Why Did You Become A writer?

Jerry WalchStarred Page By Jerry Walch, 15th Dec 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Writing

Do you know why you became a writer? Your success or failure as a freelance writer hinges on you knowing the answer to that question. Knowing the answer to that question will help you channel your energy in the right direction. Freelance writers come in six basic flavors.

Born to write.

Some people know from a remarkably early age that they want to devote their life to writing. These writers learn everything they can about writing while in high school and then major in writing in college. These writers end up writing for newspapers, magazines and the web, the medium does not matter as long as it pays enough to pay the bills.

The mid-career writer.

Some people turn to writing because their original career choice was not meeting all their needs. These are the writers that wanted to escape the 9 to 5 rat race. These writers are people who want more control over their lives. They wanted to control how they balanced their work life with their family life. Like with the Born To Write writers, the medium does not matter as long as it pays enough to pay the bills.

The pocket change writers.

These writers either already have a job they love and are looking for some extra spending money. These writers may also be the non-income earning spouses of bread winners and want to help out. For these writers, what they earn is not as significant as it is for writers who depend on their income to pay the bills.

The lifelong learners who like to teach.

These are the writers who write because they like to share their knowledge with others. For these writers, income plays an equal role with being able to teach.

The story teller.

These are the writers who have a story that must be told. They seek a wide audience for an unusually narrow subject and write for targeted magazines and newspapers. These writers write mostly fiction and stay away from nonfiction.

The artiste.

These are the writers who write for the sheer joy of writing. They love to string words together in a way that expresses their deepest feelings. They are driven by the creativity of writing. For these writers, money is not even a factor in the equation.

Conclusion

Once you have determined what type of writer you are, you are in a position to select the best magazines, newspapers and online sites to write for. If you write to pay the bills, you will pursue work for hire web sites and the main stream print media. If you are the artiste, then you will pursue the small press, literary markets and anthologies. The lifelong learner/teacher will seek out markets in their niche.

Join me writing for Wikinut and get paid.

Tags

Career, Career Change, Career Choices, Careers, Creative Expression, Creative Writing, Creative Writing Techniques, Creativity, Succeed, Succeeding As A Writer, Success, Successful, Successful Career, Successful Writing Career, Write And Earn, Write At Home, Write For Money, Write For Pay, Writer, Writer Make Money, Writers

Meet the author

author avatar Jerry Walch
Jerry Walch is a 71 year old freelance writer for hire living in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He has been writing since the late 1970s, and writes for both the print and online media. He specializes in

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Comments

author avatar passion4life
15th Dec 2010 (#)

Great article Jerry, thanks for sharing! I have always enjoyed writing but for the most part have kept it to myself. Recently due to limited ability to move around due to car accident injuries, I have found alot of my time being spent reading and writing. I love it, and I'm enjoying learning new tips from you and all of the other great writers...thanks for sharing:)

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author avatar Jerry Walch
15th Dec 2010 (#)

For me it was a mid-career career change. I had never intended to become a writer. The uncontrollable urge to write ambushed me when a friend asked me to write some instructional material for him to use in a vocational auto mechanics course that he was teaching. When I changed horses in mid-stream I intended for it to eventually pay the bills too and now it does.

I'm terribly sorry to hear about your auto accident.

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author avatar James R. Coffey
15th Dec 2010 (#)

LOVE this question, Jerry! Hope everyone reads this and considers the honest answer.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
15th Dec 2010 (#)

I hopes so to James because one has to know what there destination is before they can hope to reach it.

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author avatar R Jeffreys
15th Dec 2010 (#)

I believe you've done a quite an effective job here of compartmentalizing the different writer's niches. I would add a seventh part to your list, that would be the individual who simply writes for the sheer pleasure of writing and not for any financial gain, or publishing intentions. Keep writing! ~ Jeff

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author avatar Jerry Walch
15th Dec 2010 (#)

Yes, Jeff, I should have included the diarist and journalist to my list. Thanks for pointing that out.

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author avatar R Jeffreys
16th Dec 2010 (#)

You're most welcome, Jerry. This is truly a fine article you've written here.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
15th Dec 2010 (#)

For me it is different every day. Also my motivation has changed since I started. Some days its to make money, other times its to spread my messages to the world.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
15th Dec 2010 (#)

Yes, Mark, I can understand that POV. For me my writer for hire work fulfills the former and my writing for sites like Wikinut fulfills the latter.

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author avatar Denise O
15th Dec 2010 (#)

I have to go along with Mark, it just all depends.
I sure am not making the dough, I love to write (also take pictures), I love to help, I love to tell stories and I am having a blast! hmmmm
But to be perfectly honest...
It would be nice one day to make a pay out.
Great job as always Jerry.
Thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar Jerry Walch
15th Dec 2010 (#)

You are very welcome Denise.

