms. To do this job effectively, you need to be able to write persuasively about policies or principles that you may not always agree with. A degree in journalism, communications, or political science is a good place to start. Joining Toastmasters or observing debates can also be good training.

  • Median salary: $69,510

8. Screenwriter

Do you dream of creating the next Hollywood blockbuster? Screenwriters are the creative energy behind films and television shows. You could adapt a novel for the big screen, write an episode of an established show, or develop an original movie script from scratch. You need to understand the basic structure of a screenplay as well as how to create interesting characters and write peppy dialog. You also need to be open to constructive criticism: Making revisions is how screenwriters spend most of their time.

9. Novelist

When people think of careers in writing, this is often one of the first that comes to mind. If you can create compelling characters that people want to know more about, and put them in unique situations that force them to tackle a problem or undergo a change, you might have what it takes to make it as a novelist. It's not enough to have a great idea; you also need to develop an outline and work out plot points, dialog styles, and character arcs. Traditionally, novelists have worked with literary agents to market and sell their books, but self-publishing is an increasingly popular option.

10. Advertising copywriter

Creating captivating copy for print, online, television, or radio advertisements is another way to put your writing skills to good use. The ultimate aim of an advertising copywriter is to make people want to buy a particular product or service. Whether you're creating slogans, billboards, radio jingles, or social media ads, you need to be able to say a lot with just a few words. Internships can be a good way to get started in this field.

11. Marketing communications specialist

Jobs for Writers

  • Median salary: $63,920

12. Book editor

Suggesting changes and improvements to a manuscript that an author has slaved over for months or years requires tact and diplomacy as well as editing skills. Book editors are responsible for shaping and developing a manuscript to get it ready for publication. Your job is to bring a fresh eye to a piece of text and work with the author to strengthen the fundamentals and structure of the story. Many editors work for publishing houses, but going out on your own as a freelancer is also possible.

  • Median salary: $63,350

13. Copy editor

Copy editors are the quality assurance technicians of the writing world. They carefully read through a piece of written material to root out spelling errors, grammar problems, and style inconsistencies. While a book editor deals with the big-picture structure and form of a story, a copy editor gets into the nitty-gritty details and makes sure the text aligns with editorial guidelines. In some cases, copy editors are also responsible for fact checking. You'll likely need an English or journalism degree to snag a copy editing job.

14. Public relations specialist

Cultivating relationships is key to the success of a public relations specialist. After all, you need to be on good terms with journalists, editors, bloggers, and other content producers in order to effectively control and manage the public image of your client or company. The ability to convey a message clearly and succinctly will serve you well in this field. Internships are a great way to get your foot in the door of many public relations firms.

  • Median salary: $62,800

15. Social media specialist

More and more companies are realizing they need to maintain a social media presence, which means lots of opportunity for writers who know how to tailor messages to the demographics, text limits, and content styles of platforms like Facebook and Twitter. You could find yourself blogging about the latest high-tech gadget or analyzing metrics on the company's audience and views. Training in marketing or communications can be helpful.

  • Median salary: $49,900

16. Translator

If you can write fluently in more than one language, you can seek work as a translator. And you may not have to look far to find opportunities: Employment in this field is expected to grow 24 percent between 2020 and 2030. You could work in areas like law, healthcare, publishing, and education. You need meticulous attention to detail to do this kind of work. Just remember: It won't be your job to make changes to (or improve upon) the text.

  • Median salary: $49,110

17. Columnist

Columnists are basically unshackled reporters: They're paid to give a subjective opinion on current events. As a columnist, you're expected to offer persuasive and reasoned opinions and perspectives on anything from city council's latest traffic bylaw to the current state of the U.S. economy. Many columnists also write books or serve as experts on radio and TV talk shows. You need several years of experience in your niche (e.g., politics, humor, fashion, sports, whatever) to be considered for a columnist role.

  • Median salary: $48,370

18. Journalist

Whether you focus on TV, radio, print, or the Web (or more likely a combination of those), you will spend much of your time as a journalist searching out newsworthy information and turning your findings into articles, scripts, and podcasts. Most journalists start with entry-level writing jobs as general reporters, but with experience you could work your way into a niche like sports, business, science, or the arts. News can break anywhere, anytime, so be prepared for a non-traditional schedule.

19. Film critic

Being a film critic involves more than just getting to watch movies for free. You get to frame your thoughts as an informative review that draws people in. That means you need to have a thorough understanding of the filmmaking process. You also need to have solid interviewing skills and a knack for finding unique angles that make your story stand out from the crowd, so getting some journalism training will serve you well.

  • Median salary: $48,370 for all reporters

20. Proofreader

Proofreaders are the last line of defense for a piece of content. They make sure there are no errors in the grammar, spelling, spacing, or margins of a document. In the publishing world, proofreading is the final step after the copy edit is complete. Proofreaders also check that the table of contents is formatted correctly and that any photos have appropriate captions. A degree in English or journalism can give you the skills you need for this job.

  • Median salary: $43,940

21. Greeting card writer

More than 75 percent of people buy greeting cards based on the connection they make with the text, according to the Greeting Card Association . Whether you're creating a funny happy birthday message or a compassionate get-well card, you need to craft concise verses that touch people's emotions. The key is to come up with something that a broad spectrum of people can relate to. Playing around with rhymes, allusions, and metaphors can be good practice.

22. Travel writer

For wordsmiths with wanderlust, a career as a travel writer may be what's needed to satisfy those creative and nomadic urges. You could develop a wide range of content, from guidebooks and magazine features to blogs and how-to-travel articles. Coming up with original and interesting ways to describe a destination can be a real challenge. This is almost entirely freelance work, which means self-promotion is a big part of the job.

23. Ghostwriter

A ghostwriter is an "invisible" contributor to a piece of content. You write it; your client gets to claim the credit for it. As a ghostwriter, you could be writing corporate blogs, putting out social media updates in a celebrity's name, or transforming a client's ideas, research, or life stories into a book. Ghostwriting can lead to many opportunities, though the field is not without controversy.

  • Average earnings: Rates vary enormously

How to Find Legitimate Freelance Writing Jobs

Whether you're a newbie looking for your first paid gig or an experienced professional seeking a bit of side business, going freelance may be right up your alley. But finding legitimate job postings can be a challenge. We've listed a few sites here that gather and post solid opportunities. (And most of these sites won't charge you anything to access their listings.)

Jobs for Writers

  • JournalismJobs.com features reporting, writing, and editing jobs.
  • Mediabistro lists freelance jobs in areas ranging from magazines to marketing.
  • All Freelance Writing includes opportunities for bloggers, journalists, and technical writers.
  • Morning Coffee lists jobs related to copywriting, blogging, translation, and journalism. (Sign up to receive the free weekly newsletter or check the online jobs section that's updated daily.)
  • ProBlogger features writing jobs in a huge variety of niches.
  • Freelance Writing Jobs offers listings for grant writers, copywriters, journalists, and content writers.
  • FlexJobs has listings for copywriters, technical writers, news writers, and more, though you do have to pay a fee to see the details of the listings.

