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What are good career options if I am interested in both writing and "using my creative mind"?

I am a sophomore in high school looking for career options that not only let me use my creative mind but also don't limit me from doing more than one thing in life. I don't know exactly what I want to do, however I do know I want it to make people smile. I'm interested in writing, traveling, design, etc while some of my favorite classes include both English and Spanish. I'm a bit all over the place. Do you have any advice on what I should do? #high-school #business #career #creative #writing #traveling #career-counseling #media #english

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Doc’s Answer

TRAVEL WRITER

Zeporian if you're creative and enjoy sightseeing, sampling diverse foods, or visiting hotspots. As a travel writer, you may work freelance or for a company, but either way your job will be seeking out places that arouse interest. Travel writers use their own personal experiences and knowledge to describe tourist destinations for various types of publications. These writings can be in the form of blurbs, articles, documentaries or travel guides. They generally accompany their writings with photographs of the places they visit. While many would consider a job as a travel writer to be a constant exotic vacation, the reality of it for many experienced veterans is that it can prove quite strenuous. Writers must choose topics and locations not for the sake of pleasure, but rather for the purpose of creating something marketable. They must also deal with the fact that full advances or all-expenses paid trips are rarities.

Though there are some exceptions, travel writers may wish to get started in the field by writing about interesting local destinations, since expense accounts are rare for beginning writers. Most individuals wouldn't consider their current cities or hometowns as exciting travel destinations, but they might be to others. Aspiring travel writers might do some articles for local publications for free in order to get a foot in the door, or seek out less typical outlets for their work in order to build up a track record of being published. These writing professionals must meet deadlines and complete extensive fact checks on all of the material they write. Accuracy is vital. Just as much editing and revision goes into creating a travel piece as any other writing, so travel writers must take criticism well and act professionally. The life of a travel writer can be tiring and somewhat costly, but someone who wishes to experience all the world has to offer will find it a most pleasing adventure. Paid trips are unlikely, unless you have a great deal of experience. A bachelor's degree in journalism or a related major will accrue job opportunities, and the more experience you have, the higher your salary will be.

Doc recommends the following next steps:

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.
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.
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.
Marketing Communications Specialist – These specialists create content that furthers an organization's marketing goals: brochures, e-books, press releases, and so on. This role involves making sure that all written content follows branding guidelines and uses the company's agreed-upon voice. You need some knowledge of business and marketing as well as communications to make it in this field.
Thank you comment icon That you so much! This is extremely helpful. I will most definitely keep all these key points in mind while thinking about my future options. All of your input is duly noted and now on my to-do list. I appreciate you for taking the time out of your day to reply to this. Thanks again! Zeporian
Thank you comment icon Your welcome Zeporian. Nothing is impossible, the word itself says “I’m possible”. Doc Frick
Thank you comment icon Thank You Sophia. “The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves.” — Helen Keller Doc Frick
Thank you comment icon Thank You Jill. “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank Doc Frick
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Jennifer’s Answer

Most of my immediate thoughts have already been covered here, but I have a few thoughts to add! I also always loved English class, so when I started high school I just knew I wanted to do something with reading/writing. I ended up pursuing a career in publishing and it's been great for me. When people heard me say I was getting a BA in English, nine out of ten would follow up with the statement "Oh, so you're going to be a teacher!" Don't get me wrong, teachers are amazing but I knew I did not have the patience for that career! Since you're more interested in the creative side, look for small, independently owned publishing houses. My first experience in editing was at such a place in MA and it was great. I got to proofread so many types of books (novels, children's books, memoirs, travel guides, cookbooks). If foreign languages are your thing, you could also look into translation work for publishers.

I'm a huge nerd, so I also briefly looked into video game writing after college. Not all great story-telling is in book-form only! A friend of mine owns a small company that sells gaming/anime merchandise, and through him I've been able to work at a few conventions around the country (and there are big conventions world-wide). You could also consider a marketing job creating materials for a company that creates stuff you love, especially if that company attends conventions and can send you to help out at them.
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Kyle’s Answer

Hi Zesporian - the interests you describe match nicely with the copywriters I work alongside in advertising. There's so much of a creative opportunity in this industry for people who are both creative and who are explorers like yourself. I didn't know advertising was really a career option until my Senior year of college and always just associated it with more of a business focus while in high school. A number of the copywriters I work with also have side hustles or projects that include things like writing children's books. It's been awhile since I've been in high school but I would also recommend getting involved in the school paper or a creative writing extra curricular.

I love the idea of a creative itch and looking to explore those kinds of opportunities. One idea to get started would be to see if there are any local business or non-profits in need of some copywriting help. It may have to be pro-bono but it will give you chance to try your hand at some copy. I can't recommend journaling enough in terms of working on your craft and learning to describe your reality. I also would recommend writing short stories, perhaps focused on a character traveling. The best writers I work with simply love to write. It's their passion and a craft.
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Matt’s Answer

Hi Zeporian-

I would say if you can find intern or job shadowing opportunities in film, design, advertising, comedy, or communication. I am not a writer but I know the power of words can put a smile on people's face.

Good luck!
Thank you comment icon Thanks so much! I'll surely look into these options. I really appreciate you and your answer. Thank you again! Zeporian
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Jac’s Answer

Have you taken the free MBTI-based personality test that focuses on careers?: https://www.truity.com/test/type-finder-careers

MBTI - Meyers Briggs personality test. One of the most popular personality tests out there. The formal MBTI usually charges, but there are a lot of free instances of it online.

