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Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 2 months ago

What can I do with writing in the sense of a career?

To be honest, this question is coming from a place of uncertainty.

For a long time, I used to write fan-fiction a lot... and now all the time I invested into it makes me wonder if it was all for nothing... and just because I wanted to at the time.

Any thoughts, opinions, advice?

3 Answers

  • Speed
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    I truly don't enjoy being the bearer of bad news, but if you hope to write for money in English, that's a dream you can let go right now as unrealistic.

    Sure, you just dashed off this question, but it's got fundamental writing mistakes that you very probably don't see as errors, and therefore make in your more serious writing.

    A lot of people would love to make a living writing fiction, but very few can. You have to write well, and you have to be able to create original characters readers care about, and you have to be able to invent a plot that works.

    There are, of course, jobs that are all about writing that aren't fiction, but the time and effort you put in on your fanfic doesn't prepare you for those jobs.

    Was the time you spent writing fanfic wasted? Not at all. There is absolutely nothing wrong with writing for your own pleasure, as a hobby rather than as a career. I did it for years before I attempted to sell anything. (And it was, at its core, an extrapolation of an early work of fanfic.)

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  • Andrew
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    My thoughts are that fan fiction doesn't enable a writer to hone his or her talent because it doesn't afford one the opportunity to be creative. 

    I also think that asking "What sort of careers involve some type of writing?" shows an immense lack of understanding of how varied a field writing is. There are people working in industries as diverse as advertising, automobiles, computers and electronics, education, food and drink, government, news reporting, travel and tourism, and many more who get paid to write, or who are hired to do a job that partly involves writing. 

    I spent 22 years studying and more than half that teaching and it's publish or die in this business. It might take you an hour to read one of my research papers, but it takes me hours, days, weeks, sometimes months, to actually write one.

    My advice would be for you to think about whether or not you really and truly want to write, because it's not the type of job where you punch a clock - it takes dedication, determination and diligence to write. And it takes a long time to get good at it. 

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  • 2 months ago

    I wrote fanfiction over about a 4-5 year period starting 20 years ago. It was a hobby and looking back, I think I was led to it at a time in my life when I needed a form of expression as a way of dealing with events in my life.  That I never took it any farther and began to create my own characters and worlds for them to 'live' in is probably because nothing struck me as particularly interesting, that others would be interested in. My improved writing skills were useful in writing good ad copy for my eBay sales, and in answering questions here.

    I don't regret the time I spent on it for one second. I wrote what I wrote for myself as much as I wrote for others, and I still go back and read some of those stories from time to time - at least the ones written in narrative form. In the early days, everyone wrote for that fandom in script format, and I strove to be technically accurate as possible, remembering that you are writing for the camera, that what the camera doesn't see, no one else will either. That makes for some tedious reading.

    That's my perspective. If you have interesting story ideas, plots, that you can write your own original characters into, if the fire is burning inside you, then give it some oxygen and see where you go with it. You could try blogging, but there isn't much money in that. To have a career as a writer, other than the one you create for yourself by writing successful short stories, novels, screenplays etc, you really need a formal education that might lead to being an editor.

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