Expert Career Tips for Creative Writers
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 11 min read


  1. Read widely and often
  2. Write every day
  3. Build your portfolio
  4. Network with other writers
  5. Seek out mentors
  6. Learn to handle rejection
  7. Practice patience
  8. Stay open to learning
  9. Embrace your unique voice
  10. Never stop writing

As a creative writer, career planning and goal setting are vital parts of your journey. It's not merely about putting pen to paper or fingers to keys—it's about defining your path, setting your pace, and discovering the techniques that will help you grow in your craft. This blog will guide you, step by step, through the expert tips that every creative writer should know. So, let's dive into some practical career advice that can elevate your writing and help you reach your goals.

Read widely and often

Reading is the fuel that drives the engine of writing. It's a fundamental part of career planning and goal setting for creative writers. When you read, you not only gain insight into different styles and genres, but you also learn how other writers craft their stories, develop characters, and build their worlds.

Here's a simple guide to help you diversify your reading and make it a daily habit:

  • Read different genres: Don't limit yourself to one genre. If you're a fantasy writer, you can learn a lot from reading mystery, romance or non-fiction. Each genre will teach you different techniques and broaden your storytelling toolkit.
  • Read classics and contemporary works: Classics can teach you timeless storytelling techniques, while contemporary works can show you current trends and modern writing styles.
  • Make reading a daily habit: Just like writing, reading should be a daily practice. You don't have to finish a book a day—reading a chapter or an article can be enough to keep your mind sharp and your creativity flowing.
  • Take notes: When you come across a powerful description or a well-crafted dialogue, jot it down. This practice will help you analyze and understand what makes good writing.

Reading widely and often is a powerful strategy for career planning and goal setting for creative writers—it feeds your creativity, expands your understanding of the craft, and keeps you connected to the world of words.

Write every day

Writing every day might seem challenging, especially when life gets busy. But think of it this way: You're a word-athlete in training. Just like a runner must train daily to prepare for a marathon, a writer must practice regularly to perfect their craft. This practice is a crucial part of career planning and goal setting for creative writers, as it helps you develop discipline, improve your skills, and build a body of work.

You might wonder, "But what should I write about every day?" Here's where the fun begins:

  • Free-write: Give yourself 15 to 20 minutes to write about anything that comes to mind. This practice can help you overcome writer's block, generate new ideas, and explore your thoughts and feelings.
  • Write about your day: Not every day will be packed with adventure, but even the most mundane moments can become interesting when viewed through the lens of a creative writer. This exercise can help you find beauty in the mundane and improve your observational skills.
  • Work on your projects: Whether you're working on a novel, a short story, or a poem, dedicating time to it every day can help you make steady progress.
  • Experiment with different forms: Try your hand at writing a haiku, a sonnet, or a six-word story. Experimenting with different forms can challenge you and help you grow as a writer.

Remember, you don't have to write a masterpiece every day. The goal is to maintain a regular writing habit. So, let the words flow freely, without worrying about perfection. This daily commitment to your craft is the essence of career planning and goal setting for creative writers.

Build your portfolio

As a creative writer, your portfolio is your ticket to success. It's the tangible proof of your writing skills, creativity, and versatility. It's what you show to potential clients, publishers, or employers to convince them that you're the right person for the job. Building a strong portfolio, therefore, is a significant part of career planning and goal setting for creative writers.

But where should you start? Here are some steps to guide you:

  • Choose your best works: Your portfolio is a reflection of you as a writer. It should showcase your best works, whether they're published or unpublished, short stories or novellas, poetry or prose. Make sure each piece represents your unique voice and style.
  • Keep it updated: Your writing skills will improve over time, and so should your portfolio. Regularly review your portfolio and replace older pieces with newer, better ones. This shows that you're dedicated to your craft and constantly growing as a writer.
  • Organize it well: Your portfolio should be easy to navigate. Group your works by genre, theme, or format. Provide a brief description for each piece to give readers some context.
  • Showcase your versatility: If you write in multiple genres or formats, let it shine in your portfolio. This can demonstrate your versatility and adaptability as a writer.

Remember, your portfolio is more than just a collection of your writings. It's a tool for career planning and goal setting for creative writers, helping you track your progress, identify your strengths, and set new writing goals. So, invest time and effort in building a portfolio that truly represents you as a writer.

