Any job that uses the skill of writing can be said to be a writing job. However, there are some positions that are inherently related to writing, and that do not refer to any other field. In this article, though, we will discuss positions available under the umbrella of “writing jobs.”
Common writing jobs
Here is a list of writings jobs that one can consider as a writer or as a person interested in a career as a writer:
- Staff writer
- Technical writer
- Website content writer
- Book coach
- Commissioning editor
- Copy editor
- Creative consultant
- Script doctor
- Dog writer
- Hack writer
- Polygraph (author)
- Script coordinator
- Literary editor
- Manuscript editor
- Medical writer
There are more than these, but these are the major ones we can discuss. Below, we will explore each of these jobs in detail.
A look at different writing jobs
A staff writer is someone employed by a company to write on a regular basis. This usually comes in the form of periodicals, where employers hire staff to write about certain topics on either a daily or weekly basis. This is one of the most secure positions in terms of writing jobs.
This position requires exacting writing, and a knowledge of technical concepts and formatting. A technical writer writes guidebooks, textbooks, handbooks, and other documents for internal use, and sometimes for external use, for companies. Though the writing is not creative, it does take a high level of skill and focus. This position is one of the most highly paid positions under the umbrella of writing jobs.
Website content writer
Websites constantly need new content in order to be at the top of search engine searches. This is where website content writers come in the picture. Employers hire them to ramp up their content production. This content usually abides by certain SEO rules and is formatted in relation to a company’s policy and ideas.
If one claims to be a writer, one is a flexible person in terms of the jobs one can take. Giving no specification allows one to work in many different positions over the years and even simultaneously. You might write a screenplay one month, and a technical document the next. Maybe you are a freelance writer, or a salaried writer hired by a company.
To make a living wage as an author is the dream of almost all people who say they are writers. Writing books on one’s own accord is one of the most enjoyable things in life, and getting paid for it is close to being miraculous. There are so many books being written each year, and now with self-publishing, more books than ever are being published. How does one make a living as an author with all this competition? With luck, skill, determination, networking, and discipline. It is possible to become a professional author, however the statistics of failure is weighted against you.
Being a blogger is a combination of many things: a prose writer, a marketing specialist, and a teacher. Writing for blogs requires an outgoing personality and a knowledge of how to get an audience for one’s writing. Also, you need to provide information as a specialist in something. You can’t write about nonsensical topics that no one can use. You need to provide a service to your readers in a personable and convincing voice. It is not easy to make a living as a blogger, but it can be done. Usually, blogging is a part-time gig that adds extra cash in your pocket.
Many people want to write books, and one needs a teacher to learn how to put one together. Many celebrities, for instance, use book coaches to aid them in the process of writing a book. Putting together a book takes a knowledge of what comprises a book and what it takes to get one completed. Each genre of writing requires a different organization in terms of books. Therefore, book coaches are needed for writers who strive to write a book, but don’t know where to start and how to finish.
Within publishing houses, there is a commissioning editor that decides which books should be taken under contract and which should not. However, each company has different ideas about what commissioning editors do. They might be only buyers of book contracts for some companies.
A copy editor is someone who looks at “copy” or material ready to be published and edits it to make certain everything is in order. They do more work than a proofreader, as they can rearrange parts, take out whole sentences and sections, and even rewrite parts of the text. Basically, they strive for the overall improvement of a text. This is an in-demand position and it pays well.
They are overseers of scripts for films and sometimes people who are asked for advice on concepts for television and/or film. Though they are not listed in the Writers Guild of America, they are sometimes given credit within films and television.
These are the people that rewrite or “doctor” scripts that needs to be changed in order to match with a film’s expectations, style, and tone. They are much needed professionals, as without a solid script, a film will fall flat. It is a highly respect position among writing jobs.
Being a scrivener means two things: a professional copyist or writer; in other words, a scribe. Another meaning is being a public notary. It is not a common profession.
All those politicians, company executives, actors, and other famous people need help writing speeches for the public. Not only do these people do not have the time to write convincing and well-thought-out speeches, but they commonly do not have the skill to do so. This is where speechwriters come in. They aid in giving a voice to people, which is likely broadcasted.