Always be sure to read the fine print before you apply for any project. Some sites offer their listings for free but take a cut of any earnings you receive. And beware of content mills that expect writers to churn out articles at a breakneck pace for absurdly low rates (sometimes as low as one cent per word). It's up to you to do your research and decide if an opportunity is right for you.

The Pros and Cons of Ghostwriting

Does the idea of writing under someone else's byline intrigue you? A growing number of executives, politicians, celebrities, and notable professionals are hiring ghostwriters to turn their thoughts into a marketable form of content. Working as a ghostwriter can be a great way for aspiring writers to polish their skills and make some money. But before you decide to become a pen-for-hire, you need to understand the pros and cons.

  • You can write about any or all topics without worrying about being publicly judged on the quality of your work, since your name is not attached to the content. If you have an established reputation in a particular niche, ghostwriting in another area can let you experiment without damaging your public brand.
  • You get a chance to step into the lives of fascinating people who have reached the pinnacle of their professions.
  • You can often charge more for ghostwritten copy precisely because of the lack of recognition you receive for the work. Plus, you usually get paid up front instead of having to wait on royalties from sales.
  • Promoting the book is not your responsibility (and sales make no difference to you if you received a one-time payment up front), so you can just move right on to the next project.
  • No byline generally means you can't use your work in your portfolio, which obviously makes it difficult to demonstrate your writing chops to potential clients. You can end up relying on your existing clients to refer you to future business, which doesn't always happen.
  • Letting someone else take credit for your work can be demoralizing. You will likely have to sign a non-disclosure agreement that specifies you can never imply that the name on the cover isn't the person who actually authored the book. You might even have to watch your client explain to an interviewer how he or she went about writing the words you so painstakingly crafted.
  • If the book becomes a best-seller or wins a Pulitzer, you get no part of the royalties or rewards.

Some writers view ghostwriting work as a simple business transaction and wholeheartedly recommend it. Others feel it's unethical to allow someone to purchase content and pass it off as their own. Make sure you do your research before getting involved so that you fully understand the deal.

Day Jobs for Aspiring Writers

Getting established as a writer takes time, but you probably still have bills to pay. You might want to consider a side job that won't stress you out but will still let you have plenty of time to work on your craft. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Retail stock clerk: Unloading trucks and putting items on shelves is physical work, but it's often done at night or in the early morning, leaving you time for creative pursuits.
  • Cab driver: This is a fairly low-stress career that lets you choose your own hours. Plus, you can get great material for stories as you meet people from different walks of life.
  • Security guard: You might be able to write during long stretches of downtime, especially if you work night shifts.
  • Bartender or restaurant server: You can make extra money from tips and meet lots of colorful characters who might inspire your writing.
  • Office cleaner or housekeeper: This kind of work keeps you physically active without draining your mental resources.
  • Tutor or writing coach: You can keep your creative juices flowing by helping others polish their prose.

Write Your Next Chapter

Now that you know that plenty of jobs for writers are out there, it's time to think about how you can best prepare to take advantage of those opportunities. Do you have the skills you need for the job you want? Vocational colleges and trade schools offer career-focused training for all kinds of occupations that involve writing. So explore convenient programs near you by entering your zip code into the search tool below!

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Creative writing

A degree in creative writing allows you to develop your writing, research and creative thinking skills. These skills are useful in a range of careers such as writing, publishing, marketing, PR and teaching

Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

  • Advertising copywriter
  • Arts administrator
  • Community arts worker
  • Creative director
  • Digital copywriter
  • Editorial assistant
  • Higher education lecturer
  • Lexicographer
  • Magazine journalist
  • Newspaper journalist
  • Publishing copy-editor/proofreader

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

  • Academic librarian
  • Digital marketer
  • Film director
  • Marketing executive
  • Public librarian
  • Public relations officer
  • Secondary school teacher
  • Social media manager
  • Talent agent
  • Web content manager

Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.

Work experience

Make sure you create a portfolio of your written work, especially any that you've had published. This will provide evidence of your writing skills and establish your reputation as a writer.

You can gain valuable experience by writing for your student newspaper or magazine, volunteering in schools, or getting involved with writers' groups. Also, try submitting work to journals or anthologies, entering competitions, performing at spoken word events or approaching local drama groups to see if they will use your scripts. This will boost your profile and help build your confidence.

To make yourself more employable, look for opportunities to gain some solid work experience. This could be in the form of paid administrative work for a company, or volunteering with a local charity, for example, helping them to promote the work they do.

You can also look for related work experience with, for example, publishing houses and advertising and marketing firms. You could write speculatively to a number of businesses to ask if you could complete some short-term work experience or shadowing. This can help you get a foot in the door in a highly-competitive industry and could lead to a permanent position.

As well as creative talent and writing experience, you will also need perseverance and determination to succeed as a writer.

Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships .

Typical employers

As a creative writing graduate you may work to establish yourself as a writer on a self-employed basis, either writing your own works, or writing for others in a freelance capacity.

Alternatively, you could find opportunities with a variety of employers, including:

  • publishing houses or editorial/technical writing service companies
  • advertising, marketing and public relations agencies, particularly in a copywriting capacity
  • primary, secondary, further and higher education institutions
  • media organisations and social media companies
  • general businesses - in an administrative or general management position
  • Civil Service, library or charitable organisations.

Find information on employers in marketing, advertising and PR , media and internet , teacher training and education , and other job sectors .

Skills for your CV

As well as building specialist knowledge of creative writing, you also develop effective written, oral and presentation skills through your degree. Other skills include: 

  • creative and critical thinking and problem solving - these skills are useful for many jobs and you'll have gained them from developing characters and storylines
  • independent working - having to be self-motivated as a writer means you can effectively determine and direct your own workload 
  • time management and organisation - learning to structure your time effectively as a writer means you can be highly organised 
  • a good understanding of information technology 
  • collaboration - from liaising with students from other related courses such as journalism and film studies 
  • independent research and analysis - you'll be adept at this from turning ideas into well-rounded stories 
  • editorial and proofreading - from producing accurately written content 
  • negotiation and networking - learning how to market your work effectively gives you the skill to negotiate in other workplace settings. 

Further study

As a creative writing graduate you can develop your creative writing skills further by undertaking postgraduate study at Masters or PhD level. You can also specialise in an area such as screenwriting, the graphic novel, writing for young people, writing poetry, or writing and producing comedy.

Alternatively, you may want to undertake further vocational training in areas such as teaching, journalism, librarianship or publishing. Vocational courses allow you to study in an area in which you would like to have a career.

You may also want to consider further study in areas such as PR, marketing or advertising.

For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see Masters degrees and search postgraduate courses in creative writing .

What do creative writing graduates do?

