How to Become a Writer

This article provides in-depth information into What is a Writer? What Writer do? Degrees for Writer, Steps to become Writer and much more.

A Writer is a person who utilizes written words in different styles and systems to convey their thoughts. Using their command of the common language of their audience, writers conceptualize, research, write and edit polished manuscripts, poems, articles, and other types of written content. In a business environment, writers may work as copywriters, technical writers, blog and feature writers, and as editors.

What does a Writer do ?

Writer delivers different types of artistic writing and experimental writing, for example, books, short stories, verse, plays, screenplays, and papers and additionally different reports and news articles that might hold any importance with the general population.

  • Writing, editing and proofreading text

  • Liaison with other professionals such as printers, photographers, and artists

  • Marketing and distributing work

  • Researching and developing contacts

  • Seeking publishing contracts

  • Negotiating terms and conditions of contracts

  • General administration

Steps for becoming a Writer


Choose A Professional Path

Before embarking on an academic or career choice, prospective writers should decide on a specialty. Do they want to write fiction as an author? Are they poetically inclined and desire a career as a poet? Do they want to see their words make it to the big screen as a screenwriter? Are they interested in marketing and want to work as a web writer?


Get A Writing Education

There are two types of writing training: formal and informal. Formal training includes completing a degree program at the undergraduate or graduate level. Some writers choose either an associate degree in English or a bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis in writing or creative writing, while others may choose a journalism degree. Beyond attending a traditional degree program, writers need to write.


Complete An Internship

Professional writers in fields such as business, marketing and healthcare can benefit from completing an internship. Internships provide students with experience, applying their classroom-based knowledge in real-world projects. Whether it is copywriting or journalism, future writers can hone their craft and develop new skills by completing an internship while in college.


Land A Job And Build A Portfolio

After completing a degree program, writers can seek out full-time writing positions in their respective industries. For individuals who want to become authors, poets, and screenwriters, the road is slightly more challenging. Typically, their path includes writing a novel, collection of poems or screenplays, attempting to secure an agent, and selling their work to a publishing firm. It can be a long road that takes dedication and persistence.



Armed with professional experience, writers may also want to pursue a graduate degree in writing – either a Master of Arts or Master of Fine Arts. These programs provide students with an advanced understanding of literary theory and writing techniques. They also serve as an opportunity for writers to further enhance their own writing abilities. The MA/MFA can be a jumping point to further graduate studies at the Ph.D. level for individuals that want to work in academia or be a bridge to new professional avenues.

Writer Salaries


Writer Degree Levels


Writing certificates are short-term instructional programs that teach students applied writing skills, knowledge about mechanics and style, and insight into how to write for different audiences. As professional development programs, certificates include curriculum in multiple niche areas. These areas range from fiction to feature film writing, television writing to grant writing. The length of certificate programs varies but typically requires five to eight classes to complete.

Fiction Writing
  • Control narrative and psychic distance

  • The transition between Scene and sequel
  • Controlling narrative pace  

  • To learn seamless transition

  • Managing the pace

  • Use of strong scenes

Memoir Writing
  • Dramatic arc

  • Chapter development

  • Unifying threads

  • Utilize narrative modes

  • Scene, summary, and musing
  • Creating a fully realized scene

  • Three-act structure

  • Instructor's innovative approach to Story finding

  • Nugget and Conflict Grid system

  • New rules for screen storytelling

  • Advanced formulas for the three-act structure

  • Ways to create character-driven conflict


The associate degree is an industry-focused academic program. It provides students with the practical knowledge they can use to transition into an entry-level career or continue into a four-year bachelor’s degree program. They typically require between 60 and 66 credit hours to complete, which usually requires at least two years of full-time study. The curriculum is designed to nurture student’s creativity while helping them build writing proficiencies they can use to become a professional writer or editor.

English literature
  • Introduction to different elements of writing

  • Contemporary American and English literature

  • Public Speaking as a Liberal Art

  • Critically analyze written texts

  • How to improve writing

  • study of writing and literature

English composition
  • Fundamentals of professional writing

  • Language theory

  • Overview of composition, business writing, grammar and rhetoric

  • Critical writing

  • Research and analysis

  • Demonstrate various invention practices

Creative writing
  • Literary theory

  • Experiential practice in composition and revision

  • Using Structure to Reflect Theme

  • Professional opportunities as writers

  • To become published authors

  • Characteristics of Good Writing


Bachelor’s degree programs generally require four-years of full-time study and expose students to general education coursework and classwork in their chosen writing specialty. At this level, the most common majors include English literature, creative writing, and English with a writing emphasis (composition). These writing degrees offer students multiple academic pathways that can lead to either work as a writer or into further graduate studies.

Professional and Technical Writing
  • Graphics and document design

  • Production of publications

  • Technical writing and editing

  • To be able to research topics

  • Analyze the information

  • Understand the audience and write a clear explanation

Journalistic Writing
  • News reporting, writing, and editing

  • Techniques of media research

  • Writing editorials and features

  • Develop skills in interviewing and research

  • Improve analytical and critical thinking

  • Writing news articles for magazines and newspapers

Creative Writing
  • Biographies and autobiographies

  • Creative Nonfiction

  • Scripts

  • Encouraging writer's imagination, ideas, and feelings

  • Convey ideas clearly

  • Good grammar and composition


The master’s in writing can take several forms, including a Master of Arts in rhetoric and composition, Master of Arts in literature with a writing emphasis, Master of Arts in creative writing, Master of Arts in professional writing, and a Master of Fine Arts. These programs require between one and two years of full-time study to complete and may require a thesis or final project to graduate.

Rhetoric and composition
  • Professional writing

  • Research methodologies

  • Rhetorical Analysis

  • Literacy studies

  • Composition

  • Written communication

Literacy studies
  • History & theory

  • Individuals

  • Literacy & life

  • Introduction to the study of writing and literature

  • Professional writing or editing

  • learning to analyze and critically evaluate ideas

Professional writing
  • Planning, communication process and writing process

  • Correspondence analysis

  • Correspondence draft discussion

  • Expose writers to professional and business writing genres and contexts

  • Proper practices for writing

  • Encourage thoughtful document design


Doctoral programs in writing are for students who want to work in academia as scholars and educators at the university level. The most advanced studies of writing, Ph.D. programs can require between four and six years to complete. Ph.D. programs are competitive as they offer students the opportunity to conduct original scholarship and position themselves for tenure-track positions at the university level after graduation.