1. nile mind
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    nile mind New Member

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    Writing Career Options

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by nile mind, May 1, 2011.

    Hello to all. I'm thinking of choosing writing as a profession. It's not yet final. I just don't know what are my options. I'm still a high school student and thinking of what course in college will I take.

    I like writing, for my intention of sharing my ideas to the world someday, but I think, I'm not a good writer, I just have the desire for it, in my present condition.

    I just want to know what are my college course options related to writing. I've often heard a course like journalism, but, I'm not more inclined to news events as it is related, as far as I know. If you know other courses, sub-options for journalism, or even a career outside school related to writing, I will appreciate to know it.
     
  2. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    If you want to write about your ideas, maybe take philosophy and go down the academic route. You'll have to teach classes, but you'll also be expected to publish regularly in your field, so you'll be (at least in part) a professional writer.
     
  3. nile mind
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    nile mind New Member

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    I'm not very familiar of college scenarios. There are many things/terms I do not understand.

    I think philosophy is a kind of subject on college(I'm interested on that), and the academic route you are suggesting implies a profession of a teacher, to me. Have I understood it correctly?

    If in case, I will choose another profession unrelated to writing, and I want to write or publish my work, is it possible? If that would be the case, do you know what are the steps to publish a book?
     
  4. TheSpiderJoe
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    TheSpiderJoe Senior Member

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    Sure you can have a profession unrelated to writing and still get published. I got my B.A. in Sociology and I will be completing my MBA in Marketing this June. My current profession? Logistics Manager. Totally unrelated to writing and yet, my 1st novel is done. Writing is one of those amazing things that you can do whenever you want and however you want.

    As far as getting your book published... Well. There's no "simple" answer but I can break down a few of the steps I've learned thus far.

    1) Complete your manuscript/proposal
    - Do not even think about querying agents/publishers before you've got something worth showing them. And by complete I mean more than "all of the words are written". You've got to revise over and over until it is PERFECT.

    2) Find an agent/publisher that works with your specific genre
    - I feel bad for agents that read through queries about projects they are simply not interested in as well as the writers who send them. Think about it like this, there are some shows on television you like, and others you don't care about. Finding the right agent is like looking for someone with similar interests. You want someone to be passionate about your book because they will fight for it much harder than they would otherwise.

    3) Sign an official contract


    Sadly this is where my advice ends. I'm currently stuck on #2. Now while this isn't an extensive list by any means (and I'm sure I could be missing a few things here or there) but I just wanted to say that getting published is much more complicated that "book written go buy it."
     
  5. nile mind
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    nile mind New Member

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    Just a clarification regarding agents/publisher ( I'm not too familiar with it), if I can find a good publisher of my book, do you mean that I'll submit to them my work and wait for their approval, then, if they'll approved it, it's done/success?

    Just a further question(anyone can answer this), in writing your book, I know every writer revises it until it's perfect, just as you've said. But do they also consult other people to further check/revise their work? If that is so, to whom?
     
  6. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    You can ask people to read it through, and get a second opinion. I'm blessed and cursed in the fact that I have friends who write, and they show me faults and tell me what they thought worked, what didn't and what might be changed, but they also say really awful things like: 'I liked it'.

    Other than that, it's your work, you have to do it. It can be read and revised by an editor, but don't try this until you are happy with it yourself.
     
  7. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    Practically any career will involve writing of some sort. For example, last year I think it was, my local Fire and Rescue Service was advertising for a writer. I think it'd be best if you just looked at the courses available to you (that's what you're asking right? What college course to take?) and choose whichever one you're most interested in. Whatever you choose, there will always be a job where writing is needed e.g. if you did something like Environmental Science you could work for a charity fundraising, or if you did Sport Science you could be in control of marketing.
     
  8. nile mind
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    nile mind New Member

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    That's good to know. I'm thinking of other courses, but, I'm just looking other options which would be closely or entirely directed to writing, in case I might like it, and opt for it.
     
  9. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    Courses for someone with a view to becoming a writer-in order of importance;

    English

    English

    English

    Creative writing and/or journalism
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Sorry, Trilby, I'm going to have to disagree - but only slightly.

    Learning spelling and grammar are very important, but I've seen surprisingly few English courses that really focus on it. What English courses are good for is exposure to literature. English is far more than grammar rules, which are as notable in their exceptions as their observance. So what you need to do is read as much as possible, from good writers and poor writers, and learn to distinguish between them. Pay attention to word usage, which is often easy to get wrong if you rely solely on dictionaries.

    But I believe you have to broaden your focus to be a good writer. Become a sponge for knowledge over many disciplines - science, math, history, humanities, and the arts. You will use all that and more.

    Writing is more than stringing together well formed sentences and paragraphs. You need to tell stories that have meaning that people can relate to, adn that take the reader to where she or he has never been.

    School is only the beginning of your learning. The broader your foundations of knowledge, the better you will be at gathering more knowledge as you mature as a person and as a writer.
     
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  11. dizzyspell
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    dizzyspell Active Member

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    Just out of curiosity, do you guys have any opinion on courses in editing? It's something I've personally considered recently.
     
  12. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I can't think of anything that a course in editing your own work can help you with. Editing is just reading what you have wrote over and over until you have everything right; you can teach yourself that. The only reason I myself would take an editing course at the moment is if I was doing video editing. To be honest, this is the only kind of editing course I know of.
     
  13. dizzyspell
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    dizzyspell Active Member

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    The one I was looking at was publishing/editing, rather than editing your own work, sorry for the miscommunication :) (It's in Australia)
     

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