Becoming a Versatile Writer

By Jarren Foster

SO WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO?

What is a professional writer? The term can be extremely broad, covering topics from foreign affairs to the latest celebrity gossip. Professional writing programs train writers to operate in corporate or business type settings but this can be limiting. Jobs for writers in communications or technical industries will always be plentiful, but a diverse portfolio only equals more money. The idea is especially true for young adults entering the field of professional writing. With the bachelors degree swiftly transforming into the equivalent of a high school diploma, it can never hurt to be multi-talented!

BREAK OUT

Break out of your comfort zone. Being a versatile writer doesn’t happen in the blink of an eye! The first step is to write! Think of a different form of writing that you find exciting and get into researching. There is not one person alive that knows all; they all started with research. Researching a particular style of writing can not only give you tips and quick topics but it also gives you a rough outline of what it’s like to write in that industry. The more you research the easier it becomes to change your current style of writing. Every style has different guidelines. The most important thing to gain from research is the knowledge you did not have beforehand. You may even find your future subject of study!

You may be good at writing newspaper articles on social issues or the newest congressional bill, but what other kinds of writing can you do? A good form of writing to explore from reporting would be critiquing. As a writer of social issues, you cannot help but have your own opinions. Critiquing would allow for the writer to point out the details and flaws without being extraordinarily biased. A good article to look at would be an interview of NYT Frank Bruni and his transformation into a versatile writer. The most important thing to remember is to never let your entire body of work read or feel the same!

JUST WRITE

Oscar Wilde once said, “Be unpredictable, consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.” You don’t necessarily need to know what you want to say to write, just write. It doesn’t matter what you first write, it is about how you pull it all together. Do not let things like writers block or not know what to say stop you from fulfilling a deadline or being discouraged. The same idea is true if it is stopping you from pursuing different writing styles. These are all temporary blocks that can stop you from writing a great piece of work.

Free writing is an effective method for producing an article. With free writing, you get all of your best and worst thoughts about the subject on paper. Always keep these tips in mind when drafting your compositions. Once you have all the ideas thoroughly evaluated, you can begin to fine tune the style you’re trying to convey.

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