A tenth (10%) of creative writing graduates in employment in the UK are working in artistic, literary and media occupations, while 7% are working as sales, marketing and related associate professionals. 4% are teaching professionals, and a further 4% are media professionals.

Find out what other creative writing graduates are doing 15 months after finishing their degrees in What do graduates do?

Graduate Outcomes survey data from HESA.

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Home > photo & video

25 Creative Jobs & Careers for Creative People

what jobs require creative writing

Creativity is far from just a skill; it’s an essential part of an identity. Why settle for a career that doesn’t allow creative individuals to shine? Creative people deserve equally creative careers — and yes, there are dozens of creative jobs that don’t require a degree! 

Whether a self-taught photographer or a classically trained painter, rest assured that jobs for artistic people do exist. Today, we’ve gathered 25 of the top creative careers and jobs for creative thinkers, from photography and videography to creative writing and arts and crafts. 

what jobs require creative writing

Photography & Videography Careers

1. photographer.

Creatives with photography skills can share their gifts across a wide range of industries. As one of the many creative jobs that don’t require a degree, most photographers can discover professional work with a polished portfolio and general photography experience. 

photographer with camera

A few examples of photography creative careers include:

  • Product photographer
  • Wedding photographer
  • Newborn photographer
  • Real estate photographer
  • Photojournalist

Check out our full Photography Careers Guide for more photography career options.

How Much Can a Photographer Make?

The general yearly salary for a photographer averages $43,114 per year but can vary depending on professional experience. Even those just beginning their photography career can find entry-level photography assistant positions. These opportunities can help set novice photographers on a strong path for career growth, potentially leading them to start a photography business.

2. Videographer

videography scene

Though a career in videography may require a bit more equipment than photography, it’s an awesome freelance or employment opportunity for creatives with a love for visual arts in motion. Videography skills are often highly requested across numerous industries for purposes including but not limited to advertisement commercials, music video production, and product marketing. 

How Much Can a Videographer Make?

As of 2022, the average videographer’s salary sits at around $68,703 per year . It can range from $56,668 per year to $85,611 per year, depending on education and prior experience. Those of us looking to jumpstart our videography career can lock in some general videography knowledge and research local entry-level positions or apprenticeship programs. 

3.Photo Editor

Jobs with photography don’t all happen behind the camera. If you have the skills to edit photos , you are extremely hireable. There is a lot of work in the field, whether that’s through freelancing gigs (which, thanks to digital photography, can be done entirely online) or with an ad agency. While you may not be taking the photos directly, you will stay engaged with the art and the questions that surround its technique.

4. Film Producer

For those with a deep love for videography and the visual arts, plus a desire to take on a management-focused career, a creative career in film production is the way to go. These creative individuals are responsible for managing various stages of film production, ranging from early development to post-production on everything from small indie films or highly anticipated blockbusters. 

Roles as a film producer often require a bit more experience and knowledge to help land a position. The current average salary for a film producer is $70,319 per year . Some positions offer upwards of $135,000 per year, depending on skills and experience. 

5. Video Editor

Falling under the field of videography, video editors are responsible for editing recorded footage used in movies, television shows, company commercials, and online videos. Many businesses will seek video editing services on a project-to-project basis, making this a great freelancing opportunity for those with strong video editing abilities. 

The average base annual salary for a video editor is approximately $38,850 per year. However, a video editor typically prices their professional services based on their experience and specific skills, which can significantly influence final income amounts. 

Design Careers 

creatives working at computer

6. Graphic Design 

Rather than capture art with a camera, a creative career in graphic design allows an artistic individual to create the art themselves. A graphic design career offers great freelance and employment opportunities, from developing gaming graphics to crafting custom company logos.

How Much Can a Graphic Designer Make?

The current salary average for a graphic designer is approximately $50,710 per year . With many graphic designers beginning their careers through self-taught online instruction , designers who continue to enhance their skill sets have a chance of securing higher-paying positions and projects.

Graphic designers who expand their expertise through continued education and ongoing experience can land more advanced roles. For example, the salary for senior designers averages $82,384 per year , and product designers earn an average of $102,237 per year .

7. Web Design

Like graphic design, a creative job in web design also offers fantastic freelance and employment opportunities for those with an eye for art. This creative career pairs personal website design tools, including WordPress and Adobe Dreamweaver, with technical web development language skills, like CSS, Java, and Python, to create websites that are equal parts functional and visually appealing.

ux designer working on wireframes

How Much Can a Web Designer Make?

For those with an established portfolio, web design offers great self-employment opportunities due to the project-to-project nature of this profession. However, the average annual salary is also $67,916 per year , so it’s crucial for web designers to stay up to date with current web design trends and skills , as many preferred web design tools and processes regularly update and change. 

8. UX Design

User experience (UX) design positions partner the skills of a web designer with the ability to make cloud-based programs and websites user-friendly. UX designers hone their skills to program and alter the functions and layout of a website or program to support customer satisfaction and accessibility.

How Much Can a UX Designer Make?

UX design positions average a yearly salary of roughly $98,816 . Unlike other creative jobs that don’t require a degree, these jobs also require some college education.

People just beginning their UX design career path and those without college experience often start by teaching themselves UX design topics and skills. 

9. Fashion Design

Fashion designer pinning pattern to fabric

Apart from the digital aspect of creative design, fashion design offers robust creative potential for those interested in designing all types of clothing and accessories. This highly prized and competitive niche offers huge employment opportunities with various fashion brands. We can also consider freelance design opportunities to create a proprietary clothing brand . 

How Much Can a Fashion Designer Make?

Due to fashion’s varying nature in price and popularity, salary amounts fluctuate with a current average of $75,810 per year . However, those who enter the entrepreneurial space of fashion design can experience far beyond average salary amounts dependent on personal success. 

10. Interior Design

art materials

Interior design is a highly desired job for artistic people that offers excellent employment opportunities with design firms. Interior designers are responsible for using their keen eye for aesthetics to create visually appealing residential and commercial interior spaces with a curated selection of wall colors, furniture, and other design elements. 

How Much Can an Interior Designer Make?

The average annual interior design salary is roughly $52,034 , with previous experience and education qualifications potentially affecting this amount. Many design firms often request educational design experience. Yet rising interior designers can get a taste of industry expectations through online education . 

11. Art Director

Securing a role as an art director is built for those seeking a bit more of a management position. Art directors are responsible for overseeing the visual design aspects of a media campaign and often manage and mentor entry-level designers. 

How Much Can an Art Director Make?

Art director roles are considered senior-level positions and offer an average annual salary of $100,890 . Due to the high level of this position, companies seeking an art director often require multiple years of experience and a bachelor’s degree in an art and design subject. 

12. Jewelry Design 

Those searching for creative jobs that don’t require a degree may want to consider jewelry design. While major jewelry companies may offer design assistant positions, many people opt to design jewelry through their own small businesses. 

In fact, the booming popularity of e-commerce has enabled jewelry design entrepreneurs to sell their work directly through online marketplaces such as Etsy.

