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Why Become a Writer and Why Study Writing?

There are as many reasons to write as there are varied genres of writing.

Over the years we have developed more and more courses to accommodate requests and new areas of writing that have emerged.


 
Why study writing?


Who is our typical student?

We receive applications from people who have always wanted to write and are looking to start a new career. We also see a large number of applicants who want to explore their creativity (some to have fun and others who are interested in serious literary writing), whether it is to write poetry, short stories, a memoir or a novel that is burning to be written. Finally, we receive applications from people who want to specialize in certain areas of writing, usually because of new challenges in their jobs.

Most of them have questions like:

  • Do I have what it takes to be a writer?
  • Could I make money from writing?
  • How can I improve my writing?
  • How can I feel more confident about my writing?
  • Where do I even start with writing a book/ article/ script?

Some of these applicants are writers, some will become writers, but everyone who applies has come to the conclusion that writing needs to be learned and practiced to improve and gain new skills. Studying one-on-one  with an expert in the field (usually an acclaimed writer) is giving yourself the best chance to enhance your skills.

But let's take a closer look at the life of a writer, and find out if writing  - as a hobby or as a career - could be for you.


Writing fits a work-from-home freelance lifestyle

Writing is the ideal profession for a freelancer who prefers to work from home.

It’s a job that suits a self-starter, who is comfortable working in isolation for hours every day, enjoys intellectual stimulation, a dollop of creativity and a more relaxed schedule than most nine-to-fivers.
Is-online-study-for-you?


A career as a writer in a team

Writing doesn’t have to be a solo career though. Some writers balance freelance work with work in a team. Scriptwriters for film and TV often work in collaboration with other writers; news and broadcast journalists can work in a high-pressure newsroom; many magazine journalists work in-house with a team of copy editors and feature writers; corporate writers work with every level of employee to gather stories and information.


Challenging and fascinating

Challenging and Fascinating

Depending on the field of writing you choose to specialize in, the job of a writer can take you to…


Make money writing

Why-study-writng?What’s more, with a variety of writing jobs and hard work, it is possible to make a living as a writer.

Changes in the publishing field mean that you can, without vast upfront costs, write and publish e-books on a variety of topics. Thanks to the Net you can work online writing copy for a variety of formats (websites or content factories).

Business writing, Copywriting and Press Release Writing are high-paying fields. Similarly, writing articles for magazines can bring in a solid income once you have built up a relationship with editors at several magazines. Working as an in-house journalist or broadcast journalist will pay a decent salary.

However, like any profession, working as a writer demands that you have:
  • Networking ability (just like in any business!). The more editors and publishers you know – the more commissions you’re likely to land. The more knowledgeable you are about social media and using the Web to promote yourself as a writer, the better.
  • Integrity: plagiarism and faulty research are likely to spell the end of your career
  • Determination: One publisher’s “No” can often be another’s “Yes”. Keep trying. Keep writing.
  • Versatility: most writers need to work for a variety of employers to make a good income. So, for example, creative writers have several stories on the go, do book reviews for newspapers and magazines, enter literary competitions and do proof-reading on the side.


Good writers hone good habits

Being a good writer isn’t just about good writing. All writers need to learn how to manage themselves as a professional, honing these core skills:

  •  They can stick to deadlines.
  •  Their facts are accurate; their research is sound and thorough.
  •  Their work is not “shoddy” – meaning that spelling, grammar and punctuation are correct, and sentences are carefully crafted.
  •  They behave professionally, from cover letter to their invoice.
  •  They have a head for innovative ideas: trend spotting and an ability to transmute current social issues into words.

Good writers hone good habits


Writing is a crucial skill in the workplace

Good writing – that is grammatically correct, using the right format and sound layout - is a highly valued skill in the workplace.
 

A beautifully written report, emails that communicate clearly and effectively, business letters that command respect and a response: these are proficiencies that cannot be underestimated. The converse, sending our correspondence that is riddled with typos, grammar errors and hard-to-read layout, is never going to impress the boss or your colleagues.

It is never too late to take a Grammar Course or work one-on-one with a Writing Coach to learn solid writing skills that can help you communicate clearly and effectively, and could even land you that promotion at work.

 

Writers can work from anywhere


One of the best parts of being a writer is that you can work via the internet, from anywhere in the world. Our SA Writers' College writing tutors and writing course students live in towns and cites all over South Africa, including Johannesburg, Gauteng; Durban, KwaZulu-Natal; Cape Town, Western Cape; Nelspruit, Mpumalanga; Pretoria, Gauteng; Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape; Bloemfontein, Free State; Polokwane, Limpopo; Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal; Kimberley, Northern Cape.
 


Why do you need to study writing?

It was Ernest Hemingway who said: “It's none of their business that you have to learn how to write. Let them think you were born that way.”

Just like great painters apprentice under a master and musicians study their instrument for years before they stand on a stage, most well known writers have studied writing. Every field of expertise requires years of training and development. Writing is no exception.

There are, of course, issues around how writing can be taught. Most would agree that sitting in a class absorbing hours of theory is not going to give you the results you want. For instance, studying Beethoven by reading a textbook is not going to help you play ‘The Moonlight Sonata’. You have to practise your craft, over and over. The same goes for writing.

As a writer-in-training, you need a mentor focusing intently on specific writing skills: your sentence lengths, your style, structure, content, and the logic in your writing. Your teacher needs to point out to you, again and again: “Here you have used dangling participles four times in one paragraph. Get rid of them. You’re using passive voice. Throw in active verbs. Here are five clichés.”

We believe that our online writing courses are one of the best ways to fast-track your writing career. We don’t believe you get the best value from group feedback, peer review or listening to hours of literary theory.

We believe that the best way to learn how to write is to write, with feedback from an expert mentor, every line of the way. As author Diane Awerbuck puts it: “…You can't be a writer without the grim slog of actually getting words down on paper. I think everyone gets irritated with those pretentious, poetry café types who present themselves as writers but somehow never get around to writing anything worthwhile. You can't just talk the talk; you have to walk the walk.”


Want to find out more about our courses and which one would best suit you? Contact us.

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About Us


We offer specialised, online writing courses tutored by award-winning writers in South Africa. Get the writing tools you need, expert insider advice and hours and hours of writing practice.
 

Locations

Study from anywhere in South Africa: Cape Town, Western Cape; Johannesburg and Pretoria, Gauteng; Durban and Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal; Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape; Bloemfontein, Free State; Nelspruit, Mpumalanga; Kimberley, Northern Cape and Polokwane, Limpopo.

Contact Us

Nichola Meyer or Koos Turenhout
Email: admin@sawriterscollege.co.za

 

9-5 Monday to Friday

Work for Us

Vacancies at SAWC
 

 
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