Network with other writers

Networking is often viewed as a buzzword in the business world, but it's just as important in the realm of creative writing. In fact, building connections with other writers can be a game-changer in your writing career. Networking isn't just about finding job opportunities—it's also about learning from others, gaining new perspectives, getting feedback on your work, and finding support in a field that can often feel isolating.

So, how can you, as a creative writer, network effectively? Let's break it down.

  • Join writing groups: Whether it's a local writing club or an online forum, writing groups can be a great place to connect with other writers. You can share your work, provide and receive feedback, and learn from others' experiences.
  • Attend writing events: Workshops, seminars, and conferences are not just educational—they're also networking goldmines. You can meet established writers, aspiring writers, agents, publishers, and others in the industry.
  • Connect on social media: Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn can be effective tools for networking. Follow other writers, engage with their posts, and don't hesitate to reach out and introduce yourself.
  • Collaborate on projects: Collaboration can lead to learning, growth, and new connections. Consider partnering with another writer on a project or contributing to a collaborative piece.

By networking with other writers, you can gain insights, opportunities, and support that can be invaluable in your career planning and goal setting. Remember, every connection you make is a step forward in your writing journey.

Seek out mentors

Imagine having a personal guide in your writing journey—someone who has walked the path you're on, faced the challenges you're facing, and succeeded. That's what a mentor can be for you, a beacon guiding your way as you navigate the world of creative writing.

But where do you find such a mentor, and how can they help you with your career planning and goal setting for creative writers? Let's find out.

  • Find mentors in your network: The first place to look for a mentor is within the network you've built. Experienced writers you've connected with may be willing to mentor you, or they may be able to recommend someone who can.
  • Learn from your mentors: A mentor can offer invaluable advice based on their own experiences. They can provide feedback on your work, share strategies for overcoming challenges, and guide you in setting and reaching your writing goals.
  • Communicate regularly: The mentor-mentee relationship thrives on regular communication. Schedule regular check-ins to discuss your progress, ask questions, and seek advice.
  • Be open to feedback: Constructive criticism is a key component of growth. Be open to your mentor's feedback and willing to make changes based on their advice.

Securing a mentor can be a significant boost to your writing career, providing you with knowledge, advice, and support that can help shape your path. Remember, career planning and goal setting for creative writers isn't a solitary task—it's a journey best undertaken with the guidance and support of those who've walked the path before you.

Learn to handle rejection

Let's face it: rejection is an inherent part of the creative writing process. It's as common as coffee stains on manuscripts or the allure of a blinking cursor on an empty page. But how you handle that rejection can significantly impact your career planning and goal setting for creative writers.

Rejection can sting—like accidentally biting into a chili pepper when you were expecting a bell pepper. But instead of letting the heat bring tears to your eyes, here's how you can use it to spice up your writing:

  • See rejection as learning: When a piece of your work is rejected, don't see it as a failure. Instead, consider it an opportunity to learn. What can you improve? What did you learn from the process?
  • Don't take it personally: Your writing is a product, not a reflection of you as a person. Remember, rejections are not personal—they're business decisions made by publishers.
  • Keep writing: Don't let rejection slow your momentum. Keep writing, keep submitting, and keep improving. Persistence is key in the writing world.
  • Revisit your goals: Sometimes, a rejection can be a wake-up call that it's time to revisit your career goals and plan. Are you on the right path? Do you need to adjust your approach?

Remember, JK Rowling was rejected 12 times before a publisher took a chance on "Harry Potter." Stephen King's "Carrie" was rejected 30 times before it was published. Rejection isn't the end—it's just another step on the journey of career planning and goal setting for creative writers.

Practice patience

Ever heard the saying "patience is a virtue"? Well, for anyone knee-deep in career planning and goal setting for creative writers—it's more than a virtue, it's a necessity. Writing is not a race. It's a marathon, where pacing yourself, taking steady strides, and keeping your eye on the finish line are what lead you to success.

Here's why and how you should practice patience:

  • Writing takes time: No matter how much we wish we could, we can't rush creativity. It takes time to write, revise, edit, and polish a piece until it shines.
  • Publication takes time: Once your work is out of your hands, it's in the hands of literary agents and publishers. They have stacks of manuscripts to go through, and yours is just one of them. It can take months, even years, to hear back.
  • Success takes time: Few writers achieve overnight success. Most have to work for years, honing their craft and building their reputation, before they start seeing significant results. And that's okay! It's part of the process.
  • Patience with yourself: Be patient with yourself. You're learning and growing, and that takes time. It's okay to make mistakes—they're part of the learning process.