How Much Can a Jewelry Designer Make?

Jewelry designers hold an average annual salary of $42,501 . However, those who tap into the entrepreneurial space of jewelry design may see a much higher wage. 

13. Motion Design

As one of the top jobs for artistic people, motion designers leverage graphic design skills to create web, television, and film content with animation and visual effects that put their art into motion. Motion designers will often work alongside various marketing and production companies to help craft animated commercials, trailers, and mobile app openings. 

How Much Can a Motion Designer Make?

Many motion designers work freelance and offer their skills on a project-to-project basis and can make an average of $60,703 per year , depending on professional experience and portfolio presence.

what jobs require creative writing

Music Careers

Visual arts may not be for everyone. Some of us have a deep passion for music production, which we can develop into creative careers as well.

musician with microphone

14. Music Producer

Music producers are responsible for leading the creative and technical development of music recordings ranging from a single song to an entire studio soundtrack. Producers work hand-in-hand with those in the music business , managing songwriters, audio engineers, and artists as a team to help craft an awesome audio project. 

How Much Can a Music Producer Make?

Because of the expansive level of industry success a music producer can encounter, yearly salary amounts can average anywhere from $70,326 per year to upwards of a multi-million dollar amount. 

15.Start DJ ‘ing

For those who enjoy entertainment and are looking to take their music career outside of the studio, entering the professional DJ space may be the answer. From mastering the machine to getting the scratching down pat, DJing involves numerous music mixing skills that we can use to host parties, work on a radio station, and create custom medleys. 

How Much Can a DJ Make?

A professional DJ’s salary averages $58,267 per year. Yet, as with most careers in music, the exposure level and demand for services can significantly impact a DJ’s salary. 

16. Audio Engineer

An audio engineer is responsible for the numerous mechanical and technical components of sound, whether it’s for music recordings, television shows, or even video game sound reels. A creative ear is essential, as responsibilities include recording, editing, and reproducing enjoyable audio files. 

How Much Can an Audio Engineer Make?

The current average annual salary for an audio engineer totals $51,774 per year . This income can climb upwards of $136,500 per year with added experience. For those looking to enter the field, online audio engineering classes can offer excellent insight into the skills needed to become successful. 

17. Sound Mixer

Often referred to as production sound mixers, sound mixers lead the process of capturing, editing, and uploading audio for television, film, and music operations. Sound mixers are often responsible for overseeing the entire audio production team, which makes for the perfect creative career for those seeking a management position in the music industry. 

How Much Can a Sound Mixer Make?

A professional sound mixer can earn an average annual salary of $62,809 or more, depending on the level of experience and general industry education.  

Arts and Crafts Careers 

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18. Painter

Some of us love to paint but have never considered it as a potential career path. Yet professional painters can sell their work, commission their paintings to corporate or private collections, and work on specific projects to make money. Likewise, those who can demonstrate strong painting skills can also teach art classes or workshops.

The yearly salary for an artistic painter truly cannot be averaged to a general amount. As with many artistic career routes, yearly income amounts will rely on the artist’s success and the exposure they receive. Another contributing factor is whether painting is a side hustle or a full-time freelance gig. 

19. Illustrator 

Another option for those of us with a passion for drawing is to become an illustrator. With both freelance and employment opportunities available, illustrators play a huge role in all things that require physical drawing.

How Much Can an Illustrator Make?

Illustrator careers can stretch from magazines and children’s books to fashion design and advertisements. Depending on skill level and general level of experience, illustrators can earn an average annual salary ranging from $21,500 to $131,500.

20.Online Craft Seller

For us creatives who create pottery or macrame plant hangers, there are online opportunities to sell our artwork — and even take special requests from customers looking to use our skills to create something custom. The trick is to master the art of running an online craft shop like in a platform like Etsy or similar platforms.

Like painters, online craft sellers can earn a wide range of salaries. Creative individuals can benefit from learning craft business basics , like establishing a personal shop, to create endless opportunities to share their skills with the world and also turn a profit. Plus, a personal shop with traction can quickly turn a side gig into a full-time self-employed operation. 

Creative Writing  Careers

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21. Copywriter

In terms of creative writing career paths, copywriting tends to take the cake. From blog writing for big companies to creating website copy and product descriptions for small businesses, copywriting skills are present just about anywhere there’s text. 

Copywriting offers great freelance, side-hustle, and employment opportunities, with many successful writers sourcing their guidance strictly from creative writing classes .

How Much Can a Copywriter Make?

The current average salary for a copywriter is $54,184 per year . This amount can increase with industry experience, client caliber, and skill.

22. Ghostwriter

Ghostwriters are the solutions for thought leaders and various industry professionals who want to write a book or start a blog, but simply don’t have the writing skills. Though ghostwriters do not receive a byline (credit) for their work, they still receive payment for each piece they author.

Many successful ghostwriters have a background in copywriting and other creative writing fields. Others hone their skills through self-education. As ghostwriters often operate independently as freelancers or side hustlers, yearly pay varies based on the number of projects and their cost.

23. Social Media Marketer

Individuals with both creative writing and social media skills who don’t want to take on long-form copywriting or ghostwriting projects may consider social media marketing. Social media marketers use platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and now Tiktok to create, upload, and manage content that attracts and engages customers. 

How Much Can a Social Media Marketer Make?

As with many creative writing careers, social media marketers can freelance or opt for a full-time position with an average salary of $56,423 per year. One way to learn the basics and jumpstart a career in social media is through online classes. 

24.Journalist

A career in journalism is a perfect match for those who have a passion for storytelling and staying connected with hot topics and global news. Journalists allow creatives to hone their writing skills to educate and inform readers on various topics through newspapers, magazines, or online publications. 

Many professionals possess a degree in journalism. However, a degree is not always necessary if aspiring journalists can demonstrate previous work samples.

How Much Can a Journalist Make?

The average starting salary for a journalist is $41,968 per year , and career growth depends on the employing publication.

25. Technical Writer

For those seeking creative careers that involve a challenge, try technical writing. Technical writers are responsible for transforming complex and difficult-to-digest topics into something all readers can understand. Technical writers often create product guides, medical manuals, and other documentation to be used as a reference following a product purchase or service request. 

How Much Can a Technical Writer Make?

Due to the high-grade nature of this writing, the average salary for a technical writer is approximately $69,234 per year . With both freelance and full-time opportunities available, technical writers can score creative jobs by demonstrating robust knowledge in a particular niche.  

Types of Career

Not all creative careers will require a 9 to 5 job. Before diving into the individual job types, consider the multiple types of careers that offer creative direction.

Freelance Creative 

Freelance work is often not referred to as a job but rather as self-employment or a personal business. Instead of being employed by a single company or organization, freelance professionals offer their creative skills as a pay-per-service to various individuals and companies. 

Likewise, freelance creative professionals can also take on contract work. This allows a creative to sign an agreement with a company to complete a project over a designated amount of time. But it does not deem the creative as an employee of that entity. 

