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Guide: How to Become a Writer as a Second Career

by | Dec 3, 2023 | How To

If you’ve been considering a career change to become a writer, you may be wondering where to start. Transitioning into writing as a second career can be an exciting and fulfilling journey. In this guide, we’ll explore tips and advice from professionals who have successfully made the switch to writing. Whether you’re looking for a second career as a writer or considering a career change to pursue your passion for writing, this guide is here to help you kickstart your journey.

Key Takeaways:

  • Transitioning into writing as a second career offers opportunities for creativity and fulfillment.
  • Follow the tips and advice from experienced professionals to unleash your writing potential.
  • Utilize your previous career experience as an asset to set you apart in the writing industry.
  • Set aside dedicated time for writing and explore different types of writing opportunities.
  • Focus on developing strong writing skills and actively seek out writing jobs to build your career.

Embracing Your Passion for Writing Later in Life

Discovering your love for writing later in life can be an exciting and fulfilling journey. Just like Angela Weiler and Kristen Lutz, who pursued writing as a second career, you too can embrace your passion for writing and explore the possibilities of a writing career.

Writing after retirement or as a second career allows you to tap into a wealth of life experiences and perspectives. It’s never too late to express your creativity and share your stories with the world. Whether you dream of penning the next great novel, creating content for online platforms, or contributing to magazines and newspapers, the opportunities are endless.

Embracing writing later in life can be a transformative experience. It offers a chance to explore new avenues, challenge yourself creatively, and connect with others who share your passion. Don’t let age be a barrier to pursuing your dreams. With dedication, perseverance, and a love for the written word, you can make your mark as a writer, regardless of when you begin your journey.

Writing after retirement

Finding Inspiration in Everyday Life

“Writing is a way to make sense of the world and share our unique perspectives,” says Angela Weiler, a successful writer who discovered her passion for storytelling later in life. She draws inspiration from her everyday experiences, capturing the nuances of human emotions and the beauty of the world around her.

Kristen Lutz, another writer who pursued her passion later in life, finds inspiration in people’s stories. She believes that everyone has a unique voice and a story worth telling. By exploring different writing opportunities, Kristen has been able to connect with others and share their experiences through her words.

“Writing gives me the freedom to express myself and connect with others on a deeper level. It’s never too late to follow your passion and find joy in the power of words,” says Kristen.

Overcoming Challenges and Embracing Growth

While embarking on a writing journey later in life may come with its share of challenges, it also presents opportunities for personal growth and self-discovery. As you navigate the world of writing, you may encounter self-doubt, fear of rejection, and the need to learn new skills. However, these obstacles can be overcome with persistence and a willingness to embrace growth.

Angela and Kristen both emphasize the importance of embracing the learning process and seeking support. Whether it’s through writing workshops, joining writing communities, or seeking feedback from fellow writers, actively engaging in the writing community can help you grow as a writer and build a network of like-minded individuals.

Tips for Becoming a Writer as a Second Career

Transitioning into a writing career as a second career can be a fulfilling and rewarding journey. If you’re considering making the leap, here are some valuable tips to help you navigate the transition:

Carve Out Dedicated Time for Writing

One of the key factors in successfully pursuing writing as a second career is setting aside dedicated time for writing. Whether it’s early mornings, late nights, or weekends, establish a consistent writing routine that works for you. By committing regular hours to writing, you can make progress and hone your skills alongside your existing career.

Embrace Flexibility and Adaptability

Transitioning to a writing career later in life requires a willingness to adapt and embrace new opportunities. Be open to exploring different writing genres and mediums to find what resonates with you. The writing landscape is constantly evolving, so be willing to learn and adapt to new technologies and trends in the industry.

Furthermore, recognize that writing as a second career may involve some financial uncertainty initially. Be prepared to have multiple income streams, such as freelancing or part-time work, while you establish yourself as a writer.

Seek Guidance and Networking Opportunities

Take advantage of resources and networking opportunities within the writing community. Join writing groups, attend workshops and conferences, and connect with fellow writers who have successfully transitioned into a writing career. Seek guidance from experienced professionals who can provide mentorship and valuable insights to help you navigate your journey.

