Are you wondering if you can become a writer later in life? There’s a good chance that becoming a writer is something you’ve always dreamed of. As a retiree, this might be the perfect time to become a writer.
You can become a (successful) writer later in life because as you age you have grown wiser, collected life experiences, met a lot of people with different stories, and developed new perspectives on life that are excellent requirements for storytelling. Many successful writers started late in life like J.R.R. Tolkien, JK Rowling, etc. And because writing takes time, retirement is the perfect time to become a writer.
Now that you know that you can become a writer later in life, let’s get started with how to become a writer later in life. Ready to learn more? Let’s dig in!
How To Become A Writer Later In Life
There isn’t a specific description of what it means to be a writer. Some people say you can only call yourself a writer when you published a book. For others, it’s when you’re writing articles on a website or for a magazine. To refer to yourself as “I am a writer,” the most important thing is that you’re writing and publishing original content. It doesn’t matter about what you write and where you publish it. Or if you can make a living out of it. As long as you are happy with your writing and can reach the goals you have in mind, you can call yourself a successful writer.
As a retiree, you probably have enough time to start with writing. So, retirement might be the best time to start writing and become a writer. I never thought I would become a writer myself. Today I write articles for this website daily. Since I started writing, I published over 150 articles and a helpful ebook titled Five Steps To Happiness In Retirement. The book is a helpful guide for (new) retirees to transform into their new lifestyle. You can find out more about the book here.
My biggest lesson about becoming a writer was that you need to stay focused and keep on writing. Just let the words flow and write as if you’re talking to a friend or neighbor. This way, it’s getting easier to write a story. Once you’ve created a way that works for you, you want to fine-tune your approach to get more successful.
The most successful approach is different for every writer. However, there are a few similar things for everyone, like focusing on one topic and researching.
For some writers, it works best if they create an outline for their book or article first. This way, they basically know what they want to write. Others just start writing their stories and later edit them for readability. What works best for you is only something you’ll figure out by doing it. Just start writing stories using different techniques to see what works best.
Researching your topic is also an essential aspect of writing. Depending on your subject, you might have to spend a lot of time researching. It’s important to stay aware that you don’t get stuck in researching and forgetting to write your stories. When I’m writing articles, for example, I always need to do my research first. However, as a general rule, I use the time I spend on research equally when writing that article. So, if I’m researching for one hour, I also use a minimum of one hour for writing.
Improve Your Writing Skills
Many people who want to become a writer are doubting about their writing skills. But like I mentioned before, the most important thing you can do to become a writer is to start writing.
The tips and tricks I share with you in this article help you become a writer yourself. For me, it was also very helpful to follow different writing courses from professional and worldwide successful writers. When I wanted to improve my writing skills, I looked for an online course that I could easily follow. The platform MasterClass is very beneficial to follow courses from the most successful people in the world.
On the MasterClass platform, you can find 20 different courses related to writing. There are classes about writing poetry, screenwriting for movies, mystery writing, fiction, researching, etc. The teachers happen to be the best writers in the world. A few examples of writing classes currently available on the MasterClass platform are;
- Malcolm Gladwell teaches writing
- Billy Collins teaches reading and writing poetry
- Roxane Gay teaches writing for social change
The best thing about the MasterClass platform is that you can buy an annual membership, which has all-access, and costs you a little less than 17 USD a month. So with the annual membership, you can follow all the MasterClasses available on the platform. Currently, there are over 150+ classes available in 11 different categories.
A MasterClass membership is not only perfect for improving your writing skills but also for learning more about other things that are fun and beneficial.
Choose A Topic To Write About
If you want to write a book, it’s helpful if you already have a topic in mind you want to write about. This makes the writing process much more manageable. Of course, you can also write about things, but staying focused on one topic at a time makes it easier to finish your book.
Let’s say you’ve worked as a director at a company and want to share your managing skills with future generations. Focusing on the different skills you want to share helps you to create an outline and your story.
Sometimes it can also be helpful just to start writing down your thoughts and see where it leads you to. Maybe you’ll find a topic to write about you didn’t even think of before.
It’s also possible that you have many different topics you want to write about. I found it helpful just to focus on one topic first. And when I finished writing an article or book, I then head on to a different topic. This approach helped me to focus.
Use Writing Tools
Writing courses are helpful to become a successful writer and improve your writing skills. When you’re actually writing, it is beneficial to use writing tools like Grammarly. I always write my articles in the Grammarly editor because it’s so helpful to quickly improve my grammar and fix typos.
I also like the build-in tool with suggestions on how a sentence can be more engaging and easier to read for a general audience.
When you’re serious about writing and want to sell or publish your books or articles, using a tool like Grammarly is a must. You instantly create a more professional way of writing for yourself.
Grammarly has a free plan, which gives you basic writing suggestions. However, I recommend using the premium plan, which has many more options and helpful tips like clarity, engagement, and a style guide. You can sign up for your Grammarly Premium account here.
Stay Focused On Your Writing Goals
Staying focused on your writing goals is one of the most important things you can do to become a successful writer. For example, when I’m writing an article, I make sure I only focus on writing at that moment.
I set a timer for like two hours and only focus on writing for that time. I don’t use my phone or browse to another website online during my writing because then I will lose my focus.
Sometimes I write for 5 to 6 hours a day, and then I just plan some breaks in between where I can do other things. I feel like it’s important to focus on something different for a few minutes to keep a fresh mind when I’m writing for a longer time. However, the other things I’ll do during my breaks are off-topic. I just go for a walk or drink a cup of coffee or something. To create new energy and refocus on my writing topics.
Find out what works best for you, as long as you focus on our topic and just start writing.