Did you thrive in English class at school? Is weaving words your passion?
Some of us start spinning narratives from the moment we learn to speak. If this describes you, you’ve probably dreamed of being paid to do what you love. While not everyone can be the next Abbey Phillip, don’t be discouraged, writing careers don’t begin and end with high flying journalism.
Here are some other writing careers you’ve probably never considered:
Next time you’re looking up a restaurant website or even Googling your local pharmacy, pay attention to the text on each page. It might look basic, but the chances are, a copywriter was hired to make the text perfect and pen interesting articles like these. A copywriter just needs to have a way with words, a desire for detail and respect for deadlines. Knowledge of SEO to help a website’s content reach the correct audience is also key.
Copywriting can pay peanuts, but as you rise through the ranks and build a name for yourself, you can secure increasingly high paying gigs. Stand out from the crowd by writing articles that require some technical expertise, e.g. a medical or business background.
Copywriting can be great if you require a flexible schedule as you can often work remotely.
2) Grant/Proposal Writer
If you enjoy formal writing and have a passion for policy, grant or bid writing might be for you. Bid writers can work directly for a business or as freelancers to write up tender documents that will help organisations secure funding.
This role has high stakes but generally commands a good salary. To succeed as a grant writer, you need to possess strong attention to detail and a firm understanding of the goals of all stakeholders. Grant writers are always in demand and used by everyone from non-profits to universities.
A spin-off of a grant writer is a proposal writer. Typically, proposal writers are enlisted to create documents that outline the journey of a business project, e.g. a clear plan to bring a new digital thermometer from the design stage to the shelves.
3) Video Game Writer
Believe it or not, nearly all big budget video games hire a dedicated team of script writers to bring life to their characters. If you love gaming, video game writer could be your dream job! Working closely with the design team, you will help to create a cohesive and compelling narrative that drives the player through the game.
Experience with world building and fiction writing is a must, along with the ability to meet tight deadlines. A key element of this role is collaboration. You need to be flexible and able to adapt, because story-telling must complement gameplay and not eclipse it. Be prepared that one of your lovingly crafted characters may be killed off along the way!
4) Speech Writer
The politicians and actors that captivate us with campaign and award ceremony speeches might be charismatic, but usually they have a little help behind the scenes. That’s where a speech writer comes in.
Coming up with the perfect words to win over an audience takes strong persuasive writing skills. You need to be objective and able to sell ideas that you yourself may not always agree with. If you loved debating class in high school or enjoy playing Devil’s Advocate, the campaign trail might be for you.
If you’re not interested in politics, there’s also a market for freelance speech writing. Nervous grooms or small business owners often seek out assistance in writing the perfect speech for an all-important occasion. If you’re great at distilling other people’s ideas and working collaboratively, helping someone to craft a memorable speech might be the ideal job for you.
Becoming a world famous journalist or author might not happen for you overnight, but that doesn’t mean you can’t earn a living doing what you love. Think out of the box and start your writing career today.