5 Things I Learned from Being a Staff Writer

Thursday, October 16, 2014


The life of a writer is a very interesting one, and when that life is combined into a career, things can get very interesting. Here are the five most important lessons I've learned from working for an online publication.

Lesson 1: Make Sure This is What You Want to Do
The biggest mistake some people make when going into any job, not just writing, is that they don't take time to sit and think about whether the decision is right for them. Before I started my job, I read about the company and looked up some of their articles to see if it was an organization I really wanted to be a part of. If you ever have second thoughts, don't do it. If you want to do it, you have to have your mind made up and possess the ability to be bold about it.

Lesson 2: You Aren't the Only Writer Around
The writing business is competitive, and if you're a perfectionist like me, that fact can be a hard pill to swallow. You have to understand that there are millions of people in the world, and there are at least a few thousand that have the same dream as you do. Not only that, but those same people are fighting for a chance in the spotlight just like you are too. At the end of the day, you have to have thick skin and be able to take rejection with grace and praise with humility.

Lesson 3: Be Prepared to Work
When I first started my job as a staff writer, I was under the assumption that I would be in this laid back atmosphere where I could just calmly write to my heart's content. By the time my first week of work was over, I realized that I had been living in a dream world! The world of writing, especially in magazines and newspapers, are fast-paced and wait for no one. I had to learn quick that I had to really stay on top of my game in order to keep up.

Lesson 4: People Will Discredit You
This lesson is one that tends to be the hardest for people. As a writer, people think that I just sit at a computer screen all day and make up stories in my head. Not true! Yes, writers write, but we do not sit around and daydream nonstop. We are very constructive people! Writers have to do research and read in order to compose their masterpieces. Sadly, many people do not respect it our craft. You just have to learn to be confident in yourself and keep it moving. Your happiness is all that matters, not theirs.

Lesson 5: Be Passionate
This lesson is the key to success! In all of your writing, whether you succeed or fail, take it all in and be positive about it. In the world of words, what you say and how you say it is always important. Whether you realize it or not, when you aren't passionate about something, your audience will be able to feel that in your work. There will be times where you will wonder if you made the right decision and you'll absolutely be sick at the thought of a pencil or keyboard; trust me, it happens to the best of us. But at the end of the day, as long as you try your best and put your all into your work, you will be successful Like they say, “If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life.” Do what you love, and love what you do, 'nuff said!

If you're an aspiring writer and were looking for an honest opinion about how things would be, I hope I enlightened you a bit and helped build your confidence, or even made you rethink how you feel about your career choice. Either way, I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors!

36 comments :

  1. These are great tips! Thank you so much for sharing :) I love that you put honest tips in this list, like saying that there will be people who will discredit you.

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    1. Thanks for reading! Yeah, most people don't want to tell the honest truth that there are people who simply don't respect writers and writing as a career, but it is a harsh reality. But I'm glad you enjoyed the post :)

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  2. Can you write well under pressure? I know few people who simply couldn't do it.

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    1. Hmm...that's a good question. I guess I can, but I know that it won't be as powerful as it could be if I would have written it at my own pace....I think that made sense haha.

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  3. Wow, thank you so much for sharing these tips. I don't often have to write under pressure but it does happen occasionally and I wouldn't like to do it on a daily basis.

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    1. Thanks for visiting and reading my post, I'm glad you enjoyed it! You're right, writing under pressure is a part of the game but it's still important to have some sort of passion towards what you are doing. If you lose the passion, the pressure gets worse and that just makes the job even harder.

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  4. These are some great tips. I write full time so I can definitely relate.

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  5. Those are great tips and so true. I love the last one! :)

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  6. My only public writing experience is on my blog but have definitely learned so many lesson from it. Especially #5!

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    1. Haha I hear you; writing is hard, no matter what type you do. Whether it be writing a blog or for The New York Times,it takes a lot of dedication.

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  7. I'm a freelance writer and have never written on a staff, but I agree that it needs to be something you really want to do because if not it just feels like nothing but work. And I've never liked doing anything that was not meaningful.

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    1. You're exactly right. You never want to leave an assignment feeling drained and uninspired. That's when you know it's not right.

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  8. Yes, writing is all about passion and hardwork.

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  9. Oh yeah, people think all this stuff just flies in my head and is soooo easy and I get frustrated when some folks discredit my writing. Grrr, thank God I am passionate

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    1. Haha trust me, I understand completely. Plenty of people think writing is the easiest thing to do,but it's actually one of the hardest.

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  10. I'm only put the passion into what I'm writing, if it's something I really like, otherwise it seems boring to me and it's not as creative as it should be.

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    1. Right,I can be the same exact way. Thanks for the comment!

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  11. interesting take!I've always wondered what its like!

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    1. Hey, we have the same name! Lol. But thanks so much for your comment and I'm glad I was able to give you a little insight into the writing business!

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  12. Number four is so true!!! Thanks for sharing.

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  13. Admitting you are a writer is the most difficult step. So many nay sayers that make light of the hard work. Great post!

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    1. So right! It's easy to get down on yourself,but you gotta keep pushing! Thanks for the comment!

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  14. Great post! I love to write, but I'm afraid to call myself a writer :-) Probably because I know what kind of work it takes to truly BE a writer!

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    1. Aw,as long as you love the work, it's okay to give yourself the title. Or you can just call yourself an "aspiring writer," just to be safe ha

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  15. Great post with lots of interesting lessons. I think saying you're a writer is about as hard as saying you're an artist.

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    1. Right. My sister is an artist and we relate to each other a lot because of how hard our fields are. But our love for it makes it all worth it in the end :)

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  16. Love your "be passionate" tip! So true when it comes to doing anything in your life :)

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  17. These are really great tips and something that every writer should read! Thank you! I needed that

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    1. I'm glad I was able to help :). Thanks for reading!

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  18. This was really interesting! I've always loved the idea of writing for a magazine/website, but I always hung back from pursuing it because I don't think I could handle writing fast-paced like that! Maybe I'll give NaNoWriMo a try and do it in my own lazy/steady way.

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