Dog writer? Yes, I mean exactly that. There is quite a demand for blog posts, articles, essays, book, and whatnot about dogs in terms of their health, shows, care, life, and everything else you can think of in connection with dogs. They are people’s best friend, and it shows with the amount of associations dedicated to writing about dogs.
A freelance writer looks for writing jobs on online job boards, most of the time. They scope out gigs they can take that refer to their speciality. Commonly, a freelance writer will have several gigs going on at the same time to create a sustainable living. The benefit of being a freelance writer is that you can work anywhere at any time. You only need to have a stable internet connection and be able to meet deadlines in a disciplined manner.
Similar to a speechwriter, a ghostwriter gives a voice for others in the form of books and other publications. Politicians and celebrities regularly hire ghostwriters to write books for them. The person who wants a book written will tell the ghostwriter within interviews about what tone, voice, style, and content he or she would like to see in the book. The ghostwriter does his or her best to match up with these guidelines.
A griot is a rare type of travelling writer and storyteller. He or she usually walks around and “performs” poetry and stories for anyone who wants to listen, and gets paid by audience members.
Though it sounds like a derogatory term, there is a need for hack writers. These writers write content fast without much regard for quality. Many websites want content completed quickly and hire hack writers to compose countless articles for them as fast as possible at a minimal rate. The hack writer is mostly focused on quantity to get more money, rather than going through the erudite process of editing and considering alternatives for content.
An infopreneur sells informational content. He or she either amasses information on his or her own and sells it, or he or she gathers information he or she knows nothing about and sell it. This information can be in the form of books, blogs, articles, databases, and much more. This information is mostly for research purposes.
It is a profession that does not focus on making money, but it has been around since perhaps the dawn of humankind. Most of our most memorable scriptures and world literary treasures are considered poetry or at least poetic. Poets rarely find a stable living from only writing poetry, so they often have main jobs and write poetry on the side. However, they consider the main focus of their life to be poetry, despite working, for example, as an insurance agent.
Not to be confused with a lie detector machine, a polygraph is a person who can write in several genres and/or fields seamlessly. These people might be seen writing poetry, then writing a novel, then writing a treatise on physics, and so on. They are in demand for their flexibility.
Reviewers are needed for many types of publications. They are needed for music magazines, periodicals about food, journals about creative writing, and much more. A reviewer lets one see someone’s perception and expert opinion on a particular subject. One can make a stable living as a reviewer if one is hired as a staff writer.
These writers write scripts for films. To become a screenwriter, one does not need a formal education, but one needs to be an excellent storyteller and to be well acquainted with the genre of film.
Though it does seem like an ancient profession, they are still needed as people who copy documents, mostly in largely-illiterate countries.
A script coordinator looks over a draft of a television or a film script for errors in punctuation, spelling, formatting, and consistency. They may also help with translations and legal issues that may arise with certain scripts.
Journalists have to be a combination of many attributes: brave, curious, amiable, intelligent, and an expert at using language. They write articles for newspapers, journals, magazines, and other periodicals. An employer will hire them to investigate or research an issue or subject, and write a detailed piece on it. These pieces commonly are written according to a certain format, standard, and policy. Besides writing articles referring to news, they will also do reporting that delves into culture and society in general. They also have to be experts in interviewing.
This is an editor that focuses its attention on magazines, journals, books, and reviews. They specialize in periodicals and getting one’s voice in a printable fashion. It is a highly paid and respected position.
Writers may have great skill, but can they put together a manuscript with all its formatting standards and all of its other requirements? This is another job altogether. This is why manuscript editors are employed. Writers hire them to put their books together, especially if they want to self-publish.
This position comprises many genres. There is popular medical writing for magazines and journals, but there is also technical writing that delineates all the medical research in a certain field so that students and professionals can use these books as resources. There are some people in hospitals that have the sole job of writing prescriptions, and/or patient cases. In addition, there are people that sort through and organize medical writing in hospitals.
You could term this job as a “light editor.” A proofreader goes through a piece of writing to make sure it doesn’t have any mistakes. They are not concerned about organization, tone, and style all that much. Rather, they focus on grammar, spelling, formatting, consistencies, and phrasing.
As you can see, there are many jobs that are related to the field of writing. Some are more lucrative than others, but it is best to choose the one that fits your personality the most.