How to Pivot Into a Writing Career


You know that it is time.

It is time to reconsider your livelihood options. You no longer want to simply make money. You want to make money – But also, enjoy what you are doing to earn those bucks! Or perhaps, it is not about enjoyment of your work that is driving you to consider this thought – It is simply because you need to get out of your current line of business, and do something new and different.

Whatever the reason may be, you are not alone. Many individuals have been plagued with the question – What do I want to do with myself next? For some, the obvious answer is – I want to become a writer.

The more accurate question to ask if considering a change from your current career path to a writer is: How do I pivot into a writing career? You can pivot into a new career as a writer and start earning money by not underestimating the often quoted advise of “start a side hustle.”

It is as simple as a side hustle – and yet, as complicated as getting one started. A writing side hustle is not the same as becoming an Uber eats driver (I love you, Uber Eats Drivers, by the way). It is not as easy a part time job, working a shift in a warehouse. Becoming a writer, and especially one who makes good money, requires a plan. You could apply to many jobs and get hired by the next week. As a writer, you don’t simply apply to jobs. There is a foundation to be laid so as to start gaining writing contracts – and earning the money that will make your side hustle a worthwhile venture.

I can only speak from experience – On this blog, I am sharing the pathway that led me to becoming a writer that is earning thousands of dollars a month while working part time.

Keep Your Day Job

There may be a culture today which recommends that you should throw in the towel at your day job and ride off into the sunset to pursue the career of your dreams. It suggests that you are not yet ‘serious‘ about your dream career if you have not walked away from your day toil.

Before you quit and go riding off into the sunset, I should caution that the ride may end up being a foray, not into the heat of the sun, but more likely into the heat of an abyss.

The problem with the logic of ‘quitting your day job’ so as to find the work of your dreams is that – This plan is not a plan. You have quit your job – Now what? Do you have enough savings to subsist upon for at least six months to one year as you grind out the details of your new career? As this blog is specific to pivoting into writing, have you conducted research on the type of writing that you should be doing where there is high demand, and therefore, steady work would be available?

These are only a couple of the questions that should be burning on the mind if considering leaving a current employment to become a writer. The ultimate decision is to keep the day job until you have not only figured out the details about having a writing business – But you have started making income that matches or exceeds your current income. Then, and only then, would it be a good idea to quit the day job.

The Side Hustle – Put Yourself Out There

Since you are holding on to the day job, how do you begin to pivot into a writing career? There are a few ways to put yourself out there:

  • Join a freelance site
  • Start a blog or a website to advertise your writing services
  • Send out your resume to companies that are looking for contract writers
  • Become a social media “poster” – Use your writing skills to build an audience

In my blog about “Standing Out As a Writer”, I go into further details about the ways of putting yourself out there.

Post and Wait

It would take time for potential customers, subscribers – or contract employers – to gravitate towards your work or profile when you are on social media or even a freelance website. My own personal story still amazes me to this day. I joined Fiverr as a freelance writer. Fiverr is a freelance site where, as typical of all freelance sites, it is easy to be buried amidst all the other writers vying for attention.

I posted my profile on the platform and waited, getting no clients for about a month, or longer. Until that day when one client came my way, ordered a creative writing work and when it was completed, gave me a 5-star review.

It was nothing short of a miracle that orders for writing jobs started pouring in after this. As mentioned, freelance sites are notorious for being saturated with many profiles vying for attention. Do not let the fact stop you. This is where becoming intentional about your side hustle and your pivot becomes even more necessary as you go to the next step.

Polish As You Wait

While waiting for gig opportunities to come your way, or if already receiving a few contracts, use the down time to train or polish up on writing. You don’t need a fancy $1,000 course to do this; neither do you need to enroll at a college or institution to learn the art of writing. There are free YouTube videos that can help you! One of the strategies of being a new business or writer is that you want to keep your costs to a minimum. Hence, take advantage of free, quality services. I just started my YouTube station that is intended to help anyone like me who started out struggling in a writing career, but is determined to make it work. My station is going to be up and running shortly, so check it out soon.

In the meanwhile, get on YouTube and browse for content from amazing content creators! Remember to take notes, practice what they teach and develop the knowledge into your own unique writing style.

Your First Writing Gigs Will Not Be Your Dream Gigs

As a beginner with a writing side gig, your writing assignments to start may not be your ‘dream’ job. You may have been hoping to do some creative writing work. Instead, you are getting writing assignments that are more in the technical writing area. I recommend that you take all jobs that come your way, to the best of your ability and launch into them with gusto. This brings me to the final point.

Don’t Be a Drone – Have a Personality

Many writers on freelance websites are there for the gig earnings, and not necessarily for the relationship with the client. Dare to be different. Be the writer that the client wants to deal with. If they ask you to write a 100 page piece, go the extra mile and include references, even if they did not ask for it. Make your interactions count. You are a person dealing with people and not drones.

These are my six tips for pivoting into the writing career of your dreams. For more about becoming the “writer that keeps on giving”, check out my blog with the same title!

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