Writers who wish to succeed in today’s economy must be writers who are flexible and willing to try a variety of things to profit from their skills. They must also be writers who are passionate about writing, about their skills, and about a wide variety of interests.
Many markets for offline writing are drying up in favor of online writing. When was the last time you saw a headline like “Daily Tribune expands operations, hiring 111 new reporters, editors to expand news operations.” The demise of daily newspapers hits me especially hard. Much of my writing experience and published work was done for print journalism. The experience I gained and the skills I developed still serve me well. But planning a future in print journalism these days is about as useful as an electric blanket in the midst of a power outage.
Print journalism is only the most glaring example of the death of offline publishing. From what I’ve heard from acquaintances within the book publishing world, fiction and nonfiction book markets are taking a hit also. I assume such specialized writing fields as television and video are also shrinking.
If you expect to make a living as a writer, you must be flexible, be ready, and be capable of writing on all sorts of projects/subjects — and especially, you’d better be ready to write online content and ad copy for a website or blog.
Of course, if you have the luxury of a “real” job or source of stable income, you may be able to afford to write exactly and only what you enjoy writing. In that case, you may not really be interested in writing for a career but more as a hobby.
But my advice to you, especially if you’re just starting as a professional writer, is to focus on writing for the Internet. Create a website or blog around a subject for which you have a passion — but something, too, that is in demand and sought after by a large online audience. Then write the heck out of it — over and over again, from every angle, from inside the box and outside the box. Built an “authority” site that people will come to.
Be ready always to do whatever type of writing you need to do on whatever subjects come open to you to keep the creativity flowing, to capture new and expanding audiences — and at the end of the day to make something you can deposit in that bank account.
Or, you could forget about writing for money and just have fun. It’s your life and career. Live it well!