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Photo behind caption by: (c) Paul Tamas's via

If you have dreams of becoming a professional writer, it’s important you start writing publicly. Journaling might be a good practice, but it won’t establish you as a writer. Here are 5 practical ways you can get started as a writer right now:

Write on Social Media

The fastest and most obvious tip—Pick your preferred platform and start sharing your ideas. Half of writing is having an audience and having an audience will continuously help you develop and hone your voice as a writer. Wherever you chose to write, write as consistently as you can. You will build an audience, find your voice, and learn what resonates with your readers.

Start a blog

Pick a few topics you want to write about and post consistently. After just 6 months you will have a solid portfolio if you want to turn professional or write pitches to editors at publications.

Write your book

If you aspire to one day write a book, let one day be today. Set aside 30 minutes a day to work on your manuscript. If you write just 400 words each day, you can have a manuscript completed and ready to pitch to agents and editors in 6 months. People often think they need to schedule time off on a remote island to write the book they’ve dreamt of writing. But it’s a lot simpler than that—It only takes a small daily commitment.

If you know other writers who are aspiring to write a book, bring together a community of 4-5 writers to workshop your manuscripts. They can also serve as an accountability group. People a without a deadline or accountability rarely finish their manuscripts.

Level up

If you want to start pitching to editors and publications, take a freelance writing or content writing course. You’ll sharpen your knowledge and learn what editors look for when receiving pitches and queries from writers.

Professional writing is its own world with its own lingo. Learn the tricks of the trade so that you will learn to write pitches and queries as a professional writer. You will be surprised at how many publications take work from freelance writers.

Write articles on Medium or LinkedIn

Medium and LinkedIn are great sites that you can start building a portfolio and an audience if you don't want to start your own blog. These sites are also great platforms that will serve as a portfolio for clients or editors.

The most important thing to do is start writing publicly. You will build a portfolio, meet other writers, build a readership, and most importantly: develop your voice and establish yourself as a writer.

All it takes is commitment, consistency, and you'll be writing professionally before you know it.

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