The demand for creative freelance work is always growing with platforms such as Fiverr , which offers creatives opportunities to sell their work such as graphic design, voice acting and more. 

Talented and experienced freelance creatives can also take on much bigger endeavors and produce complete campaigns and projects for big brands, if you are one of them you can offer your time and skills in platforms like WorkingNotWorking .    

Employed Creative 

Creative skills are in demand in many different industries, such as advertising, fashion, architecture, music and more. Companies are looking for talented individuals who can fit into positions such as design, photography, copywriting, editing, illustration, etc. and some may eventually move into management roles. 

Creative management jobs allow creatives to use their skills to guide both the company’s creative processes and the employees’ artistic processes.

Creative managers — like art directors — often control higher-risk creative and decision-making abilities. Depending on the specific management position at hand, creatives may need to demonstrate proof of education and experience to gain the role.

Creative Side Hustle

Not all creatives are ready to leave their current job just yet, and that’s okay — that’s what a side hustle is for. A side hustle allows artistic people to use their skills as a service without committing to an entire business venture. 

Writing, photography, and graphic design are just a fraction of the creative professions that make money as a side hustle while offering flexibility for those balancing a full-time job. Here are 25 different creative careers that can start as a side hustle and blossom into a full-time career.

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How to Become A Technical Writer: Skills, Jobs & Portfolios

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Coding and engineering skills are valuable on the job market, that’s for sure. But knowing the technology and being able to write about it clearly is a rare combination. Which makes it invaluable. That’s exactly what technical writers bring to the table —and they’re rewarded for it handsomely.

It’s not necessarily the easiest field to jump into, but if you’re interested in trying, we’ve got you covered. Today we’ll tell you all you need to know about how to become a technical writer: what skills, education, and experience you’ll need & how you can create a technical writing portfolio from scratch.

Take the first step to become a technical writer, create a killer portfolio now.

What is technical writing?

First things first, let’s review what technical writing is and how it differs from other forms of writing, such as copywriting or content writing.

To put it very simply, technical writing is the art of translating complex technical subjects into easy-to-understand pieces of writing. You can imagine the technical writer and the text they create as mediators. They’re mediators between the experts and the science/technology —and others that need to use and understand it without having the background knowledge and expertise.

What makes becoming a technical writer not so easy is that they need to have at least some level of expertise. Without that, they wouldn’t be able to understand the jargon and logic of the materials, and information they have to process for their projects.

But don’t worry, if you’re not a top expert in a complex field, that doesn’t mean you can’t become a technical writer. Having a basic understanding, an affinity and a strong interest is good enough to start. Why?

Because as a technical writer, you’ll have plenty of resources and information to start with. You won’t only have written materials to study, but you’ll be able to… well, expected to talk to and interview the true experts to get all the details right.

They’ll also be there to review the text when you’re done to make sure everything is correct. So as long as you have a basic understanding, you’re up for learning lots, and are interested in the field you decided to work in, you’ll most probably be good to go.

Job prospects and requirements for becoming a technical writer

As the nature of writing is different from other niches, so is the career path and the usual requirements. In this section, we’ll talk about how much you can earn in this field and what the usual requirements are for technical writer jobs.

Is technical writing a good career? How much do technical writers earn?

A lot of people ask if becoming a technical writer is a good choice, if it’s a good career. As we all have different priorities and preferences when it comes to ideal jobs and good careers, the answer is: it depends.

But one of the objective factors by which people often judge certain jobs and fields is the earning potential. How much does a technical writer earn? We looked up the stats so we can give you some actual numbers from all over the world.

  • In the US, the median technical writer salary is $74,650 based on the report of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • In the UK, technical writers earn £55,000 according to Reed.co.uk
  • For Australia, we found somewhat different numbers from different sources, but we’d say the median technical writer salary is around $80,000-110,000 (based on the stats published by talent.com and Payscale )

Technical writer job requirements (based on job descriptions)

In preparation for this article, we analyzed dozens of job posts to get a better idea of what companies expect from their future technical writer colleagues. We were especially interested in their requirements for education and experience, as questions like “How many years of education do I need to become a technical writer?” or “Can I become a technical writer with no experience?” seem to be really common.

Education requirements for technical writers

Let’s start with education. Out of all the job posts we went through, 40% didn’t have any degree requirements , while the other 60% all asked for a Bachelor’s degree .

But what kind of Bachelor’s degree do I need to get hired as a technical writer, you might ask. And that’s the interesting part.

  • 30% of those job posts asked for a degree in English, communication, writing, marketing, or something similar along those lines
  • 30% of the posts asked for a degree in a science field or IT, usually related to their company’s industry
  • 20% of the job posts wrote a Bachelor’s degree in either of the fields/categories above would do
  • 20% didn’t specify at all, just simply marked the level of education.

Interestingly, that shows that there are usually two ways for how one gets into technical writing.

Some people study science and technology —and realize they have an affinity for writing, or that they’re exceptionally good at explaining the complex concepts they work with. Others base their career on the arts of communication and writing. And with interest in a specific technical field and a little bit of expertise, they combine the two to become technical writers.

Work experience requirements for technical writer positions

The experience companies expect based on their job postings varies much more than the education. We found that:

  • Sometimes presenting a convincing portfolio is enough —as long as you can convince them of your skills, lots of companies don’t care about the number of years you’ve worked as a technical writer
  • Oftentimes they ask for experience with certain things (software, programming language, industry), not necessarily experience in a certain position. This proves yet again that skills and expertise (and their convincing presentation) can easily substitute the required years.
  • Asking for 3-5 years of experience was the most common we’ve seen, but for senior positions, the requirement was almost always 5+ years. So if you have less than 3 years of experience, you’ll have to either put together a killer portfolio or apply for junior positions.

Where to find technical writer jobs

The answer to that question depends on whether you’re looking for clients as a freelance technical writer, or you want to find a spot as an in-house employee.

For freelance technical writers, the most important step in getting new gigs is having a convincing and professional website and portfolio. Here people can find you by themselves through search, but they can also be directed via referrals, social media, or freelance job sites. It’s also a great idea to do some networking in Facebook groups and LinkedIn, where you can find new clients and get to know other writers in the field.

For in-house positions, you’ll just have to search “technical writer” on any of the big job posting sites like LinkedIn, Indeed, or Glassdoor. Technical writers are very much in demand these days, so it won’t be difficult to find a lot of options to choose from.

Feeling inspired? Create your own portfolio that looks good on any device.

Qualifications to become a technical writer: skills & education

The number of years of education and experience is one thing to check off the list —but you won’t get anywhere without heaving and presenting the skills companies are looking for. Let’s quickly review what these skills are and where you could gain some through technical writing courses and certifications online.

The skills you’ll need to become a technical writer

Similarly to education, the skills they expect new technical writer colleagues to have can be split into two categories: communication and research-related, and technical/IT skills.