It'll list some generic careers to start spurring ideas.
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Sandra’s Answer

Hi Zeporian,

The beauty of having great writing skills is that many companies in all sectors need good writers. Most companies hire communication specialists, technical writers (for training material). For example, a Tech company would hire technical writers to support the product teams and the users of the tool or software. Others hire communication specialists for their organizations to support the messaging of that organization (Employee Communication as an example). There are also positions for storytelling (marketing), and social media.
If travel interests you, maybe a Degree in journalism could be fulfilling.

Note that more and more companies, especially in Technology have their employees travel for work (conferences, webinars), although with Covid things may change.

Look for courses in:
Professional Writing
Technical Writing
Creative Writing
Translation (since you seem to be a Spanish speaker and this opportunity can lead to open doors for book or published articles translations)



I hope this helps!
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for your answer! This was so helpful to me in thinking about my future career options. I really appreciate you for this and I will certainly keep it in mind. Thanks again! Zeporian
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Lesa’s Answer

My daughter was the same way. She took classes in college for Marketing but soon found she was more fitted in assisting small businesses in applying for grants. Her writing skills were defiantly put to the test most all grants have to have essays written and small businesses do not usually know how to put their words to paper. This is a unique skill that could really help in this COVID time. Good luck.
Thank you comment icon Wow, thank you so much! This is my first time hearing about a doing something like this. It definitely sounds like something I want to do sometime in the future. I really appreciate you taking the time out of your day to answer this. Thanks again! Zeporian
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Adria’s Answer

One area to consider would to go into copywriting. Advertising agencies have copywriters to drive the messages of their campaigns - from video advertisements on TV, social media ads, email templates, and more. This is a great option if you want to combine your creativity and writing with a pretty decent career.
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Nicole’s Answer

Hi!
You should start a travel blog! That way you would have all the freedom to travel, but also write freely about your experiences and give honest opinions on your travels. You can give travel advice, breakdowns of your trips, etc. It would be fun for you, and helpful to those reading!
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Gloria’s Answer

Hi Zeporian,

I was you when I was young. And I write now that I am not so young. There are a wide variety of ways that you can use a writing talent. The question is - what do you want to do with your writing? If you don't know, you need to explore what your writing means to you. I am assuming that you want to write either books or news articles.

I would say that writing is a skill that needs to be used every day. You should journal as much as a possible for your own pleasure. There are websites like https://nanowrimo.org/ where writers come together to work with and learn from each other. Like anyone trying to get started in something, you should find mentors and build a network around your skill, in this case, writing. When you do research on authors or journalists of note, you find that they found support in a community at some point early in their careers. And those communities can offer you more insight on where to take your writing to earn a living. Another way is to start your own blog. You should also consider ways that you can use your writing skill that may be more journalistic rather than creative at first. Work to write articles for local publications. Consider volunteering your skills to a local non-profit agency. The people who read those articles may be looking for writers themselves.

As to some careers, you may want to consider jobs like English teacher, Instructional Designer (which is what I do), Marketing, Journalist, Lawyer. Each of these careers will still require for you to understand what you are passionate about. I have done my job (Instructional Design) to help people learn how to do their jobs. I have created training for the following industries: Banking, Travel and Hospitality, Technology, and others.

Good luck finding a career in writing. It will sometimes be hard and many times joyful.
Gloria
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Sarah’s Answer

This is a great question!
I will even throw a "new" career out there that I never even knew about until a little over five years' ago when a work colleague's wife told me.

A legal proofreader, or a citation writer in local government.

I majored in Professional Writing in college w/ a minor in Literature.
I had no idea where to apply, etc.

I would never have thought to apply or inquire, or even that it was an option, anywhere within my state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

I am now a Legal Proofreader (with no law degree or legal background) who edits all of the legislation for my state.

There are so many writing opportunities within local government agencies, etc.



Sarah recommends the following next steps:

I would be able to help more with or provide more information if interested
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Oliver’s Answer

Zeporian,

I think it was briefly mentioned once, but going to law school could actually suit you! Law is one of the most writing intensive professions there is, and it takes quite the creative mind to interpret laws and make effective arguments. This profession can also make people smile in ways you would never think depending on the type of law you go into. Imagine enabling your client to immigrate to the U.S to rejoin his/her family through an immigration law case. Imagine giving thousands of workers a pay raise after making an effective argument in a labor law case for a union. While it may not be the "entertaining" style smiles you will see in other careers, you will have the ability to improve many people's lives for the better!
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Todd’s Answer

I have led a proposals and contracting unit at a Fortune 15 company the last 15 years. Personally, my love for creative writing is why I have had so much success in this line of work. Drafting a proposal (some are comprehensive, others may be nothing more that answering a few questions) has given me the ability to creative draft responses to questions in a manner that connects to the reader. The proposals must "tell the story" of why your company's products and services are better than the competitors (all while being truthful about what you company is able to offer). Writing winning proposals can be very satisfying as when a customer purchases your products or service solely based on the content included in your proposal response (as you have connected to the person reading the proposal response similar to how a person can connect with a good book).

If you like to write (and can write creatively), there are many lucrative employment opportunities in the following fields:
- Drafting government proposals (large or small government contractors)
- Drafting enterprise or business proposal responses (for local, national or multi-national corporations)
- Technical writing for software (high tech companies)
- Non-profit agencies (drafting proposals for grants)

Many people these days lack the ability or desire to obtain a job that requires a lot of writing (versus creating PowerPoint decks). Individuals that really like to write can apply their knowledge and expertise to proposal and/or technical writing and make a great deal of money doing this type of work.
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