Remember, transitioning to a writing career as a second career is an exciting and fulfilling endeavor. By carving out dedicated time for writing, embracing flexibility and adaptability, and seeking guidance and networking opportunities, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a successful writer later in life.

becoming a writer as a second career

Exploring Different Writing Opportunities

When pursuing writing as a second career, it’s important to explore the different types of writing opportunities available to you. Writing is a versatile field that offers a wide range of options, allowing you to find the best fit for your skills and interests. Whether you have a natural knack for storytelling or enjoy crafting informative articles, there’s a writing niche out there for you.

One popular avenue is writing fiction and nonfiction books. If you have a vivid imagination and a passion for storytelling, writing novels or nonfiction books can be a fulfilling way to express your creativity. You can dive into different genres, such as romance, mystery, science fiction, or self-help, depending on your personal preferences.

If you prefer shorter-form content, you can explore writing blogs, articles, newsletters, and social media content. These platforms offer a more immediate way to connect with readers and share your unique insights and knowledge. You can choose to specialize in a particular niche, such as travel, fashion, health, or technology, and establish yourself as an expert in that field.

Additionally, there are opportunities to write for various publications, such as magazines, newspapers, and online platforms. Freelance writing allows you to work on a project basis, giving you the flexibility to choose the topics that interest you and manage your own schedule.

Fiction and Nonfiction Book Writing Opportunities:

Writing Opportunity Description
Novel Writing Create captivating stories in various genres.
Nonfiction Book Writing Share your expertise and knowledge in a specific field.

Short-Form Writing Opportunities:

Writing Opportunity Description
Blogging Write informative and engaging articles on a specific topic.
Article Writing Provide insightful content for magazines, newspapers, and online publications.
Newsletter Writing Curate valuable information for subscribers on a regular basis.
Social Media Content Create engaging posts and captions for social media platforms.

By exploring these different writing opportunities, you can find your passion and carve out a successful career in writing as a second career.

writing opportunities

The Importance of Reading and Learning from Other Writers

As you embark on your journey to become a writer as a second career, one of the most valuable resources available to you is the work of other writers. Reading and learning from the writings of others can provide you with insights, inspiration, and valuable lessons that can enhance your own writing skills.

By immersing yourself in various genres and styles of writing, you can broaden your understanding of different writing techniques and approaches. Whether you prefer fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or journalism, each genre offers unique perspectives and techniques that you can learn from. By studying the works of renowned authors, you can gain a deeper understanding of storytelling, character development, and crafting compelling narratives.

Additionally, reading other writers’ work can help you identify your own writing strengths and areas for improvement. Pay attention to the elements of writing that resonate with you and evaluate how you can incorporate those elements into your own work. Take note of the writing styles that captivate your attention and analyze what makes them effective. By observing and analyzing the work of others, you can develop a critical eye for literature and apply those insights to elevate your own writing.

Learning from Quotes

“The only way to be a writer is to write, write, write.” – Judy Blume

Quotes from established writers can provide you with valuable nuggets of wisdom that serve as reminders and motivators on your writing journey. Whether it’s advice on discipline, perseverance, or creativity, these quotes offer condensed insights that can fuel your passion and inspire you to keep writing. Keep a collection of your favorite quotes and refer to them whenever you need a boost of inspiration or a gentle reminder of the writer’s journey.

Benefit Explanation
Broadening Perspectives Reading different genres exposes you to diverse perspectives, enhancing your understanding of storytelling.
Identifying Writing Techniques Observing successful writing techniques in other authors’ work can help you refine your own skills.
Developing a Critical Eye Studying literature helps you evaluate the effectiveness of different writing styles and apply those insights to your own writing.

Learning from reading others' work

In conclusion, reading and learning from other writers is an essential part of your journey to becoming a writer as a second career. Embrace the opportunity to explore different genres, analyze writing techniques, and seek inspiration from established authors. By immersing yourself in the world of literature, you can enhance your own writing skills and pave the way for a successful writing career.

Finding Your First Writing Gigs

Transitioning to a writing career can be an exciting and fulfilling journey. However, one of the biggest challenges for new writers is finding their first writing opportunities. But don’t worry, there are several strategies you can employ to kickstart your writing career.

One approach is to create a blog or website where you can showcase your writing skills and attract potential clients or employers. This platform can serve as a portfolio and demonstrate your writing style and expertise. Consider focusing your blog on a specific niche or topic that aligns with your interests or previous experience.

Another option is to seek out freelance writing opportunities. Many websites and platforms connect writers with clients looking for content creation. Start by creating a profile and highlighting your skills and areas of expertise. You can browse through available writing gigs and submit proposals to potential clients.

Additionally, consider reaching out to industry organizations and volunteering as a guest blogger or writer. This not only allows you to gain writing experience but also helps you build connections and expand your network in the writing community. Networking is key in the writing industry, so attending writing conferences or joining writing groups can also open doors to potential writing opportunities.

Table: Platforms for Finding Freelance Writing Opportunities

Platform Description
Upwork A popular freelancing platform with a wide range of writing opportunities across various industries.
Fiverr An online marketplace where you can offer your writing services to clients looking for specific writing tasks.
Freelancer A platform that connects freelancers with clients seeking writing services, offering the opportunity to bid on writing projects.
Problogger Job Board A job board specifically dedicated to writing and blogging opportunities.

Remember, finding your first writing gigs may take time and persistence. Be proactive in your search, continue to improve your writing skills, and leverage your network and online presence to increase your chances of landing writing opportunities. With dedication and perseverance, you can successfully transition to a writing career.

finding first writing gigs

Leveraging Your Career Expertise

Transitioning to a writing career can be made easier by leveraging your previous career expertise. Your unique skills and knowledge can set you apart as a writer and open up exciting opportunities. By showcasing your expertise and positioning yourself as an expert in your field, you can attract writing jobs that align with your skills and interests.

For example, if you have experience working in marketing, you can offer your writing services to create compelling content for businesses. Your understanding of consumer behavior and communication strategies will be invaluable in crafting engaging copy that drives results. Use your background as a launchpad for your writing career.

“Your previous career experience is an asset that can set you apart as you pursue your passion for writing.”

Consider the skills you’ve developed in your previous career and how they can be applied to writing. If you were a teacher, you could pursue opportunities in educational writing or create content for online courses. If you worked in finance, you could specialize in writing financial articles or offer your expertise to help individuals understand complex investment strategies.

Table: Examples of Leveraging Career Expertise in Writing

Previous Career Writing Opportunities
Human Resources Writing HR policies, employee handbooks, and training materials
Healthcare Writing medical articles, blog posts, and content for healthcare websites
Engineering Writing technical manuals, product descriptions, and industry reports

Take the time to identify the transferable skills from your previous career that can add value to your writing. Highlighting these skills in your portfolio and marketing materials will demonstrate your expertise and make you an attractive candidate for writing jobs. Embrace your career experience and let it guide you towards a successful writing career.

Developing Strong Writing Skills

Developing strong writing skills is essential for becoming a better writer and achieving success in your writing career. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to hone your existing skills, investing time and effort into improving your writing abilities is crucial. Here are some tips to help you develop strong writing skills:

  1. Practice daily writing exercises: Consistency is key when it comes to improving your writing skills. Set aside time each day to write, whether it’s journaling, writing short stories, or even just composing emails. The more you practice, the more comfortable and confident you’ll become in your writing.
  2. Invest in courses or workshops: Consider taking writing courses or attending workshops to learn new techniques and gain valuable insights from experienced writers. These resources can provide guidance on various aspects of writing, such as grammar, storytelling, and effective communication.
  3. Seek feedback: Feedback is invaluable in the writing process. Share your work with trusted peers, mentors, or writing groups and ask for constructive criticism. Feedback can help you identify areas for improvement and refine your writing skills.
  4. Read extensively: Reading is one of the most effective ways to improve your writing. Expose yourself to different genres, styles, and voices to expand your knowledge and understanding of the written word. Pay attention to how successful writers structure their sentences, develop characters, and create engaging narratives.

By actively working on these aspects of your writing, you can sharpen your skills, develop your unique writing voice, and become a better writer overall.

Table: Writing Resources

Resource Description
Writing Courses Enroll in online or in-person writing courses that cover various topics, such as fiction writing, creative nonfiction, or technical writing.
Writing Workshops Attend workshops led by experienced writers who provide guidance, feedback, and practical exercises to enhance your writing skills.
Writing Communities Join writing communities and forums to connect with fellow writers, share insights, and receive feedback on your work.
Grammar and Style Guides Refer to reputable grammar and style guides to improve your understanding of grammar rules and enhance the clarity and effectiveness of your writing.

Remember, developing strong writing skills is an ongoing process. Continuously strive to expand your knowledge, practice regularly, and seek opportunities for growth. With dedication and persistence, you can become a better writer and achieve your goals in the writing industry.

Building Your Network and Establishing Your Online Presence

As you embark on your writing journey, it’s crucial to build a strong network and establish a solid online presence. These elements are essential for connecting with fellow writers, showcasing your work, and finding valuable writing opportunities. By investing time and effort into building your network and online presence, you can enhance your visibility in the writing industry and increase your chances of success.

Building a Writing Network

One of the most effective ways to build a writing network is to connect with others in the industry. Join writing groups or organizations, both online and offline, to meet like-minded individuals who share your passion for writing. Attend writing workshops, conferences, and events to expand your network and learn from established writers. Engage in conversations, ask questions, and offer support to build genuine relationships with fellow writers.

Additionally, consider reaching out to professionals in related fields, such as editors, publishers, and literary agents. Networking with these industry experts can provide valuable insights, guidance, and potential opportunities for collaboration. Remember, networking is a two-way street, so be ready to offer your expertise and assistance to others as well.

Establishing Your Online Presence as a Writer

In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is crucial for writers. Start by creating a professional website or online portfolio to showcase your work, writing samples, and credentials. Include a bio that highlights your expertise and writing niche, as well as links to your social media profiles and contact information.

Utilize social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram to connect with others in the writing industry and share your writing journey. Consistently post valuable content, engage with your audience, and participate in relevant writing conversations. Consider guest blogging or contributing articles to reputable websites or publications to increase your visibility and establish yourself as a thought leader in your area of expertise.

Lastly, be proactive in promoting your work and leveraging online platforms to attract writing opportunities. Attend virtual writing conferences or webinars, participate in online writing contests or challenges, and submit your work to online literary magazines or blogs. By consistently updating your online presence and actively engaging with the writing community, you can position yourself as a professional writer and increase your chances of finding writing gigs.

Benefits of Building a Writing Network and Establishing Your Online Presence Benefits of Building a Writing Network and Establishing Your Online Presence
Access to writing opportunities through word-of-mouth referrals Increased visibility and exposure to potential clients or employers
Mentorship and guidance from experienced writers Collaboration opportunities with fellow writers
Feedback and critique on your writing from trusted peers Networking with industry professionals for potential partnerships or career opportunities
Access to resources, industry insights, and writing advice Establishing credibility and building your personal brand as a writer

Actively Seeking Writing Jobs

Now that you have honed your writing skills and built a strong online presence, it’s time to actively seek out writing jobs. Here are some strategies to help you find freelance writing opportunities and start your career as a writer:

  1. Reach out to industry organizations: Connect with professional writing associations or organizations that align with your interests. They often provide job boards, networking events, and resources for writers. Take advantage of these opportunities to expand your network and discover writing gigs.
  2. Volunteer as a guest blogger: Offer to write guest blog posts for websites or blogs within your niche. This not only helps you gain exposure and build your portfolio but also allows you to establish relationships with other writers and industry professionals.
  3. Utilize job boards: Explore reputable job boards that specialize in freelance writing opportunities. Some popular ones include Upwork, Freelancer, and ProBlogger. Regularly check these platforms for new writing gigs and submit your applications.
  4. Expand your search keywords: Don’t limit your search to generic terms like “writing jobs.” Instead, use specific keywords related to your niche or the type of writing you want to focus on. For example, if you’re interested in copywriting for the tech industry, include keywords like “tech copywriting jobs” or “technology content writing opportunities.”

