If words flow through your pen eloquently and if you have grown up idolizing award-winning authors, you should consider pursuing a career in writing.
Writers/bloggers use the command of their language to conceptualize, research, write, edit and polish manuscripts, articles, poems, prose and other types of written content. Writing is an evergreen career and writers work across genres as well as across industries. Writing requires a unique combination of skills including imagination and creativity, the ability to conduct exhaustive research and the ability to interpret data to create a story from it. And although pursuing an academic qualification in writing is a definitive step towards being a writer, it requires tremendous reading ability and years of writing practice before one can excel in this field.
The best path to follow in order to become a writer is to first pursue a bachelor’s degree program in Literature/ Communications/ Public relations/ Journalism or Advertising. Most aspiring writers go on to finish their master’s programs in areas such as creative writing.
Also since most writing has moved on from traditional pen and paper writing to using new publishing technology, aspiring writers should also be well versed in note taking, dictation, writing, style guides and cloud storage software, and digital devices like Kindle, iPad, etc.
The US has the best universities in the world for pursuing courses in writing. The Harvard University has a 3 years bachelor's program in English. Yale University has more than 10 BA courses in Literature in various languages and combinations. The Stanford University offers 3 years BA programs in literature and also a course in communication. The University of Virginia has a 4 years course in Communication Studies and around 15 English Literature and Honours courses. The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has over 30 courses in the Literature stream. Princeton University also offers 6 courses in Literature with specialization in various languages and in different combinations.
In the UK, the University of Oxford offers seven 3 years full-time courses in Literature with course names such as - Classics and English, Modern Languages, Modern Languages and Linguistics, etc. Durham University offers ten 4 years full-time BA Literature and honours courses. The University of Birmingham has 20 undergraduate BA courses in Literature. The University of Kent has 71 courses in various combinations in this field. University of Cambridge, Brunel University London, University of Warwick and University of Surrey are the other top colleges for studying literature in the UK.
In India, Lady Shri Ram College for Women, New Delhi offers 3 years full-time B. A. English (Hons.) and a B. A. Journalism & Mass Communication (Hons.) course. Loyola College, Chennai offers a 3 years BA course in English, French and Tamil Literature. Christ University, Bengaluru offers a 3 years Bachelor of Arts (BA) Honours in English. St. Xavier's College -Mumbai, Miranda House-New Delhi, Hansraj College-Delhi, Hindu College-New Delhi, Ramjas College-New Delhi and theMadras Christian College, Chennai are some of the other top colleges in India with bachelor's program in literature and communication.
Duration: 3 Years
Fee per course/annum: ₹ 12,000 - 70,000
Once you complete your formal education in writing, you could start working in the capacity of a writer across various industries. Your typical job responsibilities would include reading and researching relevant publications and blogs to stay updated with the writing world. You would also spend time researching on topics assigned to you and conduct interviews to gain sufficient material for writing. A major portion of your work will be to write, edit, revise and review the content and make it in accordance with the expected style and publishing format.
If you are a freelance writer, you will spend time networking with other writers, publishers, agents, booksellers and literary events’ organisers. You will also spend time online in establishing your social media presence and creating a follower base. Once you become a known name in the field, you will talk about your work in book launches, signing and reading events.Writers produce written work like books, biographies, editorial articles, screenplays, copywriting and marketing material, press releases, etc.
Some of the top industries that employ for writers include:
Many writers secure additional income by taking teaching assignments at:
Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. Every human language has different aspects such as grammar, semantics and phonetics. ...Read More
Using the mastery of the written word, a writing professional creates and establishes settings, messages, style and themes within the prescribed content limitations – which could be as less as a one-liner in case of advertising jingles, a single paragraph in brochures and other marketing material or in an entire novel format extending to several hundred pages. Some of the top job profiles for writers are:
In the US, the average salary for a writer/blogger is $4,300 a month. Technical writers are the highest paid in the industry. On an average, writers get paid in the range of $1,700 to $10,500 a month depending on their level of experience, expertise and the industry they serve. There is no upper limit to the amount of money best seller novelists make. Many top authors make in millions per month. In India, the average salary of an entry-level content writer is Rs. 20,000 a month. Writers/bloggers with many years of experience and in senior managerial positions can make up to Rs.100,000 a month. Writers with expertise in Documentation & Writing Procedures are in demand in India. In terms of pay, Gurgaon, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, New Delhi and Noida are the best cities for writing jobs.
Besides being able to use the written language correctly, becoming successful requires various other skills including good communication and people skills, imagination, ambition, diligence, patience and the willingness to stay updated with the latest world affairs and in technology.
One of the most popular writers catering to young adults and to urban middle-class Indians, Chetan Bhagat has been an inspiration to many aspiring readers and writers. His novels have sold over seven million copies worldwide. The New York Times named him - the biggest selling English language novelist in India’s history. Many of Bhagat’s books have been made into movies. His columns about youth, societal issues and current affairs appear regularly in The Times of India and Dainik Bhaskar newspapers.
The British writer of the Harry Potter fantasy series that have sold more than 400 million copies, Joanne Rowling (pen names J. K. Rowling and Robert Galbraith), is a British novelist, philanthropist, screenwriter, television and film producer. From living on state benefits to becoming the world's first billionaire author, she has truly lived the rags to riches story. Rowling however has given away most of her wealth in charity.
Having won the 2006 Printz Award for his first novel - Looking for Alaska, John Green became popular as an American author for young adults and a vlogger. In January 2012, his sixth novel - The Fault in Our Stars took the number one spot on The New York Times Best Seller list. In 2014, Green made it to the list of - The 100 Most Influential People in the World in Time magazine. Many of his books have been made into movies.
428 - 1100: Old English (Anglo-Saxon) Period - Beowulf in present form is composed
1350 - 1500: Middle English Period – Chaucer’s Prologue to Canterbury Tales is composed
1500 - 1660: The Renaissance period - Shakespeare composes his masterpieces
1660 - 1798: Neoclassical Period - John Milton writes Paradise Lost/ Daniel Defoe writes Robinson Crusoe/ Jonathan Swift writes Gulliver's Travels
1798 - 1832: Romantic Period - Jane Austen writes Sense and Sensibility/ Mary Shelley writes Frankenstein
1832 - 1870: Early Victorian Age - Charles Dickens writes David Copperfield/ Herman Melville writes Moby Dick/ Charles Darwin writes the Origin of the Species
1865 - 1914: Realistic Period - Louisa May Alcott writes Little Women/ Mark Twain writes Tom Sawyer/ Oscar Wilde writes The Importance of Being Earnest
1900 - 1930: Naturalistic and Symbolistic Period
1901 -1910: Edwardian Period - Jack London writes The Call of the Wild/ D.H. Lawrence writes Sons and Lovers
1914 - 1918: First World War - Virginia Woolf writes Mrs Dalloway/ W.B. Yeats writes Collected Poems
1939 - 1945: The Second World War - George Orwell writes Animal Farm/ Vladimir Nabokov writes Lolita
1965 - Now : Postmodernist Period - Salman Rushdie writes Midnight’s Children/ Haruki Murakami writes Kafka on the Shore