Becoming a Writer

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Can I become a writer?

Becoming a Writer

It's not uncommon to realize that after earning your degree, you're not all that interested in what you've been studying. Understand it's not the end of the world, in fact, it could be the beginning of an entirely new one. A degree in education doesn't mean you're destined to only teach, in fact, it can open a variety of alternative careers for teachers. Writing is one of those jobs.

Many textbook companies use teachers to research and write their textbooks. Magazine companies are always looking for interesting articles on education, child care, and ways parents can better prepare their children for the education pressures they see everyday.

Getting on staff of the textbook companies can be difficult and it is something to pursue before graduation. Some may offer internships or co-op programs to get your foot in the door. If you feel writing is a better route for you than teaching, be sure to do the homework. Read some of the textbooks the publisher has printed. Check the subject matter, check the presentation of the book. Is this a company you want to work for?

Another option for an alternative career for a teacher is freelance writing. This can be a hit or miss job but it is a great career either on it's own or as supplemental to a teachers income. This profession also works well with summer jobs for teachers and those who only work substitute teaching jobs.

If you want to broaden your writing skills and venture into freelance writing and/or writing full-time, pick up a couple of books on freelancing such as The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Magazine Articles, and Careers in Writing. How to Write Irresistible Query Letters by Lisa Collier Cool is a great investment and will serve you well when you are constructing your cover letters (query) to any publisher.

Additionally, a few of the necessities of any writer are Elements of Style by Strunk and White and Writer's Market. This tells you how much each magazine pays, to whom to send it, and the turn around time. Word of advice: If you do intend on becoming a writer, be sure to check out the submission instructions and do your homework. Most editors throw out 50% of submissions because people can't follow the simple rules of how to send a query letter. And check the last 3-6 months of that publications magazine. If you submit an idea they just had a huge write up about three months ago, they are going to know you have no idea what their magazine prints.



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