Writers develop original fiction and non-fiction for books, magazines, newspapers, online distributions, newsletters, television, movies, and radio. They either select a topic or are assigned one by an editor. Research is needed to write fictional stories, and non-fictional stories, and this is done by personal observation, library research, Internet research, and interviews. Established writers, people who work on their own and not through a business, can sell their work to publishers, publication enterprises, manufacturing firms, public relation departments, and advertising agencies.
Writers work in two types of conditions; either in a comfortable, private office, or in noisy rooms filled with the sound of keyboards and computer printers. Writers are researching all of the time. The most common research is done by telephone interviews, and library interviews. Being a writer may require travel to diverse places, such as factories, offices, laboratories, ballparks, or the theatre. This is done so that they can catch the setting of these places and know what goes on. Writers occasionally work overtime to meet deadlines or to cover late-developing stories. Deadlines and erratic work hours may cause stress, fatigue, or burnout. Their workweek usually runs 35-40 hours, if things run smoothly.
Today, writing is a very competitive occupation. In 1998, writers and editors held 341,000 jobs in the United States. Still, though, the employment of writers is expected to increase faster than the average for all occupations through the year 2008. This is because the demand for publication is growing. Opportunity for advancement is limited, and writers usually stay where they started, such as freelancers, who often leave because they cannot earn enough money.
The valuable qualities of a writer are creativity, curiosity, and a broad range of knowledge, self-motivation, and perseverance. The most important quality, and the most important leadership skill, is business ethics. A writer must demonstrate good judgment and a strong sense of ethics when deciding what material to publish. The ability to concentrate amid confusion and the ability to work under pressure is also essential. A college degree is generally required for a position, but most employers first look for a broad liberal arts background, and prefer to hire people with degrees in communications, journalism, and English. Writers must be able to express ideas clearly and logically so that a reader will understand. But most of all, a writer should love to write.
The median annual earnings for both a writer and an editor was $36,480 in 1998. When first beginning, a writer may make much less, or even nothing if working for a college newspaper, a literary magazine, or a community newspaper.
Writers communicate ideas and information, and relate to jobs that do the same thing. The jobs that writers relate to are news analysts, reporters, correspondents, radio and television announcers, public relation workers, advertisers, and even teachers.
The things a writer can expect when beginning, is a heavy workload. Writers are given a lot of assignments, even when they first start out. There also some downfalls of the job ? other writers may take credit for what you write (plagiarism), stress, fatigue, wariness, and the fact that moving up the ladder is difficult, and very competitive.