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How to Become a Writer Without a Degree: Step-by-Step Guide

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By Scott Winstead

how to become a writer without a degree

Are you looking for tips on how to become a writer without a degree?

Writing is as old as human communication itself. The first writing systems date back centuries, and since then, writing has been used for everything from record-keeping to storytelling.

In today’s world, writing is an essential skill for many jobs, from marketing to law. And while a degree in English or creative writing can certainly be helpful, it’s not always necessary to have a formal education to become a writer, especially because of online learning platforms like LinkedIn Learning and Skillshare.

If you’ve always dreamed of being a writer but don’t have the time or money to invest in a degree, don’t worry – it is possible to become a writer without a degree.

Here’s what you need to know about how to become a writer without a degree…


What is a Writer?

A writer is somebody who writes. It’s as simple as that. But of course, there is more to it than that. A writer is somebody who communicates ideas and stories through the written word. A good writer is somebody who can not only come up with ideas but also communicate those ideas clearly and effectively.

There are all sorts of writers, from novelists to copywriters, and each one has its unique style and approach. For instance, a copywriter might focus on writing short, snappy headlines, while a novelist might spend months or even years writing a single book.

A blogger is a type of writer who writes regular posts for a blog. A journalist is somebody who writes news stories for newspapers or magazines. And an editor is somebody who helps to improve the quality of writing, either by making corrections or suggesting changes.

So, a typical day as a writer generally involves brainstorming, research, writing, and editing. But of course, every writer is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to writing.


What Skills Do You Need to Become a Writer?

Many people underestimate writers, yet not everyone can do it. Writers need to possess a varied number of skills to stand out and be considered successful.  If you’re serious about making money with writing, Here are the essential skills needed to become a good writer:

  • Grammatical skill. Grammar is the foundation of writing. A good grasp of grammar is essential for any writer, whether you’re writing a novel or a blog post. If you don’t know the difference between your and you’re, their and they’re, or its and it’s, then you need to brush up on your grammar before you start writing. Grammar is important for two reasons. First, it makes your writing more accurate and error-free. Second, it makes your writing more understandable and easier to read. Remember, if your writing is full of errors, people will struggle to understand what you’re trying to say, and they’re likely to give up reading altogether.
  • Storytelling ability. Storytelling is one of the most important skills for any writer. A good story can captivate an audience and keep them hooked until the very end. A great storyteller knows how to grip their audience from the very beginning, and they know how to maintain that interest throughout the entire story. Think about your favorite books, movies, or TV shows. What is it that made them so captivating? Was it the characters? The plot? The setting? Whatever it was, that’s what you need to focus on when you’re writing your own stories.
  • Research skills. No matter what type of writing you’re doing, research is always going to be an important part of the process. Whether you’re writing a blog post about the latest trends in fashion or a research paper on the history of the American Revolution, you need to be able to find reliable sources of information and use that information effectively in your writing. With so many sources to sift through, research is definitely a skill.
  • Writing speed. As a writer, there will be times when you need to write quickly. Maybe you’re on a tight deadline, or maybe you just want to get your ideas down on paper before you forget them. In any case, being able to write quickly and efficiently is a valuable skill for any writer to have. Of course, speed is not always more important than quality. A slow and steady approach can sometimes produce better results. But if you can find a balance between speed and quality, you’ll be able to get your writing done more quickly, without sacrificing the quality of your work.
  • Collaboration. Even novelists have to work with editors and publicists. And most writers will need to collaborate with other writers at some point in their careers, whether it’s co-authoring a book or working on a piece for a newspaper. Collaboration is important because it allows you to bounce ideas off of other people and get feedback on your work. It also forces you to be more flexible and open-minded, since you’ll need to be able to compromise with your co-writer.


A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming a Writer Without a Degree

There’s no need to pay for an expensive degree to become a writer. In fact, you don’t even need a degree at all. All you need is a willingness to learn, some natural talent, and a whole lot of practice.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to becoming a writer without a degree:

1. Read

You simply won’t be a very good writer if you don’t love to read. Writers are first and foremost readers, so it’s important that you read as much as you can. Not only will reading improve your writing skills, but it will also give you a better understanding of the craft itself.

And don’t just stick to the classics. Be sure to read widely, from different genres and time periods. This will help you develop your own unique voice as a writer.

2. Write

The only way to become a better writer is to actually write. A lot. It doesn’t matter what you write, just so long as you’re writing regularly. The more you write, the better you’ll get at it.

Start by writing for yourself. Write in a journal, or start a blog. Once you’re feeling more confident, you can begin submitting your work to publications. Then, sign up for freelancing sites and start taking on clients. Sites like  Upwork and Fiverr are great places to start.

3. Get Feedback

Feedback is essential for any writer who wants to improve their craft. Whether you’re getting feedback from a writing group or hiring a professional editor, be sure to listen to what others have to say about your work.

Of course, you don’t have to take every piece of advice you’re given. But it’s important to be open to constructive criticism so that you can learn from your mistakes and become a better writer. For example, if you’re told that your dialogue sounds stiff, take some time to study how to write natural-sounding dialogue.

4. Sign Up for Short Courses

Another great way to hone your craft is to sign up for some short writing courses. These can be either online or in-person, and they’ll teach you everything from grammar to creative writing.

Be careful to only sign up for courses from reputable sources. Online learning platforms like LinkedIn Learning, Skillshare, and Coursera are great places to start. You can take online writing courses from industry professionals to build the skills you need to start a thriving career in the field.

5. Curate Your Portfolio

You’ll need a strong writing portfolio if you want to be taken seriously as a writer. So, make sure that you’re only including your best work.

Start by choosing your best five or six pieces. Then, edit and revise them until they’re absolutely perfect. Once you’re happy with your work, create a professional-looking website or blog to showcase your writing.

Besides writing samples, include things like the certificate you earned from those classes and short courses to give you an edge.

6. Network

Last but not least, don’t forget to network. As a writer, it’s important to connect with other writers and professionals in the industry. Attend writing conferences and meetups, or join an online writers group.

You never know when one of your connections will come in handy. They may be able to help you land a publishing deal, or give you some great advice on marketing your work.

When networking, always remember to be professional. This doesn’t mean that you can’t be friendly, but you should avoid coming across as needy or desperate. Instead, focus on building genuine relationships with the people you meet.


A Final Word on Becoming a Writer without a Degree

Writers will always be in demand, no matter what the industry. After all, without writers, there would be no content! So, if you’re passionate about writing and want to make a career out of it, don’t let the lack of a degree hold you back.

With hard work and determination, you can become a successful writer without a degree. Just start by honing your craft, networking with other writers, and building up a strong portfolio of your work. Then, you’ll be well on your way to a successful writing career.

Do you have any questions on how to become a writer without a degree? Let us know in the comments below!

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