Based on the job posts we analyzed, here are some of the most common skills required for technical writer jobs:

  • Communication , especially communication with specialists, developers, and engineers.
  • Doing interviews , both internally within the company, and externally with clients
  • Research and analysis for processing the starting material and getting a deep understanding of the topic
  • Attention to detail , as mistakes in the finished product can have very serious consequences
  • Grammar and editing to guarantee a flawless text in the end, as technical writers usually don’t get editors to work with
  • Design and formatting , often including experience with Adobe Creative Suite, as oftentimes it’s not just the writing but the whole of the presentation that also falls on the technical writer
  • Experience with agile systems , as the developers/engineers the technical writer works with often operate in agile environments
  • Teamwork , to be able to smoothly and efficiently work with experts, project managers, engineers, designers, and more
  • Coding and other IT-related skills such as knowing HTML, Markdown, or Git

Other skills we saw pop up a few times were: experience with content management systems (CMS), the ability to process complex datasheets, and following specific style guides.

Education: technical writing courses & certifications

Although having technical writing certifications is not something that’s often mentioned in job posts, it’d definitely be an advantage. Especially if you’re new to the field and would like to become a technical writer now, completing a specialized course would be a great place to start.

It’ll teach you specific skills you’ll need, help you get some pieces for a technical writing portfolio, and give you a technical writing-specific certificate you can add to your CV and LinkedIn profile.

To help you get started, we collected some courses you can take online to get certified from the comfort of your own home.

The 7 best online technical writing courses and certifications

1. Certificate in Professional Technical Communication – University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire

This online certificate program by the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire Continuing Education will not only help you improve your writing style and teach you all you need to know about reports, proposals, manuals, and more… But will also guide you in creating “a well-versed portfolio of professional documents”, improving your chances of getting hired.

2. Professional Certificate of Competency in Specification and Technical Writing – Engineering Institute of Technology (AU)

This three-month online course was designed primarily for engineers, who’d like to improve their research skills and learn how to prepare and write technical documents. It takes you through the whole research, preparation, and writing process step-by-step, covering everything from editing, through readability, to structure, illustrations, and more.

3. Certified Professional Technical Communicator (CPTC) Foundation – Society for Technical Communication

STC, which gathers writers, editors, managers, and engineers to a professional association, is well-known in the technical writing community, and their certifications are widely accepted. This course covers the foundations of technical communication, leading you through 9 key areas with an exam at the end.

4. One Week Technical Writer Certification – Technical Writer HQ

With over 50 online lessons, the one-week certification course of Technical Writer HQ will teach you the fundamentals and lead you through the whole process of technical writing. They cover things like setting scope, structuring sentences, using tools, managing knowledge bases, and everything in between.

5. Technical Writing – Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Coursera

This technical writer course from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology takes about 20 hours to complete and will teach you how to write multiple different types of technical documents. They also touch on research, structure, and style of writing.

As with all courses on Coursera, you can enroll for free if you’re just in it for the skills and knowledge —or you can pay the full price to get a certificate at the end.

6. Technical Writing: Documentation on Software Projects – Pluralsight

The Pluralsight technical writing course by software developer and technical trainer Amber Israelsen takes about 4 hours to complete and will teach you all you need to know about software project documentation. Similar to the Engineering Institute of Technology course, this was also designed for developers and engineers, to teach them how to write about their work in a clear and easy-to-understand way.

7. Technical Writing: Master Your Writing Career – Udemy

Udemy hosts multiple technical writing courses, but this is one of the most popular ones with almost 3,500 students. It focuses on writing quickly, effectively, and accurately, and introduces a writing system you can adapt if you’d like. You can learn how to create a realistic writing schedule, do research, write to an audience, and more —in just 5.5 hours.

the technical writer portfolio website of juliette scott

How to get experience to get hired as a technical writer

As you could see from our analysis at the beginning, it’s not easy to get a technical writer job with no experience. But how do you get experience if nobody gives you a chance?

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one who struggles with that. We’re here to give you tips on how you can get some experience to help you find a job and officially become a technical writer.

1. Get coursework done and build a portfolio

As we mentioned already, a lot of times the experience companies need is not necessarily an X number of years officially spent in a technical writer position. But rather it’s having written pieces that prove your skills and knowledge, presented in a writing portfolio .

Completing a technical writing course and all the assignments and coursework is a great way to do that. It will not only sharpen your skills but will give you pieces reviewed by your instructors that you know are good enough to represent your work.

2. Contribute to open-source projects

One way of getting experience that we specifically recommend to technical writers is contributing to open-source projects as a writer. There are some really amazing open source initiatives out there —but what most people don’t think about is that they also need writers. Because no matter how amazing a piece of software is, without the proper documentation, working on it and using it becomes much more difficult.

So they’re usually looking for volunteers to join the project and create all the needed documentation. It’s good for the project and great for the writer, as it means credible, real-life technical writing experience, and projects for your portfolio.

3. Offer to write for nonprofits and local businesses

Another way is reaching out to nonprofits or local businesses, asking if they need any help with their documentation. Depending on your current skills and ability to market yourself from day one, these might be either free or paid jobs. People’s opinions differ on whether you should ever work for free —but we recommend considering it at the very beginning to start filling your portfolio.

4. Rewrite existing technical documentation

As copywriters sometimes rewrite ads for real brands, technical writer candidates can rewrite existing technical documentation. Just take a real piece of material you found and think needs improving, and improve and rewrite it.

It’d be a good idea to also write up a little case study about the process for your portfolio, detailing what the problems were with the original script, and how your changes made it better.

If you’re confident in your work, you can also try to reach out to the company to offer your revised document for them to use. Who knows? They might like it and even give you another assignment. But if not, you can still use it for your portfolio.

How to present technical writing projects & create a technical writing portfolio

We’ve mentioned your technical writing portfolio and getting pieces for it so many times, it’s only fair if we get into how to actually create one. To make it as simple and easy-to-digest as possible, we’ll do so by answering the most common questions that arise about technical writing portfolios.

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Do I need a portfolio to become a technical writer?

The answer is: most probably, yes.

If you’re an established technical writer, with a long career at well-known companies, and get referred to somewhere, you might be able to go without one. But even then, having a portfolio would give you a boost against all the other candidates.

But especially if you’re towards the beginning of your technical writer career, having a portfolio is an absolute must. It serves to showcase your skills and prove that no matter your work history, you’re a candidate that’s worth hiring.

What’s the best format for a technical writing portfolio?

We recommend creating a writing portfolio website for this purpose. It’s the most professional way to create a clear and easy-to-navigate space for all your writing samples. All that, while not making anybody feel overwhelmed looking at a single document that’s dozens of pages long.

The other upside is that you can edit and update it anytime —unlike PDFs or PPTs, where once you sent the file, there’s no going back.

And there’s just something so empowering about telling someone to just go to yourname.com to check out your samples, right?

