While some writers may dream up far off lands and dungeons & dragons, the harsh realities of a life of writing often make way for compromises. Historically, it has never been easy to make a living doing this. Many aspiring writers may have turned to more lucrative aspirations, but I’d argue that now might be the best time to pursue your creative career. Here’s why:
The birth of online publications
Screenshot from The Middle Ground
Social media and the relative ease of online publishing has made way for a bevy of online magazines and editorials.
While some sites err on being click-bait-ish, there are many others who have developed a name for themselves. What’s more, independently owned publications tend to allow writers to tackle topics that may be deemed too politically incorrect for traditional media.
Support and trust in online news and publishing are growing, and with lower overheads and the increased ad spending in the sector, demand for writers is at an all time high. If you’d like to learn more about working at your dream publication, this article ought to sort you out.
After all that criticism about the lack of creative talent in Singapore, it seems that our supreme leaders have actually begun to heed our words! In an effort to cultivate creative talent, The National Arts Council (NAC) actually provides grants to creatives looking to start their projects.
Funding programmes range from creation to production, marketing and distribution. There are event initiatives specifically for writers including the Overseas Writing Programme Grant which allow writers to participate in international writing programmes and residences.
Initiatives like NTUC’s Ucreative provide a platform for writers and creatives to develop closer relationships and offer support to each other. Classes and conferences held by Ucreative also aim to foster talent within its members.
Increased interest in the arts and culture
It seems like Singapore may be experiencing a little renaissance of her own. Participation in arts-related activities has been on the increase with more productions and exhibitions than ever.
Festivals organised by or backed by the NAC like The Singapore Writers Festival and The All In! Young Writer’s Festival have gained popularity and see higher participation rates every year. The arts are playing an increasingly substantial role in the lives of the public.
Despite all this interest, readership in Singapore remains abysmal. In a recent poll, less than half the participant indicated that they have read a literary book in the past year. But before you put your pens down in despair, local writers are increasingly making a name for themselves garnering success overseas.
The work of local graphic novelist Sonny Liew is enjoyed by fans of popular DC comics superhero – Dr Fate. His most recent work, The Art Of Charlie Chan Hock Chye found international acclaim making it on to bestseller lists on Amazon and the New York Times.
It’s easier to share work than ever before
Screenshot from Wattpad
Sharing drafts and ideas might have been limited to a room of budding writers in the past, but in today’s digital world, the options are endless.
You can set up blogs, join networks and groups of writers and post chapters and drafts on Wattpad or Medium. The best part is that you can reach out to millions of people across the world and find readers and mentors who are interested in what you’re writing about to help you.
If you’re really into My Little Pony and Dragon Ball Z crossovers, rest assured, someone on the internet will be able to guide you and enjoy your work of art.
Posting online not only allows you to develop your skills, it also earns you a following to tap into when you finally release your book. Developing a personal brand is important, and the writing process is an excellent way to display your style and personality to get more readers on board.
Screenshot from Voyagin blog
For the uninitiated, content marketing is the practice of marketing while value adding to an audience – basically, it’s what you’re reading right now. It’s all the rage now, in a world filled with mindless advertising, marketing you can actually learn from and draw value from is a breath of fresh air.
Writers, on the other hand, are providers of these little nuggets of wisdom, and the rise of content marketing is fuelling the demand for good writers. While there are some assignments that pay abysmally, respect for the craft is growing, and brands are more willing than ever to fork out for good content.
Content and advertising agencies will probably be your best bet in scoring these gigs, although a solid background in writing at an online publication would probably help. Writing content is a little more convoluted than it seems, SEO and keywords need to be considered and a little experience in that goes a long way.
Excel in Content Marketing
Bolt is a content marketing platform that connects writers to brands looking for quality written content. For more articles for writers, click here. You can also sign up for our beta here: