How do you start out as a writer?

How do you start out as a writer?

Starting out is hard. You may have always written but do not really know other writers and have connections. You may not have an MA to lean on and the benefits that come with that. You may have transitioned careers and are in the stage of learning. You may have always written but have not had to market yourself before. These points offer some advice as to how you can market yourself and share your writing across big, public domains.


It is inevitable that your work will be rejected. Not because it isn't good and worthy of publication, but its the way it is. Don't let the rejections turn you off, keep on writing and bit by bit, your work will be accepted and taken on. It isn't about another person's validation but you do need to feel like you are writing for purpose and that you have goals you are working towards. Keep the grit and determination amongst the rejection.

Where are you sharing your work?

Think about where you are sharing your work. Is this the best place for it? Are others engaging with your work on the platform you are sharing? Is your readership widening? Are you creating more material for different audiences? If not, reconsider the platforms you share your work on. In the beginning, you want as many eyeballs as possible but this will refine itself. Depending on what your form is, you will learn where are best places for it. For example, a poetry sub Reddit group may be much more communicative, compared to a different poetry sub Reddit group.

Guest blog posting

Let's say you want to guest blog for a couple of websites you really like and know your work would fit well, but you don't know how to approach them. Always read the submission guidance and send a piece that you know is excellent. It's tempting to send something that you may already have , but re-read it and edit what you need to. Or, write a fresh piece and feel confident that when you send it, they will ask you to guest blog for them because you have given them quality content. Although this is more aligned to non-fiction and you (might be) a fiction writer, it is interesting to write in different disciplines and it is good for your writing practice to be versatile and adaptable. Writing guest blog posts will also help to increase your readership because you are posting onto a more established site and you will therefore have more visitors to your said page (newsletter, website etc) and consequently have more sign up's.

Write every day

Sounds obvious but many of us don't put the daily work in. Writing is a full-time job and it needs the required time and attention. Even if it isn't for long each day, make sure it is consistent because with consistency, comes improvement and learning. If all you have is 20 minutes a day on the way to work or you have children and struggle to find the time, create that small space for yourself every day and write. You will soon see how much you have developed and how much content you have to work with.

Befriend other writers

Writers starting out are in the same position. We all need support and to remember that just because we write, does not mean that our work is superior. We have our own taste and style and there is room for everyone. When sharing work you desire engagement with it so return the favour and read other people's work and leave comments. Promote another person's work where you can. Celebrate other people in your Tweets. Whatever it is to befriend fellow writers and creatives, it is important to do. You are representing yourself so act with kindness.

Give, give, give

We all want our work to be read but expecting people to just read your work and follow you from the get-go won’t happen. You need to give something to people that they feel compelled to be part of, that they feel considered when joining your service. Think about what you can give for example when someone signs up to your newsletter. What personal touch can you offer to make them feel truly appreciated? What collaborative work can you engage with to support fellow writers and keep your work interesting? How does the act of giving propel you into other dimensions, conversations and opportunities?