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Question
Right now I'm in healthcare and I'm unhappy.  I don't have a passion to be in healthcare.  So I have taken several career assessment tests and they all have come back with the same results: writing is one of my stronger points.  I suddenly realized "hey, I do keep journals" and "I'm always daydreaming about things that I could make into a story".  

So my several questions to you are:
1)how does one get started in writing?
2)is it neccessary for me to take college courses?
3)how do I know what to write about?
4)after I write a book, then what do I do?
5)can I make a career out of writing books?
6)should I have a passion for writing before deciding this is the career move I should make?

If you can give me answers as to where to go from here it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance.  

Answer
Look at absolutewrite.com and writersweekly.com. They have articles on all aspects of writing. You don't have to have a degree. The main qualities are good writing skills and the ability to send your work out there. If you're a beginner, you may want to write about what you know. Draw on your own experiences including healthcare. As you get some experience, you can write about different things. As long as you do the research, it should not be a problem.  You can write articles, essays, reviews, and all kinds of things.

If you want to try magazine writing, the book Writer's Market can be helpful because it has information on magazines. It also lists book publishers. There are different books you can write, fiction and nonfiction. There are ebooks and print. As far as making a career from writing books, it is possible, but you may want to try different kinds of writing. If you're a good salesperson, you might want to try copy writing. Of course, passion is necessary. Perserverance is the main trait you should have. You will get rejections, and there will be times you will have no work. It can take a while for a writing career to take off.

You should have samples of your writing because no matter what kind of writing you do, the client will want to see samples. They don't have to be paid clips. They can be reports you've written at work or school. You can write an article for free for a magazine if you want a magazine credit to show.

Let the Internet be your teacher. Start with the above sites, and sign up for their free newsletters. As you go along, you should pick up more information. Good luck.

Niki

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Niki Taylor

Expertise

What are good writing books? How can I write a writing book? Who publishes writing books?

Experience

I'm a writer/book reviewer from North Carolina. For almost three years, I have been freelance writing. My website is http://www.nikianntaylor.com

Publications
Book on freelance writing at http://tinyurl.com/eche

Quiz writer for http://www.quizilla.com

Writes for http://www.notyetretired.com

Contributor to Conquering Panic and Anxiety Disorders:
Success Stories, Strategies, and Other Good News. Hunter
House.

Book review published in March 2002 Lambda Book Report.

Book Review published in August 2002 The Writer.

Article published in Pediatrics for Parents(Vol. 20, No. 1)


Book reviewer article published in January 2003 issue of AWP
Job List

Book Review Published in April 2003 Good Old Boat

Writing-related article published in May 24, 2003 Funds for
Writers Newsletter(Digest Number 210)

Book Review published in Dovetail
Article published in Openmind, November/December 2003
Article published in WritersWeekly.com: 12/17/03
Book review in FOOD WRITING A Bi-Weekly E-zine Vol. I, Issue 12 January 13, 2004 www.food-writing.com
Teaches online class on book reviewing at http://class.universalclass.com/bookreviews

Education/Credentials
East Carolina University, Bachelor's of Arts in English with
a concentration in Writing, 1994
East Carolina University, Master's in Library Science, 1998
East Carolina University, Working on Master's of Arts in
English in Creative Writing Program, Jan. 1999-May 2000

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