How do you get started without falling into the age old trap of no writing portfolio to show anyone in order to get a foot in the door? Here are some tips which I have used myself over the years.
- Decide what you want to write about. Are you into films, sport, cooking? 🎾🎬🥘 What do you love to do? Start by writing about this, as you automatically have given yourself a buy-in that will translate well to the audience, as you are then writing as an expert in your field. If you love to read, try writing some fiction; a short story is best to begin with. Read some short stories and note what you like about them and what you don’t. Then you can start and hone your writing.
- Write a draft and show to a peer or friend for their advice. Pick someone who will offer you something constructive as opposed to telling you it’s amazing or not very good. 😃
- Get your writing out there. Try blogging or write reviews of products you own on Amazon and try writing about different things; e.g. an album, a film, a book or a bottle of aftershave/perfume. Write as if the audience have never seen, listened to or tried this product because they need advice, should I see it or buy it? If so, why? Is the product perfect? If not, why not? 🚥
- Send friends to these posts, what do they think? 👍💙
- What have you enjoyed writing about the most, where are you most confident? Now settle within this area for a while. Write weekly blogs on this topic. Spend one hour a week writing. Write a draft first and proof read it before you post anything. 📅
- If you are still motivated and interested you can start pitching your work. This will take up another blog of its own. So, more information will follow soon.
- Make sure you read as much as possible in the field you are exploring e.g. if you are writing about football or tennis, make sure you read as much as sports writing as you can. Then you can see what language is being used and why. You can also get a feel for the writers that you like. 📚
- Do not get hung up on spelling and punctuation to begin with. Work on the flair and style and you can always come back to this. Develop a voice first. 📢 And the best way again to explore what writing voice you have is to read as much as you can. And it will come.
Good luck! 👍
I teach Access to English, Writing and Media to adults (19+) who are keen to go to University, following a break in their education. I am also a freelance journalist and I currently write theatre reviews and features for ILoveMcr website, which focuses on positive stories, especially right now. I have also written for the Manchester Evening News, Heat Magazine, Digital Spy, The Stage, Manchester Confidential and worked as a regional editor and reviewer for WhatsOnStage.com. I began writing when I was at college by working as unpaid intern for my local newspaper. Since then I have interviewed the likes of Enrique Iglesias, Willy Russell, and Sophie Ellis-Bextor and have managed to teach and coach teachers full time and write in the evenings.