Writing is one of the essential communication systems for any person, not only because it facilitates the graphic representation of any language through words or symbols but also because it is intrinsically linked to reflection and learning.
This system is not limited to a specific form, genre, or purpose, as writers will always be free to choose how to participate in this process and what ideas to include in their work.
Being a writer depends on certain competencies and skills, but especially on the understanding that it is a job that requires discipline, perseverance, and, above all, a love of writing. We have all heard that a writer is someone who writes. However, you’ve likely come here to find a deeper definition than the mere act of writing.
Also, read our super guide on how to write a book.
Table of Contents
Who is a writer?
What do I need to be a writer?
How to be a good writer?
Tips to be a bestselling writer
Who is a writer?
By definition, a writer is a person who communicates ideas through various writing techniques and styles.
These ideas can be expressed in any medium, whether physical or digital. This concept applies to those who create some written work, especially in the literary field.
In general, writers usually master techniques and knowledge, such as grammar, spelling, editing, etc. Still, they are also people who have the necessary fluency in writing to generate emotions and points of view or convey any information effectively.
From a simple point of view, writing is thinking out loud through a text, which can be a double-edged sword if you cannot send the message correctly.
Creativity, organization of ideas and structures, syntax, wording, purpose, style, and aesthetics are qualities a good writer should have.
It doesn’t matter if you want to be a newspaper columnist, a blogger, or a thriller writer. Depending on the sector you choose, you can write about anything you are passionate about or even write about topics that are not of interest to you. In any case, written works must have real meaning for the readers.
What is the difference between a writer and an author?
Although a writer spends most of his or her time creating written content, he or she does not necessarily have to write his or her thoughts or ideas.
Ghostwriters are an excellent example of how a central theme can inspire a professional writer to produce a text that does not necessarily represent his or her image or worldview. However, the text does have its stamp on it.
While all writers are technically creators, the key to being considered an “author” is that the text is developed from your writer’s original ideas and that work is published in your name.
If you have ever written poems, songs, screenplays, articles, fiction or nonfiction, made essays for sale etc., you are a writer, as you seek to convey feelings, emotions, teachings, ideals, etc., to the world.
Although many writers specialize in a specific genre of writing, others develop such a level of versatility that they can turn modest texts into true works of art.
That said, there are two types of writers:
Fiction writers use their creativity to tell stories. Their specialty is not providing information or seeking objectivity. Instead, their skill with words allows them to build new worlds and characters and create plots that engage the reader.
Within the field of fiction writing, there are different types of writers, among which the following stand out.
Novelists: They are the most famous writers among readers around the world due to their ability to tell exciting stories from beginning to end. This type of writer specializes in introducing one or several characters and developing them until their complete transformation within the work. The work usually begins with a problem or conflict that is eventually resolved.
Storytellers: Technically, storytellers are similar to novelists but with far fewer words in their texts. As in the novel, there is a plot, but the text is not long enough to develop characters. Instead, the characters are involved in some mysterious and shocking situation that is resolved in a short time.
Poets: A writer whose job is to evoke emotions through verse and rhyme, among other literary devices typical of poetry. Poets usually exhibit their written works through public recitals.
Scriptwriters: They are writers specializing in stories for theater, cinema, radio, etc. Their job is to write lines for actors, announcers, or characters to say.
They also can adapt written texts, such as novels and short stories, for audiovisual projection. Dialogue is their primary literary tool, and they must perfectly imagine the scenes, movements, expressions of the actors and the role of each one, etc.
Nonfiction writers seek accuracy and objectivity to show some fact or reality. They resort to description, exposition, argumentation, and, sometimes, narration. In many nonfiction books, authors use factual data to demonstrate an argument or leave a message for the reader.
Although this category is broad, the most common types of nonfiction writers are:
Copywriters: also known as copywriters, these writers are dedicated to promoting a good or service. They are often creators of any advertising copy, including slogans and jingles.
Speechwriters: They serve political leaders, business leaders, and influencers who must speak to a live audience. In this case, the writer must consider the rhetorical effect and the audience’s reaction since the message will be heard.
Academic writers: These are writers who have full mastery of a topic of interest to a scientific or academic community. They could usually work at paper writing services and write about papers, advances, news, theories, research, etc.
Bloggers: They write about any topic or genre for blogs and websites.
Biographers: Their job is to write about a person’s life. They must do a journalistic job of research and interviews to capture the most critical events adequately.
Self-help writers: They are those who write about self-improvement topics and help their readers to improve in different areas of their lives, such as: finances, relationships, and habits, among others.