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author avatar LOVERME
16th Dec 2010 (#)

message well taken JERRY
I am well established
on three other sites
But noted
As far as insecurity is concerned
no problems
i'm passed that stage .
Standing on life's edge
sorry for being so impatient.

Merry Christmas

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author avatar Jerry Walch
16th Dec 2010 (#)

Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to you too, Lovelyhoney

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author avatar LOVERME
17th Dec 2010 (#)

thank you Merry christmas once again i am back too
thanks to johnny and gordon some email error

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author avatar TheMovieScene
16th Dec 2010 (#)

Really nice article and it made me think which I fit into. I would put myself in the mid-career writer as due to illness I had to give up work and so reviewing movies fitted in with what my illness allows and I have to say it has given me a new lease of life. I most definitely wouldn't be the "Born to Write", absolutely detested English and writing at school, failing my exams at least once, so it is quite ironic that I now find myself writing every day.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
16th Dec 2010 (#)

You and I have that in common, Andy. I am definitely not the Born To Write type. Like you I hated English in school and did just enough work in those course to squeeze out a passing grade. I was in my early thirties when writing blindsided me. At that point I had to teach myself everything that I should have learned while in school.

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author avatar purnomosidhi
17th Dec 2010 (#)

Your article makes writers aware of their motivation to be writer. Thumb up!

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author avatar Barbara10Broek
17th Dec 2010 (#)

For me I wanted to start a second career before my retirement.

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author avatar Greenfaol
17th Dec 2010 (#)

Great article, not sure which I slot into - always wanted/needed to write but chose a 'practical' degree at uni.
Excellent topic.

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author avatar J. A. Custodio
18th Dec 2010 (#)

I'm not entirely sure where I fit in.

I've always felt like I was born to write and yet I'm stuck with a day job writing mind-numbingly bland technical reports. It's writing, yes, but not exactly what I had in mind.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
18th Dec 2010 (#)

@J.A. Keep your day job and start writing what you want as a freelancer. You can get your feet wet by writing for web sites like this one and others like this one but you will want to work your way up to the print media because that's where the real money is.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
18th Dec 2010 (#)

@J.A. I'm forgetting my manners...Welcome to Wikinut.

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author avatar LG Hinan
20th Dec 2010 (#)

I make a few bucks online writing, but I write now to improve my writing, my poetry is often written to help others, Jerry you have interesting articles

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author avatar Jerry Walch
20th Dec 2010 (#)

Thank you L.G. I've written professionally for some 35 years. I earn my income as a freelance technical writer (electronic text, repair manuals, operational manuals, kit assembly instructions, etc.) but I write for sites like this one and others like to help other with similar interests.

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author avatar igorgriffiths
20th Dec 2010 (#)

Great article Jerry

It is comforting to know that you do not need to be born into writing to make a success of it.

I would definitely describe myself as a mid-career writer who loves to use this medium to help others.

Have followed your advice and joined BrightHub, great place to discover what is expected of a serious writer.

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author avatar Paul Lines
22nd Dec 2010 (#)

Good advice as always Jerry and much food for thought for any writer

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author avatar debdebbdebby
28th Dec 2010 (#)

very true article -- i am a born to write writer-- been writing since i was about 7 or 8... lol my dad always said i was wasting my time -- i excelled in language arts-- but am not a typist- am an ink writer ..just love a new note-book and nice pen and i'm getting something out..i love to write
i had a few poems published back in my day in world of poetry and then had kids and life went on .. now everyone has grown and i am doing what i love to do best...write -
i also love to draw but havent done too much of that lately because i cant seem to get away from the computer-lol- you have a happy new -year- at one time i had a inkling for electronics- back in the cb radio days in like 1995 just missed the math score by like 1 point..oh well I cant be great at everything --but i can try...one day i hope i can write something that appeals to your catagories-- i will let u know....till then...love and peace....

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author avatar Jerry Walch
28th Dec 2010 (#)

Thank you Debby. Poetry has always been one of my foibles. I'm not a fair judge of what is or what is bad where poetry is concerned and that is the only reason I don't comment on yours. It wouldn't be fair to you if I did.

Have a happy and safe New Years.

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author avatar Retired
5th Jan 2011 (#)

Excellent

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author avatar zed
22nd Jan 2011 (#)

This is a really helpful article for me, Jerry :)
I've been struggling on where to start on my current aim of getting some works published on the local publications.

Thanks!

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author avatar Infonymph
31st Jan 2011 (#)

I think it's really interesting that you started writing in your thirties. There are so many people that act like your life has already happened to you by 30.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
31st Jan 2011 (#)

Hell, Info, I'm 67 now and my life isn't anywhere near over. I'm still learning new things and living on the knife's edge. I practice mixed martial arts, fly my own plane, sky dive, hike, climb. Maybe when I hit 100 I start thinking my life is over.

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author avatar debdebbdebby
31st Jan 2011 (#)

you have such an interesting life.... god bless you..

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