I always hear beginning writers ask what they can do to grow their writing portfolio and experience. That’s a good question, especially since writing-focused jobs are hard to snare without extensive experience under your belt and having a piece of written work published and see success can be a long process. Below, I’m sharing some tips that have helped me grow my portfolio and writing experience.
1. Don’t be afraid to take a job that is not-writing focused.
We all need to make a living. Do not put undue stress on yourself by passing up job opportunities that you think you would enjoy, but are disappointed in the fact that they don’t involve a lot of writing. Every job will need your creativity and communication skills are a must in the workplace to hammer out newsletters, correspondence, articles, etc.
2. Write in your free time
Amass a portfolio of work that you are ready to submit at a moment’s notice. Keep those writing muscles active and working each and every day to develop your craft.
Perhaps this is one of the best things that you can do to grow your writing experience. Many organizations are in need of talent and their full-time staff cannot devote their time and energy to growing the communications and programs that they would like to for their causes. This is where you come in! I’m an Editor for the Sierra Club – I create all of the correspondence, craft stories, and write articles that will be sent out to all members in my community that are members of my local Sierra Club Chapter. No, I don’t get paid to do this, but I get “paid” in the fact that I know my work is doing good for causes that I believe in. I’m also getting great writing and communications experience and I do it pretty much on my own time. So get out there and check out some organizations that need your creativity!
4. Submit to Contests
My writing has won several contests and launched my writing career. Submit to contests as frequently as you can!
5. Author Events
Get out to your local arts organization, bookstore, or library and hit up some author events. It’s a great way to meet other writers and hear some insightful writing tips.
6. Join a writer’s group
Connect with other writers and receive feedback on your work through many writer’s groups. It’s a win-win no matter what!
No, writing 50,000 words is not for everyone, but NaNoWriMo sponsors get writing events throughout hundreds of communities each November and connects writers from all over the globe. Don’t be intimidated about writing 50,000 words – if you don’t, that’s fine. To me, NaNoWriMo is a month to focus on writing and it gets me excited to sit down every day and write!
If you read more, you become a better writer. Join a book group if you would like to connect with others or start your own. Keep reading, keep writing.
Go to some writing workshops and connect with other writing enthusiasts while adding to your portfolio and pushing your creative muscles.