What do I need to be a writer?
Now that you know the types of writers, the next step is to define the kind of writer you want. Do you want to be a screenwriter? Do you want to write your novel? Will you be a ghostwriter? Will you create your own blog?
Remember that a writer can specialize in a specific genre or tackle several types of writing and diversify his or her work.
The important thing is to acquire more and more skills along the way to improve your work. What do you need to achieve this? The most obvious answer is to read a lot, not only your favorite books but also other works, and analyze the style of each literary material.
It is also essential to define if writing is an activity, you are passionate about because everything else will depend on it.
You are not obliged to feel attracted to letters and stories, but most writers feel that connection.
Make sure you recognize why you want to be a writer and your purpose on this path. Then, discipline and perseverance will be your driving forces in writing.
It is also essential, to be honest with yourself. If you consider that your writing level is not good enough to start, sign up for an in-person or online writing course.
You will notice the results in a short time, mainly if you invest a good part of your daily routine in it.
When we talk about passion in writing, we talk about being prepared to write at any time and, above all, perceive anything that happens in your environment as if you were a writer, from watching TV to the most direct social interactions.
How to be a good writer?
There are no ideal formulas or perfect guides to becoming the next legend like Stephen King. However, good practices can put you in a better position to be a good writer. Here are some of them:
Create the habit of writing
Although it may seem obvious, if you want to become a writer, the first step is to create the habit of writing. You don’t need to look for inspiration anywhere else but in your hands. If possible, set a schedule and a daily word count, and you will undoubtedly be amazed at the change. Looking for the perfect word to get started? Starting to write is the best way to overcome any blocks and open the door to creativity.
At first, it’s okay to see writing as a full-time job, and the reason is simple: seeing it as a job will force you to set boundaries and reasonable deadlines and raise the level of your work.
Repeat it always: reading can improve your writing level. The best way to appreciate the written word is to read; without it, our work as writers would be meaningless. Many authors claim that it is impossible to grow as a writer without first reading the most important works of other current and former writers.
Writing well also means being surrounded by a language that constantly nourishes, so reading at the same level you write is important.
Create your blog
You don’t have to be a blogger to enjoy the benefits of having your own space on the web. Having your blog will not only help you perfect the habit of writing, but it will also allow you to have reference material to showcase your work to editors, potential clients, and new readers. Initially, it doesn’t matter if your friends or family are the only visitors to your blog, as many people are likely to discover your work along the way.
Ideally, choose a specific market segment or niche that will allow you to showcase your skills more accurately. You must have some knowledge about this niche.
Using vague words and overly complex sentences are not necessarily qualities of a good writer. Why? Well, the reader can get confused along the way.
The key to being a good writer lies in the simple: short sentences, precise phrases, and never appealing to “filler.” In the digital age, valuable content is more important than anything else. Before writing, think carefully about what you want to express and what message the reader should take away after seeing your work.
It is also essential to consider your audience: What kind of stories do they want to read? What type of information do they find relevant? Should you use a formal or informal tone? Does your audience love love love or concise information?
Spend time editing
Editing is the medicine of choice for any writing problems in your work. Generally, grammatical and spelling errors turn off the reader and send the wrong message. They also detract from the confidence in your work.
Create realistic goals
At this point, it is crucial to understand that true bestsellers are not achieved the first time. The same goes for any article you have published on your blog. Writing is an activity that is cultivated with patience, and that is precisely the foundation you will need on this path. When you start writing a project, set realistic goals, if you don’t initially want a full-time career, start with 20 minutes a day that will allow you to keep up the pace of writing and posting consistently.
Try different types of writing
As you write more and more and try different types of writing, you will find that your work will diversify and your true path as a writer. Perhaps you feel more comfortable working with shorter deadlines or simply need a lot of time to work better.
The best writers have tried different areas of the industry, and none of them is a perfect fit for a particular style. That’s what we were referring to at the beginning of this article when we discussed the creative freedom that writing offers. If you are interested in learning more about literature, here is our article on literary movements.
Connect with other writers
Getting closer to your people, your tribe, and your community is always important. Don’t hesitate to seek out other writers online, through conferences, writing groups, or classes. People often need to share their experiences to feel part of a guild, and the writing world is no exception. Connecting with other writers can elevate your writing quality, as, along the way, you can meet mentors and even published authors who can share their insights with you and give you advice. You can even email your favorite professional writer and see if he or she is willing to share mentorship and get you into the more business aspects of the craft.