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” – Albert Schweitzer

Remember, landing your first writing gig may take time and perseverance. Don’t get discouraged by rejections and keep refining your writing skills. Over time, as you gain experience and build a strong reputation, more writing opportunities will come your way. Stay proactive and continue seeking out writing jobs that align with your interests and goals.

Using Your Career Expertise to Succeed as a Writer

As you embark on your journey as a writer, your previous career experience can be a valuable asset that sets you apart from other aspiring writers. Leveraging your expertise and positioning yourself as an expert in your field can open doors to writing opportunities that align with your skills and interests.

One way to use your career experience to succeed as a writer is to focus on writing within your niche. Draw on your industry knowledge and showcase your expertise through specialized writing projects. Whether it’s technical writing, industry-specific articles, or corporate communications, your deep understanding of your field will make you a valuable resource for clients and readers.

Another way to leverage your career experience is to offer freelance writing services that cater to your industry. You can provide consultancy services, create educational materials, or offer insider tips and insights through your writing. This not only allows you to utilize your expertise but also positions you as a trusted authority in your field.

Additionally, don’t forget to tap into your professional network. Reach out to former colleagues, clients, and industry contacts who may be in need of a writer. Networking within your field can lead to referrals and recommendations, helping you establish a strong presence as a writer.


Transitioning into writing as a second career is an incredible opportunity for you to pursue your passion and embark on a fulfilling journey. By following the tips and advice from experienced professionals, you can unlock your writing potential and create a successful writing career.

Throughout this guide, you have learned the importance of embracing your passion for writing, setting aside dedicated time for writing, exploring different writing opportunities, and continuously learning from other writers. These steps will help you thrive as you navigate the world of writing as a second career.

Remember, your previous career experience is a valuable asset that sets you apart. Leverage your expertise and position yourself as an expert in your field to attract writing opportunities that align with your skills and interests.

Now is the time to chase your dreams and become a writer. Embrace the possibilities, hone your writing skills, build your network, and actively seek out writing jobs. With dedication, perseverance, and a passion for writing, you can make your mark in the writing industry and create a rewarding and fulfilling career as a writer.


Can I become a writer later in life?

Absolutely! Many individuals discover their love for writing later in life and successfully transition into writing as a second career.

How do I find time for writing alongside my current career?

Set aside dedicated time for writing and make it a priority. By devoting regular hours to writing, you can make progress and pursue your passion.

What types of writing opportunities are available?

Writing offers a wide range of opportunities, from fiction and nonfiction books to blogs, articles, newsletters, and social media content. Explore different types to find the best fit for your skills and interests.

How can reading help me become a better writer?

Reading exposes you to different genres and writing styles, enhancing your own skills and providing inspiration for your own writing.

How can I find my first writing opportunities?

Look for ways to incorporate writing into your current job or seek out freelance opportunities to gain experience. Creating a blog or volunteering as a guest blogger can be great starting points.

How can I leverage my previous career experience in writing?

Your expertise can be a valuable asset in your writing career. Look for ways to brand yourself as an expert in your field and highlight your unique skills and knowledge.

How do I improve my writing skills?

Practice daily writing exercises, invest in courses or workshops, and seek feedback to continuously improve your writing abilities.

How important is networking and building an online presence?

Networking and having an online presence are crucial for finding writing opportunities. Utilize social media platforms, create an online portfolio, and actively engage with writing communities.

How do I actively seek out writing jobs?

Reach out to industry organizations, search for freelance or part-time writing opportunities, and utilize job boards. Expand your search keywords to find relevant writing positions.

Can my previous career experience help me succeed as a writer?

Absolutely. Your previous career experience can serve as the foundation for your writing success. By drawing on your expertise and positioning yourself as an expert in your field, you can attract writing opportunities that align with your skills and interests.