What is the best tool to create a technical writing portfolio website?

While there are many generic website builders out there, your best bet is to choose one that was specifically designed for writers like you. Copyfolio is exactly that, helping writers all around the world to create stunning portfolio websites quickly and easily.

With Copyfolio all it takes is choosing a template and filling the prepared site with your own content. You can choose your color palette and font presets, add your images into mockups (laptops, smartphones, magazines, etc.) with just one click, and buy your own domain right there within the app.

It has all you need to build a good-looking, responsive website, even if you’ve never done this before.

Choose a template and fill it with your copy. It's that simple with Copyfolio.

What are the must-haves of a technical writer portfolio?

There are a few things your portfolio should have if you want it to be complete and convincing. The most important thing to keep in mind is that the purpose of the portfolio is to showcase your writing skills and get you hired.

So just like you do so when writing a technical document, you have to consciously write for an audience here too. No matter if it’s a project or your about page, it should be consistent, keeping the goal in mind.

As for the pages and content, here’s what you’ll need:

  • A home page with a tagline summarizing who you are and what you do, ideally alongside a photo of yourself
  • An about page with more information about yourself and your background (you can include your resume here if you’d like)
  • A contact page with ways to reach out to you: your email address, phone number, perhaps your LinkedIn profile as well
  • And of course, your writing projects, ideally each on its separate page, in the forms of case studies

How should I present my technical writing projects in my portfolio?

When it comes to presenting technical writing projects, writing case studies is key. As they can be pretty complex and long in nature, reading through a case study instead of the actual finished piece can save lots of time for the reader. And give them better insights too.

They should still get to read a sample of it to see your writing in action, but the finished result won’t tell them a lot of background information they’d actually like to know.

As we discussed above, writing is just one element of a technical writer’s job. There’s a lot of research and analysis that goes into each project, often you’ll do interviews to get answers, you’ll coordinate with multiple people, and you might be the one designing the document itself. It’s a lot, and just seeing the document won’t reveal any of that.

So take the chance and create a separate case study page for each project, where you talk about all that. Tell the readers how you used your skills each step of the way, and only then show them a glimpse of the writing itself. You can do that with a screenshot of a page and/or a link where they can access it fully if they want.

How many projects should I have in my portfolio?

When choosing your projects, the most important rule is to think about the person reviewing your portfolio. It goes without saying that you should only add your very best pieces, but how many of them you should add is not necessarily that straightforward.

From our research and interviews, we found that hiring managers take an average of 5-10 minutes to look through each candidate’s materials. You need to make sure that they’ll be able to go through your most important pieces within that time frame.

It could be just 2-3 longer projects or 5-6 easy-to-overview ones. If you’re not sure how long it’d take to read all your materials, ask a friend or colleague to help you out. Having them read through it will help you get a better idea of what can still be included, and what pieces need to be cut.

Take the first step to become a technical writer, create your portfolio with Copyfolio

After all you’ve read, does this career resonate with you? Do you have the skills and passion to jump right in? Take the very first step and create your technical writing portfolio with Copyfolio. It’s okay if you don’t have a ton of samples yet, you can always add more later!

It takes only two minutes to set up your website, then all you have to do is filling it with content. Take Copyfolio for a spin, get started for free today!

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Dorka Kardos-Latif

Digital marketer & portfolio expert, the face behind all content on Copyfolio 👋

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what jobs require creative writing

This in-demand freelance job pays up to $250 an hour, offers remote opportunities and doesn’t require a degree

The hottest gig on the freelance job market isn't coding or graphic design, as you might expect — it's writing. 

That's at least according to new research from Freelancer.com, which found creative writing to be the most in-demand skill employers are hiring for on its platform, based on an analysis of nearly 300,000 jobs advertised on the site between April and June. 

Even as more companies turn to AI for content creation, the demand for human writers to edit manuscripts, write SEO-optimized blog posts and draft scripts for creative projects has increased since the beginning of the year, says Matt Barrie, CEO of Freelancer.com. 

"AI can't replace creativity yet," he says. "We saw a similar trend occur in the first quarter of the year, as creative design jobs were flourishing despite interest for generative AI tripling." 

Other writing-related skills that have become more popular on Freelancer.com include copywriting and ghostwriting, Barrie adds.

An accessible career with six-figure prospects

While some writers find success with a bachelor's degree, it's not a requirement to build a successful freelance career. What's far more important, per Indeed , is the skills you bring to the table: Most writing gigs require fact-checking, research, editing and a basic understanding of SEO. 

You can create an online portfolio with samples of your writing, join a writing group and network with other writers in your area of interest to find paid opportunities.

Most freelance writing jobs are remote, too, requiring writers to submit and publish their work online. In some cases, writers are able to work from anywhere, and set their own hours, as long as they meet their deadline, according to FlexJobs.  

The more experienced you are, the higher you can set your rate: Writers on Freelancer.com charge as much as $250 per hour. At this rate, working as a freelance writer full-time could earn you upwards of $400,000 per year.

How freelance writers are leveraging AI to make more money

Fiverr, another freelancing marketplace, has also seen steady demand for writers despite the rise of generative AI tools like ChatGPT, which was launched in November 2022. 

Yoav Hornung, head of verticals and innovation at Fiverr, says the platform continues to see demand for general writing services, like book editing, but also more interest in hiring freelancers for AI-related writing services, like AI content editing — those jobs saw an 80% increase last quarter, compared to the first quarter of 2023. 

Gabrielle Gerbus, a freelance copywriter and SEO specialist who splits her time between Thailand and Los Angeles, says she was "a bit scared" at first about the impact AI would have on her job prospects. 

But she decided to leverage AI in her professional writing, learning the ins and outs of Chat GPT and other generative AI tools so she could add AI content editing to her repertoire. She charges $100 and up for the service.

That business, the 28-year-old says, has "grown significantly" since she launched it a few months ago. 

"Business owners know that high volumes of AI-generated content isn't the end-all-be-all, it's more nuanced, it needs a human touch," she says. "I'm happy to support at any point along the creative journey, and I actually think I can make a sometimes more meaningful impact when I come in to add that human touch to something AI produced."

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This in-demand freelance job pays up to $250 an hour, offers remote opportunities and doesn’t require a degree

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Narrative Writing ACTVITIES BUNDLE | Creative Story Writing PACK!

Narrative Writing ACTVITIES BUNDLE | Creative Story Writing PACK!