Remember, the tortoise won the race not because he was the fastest, but because he never stopped moving forward. In the world of writing, patience isn't just a virtue—it's a strategy for success in your career planning and goal setting for creative writers.

Stay open to learning

Just when you think you've mastered the art of writing, you'll come across a book, a piece of content, or a new writing technique that will remind you there's still so much more to learn. In career planning and goal setting for creative writers, staying open to learning is a non-negotiable.

  • Expand your knowledge: The world of writing is vast and diverse. There are numerous genres, styles, and techniques to explore. Always be on the lookout for new things to learn and ways to stretch your writing skills.
  • Improve your craft: Writing is a craft. Like any craftsperson, a writer should be constantly seeking ways to improve. Whether it's attending workshops, reading craft books, or participating in writing challenges, keep finding opportunities to hone your skills.
  • Listen to feedback: Be open to constructive criticism. It might sting a little, but it's one of the most effective ways to grow as a writer. Listen to what others have to say about your work, take it in stride, and use it to improve.
  • Adapt to changes: The writing industry is constantly evolving. New trends, technologies, and opportunities are always emerging. Be flexible and willing to adapt to these changes.

Remember, the best writers are lifelong learners. A commitment to continuous learning is not only beneficial for personal growth, but it also gives you an edge in your career planning and goal setting for creative writers. So, keep that mind wide open and let the learning begin!

Embrace your unique voice

What makes you stand out in the world of creative writing? It's your unique voice. Your voice is the expression of YOU in your writing. It's the rhythm, the themes, the particular words you choose, and the attitude you bring to the page. Embracing your unique voice is a vital part of career planning and goal setting for creative writers.

  • Discover your voice: This is the first step and it might take some time. Keep writing and experimenting until you find a style that feels genuinely 'you'. It can be helpful to think about your favorite writers and what you like about their voices. But remember, you're not trying to copy them. You're looking for your own unique voice.
  • Trust your voice: This can be harder than it sounds. Doubt is a common part of the creative process. But remember, your voice is what sets you apart from other writers. Trust it, use it, and let it shine in your work.
  • Nurture your voice: Like any aspect of writing, your voice can be developed and refined. You might like to take classes, read writing guides, or work with a mentor to help you nurture your voice.
  • Stay true to your voice: Trends come and go. While it's always good to be aware of them, don't let them sway the authenticity of your voice. Your readers can tell the difference.

In essence, your voice represents the essence of your creativity. Embracing it doesn't just make your writing more interesting—it also makes it more enjoyable for you. After all, what's more fun than being yourself and expressing your own unique perspective on the world?

Never stop writing

It's the simplest advice, but it's also the most important one for any creative writer. Consistency is key in career planning and goal setting for creative writers. It's all about creating a habit of writing regularly. But how can you ensure that you are always writing? Here are some strategies:

  • Set a schedule: This doesn't mean you have to write at the same time every day, although that can definitely help. It means setting aside specific times for writing and sticking to them. Whether it's an hour in the morning, a couple of hours in the afternoon, or some time in the evening, be consistent with it.
  • Capitalize on inspiration: Inspiration can strike at any time, and when it does, write! Keep a notebook or digital writing app handy, so you can jot down ideas or even entire passages when inspiration hits.
  • Take on a project: Nothing motivates like a deadline. Whether it's a short story for a local contest, a novel for National Novel Writing Month, or an article for a blog, having a project with a deadline can give you the motivation you need to keep writing.
  • Write even when it's hard: Some days, the words just won't come. Write anyway. Even if what you write isn't very good, it's still practice, and every bit of practice makes you a better writer.

Remember, writing is like a muscle—the more you use it, the stronger it gets. So, never stop writing. Make it a central part of your life, and watch how your career as a creative writer blossoms.

If you're looking to further develop your writing skills and boost your career as a creative writer, don't miss the workshop 'Everything You Need To Be A Skilled Writer' by Christina Wolfgram. This workshop is packed with expert tips and strategies to help you hone your craft and make a lasting impact in the world of creative writing.