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What are the ways to make good money as a creative writer?

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I am going to have an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, and ideally would like to use that degree to get paid to write fiction. #creative-writing #writing #author

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Billy’s Answer

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Hi there. I have a creative writing bachelor's degree and I think that you can be financially successful with your degree if you take your talents and put them towards industries like marketing. There are always openings and a need for copywriters and technical writers. It may not be as fun as writing a sci-fi short story but it will definitely pay the bills and it COULD be creatively fulfilling as well. Writing marketing copy or emails means you can think about ways to engage people in a large scale. And it still requires you to be be crafty with voice and technique.

It's really difficult to write fiction or do any hobby if you're constantly worrying about bills. My strategy was to acquire a job where I felt I could excel in and on my spare time I would write and submit my stories to journals. Maybe down the line a story will be picked up but I'm in no hurry. There's so much time to grow and learn and draw more experiences into our writing.

The best piece of advice I can give is to not feel rushed or pressured to publish a story and get paid for your stories. And this applies to everyone about to graduate without a job lined up in their field. It's very very very hard to do this right out of school and if those are your expectations, you might end up feeling disheartened and deflated. Instead, think of it as a journey and don't be afraid of applying your writing skills to more than traditional fiction or prose stories. Writing is everywhere and all writing is written by someone. Be creative and find a local or any company you like and see if they have openings.

It's also important to consistently keep your eyes on the goal. What do you want? Work towards that goal. If that means constantly applying to jobs, then do that to the beat of your ability until something works out, or keep submitting your stories to journals until someone picks it up. Never stop trying. You can do it!

Billy recommends the following next steps:

  • Make an account in a job network like LinkedIn or Glassdoor and search for writing jobs and marketing internships. Don't shy away from businessy opportunities because if you're a writer, you already have more than enough skills to do the job and gain valuable experience. Start early as possible in trying to land an internship or job.
Thanks so much for your advice! Your answer was really helpful. I’ve always shied away from jobs involving marketing and technical writing because I felt I was under qualified as a “creative” writer. It’s heartening to know that my skills could be useful in those fields as well! Lyzzie G.
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Lauren’s Answer

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To echo Billy's answer, you can definitely forge a career in Marketing, as there's a high need for individuals with excellent writing and communications skills! I work for a cloud software company, and one of the biggest challenges we have is taking complex or highly technical concepts and translating it into concepts that everyone can grasp and understand. IT.IS.REALLY.HARD. I often tell people that the hardest part of writing for tech is brevity and creative flair. In my career, I've seen a bunch of jargon for various tech companies, and you literally have no idea what the company's product or solution does. An excellent copywriter is worth GOLD! So I'd encourage you to explore marketing and see where that takes you (I'm biased, of course, as I'm a marketer ;) ). Good luck!

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