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3 June 2024

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Resources included (7)

Story Elements & Plot Prompt Cards or Posters for Narrative Creative Writing

Story Elements & Plot Prompt Cards or Posters for Narrative Creative Writing

Narrative Writing Prompts for Practicing Story Writing | Quick Writes

Narrative Writing Prompts for Practicing Story Writing | Quick Writes

Prompt Cards or Posters Characters & Settings Narrative Writing | Creative Texts

Prompt Cards or Posters Characters & Settings Narrative Writing | Creative Texts

Interactive Notebooks Narrative Writing | Purpose & Structure Creative Writing

Interactive Notebooks Narrative Writing | Purpose & Structure Creative Writing

DIFFERENTIATED Planning Templates for Narrative Creative Story Writing

DIFFERENTIATED Planning Templates for Narrative Creative Story Writing

Fiction and Non Fiction Text Sorting or Matching Activity Narrative Writing

Fiction and Non Fiction Text Sorting or Matching Activity Narrative Writing

DIFFERENTIATED Unscramble the Text activity Narrative Writing | Creative Writing

DIFFERENTIATED Unscramble the Text activity Narrative Writing | Creative Writing

Are you looking for a way to engage your students in writing class? Specifically in narrative writing? Then this Narrative/Creative/Story Writing Activities Bundle is the perfect resource for you and your students! This bundle has resources to help your students from the planning stage all the way to the publishing stage of narrative writing including prompts, templates, worksheets and more!

2 Interactive Notebooks

6 Planning Templates PLUS a SAMPLE PLAN

3 DIFFERENTIATED Unscramble the Text activities

20 Quick Writes - Narrative Writing Practice papers!

Text type cut & paste Matching activity

28 Plot Ideas

10 Picture Prompt Cards

28 Character Ideas

28 Object Ideas

28 Setting Ideas

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COMMENTS

  1. 12 Jobs You Can Do With a Degree in Creative Writing

    There are many skills that you can learn through a creative writing degree program and others that you could work on to advance your career, such as: Storytelling abilities. Time management. Networking. Editing and proofreading skills. Creative thinking. Technology. Organization. Independent working.

  2. 20 Creative Writing Jobs for Graduates (+ Entry-Level Positions)

    2. Editor. 👩🏻‍💼 Entry level positions: editorial assistant. 💰 Potential beginner's earning: $25,000-$30,000 per year or $800-$1,000 per book. Writing is actually not all there is to creative writing jobs — if you really love stories and are always finding ways to make a story better, then editing is a suitable profession for you.

  3. 20 Creative Writing Careers

    Having scouted my dream job with wwe, I learnt that they require applicants to have a ba degree in creative writing or a similar field aswell as experience in scriptwriting for tv. ... Following is a list of the creative writing jobs I could do from your list: Greeting Card Author, Advertising (Creative), Freelance Short Fiction Writer ...

  4. 30 Exciting Careers in Writing (With Salaries)

    17. Managing editor. National average salary: $60,105 per year Primary duties: Managing editors lead the writing activities of publications such as magazines and periodicals. They oversee the workflow, from thinking about ideas to writing and publication, and often manage an editorial team.

  5. A Seriously Long List of Jobs That Involve Creative Writing

    A content writer focuses more on long-form writing that builds a relationship with the target audience. In other words, content writing is less about making a sales pitch and more about being helpful and conveying the brand's personality. Common content writing tasks include: Average Salary: $40,000-$70,000 per year.

  6. 9 High-Paying Jobs for Folks Who Love Writing

    Technical writer. Average salary: $63,929. Salary range: $46,000-$91,000. Technical writers are responsible for writing copy that translates complex technical ideas into something a general audience can read and understand—including for instruction manuals, tutorials, journal articles, and educational resources.

  7. 23 Jobs for Writers That are Worth Making into Writing Careers

    10. Advertising copywriter. Creating captivating copy for print, online, television, or radio advertisements is another way to put your writing skills to good use. The ultimate aim of an advertising copywriter is to make people want to buy a particular product or service.

  8. 10 Jobs for Graduates with a Creative Writing Degree

    10. Screenwriter / Songwriter. Probably the most creative jobs for a creative writer graduate are songwriting and screenwriting. Of course, is not easy to make a name of yourself in this field, but this is where your passion lays, you should definitely go for it. In these jobs, you can dream as big as possible and the bigger you dream the more ...

  9. Earning A Creative Writing Degree: All About A Bachelor's In Creative

    A bachelor's degree in creative writing requires about 120 credits and takes four years of full-time study to complete. Accelerated programs may take less time. Admission requirements for a ...

  10. 21+ Places to Find Creative Writing Jobs (That Pay!) In 2024

    4. ProBlogger. ProBlogger has a special place in my heart, as it's where I landed my first-ever freelance gig, writing for a coaching website that paid me $100 per article. It's an online job board where people look for everything from content writers for big data analysis to YouTube video script writers.

  11. Earning A Master's In Creative Writing: What To Know

    Postsecondary Creative Writing Teacher. Median Annual Salary: $74,280. Minimum Required Education: Ph.D. or another doctoral degree; master's degree may be accepted at some schools and community ...

  12. 16 High-Paying Jobs for Creative People in 2024

    Average salary: $78,197. Salary range: $56,000-$114,000. A software developer writes code to build new pieces of software (or to update or add new features to existing software). Software developers are constantly using creative skills, from problem-solving to creating visually appealing user interfaces.

  13. What can I do with a creative writing degree?

    As a creative writing graduate you may work to establish yourself as a writer on a self-employed basis, either writing your own works, or writing for others in a freelance capacity. Alternatively, you could find opportunities with a variety of employers, including: Civil Service, library or charitable organisations.

  14. Creative Writing Jobs

    Create and sell related projects. Browse 2,933 open jobs and land a remote Creative Writing job today. See detailed job requirements, compensation, duration, employer history, & apply today.

  15. What are some jobs I can get with a creative writing major?

    Most writing jobs are in content editing/creation. So, you can work in a few areas first or decide on your niche now. I started by writing bits of copy for a theatre's costume campaign, moved onto lead generation (DULL), then did various papers/websites/emails on debt, solar panels, dentistry, property, cosmetic surgery, etc.

  16. 25 Creative Jobs & Careers for Creative People

    Photography & Videography Careers. 1. Photographer. Creatives with photography skills can share their gifts across a wide range of industries. As one of the many creative jobs that don't require a degree, most photographers can discover professional work with a polished portfolio and general photography experience.

  17. About the M.F.A. in Creative Writing

    Fast Facts. Our M.F.A. program is three years. We offer full and equitable funding for all students through Teaching Assistantships and tuition waivers. We admit two to four students per genre each year (nine students per cohort, on average). Our program is small by design, ensuring that community and mentorship are central to the experience of ...

  18. How to Become A Technical Writer: Skills, Jobs & Portfolios

    1. Get coursework done and build a portfolio. As we mentioned already, a lot of times the experience companies need is not necessarily an X number of years officially spent in a technical writer position. But rather it's having written pieces that prove your skills and knowledge, presented in a writing portfolio.

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  20. Zero Hour by Ray Bradbury Post-Reading Creative Writing Prompts

    File previews. pdf, 172.44 KB. Enhance your study of Ray Bradbury's Zero Hour with these stimulating and thought-provoking creative writing prompts. Designed for teaching language through literature, these prompts are perfect for homework assignments, writing assessments, extension tasks, cover lessons, and filler activities.

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