Tell someone you’re a writer, and you may hear from friends and family, “What a nice hobby!” And while writing may be a hobby for some, most of us want to be accepted as a bona fide author of a book, short stories, or poetry. At Writer’s Relief, we know there are 7 simple things you can do to get your writing taken seriously not only by your loved ones, but by literary agents and editors too.
Things To Do To Get Your Writing Taken Seriously
1) Treat writing like a job, not a hobby. If you’re serious about writing, you must make time for it. Block out time in your schedule to sit down and work on your latest project. Play some inspiring music, settle down in your favorite armchair, café, or writing nook, and get to work. When you treat your writing time as valuable and worthwhile—no interruptions to fold laundry or mow the lawn—others will too.
2) Study, study, study! When you’re not writing, use your time to learn and fuel your creativity. Read a book, try out a new Netflix series, fall down a research rabbit hole. Take any and every opportunity to nurture your writing skill and expand your craft. Sign up for some classes, go to a conference, or try writing in a new genre outside your comfort zone.
3) Proofread and watch your grammar. It’s hard for readers, editors, and agents to take you seriously when you messed up punctuation or used “their” instead of “there.” Even if you throw grammar rules out the window to make a point, or if it’s for characterization, make sure you show a clear intention. Get out your red pen and proofread your work, and be sure to have someone else with grammar skills check your writing as well. Nothing screams “amateur” like a manuscript filled with typos.
4) Go to workshops and use beta readers. Being open to different perspectives and accepting critique and feedback shows you care about your work and want to improve. Join a local writing group or ask a trusted friend or family member to give an honest opinion. The improvements will make it easier for you to be taken seriously as a writer.
5) Make submissions! Once you’ve put the finishing touches on your work, it’s time to do what all writers who want to be taken seriously do: Send out submissions. You may get some rejections, but that’s a good thing—it means you’re getting your work out into the world. Rejection happens to every writer, even those who have been published. With each rejection or acceptance, you’ll gain valuable feedback from the industry, and you can use that information in future submissions.
If you’d rather focus on writing instead of spending hours and hours researching to find the best markets for your submissions, do what other smart, serious writers do: hire Writer’s Relief! We’ll do all the busywork and pinpoint the best markets for your writing so you can boost your odds of getting an acceptance. Get started by submitting your writing sample to our Review Board today!
6) Promote yourself as a writer. An author website acts as your online information hub: It’s where readers, editors, and agents will go to learn more about you and your writing. Use social media to build your fan following and let others know when you have a new publishing credit. Consider offering to host a writing class or hold a reading at the local library. If you act like a professional writer, you’re more likely to be treated as one!
7) Celebrate your accomplishments! It’s important to rejoice in your achievements. When you get an acceptance or win an award, it shows you’re skilled at your craft. You’ll feel more confident as a writer, and others will be more likely to see and appreciate your success.
If you want to be taken seriously as a writer, you’ll need to commit to your writing career. By following these simple steps, you’ll be on the way to feeling less like an imposter or wannabe author and more like a writer with something worthwhile to say.
Question: How do you help other people take you seriously as a writer?